Monday, March 27, 2017

Nightmare on Ukulele Street

From Pinterest - click The Scream for the page
(600ish words. You'll be right)

This morning I was trapped in a nightmare vortex. Real? Not real? Can I awaken from this ukulele hell?

As problems go my ukulele trauma was on the super soft end of 'first world problems'. Worthy of derision I say. Get a life you say.

But I have a life. And my nightmare sorta came to life...just after I awoke.

The nightmare

Trapped in a room, with about 30 people, all of them expecting me to energetically, successfully and entertainingly lead a ukestra. It seemed like a one-off situation, so things were even worse: I had to be vibrant and organised.

But I was no such thing. I couldn't find my music. I couldn't find my bass. I couldn't find my ukulele. Things just went wrong. Give me a moment! I fiddled around, fussing here, procrastinating there, tried to find things, everyone waiting impatiently. Eventually all chairs turned towards a television screen. I had lost them all. How ironic. My nemesis. The big screen TV.

I thrashed in bed, trying to prise myself out of this eternal ukulele damnation.

Prelude to a nightmare

The nightmare seems to have shaped my mood today, but I think it started yesterday, when I did Surf Life Saving patrol. I finished at 1pm, then headed off at 2:30pm for my weekly Sunday hospital music. I rushed, packing the car for my usual night away. Fatally, I didn't do the idiot check (which we call the 'hands-free-check'). I didn't check to see if I'd left anything vital. Instead I just bolted. Fatal error.

Halfway to hospital (30 minutes away) I realised, no guitar. I'll be right, I can get away with just the uke.

Beach litter retrieved, including sandals
        Oh no! No sandals. No shoes. This is going to be 24 hours of barefoot in formal sorts of places (like bowling clubs, hospital wards), sneaking around, avoiding the disapproving glare of the shod. Thankfully I did find a pair of ugboot-like slippers for the hospital (only because I never clean out my car). Phew! I can be legal (of sorts). And besides! Slippers are such well approved hospital attire.

When I get to the Bay I go for a swim, and there, lo and behold, are the sandals I dug out of the sand the week before as litter! I had placed them in a spot near the showers awaiting their owner to reclaim them. But alas, they were instead joined by a child's pair of thongs. Clearly I, a man in dire need of respectable footwear, could now claim them, guiltfree, as my own. They were mine.

Nightmare fulfilled

Post-nightmare. All was not right. A fancy car heads gingerly over the lip of the driveway into the Fingal Bay Sports Club, our usual Tomaree Ukestra Monday morning venue. One of the bowlers accosts me in an officious manner. The bowler is now an official parking attendant.

Ahhh!!! Mr Ukulele! You and your mob will have to park down here today. Big functions on. Ladies Pennants Bowls, and the ladies won't want you playing outside. They need to concentrate.

But that wasn't all. The club is packed! Not just with lady bowlers so we find, but a big breakfast for the Jaguar Car Club. The noise is unbearable. My dream of losing control is all too real. I am living my nightmare.

But together we ukestrans plot and consider, and then remove ourselves from the clamour. Let's try the cafe down at the beach.

Nightmare averted

Blessings to the Longboat Cafe. They loved us and looked after us. Suddenly homeless, suddenly not homeless. The Tomaree Ukestra found a home for the morning, the sun was autumnally shining and the coffee drinkers all quite liked us! The coffee liked us! Thank you!

I reflect on a small life lesson. We do not need to live our nightmares. Our conscious worlds are much more subject to our personal control. Even for ukulele players. Praise be the ukulele gods.

16 of us. This is during the break. Damn fine spot. Damn fine hosts at The Longboat Cafe.
Me in left-handed bass mode

Emergency hat supply. All part of the service.