Saturday 9 October 2021

White pizza with mushroom, asparagus and thyme…

WE have a lazy morning albeit doing some work-related stuff while sitting up in bed drinking coffee.

There’s some West Highland Way Gifts stuff needing made up to fulfil overnight and morning orders. once it’s all underway I set about designing some mementos/gifts for ‘the voices of the loch’…the folks who kindly contributed their voices to the choruses on the soon-to-be-released Loch Lomond (Home). Can’t say much more as I want it to be nice surprise for them all.

Lunch is mid-afternoon then I hit the studio and spend some time messing with an idea for a Christmas release.

The weather’s not great – but not terrible and I don my waterproof and go for a much-needed walk up the lochside.

Pizza again for dinner tonight as I want to try out something different – white pizza with asparagus, thyme and chestnut mushrooms. The ‘white’ comes from a caramelised onion base layer rather than the usual pasata.

It’s a bit more of a procedure than ‘regular’ pizza, but works out really well 🙂

Friday 9 October 2021

MY THURSDAY morning guitar student has moved to today (Friday) for this week only,

She arrives bang on time and we have a good lesson then I get back on the wood/medals issue. I spend an inordinate amount of time and struggle to get any useable cuts and end up doing some more research and ordering some different wood.

After lunch I have a local pal coming round for help with some website update – a combination of business and social.

I spend the rest of the afternoon in the studio working on a Christmas song…a cover…that might be a bit of fun to put out…if I can make out work.

Suddenly it’s time to jump in the car to Duncan and Irene’s for dinner. We have a good night catching up – back home and tucked up in bed by 1am 🙂

Thursday 7 September 2021

HAVING woken up on the couch at 3.30am and staggered through to bed half asleep it’s no surprise I’m knackered this morning.

There’s still some work to be done sorting the menu on my website and all the search engine stuff. Once done I get on with the press/media stuff for the Loch Lomond (Home) release. Still a load to do on that!

A delivery of materials to make the medals for a customer sees me head to the office to try some tests. The wood is nice, but the laser doesn’t want to cut through it!

Although I cleaned all the mirrors and lenses a few days ago I do it all again…then check the mirror and laser path alignments. All good.

The wood still doesn’t want to cut through – I try all sorts of power levels and speeds and multiple passes and eventually get ‘sort of’ a cut.

Back in the house I make some sugo with Italian sausage for the tonight’s pasta…my head hurts!

Wednesday 6 October 2021

I have fun personalising the lids of the wee jars….

AFTER getting an order placed for materials to make the medals I start the final batch of foil stickers for Will’s paperweights.

I’m not 100% happy with my initial promo photo for the release of Loch Lomond (Home) and spend a wee while re-jigging things.

Once Will’s job has finished running I knock up some artwork and engrave the wooden lids for the wee glass jars Margaret bought me to use for pizza toppings. The wood is kinda inconsistent, but the result’s still pretty cool 🙂

After lunch I start putting together a news release for Loch Lomond (Home). There’s quite a few angles to the story – re-writing a classic to bring it up to date, the fact that an earlier recording intended to put a record label off the track had the opposite effect…and, of course, the ‘voices of the loch’.

Once I’m happy with the news release I bundle it up with the promo photo, cover art and audio file and create a shareable folder on Dropbox for media/promo use.

The dough for tonight’s pizza needs balled up and put in trays – once that’s done I help Margaret put the shopping away then go back to the studio. The menu on the homepage of my website’s been acting strangely..and sometimes not visible at all. I can’t see any reason, so decide to rebuild the homepage to see if that sorts it.

It’s a long road for a shortcut, but seems to do the trick.

Tonight’s pizzas are pretty epic tho’ I say so myself!

Tuesday 5 October 2021

The resulting promo shot for Loch Lomond (Home)…

I HAVE an idea for a promo pic to go out with the news releases/info for Loch Lomond (Home).

I’d like a pic of myself with the guitar on my back looking out over the loch. Problem is, the weather’s unpredictable and I don’t have a strong enough/outdoor/battery flash..so I decide to go down the green screen route.

After taking an iPhone selfie in the studio I head out to get some pix of the loch to comp together.

There’s some priority work to get done before I have lunch then I make some pizza dough with the poolish I mixed yesterday.

I’m just finishing up when the girl who’s commissioned the medals for the running event arrives to check out the prototypes I’ve made form different materials. She likes the plain wooden ones best and asks me to deal with ribbons too.

Back in the studio I spend the rest of the afternoon editing my photos to try and create a convincing image of myself looking out over the loch.

