Haven't blogged in over a year and a half. Why the big gap ? Am I being overtly sensitive to others who may feel obliged to read this nonsense ? Or am I just playing "hard to get" ? No idea, but that silliness just filled up a couple lines for me nicely don't you think ? I have only met one person ever who highlighted my blogs and writing as her favourite part of my website - a lovely young lass working at a favourite watering hole in Cape Town. ...and no, to those not au fait with Africa that doesn't necessarily mean the same place where the lions go to have their drink of water....(Just sometimes)....that's Africa, the place where you have to sprint from your car to the front door for fear of being taken down by marauding hyenas...(believe me they can be nasty !).
I write this all from the much more secluded environs of an apartment in some (almost) random area of apartment blocks pretty far from from the centre (and madding crowd) of Amsterdam. The biggest threat here is likely the odd random scooter driver on a thrill ride. From a bicyclist's perspective that can be somewhat of a threat. (Bikers and scooters share the same paths) - Seen quite a few bike accidents of late....one has to be careful. Still it's what represents personal freedom for me more than anything, I adore the fact I can bike around this country pretty easily. (Whether in Amsterdam or Groningen - I love them equally, though in very different ways) - I'll take that any day over driving and sitting in jams and contributing to global warming (if indeed that is the case, so much disinfo who knows...)
I can feel my body relax - this has been a very hard year for me, since late May I have only had somewhere to stay for six weeks - the rest of the time homeless and constantly moving from place to place with my stuff in storage...a terrible unsettling feeling which has driven me to the end of my tether. I think many or most people who have never experienced that have no idea what it is like and how hard it is. I noticed that the writer JK Rowling has donated much of her huge wealth. I think she is different, she struggled terribly before her fame and thus understands...there is a huge difference between theoretical and real understanding - huge. Another interesting and little known fact about JK Rowling is that she was born literally the day after me, i.e. I am one day older than her, funny eh ? I have only met one person thus far in my life who was born on exactly the same day, a lady called Debby who had an art gallery in Sea Point, Cape Town. Perhaps she still does.
Love and light to all.
Hello all (or whomever peruses this bloggish diatribe):
It's now 2.41 am. Instead of going to sleep I am still awake (will go to sleep after writing and posting this).
Tonight when I got home from a little local neighbourhood outing I heard a rustle in my kitchen and sure enough a little grey mouse was in the animal friendly trap....Because it was 12.30 am (i.e. not 3 or 4 am while sleeping) I decided to take the mouse to the nearby park (a five minute walk) and release it there in the gentle rain....of course no idea what happens to it from here but it's sure preferable to killing the animal. About 5 days ago a second mouse was also ensnared in the same manner but that was in the middle of the night and so like the first one it was immediately released onto my balcony...so that's three in total now...hope that's the lot....
I was a little surprised to see I haven't blogged for three weeks after being somewhat keen on it after creating this website. I like that - I should only blog when I feel like it....I believe that way it feels fresher and spontaneously in tune with whatever my momentary reality is.
I am so in love with Amsterdam again....the "simple" pleasures like walking a less direct route via a canal to get somewhere, the biking and other things. Much to take in. Friendly little interactions with people one does not know. A friendly man admired my new bike today outside the pool after my swim there and we shared a few amiable words in Dutch.
Tot de volgende keer (Till the next time)
I truly wish for everyone (and me too) happiness, health and love
A beautiful evening, the light on the 19th century "Pijp" (an area of A'dam) apartments across the street is sublime. I am in "getting my film together" mode (I like working 5 till 11 pm I noticed) but in taking a break (have to every 60 to 90 minutes) I feel like writing this. Maybe it feels like being written by me. Or maybe that's just a preposterous statement :)
Anyway I think I am starting to realise that the more I am just myself and not being at all worried about how others might react to me the more I have fun and also get to see where people really are at vis a vis my particular relationship with them. Fascinating stuff...but that's no surprise - we are by nature fascinating beings, so are animals too of course. Mundaneness is an unfortunate by product of an over regulated society at odds with our true natures. This gets instilled very effectively through schools and beyond. I have been wondering lately if it's fair to force children to go to school. Are there other acceptable means of education ? Does a child as a sentient and sovereign unique being have the right to decide about this ? Is the world the way we want it, i.e. is the result of all our conformity and control manifesting in a healthy space ?
