Good news, bad news, good news

There is a Soul Beaver gig coming up. We don't have a keyboard player just yet but I'm sure one will be found in time. The gig isn't until the end of July but I'm already making up lists of songs, with their keys, so I can practise. This time, as it's been so long, I might print up all the lyrics too. Or at least some prompt words for each song. Despite all the recent goings on we're going to have to be ready. Richard, my good friend and drummer is in Oslo with Marillion today, doing the work of four people.

The other big news, for me at least, is that my daughter, Freya, was born on Thursday. She has been quite grizzly and grumpy, not feeding properly and puking up whenever she does feed. Yesterday the doctors decided to move her to the special care baby unit as she was turning dusky and blue. They found she had an infection and asked J and I if they could perform a lumber puncture (needle through the back, into the spine to draw out spinal fluid) to see if she had meningitis. We were upset but told the doctors to get on with it. Sitting in a room with the sound of your crying daughter having a needle stuck in her spine is something I won't forget in a hurry; I could hear her crying through the wall.

The upside came a few hours later when we found that she didn't have meningitis. She did have a serious infection though and, as I write this, she is still under observation and probably won't leave hospital for another week. J is coming home tomorrow. We've had a tough week. The labour was very hard and we had very little time with Freya before she was taken away from us. By the end of next week she should be fit and healthy and back with us though. I can't wait to bring her home and start explaining why the bass guitar is the greatest instrument in the world.

So, the good news is that I'm home and can get some sleep. I did what I usually do when I get a few hours in the house on my own. I made a temporary recording studio, this time in the kitchen with some pedals, a Boss SE-70 the laptop and my T-Lev bass. I made a fifteen minute piece for a short DVD and I'm quite pleased with it.

One last thing - this picture is of Freya, age one day. I suspect they may be more to come.



Very, very tired. Last night Freya Isabelle came into the world. I have so many stories to tell but for now just know that mother and baby are fine, but tired. I am in need of sleep and will blog again (with groovy pictures) as soon as I can.



Tai-Chi for Spiders

I was in the car on Friday, parked up and about to get out. I spotted a spider hanging next to my head and turned around to scoop it up and drop it out of the window. It wasn't hanging from the roof though, but on a home-made hammock between the headrests. I moved my hands around, trying to break the web and catch the spider. It was then that I looked left and spotted a lady in the car next to mine, looking my way. To her it must have appeared that I was doing Tai-Chi in the space between the headrests. I was going to smile at her but decided against it. The spider was fine.

Still no baby news.



Originally uploaded by Roostar
As usual, here at Blog of Will, when there is nothing to write about we like to post a picture of the cat. This is her listening to hypnotherapy for pregnant ladies.

Due date +8

Taking a queue from Bob Boilen I put Sgt. Pepper on in my car yesterday as I was leaving work. Then I drove home listening and reliving every song on this wonderful album. It was released in 1967 which means sounds from it (and the Beatles in general) have permeated my whole life. The final chord of 'Day in the Life' faded out just as I passed the sign for the village where I live.

Still no baby. A date has been set to induce the baby. At work, at the beginning of the academic year we have an induction day - that's taking on a whole new meaning now. Anyway, we're very keen not to have the baby induced so today we (and by 'we' I mean J) will be trying acupuncture to help bring it on.


Due date +6

Crikey. I have another day when I can wander about in the kitchen singing 'Just the Two of Us' (annoying the cat who believes she is our child - albeit a child who's happy to climb on window ledges and bite the heads off mice). Things have moved on a bit though so... oh, who knows. Almost the only thing I think about now is how J is feeling.
In other news I have two photographs in an exhibition in Faringdon next month and the should be available really soon.


Due date +4

Sunday night. Still no baby.

We have been to see Richard (Guitarist), Sarah and their baby. The baby is only a few days old and they looked tired but happy. What's nice is that, despite the amount of people painting a slightly negative picture of change, Richard has nothing but good things to say about becoming a dad. I'll give you my view some time in the next week and a half.


Goodness, barcodes and Thunderbird

I'm aware that after the baby arrives I might not be blogging quite so much (at least, not for the first 16 years or so). This is why you're seeing so much from me recently.

Unfortunately there isn't much to report. Except:

Today I felt extremely happy for no good reason.
I now have a barcode for the Coffee-Housing album.
I've been listening to the Thunderbird Suite by TU. It rocks like a rocking thing from.. well, you get the picture.


The Bradawl and the Tiger

Originally uploaded by Roostar
This picture doesn't mean much but it does suggest the power of connection. The picture is one we chose for the nursery (along with it's giraffe and elephant mates). The bradawl in the foreground was my grandfather's. As I used it to make a mark in the wall for hanging the picture I felt a surge of connection from my dad's dad through me to the soon-to-be-becoming baby. I have no memory of my grandfather (he died not long after I was born, my other grandad had already died) but luckily, this baby will be able to hang out with his or her grandparents.

The bradawl is still used and still holds the power to remind me of someone I never really knew. How wonderful is that?


Originally uploaded by Roostar
A good place for knitted mice and babies. At the moment it is the calmest place I've ever been. Baby and mess are on their way. This picture was taken by J. You can tell because it's beautifully framed and not out of focus.

Garden Mouse

Garden Mouse
Originally uploaded by Roostar
Our new pal, knitted by Emma - singer in Soul Beaver and good friend for nearly ten years now. The mouse, still unamed, lives in the nursery.

... and you think you've had a strange day

Here we are, still waiting for the baby to arrive. I finished my evening class last night. The last time I teach the Wednesday night class this academic year. It may sound odd (since Wednesdays usually involve working from 9 till 9 and not getting home till 10) but I will miss this class. Plenty of interesting individuals, all with stories to tell and new adventures ahead of them. That is the good part of teaching, I told them last night. Getting to be in a room with people such as themselves. One of the ladies then responded, "Creep." I felt my job had been done. Today they all took the second of two exam papers and I sat here wondering how they all got on.

But, like the title says, if you think you've had an strange day, check this out.


How to grow a band. Part I

Good news. Richard Guitarist and his wife, Sarah, are the proud parents of Elodie. Born this morning to great hurrahs. I celebrated by sending sarcastic text messages, writing a poem and then going for buns and coffee at the local cake shop (all the students were in exams).

Hopefully we'll soon see a return of Bridge Street with Richard Guitarist back from night feeds and the eventual return of Richard Drummer (off tour managing Marillion and doing their ironing). Another Soul Beaver gig is in the wind and my long awaited new instrument should not be far away either.

The album, Coffee-Housing, is close to being released. It should be an all digital release - partly because I lack the resources to make a good album cover.

My baby could arrive any minute.



J has a cold. Quite a heavy one. This wouldn't be very meaningful but she hasn't had a cold in over ten years and she's due to give birth any day now. It is fair to say that she could feel a lot better.

A good retail experience today. We went to a shop in Wantage to buy a few decorations for the baby's room and a small shade for the garden. We paid for the goods and left them in the shop while we trawled around town for curtains and a good cup of tea. We picked up our bag of stuff, drove home and then found a note inside the bag form the lady who ran the shop. She wished J well with her pregnancy and had included a bottle of nice smelly lotion. I think we'll be back.

I had a chance to sit down with my bass and play through some old tunes today. I need more of this.