A quiet family Christmas with Madame’s dad and sister. Watched a film he had been sent called The Gods Are Crazy which was quite wacky and very amusing.

18/12/06 Cookin’

The fabby musicians recipe book Cookin is now out! Remember it’s for a good cause with 100% of the £10.00 cover price going to the charity "Special Needs Information Point" www.snipinfo.org If you would like to get copies please see the web page:http://www.cookin.org.uk/getacopy.htm

7-12/07/06 Vienna

Flew to Vienna via Manchester, Jodrell Bank conspicuous from the air. Vienna was surprisingly hot, hotter still when I found myself in a square somewhere looking for the bus stop I needed to get to the village where the Guitar Craft weekend was being held, and couldn’t find it. I’d missed it and had to find my way to a railway station and get a train to a nearby village, where one of the Crafties picked me up. This experience taught me that my German is poorer than I thought, and my navigation skills even poorer.

The weekend was in what seemed to be a retreat centre or hippy farm of some kind. It had been devastated by a flood two days before, when a nearby stream burst its banks, destroying the road in the process. The course organisers had spent the day assisting the staff to clear mud from the meeting rooms and bedrooms. By the time I got there, very late, there was nothing worse than a slight damp smell inside.

Read more

28 March 2006

Received lots of guitar goodies today:a Jellifish plectrum, a strange little device like a metal brush that  can give you a chorus or 12-string effect, or a bowed effect, on an acoustic guitar.  A new set of metal fingerpicks, of a completely different design from normal ones, and on first impressions at least, much more … Read more

24 March 2006

A busy but unstressed day at work. Despite sleeping the whole night I’ve woken as tired as if I’d been up all night. Later I take a ten-minute nap using a self-hypnosis technique I was taught by a hypnotherapist years ago. It never fails to refresh me. I’m surprised and rather chuffed at the dedication … Read more

11 January 2006

Final day of GC, a good day for learning and a bad day for the ego.

Over breakfast, a discussion led by Hernan on last night’s performance. Not the musical aspects but the organisational ones. ‘In 21 years of Guitar Craft, no-one has started a performance by tuning in front of the audience’ remarked a bemused (and, I think, amused) Hernan. Well, he’s never seen the Incredible String Band. It was a mistake, was purely mine (Bernhard was mouthing ‘no! no!’ as I began), and goes against all common sense. H went on to draw out the importance of preparing the performance space.

At the morning’s guitar circle I discovered I couldn’t play what seemed a simple cross-picking arpeggio.

We were given the task of taking one very small action, practising it, and performing it individually in the evening. I resolved to play one bar of a piece called Hope from one of the California Guitar Trio albums. Just one bar. After a session with Leonardo and one with Luciano I realised that wasn’t going to work and settled for the arpeggio from the morning’s session.

Come the demonstration, I completely ballsed it. More lost pride!

Read more