Tuesday 25 October 2021

THE Zoom guitar student I usually have first thing Monday re-arranged for today, so that’s the first main activity of the day.

I have some posters to send off to the venue (Jimmy’s) for the 21 November show in Glasgow so get them packaged up and ready to go to the post office.

The deadline for my last video transcription for Scottish Book Week is close of play today and although I made a good start yesterday, it’s gonna take the rest of the day.

I get finished just in time then we head out to a meeting about our local village hall. It drags on a but and it’s 9pm before we get home and I get the grill fired up for the flank steak I marinaded earlier…

Monday 24 October 2021

WE head into town early and Margaret drops me at Milngavie station before 8am. She’s off to the other side of Glasgow and I have stuff to do in the city centre.

First stop for me is McDonalds for some breakfast, coffee and Wi-Fi where I spend a couple of hours dealing with the needful and getting some work done on the final video transcript for Scottish Book Week.

I take a walk to GuitarGuitar and catch up with some folks there and check out some stuff that may make travel easier in the future. My pedalboard – great as it is – is big and heavy. I’d like to try and downsize!

Back up at Buchanan Galleries I find a seat and do a little more work then stop in at Greggs for a quick sandwich for lunch.

Next I get some posters printed for the upcoming Glasgow show and drop some into Love Music where I hang out and chat with owner Sandy.

A promoter pal from Cork is in Glasgow for a few days and we’ve arranged to meet at the CCA for coffee. I brave the pouring rain to find Emmett and Chicka standing outside. It’s shut! We go to the Willow Tearooms instead and Margaret comes to join us.

We’re back home just in time for my 7pm Zoom guitar student then it’straight onto my weekly livestream into the Wildcats’ Facebook group. Phew!

Sunday 23 October 2021

Empty glasses? At the Whisky Stramash? Not for long!

I WAS sick after dinner last night and feared the worst – but it wasn’t my usual continual vomiting and I was only sick once then went to sleep. Feel fine this morning.

Just as well as we’re off early doors to pick up Steven and go to the Whisky Stramash in Edinburgh courtesy of a couple of spare tickets form Will and Greig who couldn’t go.

The plan is for Margaret to drop us in Stirling to get the train but when we get there we find all trains are off due to a strike. Margaret can’t take us to Edinburgh as she’s taking the kids swimming…luckily Fiona’s going to see her dad in Edinburgh and leaves early so she can pick us up and deliver us to Surgeon’s Hall. Originally she was going to go later and bring us home.

We have a grand four hours tasting lots of different whiskies and mange to come out the other end without too much drunkenness. We stop for a quick pint on our way for the bus down to Fiona’s dad’s place in Leith, have a coffee and a blether then Fiona drives us home.

Margaret’s got dinner ready. We eat, clear up and have an early night 🙂

Saturday 23 October 2021

Just some of the carnage in the garden after the gales… 🙁

WE enjoy a bit of a long lie then a late breakfast.

There’s still a bit of work to do finalising the West Highland Way Gifts‘ order for Balmaha village shop…and I’m keen to get to them before close of play today.

In the office I also do a bit of follow up promo for Loch Lomond (Home).

There’s a wee bit of tidying up needing done in the garden in between times and although I;d planned a walk, it’s dark by the time I get the shop order and paperwork all finished and delivered.

Betty has invited us out for dinner and we have a really nice evening and meal….until something in the food has made me feel a bit queasy. After last week’s 24-hour vomiting episode it’s better to be safe than sorry and bail.

Margaret’s back ½-hour later and I’m not feeling great. Then I spew. Meant to be heading to Edinburgh early doors tomorrow (Sunday) for the Whisky Stramash so fingers crossed this doesn’t escalate…

Friday 22 October 2021

Nice half-page feature in the Stirling Observer. Read it here.

THERE’S some serious carnage in the garden after last night’s gales. As well as the big gazebo having bit the dust, the garden furniture is strewn everywhere and it look like there’s a few casualties!

