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Having been sacked from his university teaching job, Ed has returned to his home town to pick up the threads of his old life with his friends and ex-girlfriend, Jeannie, in the Northern Sky folk music club. His dream is to play with them again, but the club's new owner has ambitions plans that may not involve Ed, and his ex may be less than willing to take him back. This is a funny and touching novel, written with real Northern soul by one of the country's most popular and knowledgeable commentators on music.
who wondered if I’d got up here to sing or sweep the stage but I hope you’ll hear me out for a while. Not all singers can be golden gods like Robert Plant, y’know. Look at Joe Cocker – great voice but a man who always looks as though he’d be more at home fixing a sink. Anyway, this is a new song about drinking whilst walking from St Bees in the Lake District to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire on the Wainwright trail and this is called “Coast to Coast”.’ Once again his chubby digits
as if his utter disregard for the way he looked was a direct rebellion against what his mum and dad called ‘home improvements’. I rang the front doorbell. The theme tune from Born Free echoed around the lemon woodchip of the interior hall. Nothing happened for a while but then that was only to be expected. Arnold would be at the exhaust centre, Miriam would have several hundred school dinners ready to microwave, and Mo would be hauling himself out of bed to see who had interrupted Trisha.
know them? You don’t make it your business to keep abreast of goings on in the legal quarter, do you? You’re an English literature lecturer. Or at least used to be. Why would firms of solicitors be any concern of yours?’ ‘Well, I could ask you the same question.’ ‘Well, you could, but then I would just tell you that Murray Goulding has been for dinner several times at Lanercost on account of the fact that he is my dad’s legal advisor to his businesses. So it’s not particularly surprising that I
spending money at restaurants. “What’s the point of paying over the odds for food when you can get it for next to nowt at home,” he always said.’ Perhaps if confronted with the veal surprise he might have reviewed his position on that one. ‘Anyway, what about the Pines?’ ‘Well, a mate of ours has bought it. It’s all a bit scruffy these days and he’s got it as some kind of investment. I don’t know what he plans to do with it in the long term, but right now he’s offered to let us all live there
through the fug and beckon me in. ‘Hello, son. What brings you round here?’ ‘Just came to see you, Mum. Do I need a reason other than that?’ ‘You don’t need one but you usually have one. Cup of tea?’ ‘That’d be great. So how have you been?’ ‘Oh, I’m all right, you know, mustn’t grumble. There’s a lot worse off than me. The Ethiopians. Marjorie Pimlott. Her husband’s left her, you know.’ ‘No, I didn’t know. Mind you, I haven’t caught the news for the last few days. That’s terrible news. And