Scenes from an Italian restaurant

Well, I’ve made it to Sunday. Yesterday was another of those hectic Saturdays that seem to keep cropping up during the summer. Work in the morning, cricket in the afternoon and Room 65 in the evening.

It’s now Sunday lunchtime, and I am firmly installed in my favourite PizzaExpress in Stockbridge. The doughballs have arrived, and the La Reine-with-no-olives is on its way. Some days change is a good thing, but other days a well-worn routine is very reassuring…

Yesterday’s cricket followed another well-worn routine, in that I got out LBW (I can hear Mark Robson groaning all the way from Australia), which was frustrating because I was well set on 28 and could’ve gone on to make a biggish score. Realistically, 28 is a biggish score for me (!), going by the last few seasons’ form, but it was still disappointing to get out. Although also a slight relief, as I needed to be at the Room 65 café for 8pm at the latest, and sometimes our matches don’t finish until after 8… I had visions of me still batting at 7.30 and torn between staying in and trying to ensure a much-needed victory for Holy Cross, and honouring my commitment to Room 65. However, my inability to play the swinging ball ensured that I had no such dilemma in prospect.

For those of you who think that cricket involves a lot of standing around doing nothing and can’t be very energetic, I would like to point out that all my muscles ache today, and I have a bruise on both thighs where the ball hit me. Am grateful I am not facing 90mph bowlers.

It’s now 3.30pm and I’ve outlasted almost all the lunchtime diners in PizzaExpress. The tiramisu is settling in my stomach and I am pondering a cup of tea. I have now been here long enough to consider putting some of my own pictures up on the wall beside my table. Am looking forward to going to Bellevue tonight after sleeping through both morning services. As in, sleeping in and MISSING both services, as opposed to going to both services and falling asleep. After a non-stop week of work immediately followed by Room 65, I am savouring the chance to recharge the batteries today. Hopefully next week will be a little more restful too.

Last night was my last night playing at Carrubbers, although the café continues to run for another 2 weeks. It was great fun playing with their band, and I am sorry in many ways that it’s now over for me. We sat on the stairs in the hallway after clearing up and restoring the auditorium to look more like a church again in time for today’s services, ate chips (from the legendary Clamshell chippy on the High Street) and tried unsuccessfully to get the tune of “You raise me up” out of our heads… nice way to end the week.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to pop in next week and see how it all sounds from the punters’ viewpoint.

There’s a buzz you get from playing with a band that’s hard to describe. Even the apparently simple task of all coming in together on the same chord, at the same time, is liable to bring a grin to my face. Perhaps that’s because, with me in a band, this doesn’t happen very often 😉 It was noticeable during the week how a slight change in personnel can make everything sound so different (at least on stage). I played with the same guitarist the whole week, but 2 different drummers, and 2 different bass players. Different bass players use different instruments, play the same songs in a different style and at different levels. Some drummers hit the drums harder than others, and some have more precise timing than others. For my part, I don’t think I played an intro to any given song the same way twice. Some of my intros were corkingly bad, which was amusing, at least for me. I also continued to display my penchant for playing a glissando and then landing heavily on the wrong chord 🙂 To their credit, the singers coped admirably and graciously with my idiosyncrasies. Perhaps I avoided too much criticism on account of being a ‘guest’ pianist, or perhaps they’re just an unnaturally kind bunch of people. Kind enough, in fact, to offer to fix me up with some of Carrubbers’ unattached young ladies, an offer which I politely declined. I was only there for the music, after all…

5 thoughts on “Scenes from an Italian restaurant”

  1. Well, as one of the ‘ropers-in’ in question, I should save Andrew from at least some of his modesty and tell you that he was very, very good, and although his glissandi did occasionally make me grin (and almost forget to come in on time), and although it was entirely his fault that several of us sat together in the morning service humming ‘You Raise Me Up’ under our breaths, we were very glad to have him and we’ve every intention of stealing him again for the odd gig or two.
    What’s that you say? No, really, he didn’t pay me to type that…

  2. Andrew i hope all your entries won’t be as boring as this one. i almost fell asleep reading it!!!!!!!! i want to here about the exciting life of the single man. By the time i finished reading your blog. i almost felt glad to be married (make sure Joanne dosn’t read this or i’m finished.)

  3. Andrew, feeling guilty for leaving an abusive message on my first visit to your blog. i should have waited to a least my second. I will try to be as nice as possible in future honest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Have you considered perhaps that your muscles aching are a reflection of your fitness levels rather than of the hard work involved in playing cricket… 😛 So has blogging become your new hobby instead of playing silly online games on those rare occasions when isn’t busy at HofH?

  5. Nice to hear from you Dish…

    I should perhaps have considered that my lack of physical fitness might be contributing to my overly long recovery time. I think being out of condition might have something to do with having a free run at the biscuits at HofH these days…

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