Showing posts from April, 2012

Swimathon and Band Jam

Hello - busy weekend... again! Firstly on Sunday evening Daughter-of-Furtheron and I were in the Swimathon.  I first did this in 1989 and was a regular participant for years, but I haven't done it the last couple of years.  We were both in the 5,000m individual challenge, D-o-F for the first time.  Well we both completed it, both raised our sponsorship targets (but you can add to that if you'd like to!).  D-o-F completed in 1 hour 33min and 37 seconds... hugely impressive and betters my best ever time by a few mins.  I managed 1 hour 56 min 27 seconds - frankly to get under 2 hours was a surprise for me, I'd not trained the last couple of weeks due to the migraine issues and I pulled a muscle about 150 lengths in, I felt it go and the last 50 were difficult, the last 20 utter agony! Link to my sponsorship page Secondly I had a band jam with my brother-in-law (on bass) and a friend (on drums) on Saturday evening.  We had a bash through some covers - had a laugh and pla

New Song In Your Eyes

Hot on the heals of the live debut of this song - here is the studio version...  enjoy

The video! In Your Eyes

Here is the video from last Saturday Right this one is actually influenced by a couple of people who drop by here ... I'll protect the guilty but anyway hope you enjoy this.  In Your Eyes!

The gig

Hello - back in harness.  Feeling better, not 100% but better than I was despite going back to work yesterday, the awful bloody weather (shouldn't moan we need the rain) and the 1 hr delay getting home due to a lightening strike on the overhead gantry just outside St Pancras! The gig was a success (well I think it was).  The stage was plenty large enough for me although the large groups were a bit cramped on there.  The sound was good with a couple of good sound guys who just efficiently got on with the job and delivered really good results - impressive given the range of groups and solo artists.  Everything was running late - I never really knew why, it was already late when we got there in the middle of the afternoon, due to that I had to cut to a set of about 30mins - I was pleased with how I did that on a personal level, i.e. calmly and evenly. Luckily the weather held and it was actually sunny for a while, dry throughout but a little chilly.  That might have kept the numbe

Missing in action

So the rushing about like a headless chicken has caught up with me...  Last week was two AA chairs, travelling to them and Paradise Lost gig, a bit of stress at work with some important meetings, gig preparations and gig on Saturday (went well I will post about that soon as I can) and then a drive to Wales and back to return S-o-F to university - D-o-F came along too... So I drove over 1000 miles in one week which for someone who commutes by train into London everyday and doesn't drive even to the station is fairly nuts.  Well by last night all was not well.  My Migraine Associated Vertigo is bad, couple that with a few nights of rubbish sleep, not helped by the migraine symptoms and finally this morning I went into work but had to throw the towel in straight away and return home.   I should be resting really not on here typing away so that this pain in the head goes away.... Normal service will be resumed, when it can... hopefully shortly

Paradise Lost gig review - Folkestone The Quarterhouse 18th April

Son-of-Furtheron and I went to see Paradise Lost last night at The Quarterhouse in Folkestone. Firstly Paradise Lost - a doom laden gothic metal band from Yorkshire, have been around a long time now but never got the accolades I think they deserve.  If you don't know them let me say if you like Metallica (esp Black Album material), Opeth and even the heavier live elements of The Prodigy and Pendulum you should go and check them out. Secondly - venue - first time I'd been there.  Folkestone is like many old seaside towns, the holiday traffic long since dried up with the cheap package tours from the 70s onwards.  It had a large funfair that closed in the end, it has a harbour where you used to be able to get to France but Dovers dominance in the market and the Channel Tunnel put paid to that some years back... so a town in transition.  Like many the arts are seen as part of that transformation and you have a dichotomy now within the harbour area of galleries, ceramic worksho

I am just a traveller

I am just a traveller through recovery.  Last night that was more literal than normal.  I'd been asked to speak at a meeting the other side of the county.  It was a bit of rush to get there, catch the early train, Mrs F prepared with a meal ready cooked as I arrived in to serve immediately, my kids (kids!!! they are 16 and 21 but still my kids) helping with the washing up as I flew in and out the house like a whirlwind to be able to get to the meeting on time. I'd been to that meeting some years back at a different venue and with a lady who sadly passed away some time back.  I found the new venue easily - if anyone steals my car and thinks using the Sat Nav will provide them with rich pickings from my estate of houses they will be sadly disappointed all they will find is a collection of far flung AA meeting points!  The meeting is now housed in a lovely little modern hospital - very comfortable and nice.  There were a few familiar faces there, some I'd not seen in a while

Breaking strings and gig preparations

I'm playing a gig next Saturday.  Now this is a big thing for me, I don't play many gigs, probably because I don't promote myself enough but also I'm not sure my material is mainstream bookable stuff... my wife was commenting on an ad we recently saw for a band looking for work - her comment was "Why would people see them they are just a covers band?" is an interesting one.  Put simply, if you play original music few are really interested in listening, let alone paying to hear it... if you bang out Mustang Sally etc. regularly you can probably earn a half decent second income from it.  Anyways - I'm playing a festival... headlined by a Pink Floyd tribute band (see previous comment!). 45 minute set.  Run through my initial planned set which did have a couple of covers in to draw people in - over 55 minutes.  So I've cut it back - now I'm worrying I'll be a few mins short again!  I've decided against 12string numbers as the repair hasn'

The Whitstable Dream

Saw this whilst in sunny Whitstable today... The Whitstable Dream ... hmm haven't got £675,000 to buy it really :-( Good news on the Tax Form front - I found one of the important bits of paper I thought I'd lost - I think I might have a fighting chance to fill it in now!

