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Di's Diary
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To find out what happens after april 2008 you need to go to >> http://www.glass-cage.com/dianas_blog/

 

 

 

Date Posted: April 2 2008

I did my last day at the office on Friday and had the obligatory leaving drink and presentation which was embarassing but I was also quite touched as I had not really expected it.A lot of folks turned up and I do feel a tinge of regret as I was there along time and if I had no ambition to do anything else maybe I could have kept on, but I think I would have been barking mad before very much longer. Also I had got used to a fairly maverick way of doing things and me and the corporate culture have got very far apart now. In a sense it allows me to complete the re-invention of self thats been coming for a long time.. Everyone was very nice but many were shocked as I had been working there 13 years and they had assumed that I would be there until I retired I suspect. I told them what I was expecting to do in future and everyone was very positive.

Most people were aware of my TG Status by the time I left and I was told that if I had wished to transition at work I would have been fully supported but the braincells were already well fried by that point and tempting as that might sound the job was just getting too much for me in the end. I was so stressed that I was forgetting how to do things which was quite scary. I am sort of in freefall at the moment and I will be trying to make a living from the music side of things for the next year, but if it doesn’t work out then I will be back in IT in some respect or maybe just filling shelves between gigs. I have a portfolio of other practicle skills that should get me through one way or the other.

I now feel a lot more relaxed and I am going to take a calculated risk on a new career (though its not really a new career as its something I have been envolved with for a long time) and also will take some time to study and improve my skills a bit. I am giving myself about a year to see if I can support myself as a musician. I don’t know how realistic that is but I am going to give it a try.I don’t need a huge income just enough to pay the bills and I Hope that is realistic...

Anyone remember this tune:
It’s a great tune

Nicked from Wikipedia

"Cast Your Fate to the Wind" written by Vince Guaraldi, was a track on Guaraldi’s album featuring his versions of music from the film Black Orpheus

 

It's me blogg in it alright gorblimey apples and pears strike a light thank you god bless you govenor

Date Posted: 15th January 2008

Current mood: quixotic

January and my Birthday approaches. I shall be making efforts to ignore it as much as possible in the vain hope that it will go away, as time seems to be passing very quickly now. I am still up to the usual rubbish. Its a great relief that Alison is eating again and is getting back to a more normal weight though she is still a bit wobbly on her legs, but that's likely to be the effect of the medication rather than anything else.

A few Elephant Shelf gigs and some very enthusiastic receptions too.We are now working on our recordings again. Its a little tiring trying to fit it all in but we are getting there I think and we should be able to start selling Cd's at gigs again at some point in the future. The Shelf is having its 300th gig party at the Salisbury pub on Saturday.We have got guest acts and your all invited. Except You because you have been very naughty

It amazes me that the band has lasted that long... Still the band that arm wrestles together stays together as they say.

Christmas Problems

Mood: Pensive Date Posted: 31st December 2007 at 10:53 am - Comments (2)
Its not been the best Christmas as Alison has been quite ill with eating problems and has hardly eaten anything for about 3 weeks.

She has lost quite a lot of weight. Its a psychological problem and she has had eating problems before but not anything as bad as this. They have usually affected her for just a couple of days, though she has never been comfortable eating in public places like restaurants which makes socialising very difficult. We have had several trips to the Doctors and at the moment she has had sufficient liquid to keep going which is a bit of a relief, but as time go's on its becoming more and more of a concern. Its very difficult to know what to do about something like this. Her Doctor is very supportive and is doing everything possible to try and sort it out, but if there is no real change in a a couple of weeks then its likely she will end up going into hospital. She has managed to eat just a little bit more which is encouraging, but she is on 3 lots of medication to try and sort it out.

We have had a couple of band gigs this weekend and one more tonight. We were at the Kings Head Islington on Friday and it was a very lively night with plenty of energy and a good vibe from the crowd too.Saw Chrissie there too and had a chat. Also we were playing at our normal later start time which was better. Then on Saturday we were at Olivers at Greenwich and there was a good crowd again too. At this time of year sometimes you don't get that good a crowd due to people being away and so on but its been good so far. Tonight we are at the Cafe Rouge in Southgate for a new years bash. We played it last year with the the old trio and this year its with the whole band. It should be fun as the food is very good too its a pre-booking event and was quite crowded last year.

I shall be a little bit distracted due to Alison though but hopefully I won't make too many mistakes or the punters will be too pissed to notice .

Have a Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true

May you live in interesting times

Date Posted: 26th December 2007

The Christmas break is finally upon us: Just one gig at the Unicorn last Friday, that was more like a rehearsal as it was empty. Boo Hoo, I guess we are just not a Camden band.

Last week I also met with David Vorhaus,(known for the album White Noise) one of the Electronic Music scenes pioneers along with Vicky from Elephant Shelf and Ralph the faithful Filmmaker and Camera Man, see about the possibility of a live event sometime in early 2008. We jammed in his studio which is almost a synth museum and it was interesting and a little different too. I spotted several bits of audio history lurking around the place. He was quite enthusiastic and open to suggestions and very approachable. If the gig happens we will also film it and there will be a video light show too.
Hope you are all having a good Christmas

More of the same

Mood: Brooding

Date Posted: 19th December 2007

My SO has been having problems eating again. This is something that I thought we had got over and done with so thats been worrying me a bit.

A fair old weekend with a few good gigs thrown in. A very enthusiastic crowd at the Salisbury on Saturday night, and plenty of leaping about. Then two duo gigs to follow, one on Sunday at the Portobello Gold which we had not played since parting company with Jessie Pie. A few technical issues occurred that night but we got around them and got a storming reception. The Gold has great food and a really friendly clientele and even better its only about 25 minutes away. It has a slightly trendy crowd rather different to our usual audience. So a fun evening and an early finish for a change. On Monday night the duo again at the Ranelagh at Bounds Green which was pretty good too, and we used a backing track on one of my tunes. It seemed to work OK too though I was a bit nervous about using it.We seem to appeal to a very wide range of people which supprises me as I rather felt that we are quite retro a lot of the time that we might only have a niche appeal. It seems slightly strange at times doing the duo as I am much more exposed, though I am seen on the front line rather more with the band now too. Christmas has crept up on us too and a couple days off will be welcome as long as there's not too much fuss. I am not a big fan of Christmas and would prefer to absent myself from it on the whole. Even the office seems to be taking a very low-key approach to it and there's a somewhat serious mood about the place. I feel a lot of people are feeling a little tired this year, or maybe that's just me come to think of it.

 

Di's doings this week

Date Posted: 10th December 2007

A rehearsal on Friday for the new Duo Delta Ladies and we tried out our new small PA which we got for duos and trios and small venue band gigs which is actually not that small as it turns out. It will do the trick nicely though.

An Elephant Shelf gig at the Unicorn on Saturday with Rangoon supporting played some nice stuff. They do a sort of west cost rock style with harmony vocals. No audience to speak off so a bit deadly, but we soldiered on. The Unicorn is a nice venue but its sort of isolated. It used to be the Brecknock a few years back and is now a music venue again and has good lights plus an in-house PA and so forth.

Sunday off to Oxford street to meet with the organisers of the Emergenza festival, which is a sort of battle of the bands to enter Elephant Shelf in it. We decided we would go for it, though I suspect we are the oldest band that will have entered as we have a combined age of about 500yrs LOL. It will be fun if we get through the first round as you have some nice venues to play at and it should get us some useful publicity if nothing else.

I am getting along OK mood wise at the moment. I went back to my Dr for a repeat prescription and she said I looked much better and on the whole I am feeling better apart from being slightly anxious. Jobwise its not so great, so its just a matter of carrying on regardless which is a bit of a pain.I don't feel to bad when I am there, but if I am working the day after a gig it seems completely crap, especially if I had a really good night, its such a come down.

A funny sort of weekend

Mood: Apprehensive

Date Posted: 3rd December 2007

The weekend started or rather did'nt with a flat battery on the car. No warning and I think the damp might have got at it. I have a booster starter thingy but due to not reading the instructions correctly it did not work the first time, I tried the next day, this time following the instructions and it worked straight away. So memo to self Read instructions ......

Saturday was spent doing lost of little odd jobs and then a gig at the Kings Head Islington. A very lively crowd but it seems strange finishing so early due to licencing problems and we could have gone on for another hour I think. Very crowded and Helena Love paid us a visit again plus a flock of Angels who turned up just before the end. Very crowded and the audience get up close and personal too, so you can really see the whites of there eyes. Not Scary though as they are a nice bunch. Nice to see the crowd getting into it big time too.

Sunday off to meet Vicky Dan & Terry from the band at Sound Control under what was the Virgin Mega Store to sign up for a sort of battle of the bands competion.the day did not go entirely to plan as I had a panic attack on the way there, and arrived looking somewhat shaky. Unfortunately the person we were to meet was unwell so off to the pub around the corner for a drink and a bit of forward planing. felt much better after having a drink. Then brought a boxed DVD set of the entire series of Sex and the City for a prezzie for the SO,(though we both like it very much) and then home. Also brought a Nina Simone compilation which is excellent.

Back to the daily grind tommorow. I have a meeting first thing, but not the kind you can sleep through. Drat. Never mind.


Stuff and nonsense for this week

30th November 2007

The Music Bit

The Usual couple of gigs ;at the weekend: A bit of excitement as we arrived at O'Neill's Muswell Hill at 8:30 only to be told that the gig was cancelled. Vicky managed to get us a gig at the Salisbury instead which we have never played on a Friday before and of course we were not expected but there was a good crowd and it was fun though slightly manic. We played to quite a young crowd who I don't think were quite sure what to expect LOL, but they seemed to enjoy it. Saturday a bit of rushing about and last minute Birthday Present for the SO but managed to get exactly what was required.Then a gig at Olivers in Greenwich which is a small basement venue and we recorded that gig, I haven't heard it yet but I am told its sounds OK. Olivers is a venue that is very atmospheric especially as its in a basement and has that real old club kind of feel to it. The stage is tiny so its a bit of a squash but its always fun to play and we had a very enthusiastic crowd again too. Its now our only regular South London Venue which is a shame as we could do with a few more down south IMHO being the token South Londoner in Elephant Shelf.

The Other Stuff

Its all a bit mad in day-job land right now. Lots of sily stuff and a slight air of panic and desperation around the place. Its not affecting me too much though which is good. My mood has been better as in stableish though I did get a bit wound up last week and I felt very down tonight but it seems to be fading away now.
I am sleeping well most of the time but having some very vivid and strange dreams, which are lightly to be the effect of the medication to a certain extent.

Stuff for consideration

Where do we go from here? I am slightly nervous about a few developments recently that are in the wind that are exciting but a little scary too. If I get a real chance can I hack it. I just don't know yet, but you have try I guess.

Time to fly a kite maybe

15th November 2007

I have managed to shake off the bug that I had last week, but it has left me feeling quite rough and burnt out. We played 2 Shelf gigs last week, Friday we were at Oliver's in Greenwich, which was OK but not as busy as as usual. Then Saturday we were back at the Kings Head in Islington which was pretty good but again slightly less busy than before though a good enough crowd.

Day job wise things are much the same as before other than my concentration getting worse then ever and my temper following not far behind. I felt a lot like walking out on Monday morning and very nearly did, I have really had enough in a lot of respects now. I think its an age thing, I don't have the tolerance that I did before. My personality is somewhat brittle and my confidence in others is easily dented.
Often I feel as though I am under siege. A lot in my life at the moment is leading to frustration. Creatively I am on an up and am getting a flow of ideas, but that's not going to solve my other problems. I would dearly love to have the time to be able to achieve more of my potential. I am not sure if this is a combination of lack of confidence or simply not sticking up for myself sufficiently. Maybe its time to ask for more please. Much much more. Wallace D. Wattles wrote a book called 'The Science of Getting Rich' which uses a premise known as the 'Laws of Attraction'. It seems to be quite a business. 'A man's way of doing things is the direct result of the way he thinks about things' yep, I guess so, now tell me something I don't know like um 'Then we must grasp the truth that every thought held in this substance becomes a form, and that man can so impress his thoughts upon it as to cause them to take form and become visible things' OK so we had the UK lottery tonight and I have been visualising buying a particular penthouse property near hear which is on the market for a mere snip at 5,200,000. So has the phone rang with the glad tidings that the required Millions are on there way. Funnily enough no.


Cough Sneeze and all that

5th November 2007

Got a bit of a cold at the moment, with a huge cough as well it seems to have been going around the band I think though we have had it in the office as well, I am hoping its not going to stick around too long, I missed the warning sign as I had a sore tShroat last week, but I put it down to straining my voice a bit it is a bug. Ho Hum. I am still ploughing on with the music endevours and did the first official Delta Ladies gig on Saturday. Delta Ladies is a duo stroke trio offshoot of Elephant Shelf and we did our first gig at the Unicorn as suport for Jimmy C's band. It went pretty well and hopefully there will be some usefull oportunitys in future. We videoed the debut and there will be something on the web in the not too distant future and also the inevitable website. LOL

Sleepy Time down South

23rd October 2007

Well I am having a reasonable time musically. We had two Shelf gigs at the weekend and I am doing vocals on a couple of numbers now which seems to be working though its a bit different being center stage, but it seems to have gone across well enough.

We were back at the Princess Alexandra in Crouch End on Friday night and said hello to Jeanie Barton who dropped in for a little while. I must go to one of her gigs again as she is a great jazz singer and also a songwriter.

Saturday nights gig was a particularly good one at the Salisbury which is an Elephant Shelf regular gig, we started late because of the England Rugby match but we had a really enthusiastic audience and they were with us all the way.Rosie is now well and truly integrated into the band and she has a great voice. Rosie will be opening for us on some gigs from time to time. She was going to do a short opening set on Staurday but due to our late start it didn't happen. Shes writes strong songs and is a very charismatic performer. Nice to see Chrissie and Helena Love (yes the Sofas are really comfortable at the Salisbury I have been told), Phillipa and Pennie and Alice Party Animal there too(thanks for the drink) and I think they had a good time...and of course the irripressible Laura.

I am still getting very sleepy which is the effect of the medication, as I suddenly feel really tired and out of it, but most of my anxiety has gone which is great. It is a bit difficult concentraiting though so I am wondering if my dosage is a little too high, but I am feeling more able to cope. I am getting a few headaches again though which is annoying.

It's only Rock & Roll But ....

5th October 2007

I saw my doctor and she confirmed that I was still alive. I had considered asking her to keep me signed off on the basis that I am an Existential Nihilist however she said that this was a state of being and not a recognised medical condition.

"Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings create the meanings of their own lives. It is a reaction against more traditional philosophies, such as rationalism and empiricism, which sought to discover an ultimate order in metaphysical principles or in the structure of the observed world, and therefore universal meaning. The movement had its origins in the 19th century thought of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and was prevalent in Continental philosophy. In the 1940s and 1950s, French philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir wrote scholarly and fictional works that helped to popularize themes associated with existentialism, including "dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment,and nothingness"

"Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical position which argues that the world, especially past and current human existence, is without objective meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. Nihilists generally assert some or all of the following: there is no reasonable proof of the existence of a higher ruler or creator, a "true morality" does not exist, and secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has no truth, and no action can be preferable to any other. The term nihilism is sometimes used synonymously with anomie to denote a general mood of despair at the pointlessness of existence."

You win some and you loose some I guess. The sky is blue today and perhaps thats as much as anyone can ever ask for...My concentration is a little better and the anxiety is much reduced but frankly I don't know what use I will be to anyone when I get into the office.

Other news in brief:

After the demise of the infamous "Jessie Pies Cleavage of Death" there will be born in part from its ashes the "Delta Ladies" performing mostly as a duo selections across the following styles Blues a bit of 40's style supper Jazz, a little bit of Country and a dash of Folk with the occasional dash of singer songwriter. Hopefully reaching the parts that Elephant Shelf can't.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a little time writing

29th September 2007

Yesterday afternoon I spent a little time writing some rather obscure song lyrics. I am having some particularly vivid dreams at the moment which is lightly to be the the anti-depressants as its one of the well known side effects along with about 99 others in the list. My mood did lift quite a bit in the first week but seems to have slumped completly again. Though thst text book as often when you start to take the pills you get an evening bigger dip for a while

I am not anywhere near as irritable or paranoid as I have been but then I have not been in the office for a couple of weeks so that's not particularly meaningful. I need to do something about my work situation and it concerns me quite a bit now as I am not coping well with it and I feel that I do need to change things. I need to do a bit of negotiation and I find that very hard to do. I am somebody who can out a lot of energy in to work, or projects in short bursts, but I then tend to need a bit of down-time.What I am not very good at is doing lots of disparate things in small nibbles, where I lose the overall picture, I find it frustrating and stressful when nothing ever seems to be completed. In my particular working environment a lot the tasks seem to be that way.That is often because there is no understanding of the difference between concept and implementation.

