Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Following a dream...and Cordelia arrives!

I thought it was time I introduced Cordelia.

She arrived a couple of weeks ago; how exciting when the courier truck pulled up and a large cardboard box with my name on it was brought out of the back.  I felt as excited as a 6 year old (and my 6 year old and my 9 year old were pretty excited too!)

She is a Cordoba (so you see Cordelia is entirely appropriate) C5 CE Thinbody.  Slim body, semi acoustic nylon string, with an automatic tuner, and she came in a very good guitar bag too, which I wasn't expecting.

She's lovely to play, and was a bargain too, so I'm a very happy little beginner-muso.

This guitar-playing caper is in danger of becoming an addiction I think.  I'm loving it so much, I'm playing constantly (though not always...or rather, not mostly, the things my guitar teacher has set!), and I'm hearing guitar music in my head all the time that my fingers desperately want to be able to play.  Right now, after seeing Tracey last week (see previous post) I've got serious Blues riffs going round and round in my head.  Cordelia is a little too well-bred for some real down-and-dirty I borrowed my mum's steel string and worked out how to change the tuning to DADGAD (guitar players will know what that means) and lo and sounds like the blues!  Now I just need one of those slidey things!

I've been saying "I wish I could play the guitar" for over 25 years.  And now I am...and I think I'm going to be good at it!  So the moral of this story's never too late to follow a dream, you're not too old, start NOW!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A little Blues...

We headed off down south again last Friday to see my in-laws.  Dropped in to Bridgetown on the way, home of the Bridgetown Blues Festival, to see the talented Tracey Barnett play (her Myspace page is HERE, for more music!).  Lovely evening on the grass at the Cidery there, kids ran amok in the gardens and got covered in mud in the nearby creek, eldest got stung by a bee (NOT fun)...and youngest had a little chat with Tracey after the gig was over, and apparently told her "when my mummy grows up, she's going to be able to play the guitar as good as you!"

Tracey Barnett - Judgement Day

Tracey Barnett | Myspace Music Videos

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Music that moves me....again

I started to learn this years ago, when I sang with a small Gaelic choir (and no, I cannot speak this beautiful language of my ancestors).  Back then, I had intended to sing it 'a capella', but I dug the words out again the other day, listened to it again...and decided to give a guitar arrangement a go.  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out (7 months into learning how to play, so it's very simple), now I just need to practice it a lot, and remember all the words.  Perhaps one day I'll be able to record it and post it on my blog (when it's had a LOT of practice!), but in the meantime, here's the gorgeous version of it by the wonderful Capercaillie.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A young pirate and a winter moon...

Two pieces I've been working on in the last 2 or 3 weeks.  The pirate is a sort of commission, one of two paintings for a very old friend...two paintings I  have been procrastinating over for....embarrassed whisper...about 18 months!  I'm simply not good with commissions, I worry about them too much and it makes it impossible to even start.  When I paint a painting that I like (or at least am mostly happy with), and someone else happens to like the finished product, that is wonderful.  But to paint something for someone, to try and live up to expectations (because there are always expectations even when people don't mean to have any), to try and make my work as good as, or better, than what they see in their mind's eye, that is another kettle of fish entirely.  But here is one finished finally, now I must start on the other.  I hope it's as good as she dreamed it would be!
I think it's called 'Land Ho!'

And a little bit of stitching that I began just before Christmas, inspired by all the wonderful photos of snow on my favourite blogs across the sea.  You must understand that as an Aussie, snow has a magical fairytale quality for me, I've only ever experienced it once, and so such pictures are not only a delight but almost a necessity in the depths of our long hot summer!  I'm still working on this one, it's just a bit of fun, so I don't know how it will turn out.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dancing with my arms out wide....

Oh, the wonderful things to be DISCOVERED in the Etherworld.  Like this.  I've not heard of Jonsi before...but the video reminded me of yet another unfinished scribble I have (which might become a song), about the mad king Suibhne (or Sweeney).  And the music?  It makes me feel as if there's joy bubbling all the way up from my feet, as if I absolutely must dance barefoot, round and round with my arms thrown out wide.  The world would be a happier place if we danced more, I'm sure.

Suibhne’s Lover Laments

Shall I tempt you down again
My mad and melancholy king?
Gently I’ll unwind the feathers 
  twisted in your hair.
And soothe the searing truths the thorns
  have written on your skin.

Shall I tempt you down again
My solitary lover?
From the treetops of your exile
  in the chill and biting wind.
To the friendship of my bed
  your scars with kisses cover.

Your darkened eyes replete with pain
You cannot stay, you cannot stay
The wind will call you out again
My mad and melancholy king.

What use a warm body and a warm bed
  when you from languid arms are seized?
By the song of the wind among the leaves
  of the silent, frost-festooned dark trees.

Shall I tempt you down again
My sad and solitary lover?
From the exile of your wandering mind
  in snow and stinging rain.
And in my warm caress, again
  your human soul discover.

Christina Cairns © 2007

Sunday, January 2, 2011


...a new year, a new beginning.  Time for new thoughts, new projects, new insight.  I think my first 'resolution', though I hesitate to call it that as it always sounds to learn acceptance.  As the prayer goes...
God grant me the serenity  
to accept the things I cannot change;  
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

There are things I bang my head against and it is as pointless as banging my head against a brick wall.  Sometimes it is me banging my head against my own stubbornness or bad habits, sometimes it's just life, or other people.  Silly really...change it or accept it.  So that's my mantra for this year.  There will be changes afoot, I think it's going to be a big year. I have a couple of 'new beginnings' happening already, I'll post some pics soon.  In the meantime, I hope you all had a wonderful new year celebration!  There will be more posts from the attic in 2011!
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