Monday 16 May 2022

I ‘go public’ with this week’s Wildcats’ livestream….

THE power’s going off for ‘maintenance’ this morning so I try and get as much work done as I can before the 10am shutdown…which also means I had to re-schedule my usual 11am Zoom guitar student’s session to 1pm.

I use the downtime to mess with guitars in the studio then the opera comes back on – earlier than expected – just before midday.

Before the 1pm session I manage to get some more work done on the guitar lessons’ website then, once the session is done, I make chicken ramen for lunch.

Then I’m back on the website before some prep and promo for tonight’s Wildcats’ livestream which is going out on my Facebook music page rather than the private Wildcats’ group. I do this on occasion to try and attract new folks into the free-to-join Wildcats group.

Still way too windy to go out on the loch, but there’s a wee window early doors tomorrow that I might get out for an hour or two. Instead, I go for a wander up the lochside in the rain.

I’m back in time for another Zoom guitar session then set up the livestream and go-live bang on time… 🙂

Sunday 15 May 2022

Nice to bump onto some fellow paddlers….

UP early for another paddle. Aching all over from yesterday’s efforts battling the wind really don’t feel like it but I don’t wanna fall any further behind schedule o the fundraising mission.

Once again it’s windier and choppier than forecast and by the time I get to Manse Bay it’s getting treacherous so I head for shore where I have my fruit and yoghurt and a coffee before making my back close to shore.

Everyone’s up and about when I get back. I wash down my board, grab a quick shower and have ’the rest’ of my breakfast – a bagel with a breakfast pattie, egg and cheese.

Margaret goes back to Doune with Catriona and the kids – Aaron has a pre-op appointment and Margaret’s looking after Freya while Catriona and Will take him along. He’s to get a wee operation on his tummy button this week.

I defrost some chicken and make a marinade for grilling later then get back to work on the guitar lessons website. Starting to come together. As usual I get engrossed and it’s after 8pm when I get back to the house and light some charcoal for the grill.

Grub’s up just in time to watch our pal Bill’s – now monthly – livestream…and instead of coming from Florida, it’s from Invergowrie as they’re over here staying in their second home here in Scotland 🙂

Saturday 14 May 2022

Quite choppy out on the loch as I try and add a few more miles to the Scottish Mountain Rescue fundraiser.

UP at 6.30am for a paddle – desperately need to get some miles in for the Scottish Mountain Rescue fundraiser.

It’s a bit windy and choppy but I persevere and make it to – and along the side a bit of – Inchailloch. I’m back home in time for breakfast then it’s time to hit the studio.

Main task on the to-do list is to out together some kinda website for my online and in-person guitar lessons, masterclasses and workshops. I accidentally deleted the original website when migrating all my websites to a new server back in September and had forgotten I’d just put up a holding page.

Betty drops by the garden for a coffee, closely followed by Catriona and the kids who’re staying tonight.

I get back to the website building and, after I’ve made some headway, go out for a another paddle.Tthe sun’s shining but it’s blowy…and even choppier than this morning. I make it to Port Bawn at the far end of the island and by the time Ilm home the kids are asleep.

A quick shower then I get the pizza oven fired up and we enjoy our evening meal outside 🙂

Friday 13 May 2022

Finally updated the promo video for my online and in-person guitar lessons and stuff…now to rebuild the website!

STILL blowing a hooley out there – and it’s set to be like that all day, so no paddleboarding for Scottish Mountain Rescue 🙁

Still, lots to get on with in the studio and office.

First I need to get a personalised leather airtag holder finished and in the airmail to Australia. Shoulda been done by now but I managed to spoil the first one. Once the final finish is cured and the snap and eyelets installed I give it to Margaret to do the sewing. I;ve sewn a few of them but I’m nowhere as good – or fast – as Margaret.

After lunch I have a Zoom session with one of my guitar students then I set about making a new promo video for the online and in-person lessons. The pinned video on the Facebook page is kinda out of date…and I need something for the website which I hope to rebuild over the weekend.

There isn’t really time to do anything fancy’s it’s a kinda warts’n’all production but it’ll do the needful.

By the time time I’m finished it’s after 8pm so I head back to the house and sort dinner.

Thursday 12 May 2022

I’M still running around getting routine stuff out the way when my Thursday morning guitar student arrives.

The lesson goes well then I get the pizza dough out the fridge. My cousins Ian and Zila and Zila’s partner John are coming for lunch.

They arrive just after midday. We sit in the garden and enjoy a drink and blinis – Margaret’s doing and very nice they are too – while the pizza oven warms up.

It’s a bit windy so we put up one of the old gazebo walls which does the trick.

We have a great afternoon and evening catching up then they hit the road just after 8pm and we get tidied up.

Neither of us are hungry so we have some snacks and watch a few episodes of Bosch:Legacy before falling asleep on the couch. 

Wednesday 11 May 2022

FIRST job on the list today is a custom leather airtag holder for someone in Australia. It’s my second Etsy sale!

After creating the custom artwork I get the engraving and cutting underway then go to tidy up and clean the studio. It’s a mess and Duncan and Irene are popping by this morning so I don’t want it to be a riot in there.

They show up mid-morning and I get a hard drove from Duncan so I can transfer over the video files from our show together a couple of weeks ago. It5’s gonna take a few hours so we go into the village for a coffee and bump into Betty and Joe.

I go back to the house to get on with some work and Duncan’ll come back this afternoon for his drive.

