Isolation – Day 11

Wait – where did day 10 go?!

Good question. I actually had a really productive day yesterday, then realised at 10pm I hadn’t written anything. The further realisation occurred that I had no energy or motivation to write anything! Thus…no blog post yesterday!

Today has been similar, though emotionally I’m struggling a bit. Don’t worry, I’m fine; just not really in the frame of mind to write a great deal. So, rather than force myself to be entertaining, here are some random photos instead…

Ten days ago, I planted some seeds. Now I have seedlings!

Baby plants! Peppers on the left, tomatoes on the right.

For when the album is finished, here’s a selection of books I haven’t read yet:

All the books I could carry on my last library visit!

My next quilting project, all read to go…

Quilt fabric!

…and now begun! Watch this space for inevitable updates…

Galaxy quilt in progress…

Until tomorrow,

Carys xx

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Isolation – Day 9

In Which Awesome Things Happen!

To be fair, looking out of the window and seeing a squirrel would be exciting these days. Actually, it would be exciting, because I’ve never seen a squirrel on my estate. Maybe there are squirrels, but they disguise themselves as blackbirds. Hmm. I shall research this hypothesis and get back to you. Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. Today I developed a magnificent new way of describing how I want a particular section of track to be edited. Really, I think this is the future or mixing. Rather than being in the studio or using clumsy, inaccurate words over the phone, we should all be drawing fabulous pictures of soundwaves, photographing them and emailing them.

Admit it. You’re impressed (even if I did accidentally colour over the line). I feel much better today, too. The migraine has subsided, so it now only feels like an invisible sadist is periodically driving a nail into my left eyebrow if I move too quickly, which is a massive improvement on yesterday! I’ve also been recording vocals, though I can’t do too much at a time because my living room is infinitely less comfortable than the studio for working in for any length of time!

In other news,

Awesome Housemate and I are currently in the middle of a game of Soap Roulette. What do you mean, you’ve never heard of Soap Roulette? It’s a fantastic game – full of excitement – and one you should definitely try. You will need a soap dish, the dregs of the old bar of soap, and a new bar of soap, preferably still in a box or packet.

The rules are as follows: Whoever gives up using the soap dregs and opens the new box of soap first loses.

You definitely need to try it! I’m sure it’s even more exciting when there’s more than two people in the house!

So far we’ve been playing for two days, but I think someone will have to admit defeat soon…

Until tomorrow,

Carys xx

P.S. I wonder if Awesome Housemate realises we’re playing Soap Roulette? I should probably tell her…

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Isolation – Day 8

In Which Carys Has A Migraine And Freycat Is Not At All Helpful!

This has been my most difficult day so far. Every night, I write tomorrow’s List before I go to sleep in order to retain some sense of normality. I set an alarm (an hour later than when I’m going to the day job, because I struggle with early mornings at the best of times). All fine so far. Unfortunately this morning I woke up with a crashing headache over my left eye and nausea. Logically, I knew it was a migraine. I get them fairly regularly, though thankfully they’re never very bad. This one, however, had clearly combined with my underlying anxiety and thus it was that by 10am I had convinced myself that death was imminent.

Awesome Housemate came and sat with me (ignoring the 2-metre rule for the first time) and managed to convince me that I was probably going to live, despite the headache that painkillers hadn’t touched. Freycat asked to come in. I let him in, whereupon he immediately threw up and asked for breakfast. I cleaned the floor and fed him. He ate the proffered cat food and, realising he was now on a high surface, decided that now would be the perfect time to throw up again. Carefully, he took aim and this time managed to hit the table, the slightly-open drawer and the floor again, all in one try. Impressive…though that isn’t what I said whilst clearing it up.

Next,

I decided that I really needed to get on with some work. Despite the fact that the painkillers had had little effect I attempted to listen through the latest track versions. Through headphones. With a migraine. Need I mention that this did not end well..?! Not to be deterred (or perhaps because I can, on occasion, be quite spectacularly stupid) I then turned my attention the to day job. More accurately, the one thing I am currently able to do from home as a school science technician, which is a spreadsheet of all the chemicals in the department. Today, I successfully completed the letter B. However, the migraine persisted.

And so it went on.

By 11:30 I had given up on all semblance of normal activity and was dozing uncomfortably on the sofa. It wasn’t until 2pm I finally had the sense to take more painkillers and retire to bed, where I remained for the next 3 hours…

Ah, those far-off days when I could visit the studio!

