Music, Music, Music. And More Music.

CDs? I have a few!

Even though I rarely buy them these days I still have a pile that I haven’t played & am getting to know. Despite my enthusiasm for new music I’m still old-fashioned enough to be into ‘albums’, not just single tunes. When I play a new CD I like to ‘get to know it’, as an entity in itself, not just a collection of individual tracks, so I’ll give it a good few plays before adding it to my collection and moving on. Unless of course, it’s rubbish! Then it gets fewer plays…

Being CDs, often ones that I bought some time ago,  they tend to be of older music, unlke the Spotify choices in my last post which were mostly newer.

Often they’re for playing in the car; I haven’t quite got my act together with digital music there yet – but I will. Because of that I like to have them in some specific and different flavours.

There’s the Mellow One: for winding down, relaxing. I often stick this on when I’m driving home late at night and want to relax before bed.

Then I like to have an Up-Tempo One. Something fast, lively & uplifting. Great for driving on a motorway or in preparation for a night out! Uusually fast, energetic rock or some bangin’ dance tunes!

At the moment I also want a Feel-Good Summery One. Warm weather: chilled, but uplifting, happy songs for a hot day. Yes, I live in Wales: never say I’m not an optimisist! And we do get some lovely warm days here y’know!

Aside from a few sundry picks that I just like the look of I also have a Wifely One! Yes, the “Separated and who gets the CDs?” thing! No fights here though: we seem to have been pretty clear about whose was whose. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been into music more than her, although she has some great picks. I’m onto the last one – it feels momentous…

What I’m playing at the moment? These:

The Mellow One: ‘The Sound of Bread’

I did say there was some older music here! ‘Bread‘, fronted by David Gates with Jimmy Giffin, were a laid-back Los Angeles based ‘soft-rock’ band that was popular in the 1970s, known for their slow, countryish West Coast ballads. They’re sometimes “a bit sad Ted!” but they have some great songs, & my pick from this “Best Of” type album is the iconic ‘Guitar Man’. It wasn’t a big hit at the time but remains one of their best-loved songs.

 

The ‘Wifely One’: Original Music from the Motion Picture ‘Shine” feat. David Helfgott

I love many different kinds of music, including ‘classical’, and this album is a pleasure from start to finsh, full of wonderful music. ‘Shine’ is a bio-pic about David Helfgott, an Australian-born classical pianist who struggled with the mental illness schizophrenia. Superbly played (as an older man) by Geoffrey Rush, the film highlights his musical virtuosity and his personal problems, although his family have been very critical of its portayal of the latter. Helfgott himself provides the piano soundtrack. Anyone who’s seen the film will understand that there can only be one pick for a top track from this, the infamous and tortuously difficult ‘Rach 3‘!

 

The Feel-Good Summery One: 37 Brits 2001 Hits, Disc 1

You’re driving around in your car, it’s hot, the sun is shining, you have the windows rolled down, people around town seem almost happy: all seems right with the world. This is the sort of music I want playing! This is a mixed bunch, as you’d expect, with some stonking tunes & some – let’s be honest, rubbish – but overall I love it. Best of the bunch – although probably not the most ‘summery’ choice –  has got to be the fantastic Iggy Pop (again!), this time with Death in Vegas playing the stunningly sinister “Aisha”. (Warning: the video is quite ‘steamy’: best avoided if easily offended!)

 

The Loud One: The Freeborn Brothers, ‘Gypsy Hobo Trash Grass’

I’ve never seen anyone even remotely like this lot. The Freeborn Brothers  are a bunch of young Polish guys who are all incredible musicians. Every year as part of their Europe-wide tour they stop off to perform at a tiny pub in my small Welsh town, and just for the cost of a donation or two. They are honestly one of the best live acts I have ever seen, not only unbelievably talented musicians but also terrific showmen, taking their music into the realms of performance art. They are also very funny. Musically they’re hard to classify: a combination of traditional Polish ‘folk’ music, bluegrass & punk! I think. They simply have to be seen to be believed, and I am very grateful that I’ve been able to. The track I’ve picked is called ‘Down to Hell’.

