Doing blog pieces about every event is getting hard but we couldn’t leave these two out!
With our strong working class roots, how could we not play at a memorial event for Jo Cox?
Of course, we have played at the Labour Club before - and the vibes there never fail to impress. On arrival, picnic tables were set out, a picnic laid on a table to our left, and many people enjoying the sun while attentively listening to the acts that were performing.
The afternoon for Jo had started at 2. We were sad to not have made it to the club any earlier than we did, Matt proving that, as always, he knows where the talent is!
Our competitive side has known to leave people injured, so you can understand our pure, evil, delight at the sight of a giant Jenga set out on the lawn. However, using our better judgement, we just watched others play, silently judging every move they made, knowing that if we had have pulled that block out, the tower would not have fallen down.
In true, Labour Club fashion, free food seemed to keep coming from nowhere. Whether that be chocolate doughnuts (we had to eat the last in the pack as we were told there is a special place in heaven for those that do so. We presume that place is probably above the trap door to hell…) It felt amazing to sit in the sun and remember the life and achievements of such a wonderful lady. We sat amongst like-minded people, enjoyed the sun and the food and watched some extremely talented people sing/play/recite poetry.
Some people have many talents. We sat and gawped as Simon the sound man got up and began to play beautiful violin. Matt, as always, delivered poignant and funny poetry and quips. As the sun went down, Ichabod got up to perform. Not to be defeated by The Darkness (We believe in a thing called love! Just listen to the rhythm of our hearts! There’s a chance we can make it now… er… Something something something… Sun goes down?) they pulled a Fiat 500 round the corner and shone their full beams at the stage. The lighting manager really deserved a pay rise for that stroke of genius.
A great time was had by all. As taxis were called and the picnic tables packed away, suddenly streams of Chinese take away were getting handed out. Never being ones to pass up on a free prawn cracker, we practically inhaled the food of the gods before we got in our taxi and jabbered all the way home about what a lovely evening we had.
Well, we were setting out on an adventure here, having never been to The Gardeners Rest before. Getting in to Sheffield was easy peasy, a trip made many times.
We managed to find the stop for the bus to The Gardeners Rest with plenty of time and we waited. This is where we would like to publicly say that we have never met people so despondent, angry at life and generally grumpy as (most, not all) Stagecoach drivers. Here is a sample of the delights:
Dean: Hi, two singles to The Gardeners Rest please
Driver: *Looks at Dean like he has just passed a kidney stone* Don’t know where that is.
Dean: Err.. Well, it’s eight stops away?
Dean: Outside The Gardeners Rest pub?
Driver: I think I know where that is. *looks Dean up and down. Lethargically pushes buttons. Waits. Looks back at Dean. Sighs.* Two quid.
Dean: For both?
Driver: *narrows eyes* What? No. *angrily pushes button again* Four quid. *smirks*
Dean: Can you give us a shout when we are getting near, just we’ve never been before so don’t really know where we are going.
Driver: *rolls eyes* You’ll see some abandoned buildings on your right. It’s there.
Dean: … Thanks.
Old Lady: Don’t worry, I know where it is, I’ll tell you where you need to get off.
Turns out, the bus stop is literally outside the pub and the name of the stop… is the Gardeners Rest… Also turns out, the driver’s name being Richard Sole wasn’t the only reason people called him R.Sole.
Anyway… The Gardeners Rest is kooky as hell (let’s face it, if the devil is in charge of the decor it’s gunna be kooky). We ordered a drink and went and sat outside. We sat right by the river and drank our soda, stimulated in conversation by an American Indian lady. After speaking to her, on our way back into the bar we met with a newly wed and her partner. Conversation was stilted with these two but we gathered they were both models once. We wish Manny Quinn and his wife all the happiness in the world.
Again, a fantastic performance by all involved. Ichabod worked relentlessly with a difficult crowd at the bar. Taking one for the team, by the time his set finished the bar had quietened down and everyone was in a listening mood.
We sat and quietly discussed our disgust at the sheer lack of pockets in female clothing. Also, our extreme abhorrence at ‘fake pockets’. Trump’s ‘fake news’ hasn’t got anything on the real life struggle of women who thought they had pockets, and don’t.
After just watching Boo Hewerdine, we even caught up with 2/3 of Sign of a Teaspoon! Had a good natter about life, the universe and everything while Ichabod packed up and kindly offered us a lift home.
Again, more discussions of life, fire pit parties and music as we wended our way down narrow country lanes.
We could never come close to describing how much we enjoy the company of those that seem to be surrounding us at the minute. There are friends we haven’t seen in a while - we know you are with us, and we love you too.
There are always going to be people that don’t accept us, don’t see our happiness as a good enough reason to be together (although, what better reason is there?!).
Cwtch is not just a word for us anymore, it’s our whole way of life. Some people get it, some people don’t. For those that don’t we ask you come and spend ten minutes with us. Rejoice in our deep, belly laughter and feel the warmth we feel everyday we are together.
Nobody can be everyone’s cup of tea - we aren’t mugs (get it?). For those that still struggle I will say this:
After the death of my father back in October, if it wasn’t for Dean I may never have picked up music again. My passion for music would have died with my father, but here I am, bold as brass and ready to stand up for what I love - Music… And Dean.
Love, harmonies, cwtch.