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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 (166 votes) 
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Retired
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August 21, 2022 - 9:41 am
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Hi,

I've been very busy as usual on outside jobs whilst this rare hot weather lasts but also I'm making lots of progress regarding the studio and violin practice.

Studio-sockets_0001.JPGImage Enlarger

I had installed 4 double 13A sockets but wanted to tidy them up so yesterday I bought new sockets and pattress boxes then spent the day wiring them up.

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I did the wiring on the bench in the workshop where it was easier with access to my tools.

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The new sockets are mounted on two backboards of 1/2" thick salvaged knock down furniture boards; three mounting screw holes were added these hidden once installed.

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Four of the sockets including a double socket giving 2 USB outlets.

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The other four sockets at the studio end. These sockets are not hard wired in; each four has a 13A plug added and these simply plug into the ring main sockets; the plugs are fused at 13A and 1.5mm cable is used; further protection is via the consumer unit mcb & RCD; I'd need to use a lot of studio gear to overload these.

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A place for everything and everything in its place; this morning I made a pair of simple wooden holders for my phones getting them safely off the bench. I can't stand being untidy unlike some workshops I've visited where everything in it's place and everything all over the place; we're all different; I'm very tidy in everything I do.

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Two days ago I visited a carpet warehouse and bought three carpet "Runners" these at 6' long x 2' wide only costing £16; well worth the money; I can now place my violins safely on the bench top. I still need to arrange the layout of the gear and to identify each plug as to what it powers; it's amazing how many cables are needed even in a small studio like mine.

The Yamaha YEV violin is absolutely amazing and it's connected to a Yamaha THR 10 amplifier; these are a lovely matched pair and give me lots of pleasure; I'm also still practicing on my 1880 German acoustic violin so as I say lots of progress and winter will be nice this year.

A mic boom arrived yesterday and I need to modify it to fit my Rode mic so this will be the next job and something else I can then get off the bench top. It's all rapidly coming together much to my delight.

Kind regards, Colin.

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September 6, 2022 - 7:12 am
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Hi,

My life and luck stinks. I've struggled for the past year trying to play my violins but each time I dare go near them I'm pulled away with another problem.

With the studio completed and kitted out; four violins and a balalaika plus recording gear etc I thought at last perhaps now I can settle down having worked like mad doing all the maintence around home and gardens including felling and disposing of 15 big trees a few months ago working in atrocious conditions.

27th August my birthday early morning I stepped onto our rear patio and found the entire two roomed rear extension incuding the newly kitted out studio had decided to go walkabout; the extension had settled on its foundations breaking it away from the main bungalow leaving an 1/2" wide gap down two outer wals and the inner dividing wall.

This really distressed me but at least it was fully insured so I tried to contact LV Insurance by phone but I was placed in a queue of at least 20 minutes; I hung up and completed their online claim form then waited and waited and waited by now we were into a bank holiday.

I thought I'd have more chance of joining hands to contact the dead; totally fed up I sent an email to LV cancelling the claim; why wasn't I surprised when very quickly LV replied requesting confirmation of the cancellation.

Having now cancelled the claim I was in control so spent two days repairing the outer walls; one wall was timber framed the other outer wall random stone. I also contacted a highly recommended roofer and he arranged to visit on the Friday so I just got stuck in.

Friday we waited all day for Peter Brady the invisible man to arrive; after 6pm I politely emailed him to cancel aplogizing for any inconvenience caused to him. Once again I was on my own.

I wanted a sheet of Nuralite but this was no longer available but in fairness it's 33 years since I replaced both the main bungalow and two roomed extension roofs. I browsed Roofing Siuperstore and have bought a roll of alternative lead which is due to arrive today; I've just returned from Screwfix having bought a couple of pry bars and assorted items.

Claiming on our insurance meant £1,000 excess to pay. So far the costs to repair both outer walls has been £17 for two lengths of timber and a couple of bags of building sand as I type the walls are repaired. The alternative lead is £88 delivered and I've just spent £44 at Screwfix; little else will be needed other than paint and I'll have the job done in highest quality workmanship in record time; thanks for nothing LV Insurance I'm just pleased I wasn't in a broken down car miles from home in the middle of a winters night.

