Saturday, 30 June 2007

Natural Forces

Today was the choir concert, entitled Natural Forces. When we (well, Nick, our conductor) planned the programme of pieces predominantly about the weather (full programme at we had no idea how apt it would be! As it was, we sang about Cloudbursts, Showers and Storms to a backdrop of rain splattering the windows of the Early Learning (Music) Centre.

But it was a great concert. Karen and I sang the solo in Bushes and Briars - we got the tune (a really nice folk song), whilst the rest of the choir accompanied us with hmms and ohhs and ahhhs. I can't wait to hear how it sounds on the recording. We hadn't really rehearsed it much - it was really easy, note wise, compared to some of the other things - so I think that it probably won't have been our most musically advanced performance. But it still should have sounded nice!

Cloudburst really was the highlight for me. It starts all beautifully in a typcially Whitacre-y style, but then the "rain" starts (hand bells), accompanied by distant thunder (bass drum). Then it all goes mad and the choir click their fingers, slap their thighs, and clap to make the rain noises, with thunder sheets and cymbals in the background. All this whilst singing more Whitacre-y scrunchy music. It was absolutely great! When it finished (with the clicks disappearing off into the distance), there was an audible sigh from the audience! It was such a shame that we didn't finish with it.

Despite us then totally cocking up the Matthias May Magnificat (though I think we pulled off Bob Chilcotts's Weather Report), everyone left on a real high, and we pretty much filled the Spread Eagle with choir members. By closing time, we were still all over excited, and pretty hungry, so ten of us had a late-night curry at The Garden of India. The is nothing better than lamb tikka sag at 11:30 at night!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Rainy bike ride

Despite the leaden sky, we decided to go on a bike ride and abandon the option of trying to sail on a swollen, fast flowing river. As we cycled down the solar system towards Bishopthorpe we met a steady stream of serious cyclists (lycra, luminous waterproofs, heavy duty water bottles), and then the rain – fortunately deciding to tip down on us just as we reached the old railway bridge so that we could shelter for long enough to put on our waterproofs. But we didn’t really need them for long, and despite it always felt like it was spitting, we never got properly wet and because it was so humid we stayed nice and warm.

The river - not flooded here, but moving pretty quickly

After a quick look at the river over the sailing club, we ventured south towards Acaster Malbis where we found Stepford! Beyond the village, away from the pub and the post office, when you think that you are into countryside again, an eighties red brick arch covers the entrance to “Lakeside”. We never saw the lake, but we did see a crop of giant detached houses all with perfectly manicured lawns and expensive cars outside the double garages. It was perfectly silent, there was no sign of any actual people, and we had assumed that children were outlawed by the residents association until we saw a couple quietly loading a buggy into their car. Maybe they were leaving.

Ian with The Crown and gatehouse (behind the trees)

We poddled through Appleton Roebuck and appreciated the choice of pubs (three in a village of 600 people), and pressed on to Bolton Percy, as the rain seemed to be passing us by. In Bolton Percy we found a very fine marsh, a superbly picturesquew church (with box pews and a stained glass window on the theme of “waters”), a tea room, a fifteenth century gatehouse and a brilliant Sam Smiths pub. After the compulsory chat with the man at the tiny bar (was it really just a converted cupboard?) we sat in the garden of The Crown with our pint and a half of Sam Smith bitter (£1.94 in total!), and looked at the marsh and watched all the other cyclists arrive and tuck into big plates of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

We cycled back to York through Colton where we identified an old roman road about half an hour before we actually arrived at it, and then appearing back in Copmanthorpe in no time at all took a circuitous route home via the many caravan parks of Acaster (does a village of this size really need three?), the parish church (with fine wooden spire) and again to the river to check if it had risen.

A mighty fine adventure!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Bass amp shopping

It seems a bit silly to be a bassist in a band but not to own your own bass amp, so we went amp shopping in Doncaster. We listened to all sorts of silly contraptions and Ian made some interesting bass noises, but he ended up with a pretty good deal (with a free lead!).

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

First gig

Maybe She's a Clone played their first ever gig in Joseph's Well in Leeds on Monday. We scuppered their attempts to have a quiet gig that no-one knew about by all turning up en masse on the train! Ian managed to convince half the audience that he was really a bassist (despite really being a guitarist in disguise).

Saturday, 16 June 2007


The river has been coming up for a couple of days, so we knew that the club's 50th anniversary race and barbeque was not going to be the event that we had hoped for. But nevertheless, we wandered down to the the club and managed to arrive just as the water came through the gates. As we approached, the boats were all happily sitting on the trailers - by the time we took this picture they were floating. We were very thankful that Steve and Hugh had been down earlier to tie them all together.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

More garden

It was all hot and sunny after sailing, so we people came round to sit in the yard and burn meat on the barbecue in amongst the jungle.
Then we set fire to the chimnea and spend a considerable amount of time wondering what exactly the instructions meant when they advised that the first few fires should be "small".

Saturday, 9 June 2007

The Garden

All my birthday plants are growing! Soon we will have a veritable jungle!