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Retired in retirement.
Life's ups and downs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (159 votes) 
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ELCBK
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January 14, 2022 - 6:15 am
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@Retired -

It's important to think 'outside the box' - it's what makes us Human.

I enjoy all your projects, but what impresses me most is you are being creative in a way that makes violin playing more accessible to yourself. 🤗

It's really awesome you are sticking with Lara's Theme...and I believe it's worth all your trouble! 

- Emily

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Fashionandfiddle
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January 14, 2022 - 8:29 am
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Everyone knows about painting by numbers but I wondered having watched the animated video if I could play a violin by numbers? I've not seen this done previously but thought it worth a try and the animated video was perfect allowing me to do this and yes it works. I'm improving all the time and although my initial playing by numbers worked I needed to be sure I was playing the correct notes hence this updated drawing with a lot more information included; I now need to embed Lara's Theme into my head allowing me to play the correct note lengths.

 

If you check Fiddlerman's 'A tune a week' sheet music, it has numbers (finger positions above the notes. I also have a teach yourself fiddle book that has numbers printed through it, including teaching high 2, low 2 etc. I must admit that I still print off music now and put the finger positions on the music (being mindful of the key it is in - which I then can check with Fiddlerman's 'Common One Octave scales' Fiddlermans one ocatve scales)

I am not looking to join an orchestra, I'm just playing for fun - so I now would say I can also read music from learning this way but I'm not fast enough sight reading without. I'm faster than I was, and maybe one day I will be able to but for now I still put the finger positions on.

I printed the above scales sheet and the fingerboard chart and keep them in a ring binder.

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January 14, 2022 - 9:56 am
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Hi,

Thanks Emily @ELCBK for your kind comments; I think I'm obssessed with learning to play Lara's Theme and I'm sticking with it. I love the cat handshake it's brilliant.

Thanks for the information @Fashionandfiddle; I've seen a number of Fiddlerman's excellent scores but I still can't read music so didn't understand what the notes are or even understood the numbering so I'm indebted to you for enlightening me. Like you I too am enjoying violins as an hobby and very much enjoying myself; the members of this forum are so friendly and helpful; I've learned a lot in short time and this morning finally played the first four notes of Lara's Theme using the electronic tuner to get them bang on; I played them over and over but next practice I'll need to play them a lot more until I can play them without thinking about it; I was also fascinated to play all the notes on the E string getting finger spacing correct against Fiddlerman's fingering chart even the violin is starting to like me.

I thought I'd stolen someone's thunder when I saw your information about Fiddlerman's numbered notes but I think mine is rather different and the idea I came up with to help myself; apologies for not posting the updated chart I made yesterday so here it is;

Laras-Theme-finger-chart-001.jpgImage Enlarger

I think I'll break these down further into say five or six notes at a time to make them easier to read then I can memorize each batch before moving on; I've never seen violin music charts like this before so I hope they are of interest. I spent most of yesterday drawing these and numbering against the animated video. I hope I got all the notes correct. I think clicking on the drawing enlarges it.

I've viewed a number of Fiddlerman's Tune A Week excellent videos @Fashionandfiddle and hoped Lara's Theme would be included (Hint) as I say though at the moment music scores go over my head because I simply cannot yet read them although the way I'm now learning I'm getting an insight to fingering correctly without guessing the note I'm playing; it's all starting to fall into place. Once I can read notes from a music score then like you I'll be able to number them and file a copy of each; still very much a violin novice I've a great deal to learn; I have a novices violin book due tomorrow which I'll study and I keep watching lots of YouTube videos.

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 16, 2022 - 5:03 am
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Hi,

Yesterday was a bad day all round. On Friday I had a bath but found the usual sensitive skin Dove soap I've used for years was now Dove Beauty soap and it was highly scented having picked this up in error at the supermarket. I used this scented soap much to my regret. I'm intolerant to dairy products these having made my life a misery for the first 57 years until Bron found an article in one of her girlie mags regarding food intolerance; I immediately switched to Soya and this radically transformed my life; within a couple of days I was skipping around like a five year old child and since then just suffered the occassional flare up.

Now I know the hard way not to use scented soap ever again; yesterday from my neck down all my back was on fire and my skin was covered in very itchy bumps; I still use Dermal moisturizing cream on my legs daily but I applied this to the problem area which did ease it a bit but made the entire day most unpleasant.

In spite of the discomfort I spent most of yesterday double checking the fingering chart I'd redrawn only to find errors; I found it incredibly hard to concentrate but I stuck at it redrawing the fingering chart and must have wasted at least a dozen sheets of printer paper until I started to use correction fluid.

