Archive for March 2009

Singing with Daby Touré at the Jazz Cafe

Thursday, 19th March 2009. Filed in Crunchy grooves3 Comments »

I love Daby Touré sing-a-longs! Do I know the words? No! Does that stop me? No! Do the people around me care? Possibly, but then most of them probably can’t make me out for the rest of the singing anyway! Yeah, baby!

We fought traffic and drove west into a really bright setting sun to see Daby Touré and Skip McDonald play at the Jazz Cafe in London last night. They’ve recently recorded an album together that we really like, but I was hoping Daby Touré would play a lot of solo stuff as well. I wasn’t disappointed as it turned out he played all solo stuff with Skip McDonald on guitar too. Except, I was a little disappointed because I would have liked to have heard them play some of the songs they’ve recently recorded together.

But no matter, the music was great, including audience singbacks. I didn’t know what I was singing, but it was fun and I felt happy. Even though I don’t know the language, I take meaning from how the songs make me feel and I get a sense that the music is full of strong, positive connotations, more than “I had cereal for breakfast today” (even though Crunchy husband thinks he probably goes home thinking, “I can’t believe the crazy stuff we got the audience to sing back to us tonight!”).

The energy on stage was fantastic. There’s Daby Touré jumping up and down, strumming and drumming his guitar while smiling and jogging in place: fluid, enthusiastic, bouncy. Forty-five minutes in, enter Skip McDonald: mysterious, rigid, cool. And together, it works. It’s a little bit yin and yang for music chemistry – everything balanced out for a joyous, harmonious set.

I left happy in my heart, made buoyant by great music (yay “Bibou”!). And by the fact that I snagged myself a little souvenir from the stage after the show. Because I am just that geek.


Daby Touré and Skip McDonald @ Jazz Cafe, London - 18/03/2009

Daby Touré and Skip McDonald @ Jazz Cafe, London - 18/03/2009

Daby Touré @ Jazz Cafe, London - 18/03/2009

Skip McDonald @ Jazz Cafe, London - 18/03/2009

At last, a happy run

Wednesday, 18th March 2009. Filed in Running3 Comments »

The last time I wrote about running I was not very happy. I was cold, sluggish and tired of being run off the road. I firmly believe you have to like something to make it worth doing, to continue to do it at all.  Goals and determination and stubbornness are all well and good, but if the positive mental state’s not there, it just doesn’t seem worth it. If it’s not working, you’ve got to step back and assess the situation and let things breathe a bit until you decide you’re in a better frame of mind to start back in. Or, as in my case, you simply wake up and think “wow, it would be nice to go for a run this morning.”

After a gorgeous ride along the coast to Viking Bay yesterday (before the fog rolled in), I woke this morning and just felt like a run. Since I was taking Crunchy husband to work anyway, I got my gear on and ran along Pegwell Bay after the drop off.  Not only was the sun shining and there was no traffic to worry about, but dog walkers and bike commuters alike smiled back at me and said/nodded “good morning!” I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but for England, in my experience, it is. It’s small, but still such a welcome start to the day!

Leaving day

Monday, 16th March 2009. Filed in Family and friends1 Comment »

I hate leaving day. Whether I’m leaving California, or like today, my family or friends are leaving England, I hate it. I know they are essential; they walk hand-in-hand with arrival days and I would never wish those to end. But even though I’ve been doing this for four and half years now – longer even if you count Crunchy husband’s leaving days before I moved – leaving day never gets easier and it always goes pretty much the same.

I wake up with the “first day of school” knots twisting my stomach. I feel agitated, but don’t want to be grumpy in the final minutes until I part from the people I love. Thinking about this and trying to correct it, the pendulum swings to emotional and weepy. I get myself out of bed and allow myself to cry in the shower and then once the water’s off, tell myself “that’s it” and try to act normal.  Which doesn’t really happen, but we all pretend it does, so that’s fine. I manage to keep it together, or together enough, until we get to the security line at the airport and then, without fail, the together starts to leak salty tears. Which usually get stifled fairly quickly (or in today’s case, quick enough anyway), and I hold it together again until I get back into my car and allow myself to collapse into sobs for a couple minutes until I talk myself into enough composure again to hit the M25 safely.

That was pretty much my day, in a nutshell. The one thing that didn’t go quite as usual, but was a welcome laugh was breakfast. Halfway through breakfast my mom stood up from the table, walked into the kitchen and started cracking up. Last night Crunchy husband cooked a fine chili. A chili with chili powder. Chili powder that was placed back on the shelf in front of all the other spices, including the cinnamon.  This morning, following her usual breakfast routine, my mother grabbed the spice marked with a large C and laced her sultana bran with chili powder instead of cinnamon.  Which was funny in itself, but even funnier because it took her half the bowl to realize her mouth was on fire and even longer to connect up what had happened.

Thank goodness for comic relief. It makes leaving day just that little bit easier.