Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The inconstant gardener

Me and my counsellor came up with a great metaphor for relationships, life and everything: gardening.

It's about sewing your seeds (so to speak) and taking care of them, not just forgetting about them, nurturing them, watering them, then being patient in waiting for the plant to grow.

It's also about what type of plant you want to grow; whether you want to grow prize-winning flowers that you can show off to others or if you grow wholesome, nutritional fruits that have a better long-term benefit.

It's also about trial and error. It's not just reading a gardening book, it's writing your own gardening book by learning from your mistakes.

But sometimes, life is a bitch and the seeds fall on rough ground and there's nothing you can do about it. You can give the seeds the best conditions but it's not always in your control.

This is a great metaphor but it worries me because the only time I had an allotment (see pic) I was so crap at it I gave up after two weeks when it got covered with weeds. Look at the state of it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mud magnet

Juju has got a sixth sense. She can detect mud from 100 metres.

This is a photo I just found of her at Stanmer Park. She sticks her head right in the hollow of tree trunks and has a good old root around in there.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Down the line

Presenting the first track from the forthcoming Simon Parkin album. "Down the line". (sorry - taken this down - please listen to it on myspace.)

Simon Parkin: Vocals, classical guitar, bass guitar, banjo, drums, percussion.
Adam Piggot: Steel guitar, slide guitar.
Jayne Freeman: Backing vocals, piano.

Recorded at the Blue Eyed Sounds studio, Hastings, 18/2/06 by Adam Piggot.

I can't believe it! My first proper song! I'm so chuffed with it! I know my voice is out of tune but I don't mind. I'm just so pleased to have done it. And to have played all the different instruments! It was such a nice day recording it. I wrote the lyrics on the train on the way there. I was feeling quite emotional when I was singing it too. The lyrics don't really mean anything, but the sentiment in the chorus is just so sad it made me choke a bit when I was singing! I just love the chorus!

I want to do it again, again, again!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

He said… and then she said…

I told a great story to my counsellor the other day. It went something like:

"my mate told me about this text he got from my ex and she texted him… and then he texted her… and then he got a text from her that said… and then when he got home he texted her…"

It was at this point I realised that I had regressed to a teenager.

You have to stop and listen to how silly life is sometimes don't you? Don't you?!

A sunny bossa nova (for Tori)

Here's the basics of a sunny little bossa nova tune that I'm working on. It's a bad recording and not the best guitar playing either but you get the jist.

This is what I'm hoping to develop on Saturday into a number one hit. Remember… you heard it here first! All it needs now is a melody, lyrics and a chorus etc...

Thanks, Tori, for asking to hear my stuff!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cavaquinho Kid

I've just bought this little beauty on ebay. It's a cavaquinho. A Portuguese ukulele! I saw one being played at the Cardiff Encontro a couple of years ago and thought it would be great to play one.

Cavaquinhos look somewhat comical at the best of times, they look like a childrens toy guitar, but it's going to look particularly silly when a 6 foot 7 bloke with massive hands plays one! Which is why I bought it of course.

Victoria Stilwell

Cor! Is it me or does anyone else find Victoria Stilwell of "It's me or the dog" the sexiest woman on telly at the moment?! With those leathers and the red sports car and the stern looks!

I would gladly sit and beg for her any day of the week!

Monday, February 13, 2006

A punch in the face to Mozart

I'm feeling a bit emotionally punched in the face at the moment. My friends have been great but you have to sort things out yourself after a bit don't you?

Fixed myself up nicely this morning by listening to Mozart - something I've never ever done before. Now Lou Rhodes is helping me out again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

More glorious tunes

To carry on from the last posting… I'm also loving this tune: "I believe in miracles" by the Jackson Sisters. Another tune for the weekend!

My friend Bezz brought it round when I had my introduction to funk about ten years ago after I fell in love with the sound of The Brand New Heavies. He had borrowed a load of records and he came round and I mixed together a tape full of funk classics.

I think I first loved funk when I realised all the best bits of hip-hop tunes were sampled and that the originals sounded loads better.

Who sampled the Jackson Sisters? Anyone remember?

I also remember listening to this tune in the back of an unfeasibly turqoise van (Tarquin) in the middle of Wales whilst coming up on a pill with two very close friends just before a huge thunderstorm came across the valley.

Ooh child

I've been panic buying records for my DJ set at the Volks next week. This morning an absolute beauty of a tune came through my front door. "Ooh child" by The Five Stairsteps.