This morning I didn't like the post I'd added so I've completely deleted it hence anyone wondering why this post is different this is the reason why. I'd posted the inaccurate chart and couldn't delete it so I added the updated chart making the post look a mess which bugged me hence I'm now starting over. I've just run the animated video at very slow speed and this new fingering chart drawing is accurate at last.

Laras-Theme-updated-001-1.jpgImage Enlarger

I've now spread the notes out a bit into smaller batches which should help. It's surprising how much time and effort it took just to draw this simple chart; as I say yeasterday was a bad day; my violin practice too was the worst ever; this morning I'm much improved and I turned the heating in the studio up before breakfast so by now it should be warm and cosy just right for a bit of violin practice.

I've got the Tascam recorder and amplifier but still await new cables I bought through eBay these now overdue so it looks like more wasted time today sending emails to chase them up; the violin beginners book I bought should arrive early next week so fingers crossed everything I've ordered will magically arrive allowing me to move forward.

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 16, 2022 - 11:08 am
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that sounds horrible Collin but at least youre aware of what caused it.  As I was reading I was thinking maybe shingles.

hopefully books and cables arrive soon.

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January 17, 2022 - 3:05 am
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Hi,

Many thanks @ABitRusty I did suffer shingles just before I retired in 2000. It was the shingles that decided me to get out of my hugely stressful job walking out before I was carried out. I made the most of the week off work though whilst I was contagious; I just ignored the shingles and replaced a row of wall foundation bricks in the garage; no point in sitting around moaning I had shingles whatever I did.

DSCN2489.JPGImage Enlarger

Here's an unpleasant picture of a small flare up from intolerance to dairy products; in July 2016 I was rushed into hospital as an emergency spending three days there. This latest problem though I believe is just down to a change of soap; two days of misery and I'm on top of the world again; I'm extremely careful but I still get caught out. Since dumping dairy products though I'm generally very healthy being Soya powered; they do say cows milk is for cows?

Hopefully the book and cables will arrive this week; I'm keen to record my violin practice sessions then play them back through the amplifier but taking neighbours into consideration regarding noise. Bron and I are a very quiet polite couple getting on with our lives without upsetting or offending anyone.

I can be extremely thick at times missing the obvious; yesterday I struggled with finger control on the strings whilst attempting to play Lara's Theme; Fiddlerman's finger positions are clearly shown in the drawings; I've been using the wrong fingers but I like to learn the hard way making every mistake possible before getting it right. I still am prone to making the same mistake a number of times but I don't worry about it just carrying on.

I was back home by 7:30 this morning after doing the shopping; I do the supermarket shopping on my own; there's no point in Bron doing it with me; I get around the stores like a missile working from the shopping list for each store; no impulse buying just get in and out as quickly as I can. We're about to set off to a store 12 miles away which has a crafting section Bron likes; returning home I'll probably wash the car then the rest of the day is mine; whoopee.

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 17, 2022 - 7:36 am
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Hi,

With so many problems around the world showing nothing but doom and gloom I'd like to welcome everyone to a wonderful place in the UK called Yorkshire. I'm Yorkshire born and bred and wouldn't ever consider living anywhere else in the world; we've got the lot here.

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk.....g-22773243

Yes we have our share of idiots but on the whole Yorkshire is wonderful; we have very long winters and plenty of rain but when the sun shows it's face on a warm day where else would I want to be.

Years ago immediately after the first series of "All Creatures Great And Small" Bron and I had our only holiday away from home in a tiny village called Arkengarthdale; we were self catering in the cottage just left of the opening shot as the car goes over the bridge. Here's the village it was filmed in;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....SOFQwqa22E

This new series is in a different location in and around Grassington; we know the area very well indeed and spent our honeymoon in Bron's parents caravan in Cracoe; we enjoyed many walks around the local picturesque villages.

Just one weeks holiday away from home in the last 45 years and we don't miss holidays at all; Yorkshire is simply so good there's always somewhere lovely to visit easily in a day; we're happy to remain in Yorkshire; this morning we've popped over to The Range in Barnsley only 14 miles from us "The Range" has a crafting section Bron likes.

Bring your umbrella and wellies and be made very welcome indeed.

Not on topic but I'm fed up of seeing such miserable stuff on TV.

Kind regards, Colin.

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JohnG
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January 17, 2022 - 11:30 pm
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Would have loved to see the video, but :

"Video unavailable

This video contains content from BBC Studios, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds".

