Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.
Another long drive and we get to hang out with Ellie and Rebecca. They mostly read books and play games at the gigs they go to. They love being a part of it and everyone knows them. They have a lot of friends, their social skills are amazing.
Sunday dinner and a film before Shaggy took me up North and we played The Packhorse at Ellingham.
This was a great gig and was set out like a gig. Backrooms are usually good because the talkers can do what they like to do and the music lovers get to hear what they like to hear. Always nice to meet my friends The Grey Cats too. Sharing a great year with a lot of people. Life is sometimes what you make it.
I used to read a book every few days when I had more time, Ed McBain, Stephen King, Jack Higgins and lots of cricket. Henry Blofeld stands out in my thinker. I am going to read a book I have read before, I feel memories from it like a song, an old film or show, food, Christmas. I have chosen a James Herbert book, Haunted is the name.
I had a great walk with Ellie, stopping for green tea and a biscuit again. Ellie reading a poem by Wordsworth. I love these days. It is so cold up North but these moments are so warm. Rebecca loved Running Club, we bought a few more things for Christmas.
Candlelite folk night was one of the best gigs of the year.
I have targeted these gigs for many years and we are getting into more of them.
100 people all in silence loving We Steal Flyers, buying CDs and then telling everyone how great we are. This is how it can be, this is the aim. Three more top gigs from it in the North and another festival in Leicestershire but we are so far booked that it is for 2020. Joan and John are great people and this is why it works.
I loved a day off from gigs. Your head has to be ready to be as good as you can be.
We play 180 gigs a year but some people only see you once so you have to be there for them. You are what they have looked forward to for days or weeks.
Today Melanie went with two friends to Edingburgh for the day. They had a great day.
I walked with Ellie and Rebecca then ordered Indian takeaway and we watched A Question of Sport. They love it, a show of people having fun.
I love working on booking gigs every single day so when a gig is booked, in the diary and on the website I love it. Melanie makes an event page and posts off the posters.
Six new gigs booked today, including Packfest in Ellingham and two more Sunday dates there, another great place to play.
Ellie went to cricket in Newcastle for two hours, she loved it. We went Christmas shopping with Rebecca, another great laugh.
Rebecca is such a nice little friend to share life with. I also had a listen to Nic Hoy from Redcar on Spotify and it was brilliant. He is worth a listen if you have time.
It was a nice gig in Belford, we met Canadian musician Phil Rambow too. He played the first set. Making plans for new t-shirts, badges and albums. Next year looks set to be even bigger than any year before. Today I played some songs from the 90s on Spotify, songs remind you of so much. I still smile and look back on my days in the sawmill near Wooler, my first main job after leaving school. I remember washing cars in my early teens and buying a packet of sweets from as many sweet shops in Amble as I could to help keep them all going. I remember being a security guard and playing the radio looking for rock songs.