Getting a work and life balance

Derek Allan at Beamish Museum.

Derek Allan at Beamish Museum.

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Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

January 5

So many great books ordered with my Christmas money. I love great people and they inspire me to get through any day.

I have Janet Street Porter, Charley Boorman, George Mahood, Sean Conway, more poets and so on. I tell my favourites to Melanie, forget about them and every day someone new arrives through the letter box.

I am still preparing for my biggest adventures but for now I am a Northumbrian in Northumberland and loving it.

January 6

Today would have been a gig but it cancelled, the venue closed down so it is more a shame for those involved than it is for me. I will be ok. I always am. We played lots of home games and lots of books were read.

January 7

I have had this cold/flu thing for a week now, these illnesses were much better when they lasted for three sleeps max. I have a lot to do and this is not helping. More reading and staying upbeat. Looking up new venues to play music inside as We Steal Flyers and more music events for Acoustic Magic. The Ed Tudor Pole gig we are hosting at Newbiggin is just weeks away too.

January 8

Four years ago I went to Texas and saw lots of Ice Hockey on TV, it was on all day, I went to a live game too. It was fantastic. I went to America to gig but ice hockey was treat. I have wanted to go to see Whitley Warriors play for ages. We went as a family. Mel and Rebecca liked it as a one off thing but Ellie and I loved it.

We now need a Mug and Ellie wants a hat, we are now Whitley Warriors fans. It was a great thing to do.

It has been a good week and a nice start to the year.

January 9

Melanie was interested in how many miles I walked and paced in a day, week, month and so on.

One of my Christmas gifts was a fitbit. My sister works in Circa café in Amble and she on average does around four miles a day just at work at this time of year.

My fitbit showed me that last week I walked 52 miles, 11 of those were on Friday.

It is so interesting to have this information ... and surprising how far I walk even when I don’t leave the house.

Tonight we had an open mic night to run but they have cancelled because they think people might not go as it is January.

January 10

Christmas Holiday over It is a good feeling knowing it is time to make money again for another year.

Tonight was the open mic night near Ashington and it was once again a nice night to share with people.

People becoming friends in what would be an empty room – I love knowing this.

January 11

With five gigs now cancelled in January it has been a bad start to the year financially. Problems all self employed people face, all it means is that I need to fill in extra dates later in the year to make up for the loss.

Work life balance is really important to my family so cancellations mean more time together.

January 12

The weather has been mostly sunny for the last few weeks. I have some good walking plans with Ellie and my new walking buddy, Shaun. Everything takes time but only because it costs so much to do. We can walk so many places in the UK and overseas. So many plans.

On top of that I have three songs written for the fourth “We Steal Flyers” album and that is always something to look forward to.