Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day Four of Eleven.

Day Four.
The Milkmaid Folk Club, Bury St Edmunds.
We packed up our suitcases, loaded the car and drove back to Dartford. John took the train in to London, where he had a few things to do, and I went to visit my second cousin once removed, Sadie. That means she's my gran's niece. Sadie was looking wonderful, as well as I've ever seen her, but she had a heart attack last month. She was amazingly recovered, and filled me in on the doings of many people to whom I am related in the UK, but haven't met.

Then I drove to Cambridge. Cambridge is one of my favourite towns, because it's outrageously beautiful, with breathtaking architectural grace realised in a lovely light-hued stone, and is one of the few towns where my personality seems normal. Even slightly staid. 

People were rushing about on black bicycles with wicker baskets on the front, tourists were queuing for the visually lush experience of punting on the Cam, there was a sense of rightness in the world that comes from a group of people realising their full potential. That was what I felt. There are so few places in the world where many people are stretching and challenging their intellects, finding opportunities and expanding their horizons as a matter of course, but Cambridge feels like one of them. We all deserve a chance to excel.

But I was there to collect John from the train, on the way to our gig. I was fortunate to have a little bit of time for a wander and to see a contemporary art gallery. Then we paid for it by driving in peak hour traffic to my second cousin Gerald's place near Bury St Edmunds, where our gig was.

Gerald came with us to the gig, and being an art teacher, he was very instructive about the fascinating array of architecture we were passing on the way in to Bury. There is a huge church, which was regarded as a small church in the grounds of the Abbey, when the Abbey existed. But Henry VIII got rid of that. A prosperous market town for centuries, Bury is full of wonderful, airy, beautifully built merchants houses, and a massive Corn Exchange, all columns and neoclassical lines, which is currently being turned into a Wetherspoon, upon which opinion is divided in the town.

Our gig turned out to be part of the Bury Arts Festival, so to our delight, the room was overflowing with people who wouldn't normally hear about folk gigs, but who really enjoyed our music. It was a marvellous night, with about 90 people, and a support act called The Larks. Marvellous.

No comments: