The Mersea Session on Thursday nights is always entertaining - one never knows who is going to turn up. The Thursday before last, it was my great misfortune to be chained to my desk by The Book From Hell (or one of them - they crop up from time to time in my line of business), and thus unable to nip down to the Coast Inn for even half an hour. Just my luck, because who should turn up and join in, in my absence, but Billly Bragg.
I was contacted by text with the exciting news, but in my jaundiced mindset at the time, I simply thought it was a ploy to soften my resolve and get me down there for half an hour and half a pint, so I ignored the summons and consequently missed possibly the most memorable Thursday since the sessions began last October. Arggh! But I have nobody by my own doubting-Thomas self to blame. Pictures of the evening's music-making can be found here.
Anyway, The Book From Hell was duly finished a day or so afterwards, and my in-tray is filled with mostly rather enjoyable-looking jobs for the next few weeks. Which means that I was able to go along last Thursday, accompanied by IM, freshly released from school for the summer. I'm sure that some would not necessarily approve of my taking my 8-year-old daughter to the pub of an evening, still less that I publicly broadcast this lapse in Responsible Parenting on the internet. But she loves the music, and taking photographs and drinking CocaCola with ice in it, and is now busy polishing up her own little party pieces on the piano, so that she can join in next time.
With the Muddy Island's week-long sailing festival - Mersea Week - coming up next month, we thought it would be fun to hold a special nautically themed musical evening on 12 August. We're calling it Shanty Night and one of my tasks for the week ahead is to pin posters advertising it to every lamp-post on the island and inveigle it into shop windows by one means or another. It's certainly not going to be restricted to traditional sea shanties - 'La Mer' and 'I Am Sailing' will undoubtedly feature, amongst others. IM wonders whether 'Row Your Boat' qualifies, since it involves a stream, rather than yer actual sea. If it does (and who's going to quibble, with all that merrily merrilying and life being but a dream, after all?) she's up for playing it on the night.