Category Archives: Bloggers Log

This section holds the blogs that have been posted documenting the recent road trips I have undertaken along with updates of the retirement challenges that I have been set.

Looking for Light at end of gloomy tunnel

Across social media it seems it’s not just me that’s currently seeking an end to this fairly dark and gloomy tunnel we all seem to be stuck in. Battling the wind & mud tramping across my neighbours farmland we explored the slightly bizarre feelings of ‘mental claustrophobia’ that we seemed to be suffering from. Before all the lockdowns & tiers were even thought of our lives were filled with a heady mixture of travel, exercise classes & all manner of other interesting projects & interests. Most of these it has to be said coming to an abrupt end as the shutters came down collectively on our personal freedom. Leaving even those of us who despite considering ourselves to be very fortunate feeling trapped & really fed up.

For me it has manifested itself in the wearing of skirts & tights to do the shopping rather than jeans to give a sense of ‘getting dressed up to go out’ to trying to wring out a sense of pleasure & satisfaction in completing the most mundane of tasks.

Highlight of the week was to put my new motorbike helmet through its paces. Streaming music & enabling conversation between rider & pillion whilst breezing along was great. However I couldn’t remember how to take a call & possibly wisely decided that the perfect learning opportunity was not whilst we were screaming down the motorway.

Given the plans for Christmas were mutating faster than the corona virus seems to be, we abandoned the concept of a traditional roast. Mindful of not wanting to purchase food that potentially could be wasted we opted a ‘Tex Mex’ meal with my creative daughter making funky tree decorations. It was a ‘good call’ as the latest rules did impact our modest plans forcing us to revise the shopping list again as the guest list shrank further.

So in the meantime I get to plod on with what has become the daily mix of guitar practice, conference calls & other computer related tasks. To give me a break from the tv I have watched a few streamed music gigs which were fun. It feels that in the last few months, I have watched more television than in my entire life (or so it feels). I was shocked to see I had registered at least 300 home workouts too which doesn’t include the zoom yoga classes either. I have taken the plunge and posted one of my short stories on this site and possibly will add some other things too. if i am feeling really brave the song I have written but I might have to issue a warning before listening notice if I do.

As I write this it is actually what is known as the ‘shortest day’ so that means the evenings will start to get a little lighter by a few minutes each day. So maybe there will sort of be some light after all? I certainly hope so. 

Wishing all who read this a very safe time as the end of 2020 approaches & if you normally celebrate Christmas the best you can achieve in the circumstances. Lets hope that 2021 is a whole lot brighter. 

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.