Resolutions

Hi! Well, I guess this is where I came in! I started my blog experiment exactly 1 year ago and this was my first…

So, I thought I would re-post this as a kind of 1st blogbirthday re-visit.

I seem to have tailed off on my blog towards the close of 2015, in favour of doing more music but who knows? I might try to post some new stuff soon. M.

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Hello!  (my first blog/musings – please be gentle!)

Resolution Line breaks: reso|lution NOUN A firm decision to do or not to do something: a New Year’s resolution.

Well, I guess I made through Blue Monday – just! Although, sometimes the blue feeling creeps back in, like the hypnotic 12″ version of New Order, fading in and out. Hopefully fading, fading, fading, to a gentle hum, then a clarity of silence.

It struck me that emerging from the celebrations of the season, (I’m not saying the C*******s word until this December at the earliest!), and New Year, is it our obsession with resolutions, in some way, to blame for our blue feelings? Have we subconsciously raised some crazy, un achievable expectations, which eat away at us as we reluctantly drag ourselves into January?  Knowing fine well we will forget what we’ve promised ourselves and failing before we’ve begun?

Perhaps?  I don’t…

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Music Serendipity…

A long time fan of Neil Finn, I sometimes find it hard to discover new music where I feel the same connection.  Recently, (and it’s probably because they’re from Canada that I haven’t come upon them before – can you believe that?!), I have found a new source of amazing song-writing in a similar vein to Neil Finn.

It is of course City & Colour ((Color), depending on which side of the pond you reside!).  Dallas Green’s song-writing, beautiful vocal and acoustic approach to his songs have me hooked!

I booked tickets to see Lucy Rose at Glasgow in February 2016 and she plays alongside City & Colour. Who are they? I thought.  Hence the connection and subsequent search for the identity of City & Colour.  It’s one of those serendipitous moments when you discover a great band you instantly know your gonna like… Like forever!  It’s going to be an awesome concert!

Here’s Dallas doing ‘Waiting’ an absolutely amazing, melodic track – the kind I wish I’d written!!! (godamit!)

City & Colour

Waiting.

 

Been a while…

Hi guys…been a while I know but I seem to have been busy doing all the other media stuff we all get sucked into to keep connected!  Plus a bit of writing, music-wise, and trying to get time to record stuff too.

Anyway I guess we’ll go straight into books, an update.  So what have I been reading..? Well, a mixture of stuff really, so here’s the line up:

Just read… really funny and I totally recommend it.

 

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Currently reading…

I’ve gone back to Andy Mac to catch up on his Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase adventures.  I’ve favoured a contemporary author Scott Mariani (and his Ben Hope series of adventures), so it’s good to re-visit this series just now.

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And this I bought recently whilst visiting Edinburgh…

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…I can’t wait to get stuck into it!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I’ll update properly during some quality down-time next month – hopefully!

M 🙂

 

You’re Safe Now.

Hello!

I’m currently compiling a list of new song ideas to complete and record.  Over time, I collect loads of chord structure ideas, half finished songs, even just a chorus idea.  The hard part is the discipline needed to compile a ‘ready to record’ list, and harder still, to stick to it!

In preparation I tend to find other songs languishing on the hard-drive which I’ve recorded but neglected to mix and polish.  Perhaps because working along you can tend to get ‘track deaf’ – that is, the song becomes a stack of tracks which makes for a confusion of ‘what do I do with this lot’ kind of scenario.  It’s good step back and re-visit these situations and recently I did just that.

You’re Safe Now is one of those songs where I knew it was going to be a good track but I had loads of recorded parts and it was just a case of deciding what to keep and what to ditch, mix and process the good parts.

Hopefully that is what I achieved with this one!  Here it is (let me know what you think):

https://soundcloud.com/mike_turnbull/youre-safe-now

Book Review – The Forgotten Holocaust by Scott Mariani

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The Forgotten Holocaust – Scott Mariani

I am a huge fan of this series of books by Scott Mariani.  Ben Hope has so much depth to his character and each book gives just a little more insight into his life.  The thinking man’s James Bond certainly always gets sucked into a new adventure despite always trying to retire from kidnap and ransom rescue, which ultimately reveals a deeper – and dangerous – mission for Ben.

This is the tenth book in the series where Ben once more attempts to get himself some ‘me’ time in a cottage in a quiet part of Ireland.  Only, a curious turn of events immerses him into an investigative situation of a historical nature.  This adventure takes him to Madeira and Tulsa where his mission collides with a parallel investigation by Erin.  Together they realise their situations are linked and the real adventure starts to begin.

I always enjoy these adventures and the end of each chapter wills you to always jump into the next.  And just like the way Scott’s chapters tempt you to keep reading, so do the last lines of the book – I’m already starting book 11 The Martyr’s Curse!

Check out Scott’s web site for the other ‘Ben Hope’ books and development of book No. 12  www.scottmariani.com

Highland Scenes

Ok so as promised I thought I’d share some great photo’s of my recent trip to Scotland.  I was based in Glenelg which isn’t far from the route taken to get onto Skye.  The cottage I stayed in looked across to the southern end of Skye and was pretty dramatic.