I find motivation particularly difficult at the moment and I was hoping that I would have felt the inclination to start looking at my project work again, but I have not touched the work laptop for days, apart from checking my emails.
There has only been one message from a colleague at work, no get well cards or anything else unlike the last time was unwell a few years back. I am not sure if that's a good or bad thing to be honest. I will go to the Doctors at the end of next week and see what I need to do then. I am quite good at doing a public face in the sense that I can keep going quite well and often people quite close to me are not really aware of whats going on mentally.
I have not been out of the flat for three days, but I have to go out tonight...

Human Being V Human doing

27th September 2007

How pre-occupied are you with thoughts of death? Or the utter pointlessness of everything, or is this normal? I suppose it is if your a goth maybe it is I am not as far as I can tell at least the last time I checked so perhaps its a little strange. How much activity is merely the filling up of available time. When you measure what you have achived in life are you left with a fairly minimal list? Why are there so many question marks in this blog? I seem to be mostly being at the moment and not particularly doing, but my motivation is completly out of the window though I don't feel too bad about it. I was sure I had something to say when I started this blog but now I don't think I have.

Settling down with my SSRI's again

26th September 2007


I seem to be settling down with my SSRI's again and I am feeling a lot less anxious, but I have absolutely no motivation to do anything at all.I have a daily routine though which I stick to as much as possible so I am forcing myself to do a few things. I have felt a lot more human again and less paranoid, but everything seems a bit pointless and colourless today. I am still doing all my music practice of course, but I can't seem to get to grips with anything on the computer at present, though I did a bit of very simple codeing this morning when I got out of bed.

The odd thing about the meds is they seem to have dis-inhibited me quite a lot and I seem to be talking rather too freely at times, I hope that eases off a little before too long. I had a very long chat with Rosie ( new singer in the Shelf ) and I am sure I must have bored the socks off her.

The band ploughs on and I have not fallen asleep during any gigs yet so thats not too bad really.

I am absolutely dreading going back to the day job but maybe the medication will sort that out for me.The trouble is that I tend to worry about everything which eventually means I grind to a complete halt, which is really where I am now I think parked on the cosmic hard sholder waiting for the intergalatic AA to give me a jump start.

Hello new neighbours

23rd September 2007
I met our new neighbours last night, coming back from a gig. I think they are into music as the the guy was asking me about my violin and mentioned the Quecumber whch is a Gypsy-jazz bar near us. I said I had played their once. I think its the first time I have actually seen the couple together since they moved in a few weeks back. They seemed quite nice.

The usual couple of gigs this week at the Kings Head Islington and one at an out of town pub called the Sportsman in Croxley Green. Both Kings head gigs very very lively as ever and we are getting some good feedback from them. I managed to talk to Helena Love on Friday in the interval as she had come down to see us, and she seems very nice and has really got a good look together as well, though I think she was finding a bit hot on Friday as the Kings head is a very warm venue once a few people are in there.

I am starting to adjust to being back on Citalopram again and begining to feel a lot less anxious and tense thank goodness, though this week I have been sleeping a lot. On Thursday I slept most of the day. the good news so far is I have not been waking up with Headaches and I am much less irritable.

Hello again its unlikely to be me you are looking for

12th September 2007

Well here we are again sort of almost-ish. I have been out of sorts for a few days but hopefully I will be better soon. Headaches and I can't sleep. Just checked my work email and its full of rather surreal messages including one that looks particularly like a wind-up. Don't people realise I am supposed to be doing my own job not admin for other people who only need to pick up a phone and say what is this crap about and get a swift apology for the perpetrator. I am employed to use my technical skills and its waste of money to be using me for anything else really. Well presumably not. Maybe it is time to quit finally? Think I will check out how much notice I need to give, that gives them a chance of a soft landing and enough is enough really I don't need this anymore. I could just get on with doing one project at a time and actually finishing it which would be nice.

I do like September and this years weather is I remember Septembers, Sunny but not too warm with a kind of long drawn out sunset most nights, though perhaps its just in my head that it seems that way? I worked on recording a re-working of one of my old tunes for Solo Piano. Its a bit self-indulgent but thats OK it makes change from banging out 12 bars at the pub.

If you did manage to get through that then on with the plot. I figured out if I quit the day job I have between 2 to 3 years to get on an even keel, start a business or whatever. Luckily the kind of business I am in needs contacts rather than huge investments being knowledge based though advertising is needed of course but that is not too difficult to do. Getting paid is a problem if you are in business for yourself but other people must be able to do it. What go's (should there be an apostrophe there?) against me is simply my age, if I were to think of being an employee again if my proposed business venture go's tit's up (that's an English expression for any offshore readers) that could be a major problem but if I get out of the environment I am in maybe I can actually make a go of something. Wow this is fighting talk for a depressive, but then mood disorders are what you suffer from they are not what you are nor should they define what you can become.

The Band has a couple of gigs this weekend: which should be good. The first is at the Kings Head Islington which is now really the sort of home turf as we more or less have a residency there. We have had some phenomenal reactions there recently. We also have a new addition to the Band Rosemary Rebecca Swan who is also from these here parts on myspace and she will be doing some singing with us and maybe a little more to. She is a little more down home than our previous vocalists which may work pretty well.I am really looking forward to meeting her as the rest of the band have and they say she is very good. Then on Saturday night we are at Maddens in East Finchley (an Irish owned Music and Sports Bar ) which is another happy hunting ground for us and also a regular venue too.

To infinty and beyond then >>>> Woosh .....

Hmmn.....

9th September 2007

Still fairly busy with work and the band and we have had some very good reactions recently. Its fun but its also quite hard work with a day-job as well.
In a sense the Band has been a little like therapy for me and has often helped me to get through bad times when I have been at a very low ebb.
There is a certain discipline required to make it happen, and that can help to keep me going at the times when I would just stop perhaps and retire to the comfort of my bed. I have not been taken the little pills for about 3 years now and I am quite pleased with that fact as I try not to be a professional depressive. On of the traits that can often go with Bi-Polar disorder is a fair amount of paranoia, but I am almost managing that too. I do like my own company when things get particularly bad and I am straining to concentrate.
Having a certain amount of distance from people can be very therapeutic at the appropriate time, though friends can find it difficult to deal with.

IUpdate to the previous update to the previous update.......

24th August 2007

Everything is busy right now, The Band and work, in fact a little bit to busy.
I seem to have shaken off a strange viral thing that was making me feel dizzy and somewhat unwell. It lasted about 2 weeks, and completely knocked me out.

Bla, Bla lots of gigs Bla bla ..... New shoes, Bla Bla Bla. Rain, more Rain.

Interestingly The Shelf now has a new song in the repertoire, which was a tune that I wrote about a year or two ago. Its a reggae tune called "Undubwise" and it was an instrumental and is now a song as Vicky Martin wrote some lyrics for it. Its about being TG and its being sung in assorted pubs near you and shaven headed people are dancing to it in O'Neill's and other places .... Its just dawned on me that maybe significant.

A sunset ten years ago is always more memorable than the one last night

10th August 2007 at 10:00 am - Comments (0)

Everything looks better from a distance. Time is related to distance they say, and distant events seem to be much better than they actually were. Time glazes an attractive wash of colour over them. A sunset ten years ago is always more memorable than the one last night. Why is that. You really don't know what you have got until it's gone. Maybe these are the good old days. I manage to spend my time in two almost worlds, which should by rights have collided by now.I curious to know whats happened to old friends, but people move on and seemly I am the one that remains static amidst the turmoil.

30th July 2007

Islington and Chobam

Friday night at the Kings Head in Islington. Its a very lively venue with music every night and it went well though there were a few sound problems in the first set. Its quite a small place and its gets quite busy so the playing area is a bit cramped. Its also very hot, but luckily Robbie our bass player has an enormous fan which he takes to gigs now and I can reap the benefits. As I said its very cosy so there is risk from low flying violin bows during certain numbers. Those amongst you who indulge in fiddling will know that violins are quite sensitive instruments and area little bit prone to things dropping off mid tune... The crowd was enthusiastic on the whole so it was a generally good vibe. Dan the Harp player is riding his BSA to some gigs now and was a bit worried when I was parking my car, in the gap next to it, but it was OK as I missed . I chatted to one of the punters whilst walking back to my car and they had obviously enjoyed it quiet a bit, so that was very gratifying. I was a bit nervy on Saturday, so I did not achieve too much during the day. Then a drive down to Chobam for our gig at the "Castle Grove". luckily they were not underwater when we arrived, though its a place which gets flooded quite regularly. We played in a marquee in the garden but it did start to rain and about half way through the first set water started to come in. We shifted all the plugs and socket of the ground and lifted up everything that was not on stands and played on. At half time the rain stopped so the second set was dry, until we finished then hey presto it started to rain again. An appreciative if slightly damp audience. A lot of cable wiping and stuff as we got the stuff ready to pack in the van. The drive home was very wet with rain coming from every angle. Today was a major chill-out day....And the sun shone.

There's the Good stuff and the bad stuff and then there is the other stuff:


That should be quite clear I hope.
In life we spend far too much time looking for answers which are are usually right in front of us. You can spend along time building crackpot theories as to why things are not working out, but then you discover that shock, horror there is no conspiracy you are just dealing with idiots....

I had some questions that needed answering and they were answered completely openly and honestly. Everything must change or decay.
I had dreamed of an escape route from my present situation but I pinned my hopes to someone else's dream making it happen for me, but actually in reality I am on my own and that has come as a shock. Still grasping that fact is helpful as it allows for a more realistic approach in future.

About time for another entry

Mood: Confused Date

Posted: 5th July 2007 at 12:28 am - Comments


Well stuff moves on apace. Plenty of Elephant shelf gigs as ever and we are also recording some stuff as well. We have had a 4 page magazine article about us in a new publication called 'Swinging Heaven'. Rather a surprising place to be published in as its related to a website called http://www.swingingheaven.co.uk/shm.html Ironic as half the band is virtually celibate or too far gone to care. Still I suppose we might get some better offers now .

Gigs are booked up till December at the moment so that will keep me out of mischief for a while and we will be doing some recording as well. We are also doing a few slightly different types of gigs with a couple of jazz rock specials with some very good players in the near future including a very special one in September if it happens. We played at the Kings head in Islington last night which is fast becoming a regular venue to very good effect. Odd as it is our first gig since the smoking ban came in to force and it was quite different, it felt less tiring though I might have imagined that. Also our third gig with Ingrid who did three numbers with us last night. She was interview on Radio London last Sunday about her previous career in the 80's and gave us a plug. Can't hurt can it? And we are trying to angle an invite to the studio with the band or at least part of it. The Lucious Laura handbag was also in attendance with a friend who's name escapes me, but nice to see you both anyway

Another day wrestling with crap databases today, but its Karma I guess as I created the evil designs in the first place.

More old Rot
Date Posted: 25th May 2007 at 04:25 pm
A pleasant evenings diversion on O'Neill's Blackheath last night, not a bad gig though I have an annoying sore throat bug thats making me feel a little bit off form. Off to Rays Jazz Shop to a CD Launch for TIm Collinson in a few minutes.He played at the Music Palace on one of the Thursday Jazz nights and I enjoyed it.

On Sunday we have a gig at the Salisbury Pub which should be fun as it's usually a good vibe there. It's likely that the Shelf will be changing a bit in the next couple of months, hopefully for the better but if you haven't seen us and think you might like to now might be a good time.

#237Stuff and Nonsense
Date Posted: 6th May 2007 at 08:01 pm
It's fascinating to read some of the crap and apocrypha that circulates around the web, the frightening thing is that a lot of people seem to belive it.

A bit of a strange week this one, only one gig, a trio one at the Pink Bordello LGBT opening night and unfortunately it was an empty house even with the free champers. So a little disapointing though the Pink Bordello Jazz club will continue I think.

This weekend is mostly band rehersals and web up-dates including putting more stuff on You Tube for the band. I am not a big fan of bank holiday weekends but it's nice to get a break from work though. Sometimes in certain areas its a little bit like banging your head against a brick wall but its nice when it stops. I watched a great film today "Ray", which is Ray Charles Bio and found it quite moving.

Next weekend we have a couple of gigs lined up at the Princess Alexandra in Crouch End on Friday and O'Neals Muswell Hill on Saturday which has to be the biggest pub I have ever seen and is in a converted church with a double decker bar.

#236Prince 2 and other boring sh***
Date Posted: 28th April 2007 at 12:43 pm

Any one who knows what Prince 2 is I am sure will sympathise with me as I have just been doing a week long training course and on Friday the exam, which was weird for me as its done on paper and I generated 19 pages of scribble for it, though the leading contender did 23.
Decided said course is an invention of the

Severe case of the writers cramp after that one I can tell you.
Then in the evening a gig at the Music Palace, but sleep walking a bit as very knackered from the exam.

The www.Pinkbordello.co.uk and The Music Palace http://myspace.com/musicpalacelondon look like there are going to be really good and we had our official opening night of the Jazz with Big Chief playing this Thursday which was nice Darcy was doiing the Hostess thing and will be in attendance at the LGBT night which is this coming Wednesday.Darcey will also be there on our opening LGBT night too


Elephant Shelf will be going through a few changes in the next few weeks too so look out for that, though there is unlikely to be any Kylie at the moment

#235To grow or not to grow

Date Posted: 10th April 2007 at 11:22 am

Everything in my life seems to get bigger, though not always better.
The option to stand still is not there anymore, and my confidence in many areas is increasing but I do feel more and more lost in some respects. In a sense the more limitations you have the less you need to worry about.

Went to see the in laws this weekend apart from the usual 2 gigs which went quite well but more of that later. I go in boy mood to see the in laws but they are fully aware of everything and so as they have just got broadband was able to show them some u-tube video of Elephant Shelf which Dad-in -law much enjoyed particularly watching Jessie. I suspect that they just tag my TG'ness as some sort of slightly artistic eccentricity, still its an easy cop-out.Then on to the sister-in-laws as they live around the corner for a chat about the government wasting money and more watching Elephant Shelf on You tube.Almost convinced Alison to die her hair as it was red but is now white in places and its a bit ageing. Sister in law Dawn will pop down to london to see a gig at some point and her husband Richard said he might come down so that will be fun. Dawn is a make-up artist for photo shoots and films but does the extras rather than the stars I think.

Too good gigs on Friday and Saturday, one our new venue The Music Palace at Crouch End, which is a nice 150 seat venue in a sort of 80's style in a old chapel and we are booking acts for it too. Then another new venue on Saturday, an O'Neils in Muswell Hill which is also in an old church though extremely large.

The day job continues on apace and things seem to be coming together quite well, but there is always something new on the boil and there never seems to be time to consolidate anything, but that's life I suppose.

I don't have time to agonise about being TG, its like zen I am and that's it.Most pople deal with it quite well by ignoring it totally and treating me like a normal human being, which is cool.

Acceptance is actually being asked to pass the loo role through to the other cubicle

#234Take a deep breath

Date Posted: 28th March 2007 at 10:07 am

Well I have been having a slightly strange time of it recently, I have had several panic attacks in a row and also bouts of insomnia, which has left me feeling a bit wasted, but on the plus side I am now able to do a portion of my work from home which is much better as with no interruptions I can actually get to finish off a few things for a change.
I ma not sure if I am going to need soemthing from the Doc or not but I wil wait and see.

I am not convinced that the band(Elephant Shelf) is going to make past pub status somehow, I did have high hopes for it at one time, but it may be useful as a springboard to better things when I have enough confidence.

Alisons hand is begining to get the strength back now which is a very good sign and she go's for her first proper physio session today.

 

More inane ramblings

Date Posted: 4th February 2007 at 12:07 pm

Its great having a spell checker on the browser, I might even get mistaken for someone vaguely intelligent!

A couple of reasonably well attended gigs this weekend, After Office Hours in Barnet on Friday which was rather lively as a low flying drunk nearly demolished my piano on about the second number which was taking things a little to far in the audience participation stakes I feel, but a mostly good vibe and quite a reaction.

Down at the Joogleberry Playhouse in Brighton on Saturday and it was nice to meet Sandra Brighton and Barbara during the break. We were not quite hitting top form on one or two of the numbers but that's the way it is sometimes. We had a guest vocalist Greg Derham who has an excellent band of his own that is really worth seeing. We also had Menno who is a comedian who did some comedy songs in the interval so it was quite a varied bill. A few nice comments after the gig too. The Joogleberry is a very nice place to play but its a bit tiring combined with the drive back to London however I managed to keep awake just long enough to get home but I was a bit shattered I must admit. We do tend to play quite long sets which combined with a long drive can be a bit of a killer sometimes.

The band business grinds on inexorably but it is getting a little too much like a job in some respects. If you have an evening when you are not quite cutting it, even though the audience is with you and has enjoyed it, it is rather dishartening at times. The appeal of running off and joining the circus is only there before you join and not afterwards.

 

Winter Whats that all about then ?


