I played a solo gig back in the 90s I think in a seedy suburb of Nottingham because I needed the money. It’s when you touch base with the under belly of a place that you sort of start having an empathy with it. Half way through Bob Dylan’s Times are a Changing the place was raided by police for drugs and sex workers and a guy was stabbed in front of me. This is just a pastel I did to record the event. I always meant to do something more elaborate but you know what, I don’t see the point. Sometimes it’s just better to be organic and leave things as they were.
Just a lovely memory of a very treasured evening at my friend Chand’s home. A group of us would often have ‘home parties’ with the guitars at each other’s houses and this recording was at Chand’s where (while he cooked one of his amazing master class meals for us all) I performed Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Boxer’ at his request. Chand can be seen briefly part way through the video in the background.
CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH THE VIDEO: The Boxer. Live music
You have to be a guitar player to understand that you can never have too many guitars and that your collection must include a little ‘f-hole’ acoustic for it to be a collection.
My new little man (pictured) – a Hall-Mark – arrived today and the first thing I did was remove the old tuning pegs which were bent, rusty and had a few cogs missing. I bought the guitar on eBay for £49 ($78US) and can’t wait to fit new pegs and new strings.
Sometimes my job involves supporting children’s crèches and ‘language-and-play’ sessions at which I often do sing songs with the children. One of the reasons guitar players have lots of guitars is that they all do a different job; my recently repaired Takamine for example would be my first choice for an Irish night down the pub. No doubt at all what job my new little man will be doing. Bring on the little people.
Over the past few days my son in law Dan took my beloved damaged Takamine guitar to bits to repair it and this evening he brought it back mended and I’m thrilled. The wooden bar where the strings are secured had literally lifted off the main body due to heat damage from being kept in the loft. Other than a scuff mark you wouldn’t know it had been damaged but you know what – I love that scuff mark. My guitar has had a few knocks through the course of its life but then it still cuts the mustard. A bit like me. Love it.
It’s been a bit of a week this week, most of it seems to have been entertaining the kids which has been great; it’s taken me back to my days as a children’s worker and been a real tonic. Feel 10 years younger 🙂
Today I supported colleagues from the Language and Play department with their Play Day at Scolton Manor in Pembrokeshire and basically gave them a whole day sing song peppered with lunch, water and sand play and a bug hunt. I went prepared (check out the wellies) but fortunately the rain held off and we all had a fabulous day. The photos here are published with parental consent.
On Monday our beautiful grandchildren emigrate to Australia and so we spent a last day with them today at the coast; Skegness. Having lived abroad a couple of times (India and Gibraltar) we know it’s a wonderful opportunity for the children although from a selfish point of view there’s no doubt we’ll miss them. If there is one consolation these days it has to be technology because it’s made this world much smaller and easier to stay in touch with loved ones wherever they are. I guess it’s one of those times when I’m excited (for them) and sad (for us) both at the same time. Wherever they are, they always have our love x x
With retirement looming it’s been really nice to have quite a lot of interest in my artwork (from around the world); having been a freelance artist for about 35 years I’ve always known I would never starve as long as I can use a pencil. Although I’m hoping (at some point) to upload all of my artwork here on my website much of my new art (for now) goes directly onto my Twitter account because of the ‘Arty’ connections on there. If you’re one of my Arty-type readers and want to see new art as it happens please feel free to join me on Twitter @AlanDDixon (or just type in Spailpinfanac into the Twitter browser). Meanwhile here’s a few pix to brighten your day x