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Sunday 25 February 2024

I HAVE another batch of paperweight stands to get done after breakfast then I hit the studio. Lots to catch up on today.

In the studio I get busy editing a video from the wee run of live shows then have a Zoom meeting with my pal Kevin and his sidekick Nick top discuss some other stuff around the release fo his upcoming single.

My concentration on the video edit is awful and I screw it up a few times – the lurgy definitely seems to have got the better of me. The Zoom meeting, thankfully, is more focussed.

I’m also working on an idea for a local business and skills directory which is turning out a little more complicated than I expected. Watch this space!

I eventually get a decent edit done of the video I started and re-did a few times earlier. When I get back to the house Mikey’s arrived and Margaret’s got dinner ready….

Saturday 24 February 2024

7am…time to wake up papa!

THE kids wake me up at 7am jumping all over me. It’s fun!

We have to get them sorted and ready to go to the Peak in Stirling for Freya’s swimming lesson. Margaret takes Freya into get changed while Arran and I head up to the viewing balcony to watch.

After the lesson we drop into McDonalds to see ninna Joyce and have breakfast. I nip too Sainsbury’s to get some supplies.

Catriona and Will aren’t gonna be back from Glasgow until later but I have a photo job in Balmaha and head for home. Catriona’ll bring Margaret home later.

I get a few things done before heading out to take the photos then spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening sorting out the resulting images and getting them off to the client. Quite happy with the results.

It’s after 10pm but the time I’ve done the pizzas – caramelised onion, chestnut mushroom, thyme and mozzarella….

Friday 23 February 2024

MY Friday morning guitar student arrives with her two dogs. They’re impeccably behaved as usual and lie happily throughout the lesson.

We’re off to Doune later to babysit overnight and I want to have Will’s paperweight stands finished. In between times I get another job on the go – wooden fridge magnets for guests at a wedding coming up in Indiana – and take a quick break for lunch.

I among to get the stands ready before we head off…and also finish a batch of pizza dough using the poolish I prepared yesterday.

Joyce is looking after the kids when we arrive and I spend some time playing games with them. The it’s Margaret’s turn and I get busy with some online and social media stuff for the community hydro society.

After dinner I do a bit of work on a news release for my pal Kevin then off to bed. An early night…before what will no doubt be an early rise!

Thursday 22 February 2024

OFF to the school in Balloch first thing. The session goes well and some of the kids are really getting into what we’re doing 🙂

I head home via Aldi where I pick up some of the bargain – and very good – Joker Alcohol Free IPA and some other bits and bobs.

After lunch I get stuck into the paperweight stands for Will. He needs 50 small and 50 large of a slightly re-modelled new design. As well as cutting and engraving I need to heat form the acrylic into the right shape which is fiddly and time-consuming.

In the studio I have a couple off things to get done and then it’s time to go along to Betty’s for dinner….

Wednesday 21 February 2024

AFTER my regular Wednesday morning, first-thing guitar student I hit the office to create some artwork for a potential order of fridge magnets for wedding guests.

I knock up a design, engrave a test and email it off.

There’s some merch top prepare and send out and a batch of acrylic has arrived that needs to be cut into more manageable sheet sizes.

Mikey’s checking out our downpipes drainage to see if he can help sort out the front garden flooding then we have some lunch.

In have some stuff to do in the studio and then go for a quick walk, doing a couple of livestream updates as I go.

Mikey heads back to Dundee and I sort some Facebook ads to help promote the upcoming Dunfermline show (15 March). Next job is photographing the HK PA system I wanna try and sell.

Then it’s back to the house for dinner before putting the PA up on Facebook marketplace. See it here. I don’t bother with Reverb listings as I don’t want to have to ship the PA anywhere…and all the stuff I sold recently has sold via Facebook rather than on Reverb.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Walk the Walk – live at The Cluny, Newcastle

I GET a bunch of stuff done in the studio then call GuitarGuitar – there’s a PA system I’ve got my eye on as a potential replacement for our old HK system. It’s a good price but there’s no point jumping out the frying pan into the fire, so we need to try it out.