18th January 2007 at 07:10 pm -My Real Birthday
A pretty good weekend with the Salisbury gig being an ab fab way to spend ones 50th Birthday. Enjoyed it loads and Mrs Diana came too which was a surprise as she is not often in attendance at gigs, everybody playing well and a great debut by the Treacles with their new line up.

Big respect to Dee Treacle(who my other half seemed quite intrigued by) as it was only her second gig and quite a crowd to play too but they did really well so they will be back in Feb to do it again.

I am finding the day job very tiring at the moment, I must admit but I am just about getting through it. I having to go a little further out on that proverbial limb again, so let's hope the branch can take the weight. Its just that whole winter thing where you run out of steam, and its so dull dreary that you can't be arsed to get out of bed and when you do, you think is it really worth it , but we have to fight the good fight otherwise what is there left...

Sales people don't you just love em. I know they have to make a living but in the day job I have to deal with one or two prize specimens. Its not something I would want to do.

The New Year so far

Date Posted: 13th January 2007 at 04:38 pm

Did my first gig since new years eve on Thursday down at O'Neals in Blackheath.Not my favorite venue but its was a very enjoyable gig and a good crowd. Slightly amused to an office party of coppers in celebrating their collegues promotion and or transfer.

One came over said "I am really enjoying the music, but you must get a lot of grief particulary in places like this". I explained it was actually one of our regular venues and so forth. I think it was a bit of an eye opener for them, and perhaps worth rather more than the average diversity training session


Off tonight to do my 200 gig with the dreaded Elephant Shelf and also the live debut of the treacles new vocalist Shazzy, should be fun !
Gloria (who I have big respect for) is also playing tonight, and she is always great entertainment.

The Salisbury Hotel is a really good venue on Shelf Home turf so we should have a few of the regular crowd in.

We have also just finished a new 5 track CD featuring 2 studio recordings and 2 live performance recordings made at the Joogleberry in Brighton plus a very old recording from the very first incarnation.

We will be selling the new cd tonight:Thanks to all at ShelfLife Productions who were bizzy duplicating it yesterday, as I have just finished the mixes this week, and the artwork was finalised yesterday too so its been quite an effort.

 

2007

Mood: Depressed

 

Date Posted: Yesterday at 12:10 am -
What's it mean to you?

It's going to be a busy year for me I know. 2006 was quite successful in many ways, but I feel that I don't have too much left in reserve now. Life sometimes gets a little too much for me to cope with at times. Ok I have a cunning plan or too up my sleave but are they going to work god only knows... I have the same aspirations and dreams that I had last year and just maybe I am getting closer to some of them.

I have lost contact with a few folks this year, not sure why though.Maybe I don't have enough in common with them anymore. Interestingly I was described by a singer who sometimes guests with our band as appearing aloof, which is actually not the case at all, it's actually a combination of shyness and anxiety and not wanting to put my foot in it by saying something stupid. Also I like people but I can't do small talk very well and I tend to dry up.

I also get almost agraphobic at time and could just lock myself away and not speak to anyone and not step outside the door, plus I am quite obsessive and get stressed when ever any sort of dead line is involved. I worry about time keeping but am nearly always late for everything, so pretty hopeless really.

And I still don't feel that I quite fit anywhere...

#221 A couple of days off.

Date Posted: 23rd December 2006 at 12:51 pm
Maybe I am just an old cynic, but to me the best bit about Christmas is having a couple of extra days off work.

My life has very strong demarcation lines now. Whilst I am very out away from the work environment I still feel the need to not have my TG aspect spill over in to the 9 to 5 at the moment.I think this is because its a way of putting up a barrier between who I feel I am and who people perceive I am and in a sense I feel that I would loose credibilty.That may be a controversial stance but I deal with a lot of quite blokey external contacts, and talking to sales reps is not my Forte, so these interactions are somewhat forced already, so for the moment keeping the double act up seems to be a practical solution. As far as being in business for myself thats a different matter.

I am not sure that at the moment I would want to break down that final line between Office World and the rest of my life, as it still gives me a bit of a refuge. One collegue from work has seen me performing with the Shelf but did not disclose anything much about it. One or two others are very interested in my musical endevours but so far they have not discovered anything to do with Diana though I am sure they could figure it out eventually.

#220 Seasons of mists and sore throaty-ness


Date Posted: 9th December 2006 at 11:39 am
Been feeling quite rough this week and very tired, the cough and throat problem is still there, but I have been sleeping a lot and that seems to have helped a bit. A low key weekend.

We are doing a gig at http://www.oliviersjazzbar.com/ in Greenwich tonight.Should be fun. Its a nice venue, very intimate and has a quite responsive crowd, and hope fully the weather will stay settled too, which may tempt people out.
This is about the only live music venue left in Greenwich now, and its future is a little uncertain too which is a shame.

Its been a very difficult week at the day job which, and it looks like its not going to get any better for a while yet.On the whole things are going well but there are several parallel projects going on and only myself and 1 trusty side kick to implement and build them whilst still keeping all the rest of our trusty home brewed systems working having just been informed that the replacement for these which will be built by a very well known contractor for central government( yes thats the one) will now be about another 5 years a way before its initial rollout. So we are now looking at ways to improve the robustness of our home brewed toys.


#219 December


Date Posted: 2nd December 2006 at 10:02 am

Well its here and the shortest day is coming very soon.work wise things are frantic and I am not too sure how well I can keep up with it.Had to do a presentation at work and that always seems a bit surreal to me.I can't always take things to seriously.

My Brother in Law died in hospital recently after suffering a sudden onset disease at the age of 55. He was a very laid back person most of the time and also one of the normal people that seemed to have a balanced life and not seem to suffer fron endless self-referrence.Its all in the role of the dice I suppose though.As it turned out I could not go to the funeral but he was very well liked and there were about 300 people in attendance. Alison had a puncture on the M25 whilst on the way which required a new tyre and so also missed the funeral.

Luckily the gigs have eased off a bit. last weekend we did 3 that went fairly well.We were at the Princess Alexandra in North London on Friday which has now become the home ground and got a fab reaction there.Then Saturday in Brighton at the Joogleberry Playhouse, which was also ace, and they do good veggie food too.Jess Green of the Treacles who is a Brighton body came to see us too and a had quite a good chat with her too as she is quite a muso one way and another. The Treacles should be quite good to see when they start giging I think.

This week only one down in Cobham and its a of a relief to be honest. I have a bit of a sore throat too and have been consuming industrial quantitys of raw garlic which may help a bit.

#218 Surviving Prince Albert For the weekend and other stuff


Date Posted: 18th November 2006 at 07:15 pm


Well the Battersea Real music weekend was a success, we managed to get 12 acts or so on over three days and a reasonable number of punters into, plus we have a lot of it on video too so I will add some of that to the web site eventually too. Quite strange spending a whole weekend in a pub, but not an unpleasant experience. The food at the Prince Albert's quite good too so that was a real advantage.

Thanks to all the bands that came along and took part too amongst whom were this lot:Greg Derham Band, Paul Garner Band, Jools and the Gamblers, Ed Benstead, Jimmy C, Delta Tom,Rob McCabe, Louis Cennamo, Natalie B, Ghost,Whiskey at Breakfast, Dead Cat Bounce and all others who took part. Special thanks to our roadie Jim and also Martin out new roadie, because Jim is moving to sound mixing now who worked hard to get it all to happen and to Ian Brown our good friend who underwrote the whole venture.

Played three times that weekend, We did a set with Jimmy C plus the Louis Cennamo Quartet very generously providing the rhythm section as his band couldn't make it and then later we did the Trio Act and the Elephant shelf full Monty in the evening and then we did The shelf again on Sunday and also with our guesting singer the totally awesome Jenny Mac as well as the wonderful Jessie Pie.

Great fun but having to be there all day from Midday past midnight in Saturday and similar on Sunday as well as playing was a bit shattering.
The aim was to re-launch the venue for live music but there were complaints about noise so this seems unlikely, which is a shame as its a really nice place to play, but you can't win them all.Still something may kick off from it eventually.

last weekend we were at the Hornsey Tavern on Saturday, and its was nice to meet up with Chrissy who plays bass in Funk/Soul band I think and had come up from Kent to see us, and on Sunday night we did a trio gig at the Princess Alexandria in Crouch end, which is also a really friendly venue and sort of on Shelf home turf.

This weekend so far we have been at O'Neals Blackheath on Thursday,(good reception but its always a terrible sound there, so it makes it hard work to play, then Friday at Viva Viva in Hornsey, again a very good night and good fun though its quite a small venue and fitting everyone on stage is a bit of a struggle.

Tonight its madame Vicky's Birthday and we have a gig at the Salisbury in Green lanes starting at about 10.00. It's a nice place to play because there is a reasonable amount of space to spread yourself in and its a good party crowd.

Tomorrow is collapse in a heap day before getting back to the office then Friday we are at it again.

#217 Tired
Date Posted: 2nd November 2006 at 11:07 pm


I am just so tired at the moment and aching quite a bit too. I seriously considering limiting my activities a bit as I am not functioning well at all.
Somehow I have got to get through this weekend in one piece, which is going to be difficult....

#216 Introspection and feeling a little odd


Date Posted: 17th October 2006 at 06:54 pm


Couldn't make it to work today as I was feeling a bit ill: went back to bed slept most of the day and felt better later. Just hope that I am am not up for a recurrence of previous problems, but I suspect its just a hiccup. Yesterday I had no concentration and just kept making mistakes and I suspect tomorrow will be the same, but if I am feeling a bit better that should help I think.
I seem to have been very introspective in the last couple of weeks which is fine for creativity, but living in your head can get a bit weird.

Perhaps its national 'Who am I week?' or something. Or perhaps its just the seasonal road hump that seems to slow my thought process about now. I have also been having quiet weird dreams and often I don't remember my dreams at all, but lots of the dreams involve people I have not seen for a long time, and a feeling of loneliness which is also a bit out of scope because recently I am hardly ever alone.

#215 Mist and mellow thingys time
Date Posted: 16th October 2006 at 08:31 am


2 more gigs: Friday at the Princess Alexandra in Crouch End to a very happy crowd who seem to be really enjoying it, and the floor was awash with beer by the end too. But a great really fun night and we finished very late it turned in to a 3 hour set and so to bed at 3 but still wide awake. Still not quite sure what to make of it all, but it seems to keep me happy doing this.

Had a very lazy Saturday.Off to Shepherds Bush O'Neals and again quite a fun evening, played a resonable set but not many people in as its only really busy there when the theater next door is open. In a rather playfull mood when we got to the venue just for a change. Played another fairly long set, plenty of people dancing which was cool and quite a lot of improvising on the numbers too.

Sunday working on recording one of my own tunes, doing a sort of slow celtic thingy which just needs a violin part added now.Also doing some minor changes to to website's and a very long phone call from my sister who is coming to visit next week.

Nipped out to take a couple of photos for a new
Promotional website for our new venture at the Prince Albert pub. www.batterseavillage.co.uk We are doing a Music weekend there which will be Blues Jazz and Folk/World music on November 3, 4, 5 which we are hopping will be a success as its another one of my local pubs and they are into promoting live music.There will be about 12 or 14 acts on over the weekend so fingers. toes knees and everything else crossed and touching wood it we hope it will be good.It will be the first time that I have played there too, but we are hopeing that it will be come a regular music venue if we can get enough folks through the door.

I note there is a crew of TG Metalists in lurking in South London called
Dys4ia http://www.myspace.com/dysphoriarock Rather different to the the stuff that I do solo or the Shelf gets up to but I am sure that they will good to see when they are out and giging. Don't know any off them personally but I suspect there will folks here that do.

There is quite an outbreak of Roses on myspace now too, quite a few familiar names and faces there. I have allso got a page there and have sort of started a blog there too. http://www.myspace.com/dianastone .Its music related but will have the odd picture of me as well and links to other that I do.

Anyway time for a the usual hours piano practice, then off to work for another day of tedium and crap. Hurrah

#214 Some good news-ish
Date Posted: 29th September 2006 at 01:05 pm


Had some good news on the day job front as a couple of projects that I am working have been approved so thats a couple of things less to worry about.

Still churning out the noise with the Shelf, out at O'Neals in Blackheath last night, not our most together gig but it went ok ish.Various people taking pictures, I wonder where they all go ? I was slightly hiddenl ast night behind our temporary horn section but as there were a few cock-ups this was no disadvantage.The very wonder Jenny Mac was doing vocals with us last night and her voice is totally awesome. Next month will be quite busy for gigs too.One thing that is very difficuilt is getting hold of venue owners or other folks when you are trying to get a booking confirmed, madame V is the one that is handling most of that and I can see its stressfull having tried to make a couple of calls whilst she was on her holidays.
BTW what is a holiday, I seem to remember these in the very distant past but I suspect they may be a myth.

So we seem to be having lots of rain is there still a drought ?

On the personal front one is trying not to take things too seriously at the moment to avoid to much of this

My concentration is a bit crap too. At the moment I am an old dog trying to learn a few new tricks but there is a slight mental log jam.
Also my voice seesm to have got rather wayward and completly canged its normal range, which is a bit disconcerting too, not sure yet if its a good or bad thing. I don't do much singing live, but it may be come an issue at some point if I ever start doing more of it.

#213 Down Time
Date Posted: 17th September 2006 at 10:39 pm


I am pretending to take a rest this weekend, but actually its not working that well.I have been getting very wound up and nervy for the last week and I have no concentration or inclination to get on with anything.
Though at the same time I am pacing about like a cat on a hot tin roof.
I have actually never seen a tin roof, but I digress.

I also feel quite low and I am going to have fight that. its the second anniversary of my ceasing to take SSRI's and on the whole its been quite an interesting ride, but I still cannot deal with the silences when I am alone with my thoughts.

Interestingly the speed of the cycle's between mania and a low are a lot more rapid these days and far less severe, so a feeling of total worthlessness might only last half a day, which is a help.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.....



Date Posted: 10th September 2006 at 09:48 pm

A Pleasant weekend interlude.

Starting a with a rather manic gig in on Friday Barnet, with a couple of guest Trumpet players. The audience was well tanked up by the end of it and it was a relief to get away at the end. The sound balance was not good either which always makes things a strain.
Mair (A Welsh Artist who met me and the band at the Worlds End and who has a very interesting website too, which is well worth a look) who is newish to the forum came along and said hello in the interval which was nice too.She is quite involved with the Beaumont society and has suggested that I pop along to something at some time. I am not to sure what they would make of me to be honest! I was a member many years ago and it was a helpfull place to start. Home at about 02:30

Saturday we were at Olivers Bar in Greenwich and it was a great night in every respect.Much more fun than Friday. Olivers is a very friendly place too though it is a very intimate venue. Everyone was in good spirits with quite a lot of laughing and jokeing going on amoungst the band.We also had Jenny Mac who will be singing with us occasionally in the future get up and do a number too. Home at about 02:30 again..

Had a lie in on Sunday,Phew.Then in the afternoon we did a half hour set at the Tavistock festival which took place just off Portabello Road, great fun and a very good reception too.A nice Sunny afternoon and just warm enough.There is something about September that always makes me feel good.I think because we went on our holidays then when I was a little one.
Chatted to a few of the audience afterwards.Then off to the pub for a swift half and home.

Next weekend We are having a break, which is good becasue I am getting a little knackered, and I need to do a bit of mental catch up. Also there are a few things on the home front that might need attention too.

Shattered but strangely relaxed

Date Posted: 5th September 2006 at 12:10 am - Comments (1)

Played a brill gig at the Princess Alexander in Crouch End on Friday. Fantastic reaction and the place was totaly packed by the end of the evening.Lots of new faces in the crowd too, and hopefully they will come again, I could do with a few nights like that.just a totaly amazing buzz.Very favorable comments afterwards about yours truly too thanks folks. Vamped it up slightly that night with a slightly less demure look. Don't think anyone got any pictures though.

Then Saturday down in Chobam surrey at a little country pub called the Castle Grove, again a very enthusiastic crowd so great fun to play. Got there quite early and chatted with the bar staff for a while.The last time I drove down to Chobam I got completly lost and went around in circles.
Some very nice feedback from a local pro muso who caught our second set was impressed.Its always good to hear positive stuff from a pro.

Spooky occurance of the day:

Jim our roady, the local muso we were chatting to and myself all share a birthday on January 18, perhaps I should start a club.

Back to work today and it was so rubbish, I was soooo bored.
I expect tommorow will be just as exciting too.

OMG its you...

Date Posted: 28th August 2006 at 12:09 pm

A couple of very good gigs this weekend with a very good crowd.
The Hornsey Tavern on Friday night, with a slightly larger band as we had Sax and Trumpet with us, too very good players Antonio and Sam.
Really lifted the whole thing to another level.

