For twenty odd years I have strummed on guitars
Five thousand lost flat picks, four fingertip scars
I must have broken a million g strings
Banging and tunin', and playing these things
Picking and strumming, and playing these things.
So wrote Loudon Wainwright. In my case make that forty odd years and ten thousand lost flat picks. I don’t know where they go, they’re like ball point pens, you put them down for a minute and they disappear. The trouble is, you can get half a dozen or more pens for a quid these days, but plectrums have gone up to 45p each. So Kath bought me a plectrum making machine which can stamp out plectrums from old credit cards or bits of plastic bottle. I made about ten quid’s worth in about ten minutes.
Then I was bought a copy of Shane Spall’s book The Voyages of the Princess Matilda.
You may have watched the TV series about Shane and her actor husband Timothy Spall circumnavigating Great Britain in their barge (built by Peter Nichols at Braunston). If you haven’t, try to. It brilliantly shows the terrors and delights of travelling on a boat. So far I‘ve read about their time on the Thames and Medway and now they are in Ramsgate. The book is far less compressed than the TV programmes and for anyone who does boating it rings a lot of bells. A good read. I’ll let you know how good the rest is after I have read it. Don’t hold your breath, I’m a steady reader.
Now we come to the present I can share with you.