Kyle is helpful and suggests we go into the store where we can give a tryout in the PA room. I pack a guitar and my Quad Cortex and we make an unplanned trip into town.

In-store Kyle sets the system up and it seems pretty goo. Good enough for me to put down a refundable deposit while we consider…and look at ways of selling – or maybe trading in – the HK system.

We pick up some shopping and get back home in time for my late afternoon guitar student arriving.

After the lesson I go back to the house and get the fire lit then Mikey drives back form his job. I go back to the studio to do some more work, shut up shop then make green curry.

Monday 19 February 2024

‘Widescreen’ version of the promo video for the upcoming Dunfermline show.

STRAIGHT into the studio where I start gathering together video footage from last week’s shows…there’s iPhone video from a couple of songs from each show as well as four micro SD cards with video of each full show.

I need to find the GoPro footage corresponding to the iPhone clips. so there’s a bit of trawling to extfdcat the bits I want.

Before my 11am Zoom guitar student I nip down to the village and put a poster up on the big oak tree that (for the time being) serves as the village notice board. I also put posters in the village shop and coffee shop.

In the middle of my Zoom session a pal calls wanting to borrow our log splitter. Once the sessions done I wheel it out and have it waiting for him. I don’t have time for a coffee or to hang out much as I’m hosting a party of visitors from Malawi and Rwanda at the community hydro scheme and wanna get some pix too.

Next stop is the mobile bank in the village and then back home in time for a young guitar student arriving with her mum.

After the lesson I go back to the studio and manage to get one song’s-worth of video edited before a session with my regular Monday evening Zoom guitar student. Then it’s straight into my Wildcats’ livestream on Facebook.

Mikey’s back in time for dinner then bit more work…

Sunday 18 February 2024

I update the landing page on my website to remote the two upcoming Scottish shows...

LOTS of jobs on my list today. After a late breakfast I go over the fence towards the hill to retrieve the ‘greenhouse’…actually a tubular plastic frame with poly tunnel polythene…the polythene is off the frame and tangled in trees. The frame is kinda jammed amongst some low branches.

Next job is to cut back some of the overgrown trees and bushes. This has been a bit of an ongoing task and I’m making slow progress as the chainsaw battery doesn’t want to last very long.

While the chainsaw battery’s recharging I get out for a wee walk then carry on my ‘trimming’.

In the studio I work on video promos in various formats for the two upcoming Scottish shows and post some reels on my socials. I also edit up a quick reel of the backdrop falling down behind me in Oxford.

Mikey’s coming to stay another few nights and is want to be here in time for dinner but seems he hasn’t even left Dundee by the time he said he;d be here! I make dinner for Margaret and I and leave some aside to be reheated when he gets here.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Nice to get out for a paddle despite being gubbed …and the lanyard/beard tangle!

UP EARLY to get breakfast before Fiona comes to go for a paddle. Wind is forecast for later hence going out early.

We have a good paddle. I’ve still got a touch of lurgy – not, thankfully, as bad as Margaret who’s coughing her guts up and feeling awful –but I enjoy he paddle. Fiona comes in for a coffee and a hot cross bun then goes on her way. I fall asleep for an hour!

I spend some time in the studio messing with guitar ideas potentially destined for use on a new song then someone comes to buy one of the items I had put up for sale on Facebook. Turns out we have a lot of friends in common and we natter for an hour before I get back to the studio.

I get a bit wrapped up in stuff and don’t realise the time. IT;s after 9pm when I go back to the house and make some avocado sauce, tomato and red onion salsa and a batch of tortillas for tacos with leftover beef, butternut squash and ancho chilli…

Friday 16 February 2024

I SPEND the morning in the office setting up an online ‘media room’ for Kevin McDermott’s new website. Quite pleased with the way it’s coming together.

After lunch I get Margaret to drive men to the village where I take posters for the Memorial Hall show round various places and walk back home putting them up on noticeboards as I go.

Back home I start prepping for tonight’s beef, butternut squash and ancho chilli. Betty’s coming for dinner.

While it’s bubbling away I get some more work done in the studio…then back to the house for food, chat and a grand night.

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