giovedì 22 marzo 2018

Three good things.

1) It's raining.

I like the rain. I always have. Maybe this is because I was born in August - a fairly wet month. 
The rain sounds nice on the roof when you are in bed.

2) I'm at home today.

That means I'm not working. I've just done three days of relieving. Relieving is not really hard work, but the days are long. It certainly is nice to be home.

3) I'm going to rip in to some double bass practice this morning.

I've neglected La Gloria a bit lately as I've put work in on Segnora Violina and Jim the Guitar. Today I'll aim to put that right. I have no gigs on the horizon, so maybe it's time to do some solo contrabbasso playing.

Okay, time to get into action.*

* Coffee done. A trip to il bagno and then breakfast.

martedì 20 marzo 2018

I'm worried that The Curmudgeon Inc. isn't getting comments.

The Curmudgeon

Rumours are that, in these hard times and the fact that The Curmudgeon and Robert don't comment on each other's blog, people are spending more time reading contributions by The The The Guy.

The The The Guy
When asked for a comment The The The Guy said,
"Well, Robert The The is busyThe The The The The The  writing The The Russian musicThe The  and most The The of The The The Curmudgeon Inc. seem The The The The to have The The died of old The The age."
It seems that the reign of The Curmudgein Inc. as the second best blogging outfit around here might be coming to an end. There is talk that they might consolidate into The Wine Guy Express.

As sad as it will be to see them go, no one is counting on Robert's blogs to provide a healthy foil for the ever popular Richard's Bass Bag.*

I guess the solution might be for popular blogs like Angry Jesus and Bin's Bass Bag to step to the front again.

Thank heavens for the depth of great blogs that the bass bagging trend has inspired!

* the original bass bagging site

domenica 18 marzo 2018

P or G?

The Curmudgeon has been boasting lately about being in the P class at St Patrick's College in the 1960s.

He's talking about this falling down school.
Falling down because they were not building -
there were plans to build a motorway through
the site.
When we arrived at this school we were given a test and divided into 4 streamed classes:
  • 3P (Professional)
  • 3G (General)
  • 3M (Moderate)
  • 3R (Retarded)
To be fair, I can't remember what the 'R' stood for (maybe it was Remedial) but everbody called it 3 Retarded.
Consequently someone was worried and the names of the bottom two classes were changed:
  • 3M became 3 Com (Commercial) and
  • 3R became 3M (Moron?)
Okay, the guys in the P stream were book learnin' smart but that didn't guarantee them a place in the rugby 1st 15, which really had more prestige than being a 'book worm'. I, of course, spent some time playing for the 1st 15 before my violin playing commitments got in the way. Probably a fair chunk of the P stream went off to become priests - which hints that they actually weren't that smart. It was a well known fact that most of the boys in the P stream didn't have girlfriends, well only ones they read about in books. I, in fact, (a G streamer) had several girlfriends. Okay they were distance relationships but there was, for example, Suzanne Pearce who caught her bus from the James Smith's stop. I'd see her most days as my bus went past and I'm sure that she noticed me. I even got off the bus once to say 'hi'. We'll I did mumble more than say anything but there I was in the front lines!

So The Curmudgeon needs to remember that we G streamers were up to more than just sitting around reading and being smart.

Sectare Fidem - that was our rule in those days. There was no song about being in the P stream.
In fact, these days a class called 'the P stream' would not be such a good idea.

Who's the boss in the army? The General.
I'm glad I was in 3 General!

"Welcome to 3 General boys and

sabato 17 marzo 2018

The gig that wasn't really.

I had a bit of trouble getting to my St Paddy's Day gig.
The main route was closed by a road accident and I had to take the long way around.
The very long way around.
The idea was that George and I would play the first hour or so.

We were late starting. I think that's George behind the music stand.
There were heaps of folkies getting ready to play. I told the head folkie we'd play for a bit and he could let me know when they were ready to do their thing. We played for roughly 30 minutes (maybe less). Then folkies started coming on 'stage' and picking up their instruments. We were sort of squeezed off.
Pity really because I'd spent hours preparing for this gig - what with writing charts and practising.
What followed was hours of diatonic playing and pentatonic scales. Folkies need to remember that chromatics and outlining chords are good tools to have in your soloing bag.
Ah, but I'm just a bit bitter because I wasted lots of time that could have been put into Testore Trio charts.

Here's an interesting thing. The guy at the bottom left of the picture is Jamie. He has Downs Syndrome. He has this big love of music. Whenever he is in the room and I am playing, I know that he is taking everything in. He is a real joy to play to. I wish that everyone listened like him.

Instructions for the children.

Okay, Robert and The Curmudgeon, I'll be out for a while tonight but will be signing in later to check on what you both have been up to.

Here are the rules while I'm gone:
  1. Go easy on the wine. Yes, that means both of you and includes any sly beer drinking.
  2. Give each other a comment or two, but none that need to be deleted tomorrow. Be nice.
  3. Don't discuss religion. You both know that no one is prepared to lose that argument.
  4. Don't tell the other one to fuck off and don't say fuck you.
  5. Just be nice to each other.
Remember that I WILL BE BACK LATER and I don't want to come home to boys not speaking or blogs deleted.

Quick update from 'the bag'.

Morning all and happy St Patrick's day.

"Do you like my new outfit?"
St Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. He was known as the "Apostle of Ireland" and he liked to wear women's clothing. He looked good in green.
St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. Along the way he also probably taught people to read, thus making him responsible for songs about how to spell names that became very popular in Ireland.
Here are two examples:

H - A - double R - I - G - A - N spells Harrigan
Proud of all the Irish blood that's in me; Devil a man can say a word agin me.
H - A - double R - I - G - A - N, you see,
Is a name that a shame never has been connected with, Harrigan, That's me!

Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Find him if you can
He's as bad as old Antonio
Left me on my own-e-o

Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Kelly from the Isle of Man.

If I knocked the "L" out of Kelly
It would still be Kelly to me
Sure a single L Y
Or a double L Y
Should look just the same to an Irishman's eye
Knock off an L from Killarny sure Killarny it always will be
But if I knocked the "L" out of Kelly
Sure he'd knock the "L" out of me!

Unfortunately the Irish people only really got into spelling surnames and, as a nation, they never really did well at TV spelling shows. Also a lot of the population had the surmane Kelly, so not that many words were learnt.

venerdì 16 marzo 2018

Friday Morning.

I'm hoping that no teachers are sick this morning at Nuova Lazio High School because I still have more violin practice to do for Saturday's gig.

PBs at the book launch last Wednesday.

You learn a lot on a gig. At the book launch there was a lot of echo. This made it very hard to hear. Chris said that we got through on our tightness. I think he was right.

I've been outside trimming one of our grape vines (in the dark) because they are infested with wasps.

Our grapes are actually purple, but you get the idea.

Really it's step one of getting rid of the remaining grapes and the wasps. We had a bumper crop but unfortunately the wasps moved in. They get right inside the grapes and act like they're pissed.

"No Mabel, Duncan didn't come home last night.
Knowing him, he'll be out somewhere getting 
pissed on grapes. I hope he doesn't try to fly home."