This past summer proved very different from the plans in my last post. My true love David Wallace-Lawrence suffered a minor stroke, followed by an endarterectomy (to clear carotid artery plaque) which gave rise to complications. We’re most grateful he’s doing quite well now! His health and recovery were our prime focus this past season, and remain a key consideration. Though his voice has yet to fully recover after the surgery, we trust he will return to vocalizing in due time.
Though I had to cancel some gigs (and, sadly, did nothing with the “new” instruments in my last post), I did host the Hiram Community Center open mic, play at nursing homes, serve as guest musician at UCC, UMC, and UU churches, perform at the Common Ground Fair, take part in the Monhegan Jamboree, and play accordion on the Monhegan dock on Trap Day (start of the lobstering season). Before David’s stroke, I was privileged to play hammered dulcimer and sing an abolitionist song in the film project Those Who Wait, about the Millerite apocalyptic movement of the 1800s (yet to be released).
We recently returned to the UK, David’s homeland, for three months. We’re in Lartington, a village in Teesdale, in the north of England, near the market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham. We’re reconnecting with family and friends and our Quaker meeting, and with the music scene, including the folk clubs in nearby Richmond and Darlington. I’m once again attending local sessions of the Alzheimer Society’s Singing for the Brain program. Last week we went to Gear4Music in York and and got this lovely SDP-3 stage piano, so I can keep up my keyboard skills.
Behind it you can glimpse part of my UK collection of stringed instruments. Here’s a closer look (Sorry the captions aren’t active links!):
Along with my guitar, ukulele, pennywhistles, accordion, and harmonium these should keep me busy! I must also acknowledge another demand on my time – trying my best, in these politically toxic times, to be an engaged US citizen from afar. Lots of love and music and online faxes to members of Congress going on here!