Take a couple of care home performances, mix in some late nights (early mornings really), artwork design, one new gig in the bag, one gig re-scheduled, a fair bit of Googling, last minute sound-recordings tweaking, one rehearsal… and then add in good company, good food, wine, whisky, Southern Comfort, a fruitless trip to JG Windows, a better experience at Guitar Guitar… then top it off with a surprizingly great reaction to a self-written song that we had thought to sideline, some developing ideas for recording our next studio album, a French-themed evening in a village church with an Allo Allo sketch and sound effects managed by you-know-who… and what do you get?
A somewhat non-typical jiva week.
Normally we are creatures of habit, but we have no regrets over the past week’s happenings – not a single second (well, that might be exaggerating just a little, but we’re not telling). We’ve had a blast (turn up your speakers and Cue Sound Effect), and are now trying to re-establish a modicum of normality with less emphasis on computing and more on music… practicing, rehearsing (yes, they ARE different beasts), writing, recording and performing (we have five scheduled shows in the coming week).
Listen very carefully, we will say this only once:
La vie est belle !
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
The week kicked off with a smashing night at Glenfarg Folk Club. It was a 300 miles round trip but well worth it – we kicked off the biannual Open Stage night with our scheduled 30-minute spot, and were very well received by audience/regulars who very quickly and gustily got into our choruses. Heck, our two CDs (‘Best Friends’ and ‘They Diven’t Blaah Yer Lugs Off’) were first and second choices for raffle winners – beating wine, chocolates and the surprize prize too… unheard of! There were three other acts – a country/bluesy/comedy songwriter and guitarist, a clarsach playing singer/songwriter, and a traditional singer/guitarist… so, all in all a varied genre mix in a very well run club. We will be back there sometime.
Val spent three days temping in Morpeth while Jimmy reports that doing not much at home has eased his back problems immensely – he did, however, spend a day out sorting music for an upcoming event for a local village do as well as doing some computer/printer TLC work for friends.
Friday was indeed eventful – first thing in the morning the BT engineer called to say that he was sorting out the cabinet (200 yards away) and would be with us shortly. True to his word he arrived half an hour later and set up our fibre broadband connection in a friendly and efficient manner – it’s nice to be able to praise rather than grouse at the service provided, well done that man! At this point Jimmy was in his element – it took quite a bit of effort to get our network reconfigured so we can access everything from everywhere in the house… but with a setup like ours nothing is simple:
- Two desktop PCs in the study/office upstairs
- One laptop (our Blue Room recorder) downstairs
- One netbook
- One 4-bay server
- One network drive
- Two tablets
- Two smartphones
- Three printers
- A mixture of wired and wireless connections
Friday evening saw us heading off to Guitar Guitar in Newcastle for a Taylor Road Show – a fun and informative evening, and a chance to see and play a wonderful selection of Taylor guitars in a very friendly and informal setting. Although there were lots of super guitars, and at least a couple that for us stood out above the rest, there wasn’t one that insisted “Buy me, you know you want to!” – so we kept the wallet firmly in the pocket. We already have a stable of gorgeous guitars (some might say too many, others might disagree), and who knows what we might just happen to find on our trip to America and second visit to Taylor Guitars in El Cajon, California.
Life is good, and getting faster!
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
We’ve had a couple of quotes for home improvement work which we’re planning for sometime in the next month or so. Anyone know a good driveway block paver? And our Inbox brought us a request for album recording in our Blue Room as well as good news regarding a potential gig (we’ll keep you posted once it’s finalised). Things are certainly keeping us very busy.
This week promises good things… the sun is shining and it’s a lovely day for one (or two) of our regular walks. Our calorie intake awareness and increased exercise have seen us losing pounds/kilos since September/October (even allowing for the occasional splurge at our favourite local Chinese restaurant).
Monday will see us heading over the Scottish border to Glenfarg Folk Club… Val will be doing a spot of temping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday… Friday morning we should find the BT engineer hammering on our door eager to set us up for fibre broadband… then time for a little tinker with the settings after he’s gone before heading into Newcastle for some shopping… Friday evening we’ll be at the Taylor Guitars roadshow at Guitar Guitar in Newcastle (just looking, not planning to buy!)… sometime on Saturday we may well get along to the Taylor Guitars ‘Find Your Fit’ event at the same venue.
So there’s poor old Jimmy struggling with back pain… OK, let’s make an appointment with our local GP… a seven day wait before an available slot… so be it, struggle on… in the meantime John and Eileen Jeffrey recommend Arnica (a “homeopathic medicinal treatment” according to the packaging)… six days on and it’s certainly getting better – severe pains now reduced to dull but consistent ache… doctor’s appointment eventually… doctor suggests a physiotherapy consultation… earliest available is two weeks away… initial consultation will be BY TELEPHONE… and then, no doubt a two week wait for physical appointment if it hasn’t cleared up by then.
Stuff and nonsense indeed.
But, in all honesty, life is good… very very good
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
As we keep saying, life is good…
We remember the days when LG was ‘Lucky Goldstar’ – but the company have changed their LG to be Life’s Good… and, sure enough, Val’s twin 24 inch LG monitors are now firmly established on her desk and indeed looking good with all that extra screen real estate to play with.
Jimmy’s new soundcard (Asus Xonar D2X) is, after much tinkering, installed and performing superbly… in addition to power from the PCI-e bus it also needed juice from the PC power supply. This entailed buying splitter/adapters and extension cables and much fiddling about with plugging and unplugging and re-routing data and power cables in the desktop PC case, but all is well… so much so that he’s dug out an old pair of Mission M31 bookshelf speakers to add to the ones he was already using. He’s a happy bunny… except…
Well, technology is good… music is good… life is good… but health is proving a wee bit awkward at the mo. In fact, we’re taking a bit of a forced break for a few days to help him over recurring back pains etc. If it wasn’t so painful it would be comically ironic to see us pull up at a care home for a performance, and then watch Jimmy gingerly squeeze out of the car grasping the door for support as the pain kicks in – he’s been looking in worse shape than some of the residents lately! But now we’ll have to see what we can do about it; doctor, chiropractor, pills, rest, exercise – who knows what might give the best results?
Latest ‘stuff’ news is that we’ve just ordered an upgrade from standard broadband to fibre-to-the-cabinet and should see whopping great increases to both download and upload speeds. That ought to complete our march into 21st century technology for now – smartphones, tablets, fibre broadband – whatever could possibly be next?
Jimmy & Val (jiva)