Weeknote 0008

  • Offer accepted on the house, so that process is underway. I’m starting to think about the practicalities that’ll make it possible to do the work to bring it all up to standard. Despite having a paved front drive, it’s not long enough for my 23ft-long van. So I’m going to have to find a way of getting the van into the garden from the little lane that runs behind. That may mean demolishing the garage that’s already there, which would be a shame as it’s large and useful for house renovation. Anyway, all in good time.
  • My colleagues make fun of my enjoyment of factory tours. But this week a client invited us to look around what they’re making, and how, in their plant in Cheltenham. It turned out to be a long tour which in turn cut short our nice lunch plans and put time pressures on our afternoon presentations. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. It’s good to see anything complicated being done to world-class standards. Having done a few factory tours now, I find I can avoid asking stupid questions too. Interestingly they managed to keep running through lockdowns, turning their hand to making the respirator components that were proving to be hardest to source at the time. Within three weeks they’d manufactured enough to exceed national demand, which is pretty impressive.
  • Channel 4 is running this show called the Piano that looks like yet more el-cheapo Great British reality shit, but I’m so glad I gave it a go. The format could be much stronger—akin to Grayson’s Art Club… feels like they missed a trick there—but great human stories; much more than typical constructed reality stuff.

Bass notes

[In which Mo learns the bass guitar]

  • Usually, it’s my fretting hand that exposes its weaknesses. This week it’s been my plucking hand. Within a couple of weeks of learning my plucking technique felt pretty solid. Not good, of course, but certainly with the fundamentals coming together. This week it all fell apart. It’s part of that unlearn/relearn thing that tends to happen in cycles when you’re learning something. Same with powertools: first time I use it works out great. Second time’s a disaster. Then from there it’s about making conscious effort.
  • I fear Gear Acquisition Syndrome. But my little plug-in headphone amps are harsh and tiring, so I decided to get a few pedals. The first one was a nice preamp from Aguilar: I did a fair amount of research to pick out one that’d be a nice pairing with my bass, found one as a bargain on eBay and I’m delighted with the outcome. Because of Gear Acquisition Syndrome there are bargains to be had on second-hand pedals. There’s a couple of other bits I’m on the lookout for, but no rush.