Back to Reality NOT


Well the partying couldn’t go on forever, Marsh went back to his part-time directorships Penguino went off to his retreat, Melody and Suki stayed on in Greece to take in the culture they said, more like the wine I thought. Me and Rocksey returned home with nothing planned or so I thought.

After a couple of days lazing around and strumming his guitar (were still on the same song by the way) Rocksey announced “were off” where I squawked back at him. Spain ! !! !  why Spain?. I’ve arranged a few solo gigs there just low-key 20 to 30 people max he said. But you only know 2 songs and neither of them are perfect and you don’t even know all the lyrics to them, you can’t go and humm your way through. I have to admit i was a touch concerned in Rockseys eyes he was a far better guitarist than he actually was and yes he could get away with mumbling the lyrics to his own songs  but not to the classics he was proposing.

Two days later my bags were packed “wheres your bags” I asked Rocksey ?, “here” was the response WHERE I shouted back. Proudly Rocksey showed me his old school satchel “here”. “you’ve got to be joking ” I retorted “no” here is my BAG! !. Well don’t come complaining to me in a few days when you stink and even I wont come within 10 yards of you.

The first few days were just fine hot sunshine, azul blue skies, and great people. Rocksey had surpassed himself with the early organisation and even the first show was good, the people seemed to enjoy it and Rocksey certainly did. “Its far more intense” he said  just me and the people non of that stage show, fireworks and lights this is far better.

it wasn’t long before we had it the south of Spain (an area I knew very well) we’d taken up residence in one of Rockseys Spanish friends villas Rocksey was playing in the local bars and I was just touring around. I’m off to Granada for a few days I told Rocksey, Ok see you when you get back. Now this was unusual Rocksey normally likes to know when and where, who and how when a trip is organised but this time not a question. I have to admit I wasn’t so sure about going now. But off I went “see you in three days I called” “bye have a great time” was the reply. out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Rocksey sprinting out towards the terrace. no time to investige now my driver had turned up and off I went.

Now what happened next is Rockseys version of events so belive what you might.A few phone calls later and Marsh and Penguino were both on their way to meet Rocksey. Rocksey had now realised that his guitar playing wasnt the best and required the silken skills of Penguino but why Marsh that I couldn’t work out.

Man hugs were handed out as soon as Penguino and Marsh arrived and the beers were opened. “whats the plan” Penguino enquired. “latin speaking countries” there’s a massive market out there and together we can take it. Also we start tonight here’s the song list, Rocksey handed the list to Penguing. Penguino looked back at Rocksey and said “is this the right list” yep was the reply. No problem Penguino replied. Senor Penguino could play just about any song and if he couldn’t he could produce a tune which was just as good. When tonight in the harbour was the response a small venue 30 to 40 max  it will be great but before lets clear these beers. Now Marsh perked up at the sound of beer as the temperature was now in the high 30’s. What do I do asked Marsh you’ve got your tambourine like I asked, “yep” dont i need to know what songs and where I play? not really its all by ear Rocksey replied. This had marsh slightly concerned but as another beer had made its way into his hand all worries soon disappeared.

The sweltering day slid into the early evening and Rocksey and Penguino were getting ready Rocksey still living out of his tiny bag and recycling as much as he could. Penguino had borrowed a guitar from the local store, with the proviso he signed the guitar and spent a few hours in the store the following day. Marsh was still laying beside the Pool, Come on marsh were off.

The shout startled Marsh awake and he sprung into action dashing towards the car, you’re not changing he was asked. I’ve got some things in my bag “let’s go”. Rocksey was sat next to Marsh in the car and he could feel the heat coming off Marsh. You going to ne ok tonight he enquired. Unusual for Rocksey to be concerned but Marsh usually was the colour of milk and now he was slowley turning the colour of a tomato.

