Bald headed hippy

Youth Culture - Hippies 1960s
Youth Culture – Hippies 1960s (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

I’ve been there done that and have worn the T-shirt. I was a ‘hippy‘ in my younger days like many of my generation and I was into all kinds of weird music, well weird to my parents. I still love the music and still enjoy playing it but not that often these days. Although I have many records they are all on vinyl and although I posses a player I usually only play music through YouTube or have it on my radios. I grew out of blasting my eardrums and those of others around me a long time ago, in fact if I am not playing music I do not like to be forced to listen to it when someone else is playing it. Once upon a time I was told off for playing music too loudly but now I have come full circle and it is my turn to raise the objections! I think you might call it maturity or having consideration for others who don’t wish to listen. There’s nothing wrong in pushing up the volume as long as it doesn’t disturb others and as long as you don’t mind the idea of possibly going deaf later in life. When young we often ignored the advice of our elders thinking all they wanted to do was spoil our enjoyment but in reality they were only trying to protect us as well as themselves. When you don’t want to listen to loud music it becomes an imposition to the point of distraction and we cannot concentrate on whatever we are doing. I was sitting at home watching a movie on television a couple of evenings ago and I could hear a ‘thump, thump, thump’ going on in the background. At first I didn’t think much of it but after a few minutes it began to annoy me as it was spoiling my enjoyment of the movie. It was an action movie and was fairly loud itself at times but still I could hear the thumping in the background despite having double-glazed windows and living in a detached house. I decided to try to locate the source of the sound by going outdoors and discovered that it was coming from one of my next-door neighbours. The guy who lives there is single so there is no family living with him, no youngsters who might be playing their music loudly. I know for a fact that he likes heavy metal and rock music for I have heard him playing it at home before. I believe him to be around ten years my junior so that would make him possibly a hippy too in his youth. Now though I guess I could call him a bald hippy for his barnet has long-since disappeared! I had to go round to ask him if he wouldn’t mind lowering the volume a little as I could hear it next door over the sound of the tv. Being as he is a nice guy he apologised and explained that it was a new system he had bought recently and I suppose he wasn’t used to the controls. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt over that one!

Shirley Anne

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It’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad……

If you don’t like The Beatles music (I do) this song might begin to drive you mad in the latter half. It seems as if it is never going to end, and then it does quite abruptly. I have always liked The Beatles and have all their records on vinyl. Are you old enough to remember vinyl records? Much as I would like to chat about music it isn’t the subject of this post. Whenever something drives me mad this particular song enters my thoughts. I was just thinking about the mad rush people bog themselves down with on the approach to Christmas, a mad frenzy of people buying presents, food and all the other trimmings they think they need when mostly they don’t. It’s all about tradition and doing what everyone else does but this isn’t the subject of my post either. The subject is advertisements and the pressure put on us all to buy something. At this time of year, well for me any time of year, adverts drive me mad, I cannot use my phone, listen to the radio (unless it is a BBC broadcast), watch television or use my computer without being bombarded from all directions with adverts. A really annoying trend are those adverts which are placed in front of a video clip, a news item of some sort you may be keen to see but have to wait until an advert runs its thirty-second course. Rather than sit listening to and watching an advert I close the video. I miss whatever it is I wanted to see but would rather do that than have my brain filled with rubbish I do not want. The same old adverts or similar ones sprout up each year, you know them, some ‘celebrity’ has a new line in perfume or some artiste you’ve never heard of has suddenly produced a record that we all want to buy and listen to over the Christmas break, as if. Watching the adverts is bad enough but having to listen to the dribble and all those silly jingles and catchphrases does my head in. You may call me cynical and you would be correct but I simply cannot stand advertisements. Some may be funny and well thought out and I suppose they are worthy in that respect but I have to say it, they don’t make the slightest difference to my spending habits. Cold calling texts, emails and phone calls drive me nuts too. It feels like I am swimming in a giant pool of alphabet soup and radio waves sometimes. What joy it is to be able to  switch things off and go for a quiet walk somewhere without any means for people to contact me or to go to sleep and escape from the reality of a modern world I think I shouldn’t be a part of but need to be! It’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad, it’s driving me……………….

