Sunday, 27 July 2014

If Wishes Were Horses...

Last night after the Concert I was attending, I gave a small friend a lift home. After putting stuff into his Mom's car we walked across the park to my car with him all full of chat and bounce.

We arrived at my small, rusty, post-vandalised Noddy car (which he knows, not like it was a surprise!) and he stood for a moment under the street lamp contemplating it before turning to me and in a very long-suffering tone (as only small boys can do..) remarked:

'Oh H. I do wish you drove a Maserati.'

HAH! You 'n' me both, babe!!!!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

All That Jazz

Many, many lives ago I played jazz. Live jazz. As in performing with bands with an audience listening and assessing every note.

Great fun. Stressful. Crazy mad. Scary. Lots of alcohol involved too!

The thing about the way we worked the genre was that it was all by ear, no written music. Often we improvised upon known melodies, sometimes it was all made up as we went along, someone would call a melody and a key and we'd all tip ourselves head-first into the piece. Timing, pace, improvisation, repeats, segues etc. depend almost as much upon knowing and trusting your band members as upon being a talented musician.

I learned pretty fast that the band never ever stuck to a plan, playlist: order, solos, everything was open to change at any moment, even the trumpeter calling for a refill to his beer was enough to jig the order within a piece in the middle of playing.

Jazz musicians are fantastic; quick witted, laid back, creative as they come, fabulously talented, able to adapt and improve in a split second, and more. But heck, I just could not hack it.

I was reminded of all this yesterday when I spent a few hours at the Jazz Project. I sat and listened to the music, the craic, the jokes, questions, discussion, phone calls trying to keep the events of the evening on track and it was ace. I love being in the middle of things musical, musicians are a race apart, and it was highly entertaining, to wit:

the RTE were supposed to be filming some of the music and were out at a pub waiting whilst the musicians in question were standing in the school lobby criticising the evening's play list, playing snippets to each other from their iPhones, discussing Eric Clapton, relaxing and insulting each other and the administrator who was trying to shift them out. The organiser was on the phone comforting his daughter because her hen had died and trying to locate the band for the evening's concert who had been delayed for hours at Dublin Airport and were on their way without their luggage or instruments. A piano had been mislaid (yes, apparently it is possible to lose a piano...), three double basses needed to be in three different venues, a box of electric leads was AWOL and to be honest no one was in the slightest bit fussed.

Classical musicians would have been climbing the walls at the unpredictability of it all, pop or rock performers might have been playing the drama queen, but jazz musicians? They were loving every minute!

There should be a mug somewhere which reads: Jazz musicians never die, they just Improvise, adjust and carry on.

So I returned to my Classical roots and the heart palpitations stopped!!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Photos!

I found the camera cable!!


How many people have a mountain growing out of their chimney?


Wee Hoosie.


View framed through my front door.


Backyard!! The green shadow behind the shed is the mountain slope.


Sea, sky, mountain, so what's not to like?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Gobbled by Clobber

I told Lady Soggibottom that would be the title of my next post, and so it is!

I also said I would post hints and tips to hassle-free moving, which I'm not because there's no such thing!

I am sitting out in my side yard under a tree listening to bugs and birds and sheep and the breeze in the trees, breathing fresh salty air with a hint of hot grass and leaf mould, just being!

The bliss of it.

And its only mid-morning!

No people or cars or exhaust fumes or being edged out of my seat because I'm taking too long over my coffee and someone else wants to sit in my place...

No photos yet, as you can see...I still have not located the cable. It's possibly in my make-up bag from the wedding, but I haven't seen my make-up bag for over a week and its not exactly a priority. I would, however like to know where I packed the tea spoons, extension cables, clothes pegs and shopping list paper, three cups from my only tea-set and the sugar tin. I found a jar of pens and pencils and remembered to buy light bulbs and torch batteries but a state of 'chassis' still reigns. The fridge appears to be not working but I've let the landlord know and I daresay it'll be repaired at some point, this being the middle of baling and silage though, I'd say it'll be a few days. Oh how lovely to be on country time once more; I realise it is not everyone's cup of tea, but it sure is mine!

This afternoon the piano tuner is coming and the joy of having my bockety ould piano back with me is probably partly responsible for the present state of zen-ishness!

I have to admit that the reason I remain in 'gobbled by clobber' mode is because I keep wandering outside to sit in the sun instead of unpacking. But as they say, 'sure isn't the winter long enough?' Meaning, if the sun shines or the rain stops or the weather looks up, get out of the house!

The fridge will be fixed when it next rains, and the unpacking done, and perhaps even the camera cable found?

Until then I will be collecting freckles...

Oops, the wifi hotspot just fell out of the fuchsia where I had it balanced and into the nettles...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Moving Again!

So, because I am an eejit, I decided to move.

I miss the country, green fields, wide skies, scenery, stinky slurry, midges, all that kind of stuff. Living in town is interesting too, but there's a limit to how long I could tolerate the pub down stairs and being woken half a dozen times a night by drunken street disturbances...and the limit has just about been reached.

Last night I stayed at the cottage for the first time and it was bliss to lie awake hearing only sheep; my ears were almost ringing with the silence! Of course I had forgotten such minor country issues as having to keep plugs in drains to deter slaters and centipedes from visiting, the fluctuations of electricity (do not plug in too many items at once) (very few is too many, I'll let you know the exact number presently) (especially not if you want a shower), how close distant things can sound in the silence, how the wind sounds in the trees by the house. And then there's the usual idiosyncrasies of an old, old cottage, which Carboy discovered before I had a mishap- don't turn on the shaving light in the bathroom because the mirror falls down...

From the front windows I can see mountains and sea, from the back, the old sheds, trees and Benbulben. I took photos but naturally have managed to mislay the cable to upload them from camera to laptop!!! When I find it you will be inundated with photos...

Tomorrow a couple of guys are coming to help me move the heavy stuff, furniture, and the usual junk- junk? I have junk? Golly but you should see the amount of bin bags I filled today, to say nothing of the recycling Middlest and I did yesterday and bags for Oxfam on Monday. For someone who tries to live lightly--- well ha! to that boyo! I does be failin' mighty spectacular like!

And when I'm sort of sorted I'm going to make like Rip van Winkle and sleep for a hundred years!

Friday, 27 June 2014

They Did It!

Middlest and Carboy.
Middlest and Carboy are married!

As an experience it was somewhat unreal, but the day went well, rain held off, and it sure was a great party!

Bride and 'smaids.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Perfect Peace

Yesterday midday I was sitting in the sunshine on a gravestone (1823) eating chocolate (mint) having just left the hairdresser's (lovely thanks) before going inside to practise the organ and it came to me that right then was complete contentment.

Sunshine, the quiet graveyard, keys to the Church, anticipation of spending a couple of uninterrupted hours working on music and playing our beautifully repaired old organ; all that added up to peace.

Its been a difficult few weeks for various reasons and now is not really a good time or place for me. Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, do they not? And moments of peace are definitely gifts.

How often do I miss those moments of peace or contentment, being too busy perhaps in my head to notice them? When I was a teenager I had the notion that perfect moments had to be savoured, stored and treasured. They came in many shapes and sizes- a day with a friend, Dad visiting me at College, watching hot-air balloons on the Royal Crescent on sunny summer evenings, cherry blossom, snow against lamplight, walking by the sea...just good memories. Its a long time since I added to that collection and longer still since I took them out and examined them, but yesterday's gift is such a one.

Just a moment of peace, a gift beyond price.

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