Flower festival 3

Flower festival 1
Originally uploaded by Roostar
.. and a special prize if you can guess what this one is called.

Flower Festival 2

Flower Festival (Flake)
Originally uploaded by Roostar
... and this was 'Flake'.

Flower Festival 1

Flower Festival (Picnic)
Originally uploaded by Roostar
Much less rock and roll was my trip today to a local flower festival. The theme was chocolate bars. This was 'picnic'.


Originally uploaded by Roostar
A proper rehearsal on Saturday. I'm always aware of the difference between a rehearsal and a gig but this reminded me of how different practise and rehearsal is. I've been practising at home a lot recently, but playing with others and trying (expecting even) to sound good was quite a wake up call. We sounded quite poor fairly often. Luckily there was a lot of great stuff unleashed too. The best moment was when we tried out some of Richard Guitarist's material which quickly took on a life of its own.

There should be some more results form these sessions soon. Stay tuned.



Another adventure today. J, Freya and I went to see the PJ Crook exhibition in Burford. We pared at a (fairly) nearby garden centre so we could walk into the town. Burford is a beautiful place and is seen at its best when you walk in. Today, of course, the heavens opened and by the time we reached the Brian Sinfield Gallery there was quite a considerable amount of rain chucking itself down on us. We did get to see the paintings, many of them quite haunting, most of them highly desirable. Freya was a little freaked out from her first experience under the pram's plastic rain hood (rather alarmingly it misted up, making me think she as running out of air) and started crying so we vowed to come back at a better time. As luck would have it the exhibition has been extended a week. If you live in the area and you don't know Ms Crook's work I'm recommend you get along.



Under heavy clouds

The rain form Friday night continued until Saturday morning and then stopped. We had planned to go back to where my car was left and pick it up. The only problem was that we had been warned off going there as the floods were still bad, if not savage, in places. The short walk to the local shop allowed me a chance to speak to quite a few villagers, all of whom seemed happy to talk about their experiences. The shop itself was an invaluable source of information (although not bread) and this decided the matter. A day at home, listening to local radio and hoping the car was ok. On Sunday we drove out of the village, past abandoned cars with smashed windows and tide marks on walls to find my car alive and well where I left it. Thank you, the Woodman's Pub in Fernham.

Today news was still bad for Abingdon and Oxford. A certain irony that my first day off work coincided with a warning that people shouldn't approach the town where I do my work.

Guitarist pal Richard called up with details form his part of the world. Not so bad at home but quite an adventure for him to get to and from work. Luckily Richard drives a cool red truck that could probably get through most of the bad weather we've experienced. Even he though got stuck in Banbury some years ago (it was so bad the railway station looked like a canal depot).

I managed some practising today, although this had to be fitted in while J was in the bathroom and my audience (the baby and the cat) didn't look too impressed.


Here comes the flood

Today has been something of an adventure. It had been raining all day but, on my way home from work I found the village cut off by floods. I tried several times in different ways to get home but was forced (no, really) to go to the pub. they had food and drink and the possibility of a bed if things didn't improve. They didn't improve but, as luck would have it I got chatting with a local man who was about to be taken back by a friend with a high-based pick-up truck. Even this was an adventure. At one point we came were heading into a deeply flooded part of the road when four youths came around it in a dingy.

I didn't have my camera on me but here is a picture from a nearby village from the excellent Marlowpics at Flickr.

Tomorrow I have to find my car.


Like algebra

It's been a busy few days. Last night I got to witness some local politics in action. It's good to see how people can get things done when they work together. However, it's scary to see how easily people living in a village can take on a lynch mob mentality. I'll post more about this later.

I've been at the dayjob and missing the family. On the bright side I got to hear Björk's 'Innocence' which has the most amazingly aggressive rhythm sample I've heard in years. It's a blisteringly good track.

Now I've been a dad for over three weeks I feel ready to pass on some wisdom. Here we go.