After lunch I dye the airtag – purple, my least favourite dye to use….not because I don’t like the colour but the pigment is so strong it marks anything it touches and it’s a pain to clear out the airbrush.

It’s windy – still way too windy to go out on the loch –but it’s a nice day so after Duncan’s picked up his drive I have a wander up the lochside.

Back home I decide to finish the airtag with saddle soap rather than the usual resolene – it give the leather a much softer feel…but never having put it on dyed leather before I’m not sure how it’ll work out. It might be the dye hasn’t;t had enough time to dry…or maybe it just does;t like saddle soap…but it ends up lifting the colour in places making it look kinda distressed. It might be to some folks’ taste, but it’s not the finish I advertised so I have to start a new one from scratch.

We’re taking dinner along to Betty and Joe tonight and I’m trying my hand at beef bourginon – in the instant pot, of course, so instead of taking four hours to cook, it should be done in an hour or so.

Unlike the airtag, the beef is ready on time and is hailed a great success 🙂

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Charlie plays a fantastic show at the Glad Cafe, Glasgow…

OFF into Glasgow early – Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train into the city centre.

I stop for coffee and get some work done and then go to meet my pal Charlie – he’s over from. the ‘states on a European tour and playing in Glasgow tonight.

We catch up for a coffee then go a wander before stopping at Mikaku for some lunchtime ramen. And very good it it too.

Charlie got back to his digs to get ready for tonight’s show and I go to meet Margaret and pick up some stuff I need for tomorrow night’s dinner which Ilm taking to Betty and Joe’s. The main shopping trip is tomorrow, but I need to start cooking before Margaret’ll be home with everything.

We meet Charlie and his tour manager Martin at the venue and have dinner together then enjoy Charlie’s show. A wonderful performance 🙂

There’s few folks we know in the crowd too and it’s nice to catch up before we head for home. A great day and night.

Monday 9 May 2022

Wanna see the Wildcats’ weekly livestream? Join the Facebook group now – it’s free (just answer a couple of simple questions).

AFTER getting a batch of egg bites in the Instant Pot I go out to the office and dye the leather bracelets…hopefully they’ll be dry by the time I’ve finished breakfast and I can get a finishing layer on.

If so, I might be able to get them finished before my first Zoom guitar student of the day…then get the parcel off with the postie. As t is, I get one off the bracelets edged and a snap in place, so the parcel is ready.

I’ve only just finished the Zoom session when the postie arrives and agrees to take the parcel 🙂

Back in the office I make some stands for the chopping boards I have in the village shop. They’ve been behind other stuff on a top shelf with no pricing/info since I dropped them in. That needs to change 😉

I take the stands down and have a blether then go home and make gyoza for lunch.

In the studio I edit another song form the Memorial Hall show then revamp the landing page and SurveyMonkey page to make it all a personally run competition with me undertaking to donate the equivalent amount of entry fees to our Scottish Mountain Rescue fundraising effort.

Once that’s all sorted I spread the word then get prep done for this evening livestream into my Wildcats’ Facebook group.

My final Zoom student of the day is followed by the livestream, dinner and an early night….

Sunday 8 May 2022

Nice morning for a solo paddle to squeeze in some extra miles for the Scottish Mountain Rescue fundraiser

I’M not feeling much like it, but I drag myself out of bed for an early paddle. It’s forecast to be windy on the loch by lunchtime and the outlook for the rest fo the week makes it unlikely I’ll get out again until next weekend.

Regardless of tiredness I really enjoy my paddle out to – and around – Inchcailloch and manage to livestream my paddle home form Port Bawn which results in a few more donations to our Scottish Mountain Rescue fundraiser.

Margaret’s breakfast ready when I get back home – s’pose it’s technically an early lunch as I took granola and yogurt out on my paddle.

There’s a trellis to be fixed to the wall in the front garden to train a rosebush that’s been growing in all weird directions over the last year. Slow progress drilling the brickwork with my underpowered cordless drill but I get there eventually and have the plus in just as Catriona, Will and the kids rock up. They’re bringing back the mini-bar/cooler we lent them for yesterday’s get-together.

We have a coffee and chat in the garden then they go on their way and I get some work done in the studio then deliver some new over-sized ‘I climbed Conic Hill’ fridge magnets to the village shop.

In the evening I’m packing up some merch – one of the others includes a Dave Arcari leather bracelet in the only size and colour I don’t have in stock. I make a batch of them which I hope will be dry and ready for finishing in the morning…

Saturday 7 May 2022

Freya takes a swipe at her piñata…took some bashing to get it open!

I’M up early to get some miles in for the Scottish Mountain Rescue miles challenge.

Someone’s mentioned to Fiona that my ‘prize draw’ incentive might cause Scottish Mountain Rescue a problem with their gift aid stuff. I disagree, but I don’t want to cause a fuss so I decide to opt for the safe option – I’ll run a personal ‘giveaway’ and personally make an equivalent donation to our fundraising. that’ll keep the naysayers/scaremongers happy!

I get a new holding page up o the web before I head out then make my way northwards up the east side of the loch, past Milarrochy, the sailing club and Critreoch until I find a nice wee place to stop for my yogurt, and granola…and a coffee.

There’s another four miles on efforts by the time I’m back. Matty’s heading to Ben Lomond for the hill race and we get ready to go to Catriona and Will’s for Freya’s fourth birthday party. Matty’ll come to the party after the race.

We have fantastic afternoon catching up with folks we haven’t seen in ages and get home just after 8pm 🙂

A paddle up the east side of the loch – the furthest I’ve been in that direction


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