Monthly Archives: March 2021

Dreams and passing fancies

The sun’s  been out again here. I have been talking too much again as well but enough of that.  I have even had a couple of uninterrupted night’s sleep.  Its getting livelier out and about with a lot more people in evidence enjoying the weather.  I have been taking a short break from recording as I seem to have got in to a bit of a groundhog day  loop at the moment.  I have a theme written out to play with but I have deliberately let it lie for a day or two to think about a slightly different approach maybe.  Maybe I should start with a rhythm again? 

So I have been thinking again about the courage of my convictions or lack of same.  Yes more introspection and currently there is no cure it seems. Everyone Is in a fog of nostalgia and navel gazing  it seems. Time still ticks on though, and we are a journey we cannot delay or divert but  also we cannot know our arrival time or destination.   

Land of longer daylight

So sunset moves a little later from today.  Its dull here and cloudy and slightly windy so there are not many folk out except for a few dog walkers and the occasional passing EDM bass drum riffing from the passing traffics sound system. So no particular outbreak of sunny up land isums today from the general populace.  Its so dull we wont get much of a sunset either by the look of things. 

Yesterday was spent mostly sketching out musical ideas. So I have the outline for a new number that really ought to be a song sitting on the music stand. Its watching me begging for attention like a friendly dog or unfed cat, but I am ignoring it at present.  I should really make more use of programming drum rhythms as I have the facilities and it does make a more or organic vibe to the tracks. just that little extra thing but seems quite a benefit. Also the sheer mental exercise cant hurt either.  The wind chimes on my balcony came adrift from there moorings  which somewhat broke my revery too.  I had an interesting discussion with a songwriting friend who I have recently been collaborating with via na online live link.  He said  “I write songs, but you make records”. My approach to music is often made with arrangement in mind that would often be difficult to replicate in a live environment with te kind of resources I have. Often what I create tends to sound more and more as though its the sound track from some unmade film. This is not a conscious thing, it’s just the way it manifests itself now frequently. I seem to have mislaid the ability to just write a song by picking up a guitar and bashing out the lyrics. I suppose it’s the way my head works now and a year of virtual isolation has pushed me further in that direction. This may all sound somewhat pretentious but it is not meant to in any way. It’s Just the way I do things now.  In my defense I have been doing it for about 40 years or so. perhaps I am a bit set in my way now.    As I write this I am listen to a few recent tracks playing back at fairly low volume.  That’s usually a good test of how well a track works, if it works at a just above ambient playback level.  At present writing and recording and composing  is about the only thing keeping me sane and frankly it’s getting to be touch and go in recent weeks.  

At the time of writing we are just about to have the first level of opening up of the lockdown for meeting people outside. I don’t think that it will make much difference to me personally yet until its possible to meet people indoors. That will not be until mid May assuming that there are no hiccups. Perhaps then I will be able to think about getting things prepared to a potential return to some sort of live performance again and the opportunity to work face to face with other musicians again.   It will be interesting to see if there is much more in the way of people out and about.  I am guessing here it will not be much different with mums and kids roaming about in the short term.  The promise is that on June 21 we seriously unlock  and I really hope that happens otherwise what is the point of the current vaccination program?  

I have pretty much lost touch with casual acquaintances now apart from a few facebook message. two of my close trusted friends died within the last two years. That’s not helping me with attempts to keep on top of things as I have gotten into a very negative mindset.  I have continued generalized anxiety that will not abate as well.  I have tried everything to sort this out and it seems nothing much helps.
Is there a roadmap for  back to normal. I am not convinced. 

So here is a tune for you all.

 

Its not getting any easier yet.

This week has seen me mostly getting very, very depressed. I have been trying to keep busy as much as possible but the last few days have seen me grinding to a halt pretty much.  And I really really really have had more than enough of this lockdown malarky.   The PA system has been sitting in the downstairs  lock up since September although it was last used in February of  2020. I wonder if it still works?  I wonder if I will be getting  it out of mothballs this year at all?   We can of course dream can’t we. But maybe I will get in front of some sort of audience later this year again if I am lucky and my nerves hold out.  So many people I know have needed to shield this year too due to being clinically vulnerable as well.  To day I should have gone out somewhere but I couldn’t face it on my own with as Chuck Berry famously sung “No particular place to go”.  This strange hiatus seems to have lasted so long now and shifted my perspective on everything at least temporarily.
How things will be in the longer term is a whole other matter I believe. Perhaps the old other pre-covid me will kick back in again having risen from the depths of my psyche, or not.  I am a little worried as my voice seems to have gone on a permanent retreat and it was never a particularly strong one in the  first place. My voice has now taken on a definite gargling with rusty nails tambre over all.       

