I was on my way to Ireland - Portpatrick is on the way to Ireland... What else could I have done?
Other than taking a little detour? A sign to Ardrossan and the boat to the Isle of Arran was just too tempting! The Arran Boat Song is a pretty little tune we love to play - how could I pass by without at least seeing the Arran Boat? It was just getting ready to leave - the last one for the day. Unfortunately I was too daft to find the ticket office. "I didn't go to Arran because I couldn't find the ticket office?"
I took the first boat in the morning.
I didn't really know what to do in Arran - just wanted to be on the boat! Pretty Island, lovely weather - so I found a nice spot by the sea to record myself playing the "Arran Boat Song". I imagined to hear the waves in the background and .... well... a lovely recording that I'd be proud to share. Turned out to be loud wind - and squeeky flute in the background! So you're not getting that....
Much, much better music in Portpatrick! With some weird moments! One was early in the morning when this elderly hippie woman told me how they had danced on the cliffs to make the sun come up (worked!) and who got really mad at me because I wouldn't let Swift swim in the sea with the other dogs (they soak up minerals when they swim in the sea and that makes their brains work properly - something the vets never tell you!)
I spent the first evening in "the tent". That was a bit strange, too but: The enthusiasm amazed me. Not my world but people radiated so much love for what they did!
I met again with the folk I had first met in Glasgow. Experienced festival goers they had a detailed plan each day! Have food at exactly XX o'clock, go to one of the pubs for tunes, go back to the house at YY o'clock for more food (to be prepared for all the drink later...) go back to the pub no later than ZZ o'clock to secure a good spot for playing before the pubs get too packed to squeeze in. I was impressed! That's how you do it! The fact that the plans never worked out didn't change my admiration for them...
I hope you are reading this: Thanks a million for your hospitality, for all that great food and the amazing music! And for laying the table so beautifully ;)
I learned some of your tunes but I'm still working on "Kilty town". When I give it a try it doesn't sound anywhere near what I remember you playing :)
I also learned that anticipated fun and remembered fun is much more fun than the actual fun! (Have the day off today and stayed in bed for a cosy lie in and contemplated that idea .... Not sure it's always true...)
It was so nice to be welcomed in a group of people who are so obviously "friends" - so close and familiar with each other, sharing memories and joking with just little hints! Made me sentimental after months of travelling... and grateful for being allowed to share!
More memories of Portpatrick: I met Santa (who plays the bodhrán - so you better watch out - take it easy on those jokes!) and the "Oban times" convinced me that swimming from somewhere to somewhere else without a wetsuit can indeed be a birthday present!
I made lots of recordings in Portpatrick... The one I chose to share is not the "best" but the one that will forever remind me of the "anticipated fun" lecture and...well...larks :) and I liked the ending!
Plus one video I made of a quiet, relaxed afternoon tune in the backroom of one of the pubs. I think it is wonderful!
I do remember that it wasn't four in the afternoon yet and that I was a little reluctant to get that pint..... "Kein Bier vor vier" - a friend always says.... but everybody else had one! And it was nearly four!