I’ve been very lucky as for the past two months I’ve had some really enjoyable weekends. This one was right up there with the best of them. It started with some really nice music on Friday night, continued on Saturday with a great night out with some friends and ended on Sunday with some time to myself to practise some Perle scripting in preparation for the next class being held in TOG this Wednesday. More about that in a later post.
Starting at the beginning, Friday’s session started with the worry that I wasn’t going to be able to play the pipes. The chanter was very flat and it wouldn’t have been practical to continue with it so far out of tune. I had no choice but to try to tweak the reed to try to bring the tone up to concert pitch. To my delight, it wasn’t that difficult. It got even better when for some reason the chanter got an entirely new lease of life and gave me tones that I haven’t heard from it in years! I played it almost solidly for the next four hours. It was a pleasure! Well, it’s always a pleasure but on Friday night it was effortless. Sounds that I never heard before were coming out of the pipes and all I had to do is sit back and relax. Seriously, I mean it when I say it was like listening to someone else playing. It wasn’t me. It was the chanter. I can’t wait to do it again. I could even tell that the guitar player could feel it. He was jelling so well with the tunes I was playing and because the chanter gave me the freedom to try new things he was doing the same. I don’t think I’ve heard him playing so well in ages. I don’t mean to say that he doesn’t play well. He’s by far my favourite musician to play music with. On Friday night there was just something different in the air.
On Saturday I was a little nervous. I had hoped to get at least twelve people to come to Carlow for the birthday celebrations for the infamous Nicky Kealy. Nicky has some great friends all over the country and I’d hoped to try to get them all together in one place for a night. That was difficult as of course everyone uses their weekends to catch up on things they couldn’t do during the week, travel makes things difficult and things come up at the last minute. I had heard of about five cancelations during the week and I was very afraid of hearing more on Saturday. I was also worried that people who had travelled wouldn’t enjoy themselves and it would be a wasted trip or that a dozen other things would go wrong on the night. My fears were quickly dispelled however as there were no cancelations and no hick ups at all on Saturday. Fair play to Nicky’s family. They organized everything very well. They provided a place to stay for some people and they contacted other family and friends to come down on Saturday night. From other parts of the country we had Cathal, Emma, Jenipher, Kerry and Paul. Fair play to them all for traveling to Carlow. It was great to meet up with everyone.
Me rubbing Cathal’s head thinking it was Ike. In my defence, He was on the floor bending down to Ike’s level. I put my hand down to make sure Ike was all right as I do regularly and Cathal’s head was in the way. I’m sorry!
Listening to Nicky’s friend Peter taking the piss out of him for the night. Wow those two can have one of the funniest slagging matches I’ve ever heard.
Jenny giving Nicky just as much as she got. Nicky’s found his match with her. She’s well able to handle him.
I’d have to say that the all-round funniest person of the night had to be Cathal. That fela comes out with the weirdest stuff. I think he’s getting more entertaining as time goes on.
I couldn’t write this post and not complement the dogs. Ralph was his usual self. He is the most chilled out guide dog ever. He’s an old gentleman. He likes his space and his quiet house. He’s one of the most likeable dogs I’ve ever met. Jenipher’s dog O-J is cool. He’s really independent and really playful. I was surprised at how easy he was to wind up. Within a few seconds he was playing. With Ike it takes about five minutes to get him to that level. It was very nice to see such a care free dog. You can easily tell that Jen was well matched to O-J. The two of them get on really well and the partnership seems very comfortable.
Fair play to Nicky. You wouldn’t think he’s going to be 40 next Thursday. He’s doing great!
Ha. Seriously. I’ve known Nicky, AKA, the horse since he was five. Sitting on the side of the bench eating a packet of hula-hoops he was perched very happily in the middle of everything. He would talk to anyone about anything and no matter who you were he’d take no shit. Come to think of it, nothing has changed since then. He still gets into the middle of everything, talks for the country takes no shit and loves a good packet of crisps.