Monthly Archives: November 2020

A Year In Music…give or take a few days….

It’s no secret that I love listening to music and one of my guilty pleasures is playing very loud music in the car while I’m driving and singing along very badly.

There’s a very embarrassing story from a long time ago when I got caught at a set of traffic lights on a hot sunny day with the windows downs. I was alone in the car and singing along enthusiastically to the CD that was playing….yes, singing  Heigh Ho Heigh Ho Its Off To Work We Go from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It was the kids’ Disney CD that was playing…. I’ve no defence. It’s a catchy song whether the kids are in the back seat or not. LOL

CDs in the car are a thing of the past and while I haven’t yet graduated to using Bluetooth to pair my phone up to listen to my streaming service, I do own an iPod (OK two) and play my music through that.

I usually select my music of choice by artist or a particular album by an artist I like (No, it’s not always Alter Bridge!) that was until 30th November 2019.

I remember it was an icy cold Saturday morning and when I started the engine, my iPod reset itself and returned to the first song stored on it alphabetically. I was about to return it to the album that had been playing when Boy Child suggested…Ok challenged me… to play right through the music library in alphabetical order by song title.

Challenge accepted!

It got me thinking though as I drove off down the hill….how long was it going to take to listen to 2988 songs while driving?

Well, there was only one way to find out!

Ironically, the Gracenote for the first song on there is back to front. The first song that was already playing was Medicine Man by Aaron Keylock.

Aaron Keylock – Medicine Man (Live at O2 Academy Oxford) – YouTube

As the days and miles passed, I worked my way through the alphabet…slowly.

Some words I seemed to get stuck on for days! Who knew that so many song titles on my iPod started with “Ain’t”!

Ain’t Nothin’ Like – YouTube

Christmas passed with no Christmas tunes being played (Hallelujah cried my kids! They aren’t fans of my Christmas music choices.) I was somewhere about B or maybe C at this point.

Other dilemmas occurred too… what if there were multiple versions of the same song by the same band on there? Did I play them all or was it OK to skip a couple of versions? (Depending on the song, I skipped a few but there were a few that I played all versions)

blackbird live at wembley – YouTube

The there were instances of the same song but by different artists…. These were all played, I promise.

Then there was another challenge that hindered alphabetical progress.

We went into full lockdown for 10 long weeks!

Instead of driving a 14 miles round trip to the office, I  was walking for a few seconds between the bedroom or kitchen to work from home in my living room. During those long weeks I was only ever in the car once a week to drive to the supermarket.

Progress therefore stalled a little around the letter L.

Alter Bridge – Life Must Go On – Alter Bridge III – YouTube

Gradually, the world opened up a little. I was out and about more often and the letters began to pass.

As I worked or drove my way through the contents, I found several hidden gems that I had forgotten about.

I’ll confess that I also found a fair few songs that left me thinking “How the hell did that get on there? What was I thinking!”

By the time we reached October, I was driving on a more regular basis and was well through the second half of the alphabet

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine (Official Music Video) – YouTube

There was a little stutter to my alphabet during T. There are several albums on my iPod that I got the day before the official release date (thanks to pre-ordering) and the Gracenote hadn’t caught up. These are all titled Track 1, Track 2 etc …C’est la vie.

As I reached the last few letters there still seemed to be quite a few songs to be played.

I was curious…what could they be?

Songs with numbers in the title!

Shinedown – 45 (Official Video) – YouTube

On 10 November 2020, after 346 days I reached the final song.

I’d done it!

And which song had the honour of being last?

Well it was an mp3 I’d downloaded from a radio station …

98KUPD’s Private Acoustic Session w/ Slash – Sweet Child O’ Mine – YouTube

Now, I wonder…..should I go back through all 2988 by artist or just figure out how to hook my phone up via Bluetooth?…….

And the release date is……

Last night, after many many hours of writing and typing, Long Shadows aka Book Baby 6 was finally transformed from my handwritten scribbles into a typed document.

That was the cue to divulge the release date…..

Pre-order details to follow soon.

If you’ve missed the start of the series, there’s plenty of time to catch up. Here’s a few links to help you.

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Rock/metal fans have hearts of gold – fact! Don’t believe me? Read on…

 It’s no secret around here that I love my rock music, Myles Kennedy and Alter Bridge (AB) in particular. One thing I have really missed this year is my AB family.

Rock/metal fans get a bit of a rough press at times. There’s a misconception that its all big hairy greasy leather-clad biker guys with chains and piercings and tattoos by the dozen. Yeah, sometimes it is but these are music fans with hearts of gold. Male or female, young or old, the people I have met at the numerous rock shows I’ve attended look out for one another. Rock fans take care of each other all the time.

 2020 has been rough on us all in one way or another and, personally speaking, I am really missing queuing out in the cold for hours before sharing the rail with my music family. Throughout the year, the AB family have found new ways to stay connected – weekly Facebook Live parties where we all watch a recording of a set show, messenger check-ins to check we’re ok etc. And, when one of our own needs or deserves a little extra helping hand, that’s when the hearts of gold shine through.

A couple of wonderful people have put together a fundraiser to help one of our treasured AB family members, who is currently going through an arduous cancer journey. It’s a raffle with some awesome and totally unique prizes. ALL proceeds will go to the AB family member. (The costs of running this have been absorbed already) This it totally fan run and not directly linked to Myles Kennedy or Alter Bridge or endorsed by them – just to make that bit clear.( Don’t want to get in trouble from Tim!)

In the interests of sharing the love and the opportunity to contribute to a great cause, I thought I’d share the link and offer each of you the chance to join in.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArmyOf12/permalink/3373063762788713/

And the next time you pass a rock/metal fan in the street or in a shop, just remember that heart of gold that beats inside them 😊

Horns up! Stay safe!  \m/

Metal Horns, 2009 – Photo by Mart Sepp (flickr.com/martsepp)

(credits to the owners of all images used)

Under cover of darkness

For the first time in over eight months, I found myself out for the evening in Glasgow last night, thanks to a kind invitation from my Baby Girl. Normally I wouldn’t think twice about something like that but the delights of 2020 make you just that little bit wary.

It was also the opportunity to take some photos…. well, I’m never one to miss that, am I?

So what was the attraction that was lurking in the dark waiting to be explored? It was GlasGLOW, the annual Hallowe’en Light Show spectacular at the city’s Botanic Gardens.

This was the third year of the event and COVID has obviously had its impact on the extent of the display however the organisers had done a sterling job to create a magical experience.

I’ll admit it did seem a little odd to be walking through the Botanic Gardens in the pitch black. It also felt odd being among people! Everything was strictly socially distanced and masks were worn but that was the largest number of people I have seen in months. It was somewhat comforting.

And the GlasGLOW experience….well judge for yourself.

For that brief hour, it was nice to enjoy an experience that passed for normality. There’s been precious little of that this year.

EASING LOCKDOWN 2

As we start National Lockdown 2, I cannot help with everything (or indeed very much) but…

EASING LOCKDOWN 2

Taking time….

A wise person told me a couple of months back ( and I paraphrase) to take lots of photos, to lie on the beach (maybe not recommended in Scotland at the end of October) and to stare at the sky.

Last Friday, I took a couple of hours to myself and did just that….it was good for the soul

Got to keep chasing those rainbows……