Friday 15 January 2021

A little bleak over the loch at Rowardennan, but a great ride πŸ™‚ WE sleep in. Really late, so breakfast is more like brunch and I have a bit of a mad scramble to catch up on the morning’s routine tasks and admin stuff. It’s not quite as cold as it’s...

Thursday 14 January 2021

I take a couple selfies with a guitar while I’m in the studio… AFTER breakfast I get the routine emails and socials out the way then head for the studio to take some additional photos for Beautiful Bearded Bastards. I use a CaseAir gizmo that lets me take...

Wednesday 13 January 2021

WITH severe weather alerts and potential tightening of lockdown rules I decide I should head into Glasgow for some shopping. I also need to make a ducted vent in the office so order a dryer vent kit, hole saw and various other bits and bobs from Screwfix to pick up...

Tuesday 13 January 2021

AFTER breakfast we go to the studio and make a quick birthday greeting video for a pal. Another pal calls with a load of questions about populating their online shop with products and asks if I can make a couple of minor amendments which I do immediately. The office...

Monday 11 January 2020

Click above to watch episode five in my Tales From the Road livestream series… I GET some merch packed up, postage printed and dropped at the post-box before breakfast. There’s also some stock updates needing done on my website. Margaret’s working on...

Sunday 10 January 2021

WE’RE sitting up in bed chatting and drinking coffee when I get a message from my pal Martyn to see if I fancy meeting up for a walk. I do. I have a quick shower and breakfast then go to meet him and we have a good couple of hours wandering around the early RSPB...

Saturday 9 January 2021

I’d almost forgotten about filming this episode of Scot Squad that aired during the week… I GET a bit of work done and capture a clip of my appearance on BBC’s Scot Squad during the week – then we jump in the car to go to Catriona’s. Our plan...

Friday 8 January 2021

AFTER a lazy start to the day I hit the studio and get on with the music video edit. I take a break to make some gyoza for lunch and mince some lamb for tonight’s lahmacun the return to the video editing. There’s a fair amount of work in putting together a...

Thursday 7 January 2021

That tree again – I get some video footage to use in the music video I’m producing for my pal in Nashville AFTER breakfast I get to work on the first edit of a music video I’m putting together for my pal in Nashville. There’s a really moody fog...

Wednesday 6 January 2021

There’s an eerie layer of mist around the foot of the Conic as I came back from filming in the churchyard. WE’RE up at a reasonable time as Keiran’s coming. to see why there’s still water coming in five/six weeks after he did the work on our...

Tuesday 5 January 2021

I’M not long finished breakfast when I get a message form the manager of the village shop – hours are being temporarily cut through the current lockdown, so I’m not needed for the time being. That means my afternoon/early evening is now free, so I plan a...

Monday 4 January 2020

Episode four in my Tales From the Road livestream goes pretty smoothly – click the image above to watch πŸ™‚ I TRY out the studio setup for the first off two guitar sessions today – my student gets a main image of a close up of my hands and an inset (‘picture in...

Sunday 3 January 2021

CATRIONA, Will and the kids arrive just as we finish breakfast. We get wrapped up warm and go for a walk through the forest. When we get back we sit in the garden and have some stovies Margret rustled up earlier. I’m not a big stovies fan (I still maintain that...

Saturday 2 January 2021

AFTER breakfast I’m in the office prototyping some match ideas when Betty arrives and we sit the garden and have a coffee. I do a little work in the studio then have a late lunch fo leftover red beans and rice before taking a walk to Martyn’s where we meet...

Friday 1 January 2021

Beautiful New Year’s Day sunshine…. A STUNNING morning to kick off the new year – hopefully it’s a sign of brighter things to come. I stick the drone up to get some photos and a panoramic video then have breakfast. We make coffees, fill our thermal...

Thursday 31 December 2020

After I play Devils’ Left Hand for Bill’s livestream Margaret joins me to say happy New Year to all the viewers πŸ™‚ HOGMANAY! Not planning too busy a day today, but I do hit the studio to try and continue the alternative setup for my live-streaming. Keen to...