Shirley Anne

YouTube

A labeled anatomical diagram of the vocal fold...
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Well I finally caught up with recording on YouTube. Since I bought the new microphone I have been experimenting with recording some songs of my own, only the music, no vocals as yet. To be honest it has been a long time since I sang in public and since my transition I haven’t really tried singing in my new voice as it were so I am loathed to broadcast vocals unless I have practiced first. My first attempt at recording for YouTube wasn’t a music clip but a message to a friend of mine who lives over in New Jersey. As it has no personal information in the message I have allowed it to be viewed by anyone as I have done with the three (so far) music clips I have placed there. There are two links from this site to my YouTube channel. One is above under Zone 2 and the other is to the right under Minkyweasels Musings (the quicker route). If you have a mind to go see, the go see! LOL. Encouraging comments are always welcome! I would normally place videos on here but WordPress charge for the privilege, Google doesn’t. Many years ago I recorded some thirteen of my songs with a young lady but they were recorded to tape! I still have that tape and a player to play it. I also have a usb turntable I use to convert my vinyl records to didital storage on my computer which has an input socket for microphones or other input devices including tape machine outputs but I have not gotten round to re-record the tape yet. Perhaps one day I might just do that. For the time being I am continuing to experiment with recording straight from my guitar.

Shirley Anne

The Pub.

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So I spent Wednesday afternoon/early evening down at my local pub. After visiting the place about two weeks ago after a long absence and promising that I would go more often I have returned there twice since. My workload is very low just now and I was feeling so bored sitting home alone I decided to do two things. One, was to go for a walk and two, was to go to the pub. I did both. The weather at home has been rather a wet and windy affair so walking too far was out of the question, especially as I was wearing (small) heels and wasn’t dressed for taking on the elements. Fortunately the streets afforded quite a bit of shelter from the wind until I walked westward but even then it wasn’t too bad. At least the rain held off until I was back indoors, that is inside the pub! On arrival I found but a few patrons inside so I grabbed the local newspaper and sat down with my drink on a lovely leather sofa near to a window (I need daylight or bright artificial lighting to read comfortably) so that I wasn’t straining to see the script. My eyesight is quite excellent and I don’t need glasses as an aid, just good lighting. After an hour I began to feel hungry so I looked at the menu. For a small establishment they have quite an extensive choice of meals and snacks. I chose a smoked salmon sandwich with a salad as I wasn’t hungry enough to eat a large meal. It was delicious and enough to satisfy me for a few hours. By the time I had finished eating many more folk started to arrive and all but a few (those I don’t know) greeted me. I don’t know about you but I love ‘people watching‘ and I was quite contented to just sit there across the room watching them come and go. Finally though some wanted a little more contact with me and came over for a chat. By early evening I was up and about chatting with people myself. I am a very gregarious and sociable person and I find chatting with people so easy.  Of course I had to watch my alcohol intake as I can get carried away sometimes by overdoing things. It was getting late and I decided that I must return home so I said my farewells and off I went for the ten minute walk to my house. I got home just after eight-thirty and found I had mail and a parcel containing the new shoes I had ordered a few days ago. I tried the shoes and they are a perfect fit but I doubt I shall be walking to the pub in them as the heels are just over four inches! I shall take a cab if I wear them out.

Shirley Anne

A bottle of red wine later

Alcoholic beverages
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And so it was that Shirley Anne got up late on Friday morning, a habit that is so unbecoming of her normally but lately seems to be the way to go. Anyways, I got up late, missed my breakfast, although I did manage to eat a small banana. I had received a call to do some work but it was nothing much and I was back home within the hour. I asked E if she would like to dine out and as usual for her she had to wash her hair first! She does tend to get greasy hair whereas mine is the opposite and takes days before the natural oils work their way down my tresses. I was in no hurry to eat so I sat and played my guitar whilst waiting for her to come downstairs. Off we went to a carvery about six or seven miles away, a place we often visit. I had a full bottle of red wine with my dinner, again something I do probably far too often! I can handle that much wine with no adverse effects and especially if I am eating. We drove back home after a couple of hours and sat around in the patio for a while. I have plans to work on the water-butt base and also the garage passageway roof but they can wait for a day. In fact I propose to do them both today unless something else turns up in the meantime. Today is supposed to be my sabbath day of rest but I have had so much free time lately it wouldn’t be right to just sit around and do nothing. The principle remains the same, don’t work 7/24/7 but take a break as you are supposed to do! I like to work but I also like to chill out, especially with a bottle of red wine!

Shirley Anne

One day off and one day not.

Yesterday I became a lady of leisure doing no work all day as is my usual behaviour on a Saturday, although occasionally I will work at home on this day. It is important to me to keep the sabbath day as a day unto the Lord always remembering that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. I go as far as working at my profession if somebody asks me to do a job in an emergency situation. This fortunately has only happened a couple of times and all other requests are deferred until the following week. So all I did yesterday was watch television, go online or amuse myself on the computer, play my guitar and generally pottered about the house and garden. It wasn’t too warm in the morning but that didn’t stop E from messing about outside and later in the day she dug out all of the potatoes that had been cultivated in our raised cultivation bed between the two greenhouses. For such a relatively small area she recovered a large bucket full of potatoes. They look good enough to eat! LOL. It got much warmer as the day wore on and by evening it was quite warm and sunny, not as warm as the Cote D’AZur but just as sunny. Today promises to be at least warm and perhaps it will turn out sunny too! I hope so because we are entertaining family, friends and neighbours by having a barbecue in our new patio. Today I shall be working by ensuring they all enjoy themselves! One of my friends is presently on the other side of the world nearing the end of her three-month tour of the far east including Australia, Thailand, Singapore and I’m not sure where else. I haven’t heard from her for some time so I hope she is alright. She enjoys herself when she is our guest and we both will miss her presence this time. I am not sure how the day will go but I am determined to enjoy it no matter how it goes.

