It was a humdinger of a weekend; the Friar's Carse was a quirky and welcoming as ever, and there was the usual bunch of puzzled guests as twelve middle-aged men, an enthusiastic sixteen-year-old and myself settled into the Chesterfields with guitars, soup, pints of lager or coffee, depending on what time of day it was.
Martin took us through voicings of chords up the neck; Brian got us to tune our guitars to different tunings and play them with bottlenecks (Hawaii the lads!) and Paul, a new tutor, made sense of the theory side of things and showed us some unusual capos that automatically created a dropped D, amongst other things.
In the evening, in spite of shredded fingers, we managed a concert. The three tutors played first, and then we followed one by one or in groups, slumping into audience mode afterwards. At the end, Brian played Falling in Love Again, the song made famous by the great Marlene Dietrich, and I sang it in German. I had forgotten that I knew it but Brian started picking out the chords earlier in the day and it all came back to me in its entirety.
As usual there were a lot of funny moments and a lot of poignant ones too. Martin mimed along with a brass bedpan to Brian's banjo playing at one point (bedpanjo?) and there were the usual crappy jokes, banter and quips. I wish I could remember them but I left them in Carlisle as I crept home exhausted and happy!
The guitars had a nice time too, and many new friendships were forged between them.
The Songwriting Weekend is between 17th-19th June, when Galloway is spectacularly beautiful. I work on that one, but it's still huge fun; I will put more details here closer to the time. I think there are still places left on it.