Just in time for Christmas…

I’ve been working hard with Lyda van Tol on five original compositions of hers. She wrote them in 2021. I recorded them for her and compiled some video footage to go with them. I finished them today. Just in time for Christmas! Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

5 Classical Piano Compositions written and played by Lyda van Tol. Written in 2021, recorded on location in South West France during autumn 2022. Each piece recorded as a single take so that it could be enjoyed as if it was a live concert.
I asked Lyda what she was thinking when she wrote each piece and used that as my starting point for the video compilation.

To Shave or not to Shave?

While I had my arm in a cast I stopped shaving as it was too difficult. I’ve had the cast off a couple of weeks now….arm getting back to normal. Now, do I shave or not….until spring?
Pendant que j’avais le bras dans le plâtre, j’ai arrêté de me raser car c’était trop difficile. Le plâtre a été retiré il y a quelques semaines maintenant… le bras revient à la normale. Maintenant, est-ce que je me rase ou pas… jusqu’au printemps ?

Doom and Gloom….

Stoner Doom in fact. My latest musical effort. I know you wanna hear it. Cooked up on a Sunday afternoon…..Fender Stratocaster straight into a Focusrite Scarlett, and thereby into Ableton Live with a Neural DSP Archetype Cory Wong plugin. Enjoy!

Oooops I did it again!

Right forearm X-ray

Fell off my MTB, broke my right ulnar. Did it back at the start of October. Would have mentioned it sooner, but I couldn’t type! The metalwork on the X-ray is from when I broke it when I was 14. Look to the left of that and you’ll see the new break. I’ve had it in a cast for 7 weeks. Got the cast of now and trying to get back to normal. I’ve been told not to ride until mid December. But I can play my guitar! Got some work to do as it’s quite sore/stiff/weak.

I was riding down a trail that I’ve ridden hundreds of times en route to Cognac la Foret. It is quite tricky. It’s a rocky stream crossing. I usually make it OK. Not this time though. Front wheel dropped into a hole and I went straight over the bars, landed on my arm on the rocks. I didn’t know it was broken at first. I thought I would be OK. I was a bit shaken, and it took me a while to get up. My arm was hurting so I put it in the cold stream water while I gathered my senses and worked out what to do. I noticed I had cut my arm open. I took it out of the stream, gave it a rinse from my bike bottle and wrapped my buff around it.

The plan now was to abandon the ride and cycle home along the road. Just getting to the nearest road was tough. Just getting on my bike was tough. After a few kilometres I knew I was going to have to call Carla for help. Carla took one look at my arm and told me I would need to go to hospital. The hospital doctor took one look and sent me for X-ray. 5 hours later I’m stitched up with my arm in a cast.

Thank you…

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

La Belle Riviere Gorre…

Here’s the video showing how beautiful this river is….

“Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix” est situé à 200m du bourg de St-Auvent, au point le plus pittoresque de la rivière (la Gorre), dont le lit est encombré de rochers qui entraînent la formation de nombreux rapides ainsi que de plusieurs îles boisées. Communément appelé “le petit Lourdes en Limousin”, ce vaste domaine se caractérise par les nombreuses découvertes culturelles et religieuses que l’on peut y faire : la Grotte, réplique de celle de Lourdes, l’Oratoire, situé sur la colline (Mont des Béatitudes), l’oratoire de Notre-Dame de Potmain, le chemin de crois, la chapelle Notre Dame de la Paix, l’abri des pèlerins, diverses statue de Sainte Bernadette, Notre Dame de Fatima…etc. Cet édifice religieux et site naturel est un havre de paix, propice au recueillement.

“Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix” is located 200m from the town of St-Auvent, at the most picturesque point of the river (the Gorre), whose bed is cluttered with rocks which lead to the formation of numerous rapids as well as than several wooded islands. Commonly called “little Lourdes in Limousin”, this vast area is characterized by the many cultural and religious discoveries that can be made there: the Grotto, a replica of that of Lourdes, the Oratory, located on the hill (Mont des Beatitudes), the oratory of Our Lady of Potmain, the Way of the Cross, the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, the shelter for pilgrims, various statues of Saint Bernadette, Our Lady of Fatima…etc. This religious building and natural site is a haven of peace, conducive to contemplation and meditation.