New album (week 1 recordings) part 1 

Well the first week of recordings went better Than could have been expected, with the sunshine, beer, beach close at hand. Rocksey had put the guide vocals down, and as per usual these had no resemblance to what the final takes would be. Rocksey as per normal put no effort or feelings into them and as per usual stated they wont be used and NO ONE will ever hear them. Penguino had spent the rest of the week putting down guitar and bass tracks and ignoring Marshs request to allow him to put one bass track down. Penguino being rather kind I thought told Marsh ” I would sooner let a squashed Baboon put a bass track than let you loose on one of the tracks” this just seemed to bounce off Marsh as he told Rocksey, Penguino was thinking about letting him loose.

Drums down, bass guitar down , lead and rhythm done just the solos to complete. And a Banjo track that Penguino wanted to put on 92 In The Shade. Marsh could be seen skuttling about a bit like a Orc in the darkened corners of the building, drinking from a bottle of red wine and carrying his tambourine (Rockseys tambourine really) waiting for his turn. Marshs first attemp ended in a utter disaster as he couldnt keep time even with the simplest beat. Penguino had stormed out after 3 hours of listening to Marshs attempts. Rocksey gave up a couple of hours later and left marsh trying to keep time with no one listening or recording just the one light left switched on in the mixing room keeping Marsh company.

Well 5 days had passed since Marshs last attempt and he was under strict orders “NO DRINKING” nothing alcoholic from dawn until he was finished in the studio. Penguino told Rocksey you have no chance he’ll be drunk before 10AM and he don’t get up till 9AM. One last chance that’s it “I told him he could appear on the album”  – (Marsh has been in many bands but never had a real release) “Your wasting valuable time Penguino shouted “I could bring my pet lizard and we would get things done quicker” “one last chance Rocksey shouted back”

Rocksey sent out the word Marsh was required, the time now was 11AM Marsh hadn’t been seen all morning, then just like the shop keeper in Mr Ben, He appeared ! ! ! ! ! 


BEER IN HAND and a idiots grin spread across his sunburnt face. “What did I tell you No BEER”, I’m ok Marsh replied his words sliding out of the corner of his mouth dribbling down his chin and bouncing off the empty wine bottles in his pockets. “Get out ” Rocksey shouted if Penguino see you you’ll be out of the house and sent back to the UK. Marsh disappeared post haste the sound of bottles and cans echoing as he sped down the hall. Rocksey thought it sounded like santas sleigh and had a wry smile. Picking up the tambourine Rocksey said to the engineer “lets get through the first 4 tracks and NOT a word to Penguino ”

Rocksey had the tracks done in 2 hours and went hunting the elusive (orc) Marsh ! ! ! !

Marsh where are you, marsh had taken refuge in his favourite wardrobe surrounded by his favourite wines and was chatting away to them like they were all listening “there hunting us my precious, I won’t let them take you” the sound of Rockseys calls soon faded and Marsh curled up with his new friends and drifted off dreaming of a land where rivers were wine, seas were beer and all food tasted of burgers…. TO BE CONTINUED 

Reliving our youth

With Rocksey now reliving his wasted youth in Malaga with his 14 year old ( in spirit mostly) side kicks SP and Marsh  acting like they had been let loose on their first school trip, Melody, Suki and myself had been left to our own devices!! However, this hadn’t meant acting like a provisional Hen party running round town knocking back as many  fluorescent   pink shots as we could before closing time nor had we decided to be a bit up market and spend the day at Spa sipping Champagne, eyeing up the lifeguard no the three of us weren’t even together in person ( although there had been plenty of text messages backwards and forwards during the course of the afternoon). The reason for this , as guardians of 3 hyperactive flawed geniuses, some down time in the guise of complete solitude was needed before Suki and I jetted off to join the party next week . Melody was in Florida  to discuss her new book deal and close the deal on an apartment that had  been owned by Veronica Lake.

I had spent most of the weekend in the company of The Baron and Missy  which had been lovely but as all mums know waving a way their adult off-spring although tinged with sadness also allows you to enjoy the peace and quiet even more – compounded with the absence of Rocksey I was happy to make myself a cup of Bluebird Melon tea ( a gift from Missy which was most welcome) and find a book and a quiet spot in the garden to while away a few hours.

