Staying Alive…..

This is not oil exploration. It’s our old friend and neighbour, Håkan, drilling for water on the farm. A few years ago, he decided to dispense with the local Kommun water supply and, as the village is basically on sand and surrounded by lakes, thought he could have a lifetime supply free. He was right but it was a lot deeper down than expected and came at considerable cost. This shot shows the first shaley/mucky breaching of the core and the beginning of the supply! Everyone – save for me, who had the common sense to step back – got covered in the cloying muddy goo. Great fun:


We were planning to watch the Stargazing prog on the Beeb with the Sat Telly but didn’t get round to it. We are used to clear, stunning skies, in general, including this kind of thing in the late afternoon/early evenings as the sun dips behind the tree line:

And, truth be known, we both miss the beauty and weirdness of the North! It was often fun and packed with new, sometimes bizarre, experiences:

Here, in the aftermath of the snowfall, it has turned chilly with sunshine and blue skies that promise warmth but don’t really deliver. At least in the North, you know where you are with weathery things! And bizarrely, this Spanish house is harder to heat than our old wooden home in Sweden, where the central heating, glazing, insulation etc., are all made for the climate and cope more than admirably. In the mornings I’m loathe to get out of bed because of the cold. Takes me back to my Scottish childhood, or our time in Trotternish, on the North of Skye, when J was pregnant with our daughter, JVP.
I got the guitar down to the Luthier in Granada yesterday for repair. Unfortunately, he was at home, so I didn’t see the atelier/studio/workshop. But I’ll make sure of a visit when I return to collect it, which will probably be in February, he reckons. A Canadian, John Ray, http://www.johnguitar.com/ he moved to Granada about 20 odd years ago to learn the art of guitar-making. It took him ten years – being distracted by such things as wine, tapas, music and pretty senoritas – before he produced something he was proud of. Now he makes about twelve guitars a year and finds this suits him just fine. He seems a nice guy and I’m sure my guitar is in good hands:

We received this striking image today from our daughter, JVP, in WestWales. It’s a Fuzzy Felt CAstle, made by the Grandsprog, Hamish. He has just been given an early birthday gift by a Godparent, Robin Gibb, – the BeeGee – and his wife, Dwina, who are friends of JVP and her partner. (JVP does websitey design and websitey maintenance things for them both, and they often stay with them up in Oxfordshire/Berkshire). He seems to have chosen a winner because Hamish absolutely loves it. (His other Godparent is less likely to provide something so useful, as he is that old Fork-Bender General, Uri Geller!)

J and I both watched the telly prog recently about ‘Nation’s Favourite BeeGee tracks’, with interest and noted some other musicians saying that the BeeGees had always been generous with their material/songs. From what we know of Robin, he is a very generous and genuinely decent guy. Every Xmas he sends LVP a huge Xmas hamper stuffed full of goodies. Bear in mind, he’s a veggie, though! J has a really lovely jumper, one of her favourites, that also came from him.

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About yractual

A former lawyer and national daily journalist, now a freelance music journalist, with moves bewteen Spain, Sweden, France and who knows where next! A Scot by birth and inclination. Lover of acoustic ragtime-blues guitar and ukulele. Work with music titles across three continents.
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3 Responses to Staying Alive…..

  1. Carol says:

    Sounds like you're a little bit homesick Iain?

  2. I saw R G trace his ancestors on Who do you think you are? . He came across as a great guy. I hope he can overcome his present ill health.I love getting the fuzzy felt out for the children to play with in my class. What a great invention, I can remember playing with it myself when I was a child.Sft x

  3. yeractual says:

    Hi Carol, It's hard not to miss the spectacular wildness of the North at times – ironically, mostly in winter!SFT: We missed that prog but oddly enough my cousin in Scotland met RG and was involved in the prog making. He didn't realise we had a connection with him at the time and felt a tad intimidated by RG and tongue-tied at times! He also agrees that RG is a really nice guy. WYSIWYG, I think!

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