Well it finally happened, someone from the office came to our gig last night at the Salisbury in Green Lanes.Shes the PA to our Chief Excutive.After we had done the last number she came up to the stage and said she really enjoyed it, and she did not know that I played Violin as well as Keyboards.Ironically it took me a moment to recognise her because she has really big hair, but has it tied back.Then she said something else and the penny dropped. And I said
its you, and she said "yes of course it is", so she will be getting a CD or 2. the strange thing is that she is from west London and was out with boyfriend and they just happened to drop in by chance. She says she will definiately be coming to another gig. I think I was more suprised to see her than she was to see me. As far as I was aware she had no idea that I was tranny before last night, but she was totaly cool with it. She said that she realised it was me when Vicky did the introductions for the band.

One more to go at the Haven Bistro tonight then back to work tommorow.
Then Friday off we go again at the Princess Alexandra in Crouch End which is a venue we have not played before.

Scrotes assorted

Date Posted: 25th August 2006 at 06:49 pm

Some darling little scrote or scrotes plural stole one half of our PA. its costing an arm and a leg to get a replacement, so one is not very pleased at all. However the show must go on as they say.

Moving swiftly along

Date Posted: 22nd August 2006 at 11:28 pm

Well doing the usual stuff I guess, 3 gigs last week at Olivers Jazz Bar in Greenwich on the Friday, which is a new venue for us.Nice atmosphere but rather bijou as its in a cellar.Oliver is very nice and has a big moustache, this may have significance I have been told. Not a bad gig as the audience loved it but the band was suffering from TFL syndrome.( I will leave you to work that one out) plus there were a few fluffs.

Greenwich is always a difficult drive from my bit of London, so I need to find a sensible route may be via Birmingham?

Saturday during the day doing some web updates on the shelfs website, then off to the Salisbury at Green Lanes for the next gig, and on much better form too.Very good fun but a bit shattered afterwards.

Sunday
dropped the car off to get its MOT done.Chatted to a Client about doing a website for them. Then off to The Abbey in Kentish Town for a Trio gig.
A good vibe but a bit shattered, also we had a guest appearance from a local tradition folk player on mandoline on a couple of numbers.There should be some great pictures from that night as he was very beardy and Kilted with sporon too. How eclectic is that. Ms Vicky said that my legs had been commented on in a complimentary way, but I think they may have talking about the mandoline player whos legs were amazingly hairy.Some chat about violin playing and european influences.I did'nt have the heart to say that my fiddle playing is of course traditional battersea style.


I have been watching with interest as ever the transitioning threads and I see that a lot of girls are self-medicating.I can see why though if it was me I might be worried about the quality of the products that I was getting, but then we are all adults, and there is a lot of information out there.But I guess I would say to people get the best advice you can.A friend of mine who is no longer active at this forum is doing the same thing, but I think there may be tears before bedtime as their partner is not happy about it.

In many respects things are going well, but I feel that there are a few bridges to cross before arriving at the crossroads and having to make a choice. Some parts of my life have opened up amazingly and I am living quite a different lifestyle than I ever could have imagined. But I know that there may well be more.

Whats occuring then.

Date Posted: 11th August 2006 at 10:23 pm

Video, video on the wall ...

Well the video that Ralph shot in Brighton is excellent, and the band look realy good on it, plus the sound is great too.It should help us get some better gigs.It will look great on the Elephant Shelf website.What was very noticable is how well the band is playing now, the ensemble work is much better.It's very odd watching yourself on video, and you do become hyper-critical after a while.

Friday night at Joogleberrys

The gig last night was good, great sound and there should be some really good video too.It was a very energetic gig, lots of instrument swapping on my part.We did some newish numbers so that was a bit of a challenge but often the only way to get a new number right is to do it in live performance then eventually it will sink in. Every one seemed to be having a good time audiance and band included. The Joogleberry also has great food too so well worth a visit if you are down that way. Not quite as full as we would have hoped but there is a lot going on in Brighton this week so a huge amount of competion. I must get down to Brighton for a chill-out day some time soon.

Tuesday Night

Down in Brighton at the Joogleberry Theatre last night. doing a gig with trio.Really tired driving back last night though so having a very lazy day today.
We were on with Trudy Styles as part of her show, and it went really well.Fab reponse from the audience, and hopefully we will get a few folks along on Friday when Elephant Shelf play. It if it go's half as well as Tuedays gig it wil be brilliant.

Florence at "The Worlds End" but no Zebadee or Dylan the Rabb

Date Posted: 23rd July 2006 at 12:19 pm

Did a gig at the Worlds End Finsbury park last night.A fun night though way too hot for comfort and soaking with sweat by the end of it, so I suspect not looking quite so good close up.Everyone putting out loads on energy even though the bands combined age must be about 300 years old! Also met Florence from Roses who lives around the corner and had a chat to her.It's always nice to meet new people, especially those from the forum face to face.Thanks for the drink Florence,you will have to come to another gig so I can buy you one.Michele O'B on camera duty again,with her usual entourage at the bar.Plenty of Arsenal supporters in too,(I think its a sort of football team, but I am not really sure what that is)though it being so hot quite a few people sat outside on the Pavement where it was cooler, but we opened the doors up on the quieter numbers and a lot of people wandered in the catch the last set. Vicky was sporting possibly the shortest skirt I have seen on a non-working girl under over the age consent, but managed to carry it off.
Jessie was dressed in a rather demure floaty number which looked great too. I was in orange which matched my glowing face by the end I suspect.
Tonight the trio is off to play at Abbey in Kentish Town which is a nice little oub that has food and a suitably trendy camdenish clientel.

Hot weekend

Date Posted: 16th July 2006 at 10:10 am

Played at Viva Viva in Hornsey on Thursday as the Trio, it was quite well received, though it was wrongly billed.The Trio gigs can be a bit exausting as two hours of quite energetic violin playing is usually my part in it, where as with the band I get a nice sit down at the keyboard a lot of the time.We may work a second guitar part in on the acoustic gigs on one or two numbers to make a bit of a contrast. Then Friday night some thing a little bit different, Vicky Martin and I played at a book launch for Vivian Fogel a local poetess at Crouch End Library.Michele O'Brian in attendance and taking a few pictures.Not sure what all those litterary types though of us.I think a few were slightly bemused. A very different kind of gig and we may have picked up a little bit of interest there.Then off to the pub and home a bit earlier than usual.Rehearsing some new numbers by Jessie and Vicky yesterday then off to the pub, and a meal at the Italian restaurant. We sat outside for that as the weather was allowing it, and for a change it was a little cooler. Today I am doing a spot playing in Notting Hill at the Portobello Gold with the Trio again. Should be fun as its a very nice venue.

O'Neals Blackheath

Posted: 7th July 2006 at 05:18 pm

Did a south of the river gig with the Shelf last night at O'Neals in Blackheath.
Brilliant atmosphere and the crowd really up for it.Like other O'Neals its very lively and a mostly youngish crowd, and they loved it, which was nice.
Michele O'Brian taking lots of pictures it being her manor of course.
Sound not the best as a slightly odd shaped space, and also like other O'Neals it tends to be very noisy, so nothing to subtle, just up front go for it numbers. Dan was also a big hit on Didgeridoo may be it's the phallic aspect.The girls certainly seem to like Dan.How many bands do you know with 2 trannys and a 6' 6'' Antipodean playing a Didgeridoo? Thats got to be a USP(Unique Selling Point). Parking in Blackheath a bit rubish though, but managed to slip in around the corner.On the drive over had to go via Peckham and intrigued to see the Police checking cars for Guns, well its different from dogy tax discs I suppose.Traffic was a bit of a pain so I must find a better route for the next gig as its going to be a regular venue.

The Good the Good and the Ugly

Psychedelic Date Posted: 3rd July 2006 at 11:24 pm

A fun weekend with the band.On Friday played a wedding do at Lauderdale House, great fun. Quite amuzing as we had an improptue dance troupe of little ones, circling in front of the stage area with Jessie leading them like the Pied Piper at one point. Punters well pleased and everybody happy.
Next day down to Bracknell as the Trio to Play at the 'Big Day Out' which is a one day arts and music festival and we played in a mini Circus style tent.Was well received and we sold a few CD's too. Then a stroll around and chated to a couple of punters, if it had not been so hot I think I would have stayed a bit longer, but it was just too hot.
Sunday at home for most of the day and working on a new recording but it was just so hot.Then off to Camden to do a gig at the Fidlers Elbow.
Got there a bit early and Dan was already in the pub which was almost completely empty except one family. Not a good sign but eventually a few punters turned up though not a huge crowd, but very enthusiastic.Very hot and looking like *Bleep* at the end and glowing more than a little.
Landlord not impressed though. So won't be doing that one again.
Can't win em all.

Date Posted: 30th June 2006 at 04:42 pm

Got a day off, its boiling hot out, so went down to the Kings Road to look in the shops, only around the corner for me but way out of my price league except for John Lewis at Sloane Square but they don't have a sale on.
Its great that girls are getting taller these days to as it makes my size almost allways available, except the shoes which are 9s unless there sandals in which case its 8.

Also doing a lot of planning work to figure if I can make sufficient to live on with this muso stuff.Looks like I am going to have to learn a little basic accounting too.Spreadsheets fortunately hold fears for me Looks like long term I may be able to be a full time musician which means being full time in every other respect.
In the short time it means a lot more music in my life which is cool.
So maybe I am running away from the Civil Service to join the circus.Good I here you cry there a far too many clowns there already.
How this will affect the domestics I don't know yet.We will have to wait and see. My SO is not a party animal which makes things difficult if your in a band. She came to a recent gig and sat in the corner with a face like a slapped arse for 2 hours, so she is not going to get envolved. The Shelf is playing at a Weding tonight in Highgate so its posh frock on for that.It could do with being a little cooler by tonight though, but it stops me eating too much I guess.

Tomorrow our Trio 'The Cleavage of Death' are playing as part of the 'Big Day Out' which is in Bracknell at Southhill Park, should be great fun I think. Vicky was very excited as she's got a picture of her grinning manically in the brochure that she picked up in Smiths.How cool is that then.
Then Sunday night my first proper gig in camden as I missed last weeks one because the car was having a senior moment.
Then next week we do all again only more so...You might be suprised to know how little confidence I actually have, and although I love to play on a bad its a real struggle to get out there, but once comfortably esconced on a stage it's OK
I did hear the odd rumour that a lot of performers are cronically shy, well that will be me then, may be we are just looking for that little bit of approval.

I have now put a forum on www.elephantshelf.com so we can interact a with our followers, should be fun once we have a few people registered as at the moment we are useing email lists for a lot of stuff but forums are great as there instant of course.I need to do a few hacks to get it looking right but its written in php and I am ok with that, though I am the worlds slowest at actually writeing code, and hack other peopels about quite quickly.
If only our work place woulde go open source we could save £100000's but then I don't want them to because I want less work not more.
Cool theres a bit of a breeze starting up now so that should make tonight a litle bit more fun.Almost toenail painting time now so must dash.

Things look better in the morning

Date Posted: 24th June 2006 at 11:58 am

A good nights sleep seems to have helped a bit. Its sometimes nice to have time and space to think. Often when you have the kind of mood swings that I do its hard to explain to people and the easiest option is just to keep away from folks for a little while so that snapping, biteing or scratching is not an issue ! I think if I can change my work regime it will help because my life style is not really quite right though it may not help in the current situation at home. There is a certain level of denial from my partner about the way things are and where they are going.We had a crisis last year and separated and then got back together 6 months later but the world had changed a lot for me in that time. Things are not sorted out yet and seem to have returned to a similar situation than before I left,When you have to people who have long term mental problems living together it can get very difficult.
The problem occurs if one person is aware of there problems and seeks help and the other admits they have problems but when given profesisonal help and counselling will not engage with it, but then subsqently they complain that its has been of no help.
My SO is now on anti-depressents after finally agreeing to take them after many years, and this has reduced tension, but not helped with the other problems. As you can imagine this can cause more than a little stress.
After a few years respite from suffering from severe anxiety myself that particular problem has started to rear its head again, but I am starting to deal with it again.
It realy is not helpful when you are off to do a set somewhere as before the show can be pretty stressful at the bests of times anyway.I suspect I need some more councelling, maybe a top-up.
Anyway time to get the show on the road again I think.

Not that good a day

Date Posted: 24th June 2006 at 12:08 am -

My mood has gone right down to the bottom again. Lots of minor league agravation and something really annoying that I will mention here if its not resolved by the morrow.

Over under sideways down

Date Posted: 22nd June 2006 at 11:11 am

Ok then. I am about to put a proposal to work that I go part time so I would do 3 days a week. This would be perfect for me as I can then really ramp up the music activitys which I would love to do and possible also do some frelancing on the IT front too. They should go for it because it will save them money, which they need to do.I can get by on the lesser amount but it would mean a lot more time for all that band stuff. Also for fixing a few other things that are wrong in my life too. A lot has become clear to me in the last year or so and I am stoping blaiming over people for the weird shit that happens in my life.Yes sometimes stuff is over peoples faults, but when you ignore the signs and do nothing about whats happening then I guess its your own fault for doing nothing about ought.

Anyone here on myspace.com ?I have a website there and its been quite interesting to see who has contacted me, a lot of bands and musos which was the point of going there, but also a few guys of a certain age looking to make another kind of music together.Its kind of amusing really and flattering on the whole and I am sure that some of them would be very nice but I am only looking for musical action right now.

Boring tecky stuff.Finally got around to sorting out a new router so now when I use my other computer via its wirless link it stays on line.Any one still got a PC still runing windows 98 ? My old pc with all the music stuff on is win 98 and I just can't be bothered to upgrade.Before all you nerdy types start shouting linex at me, a lot of my software would not run on that platform but I agree its very good for a lot of other stuff. Also still got a steam powered laptop that cost me an arm and a leg and is virtually useless now, though it makes quite a good sampler and a drum machine.
Before I had an IT Job I was fascinated by programming, now I seem to have forgotten most of what I knew and I find it really boring, I supose everything go's in cycles, though I gave up going on cycles a couple of years back when I was still on anti-depressants as I had a slight tendancy to fall off.
So I got rid of the bike, though I do walk a bit now to compensate.
So how did we get from Myspace to bikes. Who knows, and who cares.
Finally got a very long and swishy white skirt to look suitably summerish in and so now the weather has mutiated back in to proper english weather as in a bit cloudy with the odd sunny bit.

Got my first outdoor gig at a street festival in Camden this weekend, so that will be different. We are doing an hour there and then doing another gig later in the evening. Details on the www.elephantshelf.com website as ever. Actually my car playe dup so I did'nt make in the end.Shame

I notice that quite a few pictures from my websites are turning up other peoples websites, now I could block that quite easily but its ok I have got the bandwidth to spare, so maybe its a form of flattery.I found one on a goth RG's site. Actually I am in the picture, it was taken about 3 or 4 years ago when I last went to Scarborough with Roses, and was taken by the very wonderfull Helen Bach (late of this forum) and now mostly a native New Yorker I think. I last saw Helen at one of our gigs just before Christmas with her partner Petra, but I have sort of lost touch since then.

Actually now with the band and work its difficult to keep up todate with people really.My Social circle is really mostly Elephant Shelf related now, and people I meet through the band.I am making a lot of new non-trans friends that way though, but its a shame I haven't been able to envolve a few of my other friends.There lives are still quite compartmentalised though, where as mine has not got the same defining boundarys. The next step would be the day job and its a thought thats in my mind.The time is not quite right yet though but in a year or so maybe.

Well one step at a time, I suppose.

That tingling feeling

Mood: Cool Date Posted: 16th June 2006 at 10:38 pm

Played the Lion Lounge with the new slightly smaller incarnation of Elephant Shelf.Turned in to a very good night, with the band sounding good and a quite a good crowd.There was a slight interuption to the procedings as there was mains voltage leaking to places its should not have been.This was hinted at by crackling noises like distant lighting bolts crackling interferance on an old transister radio. So after experinencing a slightly unnerving tingling feeling there was some frantic power lead swaping which fixed the problem, but it was an interesting moment. After that things went very well. So I was feeling in quite a good mood this morning at work for a change.
I am feeling a bit less stressed that I was, I am not sure if its just that I am resigned to the fact that things are somewhat out of my control and I should get a sense of perspective about everything.

Its sooo Hot

Date Posted: 11th June 2006 at 11:50 pm


Feeling slightly boiled today. Out last night playing at Hornsey Tavern, a fair night but so hot it was hard to keep the energy up and one really glows big time. Today over to Vickys to get her computer back to health.Seems to have worked Ok.
Got a great a pair of red wedge shoes that V had got that did not fit and just like Cinders they fit me fine.Wondered how well they would go down at work.Not yet tiger. Well pleased.Played with the trio at Viva Viva in the evening, not that good a vibe though.Then another quick drink in the Hornsey Tavern and home.Could do with it being a bit cooler but the make up is keeping together just about.