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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January 18, 2022 - 12:30 am
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@Retired , @JohnG -

If I type in a search for "All Creatures Great and Small" on YouTube, there's little snippets of the newer series, but no idea if what you want to point out is there, Colin.

Quite a few of the older series episodes is available on YouTube also - love them, loved the books when I was a kid. 

Last year I watched several series that showcased places in Britain.  So GREAT to be encouraged by now knowing Folks from around these places! 

I recently started watching a series on Amazon Prime - "Britain's Hidden Villages", actress Penelope Keith travels around exploring these, using books published by Batsford as a guide.  

Season 3, Episode 3 is about North Yorkshire. 

https://musicartofilse.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/cat-on-fiddlejpeg-e1594570396784.jpg

 

- Emily

"Cat on Fiddle" by Ilse - giclee print available here: https://musicartofilse.com/ind.....on-fiddle/

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January 18, 2022 - 5:03 am
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Hi,

What a shame @JohnG that the video is not available due to copyright; I never gave this a thought because here in the UK it works fine at least it does on my computer. Out of interest though we're YouTube Premium users paying about £12 monthly so we can watch videos without lots of adverts; we use YouTube a lot so it's good value for us.

Thanks Emily @ELCBK 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075472/

The original "All Creatures Great And Small" from 1978 was the time we spent the week in the coittage where it was filmed. Often we find remakes of old TV series to be poor but the new series now just made are also excellent; terrible shame though regarding the lovely Dame Dianna Rigg passing away;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....TV_series)

Both the original and new series to me are what TV should be about.

I've not watched "Britain's hidden villages" Emily but there are so many series on TV showing all aspects of Britain; "Escape to the country" is interesting.

The cat has a big fiddle. Looking out of our kitchen window earlier this morning we had a new friend visiting us; a tabby cat so it will soon be a member of the cat family which visit us daily to receive a saucer of food under their chin from Bron and lots of fussing; we like all animals and birds; the bicuits and food not eatien by the cats or birds during the day gets eaten by the badgers or foxes during the night; we watch these on CCTV.

I managed to wash the car yesterday but this morning our black car is now white; it's still covered with frost. The new cables arrived yesterday so I'm now in with a chance of setting the studio up for amplifier sound from the Tascam recorder. I turned the heating up in the studio first thing before breakfast so I'm about to head in there for a bit of happiness. Too cold to play out today.

UPDATE; back to violins and WOW my confidence has just received a huge boost; I've just been playing the first line of "Lara's Theme" to Bron in our front room "Somewhere my love there will be songs to sing" Definirtely not perfect but I can get the notes correct using the electronic tuner as I play and my fingers are starting to behave too; bow pressure and note length now to concentrate on but first hurdle well and truly over; I hope to do four practices today; I'm finding shorter but more practices are better than pushing myself until I start to ache and hurt; I feel fine so let me at it. thumbs-up

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 19, 2022 - 5:48 am
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Hi,

Things are moving forward at last; the new cables arrived as did the new 13A socket with it's USB outlets. I'd swapped the 13A socket from the workshop to the studio it having USB outlets but this socket simply wouldn't fit correctly it's faceplate refused to clip on; it was safe but I didn't like it hence I bought the new socket; replacing the socket was only a five minute job having ensured the mains power to it was isolated; I'm pleased with it now and can power up anything needing USB connection like the Yamaha electronic mini keyboard.

Next job was to connect the Tascam recorder to the amplifier; I can now play the Tascam metronome through the amplifier so connections appear to be correct. I'm looking forward to recording my violin practice sessions and playing them back; I'm sure they will sound a lot different to what I hear when I play the violin on my shoulder.

Yesterday I also enjoyed three violin practice sessions at about half an hour each; I'm playing the first line of Lara's Theme over and over until I can play it without having to concentrate so hard; it's getting easier with each practice; I'm going to do this with each line of Lara's Theme until I can play the entire tune.

Things certainly are moving on at last the postman has just visited us delivering the 17 bars of Dove Sensitive Soap and the Violinworks Book 1. I bought 17 bars of the soap so won't get caught out again with skin problems using the wrong Dove soap. I've just glanced through the book and it looks just what I need so I'm looking forward to fully reading and understanding it.

The pictures of the sockets show the black socket I dislike it's cover not clipping into position and the new socket replacing it; I've wasted many  weeks time awaiting deliveries so tried to save time by swapping the workshop and studio socket but it didn't work out so as usual do it the hard way as I become increasingly older.

The Tascam and amplifier open up new possiibilties long term; what if I can record the violin and also move on to practicing with a balalaika then mixing both for Lara's Theme; I'm obssessed with playing Lara's Theme and openly admit it because the tune/song haunt me every time I hear them and I never ever thought I'd end up trying to play them. Time now to wander into the studio which should have warmed up.

