It’s already April but because of Easter holidays I am just posting my March blog. Apologies.
When the band and I played on the lovely Janice Long’s BBC Radio 2 show for the release of ‘Orange Roses’, she asked me on air if I had spent that summer playing festivals, and I replied that I had spent it on windy beaches. We discussed very briefly but in a heartfelt way how life changes when you have a child. I find that my work goes on hold in the holidays apart from actually doing gigs. It is right that it should be this way round, but I find that I have forgotten everything and lost momentum. When our lovely daughter was tiny I stayed up half the night doing emails and hustling gigs and became so run down I couldn’t sing properly. Nowadays I lose the plot for a while and then pick it up later on. So here I am.
Anyway, there was snow, and then there was sunshine and warm days of t-shirts and cycling and walking along the Thames. I found lovely things to see on the river and felt less hemmed in right here in the centre of London.
In March once more Andy and I were the guests of poet John Hegley at The Betsey Trotwood, in the company of 93-year poet Jennifer Cobbing – whose razor sharp and touching ‘I’ve lost the plot’ and fresh love poem ‘Cloud 10’ won me over.
I’ve been spending some time imparting musical knowledge and singing insights to young people, and have also been asked to learn some new stuff myself with the brilliant Julian Ferraretto who plays violin in my band. I am going to revisit my Grade 7 violin-skills and take part in his jazz violin ensemble workshops culminating in a concert with Neil Cowley. I hope I am up to it and will let you know how I get on. (In the words of the BBC radio sitcom ‘Fags, mags and bags’, it should be ‘amazing and great’ – I’ve been enjoying listening to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fbnb7)
To demonstrate what I am always trying to remind myself – that nothing stays the same – I have spent each summer since that conversation with Janice Long playing at at least one major UK festival, and I have been asked to play at Latitude in Suffolk again this year, on Friday July 13th. The next day I’ll be playing an evening concert at the very beautiful Cothay Manor gardens near Wellington in Somerset, a truly inspiring garden maintained by a family team http://www.cothaymanor.co.uk/Gardens (You may have seen it on ‘Country House Rescue’).
Meanwhile there is progress with my new album and 4 tracks have gone off to band members for them to add their parts. I have 3 more new songs and another forgotten collaboration to add to the track listing. Nearly there.
Another small burst of activity with the children’s story I wrote with illustrations by Jeb Loy Nichols, ‘The Ball that Got Stuck in the Tree’. More independent bookshops including the National Theatre bookshop are stocking it and it is available on line via paypal as before from my website www.rebeccahollweg.com/books
Today the sky is blue and London is full of camelias and magnolias and wisteria.