Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

20 May 2024
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Meeting a Warlock

Basses come in all shapes and sizes. Generally they have rounded shapes round the body, for the comfort of the player. However, there are some more spiky designs including the BC Rich Warlock. Actually, the instrument which I had a quick go on tonight wasn’t officially a Warlock but the Harlem X from Gear4Music, which has a similar shape (although, I suspect, not enough to allow for a court case!).

Not a bad sounding instrument although I think I’m still happier with more comfortable shapes. It’s been a while since I last did a gig where it would have been the ideal body shape to turn up with although there were a few back in the day when it might have been just the thing. Harlem certainly seems to be the Gear4Music sub-brand to look at for inexpensive but decent instruments with some of the less conventional shapes.

18 May 2024
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First Aid Trained

Today was mainly spent on a First Aid training course via church. Don’t slip, trip or fall near me – I might be looking for a chance to practise! It was a well-run course and I should be reasonably well equipped if an opportunity comes up to use it although I will be very happy if everyone stays safe around me.

17 May 2024
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Summer Seranade

Tonight I’m over at Whitwick Methodist church (LE67 5FD ///first.critic.hosts) with my double bass as part of a small jazz combo supporting the Broom Leys Choral Society (7pm, tickets £12 on the door and including refreshments). We had a rehearsal with the choir last Tuesday and it is sounding wonderful, with quite a varied program in the first half and, after the interval, most of the time on John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit setting of several spirituals, including “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” and “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

It should be a lovely concert on what is looking to be a much more summery evening than yesterday.

16 May 2024
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Whitstable Pearl

Earlier this year, I watched a crime drama called Whitstable Pearl (via UKTVPlay). Kerry Godliman, who I’m more familiar with from comedy panel shows, turned in a cracking performance as the main character along with a strong supporting cast. I was delighted to recently be given a copy of the first book in the series the show was based on, The Whitstable Pearl Mystery by Julie Wassmer.

That was also good although quite different. Casting directors for crime dramas seem to have a habit of ignoring the physical descriptions. Wassmer’s Pearl has long, dark hair but Godliman keeps her shorter, blonde locks. Meanwhile, the blond and rather nordic McGuire is portrayed by Howard Charles, who has short dark hair and a look that has some ambiguity but certainly doesn’t scream “Scandanavia”.

As is often the case, book and film occupy universes that are vaguely parallel, sharing some of the names, locations and plot details, but you have to take each one as they come because the story has to adapt to the medium.

15 May 2024
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Reflect and Rejoice

Jane and I went to see the Loughborough University Choir perform their regular late-spring concert this evening at the Cope Auditorium. The title for the concert was “Reflect and Rejoice” because the first half was more reflective material and the second half… you can probably guess but it aimed to be more uplifting than the requiems and other items items earlier in the evening.

As always, an enjoyable offering from the choir and, as with the previous one I attended, with the added bonus of extra musical support from some members of LSU Classical (the University orchestra), including two cellists and a double bassist.

13 May 2024
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Aurora Map

No aurora photography for me last night – a clear sky when I poked my head out but nothing to be seen. However, mainly for my future reference, I did find a project from the University of Lancaster that has an online map I can check to see if it might be worth taking out my camera in future. Green, by the way, means not “go outside” but “no visible activity”.

12 May 2024
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A Lack of Aurora

As I’m sure many other people did last night, I poked my head outside a few times later in the evening to see if I could detect any traces of the much-discussed and photographed northern lights. When I’d woken up I’d discovered that they had been visible across much of the UK over Friday night and they were likely to appear again. Sadly this was about the best I got:

Treescape at Night

After clear skies during much of the day, light cloud was in place. However, even keeping the shutter open longer and looking further up, there was no display of extraordinary colours:

Night Sky

In this shot, you can see through the clouds and make out the stars. Is there a hint of pink or green? Possibly but that is just as likely to be a camera artifact from pushing up the ISO setting on my now relatively archaic DSLR (which I’ve had since the end of 2006). The sky might have cleared and the colours might have come later but, by that point, I was safely tucked away in bed.

11 May 2024
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Raspberries and Currants

Today was a hot one so I waited until the relative cool of the evening to head up to the allotment and plant out some raspberry and currant bushes that we propagated earlier this year. Checking on the forecast, tomorrow might be even hotter (with a small chance of a thundery downpour in the afternoon) and Monday’s rain has now moved to Tuesday so I might be up there with a watering can earlier than planned. That said, they got a good soaking when they went in so I might hold fire unless the rain holds off altogether into the middle of the week – I want the plants to reach down for moisture rather than lazily keeping their roots near the surface.

There is a risk they might die but, if they survive, they should be better able to tolerate hot, dry patches as they grow on.

10 May 2024
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Benched

This afternoon, Jane and I took a little drive out into the countryside although with a couple of shopping destinations in mind rather than scenic ones. The first stop was Brinvale Bird Foods (near Long Clawson) to pick up a few more supplies for our feathered friends. We’ve been there before and, although our purchase was enough to qualify for free delivery, popping in seemed a better choice than having to wait in.

Stop two was LeisureBench, which has a small shop on the site of David Musson Fencing, not too far from Melton Mowbray. We’ve driven past it a few times but never popped in but it came to mind when we decided that it was time to buy a garden bench. I had made a start on one using pallet wood but it is a challenge to get enough decent pieces to work with and we decided the hours of time it would take would put a question mark on whether a DIY one could truly be called free.

LeisureBench don’t have a massive stock in but have a representative sample from across their ranges. That meant we could see the fit and finish and try sitting on a few different models. I think they focus more on mail order and trade customers but there were no problems dealing with them as in-person, individual enquirers. In the end, we came away with a “Boston Comfy” bench, already on sale and, as the last one in stock, with an extra discount for taking the display model away. Hurrah for our estate car, which swallowed the bench up easily for transporting it home!

Now I can focus on building a pallet wood box to go under the bench for storage. That will still take some work but, without the need to stand up to people sitting on it, the stakes are a lot lower.