30.6.08

Wimbledon

A stunning game of tennis between Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet tonight. I expected Murray to fade away after losing the first two sets but no. I've rarely been so happy to be wrong.

I've learnt to love watching sports over the years but it's hard to find anything more thrilling than a good grass court game of tennis. Maybe some snowboard X. And possibly Rugby Union, but you get my drift.

I started the new dayjob properly today. With the last job (which I did for nine years) it felt wrong to blog anything. Blogging about your job is about as sensible as going on Ebay drunk, after all. The new dayjob involved me signing an official secrets document so I really can't blog anything. Didn't a promise some spilling of beans about Original Dayjob though? Hmmm.

Freya was acting as DJ on the living room hi-fi today. We heard this:

The opening five seconds of Arvo Part's 'Tabula Rasa'
About twenty seconds of the Birdsong channel on digital radio.
The same but turned up VERY LOUD (I've love to hear if anyone in the street was annoyed by exessively loud birdsong).
Five sends of 'Tabula Rasa' again
The same five seconds again
And again
And again
And again
And again
Birdsong - quiet for a bit then REALLY REALLY LOUD once more
A few seconds of Robert Fripp playing soundscape
Birdsong - quiet
Robert Fripp playing approixately one note (sorry RF)
Birdsong - VERY LOUD but then
'Tabula Rasa'
Again
Again
And again
And then silence.

Tomorrow night I might let my one year old DJ loose on a laptop mashup of her own.

29.6.08

I've got 99 problems but Noel Gallagher ain't one

Glastonbury - how much fun was that. Neil Diamond rocking the house (ok, farm) and Jay-Z proving that reactionary rockers with more attitude than brain really should shut up. So, plenty of love at Worthy Farm.

I spent most of last night working on a piece of music that ended up sounding dreadful. Too much time spent on tune that was already out of steam. Thankfully, the only good part (fourteen bars in 7/4) is safe and is still fun to solo over. Time will tell what it becomes.

26.6.08

Good...bye part 2

I've now finished at both campuses of the Original Dayjob. My very last day was not what I'd expected.

More detail and a few (other) interesting items soon.

22.6.08

1

Freya celebrated her first birthday yesterday. We visited grandparents and had a lovely day but suffered from a lack of sleep (she had an infection that made her cough and cry all night).

But wait. A year? It's been a year since days of pain and craziness gave up a purple, screaming package of humanity. The nurse said "Girl!" and I said "Freya!" A whole new life to love, educate and (probably) embarrass at parties. She's doing fine and I'm the happiest dad in the world.

19.6.08

Good...bye


Wall Sculpture 2
Originally uploaded by Roostar
I've been very careful not to post about my dayjob. However, I walked past the hands and light switch (see picture) for the last time yesterday so maybe it's time to tell some stories. Or maybe I should wait until after Monday when I say goodbye to the folks at the other campus.

If anything odd happens to me between now and then it means someone in senior management really was paranoid.

16.6.08

Good

One of the better weekends. On Saturday I went to a music show (guitars, studio technology and, in a separate room, drummers) with good pal Richard Guitarist. We took in wide collection of musical gear, both good and bad. Highlights were watching Paul Gilbert coping with a dodgy CD player and a cracking bass player soloing in a way that was interesting and exciting - not something you get to witness too often.

As fun as the show was I enjoyed the traveling just as much. Intelligent conversation while getting out and about is a good combination.

On Sunday J, Freya and I went to the home of pals Richard and Sarah to enjoy a barbecue (veggy in my case) with friends with babies. This was a friendly and enjoyable way to spend a Sunday and it was all the more wonderful because I got to spend the time with my family. Balance has been achieved, the Original Dayjob is soon ending and I'm ready to play more live music. Make a note, life is good.

13.6.08

Music and Pictures


The new Trey Gunn album is out. I highly recommend. It's made up of many short tracks which have previously accompanied visuals and it therefore cunningly titled 'Music for Pictures.' I also noticed Adam Ant's b-sides album is available on iTunes, which means you can now get the wonderful 'Red Scab.'

I've been listening to music by Trey, Colleen and Camille, although when I give in to the iPod it seems to want to play me Bridge Street songs and my own stuff. Talking of which, I've finished another demo for the new album. Three more pieces need to be put down then I can start re-mixing/re-recording/re-writing. It's all good stuff and I'm enjoying playing the Warr Guitar more every day. The more I get to grips with it, the more I discover its capabilities.

In other news I should have some of my photographs on display at the next Faringdon Arts Festival. And when I say 'on display' I don't just mean framed and hanging in a gallery. Some of the shots are going to be hugely magnified and beamed up on a wall at night. I can't wait. Photography is something I've always played with but rarely got any credit for. That could be because most of my photos were either crap or to hard to read. I remember colleagues at a shop I once worked at asking why I had photographed the edge of a roof - all I saw were great shapes and colours but they wanted a reason and something recognizable. On the other hand I once showed some shots to a I was quite proud of to a more experienced friend and she described them, rather witheringly, as 'snapshots'.

I can be really pretentious sometimes but I've stuck with it and keep taking pictures. Since digital photography came along, and especially since I've had a good DSLR to use, my success rate has started improving and I can now start to feel I'm becoming a good photography. Mind you, I'm almost always bad with portraits and many of my pictures are just plane terrible. It's just nice to find something else that can give you pleasure.

9.6.08

In the garden


It's been a busy and, in some ways, hard weekend. Family has been at the forefront but the paperwork hell that comes with being a teacher at this time of the year is nearly over. I'm looking forward to reading books for pleasure, seeing more of J and Freya (and the extended world of Grandparents) and getting to play more music.

The new album is still taking shape, slowly. The pile of demos is awaiting selection, remixing and re-recording, while a few more tunes are being arranged in my head and await recording.

While briefly at my folks recently I took this shot of their garden. I used the HDR technique because no shot I've taken before has cpatured the sheer lushness of the place. This garden is an important place to me even though I'm not even slightly a gardener (unlike my dad or J who seem to be naturals when faced with seeds, cuttings, dibbers and the like). I think the result works, for me if not for anyone else.

6.6.08

Again, again


Freya's favourite word is "again" and as a tribute I'm posting an old (but seemingly popular) photograph of a local pub. This time though it's in black and white and at a higher resolution.

Proper news soon.

2.6.08

... and we're back!

Thanks to Mr Anonymous for the comment but let's face it, Macs still rule. The power supply came back to life and now I have a spare to play with (so maybe they don't rule quite as much as I'd hoped).

Life has become incredibly hectic this week. Bathroom update frenzy, birthdays all over the place and insane amount of Original Dayjob paperwork. Do it now!!!