Monthly Archives: November 2011

headaches and other stuff

Out on 3 gigs, two with the Elephant Shelf and one with Deltas. All pub gigs but good fun especially when you have a good audience to play off. Its nice to get back into it all again. Its also nice not having to travel too far as well. On sunday we met a new at our gig friend who is a magician with a mad sense of humour rather like ours and had just been doing a show and brought his dad along as well. I don’t think he is a real magician though as the last lottery numbers he gave me didnt win

Yesterday my sister came down to visit from Colne and we spent most of the time chating which was pleasant enough. She is not in the best of health having developed diabetes and high blood pressure. I was recently checked for this and am OK at the moment fingers crossed.

I also was working on learning some Ray Charles and Dr John tunes as I have found some quite good transcriptions. Its frustrating when your hands don’t go to quite the right place though. after about 4 years of titanic struggle

I am finally getting to be able to sight read more complex music a bit. The trouble is having played by ear for the past 30 years its a difficult thing to do as you tend to play what you think you hear rather than what is written. Of course the music has an improvised content as well, but actualy getting down a tasty Ray Charles move or two is another thing altogether. Jazz and blues.boogie stuff written down is often very inaccurate or shorthand at best so for my befuddled brain its a bit of a workout.

Also last night I watched a recorded documentary about Prince. Hes got a lot of talent, but his songs don’t really do it for me.
Personal taste I suppose.

Work up in the middle of the night aching quite a bit and to get relief requires me to lay on my back, so a bit over tired and irritable today. I will go off for a rehersal later this afternoon which will get me in a better mood hopefully. I must remeber to do my streching excerises too as they do help a lot and not to spend too much time at the computer as that tends to make things worse.

Its interesting listening the rants about over paid over pensioned public service workers, which always come from the same sources and unfairness or otherwise.
The interesting thing is of course that two of said ranters of my aquantance are ex-coppers and so will have some sort of gov pension at some point?

I worked in the private sector for 17 years and as a civil servant for 13 years. Yes its very different and was in my case possibly a life saver making the move. I also saw a lot of how the other half lived.

Our society such as it is becoming more divided and many more doors are shut for both young and old and there is no more room at the inn.

Back to the old routine

I am starting to get back into the more usual routine of gigs now. It varies from slightly chavey pubs (though often with very nice salt of the earth types) to proper music venues so the vibe is quite different although the shows the same. We had a couple of good gigs this weekend, and the one on Saturday night was a real work out in every sense, but my stamina is returning. If I can remember to discipline myself to keep doing my exercises that will help a lot too.

My back is not up to getting serious with the accordion yet, but I do need that for the folksy stuff we are starting to do, perhaps in another month or so I will be able to get stuck in a bit.

My sleep patterns have completly changed now as I seem to sleep for exactly 6 hours no matter what, after having been permanently tired for about a year or so. My abilty to concentrait on stuff is much improved too and the pain has eased off quite a bit.My temper has not improved much though unfortunately.

Long term prospects with the music seem to be slightly better gigwise but not quite enough for financial stabilty yet. We have got some good stuff coming up though including Cambridge Folk Club for for the Deltas that should improve our employabilty though. If we can average 12 gigs a month that would get us about right, we doing between 5 to 8 at the moment, so its not a huge leap in the amount of stuff we do really.

I also need to try and get a bit of IT work again to help out with the cash flow which could tip the balance, its very competitive though of course, and I ‘m not. I am still 10 years of the state pension age so I need to be doing something to boost my income that won’t tip me back in to mental health problems.

There is still quite an issue about this, and it seems to me that regardless of legislation, its mostly lip service thats paid rather than actually following guidelines. I commented on a thread recently that I thought it may be easier to get employment if you have just transitioned than if you have had mental health issues as it is still the case that people regard depression as laziness and then there are all those really scary ones like schizophrenia (which is often conflated with bi-polar by folks that don’t know) though some symptoms are similar.

I had musician friend who was schizophrenic who I have now lost touch with who was mostly harmless, and I wonder from time to time how he is getting on. We spent quite a lot of time working on music together a few years back…

November 2011

Its been a slightly different start to the month.

On Monday we recorded a Jazz album (9 tracks) and this is specifically for getting work, but a little different for me as everything was live including the vocals, though my voice held out OK, so its down to mixing it now. I am quite pleased with the rough mixes.

I am still feeling pretty rough at times as the bones are creaking and aching a lot, but I am assured that this is all part of the repair process and that apart from excercise and pain killers its just a matter of working through the process, though real ale is very effective in taking the edge off it(it is a muscle relaxant after all ). Its been depressing at times though, without a doubt.

One unexpected side effect that I have started excercises which should help with my posture. I have a life long spine problem,(basically a small hump) and the workout seems to to be helping with some of the postural issues I have. One of the worst things is that I can’t lift anything too heavy, but I have got a trolley for moving gear around which I should have got a while back but the old one broke and I didn’t replace it which was a bad move. I need a bit more advice as I may need a back brace of some sort, but I have been waiting for my ribs to fix first.

We did a support slot on Saturday night in Reading for Larry Miller at Reading Arts Center, quite a contrast from just the two of us in our extremely roots incarnation of the Deltas, but it went OK  phew. Larry is great, but very, very LOUD!

We are back in Reading in a couple of weeks at a little place called the Retreat which strangely enough has a very good selection of real ales. At this point you may be detecting a theme. Actually I am not a huge drinker, usually 2 pints max on an evening out. Rarely I will have a pint at home but mostly not. Next week we should be back in the studio to do more work on the band (elephant Shelf) album, which is nearly cooked now, and we have a couple of localish gigs at the end of the week which should be fun.