Heat-damage_0002_03.JPGImage Enlarger

Damage to timber frame/bungalow wall joint.

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Damage repaired still to match paint colour..

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This was a lot more difficult it being random stone;  here I've got a section ready for new mortar; there were six damaged areas.

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Wet mortar which will blend in once it dries.

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The inner wall clearly showing the gap which I'll repair together with other opened up interior gaps today.

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Here's a picture from inside the extension showing the wide gap I can see right through.

We've had the hottest summer on record our daily temperatures up to 38C hence the foundation support dried out but now it's started to rain again it shouldn't settle any further but if it does I'll simply do more repairs after all I've nothing better to do; who really wants to play a violin anyway; better to have them gather dust as show pieces.

I'm aware people are worse off than me but I'm never ever told people are better off than me.

Will I get into the studio once I've repaired the roof; I'm not holding my breath; one thing's certain I'm fitter than many half my age; I'm now 75 still climbing trees and doing roof repairs. so I can't grumble.

Kind regards, Colin.

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September 6, 2022 - 8:20 am
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That’s the reason I asked what the soil was like on the slope on which you removed the mature trees, roots can go down thirty of forty feet depending on the tree and on hillsides stop the land moving below the surface. The surface can look quite normal butthe land below moves and slides. Hope that is not what has happened with your extension.

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

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September 6, 2022 - 9:08 am
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Hi,

Many thanks for your reply @stringy; what you say makes a lot of sense and we still have big trees but I'm confident the problem is the clay soil the bungalow and extension are biult on; this is sure to have dried a lot during the prolonged excessive heat.

It's now raining as I knew it would the Ubilflex alternative lead having arrived an hour ago; I'm not worried because the work I carried out reroofing all those years ago seems to be holding up well even during a heavy storm; I'll be happy though to ensure there's no chance at all of water ingress so I'm keen to complete this job.

35 years ago moving here into our dream bungalow we suffered water ingress after only 6 weeks the water coming through two ceilings; massive mortgage unable to borrow another penny with a roof replacement quote of £6,500 and because of the mortgage we were paying a big insurance premium with Legal & General. Legal & General loss adjuster's visiting us virtually told us to get lost regarding the insurance claim; the damage was due to "lack of maintenance". we lived with buckets and bowls catching water for 18 months until we had worked every hour we could in order to save for roofing materials; I spent this time researching how to install a roof which I did in two weeks with my wonderful wife on the ground filling bags and the skips but we won through leaving us absolutely detesting insurance companies who are very friendly whilst relieving us of money; it's very surprising what can be done whilst desperate so here we are again with a roof problem but this time much smaller.

I can dream on regarding violin practice; whilst it's raining I can make excellent progress with the lighter interior repairs this afternoon.

Kind regards, Colin.

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September 15, 2022 - 2:42 am
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Hi,

Subsidence repairs now fully completed taking two weeks doing the whole repairs on my own. I'm 100% reliable unlike insurance companies and tradespeople; if I want a job doing I may as well save lots of hassle & time and just do the job myself.

Roof-completed_0002.JPGImage EnlargerRoof-completed_0006.JPGImage Enlarger

Roof repair completed using alternative lead; I went to a great deal of trouble to do a top job; this should now last at least another 33 years unless of course we suffer future subsidence but this time I've not clipped and nailed the bottom row of tiles so any future repairs will be much quicker and easier; this side of the bungalow is more sheltered from the exposed valley side. To involve the insurance would have cost the policy excess of £1,000 doing the work myself using best quality materials cost around £400.

12 months have passed since my lovely wife bought me my first violin; all I've done this year is hard work so perhaps at last I'll finally get into the studio to play with my violins and recording gear. Our bungalow & gardens are very high maintenance but I hope I can now relax; at the moment I've no jobs hanging over me demanding my attention. Now 75 years of age and still climbing trees and doing heavy repairs around home; I hope I can continue for some time yet to come but now I want my dream of learning to play a violin to come true.

Many thanks for your interest and patience if you've been following this. thumbs-up

Kind regards, Colin.

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September 27, 2022 - 6:34 am
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Hi,

Since my wife generously bought me my first violin a year ago I think I've only ever had one full day to call my own to practice playing.

