Somewhere in my head a faucet gets turned on. Both hands are occupied so the luxury of a quick blow, wipe and chuck away of a kleenex is not on the cards. This is definitely an oh-oh moment. I can feel the slow trickle starting inside the bridge of my nose, the left nostril beginning to itch as a tiny trickle follows its gravitational pull and loiters momentarily beyond view. Then, even as I try to be inconspicuous about about snorffling it back home to safety, it makes its descent to the tip of my lip before dripping onto the stage. Oh my God, I can't stop now! I'm in the instrumental part of "The Streets of Derry". I can see Kelly, the organizer looking anxiously in my direction as I begin the next verse with sounds of burbling suffocation between the words. "I thought you were done in at that stage", he says to me afterwards, "and I was wondering what the hell I was going to do."
So, gratefully for all concerned, I get to the end of the song wondering how many in the audience noticed. How could they not notice? So I turn my back to them, give the schnoz the old finger and thumb squeeze, a discreet wipe on the jeans... what the hell else do you do when the nearest paper towel is somewhere at the far end of a corridor... turn back into the lights and say "My nose is the only part of me that's got any exercise lately. It's been running for the last two weeks."
Next song. The voice somehow manages to behave itself , not having to compete for air with a litre of whatever. And so on to the end of the gig. I perform "Trucker" live for the first time and it goes down well. I do "Cuckoo" to show off and "Could it be Love?" so folks can join in. As an encore I do "Look at Yourself" another quite new song and follow up with the sing along "Wild Mountain Thyme" which seems to be the song in which even non singers, young and old, babies and battle-hardened, boozers and banana juice drinkers can join.
I'm happy to have survived, Kelly is relieved that I survived, and the good folk of the Cowichan Folk Guild are probably somewhat unaware of being this close to entertaining themselves for the last hour of the night. Onwards and upwards.