Pickin' at the Piggery
The weather bureau predicted a fine day, so I decided to make the most of it. I planned to attend the first Pickin' in the Piggery evening for the year. To make it interesting I was going to use motorcycle to get around and only take a mandolin, and, take the long way, through Yarram.
I left around 12:00 and travelled to Morwell to have a baked spud for lunch from 'The Spud Man'. Wouldn't you know it? I hadn't eaten breakfast and was gearing myself up for a spud when I find he's not there! Now that's not a good start to the day. I continued on and stopped at the Tom Cap's winery and had a beautiful eye fillet for lunch, cooked to perfection.
While I was waiting, I took out the mandolin and tuned it and was surprised to find some of the strings were still in tune. While I waited for my meal to arrive, I refreshed my memory on how to play a few Steely Dan tunes: Parker's Band and Don't Take Me Alive. Knowing the original chords helped a lot. I couldn't help but think that performing acoustically here would be a good thing. Must keep that in mind. A lady at the next table said "Hope you didn't mind me singing along?". I responded that it was fine by me.
Left around 3:00 and stopped at McDonalds in Leongatha. yes, I know this looks bad, but I was prepared. I went up to he counter and ordered a small cup of ice. "How much?" I ask. "Nothing, it's free" came the reply. Went to a table and retrieved a bottle of Mineral Water and an Orange from my backpack and that was sort of late lunch. The temperature was in the low to mid thirties and I was feeling the heat, so breaks are a good idea.
Set off again and the next stop was at Bunnings at Cranbourne around 5:45, just made it before closing time. My ears were getting tired, so I bough a six pack of ear plugs and a small set of Allen Keys. This last purchase, is to replace a set I lost at the International Terminal at Tullamarine. Seems they are on the list of prohibited items. The reason I bought them is so that whenever the grub screw that attaches left hand grip to the handle bar comes loose I can tighten it. This happens every twenty thousand kilometers or so, just one of the bikes attributes.
Filled up with petrol. I must have been tired as I was concentrating on the petrol bowser to give a nice round figure on the price display. When I went to pay I heard a very unround figure quoted to me. Huh? I was concentrating on the litres display and not the price display. Fatigue?
Next stop was taco Bills at Springvale for dinner. Just a light meal of two taco's.
There sure is a lot of roadwork going in Melbourne. The Monash Freeway/Tollway varies between eighty and sixty kilometres per hour, slow, slow, slow. On the way back it was worse with the tunnel closed and a detour at Warrigul Road to get back on the Freeway. Don't like the city!
Arrived at the Footscray Arts Centre for evening of playing and catching up with people. I'd forgotten how 'full on' the players are, loud to the point that the acts rehearsing their three songs were drowning everyone else out.
I was trying to teach 'Sleepwalk' to a lady as an exercise to improve her Dobro skills. There was no way this was possible, it was hard enough just trying to talk.
Later a man learning banjo took his instrument out and I and another man on double bass attempted to play along with him. He was nervous and didn't seem comfortable playing in front of other people, but he tried. The bass player became frustrated at the slow tempo and moved to the louder group which became even louder. Not much support shown for budding players shown here. I will add that there was a fiddle workshop being held as I arrived with around eight people in attendance. But even they had trouble coping with the rehearsals of other groups drowning them out.
I think my ears had had enough for the day and I just couldn't cope with the racket and just gave up and left at 10:00.
I didn't have my winter jacket with me and I didn't want to get too cold going home, so leaving when I did was a good idea. I was surprised at how warm it still was. This changed a little after Nar Nar Goon and the temperature declined and I could feel the chill. Around Trafalgar the temperature rose a bit and then fell after Moe.
Arrived home at Midnight, tired, but enjoyed the days activities.