I’ve been collecting inspirational quotes to keep in mind this year. I’m gonna share some of my favourites….. “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – That quote by the author Robin Sharma suggests that change is not only inevitable but that it’s necessary for a good life. A useful thought this time of year.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein.
Victoria Pendleton on mental preparation says: “It’s a lifelong process, just as physical training is. It becomes a lot easier, the more you practise it.”
As I go into a ‘dry’ January, I’ll leave you with three thoughts from Mike Lake that I hope will inspire some of your decisions as you ease into 2022:
Find the courage to venture outside of your current comfort zone. Pick those opportunities well.
Declare the end of doing the same things over and over expecting different results. And that includes how you practice and play your instrument!
Consider the valuable energy wasted over resisting change. What are you missing while you spend time and energy fighting change rather than being open to embracing the opportunities it may bring to you?
I wish you all a fabulous 2022. May it be your best year ever.
If I should die, think only this of me;
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert Brooke. 1887 – 1915
There is a Dutch village not far from me here in France. It’s a residential/holiday village. A Dutch opera singer, Lyda Van Tol, retired there recently, and my friend Gijs has been very keen to introduce us. I met Lyda briefly last week and invited her to come and take a guest slot at our booking in the restaurant there (I have no problems jumping in at the deep end!). She accepted, came along, and met Rod (keyboard) during the break. Lyda told us she would like to sing the introduction a cappella then we would join in. I would take a short solo over the A section then Lyda would come back in. This was great fun, and it was a real pleasure to back her. Our audience don’t normally listen this hard. You could hear a pin drop. Lyda went on to do two more songs. I loved it.
Dédiée aux cigales Cicadas Brood X. Tous les 17 ans, les nymphes de la cigale de Brood X creusent un tunnel vers le haut en masse pour émerger de la surface du sol. Les insectes perdent ensuite leurs exosquelettes sur les arbres et autres surfaces, devenant ainsi des adultes. Les cigales matures volent, s’accouplent, pondent des œufs dans des brindilles, puis meurent en quelques semaines. La combinaison de la longue vie souterraine des insectes, de leur émergence quasi simultanée du sol en grand nombre et de leur courte période d’âge adulte permet à la couvée de survivre même à une prédation massive.
Our first musical collaboration 2021 and possibly our toughest/best yet. We are covering Little Feat’s ‘Long Distance Love’. We have Madame Blance on lead vocal, Jim Condie on Acoustic and Slide guitars, Rod Millgate on Keyboards, and new boy Peter Jezukiewicz on bass. I’m playing some additional guitars and drums. We hope you like it! Remember, all parts were recorded at home by each musician, then it was all put together later.
I’ve been reading a number of newbie roadie threads about handlebars positions, aching hands, fear of the drops, and so on. It got me thinking about the way I use my drops, and I decided to try and share this with you. It is in no way the right or wrong way to use them, and I’m sure there are other ways. I hope my post might help you.
Firstly, being a veteran, and a bit stiff, I use very shallow drops (like a lot of the TDF riders do).
I use 8 different hand positions as follows……
Right on the tops – For long seated climbs, or sitting up in the buch. For easy riding. Though I sometimes ride hard in this position, especially with a tailwind.
On the tops – A sort of ‘ready’ position where I can relax but quickly and easily more to a more serious position.
On the corners – I use this postion a lot in a bunch. When riding close. It’s easy to ‘touch’ other riders from this position. They like it! ? Slide forward and you’re on the hoods.
Touching the hoods – I use this position a lot when training. It’s a little lower and a good ‘working’ postion. Can be used standing.
On the hoods – Fully on the hoods. I can brake from here. A good position if you are riding with riders you are not sure of. Or communting in heavy traffic. Low enough to go fast, high enough to see ahead. Can be used standing.
On the hoods top – when the pace is high I’ll ride here. It allows you to get down and suffer.
On the drops/brakes – Going fast and needing to brake. Voila! Can be used standing.
On the drops – Going fast on my own, or in a small group, or if it’s raining and windy. On the drops. Bend elbows and grimmace for better effect. Also used for ‘commited’ sprinting. Can be used standing.
FWIW – I’ve been riding on the road since the early 80s. I was schooled in road riding by scousers, mostly from the Liverpool Cantury Road Club. Happy days!
The final music collaboration of 2020. Our cover of John Hiatt’s Hangin Round Here. All the parts were recorded at home, then put together. We hope you like it. We hope that 2021 will be your best year ever. Happy New Year!
Jim Condie – Vocal, Dobro Guitar Jon Medici – Acoustic Guitar Dave Purple – Harmonica Serge Bardot – Bass Andy Bennett – Drums Madame Blanc and ‘The Crew’ – Backing Vocals
I’m working hard on my Jazz playing. Here is a cover of Alone Together, a jazz standard written by Arthur Schwartz with lyrics by Howard Dietz. It was introduced in the BroadwaymusicalFlying Colors in 1932 by Jean Sargent. The song soon became a hit, with Leo Reisman and His Orchestra’s 1932 recording (vocal by Frank Luther) being the first to reach the charts. It has become a jazz standard. The first jazz musician to record the song was Artie Shaw in 1939. Though I reckon the version most people know best is the Chet Baker version from 1959.
Alone Together was the August ‘tune of the month’ in the PJG (Play Jazz Group) study group on facebook. This was my submission for the end of the month ‘final project’. Posting a final project gets you feedback from Matt, and from your peers. Another great month of learning! I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this tune. It was one that I didn’t know, and now I love it. I‘ve learnt so much this month about navigating tricky changes. I’ve had such fun with comping. My goal for the past couple of months has been to be more succint, to start and end phrases properley, also to create tension where appropriate. I think I’m getting there, still a way to go though. I played the bass part using Matt’s walking bass line from the weekly excercises. For the comping, I used diatonic moves, some approach chords, and substitutions….and a little ’arrangement’ walking the Fmaj7 down to the Dmaj7 in half steps (bar 11 onwards). I normally play the melody straight for FPs, but this time I decided to add flowers. Soloing wise, bars 9 to 13 became my favourites. Find it Matt Warnock’s Play Jazz Guitar Facebook group here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/playjazzguitar/