Woke this morning in a good mood, feeling pleased with last night's gig.
When I arrived at the marina at Kernevel it was a lovely warm evening with just a slight breeze. I loaded all my equipment (keyboard, amp, speakers, etc.) onto a trolley and had to edge my way down a steep ramp to the pontoon. A man was watching from the deck of his boat and seemed to find the whole process amusing. When I reached the bottom he commented "Tres dificle, non?" (It would have been nice if he'd offered to help).
The Flying Pheonix was easy to find; flood-lit with streamers and banners festooned along the rails and a couple of waitress's weaving through the guests with trays of drinks and canapés. As soon as I set up, the host, Judith, came over and asked if I'd like a glass of champagne to get me started. She explained that it was her husband's 60th birthday, telling me they lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and normally moored in Marbella but occasionally sailed up to Brittany as they both loved the area, having several good friends here.
Once I settled in with my usual routine I tried WhenI Was Your Man by Bruno Mars, a new piece I've been working on which seemed to go down well. Larry (Judith's husband) asked if I could play something by Gershwin, and luckily I had the music for Summertime which he seemed happy with.
During my first break the host's son, Brian, and his partner, Jason, came over to say how much they enjoyed the music (particularly SorrySeems to Be the Hardest Word by Elton John: their most favourite song in the world!). Neither of them had been to France before; Brian admitting he wasn't into sailing like his parents. He introduced me to his sister Melissa, who was chatting to me when a smartly dressed man approached us. He told us he was from Nice and owned a yacht which he kept at Cannes. When I mentioned I was from the U.K he said he'd recently spent a weekend with Prince Harry and his wife. He went into great detail about the hampers of food from Harrods which the Royal couple had delivered to their country estate in Gloucestershire. Melissa seemed puzzled at this but listened politely as he boasted how the Royals were planning a visit to his home in Nice, a luxurious villa with tennis courts, two swimming pools, a gym and extensive grounds. It was as he launched into a description of his indoor cinema when Melissa interrupted, asking the name of Prince Harry's wife.
He paused and looked at her.
"It's just that I didn't think he was married," she added.
At this the man shrugged and wandered off. I asked Melissa how her parents knew him, she said she wasn't sure, and we both agreed he was behaving oddly.
It was during my second break, as I was chatting to Judith and Melissa about Phoenix when we noticed Larry talking to the smartly dressed man. We could hear him questioning him about who he was and where he came from. Judith looked worried, saying she'd never seen him before. Most of the guests were also listening when Larry ordered him to go. We all watched the man stroll along the marina, seemingly unconcerned.
The evening had started off warm but, once the sun went down, it started to get really cold. I was positioned in the worst place with the cold breeze blowing up from the open water behind me. By the time I got to the end of my final set, my fingers were freezing. It was a relief to finish.
Coco was waiting for me at the door when I got home - she probably gets less attention since Pepin arrived.
I'm still not sure whether to get on with my historical novel (which only has a few chapters to complete), or get back to the psychological thriller (only about 50K words down). I need to get on with something creative, away from all the marketing.