Category Archives: Elephant Shelf

Diana says you have to laugh

Still fighting with Covid.

Wow, I am still not really well after 3 weeks. I am getting better but its 2 steps forward and one step back at present. I have  been messaging  people to explain that I will be out of commission for another week or so, with hopefully a gradual return to my normal activities’. Its hard going though. I guess I am feeling my age now. It’s hot again too. Too hot for me in recovery to be honest. I am quite fatigued and it is  bit of a shock to be honest, my usual bounce back is not occuring in the same way.  Age I suppose. it’s very frustrating.  I feel much like I did during lock down again, but I still don’t feel well yet.  The good news is that at the time of writing finally after 3 weeks I have just tested negative. I was beginning to get a bit worried that I might be starting a long covid infection. I am working on getting my strength back a bit too. I know if I miss one day I will be tempted to miss another. Some days I get up in pain but the exercises take it away. So like music and practice and composing it is my daily routine. I am lazy so I have an almost military discipline about it. I note how much exercise  I do per day. That helps me keep motivation up. And pain killers are mostly useless for my pains so I have no choice. Each day I start with exercises and if I miss them I fit them In at a different time in the day pretty much. We are of a different character though. If i had a pottery kiln i would be a potter. I don’t really have any musical Instruments I dont play and so forth. The idea of buying  a guitar and hanging it on the wall although it might be a beautiful thing is alien to me. In part perhaps because I never had money so anything I got was a titanic struggle to get so everything gets used. 

Gosh I am so tired  though.

Never surrender, never give up.  

Here’s a tune for you all


The Quickening

Its all getting rather  busy on the music front suddenly.  Some interesting new opportunity’s are presenting themselves.  From famine to feast this year  seems to be the case, or is it simply a matter of seek and ye shall find maybe?   Try not blow it will be my motto though that’s easier said than done at times.  The world seems a little unhinged at present too.

This is a recent instrumental tune based around a riff on a 12 string tuned to open D and a couple of violins plus synth to taste.

Its been a while since I last spoke with you. Pull up a chair.

It’s been a while since I last spoke with you. Pull up a chair. Tell me what you have been doing. Did you win?  I am glad.  You know we dont get many visitors these days and it’s always good to talk.  We will just listen to start with if thats OK with you?  It’s just that we are a little short on subjects to talk about recently. And we don’t get out much, did I tell you.  So tell us all about you.

Yep, its a weird old world. My musical doings are proceeding as expected at present, in mostly a positive direction.  My body and mind are as ever doing what they do and giving me little unexpected surprises.  I am releasing another album to coincide with my Birthday next month.  I think my solo material  output will be a little less next year if things move in the direction I expect them to and I am busy with other things as well as my personal music  projects.  Fingers knees and toes crossed it will all work out.

Christmas. Not really my thing anymore.  Scrooge me. Not really. Well maybe just a little. Plus the stars are going out, so many people that were part of my musical influences in my youth are fading away though they have left a rich legacy of recorded music. At the time of writing this Mike Nesmith has  just ridden into that  sunset too.





The days grow short when you reach…You know the rest.

It’s been pleasant and sunny and autumnal as you would expect from the time of year.
So what’s new?    The routine goes on as ever, practicing, writing, recording taking exercise and pondering the infinite. So the same old same old really. Plus a bit of anxiety creeping up on me again. I get to sleep OK but have constant dreaming it seems so I wake feeling exhausted.
As I write this I am also not in my happy place, I am in my grumpy place. Just because.  There is a glimmer on the horizon of some distant fresh new dawn but. At the time of writing I should have been at a rehearsal which was cancelled at short notice so I find myself at even more of a loose end than normal. I have also hit my tea saturation level.  I am not cooking up any new tunes at this moment either. Its Diwali and tomorrow is bonfire night so there has been a bit of random banging echoing through the dark.  My joints are rather sore too. My head is empty though of ideas and words at present. But hey that’s never stopped me before. I have decided if nothing much occurs I may just try and join a pub band to get a few bob extra come 2022. I get these mad ideas from time to time…..
Perhaps I need to lie down in a darkened room until the thought goes away. I had along phone call with a friend about a few things that are troubling me and that helped me quite a bit. 






Is the damp affecting my brain? I think its getting rusty.

Its been a fairly busy week to lost of recording for two separate projects. 3 gigs and I open mike slot, which we don’t do too often, but it was on a Wednesday night when there wasn’t anything else going on and not too far away. It was mostly young folks enthusiastically doing there thing, and its seemed to go across fairly well. We were a bit surprised as we were told we were headlining it. We did the equivalent of a short first set and off we jolly well went.Thursday we were in the studio again and for once it didn’t rain until after midnight.

Friday nights gig was good, but I seem to have gone down with some sort of a bug as I felt very rough and as if I had a temperature, was nauseous and had no appetite. Got stuck in some traffic on the way back due to an accident too so I was not at my best by the end of the evening.

Saturday was OK as I felt a bit better, but again a very wet night so not the biggest audience, but the gig went well enough. I also managed to find something akin to a duck pond on the 3rd lane of the North Circular on the way home that made for an interesting couple of seconds.

Sunday was a strange day. We did a tea time gig in London that’s was a complete waste of time as the place was almost empty. That did not put me in the best frame of mind as it was a pay on the door gig and only covered the cost of a couple of drinks, and there is nothing worse than playing to an empty room particularly if the room is a largish one. We took off for one of a regular drinking haunts that also does live music on some Sundays (one we have played at recently). The London Irish Band (Back of Beyond) were playing and jolly good it was too. Made me feel much better. Bizarrely they had seen us a few years back (The electric band, not the Duo) and we had a brief chat in the break about music and stuff. We suggested a few venues that they might try and stuff.

At the start of the second half they invited us up to do a turn so we borrowed a couple of instruments and did our bit. I had a brief bout of fiddle envy as I borrowed a very nice modern 5 string fiddle, from the also very nice Antonia Pagulatos (made by Bridge)(first time I have played a 5 string, so of course it had to be in front of a fair size crowd ) but it went OK. I would love a violin like that but its not very lightly that circumstances will allow. It was also virtually effortless to play… So I need to get a lottery ticket for Wednesday 😉

I am slowly starting to work in more stretching and exercise now to help free up my back and I now have a lot more movement in my left shoulder, so the Violin playing is getting back to normal though its rather more tiring than it used to be physically and I often find I cannot get a comfortable shoulder position for too long though this is easing a bit now.

I am still searching for something and I haven’t found it yet, but it would help to know what it is…