In through the back door they went. The three Amigos as they had billed themselves bundled themselves towards the stage. Rocksey stopped them and handed Marsh some castanets “what are these” Marsh asked “you’ll need them was the reply and with that the curtains opened Penguino started immediately the crowd loved him straight away slick and professional then Rocksey, not bad by all accounts carrying off LOLA almost note perfect. By now the sun and beer had caught up with Marsh and for the first couple of songs he was great in time and even pushing the song were required, but while Rocksey was doing his inter song chats Marsh kept on having a sip or two from the drinks provided. Rocksye and Penguino sipped water. By the fifth song Marsh seemed to have disappeared Rocksey looked at penguino and Penguino shrugged. Then night drew to a close rapturous applause echoed around the venue as they left the stage. Rocksey announced as they left the stage “clothes shopping tomorrow” I can’t keep wearing the same stuff. Music shop for me tomorrow Penguino replied, he never broke a promise. Marsh would be staying in bed as he was found slumped behind the door between the frame and the toilet. Hard to see as he was now the colour of the tiles and blended in quite well.

The usual words “never again” were uttered by Marsh. Penguino said “he’s not to bad” on percussion is he I might have a gig or two for him when we get back. “just keep him away from the beer” Rocksey said, not even a couple.

The following morning Rocksey and Penguino sat back on the terrace beer in hand betting on what time Marsh would appear, Marsh who had been taken to A&E last night with sunstroke and alcohol poisoning, it appears the drink marsh kept sipping till he started slipping was 80% proof, and the doctor had informed him no alcohol for 5 days and no sun either. What am I supposed to do Marsh asked I’m in Spain and I can’t go in the sun or have a Beer? Penguino and Rocksey full of sympathy shouted back at Marsh “were off to the beach to catch a few rays and a beer or two see ya later”……





img_1701Well Sundays have changed quite a bit in Rockseys house recently.. Its not bad heads from the night before “Me not Rocksey” he never gets a headache just an upset stomach…

Now its baking brewing and the Blues.

Rocksey now likes to bake the weeks bread, check on his wine and last but not least practice is blues guitar, which still isnt just quite right, but getting there.

So this sunday has been whole meal bread which is as light as, starting a new batch of savigion blanc, I think he thinks he could sell it, if it all didnt get drunk.

But a Sunday night wouldnt be the same without Rockseys favourite programme reruns of BULLS EYE …  its not for me. But Rocksey likes to shout at the programme while its on even though the shows are 40 years old now …..

when its finished Rocksey heads off guitar in hand stating “I will get this tune down ”

good luck I say with my glass of rockseys last batch of Savigion and a good book.




Lord and Lady of The Manor

Rocksey and I were invited to a Soiree. The invitation transpired from when we went out for Christmas drinks with the Spanish class gang. Now Rocksey and I , being different levels of fluency, are in separate classes but I go along to his party and he comes to mine. Having the same teacher helps with the fluidity between classes and over the years we have found  that we get double the fun by attending all parties!

So last week it was Rockseys class dinner at an Italian Restaurant in the centre of town. Upstairs there was an office Christmas party in full swing and downstairs where we were a smattering of smaller parties enjoying a more sedate evening. The evening went well,  the red wine flowed, the chavvy girls from the party upstairs ebbed and flowed around us as we conversed in Spanish with the Albanian owner of the Italian restaurant. Now Rocksey is the only man in his class and , so he believes, the only one leading a charmed life. However, one of the other women in the class also has lived a charmed life and at 61 and several marriages has climbed to an enviable position of being Lady of the Manor of a very pretty village wihtin the County. Now  there are responsibilities that come with buying the village Manor. Not only does the title of Lord come with the property the Manor house would have historically held parties for the villagers at key times of the year, Easter, May Day and of course, Christmas.

Veronika and husband Pieter bought the Manor House several years ago and not being ‘native’ villagers have worked hard to ensure that that they deliver the expectations of the villagers  despite actually being of Polish origin which may have historically made them workers rather than the lords of the Manor.  Pieter still looks like he should be the gardener athough you would never, in a million years, mistake Veronika for anything other than the Lady of the house. 
So after several geneous glasses of Screaming Eagle, Veronika is in a benevolent mood.  She likes Rocksey – possibly because she was once the muse of  Keith Richards –  and still enjoys the rock chick  vibe  – she engages him in conversation as to the dilemma she has that she and Pieter have to hold a Soiree for the villagers next Saturday  evening – a total  of around 80 people. Theres just not enough interesting people coming – she waved the glass at Rocksey, – what I need is someone to stir these country folk up a bit. Rocksey looked at her blankly. He had had a few glasses of JD at this stage but hadn’t quite got what Veronika was getting at. She tried again – What I need is a bit of entertainment – do you still do an acoustic set? Ahhhh the lightbulb goes on in Rockseys head. Yes he nods enthusiastically, can I dress up as a waiter too? 

