Tag Archives: lockdown

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.

Damsons, Deer & Digital Dabbling

Its now been 8 months since Paddi passed away yet I still find my self up & out the door as I have been for more than a decade to wander the fields behind the house. As the seasons change so does environment so the view is never really the same twice & if I’m lucky I get to see wildlife too.

The wheat fields were a golden colour & the gentle rumble of the combine will be felt as the lane fills with tractor & trailers in a frenzied bid to get the harvest in.

Covid may have wreaked havoc on the wider world but not in these fields. I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to escape here on a daily basis to try & cling on to a sense of personal freedom.

Freedom like trust a very flimsy often underrated commodity until you no longer have it. Whilst lockdown had the feel of living in some sort of house arrest now our mobility is being governed by need to zealously conform to a myriad of conflicting rules & regulations.

So with no gigs to go to the answer was to set up a fund-raising project that led to hosting what I have dubbed a ‘micro festival’. In the role of ‘crash test dummies’ we live streamed a segment into an all day music event with a largely virtual audience. The scaled up version is likely to take place later in the year. This project is still ongoing but has been severely affected by the unpredictable announcements connected to covid concerns. More of that to follow as time goes on so be warned!

Then when out of nowhere came the chance to travel North for a live music it was too good an opportunity to miss. Daughter & I set off to Newcastle for a hotel I last stayed at back in the late 1980’s. With The Hunna headlining supported by Jaws & Bare Roots it was a total ‘no brainer’ to go especially as we could combine our visit with some sight seeing & meeting one of my daughters old ship mates.

Searching for our Pen

It was a curious set up but for all intents & purposes it mostly felt like a gig & the portaloos were the cleanest I had ever had the privilege to use. So may be some of the changes were for the common good! I certainly am glad I made the six hour drive to listen to those bands play they were all awesome in their unique way.

Sat in our ‘Pen’

The staff at the venue were lovely & I have never in all the gigs I have gone to been greeted by name when collecting my preordered drinks. My daughter & I joked that perhaps we were the only ones drinking Pimms but hey who cares it was a warm evening & that was the perfect beverage. We bought a mask to support the organisers in the hope they will get to run more & I was given a Hunna Hat as a thank you for organising the trip.

The Hunna

Live music lifts your soul especially when you can sing at the top of your voice & dance along even if a little self consciously in your own little pen. Quite a contrast to the gig I had attended in London prior to the lockdown where 10,000 of us had jostled together in an amorphous blob.

Not sure when we get to alight from the current crazy train but for now I have the memories of those few days to sustain me. The measures currently emplace seem to be designed to suck every ounce of enjoyment from peoples lives. As the dark nights approach coupled with the restrictions I can only wonder at the impact to the nations mental health. I now also have major reservations about the methods of data collection that inform these decisions. I am not convinced that young people are responsible nor is the virus spread just limited to social situations. The work place seems just as likely & it will be interesting to see how the incidence of sick leave rises with the approach of ‘cough & cold’ season where it will be virtually impossible to differentiate between the conditions.

Angel of The North

Newcastle we loved you, we had a fantastic break returning home to gloriously un-seasonally warm, balmy weather to catch up on some gardening. Bye for now & stay as safe as you can.