I discovered that although the headache had subsided, I really didn’t feel any better. But, as I’ve already said, I’m far too stubborn to admit defeat so I came downstairs and… Um. Had a psychological meltdown about my imminent demise. Awesome Housemate again came to the rescue, though she can do little about my food anxieties. Lest anyone should worry, I don’t have an eating disorder, never have. But I do periodically have days or weeks when I’m scared to eat certain things because my brain insists I will be poisoned and die. In 2018 I spent Cropredy festival eating only food I’d brought with me, namely cheese slices, crackers, cherry tomatoes, apples and…nope, that was it. For 3 days. Now we’re isolated, I’m grateful that I’ve got a good supply of pasta, tinned tomatoes and sauces (which I always keep a stock of in the cupboard). Pasta is “safe’. Potatoes are “safe”, as are tomatoes and cheese. There is no rhyme or reason to any of this, which makes it all the more annoying!

Anyway,

Awesome Housemate once again came to the rescue by offering me some of her cooked pasta. Literally within seconds of the first bite I began to miraculously feel human again. I then phoned Sophie (who is playing whistles on several tracks) and remembered that talking to people is A Good Thing. As I write now, it is now just after 9pm and I shall be having an early night shortly, having written most of the day off. However, I did manage to listen and make notes to everything on The List… AND I’ve written the longest blog post so far this year. This is definitely a success! Tomorrow I intend to record a few remaining vocals lines, and venture into the garden as I haven’t been out for 2 days!

This seems to have turned into an unexpected foray into my anxieties and how I’m coping. Or not coping as seems to have been the case today. Ah, well. Tomorrow is sure to be better!

Stay safe,

Carys xx

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Isolation Day…7?

Oh dear.

It’s 11:30 at night and I just remembered I’ve completely forgotten to write anything today. Which is a pity, because this has probably been the most productive day so far in musical terms.

You may already know that I love lists. They have been essential for me this past week; if I didn’t have lists I would forget everything I’m supposed to be doing (I have actually been known to include “eat breakfast” and “wear shoes” in A List.) Also, A List has to be capitalised. Did you know that? Then, I can inform people “I’ve completed four things from Today’s List”, and I feel accomplished.

Unsurprisingly, I also have A List of album tracks! No, I’m not going to tell you the track titles just yet, I’ll save that for when I’m more awake and people are actually going to be reading this. BUT! Nine out of thirteen tracks are now complete… Pandemic or not, we will be finished on time!

This is probably the least informative post I’ve written so far. Oh, well… I’ll try harder tomorrow!

Stay safe,

Carys xx

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Isolation – Day 6

Six days in and I have no idea what day of the week it is! This is a blatant lie, I know it’s Saturday, but I’ve already forgotten the difference between weekday and weekend. Today, I spent most of the day working on my least-finished album track. Or rather, it was this morning… As you can see, this will now count as the first ever track on which I can credit myself playing keyboards…and eagle-eyes readers will now know another track title!

As this is the first time I’ve ever used Omnisphere (or, indeed, recorded keyboards unattended!) I’m rather pleased with myself. I think I shall reward myself by getting on with my current cross stitch now!

Until tomorrow…

Carys xx

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Isolation – Day 5

Evening all!

Today started off well enough. I uploaded the video I recorded yesterday to youtube, answered some emails…and then realised I really didn’t feel great. Don’t worry – I have no virus symptoms, I promise! Thus most of today has been spent curled up on the sofa, though on the bright side I’ve deleted a couple of thousand old emails, and I was very glad of the broccoli and stilton soup I made and froze a couple of weeks ago!

Anyway, if this works, you should be able to see and hear “Gaia”. This is one of the songs that will be on my new “WolfSong” album. Those of you who bought my EP “Gaia Dreaming” last summer will notice this is rather familiar, because you’ve already heard the instrumental version. “Gaia” feels appropriate for the current time, and I hope you like it. Little Orange Dog clearly did, because she was fast asleep on the sofa behind me as I was recording!

If the embedded video doesn’t work (and I have no idea if it’s going to, because I’ve never tried this before!)  you can find it here. You’ll see I struggle even more than usual with a webcam because I have no idea where to look! Still, it’s all good practise for the album launch.

I’m feeling better this evening, too. Tomorrow I’m going to be working on one of the two tracks that are still at the ‘unfinished’ stage. Wonder how I shall get on by myself..? Watch this space…

Until tomorrow,

Stay safe

Carys xx

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Isolation – Day 4

Folk, this is getting difficult.

I don’t mean the staying home, or trying to think of interesting ways to describe my daily life. I mean the actual act of typing when the furry children think it’s suppertime already..!

This may need to be quite a short post today!

