I couldn’t have packed more into the last couple of weeks if I’d stuffed them in a suitcase and had three people sitting on it.

Among the highlights of an excellent Summer (apart from some of our best-ever guests, great weather, working for folding money to get us through the Winter, entertaining visiting friends and family, finishing the new outdoor kitchen, smallholding, planning, dining and wining) was playing music again on stage.

Here’s a shot from my band’s last gig, at a night market in a village called Audrix.

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My last proper gigs were back in the 1990s, when I played Brixton Academy a couple of times (although The Mean Fiddler was still a better venue). But I was young, self conscious and painfully aware of any mistakes I made. One advantage of being that much older is that I really don’t care any more. Rehearsing a lot makes a huge difference, as does having a set of good songs and some excellent musicians to play with. This Winter I’ll be working on solos (finally, I’ll have a reason to learn those epic Jon Lord riffs) and backing vocals. If you’re in the area next year, keep an eye on our facebook page for details of concerts.

I’ve got some blog posts to write when I get a moment, and I’ll be doing a video to mark our SIX YEARS in France. I’m also going to be recording some tracks with a friend and writing Part Two of my book about our experience of moving to France to set up écovallée, which is called: “Descent into Hell”. And there are some fairly big building projects to crack on with, wood to gather, maintenance to do. So, plenty of reasons to come back here are see what’s going on.

Ah. We’ll be opening the 2014 diary for écovallée bookings soon. But if you want to come before the end of October, I’m sure we can squeeze you in…

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