Where's he been then?

At home - actually.  I've had a week and a half off work.  Now I seem to be busier than ever when not at work - how's that the case?  I redecorated the bedroom over Easter then did the 12-string work but just loads of other stuff... mostly boring like trying to figure out my tax return!!  However today is Mrs F's birthday and Son-of-Furtheron returned from visiting his girlfriend in Wales last night so we are all off to Whitstable for a day out...

12 String Guitar - Bridge Doctor Installation

Remember my 12 string needing to have it's overbelly reduced?  Well I ordered a Bridge Doctor  from StewMac in the USA which arrived in a couple of weeks. Here is the bridge doctor before installation Here is the action before - about 5mm on the bass side and about 3mm on the treble. The guitar on the workbench Hole drilled - I got a 1/4" brad bit for the outer hole and used a cocktail stick marked at 1/8" as my depth gauge.  You get a little plastic dot you can inlay over the screw once finished - I may do that later when I get happy with it.  Luckily I have a local little hardware shop that stock imperial drills and are cheaper than the big stores... no doubt as the stock has been there 20 years! Set the doctor to the best width - the circular plastic bolt holder has three settings - I used the widest you can see to allow string clearance on the 12 string - on a 6 string the middle would probably be best setting.  The doctor installed - t

On the telly

Our local area was - John Bishop ran right past my old local and my daughters school on that programme about his money raising Paris to London thing.  If they'd have kept the camera on two seconds longer D-o-F would have been on the telly.   Now last night though Pub Dig at Chatham was aired on Channel 5.   This is a rip off of Time Team but with less people and Rory McGrath hosting it... all digs are in pubs...  nice gig Rory! Anyway last night they were at Chatham outside The Command House - a teenage occasional haunt of mine - haven't been there in years mind.  However they were digging out the front of it looking for evidence of the first Royal Dockyard - started in 1500 something by Henry VIII and in Elizabeth I's reign it was the most important dockyard in the country and therefore in the wars with the Spanish etc.  In fact the last ever foreign invasion was in the Raid on the Medway in 1667 when the Dutch had a go and actually did sink a lot of ships. Anyway the

I'm not going to rant

I was going to rant about the taxman - but what's the point?  I was going to have another bloody rant about councils and bus passes - but what's the point?  In summary about the bus pass, we thought they had a new teenager scheme so we applied - it said "at any time" - pass comes back "valid Mon-Fri up to 9am"... that isn't "any time" in my book.  We asked for a refund as we already had that type of pass and I wrote to complain saying they didn't advertise it well.  They said my daughter could travel at half price after 9am and weekends without the pass... she can't she is 16 - that was the point...  They clearly never read my letter at all.   now the new propaganda sheet council newsletter arrives saying you can get a 16 - 18 bus pass that gives a discount "at all times"... do I start this nonsense all over again?  Have they responded to my suggestion that scheme would be a good idea (I'd put that in the letter) - if so

The man in the mirror

... that'll be me that will.  Funny whenever I see myself in the mirror there is a slightly different person looking back to the one I was expecting to - do you ever find this?  The one in the mirror is a couple of years older than me, a few pounds heavier than, not as toned as me, has more grey in the beard than me... etc.  Self-image - it isn't that I have a wildly out of step self image but it certainly isn't 100% in tune with reality!!!  Today I can laugh at myself about these things, begin to accept the inevitable process of ageing and just get on with it. I tell you the best thing though - the guy in the mirror is able to look me in the eye these days.  Honestly for years in the back end of the drinking I was so ashamed of myself that I couldn't look myself in the eye, let alone anyone else - only time I did do that with anyone else it was in a drunken aggressive manner. "Comfortable in your own skin" - I remember hearing that phrase (at least the fi

Getting great milage...

This will no doubt rate as another stunningly boring post in the history of this blog but what the heck... So the fuel crisis - unbelievable, I won't go into discussing the possibility that this is the most inept government I've ever seen in my life (and I do include the disastrous Jim Callaghan administration of the 70s in that) but you have to say the British public (encouraged by senior politicians) managed to create chaos out of nothing.  So there is no strike planned and if so there is 7 days notice but Dave Cameron says "Fill your car up to be safe" and suddenly there is a 800% increase in fuel sales and all the garages around our area are shut!  Brilliant! Anyway I had to go to Wales to retrieve Son-of-Furtheron for the Easter break.  I did manage to find one service station with diesel before I left on Saturday morning.  I decided given I didn't know if I could fill up anywhere that I'd drive a little more conservatively.  I set a cruise at 68mph o