Back behind the kit
About two weeks ago I got to go play drums for a full three hours. It was bliss!
My amazing in-laws were more then happy to look after little one and so I got my cymbals and my snare (named Gavin) together and off we went to the rehearsal room – only 10 min drive away. Bonus!
The rehearsal room was great, cheap rates and also I was greeted with the offer of a cup of coffee from the moment I got there – lovely stuff!
So I had three whole hours, what was I to do? I felt a little apprehensive as I was going to film and record a little bit of me playing for a casting but I felt so out of practice and out of my depth.
Forget about what I was going to play, how am I going to record myself?
Lucky for me I have a little Scarlett 2i2 interface from Focusrite. It has two inputs for microphones; I just planned on using one mic.
I had googled how to record drums using one microphone so I positioned the mic over the left side of bass drum between it and the ride cymbal.
I had a quick listen with my headphones and you know what? It didn’t sound half bad! Add a little reverb and it was more than alright!
So there I was, camera turned on, logic ready to go and I had to play something, and not just anything – something impressive.
I was pretty anxious; being a mum so far has been one of the greatest gifts I have been given these past 5 months. But with that gift has come a whole lot of insecurity and worry. Worry about all the things including my daughter and a lot of insecurity about my drumming. With no playing for months, how the hell could I expect to play anything sounding half decent?!
I tried to play from my heart and with the mind-set of, if I don’t start now then I will never begin… I believe it was Lao Tzu who said “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”, so with that in mind and heart, I started to play.
…And it felt gooooood!! I forgot how satisfying it is to just hit stuff!! ;-)
I could totally feel that I was rusty – my hands wouldn’t play as fast as I wanted, ideas would come out messy and my bass drum technique was certainly sounding sloppy as hell.
Never the less, I continued to play, film and record.
I played solo ideas for the casting job and interspersed playing along to some pop songs.
I came away feeling great, yes I have a long way to go to get my playing back up to where it was but I’m armed with some video to see what areas I especially need to work on. The best thing I was left with?
I’m already looking forward to my next practice session where I’ll look at chart reading – something I was studying with Bob Armstrong and I’ll also check out my technique too. Technique is an area, which I want to get into my daily routine – just on a practice pad for 20 mins or so a day – this is not yet a reality but just writing it down makes me feel more accountable.
Aside from that, I’ve just put on a bit of prog madness from Planet X to listen to, have emailed my fusion/prog band Red Monster to see whether we can collaborate via the internet and get the album we’ve wanted to record for so long in the pipeline. If he can email over tracks I can record here… simples!
On top of all that, I’m going to see one of my favourite bands Dream Theater this Sunday!!
Bring. It. On!
Our first holiday
We went on our first family holiday and it was to California!
From the moment this trip was mentioned, my husband and I were filled with excitement and a whole lot of doubt. Do we dare travel with a baby, by ourselves, for a whole 2 weeks?
That means, a 10 hour flight, lots of late nights and no grandparents to soften the load.
Well… after a few weeks of umming and urhing we thought, “Hell with it, lets do it!” And man, I am so glad we did!
With two weddings to attend, one in Santa Barbara and one in Vegas we had lots to fit in and lots to see.
So, how was the flight?
It. Was. Amazing! Or to put it anther way - my daughter was amazing! She pretty much slept the whole way; I got to enjoy three movies and even some wine! AMAZING! I think it was the sound of the plane and the fact she was snuggled up to my boob the entire journey. To anyone planning on a long haul journey, just stay calm and feed, feed, feed!
The return journey was also good, a few cries here and there (made a little worse because it was a night flight) but on the whole I was mega proud of how good baby was.
What also helped to make the experience better was once we landed in LAX we were given priority through border control because of the little one. We had no idea this was even an option and were expecting a long wait and had prepared ourselves to expect the worst so were armed with bucket loads of patience and calm. Contrast that with the return journey and its just a little bit different!
You’d think the airport in Los Angeles would be stocked full of amazing shops and eateries right? Wrong! There isn’t much there considering how busy the airport is. On top of that we found the whole check in and security a very long and unorganised process.
They couldn’t put us in seats with a bassinette for baby from the start, no big deal but we spent a good 20 mins at bag drop whilst they tried to find our daughters ticket in the system.
By the time we got to border control there was a huge queue and this time – no priority given for parents with young kids.
Unfortunately, it took a long time to even get to security and by the time we were there little one had decided to do a number 2… worst of all , it went through her vest AND sleepsuit! So there was I, baby in hand, trying to cover her poo soaked clothes in a blanket as I stepped through the metal detector. Classy eh?!!
Thankfully, that was the worst of it, we were soon through and managed to clean baby up for a somewhat peaceful return flight.
The holiday didn’t exactly feel like a holiday if I’m honest. I still didn’t get much sleep but we did have a lovely time full of sunshine, meals out, room service and seeing great friends.
We got to do the drive from LA to Vegas, which was pretty cool, my husband did all the driving like he’d been driving in America all his life. Nothing but respect! I certainly didn’t want to handle the freeways and the oh so many drivers who don’t indicate!
We got to dress our daughter in dresses and shades, she looked so cute and got lots of attention from Rodeo Drive to a hike in the Hollywood hills.
Upon returning, I feel nothing but very very lucky. Yes, we’ve had a challenging time sleep wise with jet lag – a whole other level with a baby!
But the experiences I will treasure forever. What other baby has been to LA and Vegas before they’re 6 months?! Pretty cool I’d say!
She may not remember but we have lots of photos and video and again, if anyone is worried about travelling with a baby I would say 100% do it!
Now, if the baby is walking already? Well… that’s a different story! I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet ;-)