So we’ve hit September, and for some reason this year it feels like a time to stop and take stock. Normally it just potters on as another month on the way to Christmas.
Thrifty Gal (or, as she shall henceforth be known, Geek Goddess – it being her main blog for now) has written about celebrating September in the past – I suspect this was driven more by it being her birthday month than anything else but she’s right, it’s a time of new starts – be it school or college. The weather sorts itself out: hot and humid (ha ha) August gives way to brisk, fresh, sunny days; the mornings are still light, the evenings cooler.
Things are clearer in September.
I think I’m having this moment because, after a summer packed to the rafters with events, gigs, fun with friends and trips both in this country and further afield, October actually contains an empty weekend. (I know. I’ll have to get that sorted). But maybe, just maybe, I’ve actually got some time to stop and think.
Travel and that
My summer began in May when I set off on a holiday that took me to Niagara Falls, Washington DC and New York. Kudos to my travel companion zUmbereen who didn’t balk at my suggestion to go see a band in Brooklyn…even though she hadn’t heard of them and we ended up in dodgy bar showing a porn movie beforehand. She is now a fellow worshipper of the Silver Fox (aka Keith Murray from We are Scientists (WAS)).
I’m a firm believer in saying ‘yes’ to things most of the time thanks to Richard Wiseman…er obviously within reason…which is partly why I never have time to stop and think. So because of this I ended up returning to the UK for one day before jetting off to Cyprus for a villa-based holiday with friends. Actually that doesn’t do it justice, it was like some sort of foodie heaven holiday as my friend’s other half thinks nothing of rustling up a three course meal with about a thousand side dishes. Delicious.
I’ve been to York three times this summer mainly for gigs (see below) but I also managed to fit in some real ale drinking and a few visits to the TK Maxx* there. My last visit was possibly the most successful as I managed to purchase some delightful cowboy boots!
I’ve also visited the somewhat disappointing TK Maxx** in Southend on Sea (I think it didn’t deliver as I didn’t have a specific ‘wish’ logged with the TK Maxx fairy, yes, I realise this makes me sound mad). Among other things while in Sarfend, I journeyed to the end of the longest pleasure pier in the world (though sadly I just missed the Southend Pier Festival that featured the wonderful Lucky Strikes playing at the end of it) and visited the fishing festival in quaint and pretty Leigh on Sea.
Not only did I see WAS in New York, I saw them in Old York too at The Duchess. The gig was the sweatiest I have ever attended; a particular highlight was watching the Silver Fox crowd surf perilously close to bringing down the lights with his feet. Earlier in the summer I’d seen Paul Smith of Maximo Park knock down a ceiling tile in the same venue. It’s a weird place for gigs, the low stage and low ceilings do nothing for view (particularly if you aren’t very tall) and I wouldn’t recommend it on that basis alone. The Duchess worked well this weekend though, cabaret-style seating for an intimate gig with Simone Felice. Support came from Boss Caine and Matt Boulter (of The Lucky Strikes and aka The Whispering Pines) – if you don’t know these names already – check them out.
I’m becoming more accepting of my love of folky-Americana music and other highlights this summer included the Sage Gateshead Americana Festival (though the sun stroke wasn’t welcomed) and an amazing a capella and acoustic Futureheads gig at Durham Cathedral. Support came from local acts Natasha Haws and The Lake Poets, both of whom had stunning voices. The setting in the Cathedral was simply magical.
Oh and also, Bruce Springsteen. Born to Run. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day. The River. Top gig. That is all.
And so it ends
And so it ends with another holiday, this time to Pefkos, Rhodes. Following that, I’ll be drawing a line under the summer of 2012 and starting afresh. A week in the sunshine will, I hope, be the perfect ‘taking stock’ break. That’s if I can set aside some time that isn’t already taken up with drinking, feta-cheese eating, reading, swimming, a party and the ice catching championships…
* I am a tad obsessed with TK Maxx.