Monday 4 October 2021

UP early despite still feeling shite…I have some medals to design and prototypes to produce for someone organising a fundraising running event.

While the prototypes are processing I realise it’s not raining – I need some video footage to use as an animation reference so I grab the gear, jump on the bike and race up the lochside to the desired spot.

Typically, it started raining as soon as I started the ride but I get some video footage and home in time for my first Zoom guitar student of the day. Whether the footage is any use will be another matter!

Once the guitar lesson is done I finish off the video script transcription then have some lunch.

While in the kitchen I make some poolish – a fermented starter – for some pizza dough I’ll make later in the week.

Betty calls to see if I have any spare covid testing kits. I do, so I wander along and drop them off.

Back home I make some red cabbage slaw to go with tonight’s pulled pork, some BBQ sauce and cut some chips then prepare some stuff for tonight’s livestream into my Wildcats’ group on Facebook then get bogged down in the animation that I’m struggling to get off the ground. I wonder if I’m over-thinking and over-complicating the whole thing.

Around 6pm I notice Facebook and Instagram aren’t working…seems – and other apps owned by Facebook like WhatsApp – are down. Mmm…wil it be back up in time for my 8pm livestream?

I have another Zoom guitar student at 7pm and when we finish Facebook is still down. I send out a email saying tonight’s livestream’s clearly not gonna be happening and post same on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sunday 3 October 2021

STILL floored with the lurgy. I try and sleep it off over a long lie but still feeling grubbed when I finally get up.

I’m still hung up on the animation idea and determined, at worst, to learn something…even if the project proves fruitless.

I take a break and prepare the marinade and meat for tonight;s Vietnamese beef…I may have the lurgy, but I’m still hungry!

Back in the studio I carry on with my animation attempts and transcribe some more of the video for Martyn.

The grill is lit by 8pm and our dinner is good…then an early night.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Kebabs on the grill…

WE’RE just getting things sorted for breakfast when Catriona and the kids roll up.

Nice to see them, but a good half-hour earlier than expected and, of course, Margaret drops everything when they arrive!

After breakfast I hit the studio. Still feeling crap with lurgy but gotta try and make a dent in some of the work that’s mounting up. Margaret, Catriona and the kids go to feed the ducks.

I try and get some work done on an animation I have going round in my head for the video to accompany Loch Lomond (Home)…problem is I’m not exactly well up on animation and I have no idea how to execute any of my ideas!

I take a break to go and tidy up the kitchen and retrieve a quiche from the oven then get back to work.

When everyone gets back we have some lunch then I continue my quest to animate a character for the video. Slow progress. In fact, it might not be progress at all.

I’d hoped to finish the transcript I’m doing for Martyn, but get so caught up in the quest to animate, it’s dark and time to get the grill on for our chicken kebabs…

Friday 1 October 2021

WE both wake up feeling wiped. We’ve definitely got the lurgy 🙁

Furst task of the day is to go to Betty’s and set up Zoom – she has a meeting next week using Zoom and is unsure about how it all works. She also wants me to measure the space her fridge sits in so she can make sure the new one she wants is going to fit.

It’s the first of the month and I still need to put out my eNewsletter – the last one I;m gonna do in this format…the plan is to segment my mail list appropriately and send out timely, targeted emails rather than ‘a newsletter’.

To do that, though, I need folks location (town/city and country). I have that for a lot of the names on the list, but it’s never been a ‘required field’ in the signup process. I update my signup forms and decide that this last ‘eNewsletter’ will mention the upcoming singe, my new approach to the list…and ask folks tome sure their profile info is up to date and complete.

I have some ideas for a video for Loch Lomond (Home) that I need to research and see if it’s within my abilities then I get back onto transcribing a video script for Martyn.

Dinner is leftover jambalaya and we have a quiet evening and an early night.

Thursday 30 September 2021

AFTER the usual Thursday morning scrabble to get things done before my mid-morning guitar student arrives I get the lesson prepared and a coffee.

Although the lessons are ½-hour, things generally go on a bit longer as there’s always a bit of blethering to be done too!

The West Highland Way Gifts’ trekking flasks have been pretty popular…but my supplier is out of the black ones. I ordered a few ‘army green’ versions, but the finish is slightly different and I need to fine tune my settings for engraving. I wasted two of them last night by assuming it would work on the setting I use for the black ones.

I do some experimenting on one of the spoilt flasks, get it sorted out and make a couple up.

There’s a couple of online orders to be packed up and dropped at the post office on the way to Stirling to visit Joe in the hospital. He’s on good form and it’s encouraging to see him making progress.

We’ve been invited to Betty’s for dinner with. our neighbour Liz and have a grand evening…

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