Family pride for young Ellie

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

Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

January 15

January 15 is the saddest day of the year. January is a sad enough month without having a sad day all to itself. The good news is, when you read this it will be over. Working out the money to walk Coast to Coast and it is looking even more difficult. All of these missions cost hundreds but this one will be a lot more. We did a little online shopping from the Charley Boorman website shop.

A few Christmas presents sorted nice and early. I was happy to be out and walking again with Ellie – all wrapped up in the cold – we love it. Not many people are replying so booking and linking tours is very hard work right now. Ellie likes the cold, frozen snow. The walk we walk all year always changes. I still have no idea how Rebecca runs in this cold but she does and she loves it. The shopping trip was great fun again.

January 16

The email today was one of the greatest we have had in our little lives. Ellie has been picked for Northumberland under 13 girls county team. We had to wait to tell her the news. We were all excited. She has worked on this for most of her life – catching, bowling, batting, fitness and mental attitude.

We bought her fish and chips from Amble on the way home from Alnwick, her favourite feast from her favourite chippie.

We went straight to Alnwick to meet Andrew Hodson of Sportsworld and he is now her first ever cricket sponsor.

A free helmet and when she saw the “New Balance” bat she loved it, so that came home too. Her hero Ben Stokes uses one.

How very kind of Andy. So many people have been involved with Ellie, everyone seeing her, knowing she was moving on a and that she is a loving person and wants to win for her team. Melanie driving everywhere all of the time understands now more than ever what she has been doing for years.

January 17

We could not make recording this week. Shaggy is still unwell. He suffers most of the year with some cold or cough. I have been on Spotify loving the music and the memories they bring. In January I get many messages from school and darts friends from the past and I am reminded of the times we shared together.

I play all kinds of music, one song links to another, Wet Wet Wet, Hue And Cry, The Levellers, Guns & Roses, Skid Row (love them even more so after singer Sebastian Bach rewteeted me), The Lumineers (more so after they retweeted my Christmas song), Aerosmith, ACDC, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Red Box and on and on.

It was a great full night at The Trap open mic night, very local and very good. Some friends all in a room being friendly and playing songs.

January 18

When working in the kitchen I ran though some full albums on Spotify, Steven Tylers solo album, Pearl Jam, Kris Dollimore, Whitesnake, Kiss, Alice Cooper and did some 90s searches for some great hits.

I went on a longer walk with Ellie than usual. We have to keep the walking going and then when we can, we walk more. Always so much going on and more to come.

January 19

Up happy and early to be at running in the cold with Rebecca for her club, Blyth. It is very refreshing being up at 8am and out in the cold then watching her run a mile. She is liking it more and getting better. Then a We Steal Flyers gig in Chester-le-Street, this was a really good gig and we had plenty of room. This makes it better, when you can move and hear, then all is well. Shaggy is finally getting his voice back.