Tuesday, 28 October 2008

What I Did On My Holiday

What a great weekend!

On Saturday morning, I sailed off with the band from Penzance to St Mary's aboard the mighty Scillonian III, then on to the outlying island of Tresco in the tiny ferry. The passage was fine and was spent grazing at the bar. This theme continued on arrival; we set up in the lounge of the New Inn ready for the evening gig.

9.00 pm, strike up ... 'We're The Sex Slaves from Hell, we go like this!' Avalanche of notes. At first the audience was restrained. This was partly because most of them had just eaten and didn't want to dance around until we were two-thirds through our set, and also many were ... well, knocking on a bit.

It was a rather recitely gig until some monied young women - Tara, Hermione, Penny - arrived and started to jump about on the dance floor. The jiggling of the nubiles was an irritating distraction but we stuck to the job. Then, two old-timers got up - and could they jive! This seemed to be the signal; young and young-at-heart flung themselves around for the last half hour, a neat ending to our gig. Encore complete, we hit the tab and finally retired around 2 am.

Sunday. After an extra hour's sleep caused by the clocks going back, and an extra hour's sleep caused by the tab, it was salmon for breakfast and then off for a nice healthy walk. The scenery is magnificent on Tresco, though some of the facilities are curiously manicured. Directional signs are simply everywhere, even though you are unlikely to find yourself lost on an island the size of a large roundabout. On the signs, distances are measured in minutes. We are told that from a certain point, the shop is 'three minutes', the heliport 'eleven minutes' and so-on. Since the signs don't indicate whether the time is supposed to be by foot, by cycle, or in Celeb Class aboard Concorde, they are of limited use.

The formal gardens wanted a tenner each to get in and we gave the entrance a cheery wave as we passed by. That's the other thing about Tresco. It's expensive, thereby protecting the affluent visitors from the proles.
The island also has a slight feel of what one imagines exists behind the gated retirement communities beloved by the most popular country in the world.

For all that, Tresco is stunningly beautiful, a trick it can pull off in most weathers, and I love it there. Sunday lunchtime's gig was also good, though by then I was beginning to feel a bit off-colour (a germ, not the previous night's efforts thank you), but I got through it like a good soldier.

Monday was going-home day, and it takes the best part of a day because of the ferry connections. But there is no rush to leave such a lovely place.

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