This morning, after I finished writing a new song, the three of us drove down from Kidlington to Chalfont St Peter to play at Chalfont Lodge, a nursing home in beautiful rural surroundings in Buckinghamshire, being directed (unnecessarily, it turned out) by Serena the Satnav down very picturesque but equally scary single-track roads to get there. The gig itself went very well – due in no small part to the dogs’ overwhelming canine charisma – and we secured two more bookings on the spot.
Then lunch in Rusty and a snooze in the back before our afternoon gig at Sunrise of Chorleywood, another nursing home – this time proudly displaying a Cinnamon Trust certificate proclaiming its dog-friendliness – a good sign! Sure enough, the dogs ramped up the cuteness factor while I sang a few ‘country & western’ songs ranging from John Denver to Patsy Cline to Hank Williams and fended off a well-meaning elderly Scottish lady with dementia who was determined to feed Chilli potentially lethal (to a dog) pieces of her mince pie… As a result, there were abrupt endings to a few songs as I dived over to snatch the offending morsels off the carpet before Chilli gobbled them up. But nobody seemed too bothered!
The woman on the front desk was very keen to have us back, so we came away from there slightly flagging by now but buoyed up by another care home success.
This evening I’m going along to the lovely Chesham Folk Club singers’ night, as I have a gig there next month with Annie Greig as The Mockingbirds, and want to do a bit of promotion for that. So the girls and I have a few hours in which to kick our heels and relax, while I can feel good about the fact that as well as entertaining a load of folk today, I’ve made a bit of money, and I’ve got a musical evening ahead that bodes well. And tomorrow I’m recording in London and then meeting an old friend in the evening before heading back home.
Life is brilliant when it’s full of music. As one of the residents at the care home this morning said after singing along to a number of songs, ‘Music feeds the soul!’
The only thing that stops it being completely perfect is Chilli’s shrill barking from the front seat… On the other hand, if it was completely perfect, I might start to worry…