The thing about peace and quiet is that when you crave it you don’t get it and when you finally get it, well the silence is deafening ( you know Rocksey can be quite loud!). Having had 2 phone calls from him and a video and then further requests for vegan ice cream suppliers I decided that if I was going to get some peace and quiet I would have to turn the radio on.

So with an army of cushions, sun screen, sunglasses and a large G&T I slung everything in the hammock in the dappled shade of the middle patio and tuned in for my very favourite radio show –  The Sound of the ’70’s. This is a 2 hour show on a Sunday afternoon which plays….well you’ve guessed it ….music from the1970s. Of course, the large G&T the sway of the hammock and some of my favourite tunes and I dozed off.  Now sleeping in the sun is not a good thing, we’ve all done this, I see that Marsh did it this afternoon on the beach, Suki’s done it, Rocksey says he hasn’t but he fell asleep in the toilets at a Damned concert in 1979 ( and Boy THAT was loud) so I will safely assume he has also fallen asleep in the sun. SP also says he wouldn’t do anything that stupid but he let Rocksey video him twerking in a pair of speedos last summer and so I think that was probably more stupid than falling asleep in the sun…..Anyway I digress, slumbering in the sweltering heat of a June afternoon listening to Boz Skaggs, I was transported back to the summer of 1976 when I was 13. The Summer where the UK sweltered for 6 weeks ( yes I know)  and a plague of ladybirds ate everything in sight. As an awkward  tall skinny teenager I read the likes of teen magazines where Farah Fawcett Majors shone down from every newsstand with her lions mane of hair and sparkling white teeth and the girls from Abba sashayed across the TV every Saturday night. My friends older sisters were going to the Disco with their Afro hair and FFM flicks, platforms and maxi dresses smoking those pink cocktail cigarettes and meeting boys called Steve and Darren who drive ford cortinas and could dance like Les Gray. Oh me and my friends so wanted this glamorous lifestyle and , according to my friend Alison, the way to do this was to ‘GET A TAN’. Now getting a tan was easier said than done in the land locked town where we lived, 200 miles from the nearest beach with its cooling sea breezes. GETTING A TAN meant, that you had to do some pretty hardcore sunbathing in the back garden.Alison’s sister had a tanning mat which looked like a massive sheet of Bacofoil. The idea was we covered ourselves in olive oil ( bought in A teeny bottle from the pharmacy ) and then laid on the Bacofoil mat for 4 hours between the hours of 11-3 without moving . The Beauty page in Jackie said we should squeeze fresh lemons into our hair for natural highlights. –  well as no shop in the 70’s sold lemons we made do with a bottle of PLJ. The Bacofoil mat only  ever succeeded in Alison who was ginger, getting 3rd degree burns and her mother throwing the mat on her dads bonfire where the olive oil residue made it shoot out of the brazier like a flaming rocket setting fire to next doors washing; and for me? Well I would love to say my naturally dark brown hair turned as blonde as the blonde singer in Abba and attracted Steve or Darren’s younger brother but the PLJ made it a sticky mess which only attracted wasps, the Bacofoil just reflected off my blue tinged Persil white skin and did nothing except make me hot, sweaty and bad tempered.Alison and I fell out that summer and I spent the remaining school holidays lying in a sheet attached to the two apple trees in my granddads garden listening to Bos Scaggs and counting ladybirds. 

I woke with a start almost falling out of the hammock, Melody was on the phone from Florida telling me she had secured Veronica Lakes old apartment and the book deal had made her several millions dollars in sales. Now she was celebrating at her gay ex porn star friends villa in the hills where there were several hot body guards and a tray of fluorescent pink shots had just been handed to her. 

A ladybird landed on my knee,  Blondies Denis Denis came on the Radio and I was transported back to 1979 and that fateful meeting with Rocksey……..you know the power of music is surely a great thing ! 

Night Train to Nowhere

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With Melody at the New York fashion week marsh was lost for what to do at the weekend after a hard week at his new venture (vinyl record collecting & selling). He had arranged to meet Rocksey at their favourite drinking venue, The Leyland and Venture a quaint English country pub where Rocksey could go and not be bothered by people wanting selfies, He was just one of the locals there and he loved it.