No time together involved in that tho’ – it’s release day for Loch Lomond (Home) and it’s live on all the streaming/download services..check it all out here.

The Stirling Observer has a nice half-page piece on the release – you can see it here – and there’s some good feedback coming in already. Lots of social media promo to do.

Our pal Tom drops by for a coffee and a blether, then I get on with more West Highland Way Gifts products in the office.

There’s some more social media and other ‘release day’ activities to be done, including sorting my Bandcamp page now that the email’s working again and I can log in.

Before I know it the days gone and I go back to the house and fire up the Ooni for tonight’s pizzas…

Thursday 21 October 2021

Having run out of time to make the animated video I planned, I make a lyric video ready for tomorrow’s release of Loch Lomond (Home)…

UNSURPRISINGLY I’m pretty damn sore when I wake up..and the sheets are all bloody and yuck! I did have a good sleep though..and I reckon the whisky helped with that a bit!

My guitar student arrived bang on time and she’s still making good progress.

Once we’re through, I get busy in the office. there’s heaps of West Highland Way Gifts’ stuff to be made for a couple of shops.

The website stuff finally appears to be sorted, although it does take another call to the hosting company support team to finalise a few bit and bobs. I’ve noticed that the Buzz email addresses haven’t had any mail for a day or two and it must be something to do with the custom DNS (domain name server) MX records that ‘direct’ email.

After a couple of hours reconfiguring everything, including our email clients on local computers.

With the Loch Lomond (Home) release imminent and no video prepared I look out some footage I took of the loch last year and spend a couple of hours editing and making a lyric video as a stopgap. Actually, it looks quite good!

It’s almost 9pm when I get back tot he house for dinner. Betty’s dropped in and joins us for something to eat and we chat and drink ‘til the wee hours…interrupted just after 11pm by the wind destroying the gazebo in the garden. Carnage!

Wednesday 20 October 2021

One of the injuries from my trip over the handlebars!

WHEN I’ve finished going over an earlier video transcription to check for typos and make some updates I take a look outside. It’s a nice morning.

I have to pick up a prescription in the village and drop off some West Highland Way Gifts’ stock at the village hub – and there’s also a couple of ‘thank you’ keyring to be delivered in that area to some of the ‘voices of the loch’ on the new single.

Although diaried for tomorrow, I decide to get the bike out and go today. Might be raining tomorrow!

My back brake has been squealing for a few weeks now and the pads desperately need replace. But if I’m careful all should be OK.

I’m on an off-road downhill path close to Buchanan Castle when something happens – I don’t know what – and I’m over the handlebars..somehow the bike got tangled up with me in the process and it’s on top of me. Fuck. This hurts.

I can feel bits of chipped tooth in my mouth – my top and bottom lips have some damage, my breeks are ripped and my right knee looks a bit mashed up…and my left hand/thumb is sore. The bike, though, is OK and I gather myself up and slowly and painfully carry on my journey.

When I finally get home I’m hiring a bit. My knee is the most visible of the damage and I set about giving it a clean. Then I wipe everything down with surgical spirit. Ouch!

I took a half-rack of frozen pork ribs out the freezer earlier – they’re defrosted now so I put on a. rub and stick them with some apple juice, water and liquid smoke in the Instant Pot. They’ll be done in 45 minutes or so. Meanwhile I make up some BBQ sauce and get the bike ready for a clean.

After removing the rib meat from the bones I smother the meat in BBQ sauce and glaze it under the grill. makes for a good rib sandwich!

I’m not long finished when the lassie that commissioned me to design/produce the running event medals comes to collect them.

After cleaning and lubing the bike I work out how to remove the rear disc brake pads and order some replacements.

My main website (this one!) is still having problems and needs to be migrated to a new server. I eventually get someone who understands the issue and I;m assured all will get sorted. Meantime the pain’s kinda distracting me from any work and I feel a bit sick so decide to have a sleep for an hour.

