Duncan’s Blog – September 2014

Escape go the sun for a week at the start of the month – Irene and I spent a week in Port de Soller in North Majorca. We love the island, but hadn’t been to this part before. Soller is a beautiful rural town, connected to its port by a tram service. It’s a lovely area, with beautiful walks all around, but the heat was phenomenal (for me, anyway!). 33 degrees, and very humid, and our apartment was 122 steps from the top of a steep hill. I reckoned I’d have lost a stone by the time I get home, but…..not an ounce, sadly. Funny how small a world it is, right enough. Walking along the promenade we met two people we knew. David, from Anstruther, who brings his fish van to our village every week then, minutes later, Grant Dickson, who used to manage Dundee band The View. Grant’s living in Soller now, and spends most of the time on his yacht in the Port. Living the Life……

We also spent a couple of days earlier in the month attending our friends Gavin and Laura’s wedding at the beautiful Crear venue near Kilberry in Kintyre. My grandfather was born in Kilberry, and the area has a particular pull on me. Gav and Laura both worked at MCPS Scotland with me at different times, but their paths crossed on one occasion, which was enough to bring them together for life. Irene and I were special guests, as I’d been the one to introduce them to one another!

Then, of course, came the Referendum…..

I’ve always known which way I’d vote, but avoided posting on social networks or putting stickers on the car etc. This is partly because my work requires neutrality, but also I’ve been aware of the divisions the issue caused, and I genuinely don’t want to offend friends, neighbours or anyone coming to my concerts. I avoided discussion with anyone entrenched in the opposite view, but did try and talk to as many undecided voters as I could, as I knew the vote would be quite tight, and I do feel passionately about the future of this fantastic wee country. That 1.6 million voted yes, despite the relentless barrage of negativity, the scare stories and the lack of media support has been some consolation, and I guess we all wait and see how things roll in the future. That’s enough politics, now.

Picked up my new Lowden guitar when I got back from Spain and boy, what an instrument. I can’t put it down, and I’m trying hard to learn to play in the DADGAD opening tuning. First gig with it will be in Overtown, Lanarkshire, on October 1st, so can’t wait.

WE also had a great weekend in Carradale, Kintyre with our daughter Julie and her husband Ally. To help get over the real feeling of depression after he big vote, our pals Lachie Paterson and his partner Shelagh took us out for an afternoon in his boat the ‘Rolling Wave’ on my birthday. They’d bought me a bottle of cask-strength Springbank malt whisky, labelled with my photo and a bunch of saltires. The message on the label was ‘Everything is all right in the end, and if it’s not – it isn’t the end!’ Shelagh had also prepared a huge picnic, Julie had brought Champagne and our pals Davie and Carol brought Davie’s guitar, so we had food, drink, music and good blethers out in Dippen Bay, as the seals swam all around us, and two sea eagles soared overhead. It was a magical afternoon, and I got to drive the boat back to harbour. Great times with great friends – just imagine if it had been a Yes vote into the bargain!!

London for two days after I got back, and I seemed to have spent the whole month on the move. Three gigs in October, and quite a lot of travel in prospect, so I’m quite tired just thinking about it……

Tell you all about it next month.

Take care

Duncan x

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