Tired mostly

Its now 3 weeks since I had my covid jab and I feel very tired. is it a coincidence or something else? I have no idea. I have been trying to keep some sort of routine going but in the last few weeks I am finding it harder and harder. I have my usual daily routines of course and I continue to work on the musical side of things too. I have though absolutely no energy left to spare.
Yesterday I put fuel in the car for the first time in 4 months. I had a call from a friend who is having cancer treatment and looking forward to the time that live music can start happening again as too am I but that still seems a very long way off.

My sisters partner died recently and unexpectedly but left no will and this has created a very difficult situation for her. She lives 200 miles away from me so in practical terms there has not been much I can help with. She is however quite a resourceful person so hopefully she will be OK.

Here is a song from this time last year March 2020. Almost at the time of the first lockdown implementation.

Times and Tides

It’s now mid March and soon theoretically the first stages of exiting lockdown will commence and  will be able to arrange to meet people and socialise outdoors in groups of up to six or two households.  It wont seem that different for me really under present circumstances though.  I guess it will mean more people out and about locally though. It’s also getting milder out too.Our last stage of construction works on the building site is now in its final phase with the park area to be landscaped and some more trees planted. Once that is finished I will be able to walk straight out of the front door and down across the water meadow to the banks of the Great  Ouse at Kempston Mill.  the Mill itself is long gone but there is a nice block of flats  looking the part and presumably built in homage to it.There will also be a very  pleasant view in the summer months from the veranda. I am hoping perhaps post plage  I can get the odd passing  minstrel  to join me in an  alfresco performance or too.  That’s something to really look forward to and there is perhaps a months worth of tidying up and landscaping to be done at most now, though judging by the current speed of the site being cleared it may  less.  Then we may well  hopefully see meadow flowers again.  

I am still feeling somewhat rickety overall. Its 17 days since I had my covid vax. I do feel a bit rundown generally  though.  I am not sure if this is in part depression. Curiously yesterday I felt quite energetic but I had places to be and stuff to do. Today I feel washed out and exhausted again.  I am even with the regular  exercise not perking up and the loss of the routines of gigging and setting up equipment and late night drives and the buzz of life going on is perhaps at least part of the reason I imagine. No adrenaline or else I have exhausted it all.  I tend to feel dopy for the first half of the day and sort of wake up in the afternoon so perhaps it is in  a great part psychological.  Though I am sleeping I do seem to be dreaming a lot or at least remembering dreams much more than I usually would.  I have a few odd intrusive thoughts that bother me a bit. Again due to too much time to think rather than doing I suspect. I did start drawing and painting a little last year, but that has gone by the wayside. I have been pleased with some of the results though and use one picture for the last digital album artwork.   

I have done very little in regard to my To Do List so far. Its haunting me and hinting that I should make a start.  April maybe?  Actually one item which is on going can be ticked off so its not quite that bad I suppose.  I always think of the proper start of the year as April as that’s when the seasons start to turn the corner and the days get longer. In days of yore could I would  often get a tax rebate too, but alas no more.   Finance is a bit of a sticky wicket at present though and is requiring very close management as its looking very unlikely  that I will be getting back to much if anything in the way of paid live performances this year, though perhaps the odd guest appearance in autumn may happen with a fair wind. 

2022 is an unknown country at present.Whilst I am OK to play I seem to be getting more trouble with my back and related arthritis issues and that may also affect how much I can do.  I think time is catching up with me now a little judging by the way I feel at present. though.    
In between blogging this entry I have started working on a  bit of a tune.  It might be interesting, but the process is just starting with the piano and percussion part recorded which fitted well together. In fact better than I expected so a promising start.   

I also need to get  around to completing the census form before I forget too.     
The excitement never ends 🙂

The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interrèd with their bones.’

(Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2)




          

        

Marching on

Its now 10 days since my Covid vax jab.  I made a to do list and I have 15 items on it so far and still seem to be finding stuff to add to it.  I am in to my 9th week of extended exercise routine.  Some things are better. For example my posture when playing  violin is  much better which also helps to make tone production much better in terms of effort required. My posture generally is much improved though it will never be right due  to spinal curvature which also causes me quite a bit of pain.   I mostly type standing when using the PC which is also a help in some respects. 

The last 3 months seem to have been much harder to get through though and I don’t really know why. Perhaps mental reserves just run out  after a while if there is no way to recharge them?  Often I spend a good deal of the day standing as I get too uncomfortable sitting for any length of time. That’s fine for recording and playing but for some of the stuff at the PC that I used to do its not practical to work standing so some things have gone by the board now that I would like to have been doing .
That’s really frustrating at times.   
     

here is a track from last year…