Blimey people actualy read this stuff


Mood: Curmudgeon Date Posted: 10th June 2006 at 01:30 am


I do get a certain pleasure from posting my trivia here, and its sort of useful at times.The weird summer cold seems to be retreating after a truly epic battle lasting about 3 weeks, but I still feel very tired. Last night went down to watch Jimmy C and the Blues Dragons (no not what your thinking ! ) and sat in on the second set along with madam V and her ever complaining amp which started playing up again,bless it.Its never been the same since it was dropped on its head, in much the same way as I was at about 9 months old.
Never did me any harm though I do have a flat head.I think in the late 50's it was some quick test for the long term viabilty of offspring or something in a similar vain to tin baths and outside loos which I suspect they still have in uncouth regions beyond the northern arc of the M25.

It has crossed my mind a few times recently that it might be time to capitalise on the bricks and morter (well re-enforced concreate and breaze blocks actually) and swan off to cheaper climbs possibly somewhere in the aformentioned uncouth regions,rather than over the rainbow though it would mean waving "So long" to a few things. I am reliably informed that there is life in other regions of England and I do have some evidence to support this but.
Apparently theres even music...

Today in the office I felt totaly alien, more and more I feel like I am just passing through. The people there are very nice, and I would miss some of them, but I don't socialise much with them mostly because I am too tight to buy any drinks of course.There is one totaly stunning girl that works there whos all of 25 I should think and it always lifts my day to speak to her and makes me forget how crusty and ancient I am for just a few moments.

Perhaps there is no escape.

Wind of change
Date Posted: 7th June 2006 at 10:47 pm
Not sure why but I have a strong urge to vanish off the raydar for a while.
I am tired, my perspective on life is getting quite distorted and every thing feels like a role-playing game.





Now what do you want if ..

Mood: Twisted Date Posted: Yesterday at 12:54 am

Still feeling rough and got a cough, went back to work today and its still rubbish. I really wish I could just walk away and leave it all behind.
I don't hav eany where else to go though so thats not really an answer. I am not really that good at anything and I always feel so tired these days. I am feeling depressed again, the attraction of going to bed an staying there is getting stronger all the time.

I need a break from the work environment, but if I take anytime off at all everything just gets worse and the pile of crap gets bigger and bigger.
There is nothing worse than never being able to complete anything and thats the situation that I find myself in. Today I have only been swearing under my breath, but I am sure I could escalate this by the end of the week to a full on stream of profanities, though that sounds as though it might require a lot of energy to do.

My dreams are getting a bit tattered around the edges too and my capacity for hope has diminished.Its terribly difficult when one is surrounded by frightfully enthusiastic types and having to nod in agreement and say yes it will be wonderfull later, but there is a huge gap in my life and something is missing.I also feel as if I am invisible and as though I don't exist, its a very weird feeling and I have had it before but not for many years though.

That irrepressible Jumbo that is the Shelf continues to thunder across the plains to the watering holes of North East London.Its all starting to be come a bit of a blur now though. We had gigs on Saturday at the Salisbury with a couple of Roses girls along too in Green lanes and at Maddens in Finchley on Sunday which went well enough.Then we had a rehersal on the Monday, which is a rare phenomina now.We are a proper band now as we have a rusty Ford Transit too to cart our stuff about in.It has somewhat excentric doorlocks, but I am sure we will come to grips these eventually. Jim our roadie use his archaine knowledge to gain entrance to the vehicle which mysteriously seems capable of locking its self when left unattended, a truly remarkable charactaristic, and it still proudly displays a helradic device with the following motto "No tools left in the van overnight".

I put a couple more tracks on my soundclick music site tonight, so I continue to insinuate myself across the internet in my attempt at world domination.If thats alright with you of course.

193 Human nature, what is it ?

Date Posted: 26th May 2006 at 12:55 pm

I watched the news on tele last night and saw the extraordinary video of the murder of 20 year old Daniel Pollen in a car park. A completely motiveless crime with no provocation. Of course the law states that is not murder as it was not pre-meditated.It just completely does my head in.Why would any wish to do such a thing, what goes on in other peoples heads...
I can understand anger, I can understand rage I know what those things are.Maybe I could get my head around it if there was a arguement that escalated in to a fight though it would still have been just as tragic.
It is at these times that I am reminded that perhaps old MaggieThatcher was right with her famous quote "There is no such thing as society" as there can have been no sense in which the perpertraitors of this attack could have felt any sense of obligation to social norms or there fellow human beings in general.Are we now so isolated as individuals that we feel no moral obligations to our peers ?

192 Still feeling very wierd

Mood: Psychedelic Date Posted: 25th May 2006 at 10:13 pm

Not quite recovered from this Fluey type thing, still very dizzy, and acheing in some very strange places.Was supposed to be out tonight at the Lion Lounge doing an acoustic night. Will be the first gig that I have missed in 2 years, so perhaps not too bad a record.I rang work and things are sort of OK, so I think they will survive.
I could just about sleep for a week though, so thank goodness its the bank holiday so maybe I will be functional by the end of it all.Trouble is when I get back we are straight in to the audit again.Ho Hum.


191 Is it time to look for a new job
Date Posted: 24th May 2006 at 06:59 pm
But seriously, may be it is time to think about doing something different, like road sweeping maybe, or bespoke earwax removal while you wait, or perhaps a "Dial a insult" service or maybe something really exciting like stacking boxes. Did'nt go to work today as this cold/Flue type thing got really bad yesterday, temperature went right up acheing all over, and had a very uncomfortable night but I am feeling a bit better today, though still coughing rather a lot.
Rang up HR to tell them I would not be in, and was asked what is wrong with you "where would you like to start " I said "I am irritable, slightly paranoid someone is danceing very badly just above the bridge of my nose in hiking boots,and rivers of snot are streaming from my bodily orifices, and I think that this may reduce my effectiveness".
HR person "Yes, but whats wrong with you"... No only joking but I was taken aback to be expected to list symptoms.perhaps I should have gone in to more explicit graphic detail.had some very lurid dreams last night too.
I shall continue my free-form trapeze act with out the safety net of a spell checker.
Don't you just love the internet, "Nation shall speak drivel unto nation" or in my case snot.


190 Two flat tyres

Date Posted: 22nd May 2006 at 08:03 pm

Got off the bus and walked past my car, noticed it had got 2 flat tyres both on the same side.Very odd as I check my tyre pressure regularly in fact about 3 days before so it looks like some little *bleep*s having a go. Not very pleased at all.

189 Hi Ho Hi Ho ifs off to the Anual Lecture we go

Date Posted: 22nd May 2006 at 08:39 am

Got the annual lecture today in a big hotel not a million miles from westminister, and being a goverrnment department we have have got the jolly old Home sec popping down for a chat and to tell us what he expects we are doing about thoose criminal types.(No I don't work in
Imigration and Nationalty).I shall try not to cough and sneaze too loudly though. I can't stand these sort of do's but luckily they only occur about once a year, so I wil be strangly attired in my bloky suite which comes out once a year on average, with only my IT person pony tail to indicate who I am.
Its still quite odd working as a bloke when I now live most of live the predominant prt of life looking mostly like a girly as Ms Tall might phrase it.
Just time for a quick tinkle on the piano before I go though.

Maybe I will write a song about:
"Beechams Flu Plus, cause its just such wonderfull stuff, I can ever get enough.
Whoo, overdose..."

In E flat based on on of the II V I harmonic sequences, a light swing ballard perhaps.

OMG I am rambling nurse the screens...

188 Sore Throat

Date Posted: 22nd May 2006 at 12:57 am

Got a really annoying sore throat now. Did a Shelf gig last night at O'Neals in Woking with a very young crowd, they all seemed to be having a jolly good time, it's always nice to have a really a appreciative crowd. Noticed when we finished that the local constabulary was much in evidence on the streets.Every one good natured and enjoying themselves though and a real plus point doors at the stage end so did not have to do the excuse me dance loading up to go home.Heard a rumour that it might get a bit lively and it was in a good way, people up and dancing after the first number.

To bed at 03:00 as usual, but got a Sunday off as it's my wedding aniversary today, 19 years and still married ish.

First rule of trannying, tell your partner sooner rather than later, its only taken mine about 17 years to forgive me for this...

187 Slighty more with it today

Date Posted: 20th May 2006 at 11:41 am

Out last night with the band at the "Bordello", attendence is still dire though.The venue is nice but its just not getting the punters so maybe we should go bi-monthly and see how that works out.

An unexpected suprise though as we went across the road during the break to see a band in the basement of the restaurant opposite who turned out to be John Ethridge (Jazz & Rock player thats done just about everything) & Deardry Cartwright (she did Rock School for the BBC a few years back) and a rather good drummer and a women on bass that looked very familiar too.
They did a couple of jazz standards, "Love for sale" and "Insensitive", but we could only stay for about 20 minutes as we had to go back over the road to play our second set, though we were somewhat reluctant to leave.Our Bass played Robby has played with John Etheridge deep in the mists of time.It was great and I think it gave us a bit of a lift when we got back on to play.

Peeing down when I went to load up the car to go home, and the doorman from a nearbye club started chating me up. I think he must have left his contact lenses at home! But quite amusing, still don't really know how to handle that sort of thing though.

186Very tired still and having the usual problem
Date Posted: 19th May 2006 at 12:26 pm - Comments (1)
Not doing particulary well this week, just very tired and irritable all the time.
I am feeling depressed in the usual sense and I am finding everything a strain. It really shows that depression is not anything too do with wants or desires as in some senses I have got everything I really need, and theres nothing that I crave that would make me happy except may be one thing?
I still don't have the confidence I need, I have a lot more than I used to but just not enough to get it really right.

The whole band thing is just getting very tiring now. I enjoy playing but fitting in in with the day job is totaly sapping my energy at the moment.
We have played 65 gigs this year so far, which is a decidedly non-trival amount so I think I have a little bit of an excuse to nackered.
I was watching the last video we had done of our brighton gig last week and its very good, the playing is good and the sound quality on the video is excellent too. Still can't really manage to keep smileing though, but as I am not centre stage maybe thats not too much of a problem.
Interesting watching your performance after the event because your perception of how well it went and how you were playing is related very much to mood and I did not think it sounded that good at the time but watching the video I was pleasantly suprised to find the performance was quite good..

My wig is getting nackered too, so I must do something about that urgently too, I have seen a couple of styles I like so I just need to spend that money I guess !

Doing a Bordello gig tonight and Nick our Sax players band 'Balalouda' is doing a set at 10:30 which I am looking forward too, as its latin music which I really like though I don't know too much about, they will be rushing in hot foot from doing a set at another venue too so lets hope that they can pull it off OK.

I am currently working from home doing so I am typing with bothe hands one on Roses and the other on a word document

185 Joogleberrys again

Date Posted: 14th May 2006 at 11:04 am
Down to Brighton to play the Joogleberry Playhouse, not a bad evening though not as full the last gig we had there.A very good audience though.Home at 03:40 and totaly shattered.
Jessica Green came along so had a brief chat in the interval about music and


The sun is shineing and the wheels are just about still on the Bus

Date Posted: 12th May 2006 at 09:50 am

Just starting to do some catch up work for my audit, which is going to involve creating some documentation for the caseworking systems I have built for work.With luck once I have documented these they will fire me then I might actually get on with the rest of my life So here I am wasting a couple of minutes with the journal again.Its more comfortable working at home but its difficult to motivate myself. Still time to plunge in.

83Another Friday and Sturday night down the pub then

Date Posted: 7th May 2006 at 12:20 pm

Gig on Friday at "The Old Diary", not bad quite a few happy punters but a slightly low key vibe.Ms Vickys amp deceided to thow a wobbly but other wise OK.Then Saturday back at "Hornsey Tavern", again not a bad night though somewhat low key too.Perhaps not helped by it being a wet night.Also managed to catch the whole of Dr Who before I went out, I really like the new episodes, great stuff.Usually I miss then as I am on my way to a gig. Not as packed at the Hornsey as last time we were there though. We had a deping Sax player called Antonio who plays with Jimmy C's band , and he seemed to enjoy it a lot and was quite complementary which is always nice.Every one that plays with the band seems to pick up on the family feel it has. He also plays violin and was quite intrigued as to how I got my Electric Violin sound.I was tempted to say in my case brute force and ignorance !
I have acctually felt very mellow this weekend for a change, not sure why maybe its the coming of spring thats given me just a little lift laterly. I feel a strong erge to get a few new outfits sorted out as figureing out a suitable sartorial combination is getting a bit difficult theses days whilst trying to ring the changes sufficiantly too.
Should be a fun week coming up too as we have got the auditors in on Wednesday, and its not the most fun part of my job on the whole.Whoopee.
Need to get a couple of subsitute wigs too, as the main one I have is looking good but not fairing quite as well as I had hoped, so must get that done fairly soon.



182 Strange evening in the pub

Date Posted: Yesterday at 02:50 pm

Went to the Lion Lounge last night to Watch Delta Tom play, a very slow night and not many people in. A youngish girl who said she was 18, (makes you wonder for a start) deceided that as the lone lone tranny in the pub she would get to know me, she said "Your very shy", which I think is a true statement.She then said we should go on on shopping trips, do the sites I should come for a meal,and just about every possible activity that you could mention.This was quite flattering to start with and I tried in my slight more than half asleep way to pay attention.She then told me everyone hated her, which I thought I was a bit extreme,and then told me I should'nt be affraid to "live my life" so I gently explained that on the whole I was and enjoying it my fashion but she seemd to have got it in to her head that I was a repressed minority.I explaned that it was my night off from the band, but that I did have a fair few things going on, which included the odd few gigs to play so I was not exactly closeted.I susgested at this point that perhaps she should coem and see the band, though I doubt if it would have been her thing, as she asked me if I was in to Kylie.At which I point I laughed as its one of the statements that could be taken many ways as I am sure could its subject :evilsmile
Most of Elephant Shelf apart from our Leader Ms Vicky were in the pub on an off duty night chilling out. I moved to a different seat and she followed, she wanted to swap phone numbers and email address and so forth but by this point I was getting a little worried as her behaviour was getting louder and more excitable.She told Terry our drummer that his socks were horrible and his shoes I think, which is an opinion rather than a fact, he grinned and smiled back. She then deceided that "Delta Tom" was not really what she wanted to hear and started moaning about the music. She then repeated for about the 20th time "Live your life", to which I feeably responded "Yes I am actually" which almost sounds Berty Woosterish. She was insisting that I must leave with her I declined 3 times and she went off in a bit of a huff.
I was quite freaked out and said to Jim our roady I think I have got my first stalker.
I could not tell from her behaviour if she just was lonely, Drunk, high on something or all of these, but it really disturbed me for some reason that I can't put my finger on.Maybe she is some one that is vunerable or at risk. Even worse going to work this morning I saw her double just around the corner from my office..

181 Back to the grindstone then

Date Posted: 3rd May 2006 at 10:40 pm - Comments (0)

Went to the office:unfortunately it was still there, loads of people off sick, with all sorts of horrors.Not too busy a day as in not too many interuptions for a change so I was actually able to get on with something.Suspect that tommorow wil not go quite so smoothly. Also need to go to the post office today and the queue took 22 minutes to get to the window.Ouch.Discussed how the band was doing with work collegues and realised I was talking my self in to a corner as I try not too disclose to much about it for fear of having to explain the whole deal.I figure if anyone really wants to find out they only have to do a WHOIS search on the internet and follow a few links between websites.Told interested party I would bring them a Cd: track listing but no band name or cover.. Explained that if ever really breaks big then it might make the day job a bit awkward as I am fairly invisible in teh work environment being the geeky/nerdy one, that occasional launchs forth from my office muttering strange and incomprehensible oaths.I have told people in the work environment but all bar one have now left.

180 Haven a good time in Whetstone

Date Posted: 2nd May 2006 at 01:04 pm - Comments (0)

Smashing gig at a restaurant called the Haven last night.A special mayday party night.Sold out.Actually I really like the sound of that so I will say it again.Sold Out.Oh that feels good.Steady on now old thing don't get too excited....
120 happy punters and really nice food too, could do with a few more like that I must admit.
Slight panic on the sound check when a horrendous hum arose from the depths of roadie hell, but after some tradition Elephant Shelf curses and hair pulling and a head scratching dance and sending Jim the Roadie on a wild goose chase it was banished.
Every one on good form too and the restauranter Julius over the moon with our performance too.
Home at about 02:00.

A chill out day today then back to the day job tommorow, who knows what horrors lurk in that darkness that is our liitle outpost of the Civil Service, crap and more crap one suspects...

179 Sunday night at The Abbey

Date Posted: 1st May 2006 at 11:58 am - Comments (0)

It was alright, much better fun that I expected, Vicky seems to have recovered from that bruised foot and even spoke the chap that did the stage dive who was in attendance last night and is actually a big fan of ours.Denied to Vickythat he was actually a hit man hired by me in a badly judged take over bid ! Must hire a professional next time, costs more but I think you get results. :evilsmile Much fun and a good evening on the whole.Actually managed to sell a couple of cds too,admitedly to my fan club members though so I suspect this dos'nt really count :classic: A couple of girls were very dissapointed that desperate Dan Foster (Kiwi Blues Harp Player) was not in attendeance as it was the Trio that night, but they are going to see the whole band on there home turf at the "The Old Diary" next week. Figuring out what to wear when you have a run of gigs is quite difficult too.SO was slightly disparaging about my first choice of outfits and too be fair it did'nt work so did a quick change to soemthing that hopefully did.Ralphy in attendence with that Video camera again too, he has filmed 27 gigs, so there is a bit of editing work to be done I feel. Pie was as ever stunning:gorgeous: still at least it stops the audience looking at us.....