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This panoramic is the view from the cottage.

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This was one evening and shows how amazing the light can be – no photo-shop here!

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Another evening sky…looking at Skye!

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Mornings were equally surprising.

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This rainbow lit up the tiny hamlet, it was so amazing and it lasted literally seconds before changing again to dramatic clouds.

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My trip to Sandaig – Gavin Maxwell’s Ring Of Bright Water setting. (See my other posts on this subject) You can make out the monument and plaque where the cottage once stood, to the right about 2 thirds up the pic.

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A beautiful white beach made from tiny shells and crystal clear waters at Sandaig.  Sat here for hours in the total silence – apart from the waves!

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Evening sun at Sandaig through the grasses – could have stayed all night!

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A collection of shells from the site – the tiny one at the front is a Groatie Buckie and is a rare find.  I’ve been to Sandaig 4 times now and this was the only time I spotted one!

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A view of Skye road bridge – linking mainland Scotland to the Isle of Skye!

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This view was a reward for a 9 mile hike through forests and a wooded coastal route.

Hope you liked my pics!

(all photography © Mike Turnbull 2015)

Over 2000 visits & a bit of a book update!

I just noticed that I have had over 2000 visits!  

I don’t think that’s so bad when I only started this page in January 2015.

Also, a quick update of a bookish nature…

I’ve just been travelling in Scotland and managed to pick up 3 new books – like I need them?! – I’m still plundering my ‘To Read Tower’ which actually doesn’t get any smaller due to additions, but stays the same size because I am managing to read stuff too!

So, the first book I found in an Isle of Skye book shop was The Tent, The Bucket & Me.

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A friend had mentioned this title to me only a week or two earlier and he said it was funny.  So I spotted it on a used, or pre-owned shelf for £2.00!  I remember camping with my family and also with the Scouts when I was younger so I just had to get it.

The next one was a bargain at 80 pence!  Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.

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This was also on the used shelf but amazingly it hadn’t been read – Bargain!

The next book was a purposeful purchase following a visit to the Bright Water centre

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/skye/brightwater  on Skye.  It’s a book by Richard Frere called Maxwell’s Ghost.

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Anyone who’s followed me may know I’m a fan of Gavin Maxwell and the books (Ring Of Bright Water trilogy) he wrote about his life and keeping Otters, and other creatures on a remote site near to Skye called Sandaig.  This was back in the 60’s and sadly the cottage on the site is no longer there.  People may be familiar with the film (loosely based on the Ring Of Bright Water books) with Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers – 1969.  Richard’s book is an epilogue to Maxwell’s time at Camusfearna – the place he loved at Sandaig.

I visited the site and it’s truly peaceful and beautiful, set on a remote bay, a 40 minute walk via a forest track which winds its way down to reveal a magnificent scene of tranquillity.

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The rewarding view from the end of the track.

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Camusfearna – Maxwell’s cottage which is no longer there now due to a fire in 1968.

Bookish update…

Hello!  September already, autumn just around the corner – where has this year gone eh?!

I haven’t posted anything for a while but I blame the time of year, the summer – albeit a wettish one here in the UK – a few distractions here and there, a bit of travel (I’ll do a post on that) and general holiday stuff!  So anyway one of my last bookish posts was that I was reading To Kill A Mocking Bird.  I finished it a while ago and I did do a little review on Goodreads – just forgot to post it on WP!

So here it is plus an update on reading stuff…

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I’m sure this is a literary classic and I know many who did the book in English literature at school. However, I did start to read the book open minded but half way in I began, reluctantly, to question what all the fuss has been about for 50 years. Yes, excellently written and it explores a culture in American history, but I personally found it hard going. I’m happy I’ve read it, I wouldn’t read it again and I wouldn’t jump to get “Watchman” – but in time I may do.

…yeah, I’m sorry to devotees of the book but as I say, I’m glad I’ve read it, and in the main it was a good read but it didn’t press my buttons too much.  I had intended to get ‘Go Set A Watchman’ but I’m going to hold off until I’m ready – I’ll be checking in with a friend of mine who is reading that one just now and see what she thinks of it.  I do have a load of books to get through as it is; more on that in the next post perhaps…

My current read is one of a series I’ve been following for a while, by Scott Mariani.  It features Ben Hope (check him out here) or Scott’s books here www.scottmariani.com  who, despite trying to retire from kidnap and ransom recovery type jobs, always seems to be sucked into yet another high-octane, ‘Bond’ style adventure which takes Ben all over the world.  These stories are sOoo good! – they read like a movie.

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Scott Mariani – The Forgotten Holocaust.

I’m about halfway through and it’s as good as ever – so much so that I’m holding back and restricting how many chapters I’m reading in one sitting… what can I say, I love these books – I’ll do a review when I’ve finished it. 😉  I am happy to learn that there is another in the series out now – The Martyr’s Curse (No.11 I believe!) and that there is another in the pipeline for Jan 2016 – The Cassandra Sanction. Yay! or ‘get in!’ as we say here.