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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just a cupful of mulled wine makes the music go down, the music go down...

Last night I drank a number of mulled wines and thoroughly enjoyed a Martin Pearson concert where he'd had a fair (possibly equal) lashing of red wine. He was ace, especially the songs where he didn't close his eyes, especially the one about Japanese whaling in which the audience contribution ends with the screamed line "HACK HACK HACK!!!"

It's been a great Easter.

We had an Easter carrot hunt with a niece and nephew, and it was very funny: I'd found these chocolate carrots (this branch of the family are vegetarians) and when I unwrapped them I found that they were attached to little umbrella-like handles. So I hung them from all the trees in the garden, then scattered a few eggs on the ground. It's amazing how people never look up, and they looked for a fair while before the bright orange caught someone's eye -- then the hunt was on for real.

carrot tree

With the festival, I think I saw pretty much everything I wanted to see, plus a few things more. Pick of the festival for me was Pugsley Buzzard, who doesn't play bluegrass but was recommended to me by someone whose taste in art and music I trust implicitly, and I wasn't disappointed. I bought his CD, which I'm yet to play. I also bought CDs by Bluestone Junction (fab bluegrass) and Liz Frencham's latest, comprising duets with her favorite singers. Lots of good listening coming my way.

The bluegrass harmony singing workshop was tops, thanks for asking. It was packed to the rafters with people who didn't really want to learn about harmony singing (we're a very knowledgeable crowd, on the whole), but were very happy to have a huge, joyous singalong of huge, joyous gospel songs. Very satisfying.

I caught up with lots of good mates, and even a blog lurker, who isn't really a lurker, since we've talked by email and online and she has her own blog, but it was nice that she approached me and introduced herself (as I was hiding away amongst the clothes of the family's Wild Chilli stall, deep inside the pages of A.S. Byatt's The Children's Story Book, which is really as good as Bernice says it is -- so far).

I also got to Studio Duck every morning, worked on some prints and read through a few more old sketchbooks trying to raise ideas for a solo show I foolishly promised to mount in August. Tomorrow I have a troupe of big burlies coming over to check out how much equipment I want moved to the studio (printing press, standing press, paper drawers, typecases full of type, etc = LOTS OF HEAVY STUFF) and quote me for the move. This part of the move into the studio is taking longer than I expected, but this is a good, positive step towards full ownership of the space, and hopefully I'll be operational before too long. Huzzar!

Bumblebee returns tomorrow from Easter with his pater, and we are going to have an early birthday dinner before he and I travel down to the Bega valley to spend his real birthday (Thursday) with his grandparents. He has requested lasagne for his dinner, something I have cooked often and BB never; I don't have time tomorrow but Best Beloved does, since he's taking the day off work, so I'm looking forward to seeing him worry over the technicalities of cheese sauce and fresh pasta (he doesn't EVER take the easy path when cooking). I'll stay away until I have to be at the table, otherwise I'll get snapped at. He won't be so much as re-inventing the wheel as working on a wheel after reading every technical manual available. Heh.

OK, time to go to bed with A.S. Byatt and a big slab of left-over chocolate. Easter isn't completely over yet...

10 comments:

Pavlov's Cat said...

OMG A NEW BYATT NOVEL

*hyperventilates*

Ampersand Duck said...

yairs, I'm reading an uncorrected proof copy, which is frustrating yet FAB. I may have to give it back before I'm finished, but that's ok because I'll be buying my own ASAP, to be re-read frequently.

Fignatz said...

If you're into bluegrass, here's something great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oaodp7YrSGg&feature=PlayList&p=EA63B273109701CB&index=0&playnext=1

Ampersand Duck said...

I am, and I did like it!

It made me think of a great bluegrass parody at the Mary Poppins tribute that went something like:
"we'll sing of dead mothers
and cabins and trains
and trains and cabins
and dead dogs and dead cats
and cabins and trains
and if you're lucky we'll sing of dead hogs..."

Fignatz said...

Same song, hugely 'upper' rendition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX16zHAwojc&feature=related

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Did you say Byatt novel? Oh my. She is my very favourite, ever, with stiff competition from Jeanette Winterson and George Eliot.

Mummy/Crit said...

*sigh* I got to none of the festival this year, but am committed to going (and camping) next year with whatever boys will come along. I'm glad you got to studioDuck every day...

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

squawk!

those carrots - I haven't seen them for about *coughcoughcough* years! where did you find them, or is there a brand?

Mrs Slocombe said...

Oh thank God: for one awful moment I thought you'd been to a Martin Mull concert.......

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