Well it turns out that Marshe’s new venture had morphed into collecting and not selling no not selling a single one of the records that he bought. I had accompanied Rocksey this weekend as it’s always fun to see the mess Marsh ends up in at the end of the evening, and I was sure this evening would be no different.

We met Marsh at 3pm after I’d dragged Rocksey around the village taking pictures, as normal Rocksey got bored with me taking 20 pictures of each subject very quickly until I suggester some portrait pictures of Rocksey for his new album. this had the same effect on Rocksey as christmas morning to a six-year-old.

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In to the pub we strolled Rocksey did his James Bond and skimmed his hat towards the hat stand, it missed as per normal and clattered a table of drinks, to which i had to buy the people another round of drinks. nothing change I say to Rocksey, one day one day I’ll get that. Marsh was already in the pub sat in the corner looking out over the river already with a couple of empty glasses on the table beside him. “you want another I asked ” “is the pope catholic” was his response “the same I guess” I asked all Marsh did was nod. Rocksey was now reclined on the leather armchair next to Marsh asking about his new venture. (now any of you who read my Blogs will know Marsh isn’t a drinker by any stretch of the imagination)

The day passed quickly Marsh always two drinks ahead of Rocksey and me knowing the mess Marsh would be in later. All of a sudden marsh jumped up from the table and stated He had to catch the train, (with melody away he had no choice) and off he dashed. As soon as he left the pub Rocksey began to chuckle then laugh, what are you laughing about I asked , Marsh Rocksey sobbed Marsh, you know he needs his glasses to read anything, well while he was at the bar it turns out Rocksey had coloured in the lenses with a marker pen which he always carries just in case an autograph is required. You did what I asked, I coloured in the lenses he will be like Stevie wonder when he puts them on he wont be able to see anything.

Oh how correct he was Marsh had run on to the station and put on his glasses to read the departure board and couldn’t see a thing and in his drunken stupor he thought he heard his train announced on platform 2. Marsh knew where platform 2 was so made a dash and jumped on the train just before it pulled out of the station.

Bad move Marsh had jumped on the Non stop sleeper train to Edinburgh, now Marsh didn’t discover this as he’d fallen asleep, until well into the journey. We knew when he’d found out by the phone call Rocksey received just before 11:50pm. What am I going to do he shouted to Rocksey, “don’t worry was Rockseys response check into the Belmont Hotel in Edinburgh and I’ll see you tomorrow I’m playing in Glasgow so we will swing by and collect you, oh and charge it to the band tour expense. Rocksey again couldn’t stop laughing, Marsh and Drink really don’t go together the really don’t… and he’ll never learn ! ! !

 

Roll on Spain in a couple of weeks roll on Rocksey shouted towards me as he disappeared through the lounge door . . . . .yes Marsh and Rocksey were off to Spain for seven days without any chaperone …

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Back to Reality NOT

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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”……

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USA Tour next Europe PARTY FIRST ! ! !

Rocksey had decided he needed to let his hair down before the Europe leg of the tour and we had been invited to a lavish party in the city of Berlin where coincidently was the first night of the European tour.Rocksey I said letting your hair down is one thing  but dont you think you should at least wash it first, I was sure that during the 3 weeks in the States the nearest thing to water Rockseys hair had seen was Beer ! ! ! ! !..begrudgingly he gave in and washed his hair —  its my image he shouted from the shower whilst singing one of the Spice Girls back catalogue “two become one if i’m not mistaken” –  not very Grebo/grunge rock I thought but what the hell only I can hear him ! ! !

The part was in full swing by the time Rocksey & I arrived. Rocksey as normal was a carbon copy of a Kansas tornado leaving a trail of broken hearts and empty glasses behind him.He just bounced from model to bottle and back again. Me I just socialized whilst looking for Suki, and let him get on with it, knowing full well he was just playing the guests the same as his stage show, but all the time wishing he was back at home.

