Friday, 11 May 2012

Public singing

Tonight we went to the Acoustic Music Club night in a local cafe. The idea is that you put your name on a board, then when its your turn you get up and perform.  Son#1, who is a huge ukulele enthusiast, put his name down.

So the first time we go we end up singing. I was stunned he put his name down, he is much braver than me. I sang with him on the chorus of Hey Soul Sister by Train. He looked as cool as a cucumber, but said he was shaking! And he was as high as a kite afterwards with happiness. Son#3 also got up for the chorus, and was applauded, mainly because he is cute and does a lovely bow at the end! Here starts the family singing group - watch this space.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Where I work, we have a lot of fun, but not many of the kids are actually striving. Cruising is a major mindset.

This past weekend, our school has hosted a speech and drama competition, and the vast majority of the kids there are focussed on doing their very best. Striving is a huge part of their nature, and the competition and the teams pushing each other on is so inspirational. And the Mass where everyone there is a trained speaker and has just done nearly 48 hours of religious education of one kind or another - its like a completely different thing to the standard Sunday affair.

Its being with those kids who are prepared to work and who want the rewards it brings that brings into focus my everyday clients. It makes me re-assess where I am and what I am doing. I wonder if I shouldn't be brave, and seek a job at a richer school with kids who have academic ambitions. I know it would be more stressful. I'd have to mark more, prepare more and there would be many more parents breathing down my neck.

Which actually reminds me of why I'm not looking for that kind of job. Tonight son#1 and I cooked an elaborate dinner, then went out to the garage to work on his latest project. We spent ages setting up his brother with a new something (ask me not what) on the internet. Right now, I want to have that time to spend with my sons. Not someone else's sons! And everyone seems mostly satisfied with my present work.

Perhaps when my kids don't want to spend so much time with me, I'll consider a better harder job for me. Daft thing is - it'll pay the same as now.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Sudden winter

We were enjoying a lovely autumn with sunny warm and windless days. Today was on and off cloudy, and the air temperature has dropped. When I walked the dogs I took a beanie. A Beanie! It means its getting C O L D .
Went to a ukulele orchestra or lesson last night and it was fun. Lots of people there, and a range of abilities. Also an Huge range of ukuleles. There were the cheap ones like the schools buy for their class sets. Quite a lot of those. And some mid-range type ones like mine - still plywood but not quite so mass produced. And then there were a couple of Really Expensive ukuleles. I immediately got instrument envy - but I'm not sure I would want to spend too much on a ukulele, especially a soprano one. Sure they look nicer, but the tone is not so different as the price tag would suggest. I reckon almost anyone could hear the difference between a cheap mass produced violin and a expensive hand made one. Even when played by the same person. The ukuleles all sound fairly similar to me - the soprano ones it might be because they are so small. There is not enough wood there for the vibrations to be substantially different perhaps. Dunno. Perhaps it would sound more different if I heard them being played by the same person one after another. We tried it in the shop though, and there is not much difference to my ear.

They can look pretty though.