A musical Surprise

Usually when I go to see a band or performer, I’m familiar with their music and know what to expect. Sometimes I’m too familiar if I’ve seen that performer so many times, and can predict the next song by the tuning of the guitar! That wasn’t the case when Nicky and I went to see John Prine in Derry on Friday. I got him tickets for Christmas, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know much about him really. I knew that Josh Ritter was heavily influenced by his music and song-writing, so chances are I would like him, and of course I did.

The gig began with some songs by Philip Donnelley. Imagine Bob Dylan singing while holding his nose, and you get the idea. During the interval I was really wondering what sort of evening to expect, but after a few minutes of hearing John Prine and his two accompanying musicians on stage, I knew I was going to really enjoy this gig. Prine had throat cancer in 1998, resulting in a gravelly voice ever since, and by the end of the first song I was wondering how he was going to make it through an intire performance. He played for two hours, and although he sounded strained at times, he was fantastic. I’d imagine him to be a great story-teller, but I think maybe he was saving his voice for the songs. He was polite and humorous, and seemed to enjoy being on stage. The audience had his attention from the beginning, and seemed very respectful towards him, giving a long applause after he left the stage for the final time I imagined it to be more country than it was, and since I prefer folk music it suited me perfect. The guitars sounded fantastic! I’ll try and find a set list and put it in the comments section. .

I couldn’t help wishing I’d heard John Prine play years ago when his voice was stronger. I knew about eight songs, which was more than I thought I did, and I’m looking forward to buying some albums. In a strange way, its good that I’ve seen him play live now and can go and discover the recorded music and enjoy it.
Its nice when you buy someone a present and enjoy it just as much as they do 🙂

On the subject of music, RTE Radio 1 broadcast a documentary about Fergus O’Farrell from Interference yesterday. Its definitely worth a listen. I found his attitude and outlook on life very inspirational.

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Feeling Old

Its my birthday today, and even though I was in Thailand this time last year, I still had a lovely day, and a nice weekend of celebrating.
I went for dinner on Friday night with my mum, sister, aunts and cousins, a sort of “mothers and daughters” night. The food was lovely and the night was mostly good fun. Nicky was up for the weekend so we took the three dogs for a run on the beach with my nephews on Saturday. It was Orrin’s first time with O.J on the beach, and I think he loved having a big dog to play with again. He has slowed down a lot when he is playing, which is totally normal but something I hate noticing. They went into the water and got covered in sand, so my mum and I had to shower O.J and Orrin when we got home. They were still too wet for us to take them with us when we went for dinner in the evening, so we went on our own. Again the night was lovely and the food was amazing.

The dogs got more walks and playing yesterday and today, since the weather has been lovely for the last few days. I had a very relaxing birthday, and got some lovely presents. They included flights to Edinborough and a necklace with my birth stone (from Nicky), money and flowers (from my Godmother), clothes and a picture for my house. The funniest and most surprising present was from my friend, who has become very dimesticated since she got married and moved house. She recently bought a drill, and knows that I need pictures put up in my house. She bought me a towel and toilet roll holder for the bathroom, and is coming out during the week to put it up, along with pictures, a coat hanger and anything else I need. These are the kinds of silly jobs I really want done to make my house look a bit better and less plain inside, so even though its a strange one, it was a very thoughtful and appreciated present!

My birthday was a nice excuse to take the weekend off from the essay I’m writing as part of my course. Tomorrow, I’ll be back researching autism and checking the wordcount until I get 1500 words! 🙂

Three Years Later

I started working in this office three years ago. I thought I was signing up to a two month job contract covering for someone on leave. I stayed for a year, then got an extention for another year, then another, and here I am. Today was my last day, and next week I’m supposed to start looking for other jobs and talking to people who can help me find a job.

I’m not doing any of those things though. People in work wrote a letter to someone, who passed it on to someone else, who kindly decided to extend my job for another eight months. I have a job until October, and I’m delighted! O.J will just have to continue getting on the bus, finding the office and curling up beside this desk for a while longer. He seems perfectly happy with that.