Wednesday 30 December 2020

WE sleep in a. bit then, after breakfast, I nip into the studio to try and set up some of the livestream stuff on the old laptop to check all will be good in time for Monday’s Tales From the Road livestream. There’s so much housekeeping. to be done on the...

Tuesday 29 December 2020

IT’S a beautiful clear day. Freezing cold and icy, but lovely. I’m in the village shop from 1pm to close today so I nip along to Betty and Joe’s to drop off some mushroom risotto then back home to get some work done. There’s some designs for...

Monday 28 December 2020

I stop at Gwen’s bench on my way back down for the West Highland Way… MATTY goes out for a run first thing and I head to the studio. I need to sort video for tonight’s Tales From the Road livestream and also do some promo for it. After deciding on a...

Sunday 27 December 2020

WE’RE not long finished breakfast when Catriona arrives with the kids. We sit in then garden and have a coffee then go for a wee walk. The weather started out fine, but we don’t get very far before the rain comes on and we about turn and head back home. We...

Saturday 26 December 2020

WE have a long lie and late breakfast. It’s bucketing rain, so there’s unlikely to be any walking or cycling today πŸ™ Instead, I hit the studio and tackle a few jobs. First up, I manage to fix the tripod head that got stuck after Monday’s livestream....

Friday 25 December 2020

A few less round the table for Christmas dinner than usual, but we still have a great day…. WE HAVE a relaxing morning then Matty goes for a run Ben Lomond. While he’s away I get the smoker ready for the bacon-wrapped, cranberry-rubbed, turkey breast joint...

Thursday 24 December 2020

NICE clear sky and sunshine…I’d planned to cycle to Gartmore via part of the West Highland Way and over the old road, but it’s really icy underfoot. And that old road is pretty exposed going over the hill. It’s our eighth wedding anniversary...

Wednesday 23 December 2020

I’M in the village shop this morning– just for a few hours to help with the deliveries coming in. Home in time for lunch and I’m starving then I nip along to Betty and Joe’s to see if I can sort Betty’s Sonos. I’m a wee bit tight for time...

Tuesday 22 December 2020

AFTER last night’s “drinking on a non-drinking night” with the livestream as an excuse I end up sleeping in! Margaret’s away into Glasgow and I need to make a meal plan and shopping list with the stuff we need for Christmas etc. I also need to...

Monday 21 December 2020

Dirtyfoot makes a guest appearance in my festive livestream…click above to watch the video… WE’RE off into Glasgow early. I drop Margaret off then head off to get all my Christmas shopping. Everywhere’s mobbed – I thought staying away from the...

Sunday 20 December 2020

THE forecast of rain today hasn’t come to fruition and I’m keen to take the new bike for a spin. I’ve been so busy since it arrived during the week that I only had a quick tryout up the forest track after I built it up…and the weather’s...

Saturday 19 December 2020

Nice to get a wee feature in the paper trailed on the front page – click the pic to see main story πŸ™‚ I TAKE a batch of Christmas cards to the postbox before breakfast after which I get busy with some more tweaks to the Not Too Shabby online store. Sam’s coming...

Friday 18 December 2020

THE new beard combs are in my merch store and have carried across to my Facebook page, so first job today is posting a little fun video I made to promote them. Orders come in almost instantly and I get them all packed up and ready to go. Margaret got some wee LED...

Thursday 17 December 2020

I’D planned to go to the village, pick up a prescription and walk back this morning, but events overtook me and it’s gonna be better to wait ’til later. After getting the urgent jobs out the way I build up the bike. Once done I tentatively try it....

Wednesday 16 December 2020

THERE’S a mountain of stuff to be done before my afternoon/evening shift at the village shop, so I get cracking right away. A few merch order issues to be rectified…and I’m wondering why I haven’t heard from the folks supplying my bike via the...

Tuesday 15 December 2020

THE to-do list is exploding and I have merch on back order that I don’t know when to expect! I’m trying to sort it all out when Gordon from Glengoyne calls – he’s wanting to do an interview for his Whisky Unscripted podcast. He wants to do it now. I...