178 Hello Journal nice to have you back

Date Posted: 30th April 2006 at 12:24 pm - Comments (0)

Heres a brief catch-up: Lots of gigs all fairly good responses from the crowd and I have also now got one of my songs "Just another someone" in to the Shelfs repertoire and its great fun to play and quite good fun to be centre stage for a while. There are some potentaily very good gigs in the pipe line too. I am now looking at getting some material pressed for release and maybe attempting to sell it at gig's via Jim our roady who walks the floor with his quaint London cry of "Only a fiver" or something similar.We have even been doing the odd sortie in to Notting Hill which seems to have been favorably received too. I did a spot with the Trio at yesterday at Ten West which is sort of like a retro feel 60's bar, a sort of combination of Austin Powers set, Night Club, (except it's a bar) and lots of red everywhere.Chatted to very nice lady violinist who I have seen before that will play with us at some point when we are in the bad lands out west again, she enjoyed our set and was quite complementary about my playing.Blush Blush. Also in attendance was Michelle O'Brian of course, with out whom no event is complete, and the sun was shineing too.Then on in the evening to play Maddens in Finchley, a very good crowd though slighty over enthusiastic.One very drunk individual fell over the monitor and and Vicky ended up with a bruised foot.That aside it was a fairly good gig. Darcy was in attendance with the SO and friends so said hello briefly. Home to bed at 04:00 AM
Off to do another Trio thing at the Abbey in Kentish Town tonight.

 

Down at the crossroads 10th February 2006 - 09:59 AM

A lot has happening in the last year or so which has lead me seriously think about what I want to do with my remaining ones.When my farther died a few years ago at the age of 63 having retired early, it turned out he had cancer(Lung Prostate and other places) which he was not aware of, he got a slight back ache and within 6 weeks of leaving work he was dead.

Theres a lot of hot air being spouted in relation to my life at the moment and I would really like to say that I am as enthused as everyone else around me with the band, but I have some serious misgivings in relation to how much of a career it could be for me in the long term. I am not some on to make decesisions in too much of a hurry( insert correct spelling because I can never get that word spelt right) but if the band takes off then what ?

I am 49 and maybe the band might have a couple of good years, but the prospect of having to try and find a job in my mid 50's is not an appealing one. I also have a large body of recorded works and compositions which I do not wish to consign to the dustbin of fate.I think of myself as composer/musician and what I need to do is continue to write, I need to express myself that way.I have a lot to say. Maybe it's Time to go back to the drawing board.



[Entry #167]

In recovery ish 9th February 2006 - 02:05 PM

A bit rubbish but manageing

Rather tired today, spent the morning re-mastering a cd of stuff I released in 1997, it was on sale on the web, but only did about 200 or so copys, and most of may availble on down load in other places I think.The album was put togther just before my first proper mental breakdown, which happened in late 98 I think. Lyrically its quite interesting I think listening to it again.So I will put it Sounclick and see if it gets any reaction there. One of the companys that sold it has disappeared in to the web vortex never to be seen again, so I though I would check it out again. Interesting to hear what I was writing in the 90's and it stands up quite well I think.I just got an enquiry about recently to soo I have made a few copys.I might risk giving a copy to a couple of the folks in the band just to see what they think. I can't find the artwork though, as I think it's been lost in the mists of time.Interestingly it was also the last thing I recorded on analogue tape until the Elephant shelf sessions we have just done in the last 2 days.
I think I am going to put it on sale as a digital download though, and see how it works.
Not very quiet at the flat as they have the builders in next door doing central heating works so loads of banging and sawing and so on. Still they should be knocking off soon I suspect.Or not !
Got a gig tonight but only 1 hour at The Lion Lounge, on at 10:45, then tommorow Friday at the Victoria in Highgate at 08:30 which is one of my favorites as a more intimate gig, then Saturday we are at the Salisbury which is a very big pub in Green Lanes(also has a good selection of food too, starting at 10:00, and we will be getting Ralphy to video that for us as its a very good venue visually, so should be fun.
No phone calls from work which could be very good or very bad depending on how you look at it.
Remember patience is a virtue but its also a name.

[Entry #166]

Day 2 in the studio 8th February 2006 - 11:03 PM
Went very well, we have managed to get 5 tunes recorded, which is pretty good going really. So all in all a very good experience. By the end of the second day it is very difficult to tell what you are hearing as the ears get tired.Went in to a very nice pub called the Mucky Pup to eat, very Islingtonish I suppose but rather nice.

[Entry #165]

First day in't Studio 8th February 2006 - 12:00 PM


Well, a very positive day once we got going, managed to put down 4 numbers, may be able to do another one today if lucky.
I think Vicky and I may have been their first Trannys in that studio thoughs it very near to Camden so perhaps not. Its quite a job recording an 8 peice band though but Kelly, who is runing the sessions got some very good results, though we will not here any finsihed mix'es for a while.
Basically the band is playing live in the studio, and there will only be a couple of overdubs from our sax player, the idea to catch the energy of the shelf in full flo.Its dificult though with out the audience being there and the extra adrenaline that kicks off. But one track was a perfect first take, which was amazing. Can't get over the way the band is playing now, we have really come along way, though there is always a long way to go.
We are recording on 24 track analog tape, then transfering to pro-tools on a Mac, so hopefully we will get that warm sound.The shelf have a lot of numbers that run for about 7 min's, and the multi track tapes run for 15, so theres been a lot of transfering. Kelly is pleased with the session so far, which is great,and is very sympathetic to the music.Kelly also getting the sort of warm vocal sound that has previously elluded me when I have recorded our singer Jessie Pie, so I must ask him what the secret is.


[Entry #164]

Exotic promise 7th February 2006 - 12:44 AM


Well the rumour mill is flying around very fast now, and maybe there is a change in the air.At the moment anything seems possible, but maybe, just maybe its the perfumed scent of pigs in formation defying gravity again.
A Great weekend and it ended on quite a positive note, but there was a bit of domestic friction.Which continued unhelpfully as I was trying to go to work.I managed to get through the day with out any road blocks, but I am finding the day job boring, the irony is that I have got a strangle hold on it in some senses,which has been the result of under-investment which means that if I leave or my collegue or both us leave together, and there have been a few times when I have just though enough is enough.
maybe I am just beginiing to feel a little old, hope is springing eternal all around but I would'nt know a good thing if I fell over it at the moment.
It feels as if there is a bannana skin around every corner, and just maybe there is.
Tommorow God willing the Shelf will be going into studio's in Islington to start recording tracks, so I am touching lots of wood. I need to get myself in to a positive state of mind for it really, still it will be fun letting some one else work the faders for a change. I wonder if they have got a canteen ?
Veggie food, well theres loads in in that area so should be alright. A bit worried that the sessions are so long 10 hours on day one and 8 the next.
As we are a band that plays everything live, it seems a bit much, could be a lot of sitting around I suspect too.Actually thats OK they can wake me up when something is happening I supose. Maybe I can wander in dreams.

Work what is it good for ? 1st February 2006 - 09:05 AM

I am just so bored with the day job right now.Well perhaps bored is the wrong word, but at the moment there seems to be a constant round of change for changes sake, so everything is constantly behind.
Add to that the usual inabilty of senior managers to realise that it is not always possible to get results in the kind of time scales that they are suggesting which are often quite laughable as they have no idea of the complexity of the logic required when you are writing the code and the fact that there are only two of us in the team.Its just getting very silly really.
I am not going to worry about it, but if I get really pissed off I will vote with my feet I think. In the last year I don't think I have had a complete week off, except on one occasion when I was still getting calls from work.

Can't think of one 30th January 2006 - 12:44 AM

Played a cracking gig at Maddens East Finchley On Saturday night.Very busy in the pub and one of the punters got the band Champers too. A late finish too at about 01:50, but I hardly noticed we had been playing that long.
Lots of happy punters including one who came and asked a few questions and I mentioned that I had a day job and was a civil servant, which amused him greatly I think.Quite a few folks came some distance to the venue too.
It looks like this could be one of a our regular venues too.
An evening like that gets you on quite a high though.

Another boring Journal entry 27th January 2006 - 08:39 PM

Out last night at the Lion Lounge doing a Shelf gig.The Lion lounge is a replacement for the mighty Queens Head in Crouch end which was an Elephant Shelf regular venue and also where Gloria made her TG live on stage debut.The Queens has been turned in to a gastro pub, and the regulars have been missing there fix of live music, but the Lion is now being promote as the new venue by Shelf Life Productions, (I am sure you can figure out who that is) and will feature a lot of the bands that use to play at the Queens.
We will be there about once a month if it takes off.
Its a nice venue comfortable and although it has not got a stage like the Queens, its comfortable and is now TG friendly by the royal assent of Queen Victoria and Princess Di Booths around the side, pool table, it also serves food which looks quite good though I can never eat at a gig, some of the band were eating there, and came back on stage having consumed some thing nice.
Slight mishap as I forgot to change the battery in my electric violin and it went silent half way through a number.Whoops
So in bed by 02:00 and back in the office at 10:00 today.

[Entry #159]

Busy or what 24th January 2006 - 12:20 AM

Well out at the Bordello Club on Friday, went quite well a few familiar faces there too, back at the Worlds End on Saturday to a very good reception too, and then a trio gig at Blush in Stoke Newington to finish.
So a bit shattered by the end of the weekend. I do wonder what the Lesbian crowd make of us, they certainly are quite demonstrative, and a very good audience, and some very attractive women there

I am thinking about how practicle it would be to work part-time, as the band is progessing with leaps and bounds, and it might not be a bad way to a make a living. I am by nature quite cautious and I need a reasonable safety net, but I could perhaps fill in with a bit of IT freelancing maybe.
Ok the though of not having to get up to early on winter mornings is also quite appealing. I am still not too sure of my own abilltys though, and another thing that is quite appealing would be just to spend time improving my musical knowledge. I am not too good at sight reading music, but I do have a fairly good ear and can often busk most things, but it would be nice to have the time to improve at it. I am mildly dyslexic, and I suspect this is connected with my difficulty with sight reading.Its something I am working on though.

 

When the music stops 17th January 2006 - 12:59 AM


A Pleasant weekend, An excellent gig with the "Shelf" at "After office hours" in Barnet on Saturday night with a very enthusiastic crowd indeed, and also a very young young crowd,mostly mid 20's and all loveing it.Very late finish though so not in bed till 03:00, and very sore fingers. My nails are going a bit flakey apart from my brain. The piano bashing is a killer on the thumb and little fingers.And my back was grumbling a bit too.The gig did get very loud though, I think in part due to the accoustic's of the place, so we shall have to watch that.

Then on Sunday night out with the "Jesse pies cleavage of death", at Maddens in Finchly doing the caberet style show.Jesse was on top form, and there was a good crowd too. Miss Michelle O'Brian was also in attendance on both occasions snapping away like the blazes, so hopeful some good pictures will come out of that.She was also most complementary about my new hair do. The odd thing about this performing game is the day job really can be a grind and the 2 halfs of my existance are getting to be so far divorced from each other that it reallys is like living two entirley seperate lives.

After a really good night its quite hard to come down, but the buzz gets you through the monday morning blues. Not too bad a day in the real office either I have have to say, as one particular issue I had been worrying about seems to be turning out nicely as they say.
But once the music stops then though I am fighting it the darkness starts to creep up on me, especially at this time of year.I am still looking for an answer, but I don't know the right question to ask yet.


[Entry #157]

The pub tranny report 13th January 2006 - 11:30 PM

Well we are finally in to the new year, my new wig seems to have been quite well accepted, and I was quite pleased to see it did not look to bad in a photo of me playing the violin, as the hair moves quite well, and even allows me to show my ears, so maybe I should get them pearced ? Doubt if I will get around to it though.I was thinking of getting laser treatment too this year, maybe I should have its getting to be more and more of a hassle to shave, and I would love to use less foundation.I will have to save a few more pennies for that though, maybe this is the year to do it.I often have to get ready to go out in quite a rush after I come home from work, particularly if I am out with the band, it can be rather frantic, having to jump in the car, get to where ever it is, and get the gear set up.Its great fun but it require's a fair amount of effort.

One thing that I do notice is that there seems to be a rather antagonistic air on the forum, and that seems to have worsened recently.I do visit Rose's a lot, but don't post much because often it seems that others have already said what I would have posted anyway.


[Entry #156]

First gig of 2006 10th January 2006 - 12:14 AM
Not to bad a weekend. First gig of 2006 last Saturday, and very well received too.A very good crowd by the end of the evening and the band was on good form too. Nice to see Broxie & Jenifer & daughter too.Broxie having quite a good dance at the end. They had a meal at the Victoria as it has quite good food.Its been a really good venue for us so far. Just for a change I after the gig I was not totally exausted as the Christmas break has done me some good and I am functioning a little better. On Saturday a bit of a recording session, with variable results. Then Home and collapse in a heap...
Interesting watching the debate on the pros and cons of TX I have been about 4 times to TX and its been Ok, though the clubing scene is just not me.
Its nice to talk to people, but I am rubbish at small talk. I would rather go out with a few friends to a restaurant or perhaps to see a band somewhere.
Actually thinking about it that is exactly what I do, though most of my socialising is done with the band now.I would drop in at TX, as it would be nice to spot a few faces that I might recognise from the forum if we had not got a gig but I can't remember the last Saturday when we did'nt have one, it must be months back.



[Entry #155]

Back to the Farm [0 comments] 3rd January 2006 - 10:56 PM
Its still very quiet in the office, and the full onslaught has not hit yet.
My side kick has got flu so its likely I shall be on my own for a little longer yet. Plenty to do, but very little urge to actually do it.
Waded through usual pile of emails, most of which were not that important, but you still have to read them just in case.
In a quiet moment logged on to Rose's for light relief only instead to hear of April Angels very sad loss.Your whole life can just turn upsidedown in a moment and yo never know what you have got untill its gone I suppose.So felt very subdued by the time I left work tonight.
Mixed down a new instrumental tune I am working on, that has turned out a little better than I expected.Then added a bit of video of me at a Shelf rehersal to the website. I am going to have a beer and think about going to bed...



[Entry #153]

New years eve at the Turkish 1st January 2006 - 02:54 PM

Went for a NYE meal at the Meze bar in Southgate, with Vicky M and friends.7 of us in all and a very pleasant way to usher in the New Year. There was a Belly Dancer who did quite a good turn, Vicky suggested that we might get Jessie pie to do a bit of that as she has a suitable song "Vicious Venus" which is kind of ethnic and minor key modal, sort of up Shakira street but much more so, can't wait to see that one if Ms V can get her to do it. Also so present was Ronnie from the "Lucky Exchange" shop in southgate.She has some great designer stuff some of which has managed to come my way.At the moment a her shop is a well keep secret but once the word is out,so all you trannys don't you dare go there or you just might have to buy up the entire contents of the shop.Ms Vicky has got a lot of very good schmutter there. Much muzeing over what has been a very eventfull year and the 2006 is likely to be quite a ride too I suspect. I was sporting a recently aquired new syrup which was favorably received I think.Got from a wig place in Blackpool that was recomended by some one on Roses, got the order though in about 4 days great service, so I think I will stick a link on the website when I remember where I got it from. Mireille who has been videoing the Shelf in locations various was also there, though sans video camera on this occasion.


[Entry #152]

Angel eyes blues 30th December 2005 - 02:46 PM


Went along to do a spot at the Angel with Vicky & Jesse AKA "The cleavage of death", expected that it would be quite empty but no it was heaving with people, a couple really good acts mostly comic's, including one really funny girl who did a skit on the whole female rapper thing and also sending up the whole get on telly and get slaughtered by Simon Cowell because you want to be a Star, with the accent on sarf London. Good fun and not too hard work as we only have to play a few minutes, did the opening spot and then 4 numbers at the end to a very warm reception.
The comedian hosting the show was not that funny and more than a little up themselves though they are known on the scene.Seems to be a bit of a thing with stand-up, maybe you have to be a little self important to do it ? Interestly there seems to be a divide in the sense that the women kind of invite you share their worldview and you enter in to a conspiracy with them against the absurdity life in general.



[Entry #152]

Going to work today ] 29th December 2005 - 07:43 AM
Can't be bothered

Back to work today, its too cold, but the good thing is they have started work on repairing Battersea Bridge now so with luck in a few weeks the traffic should have got back to normal and my journey home will have got a little bit quicker, Hurrah ! Out tonight at the Angel in Highgate assuming that the roads are OK. I know there are some people that do mornings like farmers and milkpersons and the like but it so not me.

