I’m just back from the Guitar town, Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee, where the Englishman and I have been putting the shine on my East Nashville house so that I can offer it as a vintage vacation home. Here I am sorting out my stuff.
Things get messier before they get tidy, don't they?
This was the office supplies and tape moment. In all, I think I found eleven pairs of normal scissors in the house plus pinking shears (3), garden scissors (2), and craft scissors with nifty edging effects (7).
Have I every mentioned “the pen” before? When I was a kid staying with Mawmaw up on Smith Ridge in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, I liked to answer the phone for my grandmothers. Later, when I was the student receptionist at Davidson College, this childhood training came in handy. But at Mawmaw’s, if I had to take a message, then I used a pad of paper and “the pen” which sat on the telephone table – paean for the telephone table to be written. Perhaps, I should call “the pen” The Pen because it was the only one in the house. Usually, it came from a bank or a gas station in Richlands. If someone moved The Pen from the telephone table, a crisis ensued. The Pen was usually one of those pens with no cap and the white eraser – an eraser that never worked, but made the paper a mess. Do you remember those? There is a similar story about tape up on Smith Ridge, but I’ll save that one for another time . . .
I tend to think the yearly summertime childhood crisis of losing The Pen and instigating a frantic search through drawers, handbags, and Bibles was the direct cause of my scissor, pen, tape, glue, and general school supplies habit. When I used to be singing on the road all of the time and I started to feel overwhelmed, a visit to any grocery store or general store school supplies or craft section had a calming effect. Sending a letter covered in stamps was also a great balm. I found a lot of stamps in Nashville, too.
Even given our considerable efforts, the Englishman and I did not finish the task of turning my house into an officially rentable space. It’s nearly there, but the finishing touches and AirBnB paperwork will have to wait a few months. For now, my vintage home is providing a cozy retreat for a good friend. Do you need a retreat in Nashville between now and early May? If so, get in touch and lets see what we can do?
I am back in Londontown and getting ready for my second concert of the year on February 26th – a collaboration with External Donut Presents at the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington. The folks at External Donut say we’ll have poetry reading, strummy folk, singing and sewing from me, and folky pop music at the end. I haven’t really done anything quite like this since my high school talent show where I sang the “ba pas” on a Troggs song. If you’d like to come along, I’d be tickled.
I will be playing more concerts this year and I'm putting together my calendar which I will post later this spring. I plan on doing most of my touring in the summer and fall. If you’d like to host a house concert or community concert in Britain, Canada, the USA, or anywhere else for that matter (thank you to my listeners in Israel and Norway!), then please write to me and I will see about arranging my touring schedule to suit us all.
This is what happens to your hair when you re-stuff a futon.
I’ve brought my mountain dulcimer back from Tennessee, so I am excited to start reading Jean Ritchie’s Dulcimer Book and hearing what I can learn. I also got an electric piano for Christmas and if I practice practice practice, I’ve been promised a hulking wooden one, so I’m going to tilt my dulcimer and metronome at this jet-lag and play some music.
Thank you for the notes and messages you’ve been sending in response to my newsletter. I am seeing if I can write one each month, so your encouragement cheers me along.
Your Jewell Ridge Girl,
Variety show in London!
Come along on Tuesday, February 26th, to the Hope and Anchor in Islington (London) for a night of music and poetry. Strummy guitar music, me, pop music at the end, and poetry in the betweens. 5 pound cover. Events begin at 7, I'll probably go on after 8. Hope and Anchor, N1 1RL.