I don’t feel much better when I wake up and there’s West Highland Way Gifts’ stock to be made up…plus, I need to get the 21 November gig info online and work out what I;m gonna do for a video for Loch Lomond (Home). Between last week’s spewing episode, a load of other work and today’s ‘accident’ the animation isn’t gonna happen – not in time for the release anyway…

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Phew…back on my pizza game with a decent lunchtime effort

MY website issues are really starting to piss me off…it’s kinda like the hosting folks don’t actually listen to the issues and I’m sick of going round in circles.

The whole things is compounded but the fact that the new single drops on Friday, I have new Wildcats’ merch with a deadline and no-one can order…and I have a huge workload and deadlines this week.

Margaret’s out all day and asked me to put out a reminder to members of the local community trust that Stirling council is running two online public consultation meetings today regarding closure of a local primary school.

The video transcription I finished yesterday needs another run through for checking. I wasn’t aware it was going straight to subtitles/SRT file without any of my notes/queries etc being addressed!

I’m ‘attending’ one of the online meetings about the school – the 1pm slot – so make an early lunch. After the weekend’s pizza fails I wanted to get back on my game with a bit of the dough that was left over. Ironically it turns out to be one of the best I’ve made!

I finish eating just in time for the meeting.

Despite having finished the medals I was commissioned to design/produce for this weekend’s running event I get a request for an additional, personalised medal. They were due to be picked up today, but they asked if it can me switched to tomorrow (Wednesday).

Back in the studio I return to the transcription which is fast becoming a pain. Not in itself, but just the setbacks combined with all the other hassles.

Late afternoon the rain’s gone off. I haven’t had a walk or any real exercise for nearly a week so down tools and go out for a walk as darkness falls.

When I get back Margaret’s home with the shopping and put it all away!

I spend the next hour or so on a call to my web hosting company’s support team to try and sort out the website dilemma once-and-for-all. I seem to make some headway but we’ll see. Fuck, I’m willing to pay to get this sorted out and I’m still going round in circles.

Dinner’s ready when I get back to the house then I spend another couple of hours on video transcriptions before bed.

Monday 18 October 2021

The finished medals…quite pleased with myself!

I MANAGE to get a couple of hours’ work done on the Scottish Book Week video transcriptions before my first Zoom guitar student of the day.

When the session’s done, I pack some merch orders, print postage, grab a big umbrella and dash down to catch the last post pickup (midday) from the village.

Back in the studio I carry on with the transcriptions and, after a break for lunch, have the section I’m working on finished and sent off mid-afternoon. Another similar section to be done, but it’ll have to wait ‘til tomorrow – I have some urgent web stuff to deal with. Too long a story for here!

I have to finish a bunch of medals I’ve been commissioned to produce for an upcoming running event which takes a bit longer than I expect.

There’s a little planning/prep to be done for my Wildcats’ livestream later,, including getting some exclusive merch ready in the Wildcats’ merch store.

I’m done in time for my final Zoom guitar session of the day, then it’s almost straight into my livestream. Phew!

Sunday 17 October 2021

UP at a reasonable time again…lots on the to-do list today.

The plan is screwed form get-go, tho’ – the SSL certificate for my website has expired and now that the hosting company has moved things to a ‘better’ server, I can’t renew it. This is not what I need with a single dropping in less than a week.

I try the online chat support which is usually good but I’m not so lucky today. No real help and I run out of time – and battery on my iPad – so I have to abandon the chat. There’s more pressing things needing done.

Catriona arrives with the kids while I’m in the middle of my meltdown then I finish off some Wildcats’ patches for beanie orders.

Next up I need to create some poster art and other social content for November’s show in Glasgow then set up some ticketing via Eventbrite.

In between times I start work on some video transcriptions for subtitling. I make some headway before heading back to the house around 8pm to cook up some jambalaya. The video for Loch Lomond (Home) doesn’t look like it;s happening anytime soon!


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