March 11th, 2009

View from study (sunny)

Perhaps it's the weather?

I've felt rather blah this week and tireder than I should have from the exertions of the weekend. I had stopped using the lightbox, but I got it out again this morning and will resume eating my breakfast in front of it until the days are brighter.

The weather may be to blame. Well, it's definitely not helping. The sky is a dull, flat grey. No good for photography. Also I have too many deadlines looming and I'd planned to spend the week writing, which I have not done. :(

The day perked up a little this afternoon when my routine check-up at the dentist did not reveal anything that needed treating. Hurrah! So after a clean and polish, I popped up to the vets to arrange for Aimee to have whatever injections cats need to enable them to go outside without catching horrible diseases. I will be taking her in tomorrow morning for the first batch of shots. I will also get them to look at her mouth because she has a canine tooth missing from the bottom. It doesn't seem to affect her and it probably happened years ago, but I thought it was worth getting it checked. She has a little nick in one ear too, so heaven knows what she's been up to in the past.

From the vets' surgery, I walked up to the Somerfield. I normally shop in the Co-op, but I've started looking in Somerfield occasionally because they have some different things. Due to general blahness of mood, I came away with chocolate & vanilla cheesecake portions, cream and jam doughnuts and chocolate raisins. I did also buy some humus, tomatoes, milk, cheese and soya milk, but the splurge on cakes indicates that I'm into comfort eating mode again. This is not good!

Still behind on processing photos, but must get back to the essay. There will be photos of beaches and cats in due course.
  • Current Mood
    blah blah
View from study (sunny)

I can has a ukulele!

Possibly I am showing signs of incipient madness, but I've just bought a ukulele off ebay.

I sort of blame coneycat and matociquala, because they've been learning guitar and it gave me the urge to learn a new instrument. However, I already play guitar. Badly, I grant you, but I have been playing since I was a teen and my idols were singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins. So I needed something else to learn.

Why the ukulele?

Good question...

Well, I didn't want a wind instrument because I want to be able to accompany myself as I sing. (Which I also do badly!) I've always had a yearning to learn the harp, but they're terribly expensive, not to mention difficult to play and not something you can just teach yourself. A ukulele, on the other hand, is very cool and trendy now with the indie bands. They're fun and they're cheap[*].

I've been vaguely thinking about it for a few weeks, but today I finally ventured into the Ty Siamas, which is what used to be known as the Neuadd Idris (Idris Hall). The old community hall cum venue for amateur dramatics etc was all refurbished and reopened last year as a folk music venue. Downstairs is a music shop of sorts, but I'm afraid I wasn't impressed with it. I was looking for a) a guitar strap b) a new set of nylon guitar strings and c) ukuleles.

They did have guitar straps, but the attachments are different to the one I used to have, so I need to think about it. They only appeared to have metal guitar strings and though they had ukuleles, they were only about £15 UK pounds and they looked really cheap. Also the shopkeeper didn't seem very approachable, so I wandered out again.

Once I got home, as you do, I started wandering around on the Web. I reckoned I could spend up to £50 UK pounds, so this rather nice one was more than I wanted to pay, even though it was considerably reduced. The others looked lovely, but far too pricey for what may turn out to be a passing whim. (Yes, I do know myself by now!)

So I looked on ebay and found one of these for a mere £25 UK pounds, plus postage. The seller says that he's had it for 4 months and really liked it, but found it too small for his hands so he's bought the larger tenor ukulele. Assuming that's true, it should be a good deal because I think the full price is around £35 UK pounds for a new one. And I have small hands! The review suggests that some Mahalo ukuleles are actually not bad, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that it wasn't a duff one.

I have a feeling that G will hate it, so I will only be able to play when he's out, but I think it will be nice to have something non-computer based to do for a change and at £25 UK pounds, it's not a disaster if it's no good or if I don't take to it. And if I do take to it, I can always get a better one in the future, if needs be.



[*] It would probably be more correct to say, "Cheap ones are available," because like anything, you can pay a lot or a little and the really good ones can cost anything up to £1000 UK pounds.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful a bit more cheerful