Monday 14 December 2020

Episode two in my Tales From the Road livestream series…watch it here or click above… THERE’S some merch orders to sort out after breakfast then the first of my two regular Monday guitar sessions. I need to create some images and promote...

Sunday 13 December 2020

Stop press…a special outdoor ‘live from the garden’ stream coming next week. Info here! IN the shower I decide I should schedule a Facebook livestream concert before Christmas. I know I said I’d only do ticketed full-length concert streams,...

Saturday 12 December 2020

I HAVE a local photoshoot at lunchtime – booked ages ago and I forgot all about it until I looked ahead at he diary the other week. With lockdown restrictions I wasn’t sure what the client’s plan was and if she’d still be coming to the village –...

Friday 11 December 2020

The new special edition hip flask is now available in my online store πŸ™‚ ONE of the top tasks today is to get the new special edition whisky flasks on sale in my online merch store. Next on the list is a bunch of social media stuff to promote the new shop...

Thursday 10 December 2020

A wee video I produced to promote the new shop…. I HAVE a meeting about the website I’m developing for a new local shop. Sam comes up and we sit outside and I take her through the website and get some little bits of info I need then we make it live. Good...

Wednesday 9 December 2020

I CALL the bike supplier first thing and pay my bill over the phone. Phew! That was a pain not being able to set up a bank transfer last night! It’s kinda late before I have breakfast then here’s a bit of a scramble to get all the things I need to do done...

Tuesday 8 December 2020

THERE’S a bunch of merch to be sorted out before I go for my shift at the village shop. I have two shifts this week. Yippee! Between the Merch and a load of other ‘admin’ kinda tasks, the mornings gone and I quickly make up some sandwiches to take to...

Monday 7 December 2020

Click above to watch the first episode in my Tales From the Road livestream series…. ON the to-do list early and manage to get a few things ticked off before my first guitar session of the day. After the session I take some red beans and rice to Betty and Joe...

Sunday 7 December 2020

The sky, loch and Inchcailloch look great this morning…. WHEN I go down to get the bins I notice the loch is looking really nice. I go back to the house, grab the drone and head out to get some footage. On the way, though, I come a cropper on the ice. Drone in...

Saturday 5 December 2020

AFTER breakfast I take some merch to the post box and drop into Betty and Joe’s garden to set up their new Sonos. Back home I get some work done on the video interview I shot yesterday before Catriona, Will and the kids arrive. We have lunch in the garden and...

Friday 4 December 2020

THERE’S some each orders to be sorted out, packed and postage applied to. Not too much hurry, though ‘cos I’ll be in the village later and don’t need to make the last post collection form our local post box at midday. The website I’m...

Thursday 3 December 2020

New in my online merch store…leather bound whisky flasks – click the pic to view \../ THERE’S new whisky flasks ready for my online merch store. I spend some time working out shipping costs/classes then take some ‘product’ photos for the store....

Wednesday 2 December 2020

ANOTHER early start – and first job after breakfast is to sort out a meal plan for the next week and make up an shopping list for Margaret. There’s a couple of merch orders to be packed up and postage printed, Once done, I go out for a walk up the lochside and...

Tuesday 1 December 2020

FIRST of the month…and my eNewsletter has gone out first thing as scheduled. There’s been some coaster sales via the online merch store so there’s a flurry of packaging activity and generating of online postage labels to get them in the local postbox...

Monday 30 November 2020

New in the merch store…engraved slate coasters πŸ™‚ UP early and on the case… I have some new merch to get in the online store – engraved slate coasters. Working out various postages for various quantities going to UK, Europe and rest of world is a bit of...

Sunday 29 November 2020

AN unintentional late rise this morning – not surprising as it was pushing 3am when we went to bed. There’s some stuff I wanna get done in the studio but first I want to get some more prep done on the alter-ego song project. First, I tidy up the Soundcloud page,...

Saturday 28 November 2020

WE enjoy a bit of a long lie. My gob’s still a bit uncomfortable, but better than yesterday. Fingers crossed it continues that way! The sun’s shining and we take advantage of the good weather to move all the scaffolding from the back garden and driveway...

