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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

More music.

Ah well, tomorrow I go in for an operation.  Probably I'll be fine and able to post here again by Friday, but hey, I'm a Capricorn and we always plan for everything, so if I don't come back, let this be my epitaph.  I'll be dancing with the ghosts of the open road!  See you there one day!


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Anglo-Saxon Lyre: "Fly Free, Carry me."

I must admit I get a bit of cringe about showing off my own songs, but hey, knowing I will be recording my own tunes does keep me improving and practicing them, so what the heck.

I wrote this song for Odin and his relationship with the mighty Sleipnir, but also for anyone who has ever had a special horse, one that the bond is so close with that you feel you can go anywhere together and do anything with a thought.

The lighting effect was pure luck:  I set it up, made a few gaffs and restarted, and by then the sun was down a bit more and bingo!  I love it!

The sound with my new phone is pretty good, I reckon.  I made the usual few mistakes but I know you'll forgive me for that.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Smoke and Blossoms

The Jarrah trees up the block are flowering. I planted this darling about five years ago and she is more than twice my height now.  This year she has really gone to town with blossom.  What a reward, well worth the effort of digging that hole and toting water!

I haven't planted anything year apart from one oak tree. Even my vegie garden is neglected when this time last year it had hip high plants of all sorts in it.

Ah well, give me a bit of surgery and a couple of weeks recovery and hopefully I'll be good to go by Christmas or Alban Heffin, as we Southern OBOD Druids like to call it, or Midsummer as the more general Pagans often have it.  

We had another fire call-out today.  It's pretty hard for me to see them go without me, but it is good to be able to be useful as they get ready and to close the doors behind them, leaving them one less thing to worry about.  This is how they sound heading out on the highway.


This is how The Beloved looked after a quick bit of blacking out and return to station. So far only small fires. Let's hope it continues like that, though we seem to have a new firebug operating locally.  As the saying goes, "If I catch him, you'll never know."  Hope the right person catches them!  Hope someone, anyone, catches them and locks them up all summer! 

I'm a tad boring just now.  Joining crochet squares, trying to summon up a little energy to play my instruments.  Ah well, I like how the squares are looking joined into rows.  The technique is fast and cute.  The unevenness gets sorted once you join the rows. Technique by Carina here

May or may not get to to posting in the next week or two. I'll do my best!  Wish me luck!    

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fireys and Crochet.

Not your usual combination of topics but there you have it, this is my life.  :)

We had a busy weekend with the brigade, first doing a catering fundraiser at an auction.  Look at all these lovely faces!  Volunteering is fun, even when the temperature soars! (Though I must admit I piked when it got later in the day, leaving the field to the hardier souls.)

Then pretty early Sunday morning we got a call out to a smallish local fire.  I took Andrew down and station crewed for them but didn't go myself.  Low hemoglobin and smoke don't go well together.  I felt sad to see the team head out without me but we had a full complement for both vehicles so that was good!

Andrew drove the 1.4.

And in the back, a rose between two thorns, was my friend Michelle, who was on her first actual fire turn-out.  Way to go Michelle!

They were home again in a little under three hours, dirty and happy. Let's hope that if we have to have fires this summer, they'll stay small like this one was!

At home, I got busy keeping myself occupied.  The night before, I had done this:

Doesn't look very momentous does it, but in fact that was the last thread to weave in on the latest afghan, which has 99 squares, and every square had seven loose ends to weave in  Arghhhh!  It's a pretty design but never again!

So, while Andrew was at the fire, I decided to get all my squares organised. The first thing was to tip them on the bed and take a pic.  Doesn't look like months and months of work, I must say.

Then all of a sudden someone decided they needed more attention than the granny squares and brought Humpy the teddy to visit.

Directly on my crochet.

Yes she's sucking his face.  :)  What can I say, Rosie is a bit of an oddy.  You can see where Tuppy gets it from.

Anyway, after Rosie had some attention and got off again, it was time to sort the squares so that there weren't two the same in a row anywhere.

The four yellow ones ended up in a smaller square than that, nearer the centre, but I forgot to take another photo. Oh well, it can be a little surprise when it is all done.

Then it was time to pile up each row and label it, and now begins the long job of crocheting them all together with that same yellow.  I'm glad I'm actually using crochet to join them this time.  It's the crocheting bit that I actually enjoy!       



Thursday, 24 November 2016

Hazard Reduction Burns and What Have You

It's been a varied week.  Monday I went to a Hazard Reduction burn because I couldn't stand to be left out,  though am not a lot of use until I get some more red stuff back in my blood.   Still, I wandered up and down and turned on the hydrant for them as needed, and fetched dinner, so was, in another way, very valuable indeed.

The fire started out in the afternoon.  Andrew and sister Jen were both there, so that was nice.  Actually there were heaps of us.  A sign of a flourishing era for the brigade.  It meant that no-one got too tired and the fire was watched and managed very well.

Andrew manned the pumps at the 1.4, but did do a little light fire control over the fence.

