Two sat navs, an atlas plus 3 extra hours …

Two sat navs, an atlas plus 3 extra hours on top of the required 5, afforded us the luxury of checking into our hotel before sound check.  We rewarded ourselves with a cup of tea and homemade shortbread biscuits stacked pretty in a jar by the kettle.

Victoria Hall in Settle is a wonderful venue, it’s a joy to play and The Lion on Duke Street is a delightful place to eat and stay.  The food is amazing as is the beer, Hetton Pale Ale from the Dark Horse Brewery (just lovely).  Newsflash: Car and Kitchen has reopened! After a great gig we were further treated to some fantastic live music back at The Lion – Thursday Night Folk with Mike Harding.

Bright and breezy the next morning we headed up to Durham, managing to catch up with friends for lunch in the process. Mid fish finger sandwich I received a phone call from Mister-Sir Van Morrison regarding his excellent new album “You’re Driving Me Crazy” it was only when I finished the call did I realise I was standing up in the middle of the restaurant shouting with my finger in my ear – I’ll be singing folk songs before you know it.

From Durham to Winchester (whose idea was that?) Mud decided we’d be better off driving home after the gig rather than the next morning as the roads have been shocking of late, sat nav 1 was on top form, and despite the curious route, got us back to Chippenham in record time.

Winchester is a very pretty town and again we arrived early enough to buy artisan fudge and have a quick mooch about.  On unpacking the band’s delicious Indian takeaway, I realised why it was so heavy not to mention expensive.  My request for 4 onion bhajis, had become onion bhajis  for 4… as a main.  Twelve cricket ball size bhajis!

The weekend’s long journeys had provided really useful listening and research time for the big interview, ahead of my Sunday evening Radio 2 show, with the amazing composer, arranger and conductor Vince Mendoza.  Not only does he compose incredible music under his own name, this chap has won 6 Grammys and received 31 nominations he has arranged sumptuous scores for Joni Mitchel, Gregory Porter, Kurt Elling, Joe Zawinal, Björk, Sting, Robbie Williams….  He was the cherry on the top of what was a most memorable weekend.