End of January 2023 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.