2020 is drawing to a close and we are looking forward to 2021 and hoping it is not just a continuation of 2020! I have very little to report from the last 9 months… gigs gradually dried up, I haven’t done one since March and I have nothing in my diary for the first part of next year because no-one can commit themselves. The end of next year is OK, there are all the gigs which I couldn’t do this year!

A lot of events have taken place on Zoom but I didn’t fancy it and have avoided it so far but it is now apparent that live gigs will not get back to normal for quite a while so I have now dipped my toe in the water. I don’t now how much I’ll do but we’ll see how it develops. It’s the atmosphere that’s missing; that feeling you get at a really good gig when performer and audience become one. If you and they are sat in your spare bedrooms or kitchens surrounded by junk, looking at a screen, that doesn’t happen!

BREAKING NEWS is that I am going to do a Zoom Nearly Christmas Show hosted by Belper Fringe on Friday 11 December. More details soon.

I’m pleased to say that I have continued to get Facts & Fiction out and due to the amazing support of my readers and contributors they have all been good issues with really interesting articles. The only one which was a bit different was the May issue which I sent out early by email as a pdf to make Lockdown easier for me, the postmen and the readers—I didn’t now where they were or what their individual situations might be. I also did a free extra one to fill the time between issues and use up some articles which I thought might be time limited—but the pandemic went on so they weren’t!

Right near the beginning of Lockdown I finished my next book for The History Press—Folk Tales of Song & Dance. It was originally due to be published in time for Christmas 2020 but because most of the THP staff were working from home or furloughed that was put back to next spring. However it is now due for publication in February 2021 (unless another spanner gets put in the works!)

I am really pleased with it and think it should go well. I’ll keep you posted. By the time it comes out you’ll be sick of me plugging it!

The picture at the top is the fantastic cover design Katherine Soutar-Caddick has done for it. I think it should sell on the strength of that alone!

I hope you are coping with the changed world and haven’t suffered too much. I hope you can have a good Christmas (if you celebrate it) and let’s hope we can meet up in 2021.