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Archive for the ‘Journal’ Category

Here’s to that mouse

On Friday the 13th of January 2017 I attended my first Burns Supper of the season, hosted by Helensburgh Burns Club. I will complete my third year as secretary for the club in May and, as we draw performers from a selection of guests and from within the club, that meant I was invited to do “whatever I liked” by this year’s president, Geoff.

That’s quite an open remit, but when I was asked earlier the previous year I had a good idea of what I would like to perform. The first Burns’ poem that I learnt was To a Mouse and I have always been fond of it. In early 2016 I had the idea of writing a reply on behalf of the titular mouse and this eventually became my poem, Fae a Mouse. So that and the work that inspired it became the core of what I would do and as fortune would have it, with our club supper being so close to the festive season, I could open with I’m Really Glad Xmas Is Over which I had written during the festive season of 2015.

At our St Andrew’s Night I had to read the poems I performed because I just wasn’t confident enough in my ability to recite them off by heart. The fact I did drew some gentle criticism which I happily accepted. I really had no excuse for not learning my own poems properly!

This time around I had put a lot more practice in and could probably have done all three without any cues. That’s tempting fate when you’re drinking though, so I printed my two out and put extra effort into getting To a Mouse learned. In the event I stumbled once on that one – it was going so well it seemed too good to be true, so I checked I was doing okay with one of our past presidents!
I received some really good feedback on my poems. A couple of people asked for copies and a lady who is performing at the Edinburgh Fringe asked for a copy of Fae a Mouse because she wanted to use it there.

I couldn’t be much happier with how my part of the night went. It’s both rewarding and a relief when you perform something you’ve written and have it be so well received.

Cruising Loch Lomond 

Last week, in what was probably one of the the last of the few good days we’ve had in a rotten summer, we headed out on Crazy Uncle John’s boat for a day on Loch Lomond.

It was the perfect day out in so many ways. Not only did we have a hassle free launch and extraction of the boat, but the conditions were absolutely fantastic and the kids were able to enjoy a great last day before the school holidays were over.  Read the rest of this entry →

Making the cuts

Back in the day, I really enjoyed making mix tapes. I would spend ages in my bedroom planning a playlist, making sure each song came nicely after the one before it without being a jarring change of tempo or style, then put together an epic C90 with my twin cassette deck HiFi.

Naturally, in step with the march of technology, I progressed to making playlists on Minidiscs, then CD’s for the car, and still got a kick out of compiling a playlist that would hold its own against a commercially available compilation album.

However, by the time I transitioned to listening to mp3’s and the streaming music services that followed, my previously meticulous attention to detail in crafting musical continuity became a forgotten art. In short, I somehow stopped caring and these days I will just stick a playlist on shuffle and ride the randomness it throws at me. When Moby’s Porcelain is unceremoniously followed by The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up on my shuffled classic electronica playlist, I only have my own apathy to blame.

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