Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas, London New York Arlington and Happy New Year.

Mari, Johann, Charles and I after St James' Christmas Woman to Woman shows.
The end of 2013 was fabulous - I finished the St James' run with my mate Mari Wilson that week before Christmas and we had a superb weekend of shows, and then a final show in Greenham, and the next day I was off on my plane to faraway New York City and 59E59 Theater. Dropped off my bags in Harlem and headed straight out to a rehearsal with the lovely pianist and woman, Tracy Stark. Managed to keep my eyes open for dinner with Tanya Holt and Tracy and then headed back to Harlem where I bedded down in the warm hospitality of Maamoun and Andy and Lucy the dog's home. My happy moment of this was Maamoun explaining to me that Lucy and I would share a bathroom, as she doesn't like going out very much. I have to say she was one of the best bathroom sharers ever - she never wanted the shower when I wanted it - well to be honest she never wanted to shower, and she didn't use the loo, she did all her business on or near a little mat in the corner of the bathroom. So as long as I didn't stand in that I was quids in. On Sunday morning Maamoun and I walked around the neighbourhood and I stood outside the Apollo and we wondered around the churches - St John the Divine Cathedral was a discovery for me -
and a gospel church where lovely harmonies drew us in from the pavement. We swayed and sang. New York was alive with music in Harlem that morning. 

59E59 Theater is just a dream of a gig - they look after you and care about the work and my sound and lights team JP and Ted did a grand job so I turned up for a soundcheck to find everything in very fine order, which was good as my family arrived in New York pretty much simultaneously and came to the opening night show. The theatre had done lovely fliers and a big banner hanging down from the staircase, using Steve Ullathorne's lovely shots which feature on the new CD (more of which later), and opening night was a wham bam slide of joy. Had some lovely reviews and lots of friends came.

Tracy and Melody in 59E59th bar after the show.
Melody and I  in 59E59th bar after the show.

I had Monday off and the family and I headed down to Chinatown to see the Eldridge Street Synagogue Museum - 
if you've never been - go. We followed up with Katz's deli which if course is famous for THAT scene in 'When Harry Met Sally' or the other way around. You can eat your bodyweight in pickles there. Its my idea of excellent.

Central Park in the winter sunshine Boxing Day.

Then back to the run, with some walks in Central Park and Christmas Eve came and went, and Christmas Day in NYC. The town was so quiet. We walked to lunch, the sun shone, I wore my hat, everyone was in joyous frame of mind, there were trees and baubles everywhere and somehow it was perfect and I never once thought - oh, if only there was Christmas pudding. Not once.

Mum, Mirek and I by another Christmas tree wondering through NYC.

Tim, Mum and Mirek in NYC by the tree.

Another 7 shows in 4 days, and it was all over. Sad, but happy, I waved goodbye to New York on a freezy, breezy Monday morning and caught the Amtrak to DC. There was a lovely view of Philadelphia from the train….
Downtown Philadelphia form the DC Amtrak.

Arlington Virginia, was where I spent my New Year, and we managed to stay awake to watch the ball drop in NYC and toast with champagne before dropping into bed and deep sleep. The triumph here was that we had a fabulous meal we all made - Mirek and I the starter, Mum the main course, and Tim a dessert which could bring peace to the world, its that delicious. Everything was hunky dory…….

Then the snows  came…...
Mirek proving that a new broom sweeps steps!
The temperatures feel through the void into places temperatures really shouldn't go yet with coffee and struggle I managed to get to a yoga session and pretend that I was keeping a semblance of fit - Mark's classes at The Edge in Arlington free muscles that frankly have remained hidden for years. Ot at least since I last went to one of his classes. This morning I got the Boot Camp video out (hilarious - its what youtube is for) and managed not to break the floor, or any bones, and tomorrow I intend to get to a 9 am yoga class. If the weather holds I fly back imminently, which is good as all the tracks for the new album are mastered and the launch show at Purcell Room on Valentine's Day is now on sale, here
So when I next write, it'll all be album album album and not Happy New Year, which I wish to all, everywhere, and better times, lives and hope. Hope we make it through another year with all the love and light we can manage. Namaste!

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