My big news (covered by CNN and the BBC as well) is that my "animal-friendly" trap finally did the trick :) I was awoken at 3 am or something the other night to find a cute little white mouse inside the trap. Inside I had used as bait some wonderful (relatively pure and un-junky) white chocolate which I treat myself with occasionally. I had planned to transport a caught mouse to Beatrix Park with my bicycle but it was the middle of the night so I put the mouse on the balcony and bid it adieu. I am not sure what might have transpired with it afterwards but I only wish it the best. I think there might still be one left in my apartment, though not sure. We shall see, the plot thickens....watch this space.
It's so powerful the turning of the seasons here in Northern Europe. From the depths of dark days in winter you suddenly stumble upon a sky with light and brightness again in April.....this translates into pure energy and affects people profoundly. Somehow there seems to be a sunnier disposition to people in general - did I really detect less depressive vibes as I biked to my swim today....? I think so. :)
Even though today has been a chilly 15 degrees Centigrade maximum - (that's about 58 degrees for fahrenheit users)....it felt rather mild, especially in the sun. South Africans (or Seffricans as I like to say) would find this chilly indeed, especially Durbanites.....who keep the jerseys on until it's beyond 18 C (no jokes, I lived in Durban a year and a half between 1993 and 1994).
I have now finished the arduous process of compiling clips from my footage of Arniston (taken in November last year) that are good enough for consideration. (96 minutes of them) Now I will begin choosing what to keep and what to leave out. I have been playing with musical ideas.....I want to keep an ambient yet motion like form and am trying to keep an open mind regarding what sounds to use. I have much to choose from piano improvisation wise (I record these almost every day) - in fact the soundtrack for my last film "Two little towns near Amsterdam" consists of three of these. But I want other timbres for this movie. I want the music for "Arniston Bliss" to be a music album in its own right....
Super Rugby: (if it turns you on) - Yesterday morning was oh so pleasing with the Stormers earning a well merited away victory against last years champions, the Waratahs. For me one of the crucial improvements was that flyhalf Catrikilis finally had a good game kicking out of hand. He made some great tactical territorial kicks bouncing into touch and also made his line kicks direct into touch from his own 22 area. With the kind of pack we have that makes all the difference. I am quite surprised that this wasn't mentioned in any reports of the game I read afterwards. Kurt Coleman came on straight after half time and showed again that he is improving, although there are still clearly rough edges to his game. I felt that this was a season defining game for the Stormers and that it would make a big statement if they could persevere. They were certainly crazily unlucky last week against the Hurricanes...in fact ex ref Kaplan reckons there were question marks over all three tries scored by the Hurricanes in that first half last week...his weekly column on "rate the ref" is excellent.
Love from Amsterdam,
It's Toos-day (as the Americans call it) and Oi feel like writing something. I hope you're reading it whoever you are :)
Yesterday I had a wonderful time seeing an old mate Chris who hails from Ireland and has lived in A'dam for 35 years or so. Never a dull moment with this guy who has taken "taking the piss" to new heights...in this realm he is a Zen master. Just when I start questioning my existence in Amsterdam I have some extraordinary experience or encounter...this has been utterly consistent since my arrival in this beautiful town just under two years ago.
