Thursday 26th. June, 2014 – Another fabulous day: weather and in every way. 


Today Digger completed the task of digging over the soil within his dome. He tells me that he is a bit late in his work on the small holding to get a perfect crop this year but everything will be in place for next year. However, I am sure that this soil in the dome will yield a good crop


Up and walked Mix and breakfasted early so that I could get started on cutting shingles to size for the roof ridge on the summer house. Tom arrived and by midmorning the ridge was completed. Instead of continuing with the finishing touches to the summer house, we then set about fencing in the summerhouse garden – not for the security of the summerhouse but so that the dogs can roam around this area without being constantly supervised. In the morning we got the fence posts into the ground and then in the afternoon we fitted on the fencing wire – Tom is an expert and so it was not problem. In between we went off to Pearsons for lunch – cauliflower cheese soup followed by Chicken Caesar’s Salad. Excellent.

Rachel came home from the stained glass class she had been at with Dorothy this morning and she helped with the completion of the fencing exercise. Job done and Tom went off home – looking forward to an evening with his feet up. I showered, walked Mix and then Rachel and I went off to Berwick to attend the Maltings Theatre. It wasn’t something we had intended to do but I had got a note from the director in effect saying that this was a premier and that that not many tickets had been sold and if I came I would get two tickets for the price of one!

Having said that, it turned out to be an excellent evening. We dined in the restaurant: Cullen Skink followed by Scotch egg, fried potatoes and salad, followed by rhubarb Eton mess. Another superb meal.

The show was in the studio theatre and was entitled ‘What Happens? – Musings and Meditations on Life' by Tayo Aluko. I would describe the evening as being the story of the American negro in poetry by a famous American poet, Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) interspersed with music and song. This was appropriate because Langston Hughes was an innovator of Jazz Poetry.

The programme had been put together and was performed by Tayo Aluko, a classical baritone with a lovely voice for poetry who is best known, I’m told, for his monodrama ‘Call Mr. Robeson’ which was a hit in London in 2011.

Tayo Aluko presented his poems and sang, supported by three musicians: Mike Hardy on Trumpet and piano, Ross Milligan on guitar and Matthew Rooke (the Artistic Director of the Maltings) on double-bass and piano. The musicians also were excellent. It was a real rounded performance with challenging poems which took us through the history of slavery and the civil rights movement, included humour and lots of musical numbers which ranged through ‘I got it bad and that ain’t good’ to ‘Death of an old seaman’, from ‘I got plenty of nothin’ to ‘Miss Otis regrets’, and from ‘’They can’t take that away from me’ to ‘I dream a world’. All of the songs and musical numbers were greeting by prolonged applause and some of the poems too, but others of the poems were just so challenging, so shocking as we were reminded of how people were treated on the basis of their colour, that we almost felt applause to be inappropriate, or irreverent or inadequate.

The set was attractive but I thought the lighting a little hard for Tayo Aluko always to see his script (and as I left I glimpsed his book and was astounded at how small was the print). I left thinking again of how fortunate we are to have such a fine theatre on our doorstep and how pleased I was that I had been chased up to attend.

Well, that’s been quite a day! Good for others, too: Olive has got on well with her examination marking and the end is in sight. Mum went off with the Guild for lunch at the manse and enjoyed it very much. Digger got on well in the garden. I walked Mix, it is half past eleven and has only just got dark and is still extremely warm. How fortunate we are.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Here are some pictures of today (none of the theatre, obviously, we don't do that sort of thing!):



Tom is on the ridge of the summerhouse fitting the last of the shingles into place




The summerhouse with all of the shingling completed. The bargeboards and other little jobs will be finished tomorrow (I know I said that yesterday but I didn’t know then that we were going to branch out into fencing today instead)




Mix can happily be left along in this part of the garden now that it is fenced off from the driveway which leads to the main road


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