When we first moved into our present house, about eight years ago, you could clearly see the back bedroom of a house in the next road. Nothing too untoward but sometimes you would see the young man living there doing muscle poses in front of what I presume must have been a mirror. We’d wanted to plant some trees anyway but that was a particular motivation, to give ourselves and our neighbours a bit more privacy.
That gentleman moved out, or changed bedrooms, or got more shy and we haven’t seen him for a long time. The back bedroom still has a large bay window and still doesn’t have a net curtain. However, it hardly matters because the trees have grown, Particularly at the height of summer, it is not just that you can’t really see the window any more – you can barely see the house.
Yesterday’s Didcot gig was fun but I’ve been to rehearsals with a bigger audience. That may not be strictly true but another baking hot day, no shelter for the audience (nice covered stage for the band though), a lunchtime slot and two major sporting events on TV in the afternoon and it was probably never going to be the recipe for a huge event.
Good sound engineer though and certainly the bass was easy to hear. I’m not used to being so loud – a combination of my amazing little Markbass Nano amp and the PA. The Nano is physically the smallest amp I’ve ever owned and far and away the loudest too. I love ‘class D’ amp technology! Anyway, we jazzed and that was another gig done (and the monthly jam at the Red Lion that evening, with the same rhythm section, had some really swinging moments).
I’ve got to pick up my bass and dash off right after church this morning to get down to Boundary Park in Didcot, where I’m playing a jazz set with Other Way Up at about 1:15pm. The weather looks to be scorching hot again so I’ve donned a Hawaiian shirt as suitable protection…
I’ve been doing a fair amount of painting this week, although nothing particularly interesting unless you’re a Robert Rauschenberg fan. My medium has been acrylic gesso and my purpose has been to paint some photo canvases (the kind you get in bargain stores to provide instant wall art) ready to use for my own work in the future.
At the end of July, I’ve got a week long course on colour and composition for which I’ll be painting in acrylic and so I expect I’ll be adding some colour to the canvases soon. I’m certainly set up for it, with several new colours arriving today. Thumbs up to the Ken Bromley online store, which not only has decent prices but was able to tell me this morning when to expect the delivery, to the nearest hour.
I’ve got a selection of earth tones and also some pre-mixed secondaries to complement the primary and CYMK ones I had before. All white for now but full technicolour to come.
Listening to a report about Donald Trump’s present visit to the UK on Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme, and to some sound-bites from Trump himself, I was struck by the phrase: “immigration is taking over”.
Says the man who seems unaware of the irony of making such a statement while serving as President of a nation that, in modern times (ie. over the last 300 years or so), has been built on a level of immigration that truly was an invasion and, from the view of those who had lived there previously, a dangerously hostile one. I wonder what he makes of those words displayed on New York’s Statue of Liberty?
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
I can’t imagine that his appreciation of this snippet from a sonnet by Emma Lazarus would have much in common with what I see in it. Nor does his apparent view of immigration: life-blood of nations. When immigrants flock to you, it shows your country as a place of promise; the worry is not when people want to come in but when they feel the need to leave.