Jan Ether­ing­ton

Farewell to a sum­mer of love and mu­sic

EADT Suffolk - - INSIDE -

It’s Septem­ber and I’m look­ing back, af­fec­tion­ately, on my sum­mer of love. No, I didn’t Easyjet to the Med and throw my­self at a Greek waiter. I’m no Shirley Valen­tine. I don’t suit hooped ear­rings. But this sum­mer re­minded me of my first Sum­mer of Love, in 1967, when I was a teenager, with mu­sic in my heart, flow­ers in my hair and an en­gage­ment ring on my fin­ger.

We didn’t ex­pect a lot of 2018, did we? It was a long, cold win­ter and a chilly, wet spring – un­til a ray of sun­shine ar­rived, when Prince Louis was born, in April.

The good times re­ally be­gan to roll in May, with a Royal wed­ding. The whole coun­try – and the sun­shine – came out to cel­e­brate a cou­ple so ob­vi­ously in love as Harry and Meghan.

When Eng­land went off to the World Cup, we weren’t hope­ful. But they won matches – and even a penalty shoot out. We loved them when they made it to the semi-fi­nals, even though they lost. But we se­ri­ously fell in love with man­ager Gareth South­gate, who im­pressed us with his wise words, love for his play­ers and abil­ity to rock a waistcoat.

I re-kin­dled my pas­sion for Mick Jag­ger as the Rolling Stones played Twick­en­ham Sta­dium on one of the first hot nights of the sum­mer. That was the be­gin­ning of the heat­wave. Com­muters and farmers got cross and tetchy, fields, rivers and throats were parched, but in Suf­folk, like in ’67, mu­sic filled the sun­shiny days. Mama Mia, there I went again, bop­ping along to Danc­ing Queen, so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally as I left Leis­ton Cin­ema, that I nearly got run over.

Film­ing be­gan on writer Richard Curtis’ and di­rec­tor, Danny Boyle’s mu­si­cal comedy (still un­ti­tled), about a young singer who, af­ter an ac­ci­dent, wakes up and re­alises he’s the only per­son in the world who re­mem­bers the Bea­tles. Cut to lots of mu­sic scenes – the most spec­tac­u­lar filmed on Gor­leston Beach, where I joined a record 6,000 fans to dance to the Bea­tles’ Help!

And then, in mid-July, it was won­der­ful Lat­i­tude Fes­ti­val.

It’s just up the road from me. Ad­mit­tedly the road is four miles long but oh, how we love Lat­i­tude, the multi-gen­er­a­tional, easy go­ing, happy warmth of it. We swam in the lake, shopped at the pop-up Co-op and quizzed Ra­dio 4’s Gar­den­ers’ Ques­tion Time team, in a retro camper van. Oh, and the mu­sic – ev­ery­thing from a gospel choir to Liam Gal­lagher and head­lin­ers The Killers.

Mu­sic con­tin­ued to float in Suf­folk’s sum­mer air, this time, from Wal­ber­swick based com­poser – and my fel­low sea-swim­mer – De­nis King. Not con­tent with be­ing in ‘Bri­tain’s first boy band’ (The King Broth­ers) and com­pos­ing the time­less theme to Black Beauty, De­nis re­leased an al­bum of his own songs, sung by Sarah Ey­den, which re­flected sum­mer’s theme, Love Is In The Room.

But it wasn’t just about the mu­sic. In July, my heart filled with love for the Lan­caster bomber (which my dad flew, in the war) as 100 air­craft flew along The Mall, to cel­e­brate the RAF cen­te­nary. Many of them mus­tered over Suf­folk.

And for me, this was my sum­mer of love for Suf­folk. I moved here six years ago and re­solved never to go on ‘hol­i­day’ in the sum­mer , as I re­alised I was al­ready liv­ing in par­adise. In `67’s sum­mer of love, I re­mem­ber say­ing ‘there’s nowhere else I’d rather be’ than Lon­don. Now, as my fel­low sea swim­mers and I meet on the beach every morn­ing, some­one al­ways says, ‘There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than here.’

And my sum­mer of love isn’t over yet. If you’re read­ing this in Au­gust, there’s still our vil­lage fete on bank hol­i­day Satur­day (Au­gust 25).

But soon, the rus­tle of fall­ing leaves means it’s back to work, and I’m hold­ing a weekend Comedy Writ­ing Course in Halesworth Cut on Oc­to­ber 6/7.

So, for me, it’s good­bye to the Sum­mer of Love – but hello to the Au­tumn of Laughs!

Photo: Per­mis­sion Jan Ether­ing­ton ABOVE:Jan braves the ‘pa­parazzi’ dur­ing film­ing in Gor­leston of Danny Boyle’s and Richard Curtis’ new film. Wal­ber­swick Vil­lage Fete, Au­gust 25 opens 1pmDe­tails of Love is in The Room at denisk­ing­mu­sic. comJan Ether­ing­ton Comedy Writ­ing Work­shop Oc­to­ber 6/7, 10am-4 pm. Lim­ited places. De­tails: ju­lia@ ink­fes­ti­val.org

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