Holiday memories last a lifetime

Derek Allan and his family on their holiday to Blackpool
Derek Allan and his family on their holiday to Blackpool

Northumberland musician Derek Allan, of We Steal Flyers, continues his weekly diary.

May 26

A busy day and back to gig one of We Steal Flyers’ three-gig weekend.

It was a pointless gig where all the students shouted that they wanted karaoke and a DJ, but we never know how a place is going to be until we get there. I never understand why venues book music where no one wants it.

May 27

This was a tremendous day, with an invite to play near Berwick in a village hall for Tes and Duncan on their wedding day. It was a brilliant wedding too, with a fish and chip van outside the door for food and an ice cream set up, Giacopazzis – it was lush.

It was a great gig and there are so many more to come.

Our albums are doing well, all selling in the thousands, and we are now verified artists on Spotify.

It works if you never stop, book 200 dates a year and play them.

May 28

It was an all-dayer today, hosted by Sam and one by Melanie for Acoustic Magic.

The Growing Robots played a night gig and WSFlyers played at 1pm, at the Blue Bell in Belford. We were in the garden and it was sunny and mellow. I got to speak to some people I know look forward to seeing us, who I now count as friends. The Pitchers were one lot of people in particular, a great family.

I look back every week, month and year, and I’m sure one day I’ll look back at life and all of the friends I have made. It is nice to have friends, they are much better than enemies.

May 29

Blackpool is, for us, one of the greatest locations for a few days away. I asked Melanie to marry me here once – she said yes.

When I was not too well and travel was something I really struggled with Melanie took me here to help me get over the fears I had. I have no idea what I was afraid of, but I am pleased I am over it.

Roadworks added an hour to the trip, but once we arrived we were all ready for the holiday.

We try really hard to forget our music business. We have our mobile phones though so still need to reply to players and venues as daily things are booked or cancelled. Players pull out and new venues ask for dates.

We mostly walk around the sea front and spend lots in the arcades. We try to make as many great memories as we can by simply living the life we save for.

May 30

Today was mostly about the fairground rides. Ellie and Rebecca went on pretty much everything together and it was wonderful to watch. Melanie joined them for a few and I do all the water rides.

Being epileptic means I can not go on many things, but being a dad means I want to join them whenever I can so I try my best. It was a great day.

May 31

Staying for an extra day this year has made a great difference. Ripleys Believe It Or Not was added to this holiday, and the Sealife Centre, then more arcades until they had won enough tickets to win more teddies.

There are so many ways to win tickets and they tried them all. We returned to the 10p bingo and all won Blackpool mugs and tea towels.

June 1

It’s always sad leaving a holiday, but work needs to be done. We have a lot to save for now for Christmas to make sure we do everything we like to do again.

We also have new charity plans, but we need to make more money so we can afford time off to help.

Goodbye sunshiny Blackpool.