Been enjoying Cheltenham Literature Festival the past few days. After seeing Philip Pullman yesterday, we jumped in the car and headed two hours North to the little town of Market Drayton, where my dad's uni buddies were celebrating a joint sixtieth birthday, and forty years together.
John (top left) is a talented musician, as is his wife Sue, who is also an artist. Their band is called Guilty Pleasures. Their two sons are also musicians, and John plays regular gigs with Jane, the lady on the drums above. It was a lovely night, showcasing many of their musical friends.
The guy on the euphonium is their eldest son. Recognise the second song? Not While I'm Around from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. What incredibly good taste! (not the pies). Gone a little teary-eyed. Tim Burton didn't do a bad job, but the best theatre production I ever saw was that at Yvonne Arnaud.
Also teary-eyed on the last song, as they met at a folk club at uni. Apparently John was looking for someone who knew the words to a song, and Sue stepped forward. The rest, as they say, is history.
Anyway, there was food, drink (although I was the designated driver! 'You know you're an adult when...'), and psychedelic chocolate cake (best sort)...
And a guy with the coolest guitar I have ever seen: a 1970s Steinberger bass. Look - no headstock!
A good night was had by all.
We stayed in a gorgeous B&B called The Hermitage on Stafford Street. Plush furnishings, friendly welcome, and full English breakfast. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend.