Archive for August, 2012

no one does austerity like we Brits.

Monday, August 20th, 2012

It’s now five years since the start of the current recession and it is truly the longest lasting in my lifetime. Sadly it shows no sign of recovery and by all accounts it looks set to become worse. Companies are still laying people off and unemployment queues around the globe are increasing in size. I count myself as lucky, I still have a job and unless there is something I do not know it remains fairly secure.  Of course the recession has not left me completely unscathed, any plans I had for leaving the UK have been well and truly scuppered and it looks as though I will have to admit defeat and accept the fact I am going to have to remain here for the foreseeable future and probably forever. It is something I have felt for sometime and had hoped it would go away.

I wrote in my last post that BC and me had been to Memphis, well after  stopping in a bar called Slinky O’Sullivans in Beale street and listening to two guys entertaining the audience I became inspired enough to take up music once more. I stopped playing over 25 years ago mainly because I was not very good.  I have however wanted a Gibson SG ever since I first heard Angus Young in my teens so I decided I should strike another item off my bucket list and use up some of the money I had put away. Thanks to the recession it was not gaining any interest and no matter how hard I saved I would never have enough to leave.  So, not long after arriving home I ordered a brand new natural red wood finish SG and several days later it arrived. It is gorgeous. Not content with this purchase and chasing the same thoughts that led me to buy the SG I bought a Telecaster and was instantly amazed that it is more enjoyable to play and sounds better than the SG.

These two additions join the other guitars I have which were gathering dust under the stairs. They have all been cleaned and restrung and I now have in total 6 guitars consisting of a Gretsch Committee, A Fender acoustic, and two Bass guitars. The Bass guitars are a Fender Jazz and a Tanglewood EB, both impressive instruments. It is not my intention to play in public or even in front of company although I may play along with friends. Instead I am playing purely for my own enjoyment and amusement and my fingertips have got over the painfull stage even if they have not reached the dexterity and speed I want them to. I no longer care if I am not very proficient or good as long as I enjoy strumming away and it should give me something to keep the Black Dog at bay during the long winter nights.

It was the Drivers 50th birthday a few short days ago and BC and I went along to join him in his celebrations which had been set up with some degree of secrecy by his other half, the Drivers Mate! The Driver had an inkling that something was going on even if he did not know exactly what and it was with some difficulty that I got him to the pub to get him out of the house. During the time we were out, BC and the Drivers Mate sprang into life and transformed the house and garden into party central. It was with even more difficulty that I managed to get him back from the pub within an hour of the time I was supposed to and we half staggered back to the welcoming committee awaiting him. It was truly memorable weekend although I suspect a few of us don’t remember everything that went on.

There is a rumour and whisper it in hushed tones, but summer may have at long last arrived in the UK. It has not rained for several days and the sun has been out. I have actually managed to cut the grass and trim hedges. I have even seen Roger Moor out in the garden and his patch of land has been transformed from Wildlife Park to something you would be proud to sit in. There are even pretty young things parading in short summery skirts and skimpy tops!  Whilst my friends in OZ are complaining that it is bitterly cold and it is only 25C we are baking in temperatures of 20+C. We need to make the most of it.

The London Olympics is almost finished and while I am not a fan of them I have felt proud whenever the national anthem has been played. The opening ceremony which was created on a fraction of the budget that Beijing had four years ago has been held to critical acclaim worldwide and I actually felt proud to be British for once. It seems our quirky sense of humour and history may not have been understood by all across the globe but it was admired. They may have been dubbed the austerity Olympics but no one does austerity like we Brits.