 

Another Summery One: ‘Sounds of the Summer’, from ‘The Big Issue’ Magazine

I’ll be honest: I mostly chose this one from the title. It’s not my idea of ‘summer music’. Summer nights in a sweaty night-club or at a festival maybe, probably not for pootling around in my car! I first played it while in the kitchen cooking with my daughter Ellie (8); in hindsight probably a mistake. We both noticed about the same time “Daddy, they’re saying some rude words!”. I put on the Brits CD instead: that was better! I do like the music though, even though it wasn’t what I was expecting. My favourite so far is probably the seriously funky, Mark Ronsonesque ‘The Turnaround’ by The Herbaliser.

 

Dermot O’Leary Presents: The Saturday Sessions 2013

This album is taken from the former X-Factor host’s BBC Radio 2 show where top musical acts would perform live in studio, often doing covers of well-known songs. It’s full of beautiful live music, and this is among its best: James Blake just on piano covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You‘. Entrancingly beautiful!

 

Let the music play on….

 

Advertisements

The Treadmill

So…I’ve bought a treadmill.

Ellie, ever observant, noticed this – probably because Jake was standing on it at the time – and asked me “Daddy, why have you got that – ” Me: “treadmill?” “yes: ‘treadmill’?”

I actually have this slightly mad idea of using it as I play my favourite Xbox game, Skyrim, so that I walk as my character does, run when he does, & sit down in the Inn and drink ale as – well, actually I probably do enough of that already, & that’s probably why I need the thing in the first place…

I was explaining to her what a treadmill does and why I need it. I believe the words “big fat belly” may have been used, again. Possibly.

Her response took me by surprise.

“But daddy, it doesn’t matter what you look like, it matters that you’re kind”.

Wise words for a 5-year-old, and definitely a Magic Moment!

Although I do need to lose weight (as well?) 🙂

For more Magic Moments just click the pic:

How (Not) to Install & Remove Stairgates: A JallieDaddy DIY Masterclass

Our bouncy little twinnies have been too big & too clever to need stairgates for some time now.

So came the momentous moment – a real “our 2 little babies aren’t little babies any more!” milestone actually – when it came to remove them.

The bottom one was fine. When I removed the top one however there was this:

DSC_0840

There’s a HOLE! A big one! In my WALL!

To be honest, I’m not really sure what happened.

I blame the kids. Or the Government.

The dog ate my spanner?

It’s possible, I suppose, that I may have fastened it on a little too tightly….

I ought to get around to filling it up  – with plaster, probably – and painting it.

After this though I’m a little scared to touch it!

And just in case you are still in need of my expert DIY advice, here’s how NOT to fix a broken shed door:

DSC_0839

Happy housefixing!

This is my entry for my DIY confession to Polesdirect.com’s ‘Changing Attitudes and Values’ DIY Blogger Challenge.

 

 

Apocalypse Not Now

I can’t remember exactly why I said it.

I think it was about a little reindeer used for crafting that ‘accidentally’ found its way down a plughole then was rescued, wet & a bit dirty.

“It’s not the end of the world”, I’d said. Continue reading “Apocalypse Not Now”

Hook, Line and…

1-DSC_0438
There they are! Aren’t they lovely?  There are even more on the other side!

A marvellous feature of the new house is the plentiful & easily accessible coat hooks by the front door.

Jake & Ellie each have their own hook, & guard them with a territorial ferocity that would rival a wild animal.

When Jake comes in & takes off his coat he carefully hangs it on his hook before going inside. Takes after his Dad…

When Ellie comes in & takes off her coat she drops it any old how on the floor then runs off to play. Takes after her <CENSORED! Ed.>

I’ve been hanging my coat on a hook in the row above theirs; unknown to me however this has been causing ructions!

One evening I saw Jake walk up to the Mummy, then heard him say:

“Mummy, can you tell Daddy not to put his coat over my hook? I can’t hang my coat on it”, then he walked off.

1-DSC_0437
Everyone happy now?

So my smart little boy has deduced that if you want Daddy to do something then you get Mummy to tell him?

He seems to understand the dynamic here!

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done though when I said that to the Mummy…

For more posts like this just click the pic:

Wot So Funee?

It will be Christmas soon…

Christmas in the post-War United States
Photo credit: Wikipedia

It will soon be Christmas!

