Always planning for the future

From left: Derek Allan, Dan Rutherford and Sam Gibson.
From left: Derek Allan, Dan Rutherford and Sam Gibson.

Northumbrian musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

January 13

Today was one of the cancelled gigs so we changed it to ‘superhero night’. I am getting a lot of admin work done through the day with Melanie. I’ve had this cold thing for nine days and now Ellie is living through it. This has meant very little walking outside. I’m looking forward to getting out.

January 14

It was our first time at The Thatch in Berwick tonight and it was a good first gig. Mr and Mrs Vare came along again and they enjoyed the night. The duo DPlus came to watch because they were on holiday and they like us. A great start to the musical year and the albums are off out again.

January 15

An exciting day. We met up with Sam for 3pm, with Melanie, Ellie and Rebecca.

It took Sam and his friends an hour to set up three dart boards and we were off – 24 hours of darts for The British Heart Foundation. Online donations reached £50 by midnight and £50 in the bucket at the venue, Dinnington Social Club. It stayed open all night and looked after us.

Sam Gibson is my 24-hour music and darts buddy. We drink coffee all night. We are a good team and he is a great darts player. So many nice friends and strangers joined us, it was well over 50 people. There were lots of games and talks, with new friends being made.

I live to do charity work. I wish I could do this all of the time. Knowing you are helping towards saving someone’s life is such a great feeling. Twenty-four hours of darts was simple to me, it just takes time.

January 16

Back at 6pm from the darts. Over £220 has been raised so far and more will come in. It was a great experience. There were only a few hours when we had to play on our own.

Sam Gibson did amazingly well and hit seven 180s. There was so much support. A few players stayed until around 5am and returned around 8am to help us carry on. A lot of people popped in to drop a pound in the bucket and play a game.

Thank you to Dinnington Social Club for staying open and for free coffee.

January 17

I am reading George Mahood’s new book. It is from a time when he went to America before mobile phones. He is doing so well as a travel adventurer. At the moment in the book, he is at the Enchanted Rocks in Texas. This is where my duo We Steal Flyers shot a video for a song called Down We Go. I am looking forward to going around the UK and maybe even the world as a travel writer. There is so much to see, so many people to meet and I want to help a lot more people.

January 18

Back in The Trap in Broomhill tonight, starting off the new monthly open mic nights. It was two years ago when it ended and I thought a Christmas Special would be canny. It was and it really worked out. Tonight was good too. The whole idea of filling an empty room with friends and potential friends always appeals.

January 19

Chris is back to being the driver again. It was Stokesley tonight and it was a good bar gig. More albums went out into the world. Mel and I are working on new venues, it is not an easy thing to do.

We are also working on the 24-hour walk I will be doing with my friend Shaun. This is going to be for Alzheimer’s.

There is also the longer walk, which will last a week, with Ellie. This will again be for Headway. We are also working on our three-year plan, the Coast to Coast. Ellie saw a documentary on TV and wanted to do this. With Mel doing all the background work, we have a great team.