Sunday, January 13, 2019

Peter Donegan Band at The Half Moon

Putney, London. Sunday 13-January-2019.

Mary got an email from The Half Moon mailing list announcing that Peter Donegan (son of Lonnie Donegan), booked to play the following weekend, was about to appear on The Voice. So we watched The Voice and decided to pop along. Despite national TV exposure, there were still tickets available for the princely sum of £12 (or £14 on the door).

A meal beforehand in the pub then into the room for the support act who was actually one of the band. Unfortunately I didn't make a note of his name but he did a good set.

Then the man of the hour.

He did remark that a few days before he had played to six (6!) people at a gig in Scotland. I am glad to say this was a lot better attended.

At the end I went to buy the latest CD. When I like the music I always like to do that, not just to listen to the music but to support the musician; they get the money direct into their pocket with no middlemen nor distributors.

His friend / manager / business partner insisted on borrowing my phone to take some pictures and who am I to disagree.

Nice man, good music, excellent evening.

Monday, January 07, 2019

New Year's Eve Road Trip 2018/2019

Various locations. Monday 31-December-2018 / Monday 07-January-2019.

Several things came together to create a second holiday road trip. We had already planned NYE in the New Forest with Bob and Lynn. Then we got tickets to see Mary Coughlan just outside Dublin on 4th Jan. So rather than return to London and fly from a London airport we imposed upon our hosts, stayed on an extra day and flew out from their local airport, Southampton. When Tim and Sarah heard that we were flying back into Southampton they insisted we visit them on the Isle of Wight since Southampton is practically on their doorstep, so that is what we did.

Monday 31-December-2018 New Forest

New Year's Eve involved the usual eating and drinking and a walk in the New Forest on New Year's Day to walk off the hangover.

Tuesday 01-January-2019 New Forest

Except there wasn't really a hangover due to the quality of the wine and the leisurely pacing of the meal. But no reason needed to stroll around such a lovely part of the UK.

As usual the New Forest ponies are wandering about ignoring the humans as they are well used to our presence.

Wednesday 02-January-2019 Dublin

Another night at Bob and Lynne's then it was a short drive to Southampton Airport to park up the car whilst were were were in Dublin. Southampton is a small regional airport and as such a pleasant change from Gatwick and Heathrow.

Dublin has a number of statues most of which have nicknames. This is Oscar Wilde known as "The Fag on the Crag"

Phil Lynott is a new addition to the pantheon of statues. Not sure what his soubriquet is yet but I am sure the Dubliners will provide.

Thursday 03-January-2019 Dublin

We went out for lunch with a friend who lives in Dalkey just outside Dublin.

Friday 04-January-2019 Dublin

We know Dublin well so mostly guided ourselves around but Mary spotted a guided tour that was history and pints. Instead of the usual, somewhat tiring, three hour walk we got two hours walking with a history lesson told through the personalities that shaped it and the places where major events took place followed by an hour sitting in a pub, drinking and learning about Guinness and the Irish beer industry. Definitely Five Stars for Nils, the guide.

The Mary Coughlan gig was excellent and gets its own post.

Saturday 05-January-2019 Isle of Wight

The flight back to the UK was so uneventful that we did not need the contingency we had built in to catch the car ferry to the Isle of Wight. We had 45 minutes from when we cleared immigration so called the ferry company, switched to the earlier ferry and scooted down to the port with 5 minutes to spare. According our friends they are fairly relaxed about latecomers, not like RyanAir - none of this "Boarding closes 20 minutes before departure" rubbish. Less hanging around, more time with our friends. Result!

Supper at The Taverners, just one minute's walk away!

Sunday 06-January-2019 Isle of Wight

Rather like the New Forest, this visit was a mixture of eating, drinking and walking, this time with added dog.

A relatively short walk along the cliff tops as our hosts' Labrador has dodgy knees and it would be unkind to make him walk too far.

A pub lunch at The Buddle Inn and then a short walk back home.

More relaxing, eating and drinking.

Monday 07-January-2019 London

A quick bit of shopping to buy black garlic; there is a lot of garlic grown on the IOW. Then an uneventful ferry back to "The North Island" and home via Mum's house in Fanham to check all is OK, no burst pipes nor post to pick up.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Mary Coughlan at the Pavilion Theatre

Dun Loaghaire, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Friday 04-January-2019.

Mary Coughlan is one of our favourite artists; we have seen her three times before. Mary spotted that she was appearing at the Pavilion Theatre, County Dublin. We thought it might be a feeble excuse to visit one of our favourite cities so we snapped up a couple of tickets. What we didn’t realise is that the Pavilion Theatre isn’t actually in Dublin, it's in the suburb of DĂșn Laoghaire. Fortunately it’s only half an hour on the DART from central Dublin where we had booked ourselves an Airbnb.

On the recommendation of our friend Danielle we dined before the show at Hartley's. Conveniently right next to the DART station it was easy to find and the food was excellent. Then a short stroll diagonally across the road junction to the Pavilion Theatre ready for the show.

It is not a large venue (max capacity 324) and we had seats in the very front row, in the middle. There was a support band, who were fine, and Mary joined them for one number. Then a short break and Mary herself came on.

It’s slightly unsettling when you’re that close, like 6 foot away (!), because not only can you see the performer they can see you. At one point while singing “I Want To Be Seduced” when she got the line “Right from the minute that we’d been introduced” she gave me a cheeky little wave. It’s a good job it was dark, I might have blushed otherwise.

Another fantastic concert. I would very happily go and see that woman again.