10:50 this morning brilliant at last into the studio and nicely got settled with the Yamaha violin and Yamaha amp plugged in the Tascam recording; the Rode mic with its phantom power all running; 11:00 called out of the studio to answer the phone; I've got a vintage petrol rotavator due to arrive as a winter restoration project; normally I'm informed by email but whenever I try to practice playing the violins I'm pulled away; GRRRRR I could scream; I feel like buying a petrol generator and driving miles away from anyone or telephones into the middle of a huge field then perhaps I can practice.

I've gradually been making progress playing Lara's Theme; it's been incredibly difficult getting studio time but I won't give up; I want to record a practice then transfer it to my computer then to YouTube; now aged 75 will I live long enough.

Constant moaning is what I'm good at because there are so many demands on my time; better than being bored?

I've a great deal to learn but I'd like to add progress so far onto YouTube to encourager others of similar age to adopt a new hobby. This coming winter I plan to share studio and workshop time; I'll believe it if it happens.

Kind regards, Colin.

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October 4, 2022 - 10:45 am
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Hi,

It's been a very hard year regarding endless problems demanding my time each time I've dared to go near my violins.

Yesterday at last I had a bit of time so had a go at posting one of my short practice sessions onto YouTube; from bow to YouTube has been a ballistic learning curve but I've now got a violin practice on YouTube as seen above.

It's not my best practice just one I've been playing around with for a while as I've been gaining more experience using the condenser mic; Tascam 8 track pocket studio; Yamaha YEV violin and Yamaha amp; I could transfer from the Tascam to desktop but then needed to learn how to use Audacity; a couple of days ago I came across "VEED" on YouTube so have also been playing with this; I was up against it trying to post on YouTube because of the differents file types but have finally broken through; not my best recording and no excuses; I'm now well on my way and plan to spend more time practicing playing my violins this coming winter. I'm stubborn and have stuck with it much to my delight.

I stopped making strange scratching noises months ago and considering the many problems tormenting me I've at last got music out of my violin. The time I do play my violin's I always enjoy myself; I'm in it for a long term hobby finding it fascinating.

Yesterday I ran ten heavy bags of acorns to the tip and also rotavated the side garden; as I say there are always demands on my time; the thudding heard in the background I think is acorns landing on the studio roof just above my head; shortly there will be lots of leaves to occupy me.

Kind regards, Colin.

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October 4, 2022 - 1:54 pm
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Excellent, Colin. I really hope things settle down enough that you can devote more time to the violin. I truly believe that you will accomplish amazing things.

The old curmudgeon!

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@Retired -

Love the Minor thing you've got going! 

Hope we get to see YOU, in the chair, playing - soon!

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Hi,

Many thanks @JohnG for your kind words and encouragement which I fully appreciate. Unfortunately I still can't rid myself of these constant problems; it's now 11:00am and I've just sorted a problem out it taking 16 attempts spread over many weeks; I feel like throwing a party; tomorrow I've another problem to sort out then Friday my wife has her Covid booster which of course takes priority but means no studio time whilst away from home; it's been incredibly difficult to now reach the point of adding to YouTube; I just used a recorded practice from a while ago as an experiment so now I know the process I'll make a new recording once I get into the studio; I can dream on.

Thanks @ELCBK I'm so pleased you like the first video; I've now got audio recording sorted out using the Tascam but as yet no visual which I will look into; once again it's down to time constraints; we've got heavy rain and with one major problem resolved this morning finger's crossed I can spend time in the sudio this afternoon; I realize my thread is somewhat different but then it reflects my life and hopefully explains why I've not progressed further with my violin playing but I confess in spite of so many setbacks I can now get a decent tune out of a violin.

My dream/obssession is still to play Lara's Theme song in full and I'm halfway there; I'm using Andy Williams version which is quite slow and although I'm getting nearer with the notes I've yet a great deal to learn.

I've tried using a shoulder rest but find it causes me more problems than it solves so at the moment I fold a towel and fold it again giving four thicknesses and drape this over my shoulder; far from perfect but if I keep messing around with such things I'm not playing; I'm starting to use four fingers on the strings but my finger joints and arms are often tired due to heavy work; more work over the last few days; side garden rotavated and raked; ten heavy bags of mostly acorns from our patio area and the acorns are still falling; fully retired for the last 21 years and working as hard and as long as ever.

