Monthly Archives: January 2021

End of January 2021 Round Up.

Does what it says on the tin really. If you were expecting something exciting newswise I am sorry I have to disappoint you.  I keep plodding on mostly so far. This year the only change is a regular exercise regime that I have started mostly to avoid ceasing up and hopefully to reduce pain too. I am into my second week so far and its been slightly hard going to be honest.  I did expect it to be  and one unexpected but useful byproduct is a slight mood improvement. Not huge but enough to notice particularly at this time of year when for me personally its always a huge struggle even at the best of times.  You can do a lot of useful exercise routines with no extra equipment needed.
I may consider some equipment. Weights would actually be useful as my upper body strength is a bit lacking now in particular and I am getting on a bit now so maintenance is more important than it used to be. Simple tasks like typing can cause me problems so I often type standing up now.  

 Amazing news with different vaccines popping up like mushrooms which is very helpful. A bit of  light at the end of the tunnel then.  I note that a few friends and acquaintances are noticeably feeling the strain and admitting to it.  I cant imagine how we will all react when we start getting let out to play again. How comfortable are we going to feel in some of those old familiar places where we all nestled together spaying our germs willy nilly in all directions? I am really not sure how I will be feeling about it at all at present. I have lead an almost cloistered life in the last 3 months particularly. My social skills are fading somewhat too, though I have never been good at small talk at the best of times. I feel what  extra skills I had in gained in this  department are fading fast though lack of practice. 

My car sits idle most of the time now too. The last long run  was to London in December and I must now consider if it is worth keeping  in the longer term?  It has served me well and did a lot of millage to gigs over the last 5 years, but it like me has been in almost semi retirement since 2020 of course.    I shall be sorry to see it go though as it has served me very well over the years as a faithful servant transporting me and Vicky to gigs many and various.  I suppose all this nostalgic stuff  is exacerbated  by a lack of fresh input? The world seems very small just now though. 

Brexit complications continue to snowball for folks buying stuff from the EU with all sorts of extra costs on items that are unpredicted.  I am flat broke so at present its not likely to have much effect on me at present though.  Hopefully that will all sort itself out in a while though,  

Other stuff include replacing tuning pegs on my main violin which are all pretty much knackered. My woodworking skills are frankly  minimal but I can just about manage a bit of chiselling and filling. So far so good though and its quite a visceral thing that brings some satisfaction when one achieves a useful result.  I still have a lot of stuff thats not needed here. Telephone extension cables and similar. A  Car boot sale perhaps when such things start again?  One day and we can dream can’t we. 

One of my minor musical projects is to make more use of the dulcima. I have used it in a small way on a couple of recordings but I have not really got to grips with its potential yet. Its tone is wonderful but not easy to integrate with an ensemble. 
It can be dominant or simply  disappear  into  a wash of sounds.  It can be  mysterious and  ethereal  or crude and homespun in equal measure at times.  That is its magic.
I dont think I have manged to capture its essence to any great degree.


Can we ever say more than we did our best?

Can we ever say more than we did our best?  I am not sure we can really. I am mired in gloom today and not really sure why. The sun was out on a crisp winters day.  I took a brief trip to the shop to collect from the amazon locker.  Came home and tried to work on some project stuff but I couldn’t get motivated at all, though I did start a lyric and a couple of ideas for a tune or possibly two.  Its the first week of my extended exercise routine and I think its helpful.  I need to keep fairly mobile now if I can. Otherwise if I ever play a gig again I will  keel over from exhaustion before I even get started. Its a very clear, very cold night heer in Bedfordshire and you can recognise a couple of the major constellations.  the universe continues perfectly well without my interference of course 🙂  Everything feels so strange as we come close to the first anniversary of   restrictions brought in for Covid-19 in the UK where at the time of writing we are on our third lockdown which will be in place until at least spring judging by the way things are currently going.  Some days go well enough but today  has been hard for me. I would like to talk to one or two absent friend but they have passed beyond the orbit of this world now. Its hard going.  I dreamt I was playing a gig with the full line-up of the Delta Ladies with Vicky martin at the helm  in some big edwardian pub or other. Its seems like another world now to be honest. So on waking ity was disappointing to know that that’s pretty much all gone now.  Vicky was a pretty much irreplaceable force of nature and whilst I did attempt to carry on it  we could not quite make escape velocity in the end.  Plus lockdown finished everything  pretty much in March of  2020.   2021 has started and I feel exhausted mentally and  I feel I am beyond the point  where I can try and pick up the pieces again to be honest.  I do not expect there to be anyone riding out of the shadows to pick up the baton now. I am not even sure if I can actually cut it live now frankly.  It’s now nearly one year since the last Delta Ladies gig in a small pub in reading called “The Retreat”. Remaining members of the band have also had fairly serious ill health  to contend with too.  Its possible there may be a grand finale at some point. But there needs to be a  new road or else there is no road to travel now.

It’s  a pretty low ebb for me now. I really need be mixing with people but the current situation makes it impossible of course.  My fairly paranoid internal dialogue is increasingly difficult to block as well.  I am creating music and trying to keep going.  One day at a time is as good as it gets though.  From here onward is obscured to me assuming there is a going forward from this point as nothing is guaranteed in this life.

I send out my musical messages in a bottle  into the either and wonder…

So can we ever say more than we did our best?


When I’m 64 …..

So how did that happen?  Apparently physics may have been involved and the gradual progress towards entropy and the heat death of the universe, though time as we understand it may well be an illusion when viewed through the optics of modern relativistic science of course.

 I honestly had not considered what to do next.  I have managed to achieve  more that I expected in many ways and I am relatively happy with that. Even with out covid-19 putting obstacles in my path at this point change would still be necessary. I spent around 17 years being heavily involved in live music as a performer as well as my own solo work. That all stopped completely in February 2020 when I played my last last gig, apart from a guest appearance as part  of the invisible folk club ensemble in late summer.  That was enjoyable but pretty much a one off though. So its been hard to try and keep positive about anything really. the unexpected deaths of two close friends have knocked the stuffing out of me. Hopefully spring will lift me a little when it comes. 

I am very sad that there is to be no EU musicians visa and that the reason for this is we are told is  because of  the need to control our borders.  Presumably that’s to stop us Brits  from being able to escape fortress “little” Britain  🙂

  At the time of writing Donald Trump has left the White House and Joe Biden is just arriving. Strange days indeed.