[Entry #151]

Christmas looms 24th December 2005 - 12:38 PM

Well its nearly the 25th, I am not a big fan of Crimbo but I know other folks enjoy it. Out tonight at the "Worlds End" struting the funky stuff with the Shelf and its a party night(actually every night with the shelf is a party night) but don't tell anyone or we will have loads of trannys turning up....
Yes its Pimps and Tarts night, so there will be many aspiring Bell d'jours in attendance no doubt. I shall my regulation Red outfit tonight on tonight, which is actaully getting a bit loose on me now, as I have lost a bit of weight
as you do burn it off playing, its quite a work out pumping the piano on the rockier tunes.Aprt from lifting the thing and lugging it about generally since my new keyboard is bit heavier than my old one, but I do have a trolly so its not too bad, but think of me when you are all in bed as I wheel my piano home through the streets broad and narrow in Battersea whilst the wind blows through from the river in concrete canons between those 60's tower blocks.

I am actually feeling a little better today as I had a very long lie in yesterday and am getting a little bit of energy back, so I should be able to limp through the show tonight, it really took it out of me on thursday nights gig I must admit, so after tonight I get a whole 4 days off before the next one, which also conincides with being back in the office as I have a meeting, yes typical really still the congestion charge is suspended so I might drive to work on that day, wish they would suspend the meters as well that would help.Most annoyingly of all a lot of the sandwichs bars are shut to which is not terribly helpfull though I suspect I can get something somewhere.

Merry Christmas to you all and suitable Alternate Festive Salutations,(just insert your own particular and appropriate wording.

Sudden nose dive 21st December 2005 - 12:14 AM
Very wintery

Today started OK but I the end of I felt really awful, the joy of constant mood swings, really want to stay in bed for a week now and not talk to anyone....



[Entry #148]

Making Movies & Turkish Food 20th December 2005 - 12:31 AM


Well the pub gig at the Weavers was good musically we were on very good form, and there was an appreaciative crowd too.
Not my most favorite venue to play but OK. Next day over at Vickys to do some video for a promotional DVD.The band and the Trio are being videoed by Ralph, and he has a been a fly on the wall at a few gigs and rehersals too and its very interesting to see ourselves as others see us. Gosh we are a scary lot at times.So about 5 hours on and off with Ralph taking shots from every possible angle and useing his undoubted skills to very good effect on the trio, and hopefully making us look a lot like "what we ain't". I was dreading the session but it was not as tireing as I thought it would be and I hope I was not looking too poe-faced.I realise that I am not one of natures smillers but default and I can look rather serious.Well I suppose what you see is what you get.I have seen rather too much of myself on camera recently
and its quite easy to get sick the sight of you ugly mug staring back at you ! The band these days is rather more show biz than when I first joined or got conscripted I am not sure which, I suspose it is hardly a suprise with the very theatricle Ms Pie in the front line, and Vicky is not the type to hide her light either, so I guess I have got to get with the programme a bit, but I think I will continue to play the "coy" one as not so far from the truth.
After the Video session round to the Meze Bar, Vickys local turkish restaurant where there was a lotr of chat about concerts past in the 60's which I was just slightly too young to have been at... and one of the waiters knew Vicky from a few years back and a discusion on the best and cheapist places to buy Eff's (A light Turkish larger) beer was had.
Back to work today and feeling a little bit mellowed out for a change which is nice.Maybe its the Christmas effect kicking in, lets hope so.



[Entry #147]

Bordello club time again 17th December 2005 - 03:19 PM


Last night was the third Bordello club and it was heaving with people, have to say it was a great fun night, and we had some really good acts on too."The Big Fibbers" were especially good, loved there song "My Girls an alian" which I think includeds the line "No not an Australian" really funny anyway. I think we will be seeing them again in the not too distant future.Also Jimmy Ross our new roadys stand-up commedy debute.And a rather good blues singer & delta style guitar player called Delta Tom from Cambridge was excellent to name but a few also said hello to I think Helen, who has been along before and seems to have enjoyed it.Must be a glutton for punishment I think.

Got up very late and did some updates on my music website as I have found just a few broken links.How do people manage to keep websites up to date, its like painting the Forth Bridge I think.Another gig at the "Weavers Arms" tonight in Frien Barnett, its a liitle bit cosy for getting the band in but should be fun I hope. Ok just what is a "Frien" any one know ?



[Entry #146]

Serious question 16th December 2005 - 10:57 AM
Thoughtfull

When do you know if you are happy ? yes I know that sounds like a strange thing to ask but I am coming towards the end of what for me has a been a very eventful year both in my work and my private life. Its left me in a very different postition with many options that I would never have considered before.A lot of my inner demons have been exposed to the light and some of them have been bannished though perhaps not for ever.
I am materially comfortable now, which you would expect to make me feel less anxious, but curiously it has the reverse effect.Perhaps the more you have to worry about the more focussed you become. My biggest fear is letting people down in particular with regard to state of my mental health. I have been functional most of the time and am getting by without medication though there are some effects from not taking it but at present these are less than the benifit of not being in a slightly smilely haze(Yes I know all you clubbers pay good money for that sort of thing but for me it was almost compulsory ).

So do I feel happer then ? Yes I think I do on the whole...Still think Christmas sucks though. Barr Humbug to you all


 

[Entry #145]]

100 gig party and Washing Machine Blues 13th December 2005 - 01:19 PM

Up & Down & Roundabout

It was Elephant Shelfs 100 gig's celebration on Saturday and a very good turn out too.Loads of fab people there, in fact it was really very ful by the end of the evening.A few old band members turned up including previous drummer Paul Jackson who sang with us and Sax player Dr Death of red saxaphone fame. We had a huge Birthday Cake too, and possibly at one point about 10 people on stage. Laura Handbag took some great pictures and joined us for one number,it should have been more but time was against us. It was also JR's 50 Birthday celebration and a fun night.I wore a gold frock thats been langushing in the wardrobe for a few months for the first time and it looks jolly good in the photos though it needs taking in a bit, and too much vigor in the keyboard playing dept was causing the straps to fall down, so I did have to ajust mid song a couple of times...
Jesse was on top form again too.Handbag looked very good as ever, though ther ewas aslight moment of panic at the end of the evening when she could not remember where her Stella McCartney coat was No I did'nt nick it honest. The Victora is a smashing pub too.

On Sunday we rehearsed some new songs, one of Jesses and one of mine.
Its been a long time since i've sung live, but I think my voice just about got there..

I am waiting for a new washing machine to be delivered at the moment, just had a bit of a fight getting the old one out, with a little bit of water spilling trauma. Its sort of under control now, just hope the other one turns up OK.
Watching the sky out of my lounge window. seems to be a typical normal winter sky without anything visible in the way of polution yet though I expect there will be some grot arriving here eventually, of course in central london where the sooty smut is still in evidence we may not notice that much anyway.

The Shelf has been videoed a few times by Ralph, and we are hopping to get some new clips on the web, theres a lot of material to go through though, but there are some very nice shots, so I need to start looking at those properly to see whats there.I will grab some stills in the short term.

I have still got a sort of a cold, its lasted about a week and a half and I seem to have done something to my back too.Not sure what as I don't recall lifting anything heavy, maybe its a chill.


 

[Entry #144] (Wow, a gross of entrys !)


Is Tazmania what happens to Bi-Polar New Zealanders ?

9th December 2005 - 11:00 PM
Alively week and too many late nights a good gig last sunday at Blush, with Vicky in the spot light.Nice crowd and a very energetic set. On tuesday met up with my old friend Joy at the Lodge, and also said hello to a couple of folks that recognised me from Lauras birthday party.They said they might be along to another gig in the not too distant future. A long chat with Joy about life in general and where we are now. I have been through a mighty lot of changes in the past year, its been a real learning experence for in every part of my life, and I have grown in confidence in many ways. I am happier than I was on the whole but I am still feeling the effects of my slightly damaged mental health. My mood swings very rapidly and I have rather more enrgy than I have had for a few years.I have a lot of ideas creatively which is fab, and the will to start carring them out.On the down side I am very short tempered and crabby as hell. The paradox is I had a very pleasant post rehersal drink last night at the Salsbury pub, but did not get home till 02:00 which was a bit tiring.We had the very Fab Ms handbag with us too and a lively discussion on the use of digital effects in modern music as oppposed to the purist non-sampled approach sparked a lively 3 way debate.
We all agreed to differ, with Vicky sticking very much with the tried and traditional and me as usual with a foot firmly in each camp...
Our friend Mr Rymes Mojo was working as ever and he entertained two girls from Prague for a fair slice of the evening. The Salsbury has lots of real Ales and Beers and stays open quite late, and was very full when we left at about 01:15 so I guess
there are a lot of people that don't need to get up to early in the morning, it helps if you are 30 rather than knocking 50 in the energy stakes I guess....

[Entry #143]

Busy week again 4th December 2005 - 09:47 AM
My cold is subsiding now, though I still feel like somone has punched me in the head, but I am stillv a little off form.Played last night at the Victora with the small band & Jessy did a couple of slightly rude songs which went down a storm. Not a huge crowd but a responsive one. I was a bit off form playing wise, I think due to the cold but it was still a fairly good performance overall.
Speaking to Ms Vicky We realised that we could not remember the last time we had a Saturday night off.The bands 100 gig and my 80 is next Saturday and we are having a special do and will hopefuly bring in the some of many and various folks who have been with us from time to time so that should be a good one.We have another gig at Blush today, thats the bijou bar where Michelle O'Brien went down a storm as the toast of the Stoke Newington Lesbian community, so hopefully should be fun.

I do need to get a few more outfits though I do dress more for comfort than speed I must admit and I am a fairly plain girl....



[Entry #142]

sniflly winter blues 30th November 2005 - 09:38 PM
I am a bit sneezy again, hopefully I can control it with drugs...
Suddenly realised I am getting very intense about everything and I need to lighten up a bit.My stress level is up. Don't normally bother but I am taking those weird sachet thingys and it seems to reduce the symptoms a little.
It is infuriating when I meet poeple with cast iron immune systems who say something along the lines of a) I never get colds or b) I never have any time off sick, presumably so they can share thier malady with everyone else.
We have got better airconditioning in our new office so that at least helps with the breathing if nothing else....




[Entry #141]

2 Worst ever gig ! 30th November 2005 - 01:07 AM
not a happy bunny

Waited over 3 hours(went on stage 2 hours late) to do a 45 minute slot which was then cut to 15 minutes.
Not only that but no one was on the House PA, then when I started playing the sound went off.Really annoying as it was a good venue and we were doing for publicity but we must now look like a complete bunch of idiots...
Makes you wonder why you bother really. And the answer is:" If you want anything done properly, do it yourself"
>>>Very loud Arghh noises !




[Entry #140]

Birthdays and other stuff 27th November 2005 - 11:13 AM
Yesterday was my other half Alisons birthday, I was trying to persaude her to come to the gig last night, but she was not up for it.
The crowd was a bit rowdy to start so I am not sure how comfortable she would be anyway and the other problem is she is rather shy and would have had to fend for herself for an hour or so before we actually played, though the rest of the band would have looked after her I think.She may come to one before Crimbo. A good night and the band were playing fairly well on the whole, we do seem to be tightening up quiet a lot again.
Still need a few new outfits so I must find time to fit in some shopping Luckly London is cold but not snowy at the moment thank goodness.



[Entry #139]

Have you seen the weather out there 24th November 2005 - 03:52 PM
It's horribly wet and windy and discusting, so I suspect tonights gig at Ryans Bar is going to be a bit of a letdown, I don't think you would catch me going out in this weather normally.Well my mood is not much improved from yesterday which also gives me a sense of foreboding.
Traditionally in winter one should retire to bed at least for the months of February and March as they tend to be totally crap anyway.




[Entry #138]

Nearly the end of the year 24th November 2005 - 12:01 AM
Pensive

I have had a sudden burst of introspection.This year has been quite a rollercoster ride emotionally and has left me in quite a different place. A very steep learning curve too, and I feel more than a little shattered.It's also give or take a month or two the aniversary of my comeing off anti-depressants after about 5 years of being on them.Well I am not that depressed now, but I am very irritable, I feel as though I have woken from a dream.I can understand how people get addicted to drugs or alcohol or sex or what ever drug of choice is required to get them through the day.
I have recently become very disenchanted with my job and I feel that I getting worse at doing it.Theres not much else I can do though so the reality is I will have to carry on with it until I crack completely, who knows maybe that won't be too long. There have been many good things that have happened this year, but not in the work environment though.

I still feel as though I am invisible too, somehow what ever I do or achive seems to count for absolutely nothing, I suppose thats the human condition though or maybe its low self esteem, or maybe low self esteem is the human condition or maybe its the weather. I do feel that I could do with a holiday of sorts, but I don't feel able to take one at the moment, mostly for fear of some other disaster overtaking me.

Out with the band tommorow night in darkest Stoke Newington which is fast becoming my spiritual home so I will spend a couple of hours in a different frame of mind at least whilst I am playing. This particular venue is quite small, so I guess if theres not much of a turn out it we won't notice much.

I am doing a bit of re-mastering on a cd which I think is worthy of re-release...This time it will be comeing out under my own name I think.





[Entry #137]

Lauras Birthday Bash [2 comments] 20th November 2005 - 11:52 AM
Amazing to see so many faces from the forum there, lots of people that looked very familiar indeed, spoke to on one or two though I did not really have much time to chat, due to setting the bands up and so forth.
A difficult room to play for sound as it was fairly small, but managed to get something acceptable by the start time. A busy evening for me playing with the Shelf then the Treacles but I did get about a five minute break.
Chatted briefly to Jenny Sand who was wearing a fabulous backless number and looked quite stunning, also managed to say hello to Sarah West who seems very nice and Martine Val who is also a muso in darkest Essex and Liane Smith who has been thinking about comeing along to a gig so heres hopping we see you soon. Lauras cake was mind blowingly an enormous pink handbag of course.






[Entry #136]

Tired but still standing almost 17th November 2005 - 11:53 PM
Day jobs, who needs them. Arghhh... I have got the most enormous bruise on my leg too after tripped over about 3 times in succession, sometimes it best not bother getting out of bed. Still its Friday so there is some respite.
I am in reasonable sprits though so I should not complain really.
I can see daylight out of my office window which is a novelty for me, and I am not sure I shall get use to it.I did a bit of staring out of the window looking for inspiration, theres a great view across westminster which is rather different to the gloom factory that I previously inhabited.On the flip side everything keeps breaking at the moment and I am a little under pressure.
Still one day they will sus out how useless I am and sack me....





[Entry #135]

A Rather tiring week 17th November 2005 - 12:08 AM
Just getting settled in our new premises at work, still a lot to do there, and at the moment one problem which I can't find a cure for at all.Don't panic !
Much...Spent a day trying to find a bug in one of our databases which is refusing to work properly since we we moved on to a windows XP network.
All the others work except this one, and I have spent a solid 8 hours so far getting nowhere with it. Very tedious indeed....
I think I may need a devine intervention to get me out of this one.

Last night out rehearsing with the Treacle Tarts for Laura's bash on Saturday where I shall be wearing two hats as keyboard player for both bands...
Could be a lively night I suspect.Looks like a good venue and hopefully there will be a good turn out.




[Entry #134]

Place's not to go 12th November 2005 - 02:57 PM
I am following the "places not to go" thread with some interest. I think it really is a matter of taking sensible precautions, not going anywhere that you don't feel comfortable.Your comfort zone extends of course depending on what you have actually done. I could not have imagined doing Prague,New York,Amsterdam let alone all the pubs in London & environs that I now frequent in the course of my musical endevours a couple of years back.
The main thing about going out is that you will have to interact with people, they detect your body language first, before they even take on board what you look like. If you are very introvert then you wil have more of a problem, regardless of who you are with.
I had a long conversation with a girl at work about how much more open we all are now to diverisity, and the crowd that comes to see the Shelf brings credence to this(Straight, Lesbian,Gay,Football supporters and Blues fans). I am sure there are very unsafe places, but most places are not and belive or not most people are not rabid trannyphobes, and just want to get on with life. They may be amused or unintentionally we may be found entertaining at times, but often you will find that when they get to know you, you become invisible in the sense that they don't see a tranny just a person.The only question I was asked by a rather rotund footy fan whilst setting up at a gig was what sort of music do you play, which was the only thing that mattered to him...






[Entry #133]

Blush "I think I did actually" 9th November 2005 - 12:10 AM
Well, Sunday and out the Trio Ms Vicky, Jesse Pie, and lil 'old me to darkest Stoke Newington to play Blush, a very cosy but fun venue.Also present was Michelle O'Brian who was pressed into service to flog the occasional CD,(no not what your thinking, and to snap a bit), and did both with aplomb.
The audience was soon on our side and quite expressive too.
Most amuseingly I was actually playing in the bay window, iluminated by mostly red light, making me feel a little like an Amsterdam Prostitute who's specialty act was playing the fiddle.
I was not sure quite how we would go down in Lesbian bar, (answers on a post card please), but we enjoyed playing,and were i think enjoyed, and we will be performing there again soon.Ms Pie was totaly awsome, and and soon had the crowd at her finger tips.
And then it was Monday......