You may have noticed.

As I think so many of us are, I’m very mixed about Christmas.

There are things I love – especially since becoming a Dad – but there are also

Things I Hate: 
Continue reading “It will be Christmas soon…”

The New JDaddy

Jake, the other day, to me:

“Daddy, you can eat my pudding, but only if you don’t pick your lip. If you pick your lip you can’t have any pudding, OK? OK, Daddy?”

A bit – Wow.

Very like my saying: “Ellie, you can have some ice-cream, but you have to clear up your toys first”.
Continue reading “The New JDaddy”

Touché!

1-DSCN0845Over the last few days Jake has been complaining of a sore mouth, & it’s been interfering with his eating a little; also a sore foot.

We found what looked like an infected insect bite on his foot but couldn’t see anything in his mouth.
Continue reading “Touché!”

Goslings, rope bridges & zip-wires

We had a very active week last week. So active that I haven’t had much of either time or energy to post about it!

The in-laws were visiting & I had to spend a lot of my time at the old house clearing everything out & moving it here ready for the new tenants. It was a much bigger job than I’d anticipated.

I was around on Saturday though & it was Country Park time!

I’d bravely / foolishly left the buggy behind & taken only their scooters, but we were fine. When they got a bit tired heading back we helped each other out.

We’d got there early as it was dry & sunny & forecast to stay that way. There was a chilly wind there though & that seemed to have kept a lot of people away, so for a lot of the time we almost had the place to ourselves! We caught the first train & it was strange being the only passengers, stopping frequently while the driver stopped to pick up rubbish en route.

It’s definitely spring, at least according to the geese there.

1-DSC00988
click any image to enlarge

It made feeding the birds even more fun than usual!

1-DSC00983

1-DSC00984

1-DSC00985In the adventure playground the rope bridge had been walled up for several weeks for repairs, much to Jake & Ellie’s disappointment. Today it was up & running again & they headed straight for it.

It’s usually really scary for them; they try to do it by themselves but get scared & I have to help them over.

Not today though! Jake even nonchalantly strolled across using only 1 hand!

1-DSC00992Once across a little air-guitar celebration was called for of course:

1-DSC00997Definitely a magic moment!

It’s amazing to me how they could become so much more physically confident in such a short period of time!

They demonstrated it again this morning, at a nearby adventure playground. They saw older kids on a zip-wire (‘flying-fox’) & decided that they had to do it too! The first time they were too scared, but they went back & absolutely loved it! It was all they wanted to do from then on, stopping only for ice-cream & for a much-needed nap. Jake was even able to pull himself up & jump on without any help from me!

These little guys never cease to amaze me.

Let’s hope they grow up with a bit more sense than their silly Daddy, who chose a very bad time to forget to recharge his camera batteries…

For more posts like this, just click the pics:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The Gallery: Drink (Pretty in Pink)

Have I got you singing now? I hope so!

That song is a big ‘ear-worm’ with me. Every time I hear the phrase: bang! There it  is, stuck in my head.

“But what the Furs has that got to do with drink? Isn’t that what this silly post is supposed to be about anyway? Get on with it, man!” I hear you cry. Or words to that effect. Probably.

Alright, since you asked so nicely, this:

1-DSC00681

This is the source of much of my drinking activity. During the day, at least, especially mornings. I pretty much chain-drink coffee ’til lunchtime, then often indulge in 1 or 2 more in the afternoon.

My old cafetière broke, OK? Our kitchen is very small, we don’t have a dishwasher, so accidents happen. I needed my caffeine fix, & this was the only one I could find in town. Also: it was cheap. Which probably explains why it already has a crack at the top.

It’s my story, & I’m sticking to it.

Now I’m off to drink my pink brew and put on my Borat pinny* & marigolds to do the washing up while singing very loudly & very badly to Adele.

I am MetroDad, hear me roar!

* It was a gift, honest

This post is for Tara’s terrific ‘Gallery’ on her ‘Sticky Fingers’ blog.

It’s also for Emma of ‘Crazy With Twins’ who is having a hard time right now as she’s in isolation & away from her family while having treatment for cancer, so is in need of some cheering up.

To read more & to join in just click the pics:

TheGallery

Shoulder to Shoulder to Day