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Friday, 26 August 2016


The weather and me.  Hotter than hot.  My office has a number of bits of kit; my work laptop as well as my home computer, on which I mostly do my remixing.  I also now have powered monitors, and they throw out some heat.  So, even without the external influences, my office can be pretty warm.  This will work fine Autumn in to early Winter I think, when I anticipate no need for any heating.  However, right now, it just makes things a little bit more uncomfortable.

Work is picking up now.  I have two deals assigned to me this week, and the first one alone will be 50-80% of my time.  I need to busy, so this is good.

At home, we have a long weekend, then I have Thursday and Friday off to go to Golden Cap, so next week will be a very short working week.

This weekend, football starts are our new home, which is a local private school, which has permanent goals setup, plus an all-weather pitch (not sure yet if it is astro or 4g, hoping the latter).  Maggot 2 has new boots, decent leather boots this time, and he cannot wait to play in them.  The are "mini sock" boots, and if that means nothing to you, then you should probably look it up.  Think Messi sock boot (come on, everyone is wearing them) but not as long, indeed a mini sock version of them.

Otherwise, I have some DIY round the house to complete, and some beer to drink.

I hope you have a great long weekend, and speak next week.

Monday, 22 August 2016


Still obviously carrying some of the holiday vibe, having missed doing my Friday blog.  Sorry about that.

My first week back was uneventful.  Things have not fully picked up yet, so it was a steady and relatively uneventful week.

On the home front, we are still all in shock not to be on holiday any more.  This holiday was so good that it is going to take longer than usual to recover.  We did not win the Euro Lottery on Friday, so we are yet to be the owners of a Mallorcan villa, but the general feel-good vibe is still fizzing away.

We have even continued to play games sometimes in the evenings.  Texas Hold'em is our current favourite.  The basic rules are understood - though it still vexes Maggot 2 that three of a kind beats two pairs - but I think the poker faces are gonna take some time to develop.

My home mixing is going quite well.  One single was released on 5th August, a New York label, for a song called Shapetracer - Scobi New York Mix.  Of course it goes without saying that it will not be to everyone's taste, but I am proud of it none the less.  I had to provide some details about the song, so wrote this piece of waffle, which is both pretentious and true, both at the same time:
The sound is urban, the growl of people and traffic, of machinery and life.  Suddenly you turn a corner and the noise is dimmed.  You look through a window to see a ballet lesson, or a choir rehearsing, the growl of the city still audible.  As turn another corner, you are back in the noise and the heat and the energy.
I also have two other singles which are original mixes that have been signed up by a Florida label (Del Sol Records).  In contrast to the New York mix, which is gritting and a bit industrial just like the city, the two that Del Sol have taken up are more deep house - mellower, as befits a place where the sun shines quite a lot.

I actually think I am finding my niche now with the music.  I have joined a closed Facebook group called Mix Critique, where you can post remixes for feedback, and where you can also provide feedback on other people's mixes.  I have been doing a lot of You Tube learning on various aspects of music making, most of it technical stuff, and am probably now at the stage when at least I know what I don't know.  Nevertheless, the whole subject is very daunting.  Being on the Mix Critique site, I suddenly feel like I know something, which is nice.

One final comment.  Yesterday, for the first time in about a month or more, I work both socks and long trousers.  It was a momentous occasion and one that I hope not to repeat for a long time to come.

Have a great week, and (hopefully) will speak again Friday.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Was that really two weeks?

We are back.  It is so obvious a statement that it need not be said, but when have I let that stop me.  The time really did go way too quickly.

We had a most fantastic time.  The villa was outstanding - we have a few suggestions for improvement, but they are mostly about it being a fairly new property on the rental market, so time will tell.

The route to the villa was "interesting".  We turn off the Mallorcan equivalent of an A road on to a cinder track, which is not terrible, but had a fair few ruts.  It is uphill all the way, and we were in first gear for the whole drive.  We took a wrong turn on the first approach (or rather we did not take a turn we should have taken) and had to turn round in someone else's property.  The final turning took us on to a track that was so wild-looking, we simply did not believe that our property could possibly be at the end.  But it was, and when it appeared, it was like a mirage.