Kind regards, Colin.

 

Dove-soap_0001.JPGImage EnlargerStudio-socket._0002.JPGImage EnlargerStudio-socket._0003.JPGImage EnlargerViolinworks._0001.JPGImage Enlarger

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January 20, 2022 - 10:43 am
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Hi,

With another frost overnight and just above freezing at the moment the studio took a lot of heating up this morning. I've just knocked off feeling rather frustrated; I've been playing with the Tascam and amplifier; everything I've touched so far seems to have a mind of its own; the amplifier has a pronounced hum.

I'm powering the Tascam from a 240V mains adaptor and it works fine but I think the hum is a mains hum; I'm very familiar with this due to my vintage radio restoration days; usually a class X2 capacitor gets rid of such hum but why couldn't I just plug everything in without the usual hassle. Next session I'll insert batteries into the Tascam to test if this gets rid of the hum; if it does then it confirms a mains hum; I've just walked away in disgust but tomorrow I'll see what I can do to resolve this problem. If all else fails I've got a big sledge hammer.

It's a beautiful sunny day but bitterly cold outside.

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 20, 2022 - 1:53 pm
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Is your tascam plugged into the amp, if it is that buzz could be feedback. If its feeding back move the recorder farther away.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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January 21, 2022 - 4:57 am
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Hi,

Thanks @stringy for your excellent suggestion. Yes the Tascam is plugged into the amplifier. Later yesterday out of curiosity I popped into the studio and removed the mains power adaptor to the Tascam; with just battery power the hum was drastically reduced with just a low background hum from the amplifier; the temperature in the studio had dropped a great deal so I didn't want to hang around.

A forum member friend also kindly suggested it could be hum caused by flourescent lighting but my studio is lit using LED strip lights. This cold weather is tormenting me a bit; this morning just as I was about to set off to the supermarkets at 7 o'clock I turned the studio heating up and the temperature outside is a bit higher than it was yesterday; no frost this morning.

I'm about to wander into the studio to play around a bit. Hum can be a pain to locate and a lot of things can cause it. Years ago when I had the idea I could run both my Graduate woodturning lathe and my Lorch Schmidt engineering lathe from a single VFD I had real fun for ages; both lathes have identical high quality inverter rated motors and with switching included I could isolate each lathe in turn just powering one lathe at a time.

I've never seen this done previously and still not seen it done by anyone else but the lathes had power cables and signal cables; for simplicity I'd run the power and signal cables alongside each other; this caused a great deal of frustration until I realized there was "Cross talk" I seperated the cables but this time used "Cat 6" for the signal cable the lathes are now happy.

During my vintage radio restoring years certain sets had shielding around HF valves to prevent interference to other valves; for mains hum I used to install class X2 capacitors which would cure it.

I'll be pleased when the weather warms up because at the moment I'm only heating the studio as needed; I don't like throwing monery at the energy suppliers and as seen in the news energy prices here in the UK are going ballistic. Gone are the days when I'll go outside in freezing conditions unless I've no choice; I feel the cold a lot more these days.

I've downloaded and printed off Lara's Theme music score with lyrics but this is just one free page lifted from Pinterest; it's "Somewhere my love" music by Maurice Jarre lyrics by Paul Francis Webster; I'm grateful to have this but I'd like the full score with lyrics and I don't mind buying but I've browsed the web without success; I'm unsure if what I have is for violin and because of copyright I'm unable to share it.

I've been practicing with the electronic tuner attached to the violin and with the tuner turned on; I'm starting to recognize finger positions and yesterday I could play F; G; A & B with open E on the E string noticing I could find the positions without tuner and by moving a finger just a bit could hit the note at it's loudest which I assume is in tune; I've so much yet to learn but I'm sticking with it.

UPDATE,

I've just enjoyed a session in the studio but it's still too cool for comfort; I should have turned the radiator stat up fully to #5 instead of #4 first thing this morning.

I've been playing around with the Tascam and amplifier @stringy but moving the Tascam further away from the amplifier makes no difference to the hum; I did however find I'd connected the Tascam into AUX so connecting to amplifier "Input" helps a great deal; I live and learn; there's still hum but not as pronounced and I can live with it for the time being; I want to concentrate on practicing. The hum is coming from the Tascam so is being picked up somewhere; the Tascam and amplifier though are brilliant.

