Pre-planning for holiday time

Derek Allan and his daughter Ellie.
Derek Allan and his daughter Ellie.

Northumberland musician Derek Allan, who is one half of We Steal Flyers, continues his weekly diary.

July 24

Melanie once again has the cricket whites white. Ellie and Rebecca look perfect. I really love being a part of cricket once again, the people are so nice to be around and the grounds are too. It was the under 9s cricket festival at Morpeth (home ground), and once again they loved it.

So much goes into making the world a better and happier place and I will always appreciate the efforts of others.

July 25

It is harder to put in the big hours of work when the school holidays arrive so we try to work in advance and hope that we have done enough to attend the gigs already booked and that they go ahead without any worries.

I like the sound of Ellie and Rebecca every morning, knowing they will not be leaving for school. I walked with them to our spot near the lake for some reading and cricket practice today. They were both really excited about the under 9s day at Morpeth Cricket, which was great fun for everyone.

They work well together, but Rebecca still has her eye on being an Olympian, a runner and long-jumper.

July 26

Up again at 7am to be ready and in Durham for the annual summer cricket camp for Ellie.

Mornings are not easy in our house, like in most houses. I am always calm to keep my epilepsy under control.

Melanie has missions to do and we have to let her get on with the amazing act of being a mother. Her work is truly never done and we all love her for it.

Durham cricket camp is very well run, with over 60 boys and, including Ellie, two girls attending. We love being at Durham any time, but when Ellie is being coached on the field she loves it.

Whilst Ellie was training we took Rebecca to buy some new books.

We walked the park, which is amazing and filled with water fountains. Melanie had packed a swimming outfit in advance. Rebecca is full of energy and will be a great runner when she grows. A lot of fun to be around.

It was a great day.

July 27

Up at 7am and back on the road to Durham cricket camp.

Ellie has been going now for three years and she has improved so much. Today they took her to play with the cricket ball in the nets, not as she is used to with the wind ball. It was a corker and she loved it.

On the way to the nets Rebecca almost fainted and went into her wannabe athlete zone. She had found the long-jump run and had paused at the sand. It was a magical moment.

Once again everyone at cricket camp loved it.

New CDs were bought for the car home and some sing-alongs.

A lot of gigs need to be booked for next year now and there are a few gaps to fill in.

July 28

It was early up and away for the final day at Durham for cricket camp for Ellie.

The rain enjoys daily visits so when it arrived we went shopping for final things needed for the charity walk at the weekend.

It is exciting knowing that two years training and planning are behind us. Over £600 has been raised so far.

I wish I could do more of this. It is tricky though as we have to save money to take time off work. Careful planning is needed as if I did too much we would be homeless.

I always meet people.

Meeting them at cricket or in music means I am meeting people with my interests, which is a great conversation starter.

Well done to Ellie and all involved at Durham Cricket. A lot goes into life and living.