A little later out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of Rocksey hanging upside down from the banister legs held by Senor penguino and hes not the biggest of men, while some of the female guests tried to pour champagne in his mouth, nothing to unusual there but this time he was 25ft from the ground ! ! and Rocksey has a fear of heights. Well this new game didn’t last very long before Senor Penguino shouted his one and only Spanish phrase “mi penguino comé arozz” Rocksey realising that his next stop would be the floor below hasterly hauled himself back over the banister, where Rocksey tried to encourage senior penguino to have a go….  “NO WAY” blurted Penguino i know what your like, one waitress or the sniff of champagne and you’ll be off and “I’ll be doing a love smooch with the floor.

With this both hugged and waltzed off in the direction of the pool, Me and Sukie reclined on the sumptuously deep leather sofa while the whole world and their friends strutted by trying to get noticed and be seen talking to the right people, the only people me and Suki though were the right people were the hunky waiters clad in kilts and full highland regalia.Suki in her normal way fluttered her extraordinarily long eyelashes at one of the waiters,and he almost fell over himself trying to get to Suki before any of the others. Suki purred in his ear “a bottle of champagne – cold ICE cold” nipping his ear with the last word, this sent the poor boy into such a spin as, which can only be likened to a gazelle avoiding the talons of a lioness, as he made his way to the bar.

Suki whispered to me “do you think its true ?” What the fact that we wouldn’t be seeing either Rocksey or Senor penguino before the early hours ? No Suki said KILTS and what worn or not worn under them ?…….I’m going to find out when the waiter returns.  .. This I knew could only end one way ! ! ! !

Meanwhile Rocksey and Penguino had found the pool and were in the middle of their usual betting wager.which culminated in Rocksey trying to swim the length of the pool in all his clothes backstroke with a full champagne bottle on his head, cheered on by a throng of female guests. this I wouldn’t have minded but Rockesy was wearing the new Mexicana Python boots I had bought him ! !  ! !  Python I hear you all shouting inhumane I also hear – – –  but no Rocksey had found this skin in a dusty run down shop in Louisiana and was informed it was at least 70 years old – sent the skin to his friend and owner of Mexicana boots and had them made..  which I will add I paid for with Rocksey shouting “i’ll pay you when I get back in”   some chance of that …..Back to the swimming Rocksey was going for it and ploughing through the water like a dreadnought encouraged by the screams and shouts of the female guests, penguino realising this could end badly for him took it upon himself to try to stop this dreadnaught from finishing, grabbing one of the many ropeskilt suspended from the ceiling took an almighty run and launched himself on collision course with Rocksey. Gripping as tight as he could to the rope with one hand and skimming the water with another he hurtled towards the finish line and Rocksey where within inches of the finish removed the bottle from Rockseys forehead and shouting his trademark “mi Penguino Comé arroz” entered the pool like a world war two depth charge. Both now soaked and without a change of clothes, I’m glad to say Rocksey resisted the temptation and offers from many of the female guests to let them remove his soaked clothes and help dry him…. Upon finishing the Bottle of Champagne (1/2 full of pool water) I will add the two made off in search of dry clothes.

Suki was now getting impatient for her bottle of Champagne as she had affixed her makeup mirror to her shoe, she assures me Penguino told her about this so she could check up the waiters kilt. whilst idly chatting Suki felt a tap on her shoulder and spinning around came face to face with a bright red kilt and a bottle of champagne. never one to lose her cool or not follow her plan swiftly positioned her foot and let out a shriek, He’s got kids F*****g pants on not only that BUT KIDS PANTS with a picture of a CAR on them ! ! ! ! ! at which she glanced at the waiters face only to find SENOR PENGUINO smirking back at her, don’t you remember he said “i bought these in Spain last year whilst in Malaga” ! ! ! ! ! .

I could see Rocksey stood behind him laughing – “why are you dressed as waiters ?” Ah he said and retold me the story of the pool bets and the fact the only clothes they could borrow were some of the staff clothes. You could tell Rocksey  had a few to may champagnes by his state of dress his kilt was on backwards his shirt was tied round his waist his beret formed a lump similar to Quasimodo’s in his jacket and still wearing his boots which I will add were still full of water, I suggested we make our excuses and leave…

Agreed he said, as we made our way to the door Rocksey commandeered 3 bottles “well you never know “he said…  as we exited into the crisp night air I asked Rocksey “why did penguino have those pants with him” you know Penguino, he used to be a boy scout and he’s  always prepared…….. with this Rocksey ran off down the drive kilt flying  shouting “MI PENGUINO COMÉ ARROZ, MI PENGUINO COMÉ ARROZ” it would have been a really nice view the sun rising over the maple trees and the dew covered lawns glistening but for Rocksey running into the sunrise ! ! ! ! !   —  Life goes on I guess  . . . . . .

