This is the start of a fresh new style of posting on this blog. It's got too popular now - there are too many influential people that might look at it and then I'd be in trouble. So there's going to be more of a crafty approach and less FILTH.
Anyway - to kick that sort of stuff off I'm going to let you see some pictures that I done recently. I'm putting these up because I want to prove that I can do great pictures so I have credibility with the artwork community, when I draw a picture of Colman in the style of these people.
Recently, it will soon be my brother's wedding. He's gonna have a big one, with footie stars and a marquee and a bloke that empties bins actually GOING to it too. The theme is amnials and they wanted a top ranking star to do the table decorations - so here I am. Each table has a theme of an amnial - and I am to do the sort - of quality, tastily done hand drawn sketches of a variety of amnials. I've done two already and here they are - I think you'll agree that I need a bit more luck with my left hand, but the one I done with my right is top whack nice one.
That one is a bird, and this one is,erm, it's a dog. One of 'them dog ones' that my friend Dave claims not to like so much:
...and if THAT doesn't get me a job here then there's definitely something wrong with the world.
Maybe this would work better...
No-one has posted on here for a while, and I wanted to break the silence. Maybe we're all quietly getting on with our pledges, maybe we aren't. It would be nice to know.
Anyway - mine. You may recall I did the marathon challenge back in March-April and 'done my knee in'. Yep, no RICE for me, I just kept on exercising, running and weight training and didn't really think about the damage I was doing. Not pleasant. I then sprained my ankle by running for the train one morning, not noticing until the evening when one ankle was similar in appearance to a balloon. I had to give up running completely - that is until Saturday when I mounted Mr Treadmill in the manner of a returning Greek heroine and gave it a whirl. I'm nowhere near as fit as I was 3 months ago, but I'll get there again. I hope.
I think I'm doing okay on all the other pledges. I think we all are. Let's all give ourselves a pat on the back eh?
I was good to see John Grant and Camiel breathe some life into LSWH recently.
So I thought I would update any progress , or lack of , on my list.
Saxophone going pretty well. Weekly one-to one private lesson and weekly rehearsal with the band. Tone and technique improving and enjoying the whole thing very much. Numbers in current rehearsal with the band include 'Is this the way to Amarillo' , 'Beauty and the Beast' , 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' , 'Watermelon Man' , 'On Broadway' and an old favourite 'Ghostbusters'.
In addition to this an old friend from my earlier band days in Ireland , who runs a big band in Clonmel ( as above) has sent me a couple of their CDs together with the Alto Sax parts for each of the numbers featured. It is such a great way to practise and to learn the correct phrasing and get that feel of playing in a big band. There are about 25 recordings including 'The Shadow of Your Smile' , 'Basin Street Blues', 'Singin' in the Rain', 'Brazil' and '42nd Street'
I'm still bashing away at my list doing the daily things (occasionally I actually forget). I also go to a gym class for an hour every Tuesday and have done for about 12 years.
No progress at all, at all.
Read a Book per Month
I always have a book on the go these days but music and practise take priority so the timing tends to stretch.
Get out of Bed Earlier
Keeping up with this one pretty well. Now that Summer time is here I get up at 5.30 am two days a week to play golf and that helps the average considerably.
Pledge one: Get a job
I've got a job again. A real one. My mum is very proud. I am not allowed to wear trainers. Or jeans. And we do everything in a PowerPoint template. I think it's a fireable offense to work outside the template.
Pledge two: Stretch and strengthen
Off and on. My girlfriend says I should join her gym. Maybe I should. Jeffre was also very positive about this gym. But I'm not sure whether I'll have the discipline to go there often enough.
Pledge three: Something with memory
I'm still not always paying attention to what people say. Especially when it concerns PowerPoint templates.
Pledge four: Learn Papiamentu
Oh, I am rubbish. What's the use? Everybody who speaks it, speak Dutch too anyway. I'd rather improve my English.
Pledge five: Buy groceries at market and eat a new fish every week
I've lived up to this pledge until I tasted (almost) every fish they sell on the market.
Delighted & surprised to find LSWH still going (well done Claire)
I am proving the worst pledger against change possible
Just changed my electricity to ecotricity (which I had pledged to do on Pledgebank)
Continuing to refuse foreign conference speaking invites (c50% of my carbon footprint) unless I can get there by train or have other (client meeting) reasons for making the trip - 7 turned down so far
Been buying fresh british seasonal veg from the local greengrocers (asparagus v good right now)
Fortunately presumably few are still reading :J
I'm into the last week of the marathon challenge with four miles to go - to be completed by Sunday, the day of the real marathon.
It's been tough, real tough. My shins have suffered, and I've developed a dodgy left knee. God only knows what I'd do to myself if I did the 26 miles all in one go. It wouldn't be pleasant, and I'd need more than a medal at the end, more like a stretcher.
Anyway, I've managed to develop a pattern over the last week - 3 miles every other day - which is a record for me, considering I only started running a year ago. I can tell you now though, once I've finished I'll be giving the treadmill a miss for a while.
In other pledge news I'm still off the white w(h)ine, but still eating bread. A bacon sandwich just isn't the same without it. Email deleting is going well, but reading books isn't. I'm not doing well on the RSVP front either.
Come Sunday I will be celebrating my achievements and cheering on the runners past my house.
TomLR was disappointed with his flat cap image on the LFCC recent inaugural night out. I told him that because of his more adventurous dress style the flat cap was not perhaps the best choice for him and,because of his love of bagpiping, he should consider wearing the Tam O Shanter. With a little stretch of the rules this could still be categorised as a ' flat cap '.