Babies cry because:
1. They are hot
2. They are cold.
3. They want attention.
4. They need feeding.
5. They want more attention.
6. They want to stop you from hearing what happened at the end of CSI.
7. It's Thursday.
8. They don't like your haircut.
9. They need changing.
10. They can.

Good. Glad we sorted that out.


Who is the man in black?

I'm fighting blogger fatigue. As well as the regular kind.

There's a lot of work to be done to publicize the album, although I'm completely new to this so expect to learn form my mistakes as I go along. On a similar note, becoming a dad has raised new challenges but effectively streamlined my life for the better. I'm still practising the bass and generating new tunes (if only in my head) for the next album. Telly watching has dramatically decreased but the nature of looking after a newborn has, surprisingly, given me more time to read.

Yesterday morning I opened the door to man in black. "Yes?" I asked. "Chimney sweep." He replied. I must remember to read the calendar.

Work is now purely paperwork driven, which means I don't have to prepare lessons, which (in turn) means can really concentrate on things when I get home. That is a huge improvement.

I've been listening to Michael Brecker's last album, Pilgrimage. It's beautifully and a great listen, but heartbreaking. On a whole other musical planet Robert Fripp's Radiophonic and ProjeKct 3's Dallas concert from 1999 have been wowing me over the week.

This weekend I'm going to dust the camera off and (no offense to Freya) try and take some pictures of things that aren't babies.


Eeeeeiiiiiiiiiii! Pod

Hurray for the iPod. Mine supplied me today with a Canadian classical music show and a BBC World Service technology programme (giving me the sense that I was living abroad again). Then, plugged into mini speakers it played Maria Callas to the baby in her pram. Finally I plugged it into the practise amp so I could work on the Bridge Street songs. Later on though I did a bass workout with my old style wind-up metronome.

So why am I going on about this? No idea. I've had been at the dayjob and missed Freya and J, but I understand the young(er) one has been behaving herself today.



Just in case anyone was still reading - I'm still here but just a bit bleary. Who knew babies take up so much time?

Freya is doing well, although she loves the sound of her own voice (screaming) a little too much.

The Soul Beaver gig is off but it looks like a Bridge Street gig is coming in early August. Assuming no one else has a baby and Richard Drummer shifts his nasty chest infection.


The wheels on the bus :(

J and I took the baby for a walk today and combined our two least favourite songs. We sang the words of 'wheels on the bus' to the music of 'seasons in the sun'. It works.

For many years I have wanted to make an album I could be proud of and release it to see if anyone else liked it. I've made a lot of albums over the years and been almost proud of them, but never enough to send them into the world. Yesterday iTunes took on 'Coffee-Housing' which means I have finally achieved my ambition. Of course, it is typical that the first album I'm proud of is almost the least commercial thing I've ever done - but that doesn't matter. All I can think about now is making the next one. Oh, that and '...baby in the house!'


Another birth

My (Spingere) album, Coffee-Housing is now available on iTunes. Go get it people. If I can sell more than 10 copies I'm a happy man.


Having previously used photos of the cat to fill for time when I had nothing to write about, I'm now ready to use pictures of Freya. But no, that would only end in tears. The cat has been very forgiving considering she is no longer the most-fussed-member -of-the-household.

So, no, I have nothing to write about today. I've been enjoying being a dad at home, knowing I'll be back to the dayjob on Monday. I've also had my first baby puking over my t-shirt moment. Hurrah! Another hurrah to my friend Mark who has just become engaged.


First Moves

First Moves
Originally uploaded by Roostar
It's never too early. Is it?

I can't quit you, baby (but I'm going to put you down for a while)

Freya and dad
Originally uploaded by Roostar
Almost home. We've been staying in a flat at the hospital which resembles a hotel room but which you enter through an unmarked door in an otherwise ordinary corridor.

This is a transition moment for us as we get to spend a day with Freya, on our own - but with an emergency button on hand, just in case.

Other life goes on, of course, and both a Soul Beaver and Bridge Street gig loom. I'm spying on iTunes as Coffee-Housing is due to appear there soon.