I’ve been working hard since Christmas. You may recall a couple of years ago, I posted about changes I wanted to make in my life and that singing needed to be more of it. Well, I’m recording two albums. The first made it into the can last Thursday; we start on the second next Thursday. We’re splitting that one into two sessions to make it a bit less stressful on my vocal chords and on my double bass player’s fingertips. For the past two months, I’ve been finalising set lists, working my vocal exercises and rehearsing for several hours a day. Stood me in good stead in the studio last week. Five hours of singing … well, probably closer to four when breaks and stops to fix musical issues were thrown in. I was pretty ragged by the end of it and you can hear it in the takes. I will be redoing two of the last three songs, probably. We’ll see what my sweetheart says when he listens.
I’ve also been taking our girl into the village with me a couple of times a week. We go to the butcher (she stays outside, but will try to get in if she can) and the veg shop. The ladies in the veg shop always give her a good fuss. She likes that. Then, we put our shopping into the car and go for a long walk, either down the gated lane that runs a couple of miles south toward Sutton Cheney, or around Market Bosworth Country Park. We meet other dogs and humans, chase a few squirrels, sniff the smells, watch the ducks on the pond (they would call it a lake) and because it is February in England, lately we’ve been looking at flowers.
The early spring blooms here will never quite stop being miraculous for this Canuck, but the warmth we’ve had this year has been wonderful. It’s also been much drier and more sunny this winter, which has made the dark ages bearable. There are worries about drought and if a bad frost comes (which it’s forecast to do next week) the fear is that the far too early fruit tree blossoms will be killed off. But this past week or so, I have welcomed the respite as I escape the learning curve that producing an album involves.
I was a little freaked, truth be told. There is quite a lot to take into account. Rights, for instance. I firmly believe in copyright laws and in paying the owner of the rights to any song I record. What I didn’t know was that CD production houses won’t manufacture your CD for you unless you have proof of the Mechanical Rights to the songs in question. My brain exploded. A walk in the park helped a lot. There’s always a crew of water fowl on the pond and my pup has decided it’s fun to go right to the water’s edge to stare at them. I’m half waiting for her to jump in to join them, one day. They, by the way feel quite differently about the presence of a ginormous dog at their water’s edge. They do, however, follow us around until we take a woodland path. One of these days, I must remember to take some seed with me.
I had to look these Mediterranean Gulls up. They are so trim and sweet looking, they utterly caught my camera’s eye. These are some of the 1,800 Mediterranean Gulls that over-winter in England. This is their winter plumage. In summer, their heads are black. Here’s a link to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds page on them: Mediterranean Gull
Market Bosworth has either won or been a finalist in the Britain In Bloom contest, pretty much since we moved to the area. At this time of year, it’s easy to see why. There are winter growing flowers in most gardens, but right now, there are Crocuses everywhere. However, it’s the Crocuses in the woodland trails of Market Bosworth Ccountry Park, hiding in the midst of twigs and last year’s leaves, each one reaching for every bit of light and warmth, that delight me. The Pup sighed, lay down with a “Humph,” and watched the woods.
But even driving through Market Bosworth is eye-catching with Crocuses, as is the drive through virtually every town and village in the area. Honestly, it’s a good thing I’m walking in town so much right now. Driving in town is difficult when you are staring at the verges and embankments! And now, the copious numbers of Daffodils are up and about to bloom!
I have long held that Spring actually begins on February 1. It is when lambing begins, and even in Ontario, by the second week of February the Willow trees begin to pop with orange as their sap starts to flow. In Ontario, I watched the trees’ buds begin to glow with colour, each in sequence, as February and March progressed. Snow would still be everywhere, but the trees would be glowing. Here, flowers sprout so much earlier and I look at each one as a tiny miracle.
And so, with frosts still to come through March, I ended February in the studio, recording the album that has been in my heart for almost two decades. I have two studio dates in March and then we are done recording for the moment. I’m coming to understand the licensing process and have had professional photos done for cover art and marketing. I am grateful to have had the inspiration of very early Spring to go on when things got confusing and a bit tough, due in part to the other project(s) we’ve been working on. We don’t do things by halves in our house!!
All things in their time, however. And so, I ramble on.