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October 13, 2006

Friday Roundup

I have a cold and am feeling very sorry for myself. I have stuck to my resolution not to play video games, despite the fact that at my current intellectual level, I could no more write my dissertation than fly. I also missed out on a trip to see the Michael Cross walking-on-water installation, which wouldn't have been too crowded to see, and the Tate Modern slides, which were apparently beyond belief heaving, with massive queues for both the timed tickets and the turn-up-and-slide slides. This feels like a must-see exhibition though, one that people will be talking about for years. Strategy is clearly called for.

My mood was not improved by attempting to preorder a Wii from a large and formerly reliable games shop: it's rejected both my credit cards on a range of different browsers. I conclude that it's just overloaded or something. Phone booking line is closed; I'll try again tomorrow.

On the other hand, Cute Overload has capybaras today! Definitely my favourite Rodent of Unusual Size. Also in the blessings count; I ordered a tshirt of my melodeon marmite design (reworked into a more tshirt friendly shape) from TShirt Studio. I picked them more or less at random because they had the colour of shirt I wanted (oatmeal) and their site didn't break using Camino. But the tshirt is lovely; by far the nicest custom shirt I've ordered. It just doesn't have any of the normal flaws of custom shirts. So I'll be using them again, for sure.

If you haven't yet voted in the Cumbria Top Dog competition, then by all means go and support the very sfnal Hugo "PaperbackWriter" Gernsback, the not-so-tiny Basset Hound.

I ordered and received Maggie's Melodeon, a D/G tutor book with CD. It's a very agreeable tutor, starting from 'this is which way up you hold it' and taking you through to 'off you go to a session and practise'. There's a strong focus in this one on learning to play the basses rhythmically (in march, waltz, jig and hornpipe), with only a little at the end about different bass patterns, different bass rhythms and row crossing. I could have really done with this book six months ago, before it was ready! Now it feels like good material for consolidation but I find myself faunching for the next book. The key thing I want to know: how, when you hear a new tune, do you work out which basses will sound really good with it? I suspect this is a bit like chicken-sexing, and after you've played for 10,000 hours, it's easy. Also this week, I have for the first time managed to play a song and sing along to it at the same time without it sounding absolutely awful. The song is Burl Ives' The Lollipop Tree (sorry, the official Burl Ives website is so ghastly I can't link to it), which I was very fond of when I was six or so. I need to do a photoshop to go with this tune though, ready for when I record it in Garageband.

Make it Folky, one of my favourite podcasts, on Cambridge Community radio, has a new episode available. They've also started pledge-driving, so I've sent them some money and offered help with the show. I also renewed my membership to Radio Britfolk, who hadn't emailed me to let me know it was running out, apparently in an effort to avoid spam. Also in my 'recently added' music are a couple of free Tom Waits downloads from eMusic, and the Spiers and Boden Womad set from Radio 3 (you'll need Audio Hijack or similar to save it). But about 60% of my listening at the moment is still Bellowhead. I'm sure I'll get tired of it at some point.

Back home in Walthamstow, the big event tomorrow is our Apple Day celebration at the Vestry House Museum. A grand day out to be sure. Last Sunday we went on the Walthamstow Family Bike Ride for the first time and had a very jolly time. It's really rather nice to be riding out with a group of people who understand the business of taking children on bikes. That ride happens on the second Sunday of the month, but I think November (which we will miss) will be the last one. We fetched up in the forecourt of the Nag's Head for a well-earned pint, fortunately before their 7:30pm Child Curfew.

Posted by Alison Scott at October 13, 2006 08:40 PM


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