Friday 27 November 2020

I WAKE at 5am – when my tongue even lightly touches the molar behind the one that was extracted the other day the pain is excruciating and keeps waking me πŸ™ I call the dentist as soon as they’re open and get an appointment for lunchtime. M teatime, I get some...

Thursday 26 November 2020

I SPEND the morning working on some graphic ideas for a new project I’m dreaming up. I’d spotted a good deal on the Sonos Move and texted the info to Betty earlier – she’s been talking about getting one for a while and Β£100 off is pretty good. She...

Wednesday 25 November 2020

I TACKLE some of the top items in the to-do list. Despite not being able to concentrate much because of the toothache, I manage to get a few things out the way before going for the bus to the village. It gets me there half an hour before my appointment at the dentist...

Tuesday 24 November 2020

THE toothaches getting worse…and it kept me from sleeping last night. A call from the dentist offers an afternoon appointment today that’s opened up, but I have a shift int he village shop that I can’t afford not to do…so I’m gonna have...

Monday 23 November 2020

A FEW things to get sorted before the first of two online guitar sessions today. Top of the list is to call the dentist and get an appointment for later in the week. The only that became sensitive a few weeks ago is now causing me a fair bit of pain as well as...

Sunday 22 November 2020

The ‘debut’ video … πŸ˜‰ AFTER breakfast Catriona, Freya and Aaron arrive and sit outside. I’m busy in the studio getting some things ticked off the to-do list, then I get busy with the video edit for the ‘alter-ego’ song. Apart from a...

Saturday 21 November 2020

AFTER breakfast Keiran comes to finish a few jobs and take down the scaffolding. I’ve grabbed some more video of the birds at the feeder to see what happens to the seeds. I shoot at 60 frames per second so I can slow things down a bit then edit and post...

Friday 20 November 2020

THERE’S a few issues with a wee project I’m devising…I decide to try reinstalling some software to see if that resolves things. After a bit of fuddling around I manage to overcome the majority of problems, but there’s still one over-arching...

Thursday 19 November 2020

WE’RE just finishing (a late!) breakfast when Betty drops by. We sit outside and have a coffee then I get on with some work. there’s some mercy orders needing sorted out and I have another wee project to try and get underway. I filled the bird feeder and...

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Click above to check out the song temporarily renamed Have You Ever… MAIN thing on today’s list is a wee bit of a fun experiment. I shouldn’t really spill the beans here, but it’s kinda cool for folks that read this blog to ‘be in the...

Tuesday 17 November 2020

IT’S AFTER 10am before I wake up. Managed to sleep through three alarms! There’s a load of stuff needing done before I have to be in the village shop at 1pm, so I have a quick shower and breakfast then get tore in to my to-do listen. I top and tail the...

Monday 16 November 2020

A screen grab from the Zoom sessions concert… KEIRAN’S round first thing to do some more on our cladding. We thought it was gonna be too wet, but the rain seems to be holding off. I have an online guitar session mid-morning after which I get busy with some...

Sunday 15 November 2020

WE’RE up at a decent time for once on a Sunday – Catriona and the kids are coming for a garden visit and Margaret wants to prepare some lunch for them. I’m in the studio when Margaret buzzes me to say the cooker’s goosed. Again. The ovens and grill...

Saturday 14 November 2020

One of my selfies to help promote Monday’s Zoom sessions concert… ANOTHER long lie! Then I hit the studio to tweak the mixes of the new song arrangement I’ve been working on. I take a break for some lunch and make a batch of lahmacun dough then our...

Friday 13 November 2020

AFTER a mid-morning guitar session – sadly the last with my student in Ireland – I get ready for a trip to the dentist. The tooth with the cap the came out a couple of times during lockdown has become extremely sensitive over the last week and the dentist thinks...

Thursday 12 November 2020

KEIRAN’S coming to work on the roof/wall at 8am – he’s planning to take the windows out, so I need to be ready to give him a hand. Getting the windows out of the frames turns out to be a little more complicated than he thought, so he changes the plan and...

Wednesday 11 November 2020

UP early again and I get cracking on the final phase of the video transcription job. I’ve promised formatted scripts will be delivered by midday. I fire through the remaining work and by 11.45am have them emailed off. It’s kind of important for me to try...