Kind regards, Colin.

Side-garden-rotavated-3-Oct-2022-4.JPGImage Enlarger

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October 15, 2022 - 10:48 am
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Hi,

I still can't get rid of silly time consuming problems. This morning my wife and I had flu jabs at the surgery. Last night I washed my wired desktop WASHABLE keyboard letting it dry overnight; this morning I think it caught flu and died because it was totally dead. Not to worry I'd bought a spare brand new wireless keyboard and mouse a few years ago so installed the batteries; the mouse worked fine the keyboard was dead.

After wasting time playing with these keyboards I headed over to Curry's/PC World in Huddersfield. It was a nightmare due to massive roadworks but eventually I parked just by the store entrance. Entering the store I wondered where all the customers were; there were lots of assistants; I started over to the hanging sign "Computers" a store assistant was coming towards me but he appeared oblivious as to my presence so as he passed by I politely said excuse me I'm looking for a wired keyboard; with the personality of an house brick he took me to the section where there were just two wired keyboards; I then felt embarrased having to cause him so much trouble by asking do you sell Dash Cams; yes and he simply pointed to the next aisle before leaving me.

I was looking at buying a dash cam costing around £150 but although on display I couldn't see one boxed other than boxed items in a locked bottom cupboard; looking around for an assistant they were all having a very good social gathering near the entrance and I didn't want to disturb them being merely a customer so I paid for the keyboard and rejoined the grid lock traffic.

Back home I soon had the new keyboard connected but later found out the speakers were no longer working; I've just had to use a mirror to identify the correct socket because rear access is very poor; I'd disconnected the speaker lead in error this morning and had reconnected in the wrong socket.

Yesterday afternoon our neighbour's son was uip their tree which is located at the very top corner just over the fence on their side cutting back branches; I've now got tree branches to dispose of; it just never ever lets up.

On top of all these problems I've realized I've got a serious personal problem; last night whilst finally in the studio practicing playing my violin my short term memory is abysmal; I'd practive over and over then later go back only to have forgotten; it's all driving me mad but I'm determined to play Lara's Theme however long it takes me; I've not spent a full year of frustration to quit now whatever is thrown at me.

It's now dark; wet and miserable with monsoon type showers; time I wandered into the studio before another day slips by.

Kind regards, Colin.

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October 18, 2022 - 9:58 am
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Hi,

At last more studio time;I enjoyed a nice violin practice this morning for an hour until my left arm ached too much to carry on; perhaps due to my recent flu jab but I'm about to wander into the studio again for another practice and all being well yet another practice after tea time this evening.

I'm improving again making up lost ground and my memory too has picked up a bit so I'm happy.

I've taken delivery of a "Line 6 RELAY G55" today so I'm keen to try it out; good news for a change.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Really glad to hear you're able to get back to the violin and that you are hearing progress. Hopefully you will get even more time in the future.

The old curmudgeon!

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Hi,

Many thanks John; I thought I'd never get into the studio so now I'm delighted to have some spare time; yesterday I enjoyed three violin practices spread through the day; this morning another practice and yet another planned for this evening.

During the last year whilst practicing I learned how to play half of Lara's Theme song having copied the score from the web; I just knew I was playing a wrong note so now with more time I settled down with a bought copy of the original score and sure enough a wrong note but also two more wrong notes; I thought my short term memory was becoming really bad until I realized what was happening; having memorized the wrong notes I'm finding it very difficult indeed now to play the correct notes but I'm sticking with it and starting to win; once I can play half the song correctly playing like a robot I can then concentrate on the second half of the song.

I won't be happy until I succeed; this has turned into an obssession for me; with luck I'll be playing the full song with correct notes by Christmas then I can add a new updated video onto YouTube.

I'm also getting used to all my new studio gear; I'm struggling with the Yamaha amplifier controls trying to get the same sounds I hear when I listen to violins being played on YouTube; it's all down to practice and lots of it.

Kind regards, Colin.