I first heard this tune sung by Queen Latifah on De La Soul's "Buddy". Then I heard it sung in a car by Laurence Fishburne in "Boyz n the hood". It's only recently that I've heard the original. I can see why Queeny and Loz would want to sing it though - such a great, soulful tune. Cheered my morning up no end as I danced round my bedroom whilst getting ready for work.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Somerset adventure

It's been ages since I've done anything vaguely exciting. I just found this photo that I took a couple of years ago when I went to a friend's wedding in Somerset.

I camped at my friend's friend's who looked after Juju while I was at the wedding. She was, as she described herself, "an ageing hippy", and I got on with her really well. She had three dogs, one which was slighly volatile, one which was going blind and one that had lost the use of its back legs and was in a wheel-chair. This was immediately my favourite - he was gorgeous - so full of life and character and still did a good job of running wild even though his wheels kept getting stuck in the mud! He had lost his bark too but he was still a very vocal dog. It was like he was talking: "Hough, hough!"

The hippy lived in a gypsy caravan which was parked in a shed on her parents' grounds. And that was it; she didn't want for anything more, she was happy with her life and her dogs, didn't need a man, helped out at an animal sanctuary and didn't really earn or need any money. I really look up to people like that. I don't think it's something I could do myself but I just think it's great to think outside the box like that.

Anyway, it's what I need to go and do something interesting. I haven't even done anything to warrant taking a photo lately.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Virgin Ubiquity

More music today with the purchase of the next selection of Roy Ayers' unreleased tunes on vinyl. Only had a quick listen to it this morning but it sounds great! Definitely going to play some of them when I DJ at the Volks Club in a couple of weeks.

There's a great demo version of Sunshine too: "Just bees n things n flowers/ Ooh yeah, yeah, yeah"

Can't wait to go and see him again. Don't think I'll be going to the Caman Islands though!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lou Rhodes

Wow - Lou Rhodes, ex-half of Lamb, has made an amazing album, 'Beloved One'.

I'm going to go see the first date of her tour later this month.


Thank goodness for friends who take you (and your dog) home and give you beer, feed you curry and talk kindly.

And introduce you to their single friends!

Monday, February 06, 2006

I was a teenage raver

Check out my new blog (as if I haven't got enough websites already!) for tales of excess and white gloves:

I was a teenage raver

And here comes that lonely feeling

Oh no! I hate this. I just emailed the last girl I was seeing because I saw her in a restaurant on Saturday night and that was what prompted the split-up with the current (ex)girlf.

She's got a boyf… what did I expect?… and now I've got that empty feeling like what the hell am I doing with my life sitting in this freezing cold studio for the rest of my days and living in the middle of Portslade with not many friends. :(

I do need to meet up with her though. If it's only to get closure on the whole thing. Or am I just setting myself up to be hurt some more?

Singledom strikes again

It finally gave way and I couldn't go on with the relationship. It was obviously showing to her that I wasn't into it. What was meant to be us going out for a romantic meal on Saturday night ended with us splitting up. It's not very nice, and I feel gutted, but it's for the best.

So I celebrated my singledom by going to the pictures by myself and sitting in the "lonely seat", the wonky seat at the back of the cinema that has only got two seats in the row so that your singledom can't be intruded upon! Put my feet up and had a little kip through bits of it: nice!

I watched Grizzly Man; maybe it was a warning of what can happen when singledom lasts too long. He was obviously going stir crazy with only himself and bears and foxes to talk to. Great film though!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Big Chill nostalgia (brrr)

It's hard to imagine while I'm sitting here with full thermals on, a water bottle under my hat, my fingers glowing bright red and the breath clouding infront of my monitor, that I was once warm and that it was once summer.

Thinking about warmth reminds me of the Big Chill a couple of years ago. It was so nice! Just lying around all weekend, lazy sex and spliffs, music and laughter, curry al fresco from paper plates, even Scrabble! I really didn't want to come home.

It seems like a lifetime away now.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Songwriting probs

We've been given our first bit of songwriting homework on my songwriting course: to write a song lyric from a title based on the weather report. It should be a metaphor for a relationship.

I've tried to go with "Indian Summer" but all the lyrics sound like bloody James Blunt lyrics ("You're beautiful, Yes you are, I love you, It's true, Yes I do, Oh yes." etc).

I might change it to "Hoar Frost".