Tuesday 10 November 2020

I’M up early so I’m ready for Keiran coming to start work on our hall/conservatory – a simple cladding replacement opened a can of worms with damps and rot last week. Once Keiran’s on the job I hit the studio and edit up last night’s whisky...

Monday 9 November 2020

Watch the whisky tasting and music session above! IT’S whisky tasting livestream day…so lots of last minute promo to do. The only potential issue is the tasting product hadn’t arrived! I emailed on Thursday to check all was OK and was told delivery...

Sunday 8 November 2020

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Saturday 7 November 2020

Carnitas… πŸ™‚ WE have a long lie, a coffee in bed and enjoy a lazy start to the day. It’s been a busy week. I’ve a load of research to do into a project/idea I’ve had going round in my head for a while but been too busy to give any proper thought...

Friday 6 November 2020

A BIT of a slow start this morning, but eventually I get going in the office – and tackle the final video transcript. Aside from a break for lunch, and a 40-minute late afternoon walk I spend the whole day and evening on the transcript. I have short breaks every half...

Thursday 5 November 2020

I manage to get out for a quick walk through the forest as darkness falls… MAKING slow progress through the video transcriptions and once my routine admin stuff’s out the way, the rest of the morning is spent on that project. A local pal who’s...

Wednesday 4 November 2020

My wander down memory lane leads me to Epicure’s in Hyndland for a nice – albeit pricey – breakfast before my eye hospital appointment. WE’RE on our way into Glasgow early doors. Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train to Anniesland and wander...

Tuesday 3 November 2020

STILL on the video transcriptions…and I manage to make a little progress before breakfast. Before going back into the office I realise a tub of cottage cheese is right on its ‘use by’ date so I get some egg bites underway and the the first batch on...

Monday 2 November 2020

I’M up at the crack of dawn and get straight into the office to work on the video transcriptions that seem to have taken over my life. By the time I set up for an 11am guitar session I’ve made some good progress so after the session I decide to get some...

Sunday 1 November 2020

Click the pic for details of the whisky tasting and live music stream coming soon on Facebook… QUITE a lot of stuff to be done following my eNewsletter email out…and I share the link around all the relevant social media, Facebook groups and suchlike....

Saturday 31 October 2020

Next Zoom concert announced! Click the image above of go here for info/reservations I’M totally bunged up with the cold and aching all over. Seems like I have the lurgy. Not time to laze about tho’ – as well as the video transcripts I promised I would do,...

Friday 30 October 2020

That tree again! I think it looks much more striking when it’s lost its leaves… THERE’S an online guitar session with a student in Dublin first thing. I run it from the offie rather than the studio as I;ve set up to do the video transcriptions there....

Thursday 29 October 2020

WITH the Smokehead whisky tasting livestream in planning stages, I also need to schedule my next online concert. I’ve beens withering over which platform and approach is best so decide to contact the folks that signed up for the Zoom sessions to get some...

Wednesday 28 October 2020

I’D planned an early start, but last night’s decision to stay up late transcribing videos proved to be a mistake. I’m so tired when I wake up I think I was robbing Peter to pay Paul, time-wise. After I get all the routine things out the way I swap...

Tuesday 27 October 2020

THERE’S a bunch of stuff needing done in the house then I get busy with the video transcripts. I’m making slow progress and thinking I may have been a bit over-optimistic when I offered to do them…but I said I’d do it, so I will! Aside from the...

Monday 26 October 2020

AFTER breakfast I nip to the village shop to pick up some stuff we need then set up in the studio for a Zoom guitar session. When the session is finished I check out Creative Scotland’s website to see if the musicians’ hardship funding is open. It is. I...

Saturday 24 October 2020

Something a bit different in the studio today… AFTER a long lie we have breakfast and I hit the studio. There’s a couple of web update things to follow up on and some other admin kinda stuff. Once done I record some more part for a song arrangement...

Friday 23 October 2020

UP at a decent time to get on top of things before an online guitar lesson at 11am. My student has become as much a pal as a ciustomer and we spend a good while chatting before picking up on the guitar lesson. I’d forgotten my plan to smoke a pork loin and...