First I had a swim at the Marnix pool which was wonderfully not busy, then the social...first at the Monumentje bar on Westerstraat, then to de Tuin on Tuinstraat where we met some lovely young ladies from Berlin and finally P96 on Prinsengracht. It's been a long time since I had that kind of experience as I have become generally more tempered in my going out activities. I felt surprisingly fresh today....i.e. despite some (fairly) good beer consumption....the energetic afterprint of good vibes. What's best of all in A'dam is being able to bike home after a session such as this, not only is it (obviously) way preferable to driving a car it also serves to freshen one up. It's exactly this kind of thing which makes me want to stay here, ideally be based here and have the ability to travel sometimes. I feel like this is my town. It has its down side of course too to be sure but all I know is when the plane lands here....I feel emotional. In a way I cannot explain it at all.
I have tried the animal friendly trap to get the mouse that has been staying with me (through airbnb actually). Have tried some cheese, peanut butter and now couscous. Alas it doesn't seem interested. I loathe killing animals unless there is no other option. I may just have to do that if all else fails. At least there's only one now, before there were three young ones as well but they disappeared. Perhaps the lady beneath me's cat got them.
Today I have made some good progress on my film and will continue with that after writing this.
I wish everyone joy and peace and good health.
A little brightness in the sky (just read this blog for regular updates of the weather in Amsterdam) - it's another day, enough excuse to write a little something dare I say. First up this morning heartbreak again for my beloved Stormers playing the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. After been blitzed in the first half (some of the poorest defending I have seen from a Stormers team) they came back so well and utterly dominated the second half only to fall short at the end....one doesn't like to make excuses but they were likely robbed of a fair try while the opposition got one with a blatant forward pass. This was the top of the table team the Stormers almost took out playing away so despite some glaring errors they must be doing a lot right.
After the game, I spent the morning auditioning sounds for the music for my new film "Arniston Bliss". A long process but well worth it. I am now 90 % of the way through editing my original film footage of Arniston (320 minutes in total)...then I can start deciding which clips to use. Then get the music together properly. When this film is done I will look at the Amsterdam footage I have again....that is a long term thing...something (likely in a few parts) on Amsterdam. Also a little film on the Wolverfontein area. I know I ought to use my tripod for stability but A: I don't like lugging it around even though it folds up into my small backpack and B: I like the flexibility of handheld - of course the problem is that much of what I shoot this way is junk, unusable. But the way I see it I am primarily a musician and composer and can use my films to promote my music. I am however going all out to make the new film as pro as possible....I have the advantage this time of relatively ten times as much footage. Like everyone else out there I so much would like to make some kind of splash which is quite an achievement in a world saturated with media...certainly who you know makes a big difference.....though you gotta have "the goods" so to speak...at least in someone's view of the scheme of things :)
Have a beautiful Friday my dearies...
The Sun is shining (well sporadically in that Netherlandish way) and I feel happy to have a website (finally!) up and running. I was going to attempt to learn html or php or whatever it is and do something from scratch. Then I thought why not give "Weebly" a try which I had signed up for some time back and then not acted on...I must say I am impressed now that I have signed up. It's very easy to get going...and although obviously there is not the level of control one would have when one actually does all the coding, I don't mind...it appears everything I need is easily possible this way.
I am excited about having an online presence. I am going to be generous in making a lot of media available while trying to exercise some quality control and not just putting any old thing up. But for example my thought process has been, "Why not put up examples of a few songs I recorded as a child", OK granted the audio quality is quite poor but for an object of interest, why not ? It's all part of the rich fabric that constitutes one lifetime and I feel unashamed about sharing some little tidbits this way, it seems like a fun thing to do. I believe I would enjoy exploring the same from others who are also living lifetimes on this planet.
I am (still somewhat frustratingly!) not yet earning income from doing music for media - I am endeavouring to complete and produce a further variety of tracks which I will upload on the "Music for Media" page on this website. I am learning "xcode" programming language so I can produce an "app" of a game idea I had in 1992 originally and in which I still believe.
As another of Austrian descent (who shares a birthday with me) has been known to say: "I will be back".