May 2020

So, several weeks of ‘lockdown’, reducing all human contact. I santitise packages as they come in through the post.


On the roads there are no cars – animals are moving back into town. Everywhere is quiet – more birdsong!


One days seems to roll into another:






And the weeks…



My village would normally be full of people and cars. But, now I can walk down the High Street alone (we are allowed out for one hour per day).





The psychology of plagues is well known and does not seem to have changed much over the centuries: people fear, stock, but get used to it. Shocking figures of daily deaths – 1000+ – from Italy and Spain  a couple of months ago seem less shocking once visited again in the UK. Meanwhile, the government struggles to convince that it knows what it is doing.




For myself – apart from all the trips, etc. – daily life has not changed that much: I write in the morning and speak with students in the afternoon. Except that the latter are strictly Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, of course. And super busy since there is so much free stuff now being put out. Love Andrew Lloyd Webber,  and Gary Barlow’s Crooner series. Brian May of Queen showing guitar parts. Shakespeare Sonnets from Patrick Stewart. Chris Packham from his home in the New Forest. Free plays from the National Theatre. To name but a view. It certainly shows who does and does not put themselves out there. The aspect of it I love most is the very amateur approach these take – no glitz – just everyday. Show the reality of real art.




My horizons are immediately limited. No matter. I get to follow nature this year in a way that I have not managed before. I watch the flowers comes and go:









Also, the insects. Bee on my Rosemary bush:






Apple blossom on my tree:






Some spectacular vistas in the Forest as well.








It is the season of the Bluebell:







I love it when the leaves come out this time of year. It begins with a ‘green mist’ which gets more dense. It is a special sort of ‘spring green’ that does not last that long.  







Wild Garlic as well:





I love this. Recipes for wilted with pasta and some Dandelion, Garlic and Chick Pea flour cakes:






Ususally, these things come and go before I notice them! Too busy.




Earlier in the month (7th), there was an extraordinary large moon:




Then some spectacular skies around Easter:





Later in the month, a new crescent moon set beside Venus in the early night sky:








One of the high-spots of the month was the Musica en Moviemiento AAD course. This really took AAD work – with Zoom – to a whole new generation for me. Amazing to see what is now possible. Like 30+ guitarists spread out across countries and town in lockdown all managing to connect musically:






We did four meetings per week for three weeks, which included Guitar calisthenics, repertoire, T’ai Chi, Themes, Feldenkreis, Pranayama.

Top work!!




Lots of reading and music listening.


I think a highpoint CD wise was this one from the Chilean band Los Jaivas. They manage to be both Folk-rock and slightly psychedelic. Anyway, it works:






Sobering words from Jim Al-Khalili on the ways of things – how they really are – in terms of physics, the universe, etc. Highly mystical and spiritual by other words!!!: