Showing posts with the label Music

Gift Ideas: For 'Difficult' Dads

Smile! Christmas; it came, it went, we conquered. Get anything nice? I thought I'd blog, before it transcends into a distant memory. In fifty weeks, we do it again! 😕 I'm a simple man, I don't ask for much. That said, Santa (my wife) obliged with some decent gifts. My Christmas priority, is my children. Their festive joy and smiles, are all I need.  It's a cliché, but you enjoy Christmas through the kids. And that's enough for me. My birthday is late-November, which is problematic. By Christmas, I'm stuck for ideas. I'm difficult to buy for.  Kids are easy, that want everything! And my wife always needs handbags! I favour "experiences" over "stuff". Which is sensible, until you need "tangible" gift ideas. We end each year the same, the wife says:  "What do you want for Christmas darling?!?"  and I say:  "I don't  know........ surprise me?".  Anyway, she did well again. This is (some of) what Dad got for

Learning Guitar: How And Why You Should

We rock tonight! I have played guitar for years and once again, my six-stringed friend is keeping me sane. Studies have shown that playing instruments can prevent diseases like Alzheimer's, by boosting cognitive abilities. Guitar is effectively brain training, and a way to sharpen your reflexes. Progressing through the early phases of learning is hugely enjoyable. Nobody turns into Jimi Hendrix over night (or ever), but with consistency, a decent standard is possible in six months. As hobbies go, it doesn't have to be pricey. I own a few expensive guitars, but there are brilliant guitars under £200 ($275). If that's too much, explore the second-hand market where bargains are plentiful. Mental Health Benefits My early twenties were perhaps the more challenging moments of my life. My family had moved back to Essex and I felt a little lost in the world. I was stumbling through temporary jobs, not knowing what I wanted from life and lacking motivation. This period lasted a coup

Vinyl Records: A Hipster Dad's Tale

Glorious 12" vinyl! Vinyl records continue to surge in popularity; as eager buffoons embrace the musical frisbee, and nostalgic traditions. Sales are up a staggering 30 percent across the UK, to the delight of audiophiles and hipster twats everywhere. Experts predict that vinyl will outsell CDs this year, for the first time since the eighties.  Have we all gone bonkers? Perhaps we should start wearing shell-suits and listening to Phil Collins? What time is the 'A-Team' on? So, what is behind the trend? Well, basically, nostalgic old vinyl lovers like me. But younger people are buying into the trend too, because vinyl is a "new" experience. For the young, it's their chance to own physical music, instead of renting it from streaming services who (allegedly) "rip-off" artists. The appeal stretches beyond the music, because vinyl is collectable too. I own 109 records (according to Discogs ), including rare ones, signed ones, coloured ones and some limit