Snapshots of 2013 - NaJoPoMo Day 4
Posted Nov 4, 2013
A uke is small, hence easily portable and doesn't need much space to play. This is particularly useful when crammed into a small space in the lounge of my Mother's residential home trying to play a few oldies that they might just remember.
On a good day, my audience tap their toes, clap their hands, conduct and might even sing along.
On a bad day, they ignore the music, fall asleep and snore. It can be unnerving, as with the one lady who likes to stand right in front of the music and stare very intensely or when my Mother tries to grab hold of and eat the song book...
At its best, it is an uplifting experience that leaves all participants smiling, even if many of them instantly forget why they're feeling hapy. When a normally silent, passive resident begins singing along to 'If you were the only girl in the world' I'm not sure who is most shocked - me, the staff or the lady herself. The power of music to connect, even with those suffering from the most advanced dementia, never fails to surprise me.
Snapshots of 2013 - NaJoPoMo2013 day3
Posted Nov 3, 2013
Ukulele festivals are fun. They tend to be full of audience participation as much as formal performances. A new one has joined the UK festival scene, the Great Northern held in Pontefract.
Highlight of the festival for me - the moment when 12 random uke players wandered into a local hairdressers, sang an enthusiastic "Happy Birthday" to celebrate her 50th birthday, then all wandered back out again. She loved it.Hope we didn't lose her any customers!
Snapshots of 2013 - NaJoPoMo2013 day 2
Posted Nov 2, 2013
Aiming for a relaxing Spring holiday in the sun we headed for Norfolk in the snow (long story, to do with outdated passport and late season Weather).
Walked into our holiday local pub on the first night to find a new uke being passed around the bar by its excited owner. Having a uke chord sheet in my bag (as you do) I quickly verified my credentials as fellow enthusiast and a happy afternoon was spent with my new friends, butchering classic songs on uke and merry vocal cords.
Much fun was had, although I politely declined the offer to join their dubiously named folk band for the next gig. Norfolk's a long way from home.
Snapshots of 2013 - may be NaJoPoMo
Posted Nov 1, 2013
Started the year as I appear to have continued - playing bad music on my uke and having a whale of a time. Thanks to my friend's 12 year old son who had specially learned "Auld Lang Syne" on his trombone and requested that I accompany him on my uke, in Bb, like you do. Who could refuse...
The New Forest..
Posted Mar 12, 2012
.. is not New, it's at least 1000 years old. And it's not really forest in the tree sense, just the original royal hunting ground sense. However, it does have some trees and a load of wildlife in the shape of ponies, deer and pigs as well as the usual squirrels and birds. After a few days it became normal to see ponies nibbling away in the heathland verges and forest clearings, not to mention trimming domestic hedges where they weren't kept out of human habitation.
The New Forest also has a good selection of very nice country pubs, making for good walks and evenings out. There are some local breweries (that I'm reliably informed are alright) and even a rather good cider maker, although I had to stock the car with cider samples to take away as none of the local pubs seemed to sell it. Even so, the Royal Oak at Fritham is heartily recommended to anyone passing by, particularly at lunchtime for an excellent range of Ploughman's lunches with local cheeses. I'd also recommend the Cuckoo at Hamptworth for an experience, particularly busy on Friday nights when the Fish & Chip van parks outside.
A week didn't really allow us to see everything the Forest has to offer, but I came back a lot more relaxed than when we left. The odd loose Peak District sheep on the roads seems like nothing after days of stopping for the ponies crossing. I'll miss the horses