Friday, 29 August 2014

Me "singing"...

Well some of you asked for this...
This was recorded on my camera at a practice, so the sound quality is pretty rough.
There is nothing to see, the camera was just sitting on a chair...
I think this was during my second week standing in as a singer.  While trying not to listen to my dodgy vocals, you might be able to pick out how nice my 8 string bass guitar sounds....

Thursday, 28 August 2014

At the Beach

Mrs RC and I went for a walk on Sunday, our last chance to run away from things for a while.
We grabbed some fried chicken and had a picnic on the beach.  It was cloudy, giving bursts of hot summer sun from time to time.
While we sat, ate and chatted I noticed that the land on the other side of the estuary (where the River Thames joins the sea) was extremely visible.

I am convinced that there has been a subtle shift in the land, during my lifetime, that has affected this.  As a child I remember being able to see a faint hint of something on the horizon.  Later, a few bigger buildings could be seen, but now look at it!  OK you are probably dreadfully underwhelmed by this, but it is a big thing for me and this is my blog, so please show how impressed you are in the comments section!  :-)
OK, I accept that wise decision.
Last night I took a long route home.  The weather was nice and I had to call on the guitarist in my band to collect copies of his recordings of the band and to get a new, shiny metal control panel for my slowly developing Flying V bass.
The route home took me through where we used to live, which was a strange experience - haven't been back there for about 9 years.  A lot has changed and a lot is still very familiar.  I felt oddly like a tourist, to be honest!
On the way back along the beach, I noticed that a lovely sunset was developing and had to stop several times to take pictures.  I have been experimenting with the exposure time on my camera and like the results


NOW tell me you are not impressed!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Oh dear...

My younger brother just nominated me for the Ice Bucket Challenge.

I will be doing it at the weekend and will post my video here as well as on Facebook.

Hope the weekend is nice and warm...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

They think it's all over...

and I agree...

My holiday time is over - nearly a month - and I am now back at it again.  No more days of waking up and wondering what to do with the day, no more drifting into consciousness, going for a slow stroll with the dogs, grazing for breakfast, etc.


Summer has gone, and work has returned.  Life can be so cruel  :-)

But at least today's weather has not got me thinking that I could be sitting in the garden, sipping beer, chatting to Mrs RC and painting toy soldiers.  No, from just before I got to work it has been raining more or less constantly.  Sometimes as a fine drizzle, sometimes like it is suggesting that we all build big boats and start loading up the wildlife, but it has not stopped as far as I can see.

Just wondering if it will stop before hometime....

Funny how much confidence affects what we are able to do, isn't it?  Doubt yourself for a second and you are likely to fail.  Is this why there are so many over-confident idiots in positions of power?  I point to most of the UK government as an example, posh people from posh schools, most of them have never been allowed to fail at anything, and are now failing to notice that what they think is good for the country is appallingly bad for a lot of the people who live here - not to mention those who are overseas and are affected by the choices they make...

Anyway, back to the point - for years I have not been able to sing.  I knew I couldn't do it and every time I tried I sounded awful.  But recently something changed in me.  It was while on the isle of Lundy, there was a lot of discussion about all sorts of stuff, and I came away feeling subtly changed.  On the island I wrote a short song and sang it to the group.  It wasn't great but I felt that it was not as bad as it used to be.  Then the singer of our band went on holiday and I stepped up to the mic to cover for him, after the guitarist had declared that he could not play and sing at the same time.  OK, I am not claiming to be Sammy Hagar, but given that I only had 3 rehearsals as singer, I don't think I was bad.  Might even have some audio later in the week for you to listen to!  And I loved doing it too!  All comes down to confidence, standing up to the mic and singing from the heart.  Confidence...

Friday, 22 August 2014

RIP Humphrey

It seemed that he was going to last for ever.

For the last 3-4 years, the vet has been hinting that the next winter would be his last, but he kept on going strong.

But over the last few months, one of his legs was clearly not right.  Arthritis had set in, and it was now clear that it was not fair to keep him for another winter.  Any other horse or pony might have been happy in a stable for the cold months, but not Humphrey who was a true out door type who would only take shelter in the worst of conditions.

So this Wednesday, the vet paid a visit and Humphrey is now at rest.

He was in his early 30s, and was on his way to slaughter when my mum rescued him in the late 1980s, so he had a charmed life really.  I am sure he is having fun again now...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Camping (squelch)

Made it back from camping - not the sunniest or driest trip we have ever had (thanks Bertha) but it was still a great break.  One evening it was still raining when I had to cook, so I held an umbrella over the barbeque while my daughter held another one over the two of us.  Great fun!

Going to the heart of Kent, there is, of course, plenty of classic English countryside:

The rain also produced some nice rainbows... 

Lots of time was spent in the big tent, drinking cider, playing games and just having funny conversations.  It is great to have time like this away from everything, where the temptation to check your emails is not there because it is just not physically possible!  Everyone should do this from time to time.

Going to settle on the sofa and watch a movie now...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

40, 11

Yes, it is my 40-11th birthday today!

The weather is horrible, given that the remnants of Hurricane Bertha are passing over the country, but we are having a great day.

Did I ever say how amazing my family is?  Did I catch a roll of the eyes?  Hm, maybe I have  :-)

They made me the most awesome (just watched the Lego movie, so this word might be repeated a lot in the near future) meal...


Our daughter is now a vegan, so it was partly meaty and partly meat-free, but all of it was totally delicious.

To wash it down, they had got hold of some Cisk, a Maltese beer which is only available in Malta or (it would seem) online!

I love this stuff, and if I am careful I should have enough to last me a few weeks....

Did I ever say how great my family is?

We go camping next week - wondering how much of the hurricane will still be here for that!  Might make for an "interesting" trip!  Will post photos when we get back....

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Having a great break so far.

Here are 2 of the dogs we are looking after...

They aren't like this all the time - thankfully!

We did have to fortify the rabbit run a bit, as they found them a bit too interesting.

Meanwhile, the food has been great - today Number One Son tried an idea he has had regarding pizzas (using ultra-fine pasta flour instead of bread flour), with amazing results -  this will be a permanent change to our recipe.

Also, Mrs RC has been baking...

Peanut butter sponge with jelly filling.


Peanut butter-jelly time!

Time for another slice - bye for now!