The Smith's Journal - January 2007

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Drum workshop at University of Herts

I was asked back to my old college to teach a drumming workshop :-) Luckily this was easy since the students had all just come back from Gambia buzzing with the grooves and most had their own djembes. So it seemed apt to play the Gambian rhythm we so enjoy. I was pleased that in just over an hour, twenty of us managed to get all three parts going, plus dun duns, shakers and the break section. Afterwards I realised that the zip of my African suit trousers had been flying low throughout the session; this may explain some merriment when I grabbed the shekere and waltzed into the centre of the circle. Someone was filming the class - I hope I didn't expose too much... ;-)


Interior design

I've spent much of the month procrastinating thinking about the interior design of my new domain. Since childhood, I've always been into furniture and architecture, but have never before had a whole house to consider. Having so much space to spread out into is wonderful, and even though I'm not allowed to decorate, at least I like the decor already present.

In terms of facilities, most of the basic things in the house such as internet access are vaguely sorted by now, although boxes of junk still inhabit each room awaiting ideal placement. I still need a bed, and then it's "just" a case of making new studio furniture and wiring it all up, tidying the utility room junk into cupboards and getting rid of some unwanted items and old computers. As ever, I'm getting sidetracked obsessing with trying to redesign my studio, reading up on acoustics; I'll need to build some bass traps using rigid fibreglass. By the time I've done all that it'll be springtime and I'll have to start gardening (*help!*). I also need to think about ergonomics for my office desk. Then I can add the final touches like bookcases, new chairs, pictures and furnishings. I'll soon have my own Celebrity Makeover TV show ;-)

Over Christmas my only festive times were Vitae's and Andy's and Bizia's parties, but they made enough merriment to keep me smiling into 2007. I've also spent much time in IKEA and *every* other department store / home furnishings outlet, sussing out what's available, trying not to get the blues seeing all the young couples kitting out their new starter home (*sigh*). No, I'm married to music... :-)

Fell down a rabbithole

Sometime in January I fell down a rabbithole of reading some deep stuff which has disturbed some key foundations of my world view, so I'm a bit puzzled as to which way is up and whose side I'm on at the mo. But I'm sure that it's all for the best, and these things are sent to test us. It's like God/Nature/whatever doesn't actually know the answer(s), and needs us to do the legwork for Her to figure it out. And that detective work is hard and involves pain: physical, emotional and spiritual. But as Jim Phillips* used to say:

"Pain is external."

*(Craig's karate master, a very elite dude!)

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Licence © The right to copy is left with the user copyleft Malcolm Smith 2007-01-01 - last updated 2007-01-29