Nature

I’ve been meaning to update this since the turn of the year into 2016, and, to be honest haven’t found the time.   But in the interim.   Please enjoy some photographs i’ve taken over the last few years.

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Books Books Books

This year I made a few resolutions, many involving books, and particularly music books.

I managed to enjoy;

Cowboys and Indies  – 5/5

Creation Stories – 5/5

How Music got Free  – 5/5

Appetite for Self Destruction – 4/5

Do Not Sell at Any Price  – 4/5

The Death and Life of the Music Industry – 5/5

The Dark Net – 5/5

Simply Thrilled: Postcard Records – 2/5

Electric Shock: From Gramophone to iPhone  – 2/5

 

 

Patient Parents

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Its been a very different couple of months for us.   Since the birth of Leo we’ve been busy learning and relearning all the things we had forgotten since Amélie was born.   Its somehow the simple things that you forget about, the broken sleep, the number of things you have to remember to take with you when you leave the house, how difficult it is to fit a hat on a baby, creeping around at night and getting dressed and undressed in complete darkness.

Its been trying for all of us.   Joni is getting back to normal and managing to firm up a type of routine that will suit herself and the children, it doesn’t help when they are both out of sorts at the moment as they fight off a nasty cold.    I’m now back at work.  I miss them all.  Everyday.

As we approach Christmas, we have been trying to keep a lid on things and try to stay as patient as we can as parents.   Its been a difficult time for Amélie to adjust to a new member of the family, so she has had moments of extreme tantrums and odd behaviour.   I try to keep a cool head and be the gentleman / father that I’d love to be, but its difficult and sometimes I say things I don’t really mean, and instantly regret it all.    I long for the day when we can all be peaceful and patient with one another.

 

 

My Son, Leo Francis.

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Like when my daughter Amélie Sofia was born, it seemed a good time to take a similar photograph.   Our lives as a family have changed in so many ways,  we have grown in patience for each other (sometimes) and learned about how we parent our children, we have learned that we are both firm but fair parents.   We have also learned that we like to offer opportunity but be mindful not to forget those who have nothing.   Amélie is now at nursery and learning so much every day.   Young Leo is about to embark on a very exciting journey of life, we are so happy and we see a new destination of challenges, different challenges.

He is a beautiful little boy, and will grow into a man with standards and a moral compass that we can only hope to influence and build with him, I hope to shape him into a better man that me, that will be my ultimate goal.   As for Amélie I hope for her the same, that she is strong woman that will be there for her Brother and Mother.   I have no doubt that she will be a smart young woman who will be an excellent Mother one day, just from the way she is interacting with Leo at the moment.   She is an excited big Sister.

So, back to nappies and all the exciting nights of limited sleep.

Here is the one below of Amélie (nearly 4 years ago)

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Belladrum

Our annual trip to Belladrum – The Tartan Heart Festival as its affectionately known to all who travel up to Beauly, just outside Inverness.    This year we had real difficulty securing accommodation within our budget, and so jokingly suggested hiring a camper van.   As it turned out, it was the best option and we decided on a Rollerteam 694 which was perfect.

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One of the great parts of my working life is that I get the pleasure to work with and meet some very talented young musicians, singer songwriters, performers and people who are keen to be involved in the music industry in some capacity.    This year I had the pleasure to invite some of the acts to play at Belladrum.   I could imagine being 16 years old and being on the receiving end of that email and being asked to play my first festival.   It was great to offer this opportunity to these talented young folks.

We set off from Ayrshire, and took to the road on a beautifully sunny day and as we approached Pitlochry we had a stop with some coffee and switched drivers.   I took the spell into the highlands as we headed through Inverness into the site where we picked up our production passes.    An evening of cards, and beers as we listened to the end of the set by the Proclaimers.

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Over the weekend we managed to catch so many acts, all of the Music Plus acts included Hollie Atkinson, Alice Bentley, Michiel Turner, Jemma Tweedie, Beautiful Expectations, Chainsaw Tea Party, Something Someone, The Elephant Sessions, Josephine Sillars, Aylee and many more.   We caught Prides, Fatherson, Man of Moon, KLOË, King Creosote, The Mirror Trap, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Neon Waltz, Honeyblood, Hector Bizerk, Findlay Napier, and Model Aeroplanes.

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Leaving the site on the evening of the Saturday after the mighty show by Fatherson was a wise and calculated decision and allowed us to get all the way down through Aviemore to spend the evening on the banks of Loch Morlich before heading home in the morning to return the motorhome.