[Entry #132]

Where we are now 5th November 2005 - 12:53 PM
?? Glasscage Bi-Polar swing

I made a list this morning of every thing that is worrying me, and it came to about 16 things, most of which have nothing to do with being a tranny which is good really I suppose. Out of that list there are only really only about 3 things I can really do anything about, everything else is down to someone else to deal with, and a lot of problems are work related, but I hate not being able to finish what I started and its causeing my some stress, though I can sleep alright, infact I am starting to have problems getting up now, but thats normal for me I think.
I could also do with some time off too, thats almost impossible in the present situation, apart from the odd day, and I just feel so tired. I am going to try one of those SAD light things to see if that will make any difference.

I have been listening to some of my old music from a couple of years back and I think its time for a retrospective re-release, only this time I will get a decent number duplicated I think as I still do get the odd request for CD's and I can market a few now with luck.My own music is very different from the bands and is more Electronica/world and indi style, though it has got the odd Faux Jazz style thing happening. I have a few more conventional style songs that need to see the light of day in live performance so I am going to have to think seriously about how I achive that so that will be a project for the new year. I would only need a couple of people to do it really, so when the work side of things has quietened down in my day job I will start putting things together I think.

Got a gig at the "Orange Tree" in Frien Barnett tonight, its a venue we have only played once, but its quite a comfortable place to play at.
We have an agent coming a long to see us and it may lead to some better gigs, though we are very busy and booked till January as it stands. So I hope it will be a good one.We had a nice crowd the last time, and it looks like we will have a few of our usual crew along.Our crowd is some what diverse, Blues fans, Football supporters, Lipstick Lesbians, the odd Tranny, and a few Pub rock punters. They all seem to mix up nicely and get along Ok which is something I really never imagined in my wildest dreams when I joined.
Another gig on Sunday with the the Trio at the "Blush Bar" in Stoke Newington which is a lesbian bar so that will be different I think....

Interesting how my journal as usual has almost nothing relating to Tranny Issues in it at all, I could go on about how crap I think I look, but I am working on that.Mind you April Angel has taken a couple of pictures of me that were absolutely brilliant...
I need to hit the shops before tonights gig so I had better go now..



[Entry #131]

The slightly flakey one 31st October 2005 - 12:24 AM
Another weekend, another 3 gigs, but I am very tired I must admit, and getting that same old feeling, the slightly flaky one. I am not comfortable with myself at present as I just feel there is something missing. There are a few things I realise I should have done many years ago, but those thoughts are turning around and slaping me in the face vigerously now.
Be carefull what you wish as they say. Is it better to be stareing over the fence when something is so near that you can almost touch it but not quite, or better to be in blissful ignorance, or still asleep in suburban dreams.
What about when you know you really have missed the boat, and that you were never destined to be on it anyway ? How ever much confidance I think I have gained I still can't ask the right questions at the right time, so I end up getting sidelined or ignored or an assumption is made that I am happy with the way things are, when I am often not. I suspect that there are many people who would say that I brought this on myself and from where I stand now I think they may well be right.
On a lighter note my friends Helen and partner Petra came along to the "Worlds End" to see the me with the band, and they could not have come on a better night really as everyone was on good form.Great to see them again after about a year or so. A quite amazing evening really in everyway.




[Entry #130]

<<<+++++>>> 27th October 2005 - 10:18 PM
Well I am tired and I am irritable and snappy so there.
You can see why people drink too much or take drugs or get addicted to sex, we are all trying to fill in the gaps, the emptyness, or just to stop feeling what ever we are feeling that makes us feel bad.



[Entry #129]

Its the midweek dip 26th October 2005 - 06:35 PM
might have

Loads of problems on the work front that just don't seem to be resolving themselves. Its been one of the most frustrating weeks ever from my perspective I have to say.I have a meeting tommorrow that could be rather stressfull in every respect..Its weeks like this when I can see why people pull sickie's.... Just discovered that we can't move our 3 bt adsl lines but will have to terminate the accounts and start from scratch, which is going to cause some consternation to put it mildly, and thats due to the way that BT re-selling works.

I ordered a pair of shoes from additions which have not arrived and when I checked my order status they were marked returned, which is strange because I have not seen them at all, thats really annoying as I don't have much spare time at the moment so hitting the shops, especially when you are looking for size 9s is a problem. I think Evans is about the only place.

Some of my post seems to have disappeared too which is very worrying, we have a new postperson and I think they are just taking stuff to the wrong place.

Started writing a new song this morning, think its not half bad actually, as I have not felt inspired like that for quite a while to be honest.I really need soem way of getting my stuff heard other than the via the net now, but at present that seems as far away as a small blue-green planet orbiting the right class of star. Actually its quite good to have this journal, maybe I ought to do a proper blogg somewhere, too pour out my troubles to.

I am dreading the clocks changing but I go home in the dark anyway so maybe its not so bad.



[Entry #128]

Another weekend bites the dust 24th October 2005 - 12:07 AM
Not a bad weekend at all.On Friday the first night of the Bordello Club, great fun but hard work as I was playing most of the night, and inbetween doing the sound with only a 2 minute loo break.Brilliant crowd too, and for a first night a very promising start. First Stoke Newington, tommorow the world...
Then Saturday at "The Worlds End", which looks like becomeing a favorite Venue for Elephant Shelf. A very friendly crowd chatty and a few regulars along too, so nice to meet them and chat to one or too.
I am still a bit tired, but no more than normal I suppose and I am just about getting enough sleep I think.Too many bags under the eye's, I guess its just the march of time.






[Entry #127]

Weekends are just too short ! 17th October 2005 - 09:47 PM
Trying not to take it too seriously..

Another weekend and another 3 gigs, can't remember what I used to do at weekends but I don't get bored. I have not seem much of my old tranny crew though as I we never seem to be in the right place at the right time, and its nice to just have a chat, but I guess thats the way it go's.I am sure I will have plenty of time to get bored in the future but at the moment no chance.
Got to sort my self out a few pairs of new shoes as i am getting through them at quiet a rate, and being a nine its a bit of a pain to get stuff.
I feel really out of place in my office at though, much more like I don't belong at all. Its a real come down on a monday morning especially if you have had a couple of good gigs at the weekend.Well I have had a few times when I have felt really low, so while the goings good I shall enjoy what I can.




[Entry #126]

Wierdest gig ever at the Rubber Ball [1 comment] 11th October 2005 - 05:07 PM
A not bad weekend, quite strange on Saturday night, felt a bit of a voyeur at the Rubber Ball.Played on the "Lady luck" stage for about 20 minutes with Jesse and Vicky, both of us wareing matching sunglass'es which looked A) very cool, b) rather silly and c) extremely kitch, we did a set of Jesses mutated Jazz standards including the "Muff shaving song" (Aint misbehaving) & "My Fanny Vasaline... Well you get the general idea, though its difficult to play the stuff with out cracking up. After the sound check we went for a Chinese meal. Came back about half an hour before we were due on and great fun to walk pass the throng cueing outside flash the artists pass to get in, tee hee, just like proper celebs.After we had awander around the dungeon, and I have to say that mostly its "Too weird for me mate !".On the other hand there were some rather nice young ladys handing out flyers who were very appealing to feast the eye on, in a non-sexist post-retro- ironic but sexy sense.
Jesse stayed on to do her other act as "Sploshy Pie" and as we left was busy preparing her huge bowl of Yogurt in preparation for her turn at 04:00 in the orning.
We had drink after we played and ran in to a couple of Roses folk and had a brief chat, then of home.
Woke up with a thundering headache the following morning. Over to see my sister who has broken a finger in her hand after a fall on a buss whilst she was dooing survey work, and took a couple of pictures as her employer may be a bit a bit difficult about it, and we need some proof of the inconvience that it has caused her.
Then off to a rehersal, but everyone was a little bit tired, we started rehersing a very nice new number that will be going in the set in a week or too.
Monday night the washing machine ground to a halt as well,depositing quite a lot of water on the kitchen floor in protest.
So today a day off work to clean up...
Gosh I am tired too.






[Entry #125]

The weekend 8th October 2005 - 11:04 AM
Can't be arsed

Finally got my old computer back which is usefull though I had forgotten how noisy it is, as I have been useing my S.O's for a while which is ok but has all the software I use on it, its on a wirless connection which seems to work quite well on the whole. Amazing how many networks there are wizzing through this flat, It tried to log me on to 2 others apart from my own ....
have a short gig tonight with Vicky and Jesse at the Rubber Ball in the "Midnight Lounge" so I guess we must be on at midnight ! Wake me up when its over I guess is the answer to that one. Well the sun is shining and the trees looking stunning now that the colour is begining to change too with some very rich tones coming through.Hey far out man...the Colours.



[Entry #124]

Hello still here then are we ? 1st October 2005 - 04:19 PM
sort of maybe

Quite a busy week, things settling well on the home front too which is really nice too a sort very comfortable sort of vibe.Out last night in St Albans at the "Spotted Bull" playing with the trio.Interesting crowd as there were 2 birthdays going on and everyone was wearing Pirate outfits, the audience not the band He he ..Michelle O'Brien also came along all the way from Blackheath. The traffic was dire on the way over as well so a really long journey. Another gig tonight at the Victoria in highgate and there should be a special guest apperance from Ms Laura Handbag too.Should be fun.Not the full band tonight but a more mellow quartet.The Victoria pub was vandelised earlier in the week and there was some doubt as to if the gig would go ahead.Its a shame as its a realy good venue very friendly and you can get food there too..So if anyones in Highgate tonight I think they could do with your support.Come on you Trannys !
I am debateing getting a couple of new wigs, they need to be a similar colour I think but slightly different styles though not to different of course !
Very difficult things wigs as you can never be quite sure what will work so I shall have to investigate further.I think I am getting a bit towards the crusty side now so shorter is better but not to short.Where to start though ?
I did pass a place called "dead cat emporium" , and I suspect thats the best place to look first, or may be something from national health designer range.



[Entry #123]

Up and down 27th September 2005 - 04:01 PM
Whoops>>>>>>>

Well curently doing a mixed state mood wise, can't sleep but also tired and not able to concentrait properly either, which is not an ideal combination so somewhat prone to mistakes too. So a slightly manic Episode !When I get like I have a fear of forgetting everything at work, and in a stae of anxiety my mind will go conveiniently blank



[Entry #122]

I could be having fun ! 25th September 2005 - 11:55 AM
Out with the band on Friday in a new venue in "The Victoria" Highgate, great reception again.Michelle O'Brien was there and Darcy & friend too.Very hot night and totally wiped out the next day. A bit scary as just before going on my Electric Violin started falling a apart, but luckly Vicky was able to help me fix it just in time. A nice evening and everything worked well.Lots of very nice feedback after the gig plus band photo with the landlady.

Then last night played at "Mollie Malones" in crouch end also went down a storm, had a couple of pictures taken with the punters.
Interesting the turn of phrase some woman use, it is quite ironic when one sees threads on Roses about feminine deportment, to go to a venue and be complemented thus "Your F****ing great on that organ"....What can she mean ?
Also one other lady there with a similar turn of phrase that looked so much like a tranny it was unbelivable, though she was on a mission not to go home alone and I think she pulled it off. Vicky sporting a very 70's look last night too.




[Entry #121]

Ho hum [1 comment] 22nd September 2005 - 06:30 PM
Rather tediously someones tried to demolish Battersea Bridge, makeing my trip to work a little longer and it will be closed for about 4 months.The really annoying part is that there is no information as to the route they diverted our local bus along , so you have to guess as to where you think it might be runing to and from.



[Entry #120]

Sunday night out again 19th September 2005 - 08:58 AM
Spent the afternoon with the band recording a new country blues tune.Quite frustrating getting the right kind of feel on it as it needs to be fairly minimal, but I think we have got it.Off to Camden in the evening to do a half-hour spot at Bullett.Some interesting acts on last night including some atonal inprovisers called "Tiny Horse" I think, and the maginificent "Nervious ElvisPaul Edergly" who sang a heart rending song, I think called "I like Pussy" as that line occured quite a lot, which I presume was about his cat that he was missing very much.He performed this in true one man band style with a stomp box guitar bass drum and so forth.I could not escape at this point as I had been asked to work the mixer, so I stayed for a couple of numbers.
We got free Champaign too, I suspect this was due to the delightful Ms Pies charms rather than mine, but very nice all the same. We also dropped in to a bar up the Road for a possible booking,and watching Vicky sell the band was quite inspiring, thank goodness she is not in the double glazing business.
Home at a reasonable hour for a change too



[Entry #119]

Saturday Night Out 18th September 2005 - 10:17 AM
Played the Orange Tree in Friern Barnett last night, interesting as there was a new landlady, and all the regulars were at a party at in the pub across the road but we did have a good turn out in the end as we had a few regular Shelf punters turn up plus the folk from the local GLBT as well an dsoem others came in towards the end of the evening.Interesting as I was told I should come along to one of their socials, I explained I was in I was from Battersea...Looks like potentialy a very good place to play too.
We did at least half the gig with one side of the PA off but still went down Ok.I think we may have forgotten to plug one side of it in...
We need a body to actually sell the Shelf CDs that we now take to gigs too.
Interesting how many pubs are now looking for live music & entertainment again. Watch out DJ's us Talent less pub bands are out to get you ...
Think I have sorted out the strange car starting phenomena, sprayed it with damp start, and it seems to have done the trick.I think it was pineing for it previous owner or something.



[Entry #118]

More faces from the past 16th September 2005 - 09:33 PM
~#~

Played at the Queens Hotel on Thursday with Gloria opening for us.She went down really well.Two old friends from the past turned up, Stuart and George who knew nothing about Diana until they heard about the band.They seemed to enjoy it and were not particularly phased by anything as far as I can tell.
Stuart brought a CD and got the band to sign it.Still very tired fell asleep over the PC this afternoon at work, don't think any one noticed though.I am very irritable at the moment too.



[Entry #117]

getting weird 14th September 2005 - 09:06 PM
extremely weird

Well, I have been in a very strange mood most of the day, and its getting worse.Hav'nt felt this bad in a while, suspect its the end of my manic phase.
Should I go back on the drugs, maybe ? Perhaps I should post a poll on the subject, my moods change so quickly that tommorow I might be Ok or I migt be very very low...



[Entry #116]

Historic pubs of Haringay 12th September 2005 - 09:15 AM
Very good band rehersal yesterday, went really well ready for the CD launch at the Queens Hotel this Thursday.Actually it went a bit too well really, so I suspect we will be rubbish on the night.Then afterwards off to see a new Venue which is also a huge pub of the same vintage.They had a band on who very doing sort of Latin/Flamenco tunes, with some very nice guitar playing sort of Gypsie kings style plus a very attractive singer who swished her frock around in an appealing way.Said hello to the landlord. It looks like it could be a very good venue for us as it has a very mixed clientel, and they do seem to be there for the music too. We are going to get some lights, hopefully by Thursday people will be able to see us and hear us. Gosh thats a scary thought.



[Entry #115]

Rain 10th September 2005 - 01:31 PM
Its so english to talk about the weather I know, but yesterday was quite something, troulble is after the storm it really did not cool down at all.
I have still got a bit of a sore head as I hit it on the tail gate of the car on tuesday, and nearly knocked my self senseless, but its sort of OK now.
Just getting around to reconecting my home studio stuff after the move, I have sort of finished it now. I am still finding places to put things but I have got rid of a lot of stuff too, though the flat is still a bit overcrowded to be honest. Amazing how many clothes I have that I never wear, or that don't go with anything, so a lot of those have gone to charity shops.




[Entry #114]

My new Violin 9th September 2005 - 10:59 AM
My new violin....

I have just aquired a rather wonderfull old violin, it really sings and looks rather good too, it has a rather nice relief carving of Ben Franklin on the back, which is also a little unusual. It plays like a total dream.Woke up with a headache this morning but could not resist having a play.
Last night in the pub after rehearsals as per usual, and took my sister along, she over heard a couple of girls in the loo one of whom was telling the other that she must come and see Elephant Shelf the next time we were on.Apparently we are known in north london circles as that band with the really good girl singer and two trannies in it......
Also told by one of our regular punters that we really should get some lighting so people can see us.That could be really scary thought Jesse Pie is always worth watching.Its still too hot for me at the moment, I am glad to have had some time away from work hassles just for a change, and I am sort of getting used to being back in Battersea again. I need to move my own computer back here soon, when I have figured out where to put it, as my other half aquired her own when I moved out so it looks like we will have his and hers computers next to each other eventually.How sad is that.
Also I think I have figured out how to start my new car, I had terrible problems but it has a dimobiliser fitted and its an auto so you have to performa a routine with the gear change first before it starts, or else it stays where its is.Endless fun !