Microphones, and Goats in Llandudno
I’m starting to fall in to a routine: Getting up with my wife and making her lunch if she’s going in to work, or a bit later if she’s working from home – around 8 am. A relaxed breakfast, listening to the radio and checking the phone. Then a bit of exercise – either a cycle ride or a jog. When I’m back I’ll switch my computer on and get on with tasks – writing this blog, writing an arrangement for one of my groups, or working on recordings or videos… then the day drifts on, with a bit of practice fitted in, a coffee break, lunch, a tea break, planning food in the evening and cooking and the evening’s entertainment.
In-between there’s a fair bit of checking the phone, and one or two social video calls and messages.
I’ve signed up to volunteering but other than a small job finding information to put in an information sheet for a local charity I haven’t yet been called to do anything.
In the mean-time my savings are gradually dwindling, but I feel like I’m making productive use of the time so I don’t feel so bad about it yet.
This morning a new “condenser microphone” arrived by mail-order. I carefully unwrapped it, disposed of the packaging and then washed my hands, to reduce the risk of importing the virus into our house with the package. This sort of thing feels like pretty normal behaviour now, although only a few weeks ago it would have felt nutty.
With my new mic I hope to be able to do professional quality recordings in my room for composers and producers in other parts of the world. I’m a bit slow getting onto this wagon – musicians have been doing it for years, but now seems like a good time to learn about it.
Meanwhile, outside across the world, we are being reminded that this is just the start, and this virus isn’t a little inconvenience that will blow over. The death tolls are very sobering: Italy 14 000, Spain 10 000, UK 3 000, USA 6 000. Far greater than in China where it started. Possibly people in western countries aren’t so used to following government advice, or possibly western governments have been slow to lay down restrictions? When it’s all over this will be the subject of discussions for decades to come.
In the UK the government are coming under daily criticism for the low rates of testing and inadequate protective clothing for medical staff in this country.
My wife and I and three other friends watched a National Theatre play broadcast released on YouTube last night at 7pm – we had a quick chat together before and afterwards with a glass of wine. I gather similar things were going on up and down the country, with people dressing up as if going to the theatre. The show was interrupted at 8pm for the now weekly round of applause for NHS staff and everyone else keeping the country going. We all stood outside our doors clapping, banging pans, and in my case blowing my trombone.
Despite the cloud of dismay hovering in the background the jokes and funny pictures still circulate on social media. Recently videos of a herd of goats running amuck through Llandudno in Wales (enjoying the lack of traffic) were circulated!