venerdì 21 settembre 2018

The Comments Post.

This will be my last post for a while because I am heading off to the Northern Hemisphere.
If you're not up with the play, I'll be in Miramar Sunday night and then on Monday I fly to Auckland and Singapore (for a night). Then it's off to Milano. I'll have my phone, but no laptop. There's a group I started, on What's App called 'Team NZ' which I may share a picture or two on.

For example...

"We've arrived in Milano. Gosh, there are some tall
buildings! Quite a bit of Italian is spoken here and
everyone seems to like pizzas. The toilets in the 
hotel are great. For some reason there are two side
by side. I guess that's just in case two people 
are desperate."

For your convenience, but why is there only 
one toilet roll holder?

I won't be able to post on Richard's Bass Bag* but I can comment from my phone. So, if I need to tell you anything, I'll leave a comment on this post.
No need to thank me.

I hope that The Curmudgeon and Robert behave while I am away.

* the original bass bagging site

giovedì 20 settembre 2018


This word has nothing to do with giving someone a glass of port.

When a customs official firmly says, "Passport." He doesn't want you to pass him a drink.
This is an easy trap to fall into when travelling.
A passport is a little book with a very bad photo of you inside.

In four days I'll be flying again. The last time I got on an aeroplane was in the early 80s - a long time between drinks, as they say in rugby commentaries.
Hence the 'port wine' joke.

Our seats on Singapore Airlines will probably look like this.
It's all about getting to Milano.


E` sempre ora.

It is always now.
That's a good thing to remember when you are travelling a long distance.

Here's a picture of Signorina Cremona to finish off.

mercoledì 19 settembre 2018

Violin transfer time.


I played my last NZ gig last night before boarding the giant bird. That means it's time to put away Signora Violina and start training up Signorina Cremona. Signorina Cremona is coming on this trip because she is cheap.
Doesn't that sound awful!
I bought Signorina Cremona a little while back at the Rock, Pop, Reggae, Rap and A Few Other Types of Music Shop. She came with a case and a bow for $450. That means Signorina Violina is probably worth about $300. I don't think the bow contributed much to the cost, God bless it. I've presently got it on Trade Me as a fishing rod.
Signorina Cremona looks pretty and plays quite well - she has also been well set up. I'm very pleased that she's coming with me.
It evidently can be tricky getting a violin into the place where you sit and they sometimes make you put it with the big bags. If this does eventuate, Signorina Cremona is young and fit...
and cheap.
A friend lamented that her son was unable to get a scateboard in there, while someone managed to sneak in with a violin.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I would have thought that a skateboard is a little more robust than a violin.
There is a way to test my theory.
Try doing a Caballerial or a grind on a violin.
A set of spanners would probably survive well down there with the big bags too.
A set of bricks in a specially built bag? Should be fine but it will use up quite a bit of your weight allocation.
A cricket bat? Should be okay.
A welding torch and accessories? Definitely fine.
A collection of old phone books from around the world carefully tied up with string? Not really a problem if the string is strong.
A sheet of corrugated roofing iron? As long as no one bends it too much or puts too many heavy bags on it.
Actually, on second thoughts, you could make a case for carrying on a sheet of corrugated roofing iron when you enter the plane.
Anyway, corrugated roofing iron aside, a violin is fairly delicate and doesn't really take up too much space.
I hope that Signorina Cremona, even though she is cheap, doesn't finish up down there with the welding torch and the phone books. I think that her and I will have a nice time together.

martedì 18 settembre 2018

Restaurant playing is not for me.

I'd forgotten the reality - you play your heart out into a wall of talking.
It's no one's fault - that's what people go to restaurants to do.
I'd just forgotten.

So far rhis year:
  • 350 hours on my three instruments practice.
  • 161 hours of violin practice.

I think I played well but, after an hour and a half, I was absolutely knackered.
I made some excuses and stopped early.
I was playing to about twenty five people, in a group, who had asked for a violinist. 
"Just like in Italy." the birthday boy had said.
There were people at tables further away too.
The party I was playing to were all men. Not a single woman. I figured they hadn't had much luck getting girlfriends.
They seemed like nice people.
I got a couple of compliments when I finished. One from a staff member and one from a guest.
That sort of helps.

It's a lot more fun playing in my living room because I'm not playing into a wall of noise.

Tuesday Morning.

No work this week.
I like it.
My job this morning is to pick up a set of violin strings and four AAA batteries.
Life is busy.

Hey, I said four!

AAA batteries can be used in many things, but I'll be using them in the two little lights on my music stand.

The strings are just for standby.
This evening I'll be heading out to a restaurant.

I won't be there to eat.

Armed with this.

Note the wireless pickup.
Two hours of solo violin.
Non stop.

24 tunes.
Each 5 minutes long.

Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare.

sabato 15 settembre 2018

South Africa 36 - All Blacks 34.

Look, you can't win 'em all. The All Blacks staged a great fight back, but my hero Beauden had a bad night with his kicking.

That's Wade on the left and his partner's parents next to Richard (of RBB).

I read that some wise guy said he couldn't hit the side of a barn tonight.
He missed an easy kick that would have drawn the game. Still it was a great spectacle to attend.
Thanks Wade.

mercoledì 12 settembre 2018

Gig on!

Around about 5.30pm yesterday the phone rang.
I answered it and, without thinking, said, "Pronto."

Suddenly I was aware that the caller was talking in Italian.
He said, in Italian, "Hi, this is Alessandrò from Mediterranean Foods and I'm calling to check if you're still able to play solo violin here on Tuesday September 18th."
I answered, "Sì, sì. Tutto bene. Non è una problema."
Then he said some stuff that I didn't really understand so, I replied,
"Mi dispiace ma non capisco. Ancora?"
He then talked a bit in English and the conversation skipped a bit between the two languages.
I slipped in, "Chi va piano va sano e va lontano." and he laughed.

* * *

So, next week it all happens. I will play 24 tunes, each about 5 minutes long. 

I'll use my wireless transmitter so that I can move around a bit.
I'll probably kick off with Santa Lucia. I'll move it through 3 keys - C,G and D. Then back to C. 
Then I'll pull out something I know really well, maybe the theme to Black Orpheus. 
Generally, after a couple of tunes, you're warmed up and things begin to flow.

Playing solo for two hours on a violin is quite a big deal. 
Let's do this!