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West End Blues

Last weekend I would have been playing in Wickham Bishops village hall in Essex on Saturday night at their monthly jazz club. I would have got back at around midnight, and got up early on Sunday to get into town to play for Diabetes UK who would have had runners doing the London Landmarks half marathon. The clocks went forward on Saturday night so I would have been even more short of sleep. Straight afterwards I would have gone to play at The Ship pub in Holborn, and then gone straight from there to Swift cocktail bar in Soho, getting home again eventually at around 10pm. Instead I had a quiet weekend with my wife at home. I miss the jazz, but I appreciate the time with my wife. It’s a reminder of how difficult it is to balance our lives normally.

There’s a “West End Blues Challenge” going round friends on Facebook. Louis Armstrong’s 1928 into to the song is iconic, and musicians are recording videos of themselves playing their version of this intro. I’ve been learning to play the trumpet for years. As a trombone player it’s not easy to switch to the smaller trumpet mouthpiece but I thought I should see what I could do. I recorded a version of myself on the trombone, and one of myself on the tuba and concluded it with my trumpet version – very much work in progress, and edited them together. Having put up the film I received a few encouraging comments!

On Facebook the ranting has eased and it’s generally much more light hearted than it has been. The way it should be really. I enjoyed this post…

10 Fun Facts:

1. You can’t see your ears without a mirror.

2. You can’t count your hair

3. You can’t breathe through your nose with your tongue out.

4. You just tried no. 3

6. When you did no. 3 you realised that it is possible, only you look like a dog

7. You are smiling right now, because you are fooled

8. You skipped no. 5

9. You just checked to see if there is no. 5

10. Share this with your friends so they can have some fun too!

I also started painting a rusting garden table with metal paint. A job I’d meant to do for years. Although I realised the time spent scraping the old paint off, scrubbing it down, re-painting it, plus the cost of the expensive paint, meant I’d probably have done better to take it to the recycling centre and buy another one, particularly given it’ll need doing all over again in a couple of years or so.

We’ve also been doing a lot of video chatting to friends. A great way of lifting spirits and passing time – my mum (who initially held her phone to her ear until I asked her to look at it!), brother, sister, other sister, old university friend, mother-in-law, other friends… That alone takes a large proportion of the day.

What with cooking nice food, watching a film on TV, doing a some of exercise and taking life a bit slowly the days seem to pass pretty easily.

Now it’s Monday morning. I’ve gone for a run and I’m about to do a shop for the week for us and for my mum. The supermarkets all have a queuing system for getting in so I’m going to gamble on a different branch this time, hoping at 11 am the queue won’t be too long.

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