Tuesday, 26 October 2010

That X-Factor Moment

Well, we've passed a landmark occasion for two reasons:

Firstly, I played and sung at the same time, for an audience.

Secondly, the first mate and I played our first public duet.

Playing and singing sea shanties to yourself is one thing; playing to an audience of singers and musicians is something else.

People are so used to programmes like X-Factor these days, where everybody is encouraged to be a critic, I'm sure that 21st century Britain has an expectation of being entertained to some sort of professional standard every time somebody performs in front of them.

However, if this is the case, the group are very good at masking their thoughts.

One thing I've learnt from this journey is that if you even make one mistake when rehearsing, its going to be ten in front of a group.

Never mind, its a closed room and the natives are friendly.

There must have been something in the air last night as many of the more polished regulars were forgetting their words.

One interesting twist was the introduction of storytelling.

One (new) person told tales - it doesn't take much imagination to think of tribes sitting around the fire in a long hut on dark nights listening to tales of stormy coasts and cold, deep scottish lochs, while the wind rages outside.
Personally, it reminded me of being back at primary school (in a nice way !!).

Ah well, this is getting a bit like Scheherazade and the tales of the Arabian Nights - we aren't getting much boating done.

Somebody asked me the other day why we cruise so hesitantly and slowly.

I replied that there is more to a journey than notching up as many lock miles as possible.

When I was at sea, I visited many places for a day or two and foolishly thought that I'd seen that country.

I don't intend to make the same mistake narrowboating and we find that sometimes you have to hang around long enough to absorb the character of an area - after all, theres no hurry...going back to my original introduction to this blog, in Ely, all those light years ago, it's the quality of the journey itself that counts - not the destination or the speed that you move at.


  1. Well I guess we are, in a masochistic way.
    The day we don't, we will just pull the pins and never look back. Its a bit like I imagine some sort of therapy to be - first names only - no life history, no addresses..


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