Beaver update

I was hinting at a Soul Beaver gig on May 6th but our keyboard man is unavailable so sadly we won't be playing that day. I do recommend the venue though (The Woodstock Arms, Woodstock Road, Oxford). Tell the man at the bar you'd like to hear Soul Beaver.



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Went for a much needed walk with J today. We parked in Wantage and walked up to Lockinge. This beautiful village has a statue to a racehorse (Best Mate), a very good pub with decent food (The Boar's Head) and this lovely stream. It's also where J and I had our wedding breakfast. Why do they call it that?


Word Cloud

Following in FJL's lead, here is a word cloud for this blog. Beaver and Stick seem quite prominent. Hmm.

TU in the House

Still no definate news on the Soul Beaver gig. It could be on May 6th at the Woodstock Arms in Oxford. Or it might not happen. I'll keep you posted.

My new piece of music has been played on the Stickworld Podcast (thanks Zak) and I'm hoping to have some news about this and other pieces written for and performed on Stick Bass. The more confident I get on this instrument the less effects I use when recording with it.

This week I've mostly been listening to two TU albums, 'TU' and 'Official Bootleg.' These are great if you like [tries to describe their sound but fails] music. Let's just agree amongst ourselves that they make/made wonderful, imaginative sounds and that you should make the effort to track them down and have a listen.

Watched 'House' for the first time tonight. I greatly enjoyed the mix of punchy dialogue, old fashioned 'grumpy professional with heart of gold does good in unconventional way while upsetting the suits' plotting and the sight (and sound) of Hugh Laurie being an American.


Hello flower(s)

I forgot to mention that on Friday morning I converted the bedroom into a recording studio and played the Stick Bass (and regular bass) on a new track. Thought you might like to know.

The garden has been tidied up today. The grass has been cut, borders cleaned up and the two new flowers are spinning happily in the breeze. Visited my folks today (always enjoyable), returning to day job tomorrow and about to announce a public Soul Beaver gig really soon.


Somebody save Tigger!

It's been a good weekend. I got to do some proper musicking yesterday with Richard Guitarist. We worked on just one tune but it's a corker. J and I went for a walk in the evening and enjoyed a pub meal which made up for Friday's terrible experience (in short - ants on the table, bad sauce, dreadful vibe - OK not a terrible experience, but a disappointment after our last visit there).

Today we went for a walk and went to a pub for lunch, again. Don't worry, I'll be back at the day job again soon and there'll be an end to all this fun. The pub today was the Prince of Wales in Shrivenham which was one of the more friendly places I've been in for a while. Locally sourced food, good guest beers and plenty of interesting upcoming attractions. If you're in this neck of the woods I'd recommend it. I'd also suggest visiting the Woodstock Arms on Woodstock Road, Oxford. Another very decent place.

On our walk today we saw a yellow butterfly and a dumped Tigger. If you're interested in seeing Soul Beaver do keep Saturday May 6th free. This has to be confirmed but that should happen at a long overdue rehearsal soon. Watch this space.


Music and society

I've just heard the second part of the Reith Lecture on BBC Radio 4 (link in the title). Daniel Barenboim lectured on his views of music in society. I like a good lecture but this had me bouncing around the kitchen shouting 'yes!' in lively agreement.

You can listen to the first two parts of the lecture on the BBC's site and you can also get them as podcasts. I heartily recommend listening. Actively.



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
OK, one more from Kent.

Kent - Part 4

And finally... some remaining shots from the trip to Kent. On the Thursday J and I took a steam train from Tenterden to Bodiam. On the way we experienced a luxurious cream tea with superb views rolling past.

On arrival at Bodiam we explored the castle and, after a relaxing time enjoying the sunshine, ran back to the station when we remembered that steam trains a rare creatures even in this part of the world. At Tenterden Town station I spotted a piece of luggage which had been my grandfather's. It had been donated to the railway by my uncle as they used such things to keep a 1930's vibe about the place.

Exciting news about music coming soon.


Kent - Part 3

Rolvenden sign
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
While we were away J and I kept looking out for decent farmers' markets. There are a few decent ones in our part of the world but we felt some foodie exploring couldn't hurt.

We tried the town of Rye, which had a tiny market, almost impossible to find without help (i.e. no signs. We eventually found it in the corner of a carpark). A passing nurse gave us directions but suggested we try the market at Rolvenden that Thursday.

On the Thursday we arrived at Rolvenden, with its beautiful town sign and made our way to the church. There we found possibly the best farmers' market ever. Its huge popularity was obvious, especially the baker. What we bought that day fed us through the rest of the week. Delicious.


Kent - Part 2

[Before you read this post I should warn you I'm really tired and as much as I want to upload this, I've done something odd with the HTML code. Try to make sense of what you see (each picture is supposed to have a caption) and I'll fix it when I've had some sleep.]

I've been on a break with J and my folks. We visited Kent and based ourselves in Tenterden, where my uncle used to live and which felt like a second home to all of us. Of course, this wasn't a solemn trip. We had some fun and I enjoyed gluing my head the extractor fan over the cooker.

The place we stayed at had a wide selection of reading material but this caught my attention as my dad, uncle and mum (as a Special) had been in the force. Sadly, the police officer described in this book doesn't really exist anymore.

I was tempted by my own current (re)reading though.

Despite the good advice of this postcard I did manage to hit my head, really hard, coming down the stairs.

These hatches were put in the house when the front room was used as a shopfront. The children were able to be passed through, on their way to bed, without interrupting business. One of the children is now is his nineties and I got to meet him. He had been on his computer all morning and was getting ready to take a cruise in the Mediterranean.

Tomorrow I'll post some exciting out-of-the-house pictures of trains, castles and yes... even scones.


Kent - Part 1

Oh alright then. This is the view from our recent home from home and the home itself.


Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Hello again. I've just returned frm a week away. The signal I had hoped to use to blog with vanished soon after we arrived but I have a backlog of photographs and stories to share. I'm going to recharge my camera and myself and hope to have some interesting stuff up soon.

This flower is from where we were staying. I offer it up to all who enjoy good (and bad) punctuation.

... before I go. There should be some music news soon. Quite exciting music news if I'm thinking straight.



Well wouldn't you know. Just the tiniest bit of signal means I can send this message. We arrived in a surprisingly sunny Kent this afternoon and have had a meal in our rather lovely self catering home. J, my mum, dad and I have just had an entertaining hour or so in the pub and I have a whole new set of memories to enjoy. Assuming this network is still available tomorrow you can expect some photographs soon.