Well I am rested and relaxed and have had a wales of a time (oh aren't I funny!!)
We started out at 4.55am last Friday morning and arrived in Abersoch at 10:10 having stopped once for a breakfast butty at a lovely van on the side of a road! (I refuse to pay £7.99 in a service station for sausage egg and beans which are covered in oil and grease and could conceivably have been sitting around for 20 mins!) Leaving at that time in the morning may seem like madness but the M25 after 6am is not pleasant and when we later talked to one of the bands who had left London at 8am to arrive at 6pm, we realised we had made the right decision. We parked up and got the lay of the land around the village. Found a coffee shop and ordered their strongest potions! and then went for an amble on the beach . The sky was bright blue and it was a really pretty place to be. We then had a nice leisurely lunch whilst waiting to get the keys to the house we had rented for the weekend, and a couple of lunchtime drinks to help with an afternoon snooze before hitting the jazz in the evening! Our first event was an evening with our friends in the TJ Johnson band. We have known Tim for a few years and it was his clarinet/sax player Adrian who had suggested Abersoch so it seemed fitting that we started the weekend with them. They were playing in a Marquee down by the riverside which was a lovely setting. Abersoch seems to be a far more leisurely festival than many I have been to, with evening sessions starting at 8 and finishing at 11, and all the bands seeming to get plenty of time off to enjoy themselves, either by watching other bands or hanging out on the beach. So by 12 we were tucked up in bed!!
Saturday morning we were up and out of the house by 9am as MrNoo felt the need to drive to Pwellhi to find a bait and tackle shop......... we did, and he did! 4 packets of frozen sand eels were purchased and the lovely owner told him all the best places to go for the different types of fishing he wanted to do, including the beach in Abersoch that we had already ear-marked! We got back just in time to see Martin Bennett, also in the Riverside Marquee. It was great to see him, we haven't seen him for around 4 - 5 years since he left the Phil Mason band, so we had a chat in the break before diving up the road to get some chips (from possibly the bet chippy ever!!) and again heading for the beach! Luckily I had a good audiobook on the Ipod so hours on the beach were well spent! From our spot on the beach we could hear the jazz being played in the yacht club, and MrNoo was very happy with his fishing spot, the sun was shining, I managed to find a comfortable rock to lie in.......... perfect! we stayed there until around 7 when we popped home to change for the evening session.
The evening session we decided to see the Big Easy Rascals, a group from Enkhuizen in Holland with band members we had seen before in other bands. In the main the band is made up of the De-Wit family. Jaap de Wit snr, is always good value for money (he also plays Bass in the Freetime jazz band and does a mean dance with a sousaphone!) They were fabulous! So thoroughly entertaining and the musicianship was awesome..........Plus they all had such a great sense of humour!
MrNoo left there to go fishing again, but I had to head to bed - there's only so much excitement a girl can take in one day you know!
Sunday we started the day with the Freetime Old Dixie Jazz Band as Jaap de-Wit had given us such a good show the night before! They didn't disappoint!
As it was our last day we just ambled around the village for a while, walked along the "sunbathers beach" and then back round into town and onto the bay beach where people were taking their Sunday afternoon walks with dogs, children, bats, balls and anything else that is good fun in a large expanse of wet sand. We walked up onto the rocks and spent a couple of hours looking west at the side of a stone staircase, watching sand eels swimming in the sea!
We rounded the weekend off back where we started with TJ and his band, this time in the Golf Club Marquee......... he even got a few people to dance!
Rest of the weeks adventures to follow soon!