Thursday, July 22, 2021

Strategies for Existing in Hot Weather

The news is utterly horrible: we are governed by greedy charlatans who have factored eugenics into their strategy for dealing with an ageing population. Behind me, I have a life that although it has many successes, I would not wish on anyone for some of the gruesome episodes that I have survived and do not talk about. Looks like I'm not going to get to Vienna or Innsbruck to play with Robert because of the import of the Delta (let's call it 'Johnson') variant of Covid (but good luck compadre, I'll be with you in spirit!).

Yesterday morning I awoke at 4.30 a.m. and naturally, tried to go back to sleep. At 5.30 I gave up, got up, and sat in the back yard enjoying the peace and silence with cup of tea. No barky dogs awake, no people awake, not even any cars roaring down the road. It was lovely: there was nothing in the air but expectation and it felt like an oasis in the chaos.

I 'slept in' this morning until 6.30 but did the same tea and garden thing, and by now at 9.30 I have finished the start of recording four guitar tracks for new songs.  What I've noticed is that because of not playing some of the new songs live, I've got into bad habits of glossing over the difficult-to-pay sections. Some of them I've never played and I'm having to learn them as I go. So I played over and over, didn't get them right, but now I know where the weak points are.

What could be more blissful than sitting in the early-morning kitchen with the door open, the neighbourhood waking up, a cup of fresh coffee on the table, warm air draughting through and the sun shining outside: recording guitar tracks for a new album? The ground outside is already baking in the heat, but it's cool in here in the dark house that is sometimes so irritating in its gloom.

I recognise a moment of pure joy when I'm there, and that was it this morning. An hour of gentle and peaceful music-making, listening in for good and bad sounds as they came into the headphones in time, learning the muscle instructions, feeling the songs' meanings as I sang them in my head along to the backing track. What could possibly be better than this?

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