For many, this is a Monday morning that will be far from welcome. The lockdown begins to ease and with that schools are back until the summer. Many of my teacher friends head back with all sorts of fear and trepidation. Without vaccination, they don’t feel safe despite being assured by Tory politicians that they will be. Let’s face it – these are politicians who have hardly got unblemished records when it comes to their recently dispatched advice.
Today’s bright and breezy Motown-like pop song is for the teachers. ‘Let’s Go To The Beach 2020’ by Delta High is a large chunk of escapism, a shiny happy song encouraging us all to get away from it all. Written by the Svengali behind Delta High, Neil Jackson, on Cromer Pier one summer day, this is pure and simple bubblegum pop to help to cheer people up. “The song was written to give people positivity, hope and fun in the sun“, says Neil in the accompanying press release.
The video is fun as well – or at least as much fun as you might reasonably expect in Great Yarmouth. Neil, Charlotte and Verity from Delta High amuse themselves in arcades and by getting sand in their shoes as they playfully enjoy a day-out at the Great British seaside. You imagine that when the cameras stopped rolling, the three members of Delta High head off to a Karaoke bar to sing some Shangri-La’s or Supremes. Vocalist Charlotte was spotted by Neil in local pub singing Motown and that comes as no surprise.
Neil tells me that Delta High have an album, ‘Life’s a Beach’, coming out in May 2021. And as that approaches he’ll be “coming out of lockdown and filming some videos for the album ( and having a Beer on Cromer Pier) 😁.“.
Let’s Rock ‘N’ Roll towards May then with some sunshine pop to keep us warm. I know that teachers will be looking forward to getting there safely and I hope they do.
Today is a bank holiday in Spain; indeed, International Workers’ Day or Labour Day appears to be celebrated on the first of May around much of the world. At least my friends back home don’t have to wait too long for their own May Day, even if, with routine avoidance of the rules of engagement, the British bank holiday is held on a different day from the rest of Europe.
The result is the language school in Alicante is shut today and the city appears to be remarkably quiet. Knowing that things would largely grind to a halt, I went out and drank too many gin and tonics last night at the Jendrix Rock Bar. It’s quite a place; friendly, international and with the oddest mix of rock music I’ve ever heard. My smile was wry when ‘Under The Moon Of Love’ from Leicester’s finest, Showaddywaddy, was played without any sense of irony. More royalties for that man Bartram!
You meet characters in these bars. Characters who are travelling and escaping from their lives back home. Thomas is from Reykjavik. We’ll call him Thomas although that mightn’t be his name as I can’t quite hear him properly when he speaks. He has a sort of military swagger about him, a confidence that I suspect is partly put on to disguise his innate shyness. Thomas might well be quite high; his eyes are wide and his frequent trips to the bathroom see him returning with elevated glee. But it’s nice to chat to him about Alicante for a while. He loves the weather over here and the more regular day/night balance. He hardly sells Iceland to me though.
Daniel (and that is his name) is awkwardly sat at the bar. It’s fair to say that Daniel is quite likely on the autistic spectrum. A man in his late 40’s or early 50’s, he sports the most fabulous of bald pates; a monk cut with a tufty ring of hair sitting embarrassingly on top. Daniel tells me that his parents worry about him when he travels but that he likes to travel lots. He likes rock music and that’s why he’s in this bar wearing his ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ t-shirt. He once tried to write a biography about Freddie Mercury. He loves Queen and he loves the queen. From Downham Market in Norfolk, he tries to impress me with his heartfelt views about immigration and Brexit. I think he thinks that I want to hear his ‘leave’ rhetoric. I make it clear that I voted to remain and Daniel’s tune changes. I conclude that ultimately Daniel is decent and we head off for a game of pool.
But Thomas monopolises the table. His buzz and energy ensures that he’s made friends with two Spanish chaps who are challenging him in a game. Thomas swaggers around the pool table as if he’s a world champion. He’s clearly not. He misses easy pots and fouls when it would be easier not to. He’s oblivious to the slight sniggers from those who are half-watching whilst they dance. Thomas inevitably loses and I play a game.
And then I play another game.. And another.. It’s winner stays on and I’m in that zone where I’m making the most impossible of pots. I’m feeling invincible and I know that the gin is talking. I look across to the dancefloor and I can see Daniel’s glowing head, exuberantly bobbing up and down as he moves in stifled fashion. I realise it’s time to leave.
Today, on workers day, I’ve not been productive. I’ve had a monster headache.