 

finding our apartment!

So our first couple of days in our rented apartment in Malaga have passed without too many incidents!

We arrived in Malaga on Friday evening, a little tired from a busy day travelling and a little disorientated not knowing the city apart from its airport. We got a train from the airport to the centre and, on instruction of our ‘landlady’ decided to get a taxi to the apartment.

All well and good you say, what could go wrong? Well instead of getting off the train at the main train station we got off in the commercial area of Malaga and once out on the street……..no taxis.

We circled the station twice, no taxis. no sign of life at all, it was 10pm on a Friday night and it felt like Malaga had closed.

Then I remembered that many years ago on a holiday in Puerto Banus the only taxis to be found where outside the department store El Corte Ingles. Having spotted same department store across the road we trudged over an dyes, lo and behold a shining rank of taxis, 20 deep to take us on to or destination. Problem being, the taxi driver has not heard of the address we were going to!!

Images of being ripped off by internet scoundrels flashed through my mind, but no , I had seen this place on Google Earth, it exists!! but where? Finally with the help of Rockseys reading glasses, the email from the landlady and sheer Spanish bravado we arrive on a single track road clinging from a rock face ( it was dark so forgive me by licentious description!!). The landlady’s ‘helpful’ notes told us that the keys were in the water meter cupboard on the street. Now, streets in Spain ( or let me correct this…streets in this part of Spain where there is NO STREET just ROCK FACE!!!!) DO NOT HAVE STREET LIGHTS and so with the help of the torch facility on Rockseys iphone I locate the water meter cupboard, extract said key and open the street door. The key to the apartment door is to be located by another set of cryptic clues, in the meantime, Rocksey pays the taxi driver, who relieved that he has found the right address, zooms off into the night leaving me and Rocksey groping in the dark for the next set of clues and keys!

A Viva Espana

Rocksey and I are on our way to Spain for a hard earned break in the sun during the late spring sabbatical before the band start a run of summer festivals. We are actually en route as I type a few thousand feet above the ground. Rocksey is doing his hardest to read the free broadsheet but the space between his seat and the one in front isn’t that great and so the broadsheet is a little scrunched up. Luckily no one is sitting to the other side of him and so he can spread out a little more than normal.

The hostess is on her way round and a glass of wine is almost within reach. The best thing about going on holiday is not feeling guilty about the consumption of alcohol at what would normally be considered an unsociable hour. However it is Friday !!

This years vacation is going to be a little quieter than last years. This time we are not being joined by the band or family members and so Rocksey and I are going to enjoy a little ‘our’ time without the usual distractions of everyday life.

Suki and Senor Pinguino are flying out to Madrid late this evening to celebrate Suki’s birthday and see AC/DC in concert. A perfect Rock Chic birthday present from SP ( who also this week bought a double bass and mastered a plinkety plonk ‘Happy Birthday’ on it to surprise Suki on her birthday).

Mr Lucky has gone off on a boat trip, last spotted on Facebook last weekend with some very dubious folk and a lot of beer. Jack and Saff are at The Bearded Theory festival sans beards! The Baron & Dreads turned down a late invitation as they were also heading off to an illegal rave – at the mercy of a series of text messages with cryptic clues to follow to lead them to the event. Their bus is packed out with other revellers – I think possible that Ned may have also joined them having competed his first school year in exile at Hogwarts. Missy and Dave are celebrating a year together which can only mean they are still loved up somewhere which probably involves Missy’s expensive tastes in boutique hotels and expensive champagne.

But back to us, we are booked in for a week at Spanish summer school to brush up on our rusty language skills and then a week relaxing at the villa high up in the mountains with a few of the village goats and our neighbours chickens for company.

I cannot wait………although it is highly likely given our track record that the weeks will be anything but quiet!!