Lockdown lizard feet plus music

The danger of being let loose shopping without your glasses is that you end up with a few surprise purchases, one of which was a 90minute foot peel in a bag. Perfect opportunity I thought to give this a go while settled to watch the latest Basement Noise featuring Zack’s set list.

alt="close up of base guitarist"
Zack Merrick All Time Low

The All Time Low boys were on form, the music was fab & my feet initially felt really soft & silky. It wasn’t however until I actually read the packet I realised that this was far from a gentle foot moisturising treatment but one designed to strip dead skin! Next few days saw me shedding a lizard like trail of scaly stuff all over the place every time I took my socks off. As the home pedi packets were on a 3 for 2 it will be interesting to see what my feet get to endure when the next Basement Noise streams at the end of the week!

alt="cameras on tripods in foreground in woodyard barn"
Covid Safe Recording Session

Way before lockdown was even contemplated I rashly applied to get involved with a charity fund raising event that essentially was organising some live music in a pub. However by the time the selection process got underway, lockdown was looming forcing other options had to be considered. Two of us were introduced and together we set up a digital fundraising event that put us in a good place to explore what else was possible digitally. A few zoom calls later & we were involved in a pilot scheme in August that went remarkably well all challenges considered so we were keen to participate in a larger event.

alt="musician sat with acoustic guitar ready to play"
Digital Live Stream Pilot

As I write the culmination of many months work is currently playing online and I for one am proud of my small contribution in making it happen. The musicians who have taken part have been really great & it has been fantastic to watch their performances from some creative yet covid safe locations. In addition I have gathered a fair few skills along the way too which is always a bonus. So as the somewhat wild digital ride comes to an end who knows what will be next for me to get involved in. Never mind a lockdown life round here is seldom dull for long it seems.

alt="me sat in my office ready to play my electric guitar"
Practice Time

In the gaps between doing digital stuff I have been filling my time creatively with writing & playing my guitars. I probably have mentioned my guitar teacher has the patience of a saint given he has to endure me plucking away & murdering songs merrily as I go but I’m grateful as I really find playing a great way to escape mentally at the moment. 

Wishing everyone as stress free time as possible as the festive season approaches & you all stay as safe as you can.

Taboo Topics & Toxic Comments

Is it just me or am I the only one to have been engaged in increasingly odd number of conversations involving topics that would formally been considered taboo?

Chatting casually about an article claiming there are now 52 gender options for example felt quite normal. Previously such a conversation would not have been feasible as for starters more than two genders would not have been recognised & if discussed would have been accompanied by much tutting in hushed tones in a secluded corner. Leading me to conclude that the tectonic plates of social change have indeed been shifting.

Warranted these changes may be judged as glacially slow in some quarters but at least there has been change. Reflecting how much the world seems so different now to when I was younger where strict, hierarchical norms were once the accepted ways. Work place bullying was rife with confidence sapping, sarcastic comments from dragon like senior nursing staff who thought nothing of humiliating their junior colleagues. I sincerely hope that level of institutional bullying is declining but sadly fear there are pockets that stubbornly remain. Whilst the burden of social change probably remains largely with the young I feel that older generations should not shirk their responsibilities either.

I have previously alluded to the fact that I have been the recipient of a number of compliments. Recently these included comments to the colour of my hair, shoes & choice of zoom background. Coming from young people whom I did not know & had nothing to gain from the exchange I can only surmise their motive was just to be nice. This level of generosity to others is a lesson that I feel older generations could do well to follow. As sadly the judgmental looks, snide comments flung my way recently have come from contemporaries or older.

alt="red vinyl album on record player"
New album

Being complimented on my zoom background was slightly weird yet oddly gratifying given that it came from the lead singer of a band I like. Perhaps another example of how much things have changed? When I was growing up the best you could hope for was hanging a cherished poster on the wall, saving enough money to buy the album hoping you liked all the tracks & perhaps hand writing a letter to the fan club. Not so today. For the price of a ticket pre order I got the digital & vinyl album plus an invite to a pre listen Q & A Zoom call where the band even answered one of my questions!

alt="black motorbike helmet with pink flower pattern"
New helmet

I could probably cite many examples of where communication between generations is so important as often the two groups can both surprise & inform one another. The one that springs most readily to mind occurred when the assistant offered to pair my new motorbike helmet to Spotify on my phone. Not sure what music he thought I would have been listening to but he clearly wasn’t expecting what started to emanate from the device. Turns out the track playing featured a favourite drummer of his with a band he had never heard before. You could almost see his initial opinion of the old woman he probably first drew being rewritten as he grilled me for information about the music & then shared his views on the psychological benefits of playing musical instruments & tattoos. Proving perhaps the old adage of not judging books by their covers & all that but only if you accept that it cuts both ways.

alt="lead singer with bandana & microphone"
Here’s looking at you

Living in what I shall now dub ‘Corona Times’ you realise the world is really tipping on its axis when you find yourself watching a live stream concert in the early hours because it was broadcast in a different time zone than your own. Not touring has, as the lead singer summed up neatly has forced us all to think more quickly & creatively about many things. So maybe something positive can come out of the chaos that seems to have engulfed the planet after all. Meanwhile I continue to work on a charity music project with my Tagaband co partner Sandra. It won’t be for the want of trying as we have had to overcome many obstacles to reach this point where even now despite all the effort it could still be scuppered. One of the advantages of my blackbelt training is that you know the value of perseverance! Meanwhile if anyone wants me I am hiding in my office with my guitars for comfort.

Stay safe where ever you are & what ever you are doing.

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