Thursday 22 October 2020

I HAVE a few admin things to do then Margaret drops me off in the village. She’s off to meet Catriona in Stirling and I’ve got to go to the post office and also pick up a prescription at the chemist. I enjoy the hour or so walk back home and make some...

Wednesday 21 October 2020

AFTER a bit of a lazy start to the day I make up a meal plan for the next week and send Margaret a shopping list for later on…she’s in Glasgow today. I finally get an answer from an old web client whose site I rescued yesterday…there are a few out of...

Tuesday 20 October 2020

I take a selfie while signing labels for the ‘Dave. Arcari signature guitar’ from National… AN early start – a few things to do following last night’s Zoom sessions which were, by all accounts, a triumph πŸ™‚ Once of my old web clients has been I...

Monday 19 October 2020

The set for the Zoom sessions… ZOOM sessions day! Lots of last minute promo and prep to be done, but there’s a load of other stuff on today too. First up, an online guitar lesson with a student in the borders. Once done I go for a walk in the rain and drop...

Sunday 18 October 2020

We bump into this character while out for a wander…. AFTER breakfast I drive along to Martyn’s and we go for a wander for an hour or two. It’s our regular mutual therapy session! I’m starving when I get back so stick some duck buns in the...

Friday 17 October 2020

Freya loves the guitar πŸ™‚ WE SLEEP in a bit – no surprise after our 4.30am shot…! I’m in the studio when Catriona, Freya and Aaron arrive but once I’m done with some work I go and join them in the garden and have a sandwich and a coffee with them. I...

Friday 16 October 2020

AN email from one of my online guitar students tells e he can’t make this morning’s lesson. That’s no bad thing in a way as I’ve loads to do. I make a double batch of egg bites..some for this morning’s breakfast and the rest for the...

Thursday 15 October 2020

ANOTHER shift in the village shop later today, so a lot to get through. I’m keen to finish the video supporting my pal Luke in the USA who got taken to hospital last week for an emergency operation…the resulting bills could hang over his head for years to...

Wednesday 14 October 2020

One of the many shots from the morning’s photoshoot in the studio… UP early to try and re-arrange the studio take pictures of a music student who’s coming this morning. I’m just finishing cleaning up and sorting de-sanitiser and facemasks etc...

Tuesday 13 October 2020

THERE’S been some PRS Members’ Fund stuff needing done for a week or so now and I wanna get it out of the way before my deadline. Once done, I set up a couple of private Facebook groups for those ‘attending’ the Zoom sessions concerts on Monday...

Monday 12 October 2020

The final episode in my Cookin’ Up The Blues livestream series…red beans & rice; pork, chorizo & butterbean casserole…and some live tunes… THE alarm goes off early – there’s a full diary today. I have an online guitar session at...

Sunday 11 October 2020

ANOTHER bit of a long lie…and a lazy morning checking through emails and drinking coffee. Breakfast isn’t even brunch, it’s more like lunch – then I’m on a mission to help a local pal get better internet. I’m working outside his house and...

Saturday 10 October 2020

Nice sky over Balmaha bay in the evening… I SLEEP in. It’s Kinda weird as I didn’t kick the ass out the drink last night, but not drinking through the week must be resulting in a much lower tolerance! It’s also resulted in saving a fair bit of...

Friday 9 October 2020

My first attempt at Lahmacun works out good – but I need to try and get the base a little thinner next time… I’VE managed to clear the decks before I fire up Skype for a guitar lesson with my student in Ireland. The lesson is productive for him and goes...

Thursday 8 October 2020

TODAY’S diary is full of Zoom meetings, Skype guitar lessons and Microsoft Teams events. Who’d have known technology would save the day! The first online thing is a Musicians’ Union (MU) Live Performance Section committee meeting – normally we get...

Tuesday 6 October 2020

I put together some promo video for social…. ONE of the things that’s slipped down the to-do list is creation of a social video to promote the two Zoom concert sessions. I do a quick set up in the studio and film green screen footage of me talking to...