Since Christmas I have been shut up in my studio, demoing new songs and working up a new set. The studio is only a few meters from the house, nevertheless, the snow was so heavy this week I had to keep a snow shovel by the door so I could dig my way back to the house for the necessary cups of coffee. It’s a tough time too for the animals in the forest and this morning I opened the door to startle two deer feeding on the hay I had stuffed into a bush outside the house.
Now I am sitting on a plane leaving that tranquil, beautiful world behind, and starting tomorrow, a world of motorways, hired cars and 35 solo shows stretching out ahead of me until the middle of May. New audiences, new venues and new songs too: songs about the forest, about history, memories, temptation, friendship.
Sadly, my last ever show with Oysterband is also coming up on 23rd February. I will be leaving behind a lot: a lot of good memories, a lot of good friends, and the valuable accumulated playing experience of being with the same musicians for so long. Of course we will still keep in touch, but it is the end of an era all the same.
It feels very much like it did on the last day of term before I left school, to leave behind so many good friends, familiar places, familiar faces, and to face the future with the same mixture of excitement tinged with uncertainty and some trepidation. And like that day too, knowing that this is an inevitable step.
I feel very lucky and thanks again to all the people who have been so encouraging.