Today has been a big day already and it is only just past noon.
For the rest of the summer my stuff, and sometimes my self- will be staying in Stoke Newington in a house that is being rented by friends of my friend Imogen. I am staying in a room on the top floor (3rd or 2nd depending on how you count it) and the people I've met who already live there are lovely. But mostly I'm excited not to be homeless and also to have somewhere to store *all my stuff.*
How did I get this much stuff? I came with three suitcases and now just moved with the aid of a van. Like, a proper van for transporting stuff- not a minivan which is called a "people carrier" here. Funny story that- I called up a taxi service yesterday, explained that I was moving all of my worldly possessions and could I hire a car? They said certainly and so at 11am this morning a people carrier showed up. Unfortunately- the driver took one look at all of my *stuff* and decided that his band new people carrier could not take it all. Which is reasonable and his prerogative- but still put me in a bit of a bind. So I called up the taxi service again and they said that they could send a van (two seats, lots of plywood covered storage area), but I could not ride with it. Since at this point I was getting panicky- I said Okay. I would ride the bus and hope my new housemates were nice people who would help unload the van before I got there.
Fortunately it all turned out peachy. The driver, Aaron, was lively and entertaining and helped me load all of my *stuff* and then let me ride in the van too. Because he's cool. He's from Sweden, but his mother is Jamaican and he grew up in Leeds where he played professional football for a while. His partner just got pregnant and their first child is due on Christmas eve- he's not sure about names but he really likes "Casey" and he asked if I minded if he put that on the list? I said absolutely, go for it.
I leave for King's Cross station in half an hour or so with my bass, my little red bag, my stool, my backpack, and another bag that I meant to leave at the sublet house but accidentally forgot. I'm taking all of this on the tube in order to get to the train station where I am meeting Lisa Hanson for lunch before getting on a train to Kings Lynn station in Norfolk where I will spend the week trying to remember how to play the bass.
I'm going to Norfolk for a week of Handel Opera. Well, technically an oratorio- Theadora. We're rehearsing all week and then performing next weekend. The singers and continuo players have already been there for a week. I have no idea what I'm getting in to. But it should be good- the food we get is apparently legendary.
Last night I went out to Walthamsthow for a lesson with Peter McCarthy. It was great to see him and catch up, and truly lovely to get to play his bass. Magnificent instrument. However, it was unsettling to realize just how very much I have forgotten. Yes, I have played bass this year- but it is a very different thing to be using a bass to make a riff on versus the much more nuanced playing that is needed for baroque and classical music. I'm pleased I had the lesson before the rehearsals begin, but I am more than a little nervous about this whole process now. That being said- before they had me, they had no bassist at all- so better me than nothing. And I'm not terrible. I do have a degree in this after all. I just haven't played in an orchestra in two years.
I am bringing my computer along with me, so hopefully I will be able to blog from out there. Obviously this is subject to what sort of Internet I can find- but at the very least I'll write some blogs and take photos to post when I get back on the 27th.