The property is in a wooded area, with the nearest property being several hundred metres away.  Indeed, as we went in to the second week, we were rudely awoken by noise that sounded like a bunch of red-necks having a wild forest party, high on hooch and readying to attack us in our beds.  In fact, it was simply some exuberent Germans in one of the villas near to us, making a fairly normal, if excited, amount of noise as they enjoyed their pool, and some unspecified variety of the local hooch.  That was a measure of how little we had to intereact with other people, which is just as we like it.

We travelled a day early, simply to save seven-hundred pounds on the flights, and so stayed at a hotel sourced by David and Samantha.  It turned out to be a converted monestry on top of the highest hill in the area (a probably modest 500m above sea level), with two massive crosses either side of it (think Rio statue size).  We could see it from half an hour away, having the thought that it could not possibly be our accommodation for the night.  It was though, and the journey to it was, as already said, rising 500m, on a road that is about 5km long, which means a lot, and I mean a lot, of bends.  We were in second gear all the way and it was not fun for the passengers of my car.  That is an under-statement.

We finally arrived at the top, checked in and got our first beer, sitting on the terrace, with a view to die for.  We had several hours to kill the next day, having to checkout by 10am, and not able to get in to the villa (or so we thought) until 3pm.  We we found some shade and played cards, and the men walked to the two crosses.

We visited the supermarket on the way to the villa, and arrived at the gates at 2.55pm, only to be told by the lead cleaner that we could not come in until 4pm.  It seems that the email we had from Vintage Travel to say we could check in an hour early did not reach the team on the ground.  We negotiated a wait on the outside seats while they finished their work.  Just before 4pm, the lead lady told us it was ready, and we had a quick tour, before we were then getting our costumes on for our first swim, the first of many.

Although we could not see it from the villa, we were literally in the shadow of one of the crosses of the monestary.  Indeed, we could have walked about 300m downhill from said cross to get to the boundary fence of our property.

What followed was two weeks of swimming, heat, fun, drinking, eating (oh yes, we fully embraced the Mediteranean diet), and some visiting of amazing places.

One day, we drove to Soller (north of Palma) to take an old-fashioned train to Palma, which was one of the recommendations of LO's parents.  We had read some comments on the train and the advice was to do the trip in this order, to avoid the crowds.  It was good advice.  The train was built in 1918 and it was the same as it always was.  At one point, we were in the longest tunnel, which was uphill all the way, and being taken slowly by the train.  At one point, the train could not get traction on the rails, they being wet, the speed being slow, and the route being uphill.  We kept having to roll back ten or twenty metres to take another run up at the troubling section of track.  This was not a pleasant experience.  It was topped by the jovial guard coming through the train telling us "no panico".  That was the point when several of our group woke up and took notice.  Anyway, after about twenty minutes, we did get moving and completed the journey to Palma.  It was worth it, because the terrain was amazing and the views fantastic.

Once in Palma, we walked about a bit, got a little light lunch, and then returned to the station to take the return train, only to miss it by four minutes, leaving us with an hour and a half wait for the next one.  Let me tell you, there are only so many games of I-Spy you can play before the inside of your heads starts to scream.

Once back in Soller, we took a separate tram down to Soller Port, which was beautiful.  The tram itself was rammed, and such situations seems to bring the worst out of people.  The port iteself was lovely, and we did some boat-spotting, more precisely we were agreeing which boat we would get with our Lottery winnings, and we had a lovely ice-cream before taking the tram back to our car.

Other days were to the beach.  Many of the Mallorcan beaches are coves.  Relatively small amount of sand at the back, with rocks down each side to the mouth of the cove.  They are beautiful, and great fun.  The one we preferred was actually one of the more built up areas, but it had the best snorkelling, and the rock jumping was great fun, with ladders able to take us back to the jump spot.

We really fell in love with Mallorca, and over several evenings were planned how we would spend our Lottery win to buy a property there.  On the subject of property, it seems that Mallorca is pretty expensive, certainly for villas with pools.  We estimated that the one we were staying at probably cost between 1.2 and 1.5m Euros, and to be honest, we would not want anything less than that for our own property.  We just need that win.

That is probably more than enough for one blog.  Let's speak again on Friday, when I can tell you all about what I have been missing at work.  I know, you cannot wait.