This Saturday evening sees us pulling up outside the grandest house I have ever seen. Its been snowing all day and the driveway is magical with fairy lights twinkling in every tree and shrub. Senor Pinguino is beside hiself with excitement, Jack Bennett feigns coolness and Mr Lucky sprays Gold Spot in the anticipation of getting himself a Polish Princess for the evening. Suky, Saf and I are dressed to kill in the finest LBD’s we have in our wardrobes. Suky has the highest heels on , luckily between the driveway and the house entrance is an actual red carpet to stop the guests from slipping around

Pieter himself is doing the Meet and Greet. He is a bear of a man , self made milionaire (or Billionaire now….I’m not sure) and dressed in a Chanel Tux does not look like the gardener this evening! ‘ Dobry Wieczor ‘ – we all get 3 kisses and the obligatory kiss on the hand on bended knee for us ‘ladies’.  We enter the biggest hall I have seen outside of a hotel, all wood panelling with a huge fir tree in the corner decked out with thousands of fairy lights. A harpest plays some twinkly music and we wander into one of the reception rooms to be met by our hostess who has the most elegant Valentino gown on and looks absolutely stunning. She kisses Rocksey warmly, greets the rest of the guys and ushers a waiter over to us with champagne and canapés.  Are you sure you want to play waiter? she teases Rocksey. Yes sure he smiles, grabs a bottle of champagne from the waiter and waltzes off, dashing in his Armani suit. The guys go off with Veronika to set up in another room and we three wander out on to the terrace where it has started to snow lighty and another waiter hands us a pashmina each ‘ in case we get cold’

Oh this is the life sighs Suky. I laugh out loud. Suky and SP live the most outrageous rock n roll lifestyle and here she is now wanting to be the lady of the manor. Not enough money says Saf  – we couldn’t ever dream of this.!
We go back in the house. The villagers have turned up and although there are plenty of ordinary folk around, the village is a very well to do enclave and there are several other couples who probably could give Pieter  and Veronika a run for their money.

I spot Rocksey in the crowd, flirting outrageously with a gaggle of country matrons who may have possibly recognised him ( or not, Rocksey loves to flirt). Mr Lucky is engaged in conversation with a very beautiful young woman, Jack has found Saf and the pair of them lean against each other looking impossibly cool. SP and Suky are chatting to Pieter ( I learn later they got invited to spend a few weeks in St Tropez at P and V’s villa or yacht or both who knows for sure)!  I flit around enjoying both the ambience as well as the novelty of anonymity admiring everything about Veronikas impeccable  taste and storing ideas in my head as to how I can decorate Rocksey Towers this season.

A buffet is served and then Veronika introduces the band who launch into an acoustic set of classic Christmas songs and joined by the  harpest and the local church choir for a rendition of The Snowman. It is beautiful and nothing that  I had expected.  Veronika and Pieter get the guests dancing to Fairy tale of New York and Suky, Saf and I fuelled by copious amounts of Champagne finish the evening off with our version of Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses.

The evening has been a great success apart from  Mr Lucky’s whose Polish Princesses Prince Charming roared up in his Ferrari at midnight. The villagers go off happy with their presents of Estate produced turkeys and ducks. We stay on for a nighcap and then make our way into the night. Veronika slips  something into Rockseys coat pocket murmers something in incomprensible Polish in his ear and waves us off.

Sunday morning I find a crumpled £10 note in Rockseys pocket. I wave it at him when he emerges from the shower. Payment for my excellent waitering skills he grins. I am glad to know if the record company ever drops the band we won’t starve!