Tammies come in various styles and colours but I've prepared the following image to give you a view of what Tom would look like in one, which I think you would agree is more in keeping with the jumper.
and this is how Dan and Paul would look in the same bonnet !!
Tom by a clear head I think !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now for a quick update on my pledges :-
Sax lessons continuing weekly, working hard and making progress. We played a concert last Sunday in Amersham and had a full house (mainly family and friends). Training band played themes from 'New World Symphony' , 'Superman' film, 'Harry Potter' and 'Pomp and Cicumstance' . No big band swing numbers this time though but I'm hoping...............
Still bashing on and making it a routine . If I miss a day for any reason I double up the next day
Abject failure so far.
Broadly on track - re-read 'The Ship' (CS Forrester) and 'Amongst Women' (John McGahern) but haven't got anything on the go at the moment. Might join the library soon.
I'm still getting up very much earlier than I used to and I've got a very early start to play golf tomorrow..................so good night !!!
There's been a setback. As a consequence Maddy is now having to wear the equivalent of a leper's bell.
(The other side reads "I'm on a diet").
The latest weigh-in revealed she'd put all the weight back on. We've been fastidious with the food quantities and have ruled out diabetes so the only conclusion we can reach is that a well meaning neighbour is getting taken in by her "my owners starve me" dramatics.
Well I got this week's change-a-week away late; I bought vaguely eco-friendly (carbon balancing) car insurance from the coop; the main justification actually being that they are nice eg ethical investments and all the many schemes and good causes they fund. But it also does a bit of cabon balancing. Given what i had to pay for it they should really come around and fit some loft insulation too.
I have also inadvertently given up smoking (day 9 and counting) more on the basis that it was stupid than any worries about unbiodegradable filters, although that has been raise on sites like treehugger.com
The great thing is that its so quiet around here I can prob get away with the sheer volte-face hypocrisy of it all (pledge against change posts should probably be eaten in a vodcast moment of attritition, but printing them off would be the major eco snag)!
I've signed up for the 'Marathon Challenge' at my gym.
This means running 26 miles in 4 weeks. Unsure of the nitty gritty but have made the commitment.
It also means running during Easter, but all in all it looks achievable.
I'll update once I get the lowdown. Wish me luck.
Unfortunately in the course of researching a book on green marketing I've discovered that about half of everything I do, buy etc. is rubbish. ie not just environmental damaging but actually quite stupid. It was fine when I didnt know. But now its not. The pledge against change is now officially busted I'm afraid (prob a good thing, it got a bit boring about 3 months ago anyway).
I've decided that the only sensible thing to do is to try to change one thing a week.
I had thought of starting with electricity supplier, because its a one off change but I need to check a couple of things first (eg I think i my current contract)
But then I read about mineral water. I knew it was a bit crap from the point of view of transport and recycling. What I didnt know was that in a test (Health Which?) only 7 out of 40 brands got as good a result as London tap water. I have decided not to drink mineral water any more and to drink tap water instead. I'm particularly looking forward to ordering it loudly when I meet someone for lunch at a posh restaurant later this month.
Let's see how it goes.
I have finally managed to embed a video from Youtube. It is one of the ones I posted about yesterday but the attempted links failed. I had some tuition over the phone from Paul...... and bingo !! . There is another video that includes the completion of the slow movement which I should have embedded at the same time but I can't go back to download it now because I would lose what I have got here. Hope you enjoy this sampler.
Following a recent chat with Paul about classical music, I am trying here to provide a couple of links to music videos on Youtube. They cover one of my favourites - the slow movement of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Piano Concerto No.5. It is played here by Claudio Arrau with the orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
Unfortunately, the slow movement starts halfway through the first video and the spell is broken somewhat by having to go to the second video for the conclusion. However, it is an exquisite piece of music - hope you agree !
This is my first attempt at links. So hope it works - if not
Much like Russell (below) I need to get the show back on the road, I'm going to use this blog as a place to record what I get up to. I'm out of shape, scarily so when I think back to how fit I was this summer, so starting tomorrow I'm going to cycle to work and start doing more exercise. Also, going to start recording what I'm eating - it's the only way.
On a more positive note - the press-ups are going well.
Been feeling fat and useless recently. Running has tapered off. New simple pledge to address that. I will do 30 mins of heart-rate raising exercise every day for two months. See what happens. Will log progress with traineo.
Harry C - as promised - here's my cuica...
Not very helpful I appreciate. It STINKS inside, too. I think it's made out of a fruit or vegetable - a bit like a gourd although with a musical heritage which would challenge a gourd to a break-off any day.
As I have suggested earlier - it sounds like a monkey when you rub it with some damp underpant elastic. Let's see if I can't go and find an example on the ubernet...
...and then work out how to put that example up on this post....
...either that or it's a load of blokes wanking in a circle without wishing to get caught. Maybe it's a 'How to Wank Without Getting Caught by Your Mum or Your Wife' practical course - and the circle is just for added titillation.
Anyway - Harry - I wouldn't be so disrespectful as to level these suggestions at you - you're a jazz man, not a jizz man - but I hope there's some learnings in this for you anyway.
Next time - the samba whistle.
Oh - and here's a more accessible angle:
Just reporting in after a month or so. Not putting things off was always going to be tough this year - I've promised her indoors we'll be sorting out bits of the house. I hate decorating and don't necessarilly see a house as an ongoing project it's somewhere to live for me.
So it's with great pride that I announce that we decorated the spare room last weekend, and I did my fair share. It was supposed to be done for Mum and Dad staying at the end of the month. With the purchase of new curtains already done, we're actually ahead of schedule.
I won't get too cocky until we complete the box room next month. That involves stripping wallpaper...