Preparing for walks and gigs

Derek Allan and his daughters rockpooling
Derek Allan and his daughters rockpooling

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

June 9

We Steal Flyers’ new album has songs on it now and hopefully this year it will be released.

We had a good few hours in the studio. Shaggy had two songs almost finished and I took three more in. We have two songs ready and I am going to write more.

Shaggy’s other band, Growing Robots, had a gig in Chester-le-Street so we took a picnic and Indiana Jones (our dog) to the beach.

June 10

Every Saturday morning is Morpeth cricket, up at 8am and back for 12.30pm, but it is all good.

Melanie had a night in Amble. Shaggy was at a wedding. I stayed home and played board games and music with Ellie and Rebecca. They like to hear all the rock bands – ACDC, Skid Row, Guns & Roses, Hanai Rocks, Aerosmith, Shakey Graves, and all kinds of other stuff. I love it all too.

June 11

Up at 8am for a sunny day at Morpeth. First the under 11s and Ellie were part of a winning side for the first time this season. She took her first wicket with a cricket ball too.

The afternoon was a festival and a few teams came for a well organised few hours of five soft ball games. One team forgot it was happening and didn’t turn up, which is annoying for all involved.

Rebecca likes being involved, but athletics is still her love.

Ellie is like Ben Stokes and believes she can win every game, no matter how bad things have gone before she bats or bowls. Some great cricket again at Morpeth and Ellie was amazing to watch.

Rebecca is thinking of adding more events to her ever growing list of sports – running, hurdles and long jump.

Being a family takes a lot of time and money, but it is all worth it. I love to be surrounded by so many people all pushing for happiness.

June 12

I like the band Lindisfarne, but I love Rod Clements. His solo set is great. I have booked him for Acoustic Magic six times and loved the set every time.

Tonight at The Longplay Cafe in Newcastle, with support from We Steal Flyers, was tremendous. Every two months we are there and it is always great. Rod was magical, as was Ian on the stand up bass.

A brilliant start to the week.

June 13

Still pushing for a reply from a venue, any will do. It makes life really difficult getting no replies.

I walked from Warkworth back home with Ellie.

We’re putting in more hours now as my 24-hour walk is close and Ellie and I are just weeks away from the 100-miler.

We had a cancelled festival and gigs these last few weeks. It means I can’t see Durham this week.

June 14

There was a short family walk to find a cricket ball lost the day before when Ellie was running through some cricket shots. We found it.

It’s nice to all be out together and the weather is warm and cool enough.

June 15

Rebecca wanted to go rockpooling so after school we went on a walk to the sea. I love walking with her. She never stops talking and making plans for when she is older.

The tide was too high when we arrived so Melanie and Ellie came for some beach cricket. It was good fun and another nice night for the memories.

Rebecca reads me a poem every day. I have more than 100 poetry books and she loves books, words and poetry. Today on the beach she read out a poem by David Essex.