Breaking news…….I have caught a cold. I believe I caught it through a lack of sleep and from the children in my class with colds – a teacher’s lot! So I am taking things a bit slower this week and it has given me time to think and write to you about the three gigs in two days I did last weekend.
I guess it sounds glamorous, three gigs in two days. And it is, but it is certainly not for the faint hearted. The plan was to build my energy level during the week by getting early nights; Arrive for a 4.30 pm sound check on Saturday at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in West London, perform in the Wise Women Awards that evening. Depart 11.30 pm or sooner and head to the Holiday Inn in Basildon for a good night sleep. Be ready early for the Mother’s Day service at 9am – 11am in Basildon and then back into London for 12 pm Mother’s Day service in Tottenham; departing 5 pm for Birmingham. Arrive home by 8 pm, unpack, chill for a little then get some teaching prep in for teaching a full day (9.45 am until 6.30 pm) on Monday… well that was the plan…didn’t happen!
It was late nights all that week because I had to change my diary around for unexpected appointments. I find the weeks when that happens I move my admin to the night to keep up. So by Friday night 11 pm I was still a little behind and hadn’t packed, I didn’t turn in until 1 am.
Saturday morning was a rush – rushing to the Salon to get my ‘fro trimmed, picking up a couple of piano books for my Monday pupils, liaising with Marcia Dixon of MD Public Relations about the final arrangements for the gig that evening (hands free of course 🙂 ), return home, loading up, battle through football traffic, had no breakfast so I broke my rule and grabbed a MacDonalds, battle with football traffic again, take a detour, hit the M40 by 2.15 pm. Panic panic panic as to whether I’d make the sound check on time. My husband kept me calm (thanks love!). I slept he drove. The roads were surprisingly clear and I arrived by 4.25 pm!
I have to say that the Hotel is absolutely massive! It has its own shopping mall and eateries within it. Never seen anything like it. Very impressive. After checking in with Marcia Dixon, I went for my sound check. It went smoothly and I met my fellow performers Rita Ciccarelli from Italy, a real powerhouse vocalist and Isabella Melodies, loving the vocal tones and colours Isabella!
The evening was excellent. It’s the second time I have performed at the Awards and I really enjoy hearing the stories of the nominees. It was masterfully hosted by Juliet Fletcher, (CEO of Gospel Music Industry Alliance) and Priscilla Nwakip (TV Presenter BEN Televisions). There were two nominees that really impressed me. They worked tirelessly for their cause. Their award was a surprise to them and they burst into tears of joy. At the end it was picture time and we departed 12.30 am.
Now you would think at 12.30 am in the morning, London roads would be clear so that the one hour journey to Basildon would be smooth…think again. Traffic! Traffic jam! Why? I have not a clue! Possibly road works but it took forever. We didn’t get to the Hotel until 2.25 am!!! They had just checked us out thinking we were not coming again. Couldn’t get the shower working though so we had to wait for room service only to find it was a simple normal dial type not the plunger pull up but our brains were in shut down mode and didn’t think of that! Doh! I tried not to look at the clock but I reckon I got just over 3 hours sleep. Now for some one who had late nights all week this amount felt like a fast food meal – you know you have had something to eat but it isn’t filling!
Breakfast at 8 am was gorgeous, but rushed. I enjoyed watching the pancake making machine – everybody should have one, it’s brilliant! Not sure about the cleaning though 🙂 The restaurant view overlooked the lake it was quite picturesque at that time of morning. I think we will return for a vacation. Great customer service. Well I got my glad rags on, packed up, check out and travelled comfortably to the church. I quite enjoyed the service. It was nice to hear a discussion on being a mother and parenting as well as a timely and provoking sermon by Pastor Marjorie.
We departed Basildon and headed to Triumphant Church International in London. The traffic wasn’t too bad but then we were ably navigated by Pastor Clem who knew the back roads pretty well so we avoided road works and potential delays. Again, I knew it was a plug and play situation at TCI but with Jerry on PA (who has mixed for me before) I felt comfortable. The impromptu performance with Shouts of Joy Choir and Band was good. Excellent service and hospitality at TCI as always. Shout out to Jare and the team!
We left around 5.30 pm and made our way home. This was a much slower journey as the lack of sleep took its toll. We had a couple of rest stops – better safe than sorry. Arrived home around 9.30pm, fairly shattered. Teaching prep was out of the window though until Monday morning! It has taken me a few days to catch up with my sleep but then this cold got the better of me! Oh well.
And that was how my three gigs in two days went.