Jenny got a bit hot. No she wasn't really getting wet.  It is an optical illusion. The tanks can get bacteria in them and are mixed up with a wetting foam at times, so we don't use the water to cool down and definitely not to drink!

Think she might need to tie her hair up a bit more.  She looks a bit flammable here!

I like this pic of Andrew.

As the sun went down, the night became a confusing mix of flames and flashing lights and reflective gear.

This is what it looked like from over the fence where I was, without flash.

And with flash, suddenly the fireys managing the fire show up, like aliens appearing out of the dark.

Andrew got this amusing bit of footage of myself, Jen and Michelle trundling our way back up the road, gear flashing in the lights from the truck.   

Tuesday we went to see a Gynecologist and the less said about that the better. Suffice to say, soon I won't be going on the fire-ground for a while, which sucks considering we are heading into fire season.  Ah well, hopefully after that I'll be good to go, and unstoppable!

Wednesday night was drumming, and I got a bit of video of Andrew laughing and messing around with some of the other guys, doing a pattern where they had to sometimes hit the drums either side of theirs.

I was a bit tired by then, but as so often happens, the others could hardly bear to stop, so interesting things often happen after we are supposed to be all done for the night.

This week I've also been doing some leatherwork to replace a broken whistle lanyard I made many years ago for a fellow Gundog owner.  It was good to bone up on the rusty skills.  I learned how to cut kangaroo hide laces, using just my thumb and a knife, from a marvellous old feller called Bob Cameron.  He taught me how to braid it too.      

Braided and partly spliced.

I've taken the Turk's hats off the old lanyard to put on the neck of the new one so she gets some continuity of luck. 

Next comes new Turks' hats to hold the ends of the splice and join neatly and prettily.  Of anything, I am pretty sure making Turks' hats has gone most from my memory.  The rest has come back to me as I worked, but will have to get the book out for this bit, methinks!

It's going to be hot here the next few days, and as you can see behind the next pic, our paddocks are dry already.  This Phoenicia is the best I have ever seen it, though.   I think they find it a bit dry here, though they are supposed to be locals, but with the extra rain this year this one has had a great season for flowering

I've begun work on the cover art for Land of Giants, though I haven't put pencil to paper yet. Still gelling my ideas.  It did mean reading a few bits of the manuscript, and oh boy, am so looking forward to diving in and reading it for the first time!  It's been 8 months since I began to write, and there is always an element of channeling that means you kind of write as a vessel for the Awen (divine inspiration) and don't really always notice what you are saying, so those first pages are almost as new to me as they would be to anyone else who picked it up.  I like it!        

Last night I went with mum to a singalong.  I knew nearly every song, which is a reflection of the fact that we often have the radio tuned to the local oldie's channel, Curtin FM.  I'm pretty eclectic with radio just as I am with any other sort of music, and we especially enjoy the mix of songs and the cheeriness in the mornings.

There has still been time for a bit of this too.

Summer's here!  Time for playing music in the gazebo while the mozzies buzz away frustratedly outside.  Jen came and played guitar with me one evening this week.  We sat out there and messed around working out, "Patience," by Guns 'N' Roses, but not for the first time.  Loved that band so much as a young tacker, and have great past associations with playing this song with sis, on good verandahs, with a glass of bourbon and coke close to hand.  These days it is water, but it is still blissful.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Down the River

We found ourselves with a bit of a free Sunday, so off to the Swan River we took the dogs.  they had a ball of course.

Lots of tandem toy fetching going on!

These next photos make me laugh because they are before three separate throws, but look almost identical.  Tuppy is bonkers and intense in every one and Rosie is doing this thing she does where she goes out into the water and looks out just waiting for the toy to land in front of her, as if she can magically make it happen by staring.

Come on, hurry up, where is it? says Rosie.

I'm not entirely sure I want give it up yet, says Tuppence.

Alright, we're puffed. Time for treats, dad!

Thanks for the fun, mama!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

More Anglo-Saxon Lyre, At Last! (Jabberwocky.)

Well its taken me a while, so long that I've actually got two songs ready to be videoed, but one will do for today.

Jabberwocky has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a child.  I love the strange words and the somewhat creepy, marshy tone.  It always sets my imagination a-whirl.

This is me being all imaginative. 
So, I set out to work out how to play it on my lyre.  There is the classic Donovan version, there is an amazing one done by Omnia, but those didn't quite work for the lyre, which can be a bit finicky as to notes and such you can use.  Tuned from G up to E as it is, there are some songs I just can't get to work with it at all, at least when I just pick it. The range for block and strum is much greater but I prefer my guitar for strummy stuff. 

At any rate, I fiddled and twiddled and sang and messed around with it, trying to keep the right mossy tone to suit it, and came up with this. I hope you enjoy it!

I've written a new song from scratch too, but haven't videoed it yet.  It has passed the test of its first listeners liking it, so it won't be long.  Just need to get my act together to film it.  

Hope the weekend sees you doing lots of fun, creative and social stuff!  Weeee!  (Think the iron tablets are kicking in over here.)