Monday, 30 December 2013

Wow. We're here already.

Hello everyone. Long time no see, right? Well here we are, NaNo finished, and into the last week of term.
Yes, everyone, that means I did NaNo, and yes, I won! 50,012 words (or 50032 according to scrivener) down on the page. The ending is rather a confused bundled mess, but who cares, right? Its all done and dusted. My main character found what she was looking for, the other main character died, her nan isn't quiet the crazy old woman I had planned, with some cracking NaNo-isms spread around (my favourite of my own being "forgotted", though that doesn't even come close to some of the NaNo-isms from the region) and I'm apparently unable to spell anymore after smashing out 10k in about 4 days but hey.  I'M DONE!

In terms of other things... jeez, I can't even remember all the other stuff that has been going on.
So you all know about Remembrance Parade. I've done all that the last two years, so I'm not really going to go into it in much detail, but basically, weeks of rehersals culminating into the parade, then we wait around, have our two minutes silence, wait around some more, have inspection, eat and wait some more, parade back, hang around with the important folks for a while, eat, then party.
There was the incidence of the broken fiddle. So yeah, broke a peg on my fiddle. Not such a big deal, but when it went to get fixed, the guy who fixed it also noticed a crack in the body of the fiddle moving out from the right F-hole. That is unfortunately a more serious problem. For now, its small enough that, as long as it doesn't grow any bigger, its better to just leave it, but if it starts growing bigger, it will be a case of trying to fix it sooner rather than later. So treating my fiddle gently at the moment. In fact, I probably haven't been playing as much as I should what with NaNo and Uni and everything else.

The weekend afterwards, I went to a youth band practice in Dollar. Was strange not to have it in Glasgow, but it was also nice not to have to travel so far. It was vaguely frustrating, but what can you do?

The weekend after that, the Pagan society went on a trip to Edinburgh. With all the bus delays and issues, while we were meant to be there at nine, only two of us were, and it was midday before everybody arrived. We did, however, get to see the dungeon, and go shopping in the christmas market, and the grassmarket. Though we had less time than planned, and I arrived home exhausted, it was an excellent day.
The Youth band concert, the next day, however, was a different case. I spent most of the day frustrated at how people seemed not to know what they were playing or what was going on around them. We're meant to be the best in the country. I can't help but feel for most of them, their own competeing bands wouldn't stand for that sort ofthing.

The monday, the Pagan society had Spirit in for a Shamanic Energy Dance session. It was AMAZING! That is all I will say on the matter, only I've not felt the same since, and for the better. He certainly knew what he is doing, anyway. The experience was like nothing else I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of. I'd highly reccommended him, any day. I hope to have another session with him at some point in the future.

The weekend after, was the second youth band concert. Much better than the week before, but whether that was up to my better mood, I don't know. I was disappointed that the development band drummers were using music. I'm always disappointed when any drummers use music, as a matter of fact. If you have a concert organised, you should know what you're playing, so you can then concentrate on things like tempo, ensemble and the emotions that make music real music and not just a mash of sound.. Just like in an orchestra, by the time you're on stage, you know the music back to front and spend a lot more time looking at your conductor than the music (at very least, in my own experience). In pipe bands its incredibly important, else the ensemble can dissapear in an instant, and the pipes, being in front, usually can't exactly watch the leading drummer for a tempo, and nor should they have to. The pipers have to learn music by heart, and as a drummer, I believe we should too. A grade 1 band (in fact, ANY band) wouldn't walk onto the competition ring with sheet music. We shouldn't have one at concerts either, because you're trying to showcase your band.
Rant over...

Then we had the Trad Awards in the music hall. I maintain the Music Hall has the worst acoustics for pipe bands, and the worst soundmen I have thus far come across. How is it, that with "better and better" sound technology, a few people seem to be so able to ruin even the best of bands. That, and we spent the entire thing at a table stuck behind a huge TV camera. £60 a SEAT to see absolutely nothing, and hear only the badly reflected and distorted sound bouncing around the weird domed roof. A few years ago, the trad awards were great - a night to remember. Many people have so far said that this year has been the worst yet, and its turned into a money-making exercise rather than the non-profit celebration of good music and musicians all over scotland that it used to be. Ah well. Its over now. No need to drone on with the disappointment.

The weekend after that, I went off to Switzerland. The trip was excellent. Sure, a couple of nights were somewhat ruined for me, but mostly through the fault of my own band members. I spent much of my free time socialising both with old faces and new, from various other bands and groups. The great thing about tattoos are that there are so many other great people going around that it doesn't even matter if your own band are getting on your nerves.
The folk I met and spoke to got me through the anniversary of my uncles death and the prospect of my holiday, Yule, away from my family.
And on top of it all, I got a confirmation that I GET TO GO TO THE BASEL TATTOO IN THE SUMMER!!! Yes, really. :) a great trip with great people. I can't wait to go back.

Now, after a family christmas, I am sitting at home attempting to study. I have to say, I hate studying over the holidays. Its much harder when everybody else is celebrating.
I know this post has been a bit all over the place, but oh well - thats what happens when I'm away for months at a time. While I catch up on my fellow bloggers posts I've missed over the last while, I'll bid you a happy new year. See you in 2014.

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