20-Jul-2014 The Purple Spider

Posted July 20th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

spiderpodiumIs it a bird?… Is it a plane?… Is it… Superman?…

Nope, none of them.

It’s a spider, a purple spider at that… in fact a Spiderpodium… a Breffo Spiderpodium… that’s what.

Remember last week we told you of an order from Amazon that got lost in transit? Well, the Spiderpodium was one of the three items in that lost order. Amazon Customer Services were, as always, vey helpful and very prompt; they immediately ordered us a replacement and had it shipped first class (would that the customer services department from all companies were this helpful and efficient!). Now, what exactly is a Spiderpodium? We’ll come to that later.

In the meantime we’ll fill you in with a brief summary of what else has been happening around here.

Val spent four days temping in Morpeth, which left Jimmy moping around the house on his ownsome. He did manage to get his teeth into more video editing, and so the backlog has dwindled slightly. He also caught up on some website updates that had been agreed at one of the previous week’s site design review meetings. He found time to read a little, but didn’t get down to much guitar playing or writing… it’s amazing how plans for the music things don’t often turn out on schedule – ah well, that’s the Muse for you.

But scheduled performances? Ah, that’s different. They do happen when planned – and the week’s plans included a care home performance and a slot at a local (is 50 miles local?) festival. It was our seventh visit to this particular care home in 18 months, and we were told of a plan being hatched for more jiva performances elsewhere (but were sworn to secrecy on the details for now)… ooh err. The Dorman Festival (the festival previously known as Folk At Natures World) saw jiva performing for the eighth year in a row, indoors this time as the heavens had opened earlier in the day making the outdoor stage/marquee a definite non-starter. It was quite an experience where we were greeted by acquaintances from way back when, caught up with some of our musical contemporaries and witnessed a fascinating mix of performers covering a wide variety of genres and styles.

The Spiderpodium was much in evidence for the Dorman’s Festival – you see, well, it’s actually a holder for a tablet (the electronic display type as opposed to the take three times a day medication). It attaches to the dashboard air vents of the car, and its purple spidery legs hold the device (in this case, Val’s Note 8) at just the right position without obscuring the windscreen at all. So now we have an 8-inch satnav running TomTom… cool stuff, and it even looks great when we take the Note 8 with us and just leave the giant purple spider crawling out of the air vent… arachnophobics should look away now…

… we did warn you…

… click the pic to look more closely through the window at the dashboard…

… be afraid, be very afraid…

… do not scroll further down this page…

… click the pic to see the air vent spider in greater detail

… and beware of the jiva Honda Jazz.

The coming week promises to be more ‘normal’ – no temping and six scheduled jiva shows around the region.

Life is good, as always.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

13-Jul-2014 What A Grey Day

Posted July 13th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

Weather-wise it certainly is grey, dark clouds and rain…

It’s been an odd week with the focus somewhat shifted from our music, although we did have one performance in Consett. We’ve had a website review meeting for two projects (lots of work coming out of each one, and little time to do it), we’ve commissioned a window cleaner (at last), had blocked drains cleared with just a little bit of digging up our block-paved yard, a visit to the dentist, a difficult time with a mobile phone contract (now sorted, we think, through sheer doggedness and persistence and being adamant and not shouting down the phone), an order from Amazon now officially lost in transit… and a short timescale design job completed.

Heck we even found time for a social outing – we headed off to the home of Steve & Carol (Fool’s Gold), where we were treated to a scrummy meal, and whiled away the hours trying to put the acoustic music scene to rights… did we succeed? Nah! Of course not, but it’s always fun trying. Thanks you two!

Next week sees more dentistry, Val temping, a social get together and alternative theatre visit… the week being rounded of with a care home performance, a slot at Dorman’s Folk Fest and a visit to the Runcible Spoon to scout out the lie of the land before our gig there later in the year.

Gosh! I think the sun might actually be peeping through the clouds.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

06-Jul-2014 A Flea On The Dog

Posted July 6th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

Life is short, the world will carry on without us – in the grand scheme of things we are all insignificant… so let’s not beat ourselves up with what we have or haven’t done and what we may or may not have achieved. Rather, let’s be realistic with our expectations of others and also our expectations of ourselves.

Ouch! That all sounds philosphical and foreboding but, in reality, it’s not.

HourglassTime: There are only 60 minutes in each hour, and there are only 24 hours in each day, 7 days in each week and 52 weeks (plus 2 or 3 days) per year. We each have a finite amount of time on this Earth and are therefore limited in how much we can cram into that lifespan. Every minute spent doing one thing means there is less time available for other things – time lost or wasted cannot be recovered… to try and catch up on what you missed (or what you didn’t do) means taking that time from something else and, remember, there is a limited amount of time – and, importantly, the time available grows less every day, every hour, every minute.

When you get to the stage where you realise that there’s less time left than the time you’ve already had, you may well start to reflect on how best to use the remainder – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a To Do list (or a Bucket List) but don’t get too hung up on forward planning every little detail, otherwise you’ll have even less time left for the actual doing and living and sharing and enjoying.

Rather, sketch out the things that are important to you and your loved ones… put those things at the top of your To Do list, and regularly spend time on them. It’s liberating to think this way, and it’s exhilarating to actually do it.

Must stop now… I’m going to dust off that guitar tutor book.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

29-Jun-2014 Home Comforts

Posted June 29th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

Dingle WineIt’s nice to get away for a while… to enjoy spectacular scenery, wonderful weather, the company of friends old and new, to enjoy Guinness in the land of its birth, to particularly enjoy massive ice creams, to be mesmerised by the acrobatics of a friendly dolphin, to perform shows in a different country, to relax and reflect on what a good life we have… yes, all of those things and more.

But it’s nicer still to be back home…in spite of aggressive and arrogant idiots whose sole pleasure appears to be using petrol at a prodigiously high rate, wearing out brake pads, creating noise pollution with their gross fat exhausts and proving beyond all doubt that ineffective spoilers, dark windows and a loud horn do not a good driver make… in spite of the cold and rain… in spite of the fact we’ve both put weight on… in spite of the fact that the streets of our home town are no match for the beauty that is Dingle Bay.

In spite of all these things there’s something very comforting about sleeping in your own bed, waking up to familiar surroundings, Val’s inimitable culinary excellence, the whole family of instruments (we only took three guitars, two ukuleles, the U-Bass, the glockenspiel, one harmonica, numerous stands and the small AER amp with us), and being in the proper computing/office/study setup. We are creatures of habit who like order and consistency – there’s nothing wrong with adventure and surprise, but it’s comforting to be here in familiar surroundings.




Even this is kinda good to get back to:

191,000 files… 655 GB

As James Taylor sings it:
“Isn’t it nice to be home again”…

Thanks, James, spot on.



Jimmy & Val (jiva)