Monday, December 26, 2016

Liane Carroll's Cold Turkey! at Ronnie Scotts

Soho, London. 26-December-2016.

A Boxing day treat to relax after the not-so-excesses of Christmas.Mary and I spent Christmas apart, she with her Mum, me with mine. They are both getting on and getting frailer. Best to spend quality time with them while we can.

This was our belated Christmas meal. Mary flew down from Glasgow and straight to Ronnie Scotts to see Liane Carroll.

No photos because I obey Ronnie's "no photography" request so here is one from Liane's Facebook page.

I remember we enjoyed the show but the memory all gets a bit fuzzy now.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blue - a celebration

Cats Protection, Haywards Heath 14-Feb-2010 to Wandsworth 21-Dec-2016

It has taken me a while to get round to posting this, not least because my father died less than a week after Blue and that kinda took priority. Now, belatedly, Blue gets the obituary she deserves.

She was a lovely, amiable companion, so good natured and a veritable ball of fluff - a hit with all who met her. Cuteness personified.

To quote from "Peaches - a celebration"
"This is Blue and Peaches the very first time was met them at the Cats Protection National Cat Centre in Haywards Heath. We had gone to view kittens but did a last minute swerve to the pen next door where we were told Blue and Peaches were 12 and 14 respectively.

When we decided to adopt two older cats the deal was to give them a peaceful retirement knowing we would not have them as long as kittens. We were resolved from the start that when their time came there would be no heroic measures to prolong their lives unnecessarily. As long as they were happy and comfortable it was quality of life that counted."
Blue clearly lied about her age! She was with us for six and a half years which would make her 20, an unlikely lifespan for a typically short-lived breed.

This is our favourite picture of her exploring the garden, taken by Mary, which we call "jungle cat".

Like all cats she had a talent for relaxing.

In contrast to Peaches, Blue was always wanting to be a companion cat coming over to keep me company wherever I was.

Especially if that meant jumping on the duvet at silly o'clock to be a furry alarm call.

When not lying next to me on the sofa this was Blue's favourite vantage point on the front windowsill to watch passersby.

She liked to drink from smelly plant saucers in the garden and anywhere but her bowl. She even did her best to drink out of Mary's water glass despite her snub nose.

Towards the end she was getting very frail. Whatever her age it was clear she had not much longer to go. The decision to have her put to sleep was very hard, as always with a beloved pet, but the decision was clear and the timing right.

We had her cremated and her ashes are planted under the same rosebush where Peaches and also Cleo's ashes are buried.

As with Peaches I feel happy that we have kept our side of the bargain and Blue in return provided us with her own unique feline company for six years and ten months.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Lucy Zirins supporting Aynsley Lister at the Half Moon

Putney, London. Thursday 01-December-2016

We went to see Lucy Zirins at the Half Moon Putney supporting some other bloke. A bit of a last minute decision and our plan had been to eat in the pub beforehand. What we had failed to take into account was the Christmas rush - every table was reserved apart from a couple of round standing tables. As one of those came free we dived in just to have somewhere to park our beer. Chatting to the outgoing occupants, it turns out they were going to the gig as well and were eating beforehand in a restaurant just down the road. So we follow their example, finished our drinks, walked down to Hudsons and discovered a delightful little bistro and a tasty meal.

Then it was back to the Halfmoon just in time for Lucy's set - half a dozen numbers including a cover of "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor" which I know well from listening to Missisippi John Hurt although Lucy's version had much more, and different, lyrics than MJH's pared down version.

I am not sure what it says about the state of live music but the audience demographic was very skewed. Lots of middle-aged, or older, single blokes. Maybe they weren't all single and it was just that their partners weren't interested in standing up in a pub for a couple of hours drinking beer. But they are helping keep music live, so I'm not knocking them, just observing. By the time Aynsley came on the later arrivals had swung the audience mix to a more balanced crowd including younger people and couples.

Lucy was as charming as before and sung beautifully. Didn't need to buy any CD's as we'd bought them all when we saw her at the Green Note.

Aynsley Lister rocked out a very guitar-led set. We had not heard of him before but here are lots of rave reviews out there. Always great to discover a new artiste. Most impressed with his talent we bought a copy of his latest album, Eyes Wide Open. Looking forward to listening to that later.