The title track “WolfSong” is now complete and ready for mastering, and running at just a shade under 7 1/2 minutes… So unless the full version becomes as well known as “American Pie” it probably won’t get many radio plays! I’m really happy with how it’s sounding though and can’t wait for everyone to hear it. In less cheerful news, you may have read that my laptop went Bnag earlier this week…it’s going to cost £250 to fix, which isn’t exactly what I need right now! To console myself, I figured out how to record video using the webcam on the laptop I’ve borrowed. I can’t usually cope with webcams and have only previously been able to record video if someone’s actually holding the camera. Interesting how quickly I can adapt when I have to! With luck, you’ll all be able to see the results in another day or so.

Right, hang on a moment – its 8pm…

Wow, that was emotional. Awesome housemate and I went outside to clap our wonderful NHS workers. It sounded as if all our neighbours were clapping but we could hardly see anyone. Amazing experience, I’m crying now, and so grateful. Social media can be a wonderful thing when it brings us all together to show our appreciation like this. I hope people have recorded clips so the NHS workers get to see and hear it once they finish their shifts.

I think I’ll finish for tonight. Thank you to ALL our key workers.

Until tomorrow,

Carys xx

 

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Isolation – Day 3

Good evening folks!

Once again it’s been a reasonably productive day, though I didn’t set an alarm this morning. I decided last week that I wasn’t going to fall into the trap of waking up late and not doing anything until after midday, but after Day 1’s 2am bedtime I needed to catch up on sleep. Unfortunately, Little Orange Dog had other ideas… She first attempted to wake me at 7:30 (without much success) but two hours later her snooze function had malfunctioned, forcing me to get up and feed her breakfast…

Today’s exercise consisted of pruning and reshaping the blackberry bushes in the garden. I dug up all the little ones growing by the path and replanted them by the fence. Then I found some ancient potatoes that had sprouted so I shoved them in the ground as well. Hey, they might grow… Granted, this isn’t a particularly impressive photo, but when you consider this is the first time in about 4 years that I’ve had a clear path to the bottom of the garden, I’m pleased with myself!

More importantly, it’s a month today until my album launch. As of today I now have everything on CD, though some songs aren’t finished yet. It’s nice to be able to listen through everything in order though. If you ask nicely I might share the planned tracklisting in another few days… Right now I’m still planning to do a live streamed gig, though whether this will have to be in my own living room remains to be seen. If we’re allowed out by then I’ll sing in the studio. I’ve also started planning for a couple of promo videos, including one for the title track…watch this space!

Stay safe,

Carys xx

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Isolation – Day 2

So much for my plan to write a daily blog post! Yesterday started off well enough – by 10:30 I’d already ticked four things off my to-do list. Admittedly one of those was to have a shower, but still, I’d achieved four things. Then, my laptop decided that things were going far too smoothly and that completely failing to restart would be a fine plan! So at this point, my day took a turn for “madly try and fix laptop/borrow alternative laptop in order to be able to complete WolfSong album”. Suffice to say that I was not at home (though also nowhere public) by the time Mr Johnson addressed the nation last night, but by 1am I was and now I’m using a different laptop for the foreseeable future!

However, today has gone well. I’ve baked a fruit cake, done the ironing, tidied the kitchen and finished knitting a cardigan. I even got to go out to collect Little Orange Dog’s new medication! The vet’s had it all worked out. Each ‘patient’ had a designated time to collect their pet’s medicine from a box outside the door!

Today was Awesome Housemate’s birthday too, so I cooked a roast dinner with blackberry crumble for dessert. She’s now working from home which sounds great, but… This means that our internet speed has fallen to a download rate of 150kb/second on average! Not great when I’m trying to download software so I can complete WolfSong…

This could well be the least interesting post I’ve ever written. I’ll do better tomorrow, I promise. Until then…have a few photos!

Pretty buttons!

Today’s achievement (no, I didn’t *start* it today)!

How to take a selfie when you don’t have a suitable phone…

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WolfSong and Covid-19: The Sequel!

TRANSCRIPT: You know what I’m going to say.

WolfSong album launch is officially postponed due to Covid-19.

It’s not cancelled. I intend to do the launch online, and I intend to hopefully be able to do a concert on the 25th April which I will stream somewhere, so hopefully you’ll be able to watch that, because let’s face it you’re not going to be doing anything else, are you?

Once this has all blown over which could be…who knows – I will reschedule the concert, hopefully at the same venue. I very much hope Tilly will still be able to be a part of it if we can find a mutually convenient date.

Now it just leaves us to finish the album…then buy lots of toilet roll, build it into a fort….and I didn’t think about how I was going to finish this sentence, so…

Stay safe.

See you on the other side

Cxx

P.S. We’re working on finishing the album as I type this. CD and download should still be available on the planned release date.

If you’ve bought tickets then I’m offering 3 options:

  • Tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date
  • Put the ticket price towards a copy of the WolfSong CD or download
  • Full refund
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