I'm rapidly learning how to use the Tascam with amplifer and have just recorded about 15 minutes violin playing; I've a long way to go yet but I feel happy to hear the playback; it could be a lot worse; the first line of Lara's Theme cheered me up and surprised me because it sounds better than Twinkle twinkle which I've practiced a lot more.

I've just tried to copy this recording from the Tascam to computer using the USB connection without success; the Tascam needs either the batteries or the adaptor it doesn't work just from the USB; no problem though I'll do this later; this morning I can describe as a success; everything is falling into place; I've done this practice without using the electronic tuner and I now know how to record and playback.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Hi,

I've now found a lot of Lara's Theme music with lyrics; it's taken some tracking down and refused to print; not to be beaten I used the "Snipping tool" and snipped sections at a time so now I have it in five pages; I'd have been haoppy to pay for it but the copies I've seen on Ebay appear to be shorter versions on two pages. it's in Treble Cleff C. Learning to read music is going to be fun.

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 27, 2022 - 4:55 am
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@Retired 

How's things going? You have not posted on your blog for a few days, hope all is well.

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Hi,

This is so kind of you @Fashionandfiddle thank you for your concern.

I've been busy sorting a few things out like posting items for sale also busy on the web and doing a bit of reading regarding violins; I'm now starting to understand how to read violin music at least I'm grasping the basics; there's not enough hours in a day; it's surprising how much time I've been spending on emails and even posting on this wonderful forum; it's worrying how fast the years are disappearing and I'm fully retired so should have lots of spare time.

Hospital and surgery appointments too; Monday; yesterday and again in a few minutes; nothing to worry about but our NHS is wonderful looking after us checking everything is OK rather than waiting until something gets serious.
(Sorry, edited by @Fiddlerman to avoid a heated political discussion. 😁 Not choosing sides)

Thanks again got to go. Back later.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Hi,

Back home again and a bit of time before tea time.

Somewhere-my-love.-Full-sheet-violin-music-2.jpgImage Enlarger

At last I have the "Somewhere my love" sheet music with lyrics to work from; I've been gathering bits of this music for a while but this is available through eBay so I've now got a full copy.

I can play the first line on my violin "Somewhere my love there will be songs to sing" and I'm practicing over and over again in order to get the correct notes. As shown in previous posts I'm copying every note and adding what note it is and giving it a number but now I'm working from sheet music rather than the animated video; this not only gives exact note but is also teaching me how to read music; I'm making progress but everything seems so slow hence I've not posted on the forum for a couple of days; pity I can't be in two or three places at the same time.

I've also been looking at lots of shoulder rest designs; I want one that hooks over my shoulder and I'm rather put out by this cold weather because I could make a bespoke shoulder rest in my workshop but it's been too cold to get into the workshop in comfort.

I'm now also turning the studio heating up before breakfast this allows me to get on with violin practicing a few times each day; there's so much I want to do but time flies by; I've just spent time scanning and printing copies of these music sheets allowing me to keep the originals in top condition; I can now convert the music into play lists I understand allowing me to at least play by numbers; I'm firstly using the electronic tuner  in order to get the right notes then once I've got these something like I turn the tuner off; possibly not the correct way to learn but it's working for me and I'm enjoying myself.

At the end of March we alter our clocks once again so daylight should be lengthened; these short dark cold days are so depressing but they won't stop me.

I've also been looking at where I'm going in the workshop longer term; this year I plan to make a violin which doesn't involve much of my big machinery; I've seldom had time to use my Union Graduate woodturning lathe which doubles up for metal spinning and now I'm so involved with violins it's unlikely I'll have time to play with the lathe for some time to come so I'm considering selling the lathe with lots of accessories; it's just sitting there unused; I do enjoy lathe work both metal and wood but I can't do everything so something has to give.

Bron always comes first for me and I want to spend time taking Bron out for day trips in the car too this year so I'm rapidly getting older. I'm on a roundabout which is going faster and faster and I can't get off; I'm never bored though. thumbs-up

Kind regards, Colin.

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January 27, 2022 - 11:55 am
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Glad you're happy with your health care system.   Thanks for sharing.

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Hi,

Thanks @ABitRusty you're most welcome. There are many good reasons to live here in the UK; our National health Service (NHS) is wonderful; at the moment Covid has caused a huge backlog of treatment but if it's an emergency it's very quickly sorted out; we could take the NHS for granted because it's something we don't have to worry about or pay for other than a small deduction from wages; no huge insurance costs and it doesn't matter whatever age anyone is.

The high wind is trying to remove our bungalow from this exposed valley side usually it's rain trying to wash it away. Roll on springtime when we alter the clocks again.

Kind regards, Colin.

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