Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

T.U.I. - The Ukulele Institute

Most Kiwi blokes have heard of Tui beer, the world famous beer brewed at Mangatainoka.  But we were involved with a different kind of Tui on Sunday afternoon, and not a single sip of beer was involved.  After lunch at  Limelight Cafe Calvin had arranged for our SLG friends to listen to Shane from The Ukulele Institute at his Sunday Strum event at Expressions Gallery, Upper Hutt.  Ukulele lovers come along every month for a “ukulele jam”, and we were there to listen to the music.

The serious ukulele players sat in the front row, and our group of seven sat behind them   Shane was delighted to see us, and brought over a box full of goodies.  “You can be our percussion section”, he told us.  In the box were all sorts of various rattles, shakers, and a tambourine or two.  We each selected something that took our fancy and would make a noise, and we were all ready for when the music started.

A box full of rattles and shakers

The Sunday jam session was for any ukulele player, from beginners to the more advanced.  Before each song started Shane ran through each tune, played a few chords, and handed out sheets showing the cords to be used, and more importantly for us, the words.  He had a small drum and cymbal set-up beside his chair, which he used enthusiastically.  The afternoon was about teaching, music, and having fun.


We joined in the songs with gusto, shook and rattled our instruments to the beat of the music, and had a fine old time.  “Trailer for Rent”, released in 1965 by Roger Miller was probably our best performance of the afternoon, I reckon.

Members of the ukulele band

Shane brought his Elvis puppet out to show us.  He was dressed in a specially made patchwork jacket over a white satin jump suit.  I just had to go and investigate him.

Elvis puppet

With the concert over, we said our goodbyes to our SLG friends, and drove back to the Hutt Valley.  Robin wanted to refill his water bottles with natural artesian water, which is not available in our home town.  He swears it tastes so much better!  There is always a steady stream of people arriving with their own water containers to do the same.

Filling up water bottles.

Then we did a detour to Burnsco in Gracefield so he he could buy something technical for the caravan.  I left him to his shopping and admired the view of the marina and all those expensive boats.  They look nice, but they are not for us, we’ll stick to caravanning, thank you very much.

Lots of expensive boats moored here

Our homeward journey took us along the motorway towards Wellington, turning off at Ngauranga.  There were several small craft out enjoying the sunshine in Wellington Harbour. Then it was along SH1 through Kapiti and home.

Enjoying the sunshine

It was a great day out, thanks to Calvin for organising an interesting outing for us all.