Sunday at Shambala

I had lunch with Bunny, Fran, Pete and a load of other people, sitting on the grass, bathed in sunshine, with the sound from the main stage of an incredible harp player drifting over hundreds of other people all having a lazy lunch too.

Fat Sister, King Russell and I decided we’d leave after the last act so we could pack up while it was dry and have a day in London before the week ahead.

We packed up the early so we could relax and enjoy the rest of the day and just head off when we were ready. But first there was my second performance with Captain Hotknives in the Social Club.

As we were getting ready and adding new ideas to the set I started to have a ‘ticcing fit’. It was long and extremely painful. As it went on I became acutely aware of time ticking past and our performance edging closer. I tried to put this out of my mind but I was really looking forward to performing again so it was hard.

I’d been reluctant to take my emergency medication – diazepam – just before a performance, but I soon gave in as my spine twisted and surged about. The fit came to an end just ten minutes before we were due on stage. I was exhausted, spaced out and shaky – getting into a lycra jumpsuit certainly didn’t top the list of things I felt like doing. But I managed, and we made our way to the Social Club.

Luckily the act before us had overrun so I had a little more time to get myself together. The show went really well even though I felt a bit out of it for the first part. The great thing about performing with Captain Hotknives is that if one of us is struggling the other can take the lead for a bit.

The audience was fantastic and although I felt totally shattered afterwards I felt overjoyed too. After the show I found a very chilled-out tent where I could relax and listen to some music.

Shambala’s always wonderful but this year I left feeling particularly happy and it’s given me with some great memories. I’ve spent time with people I love and I’ve been incredibly well supported by Pete and Eoin.

It feels particularly timely for me to have such a positive experience with new support workers because as the autumn approaches I’ll probably need some new support workers. I sometimes feel anxious about these changes, but this has reminded what a joy it can be getting to know people and how quickly it can feel as if that’s how it’s always been.

Thank you to everyone who made this Shambala such a lovely one.

2 responses to Sunday at Shambala

  1. Catwings says:

    i hope there’s a video of your gig, that sounds really interesting!

  2. Mandyque says:

    I made a point of coming to see you for both performances, and managed to catch Captain Hotknives for half of his solo performance, thanks to a pain medication issue which had me floating around in a fuzzy haze for a little while! They were some of the highlights of my weekend (meds included!). It was even more fun being familiar with some of your songs, Bob the Amazing Sheepdog, and the classic, SHEEPDOG! and I sang along with gusto, even when your tics took us on a different path 😀 The standing ovations you received were well earned and I suspect you have captured the hearts of many more festival folks this past weekend x

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