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November 4, 2022 - 6:54 am
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Hi,

My dream was always to play the song Lara's Theme (Some Where My Love) on a violin I made myself; attempting to make a violin this year proved impossible due to demands upon my time even getting time to practice playing my violins has been extremely difficult but over the last few days I've finally broken free of all the jobs needing doing at last getting on top allowing some quality studio time.

My plan was to play the full song as sung by Andy Williams before Christmas but this morning a huge breakthrough; I'm over the moon having just played the full song which proved much easier than expected; I can play over half from memory but this morning have just played the rest referring to my own score.

Laras-theme_0001.JPGImage EnlargerLaras-Theme_0003.JPGImage Enlarger

I tried a few methods to help me play and eventually kept updating until I've arrived at these scores of my own; I painstakingly copied every word from an original copy of "Somewhere My Love" bought through eBay; as seen each word is on top with the string and note below; although struggling for studio time this method has greatly speeded up my learning; the font is large at #22 so I can clearly see it; ideally I'd like to learn to read music and now having learned this way I can copy any score and enlarge it in future so I'm now well on my way.

I did wonder many times if I would succeed because each time I learned a few notes by the time I returned I'd have to start again; this has been so frustrating but never have I considered quitting; I'm just too stubborn.

Happy days; I can now relax and practice until I can play the fuill song from memory.

Eventually I hope to add a video to YouTube but I'm finding playing around with YouTube to be robbing me of playing time so it can wait; I'm keen to improve my playing and to learn new things to play.

Kind regards, Colin.

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https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a2/b5/f9/a2b5f92860a27da7ce6e49fecd128ca9--tatoo-music-music-notes.jpg@Retired -

If that doesn't help you fast enough, Colin, some people find it easier to write finger placement - the string name & finger number (1-4), with 'L' for low/flat & 'H' for high/sharp.  

So, C# on the A string = A-H2 

Nice to hear you are making progress! 

- Emily

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Hi,

Many thanks Emily for your excellent suggestion. I understand what you suggest and perhaps it's a better method than mine; I'm now used to my own method and it's helped me a great deal speeding up learning; I've so much to learn regarding playing a violin but I'm enjoying myself.

Aplogies Emily; I clicked on three stars in error I wanted to click on five stars and cannot now change this.

I'm now more settled in the sudio at last having spare time with no big jobs hanging over me to sort out; I've enjoyed a very nice violin practice this morning with another to come this afternoon and this evening which I'm looking forward to. It's turned wintery so the workshop heating is on.

Kind regards, Colin.

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November 14, 2022 - 5:10 am
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Hi,

I'm on other forums too so am still busy in the background.

My personal learning method of using my own score of Lara's Theme has served me very well indeed aiding me to play a violin.

I've been receiving lots of useful information; I've now learned that I'm playing quite a few wrong notes because with reference to a keyboard I'm only playing on the white keys hence totally missing sharps & flats also I'm advised to reduce reverb on my amp.

I've further been recommended to buy two books covering violin notes which I've now bought but still await delivery of.

I'll now put away my own score and start to learn how to correctly read music; I should manage this better now I no longer have to think about using the bow and my fingers having progressed with these no longer attracting our local cats.

I hope my latest practice of Lara's Theme recorded a few days ago will open; I need to learn sharps and flats and reading from an original score I should also pick up note lengths which I've only been guessing from listening to the song being sung; my short term memory is poor so I'm stopping trying to remember and in future just play from a music sheet. I can play this recording from memory but it's taken for too much effort; Andy Williams sings the song Somewhere my love at an easy pace and on a YouTube tutorial it was stated that novices tend to play their violin too fast; I've no problems playing slowly.

I've just been wasting time trying to enlarge the Lara's Theme score to make it easier for me to see but it suddenly occurred to me why bother; I've just copied the entire score to memory stick which I think will allow me to enlarge and read directly from my laptop in the studio; I always do things the hard way first.

It's also suggested I try to play any tune I know from memory without reading a score and I've been trying this with Amazing Grace which was very interesting indeed; it's definitely not perfect but just playing on two strings fascinated me quickly showing which notes are well out of tune.

At last I can back away from all the heavy work I've been doing all year and spend quality time in the studio; it's been a long time coming.

Kind regards, Colin.

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