‘Trip to the tip’ now up on Bandcamp

March 25, 2016

Hello! This is to let you know that I have now placed a digitally orchestrated version of my song ‘Trip to the tip’ on Bandcamp

 

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More songs on Bandcamp

March 23, 2016

Hello!
I have been busy putting up more stuff on my Bandcamp site (both recording and doing the artwork for the tracks). The most recent ones are:

    Life is a party
    Full English breakfast

You can get to them at:
Fyrmusica songs

Apart from this, I am still working on the manuscript of my latest novel ‘Passionate abrasions’ but I don’t think that will be finished until late summer. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

‘A Hawk’s dinner’ is now up on Bandcamp

February 5, 2016

Hello! I have now put a version of Hawk’s Dinner up on Bandcamp:
A hawk’s dinner
Hoping to get more up in due course.

Fried eggs for breakfast now up on Bandcamp

February 1, 2016

Hello! Yet another song up on bandcamp now…
Fried eggs for breakfast

There might be a pause before I get any more songs up, for a while. I think I am more or less up-to-date with what I have on file. There is more to come, but that will require work in the home-recording studio. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

My song Chemical Warfare is now up on my Bandcamp site

January 31, 2016

Hello,
My song Chemical Warfare (originally recorded in studio, back in 1983) is now up on my Fyrmusica Bandcamp site
Chemical Warfare
The artwork is new. I finished that today!

My song track ‘Waiting Up’ now on my Fyrmusica Bandcamp site

January 26, 2016

Hello!
I have now uploaded my song ‘Waiting up’ to the Fyrmusica Bandcamp site. I have made some new artwork for the track, which I hope you will enjoy.
Waiting up

Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

My song ‘Breathe Softly’ now up on Bandcamp

January 23, 2016

Hello!

It has been a while. Anyway, this is to let you know that I have at last put a version of my song ‘Breathe softly’ up on my Fyrmusica Bandcamp site:
Breathe softly

I am rather pleased with my artwork. I hope you like it, too. The version of the song was recorded in studio back in 1983 and was originally on my vinyl LP ‘Just for the record’. I recently managed to digitise it. The sound engineer placed a mic very close to the guitar. While I think that was, on balance, a good thing to do it does mean occasionally you get the sound of my fingers running up and down the strings! Oh, and I overdubbed some additional guitar work – you don’t get that in my streamed live performances, obviously. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

Meditating on my boarding school days

October 2, 2015

I have recently joined a closed group on Facebook relating to the boarding school to which I was sent in the early 1950s. The issue came up about punishment. I, probably about 10 years old, was given six of the best with a sawn-off cricket bat by my housemaster, for throwing sausages at the music master in the school dining hall. Of course, I was not the only person with a tale to tell and some people in the group went into their own sorrow at the things that had happened to them. One or two replied with the astringent “Get over it!”. I have to say that that is rather like saying to someone who is really (and possibly clinically) depressed “Snap out of it.”

Actually, it was not the beatings [sawn-off hockey sticks, rulers, plimsoles, canes – applied to sundry parts of the body such as heads, hands (palms up; knuckles up), backs of calves, bums, backs of thighs (often carressed before the blow)…] that hurt me most. Rather it was the periods of days, and sometimes weeks, of imposed SILENCE where nobody could speak without raising a hand for permission with good excuse to do so that got to me. (24/7).

I don’t think that anybody who experienced that sort of regime could possibly be told to ‘Get over it’ or ‘Snap out of it’. Some will have done, some won’t. At the time, the stories of what UK forces personnel had endured in Nazi and Japonese prison (and concentration) camps during WW2 was starting to become common knowledge in England, possibly because some of the incarcerated prisoners had come back home and had been encouraged to write books as cathartic therapy. Nobody was going to get upset about a few boarding school boys with red bottoms!

I will attempt to maintain, here, an even-handed memory of my time at that school. There were great moments, in adversity. There were great and binding friendships within the awfulness. My experience growing up at boarding school, from 8 to 18 taught me that I could endure the most difficult times, in my later life. Thus I survived my divorce. I survived moving alone to several strange cities. So, a fucked-up upbringing gives you survival skills. That, I accept.

As for the teaching, it was extremely patchy. There were a few brilliant teachers who faught to shine through the regime. There were hosts of mediocre and appalling teachers, too. The way I have always thought about that, is that the best of the potential male teachers must have died in WW2, as I am sure they did. Some of their survivors were really good, I do not deny. But that doesn’t mean that the school as a whole should be regarded as an especially privileged domain as regards teaching, and certainly not while I was there.

So, I do not want to ‘get over it’ or ‘snap out of it’. However, I do want to recognise what I was given. I was given a certain poise in life, and an ability to face up to hard times. This is no more than a trained soldier might have been given. The school I went to was what it was: a minor public school in the early 1950s. No better, no worse. But, as an adult, I vowed I would never send a child of mine to a boarding school, nor would I ever physically chastise him (or her). And to that oath, I have stayed true. This, I owe to those horrible years that I spent away from home.

Lunar eclipse 28 September 2015

September 28, 2015

I stayed up late, wrapped up, and went out into the garden at 02h20. I took a chair into the middle of the lawn and sat looking up at the moon. The sky was clear and I could see a sprinkling of stars. It was very quiet, although I could hear the hum of traffic from the main road, some distance away. The eclipse began to be noticeable at around 02h25 from my vantage point in the north east of England. I had to look south to observe it. By 02h35 about half of the moon was covered but I could detect no redness. By 02h45 only a third of the moon was showing. Eventually, there was a total eclipse of the moon at around 03h15 and by that time it was definitely glowing red. I was starting to get cold out there, so I packed up and came indoors to upload my photos and write this piece. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

Lunar eclipse 28 September 2015

Lunar eclipse 28 September 2015

Soap

September 21, 2015

At the weekend I went down to London for a reunion with some old friends. I needed an overnight stay and I fixed that up on the internet. The hotel was fine and not too expensive, given central London prices. Anyway, I wanted to freshen up after my long train journey and so I looked around in the bathroom for some soap for my hands and face. Eventually I found a small tablet but it was in a flat, square cardboard box container. On the container was printed a description of the contents:

MOISTURE INFUSION
facial bar

How pretentious can you get? Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.