Shirley Anne

The weekend or beginning

We call it the weekend but if we want to be pedantic it is really both the end of the week and the beginning of the next one.  It all depends on the customs of your country. Sunday is now the traditional day of rest for Christians but the real sabbath day of rest for Christians is the same as that of Israel ( part of which are the Jews of today and in fact much of the western world: see  http://www.ucg.org/booklets/US/josephsbirthright.asp and other literature) and that day is Saturday or rather Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. This means that Saturday would be regarded as the last day of the week, the rest day from the six working days. God didn’t actually rest in the sense that we mean a cessation from tiring work because of tiredness, it means He abstained from carrying out further work or simply ceased doing it because it was all done. I digress. However things were changed by the Emperor Constantine and Sunday became the rest day. No matter. The simple fact is that in many nations of the world there are work days and rest days. The working week in the western world is usually meant to be Monday through Friday with two days off, the weekend.  My personal choice is Saturday as my sabbath rest and Sunday for doing sundry things. This Sunday E and I have invited family (such as are available) and friends for an afternoon of relaxation together with refreshments of food and drink. I hope this will mark the first of many more during the year, hopefully some of them outside in the sunshine!

Shirley Anne

Yet again

I got into bed rather late last night and subsequently arose very late too at around 11am. By the time I eventually got downstairs in was almost 1.45pm! The best part of the time was the soaking in the hot bath. I wasn’t feeling too well or rather I was feeling very tired with aches and pains probably caused by the work I’ve been doing at home recently. Anyhow although I was tired when I went to bed I still couldn’t drift off to sleep straight away so on went the bedroom television. I don’t know why I watch television in bed as I invariably fall asleep half-way through a program or movie. Well last night they were showing The Rocky Horror Show movie featuring Tim Curry and others like Meatloaf for instance. I have seen the film a few times now and was tempted once to go to a live performance on stage but never did. On reflection I think I should have. It is one of those shows which never seem to age and Tim Curry as a mad scientist, who happens to be a transvestite or maybe a transsexual, plays a wonderful role. Sometimes I think he was more convincing than the real thing!

Shirley Anne

A splendid time was guaranteed for all

For the benefit of Mr Kite, there will be a show tonight……..and so it was. E and I have just returned from Liverpool. We journeyed down on the train and we found a nice place to eat, a Spanish tapas restaurant called La Tasca not far from the Royal Court Theatre where we afterward spent the evening watching the John Lennon story. A musical extravaganza following the rise to stardom of The Beatles and Johns solo career after the band split up. The players, all good musicians gave a wonderful performance and portrayed the story extremely well. The songs were simply great. E had won the tickets for the show through one of her competitions so  it cost us far less than it would have otherwise done. For those who are interested and have the opportunity to see the show I would strongly recommend it. It has only a short time left to run so if you wish to see it then make arrangements as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed. Anyhow I must get off to bed now as I am working today, yes it is past midnight! Goodnight!

Shirley Anne

They didn’t come

Last Monday we were expecting some scaffolding to be erected so that access to our leaking roof could be made. E and I had to travel down to Hereford to board a flight on a hot-air balloon. That meant we needed to leave home before noon. The scaffolding firm made that an excuse not to come but they could easily have erected the amount we need to get the roof fixed. So today, this morning I hope, they will do it. I shall be working so I will leave the arrangements to E. She will love having to get up early! I don’t think so. Our youngest son came and stopped over for the weekend. We can always tell that he has visited us, the place is a mess….LOL. He had a party to go to on Saturday evening and he visits friends whenever he is down here. He has a two-hour session indulging in his new hobby, jiu-jitsu and he went to the gym/dojo while he was here. He hasn’t been doing it long but he has just earned his first ‘belt’, a white one. I jokingly told him that he’ll need that to hold his pants up! He seems serious about his training so I think he will progress toward the coveted black belt given time. This Wednesday evening E and I hope to visit a theatre in Liverpool to see the production of the John Lennon story. It promises to be a good show. I have a birthday coming up this month but I’ve no plans regarding that yet, if I bother. Who knows? Well it’s Monday morning and I have work to do………..

Shirley Anne