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A new logo, 10 years in the making

This is the last day of my 14 day isolation. Other than missing the two gigs (playing outside for a funeral) it hasn’t changed my life very much – I’ve been busy at home practising, writing music, recording and mixing music, one or two on-line exercise classes, and doing various other odd jobs that don’t involve leaving the house.


13 days ago I was in a recording studio with two other musicians. One of us, Dickie, subsequently found himself suffering from Covid-19. He most likely picked it up from his son, or a friend of his son via someone else at school (which had recently been closed due to an outbreak). The other person in the studio with us has picked up the virus too and is now sick, and he has passed it on to his wife and son. Dickie’s elderly mother now also has it, and will likely have given it to her even more elderly husband. It’s a chilling reminder of why the rules are in place, but at the same time decisions have to be made between allowing some sort of work-life to function against the risks. I am very grateful not to have developed symptoms.


I have been running the Sunshine Kings band in various forms for over 10 years, and I have thought over this time that we needed a band logo. Periodically I've taken pen to paper and tried to come up with something in vain, but one evening this week I decided to have another go. After downloading a graphics editor, an art deco font I put my idea into digital form and with a bit of tweaking I now have a logo. I have sent it off to be printed large, and I’ve spent an evening this week creating card banners to hang off our music stands to fix the logo to. I’m delighted – a personal isolation success!


I’m also organising a video of the Sunshine Kings performing for a Christmas tea dance for Tower Hamlets. This is an annual event for us, so with the event itself not being possible we are filming a set of numbers. Our fans in Tower Hamlets and anywhere else will be able enjoy a short tea dance on-line; to dance to, sing along, or just sit and enjoy. This is booked to happen next week in a large events space, with the band spread out.


I enjoyed an on-line Zoom reunion of a group who worked for IBM in the year between school and university (nearly 30 years ago). I hadn’t seen some since then, and others I’d met on occasions over the years. The majority were now married with two or three children, working in IT, law, finance and such. There was one teacher, and one or two who had made some slightly broader choices, but it did really highlight what a different path I had chosen to take in life. Even if it was a bit of an odd and stilted social occasion, it would never have happened in normal times in any form.

I've been writing and recording a Christmas song recently. My friend Roy had recorded drums on it, and when he heard a mix he said he genuinely loved it! He said he wanted to mix and produce it if I'd allow him, so I've sent it all over to him to do what he can in his studio. It really helps to have someone else to believe in what I am doing. If we can get it sounding really good we'll need to think of a quick and effective way to release it.


Three vaccines have been shown to be effective and safe. There is talk of beginning a programme of vaccination before Christmas, although we’re told not to expect life to return to normal till after Easter. Despite this still being months away it is light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m feeling optimistic. As a vaccination programme gets underway, and we get through the worst of the winter, I am hoping life might start to crank back to some form of normality. Even so, nobody really knows how the pandemic will have changed the world.

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