Sunday, 11 December 2011

Work of Passion

So friends,

We move on to track 2 from 'In the Light of the Goddess', this song is about driving forces, the things that matter to us, our works of passion rather then in pursuit of money. The song is called Work of Passion. I made a weird arty video to go with it...

Work of Passion by [adj]-Andy D Jackson

That's just the song, and here is the arty video to go with it...

Thanks for watching :) Peace and infinite love Andy

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Riot - Track 1 on 'In the Light of the Goddess'

So friends,

From back on the island I will be releasing my Autumn record, 'In the Light of the Goddess'. That's not on island records, I don't have a record contract. If you want to give me one, or know anyone that wants to give me money for my music, then please email me and tell me.

Anyway, the first track on the Autumn record is called 'Riot'. I wrote this song in reaction to the riots happening in England over the summer, but the general theme of it is conflict so it's not really London Riot's specific. If it had been more specific then I would have named it London Riots.

Riot - track 1 on 'In the Light of the Goddess' by [adj]-Andy D Jackson

This was the first tune from the record to get live airings, having been debuted at the Art show in a Squat Bank (of which video exists on the interweb) and then played as a Duet with Sylvia Ouwens at the old Pothouse in Utrecht. Originally Sylvia was going to record her vocal for the record version, but time and illness meant we didn't get a chance to do it. So I added a female vocal version of myself to it instead.

I made a video to go with it too, showing old riot footage from America. It seems that Riot's aren't exactly anything very new.

As we move into the winter months, I will release the rest of the record while I start work on the winter album. I already have a couple of idea's bashing around in my head that need to be turned into songs, so the pen and paper are at hand to catch any spilling thoughts.

Peace and infinite love to you all

Andy x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sudden change of plan

So friends,

Change is in the wind it would seem. The 11.11.11 came, mixed it all up, and now due to unforeseen illness we are back in the UK. This adventuring creative and his Beauty will be resting and recuperating in the lands of England. Although our journey has ended slightly prematurely, we will bounce back stronger. I will start releasing 'In the Light of the Goddess' at the end of the week, I just need to do a few tweaks to the demo's and then it's good to go.

I guess now that we are back in the UK, we will have little choice but to slip into standard working patterns for a while, until we have enough wonger to go adventuring again. I will finnish up my year albums project here and then work out what to do next. It's my work of passion, so I will continue, regardless of no funding, little to no interest from anyone and a general sense of pointlessness.

I have been making music that people haven't listened to for 15 years now, and I have had amazing experiences through it in that time, because in this life you have to just push on with what your soul resonates with, if you don't, then you will be unfulfilled. That might be total bull-baggings for all I know, but it feels right for me at the very least.

This blog is far from over, it will just be coming from the UK for a bit :)

Peace and infinite love to you

Andy x

Friday, 18 November 2011

In the Light of the Goddess (Coming Soon!)

Hello friends,

Well, times might be a little on the crazy side, but I have finished recording my Autumn record, 'In the Light of the Goddess'. I put the last guitar and vocal lines down on the final track, and now it just needs some tweaking and checking before it can be released to the world for some listening.

Here is a little more info about it though, because I want to share it with you. The cover looks like this :
Autumn album cover.
The guitar is present as custom on my covers for this year project thing. This time round though, my Beauty is included, as the record is named after her. She looks very pixie in this picture which fits with the themes of the record nicely. The full track listing is as such :

1. Riot
2. Work of Passion
3. Mr. Gnome
4. Hidden with the Secret Stash
5. Oh My Goddess!
6. Old Private Familiar
7. Money Zombies
8. Ignore Them
9. Suitably Convinced
10. Registered Charity
11. Hug
12. Wont Win Any Awards

The last finished page in my precious book.
All the songs have been written in the last few months while I have been in Utrecht. A couple of them were birthed in Amsterdam in August but the rest all came to being in Utrecht. The whole record has been recorded in Henk's kitchen while Beauty has been lying ill above me in our room.

It's been a challenge, but I am pleased with the result. As there is more going on in each song then just guitar and vocals, I will construct some video's to go with them before I release them. They will get soundclouded and bandcamped sooner then that though.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Deep in recording lands...

So friends,

This last couple of weeks has been rather hard, what with the big energy shift of the 11/11/11 thing and a whole bunch of personal weirdnesses. Beauty fell very ill with tonsillitis and we waited longer then we should have to go and get antibiotics. When the money runs dry, something needs to be done in order to remain healthy. It has been stressful, but most of all it has been so heartbreaking to watch my Beauty in such pain and suffering. I tried everything I could think of to help her, but it wasn't until conventional medicine was applied that she started to show any signs of improvement.

I fear that several people may be having themselves tested on physical and metaphysical levels all over the world. At this time as well, I have been recording my Autumn album 'In the Light of the Goddess'. The title refers to my Beauty (I call her Goddess sometimes) so my mind has been occupied with thoughts of her and her well being. The travellers lifestyle becomes crippling when illness sets in, that's why houses have nice big central heating systems in them.
Me in the kitchen recording studio space.

I have tried to do something more with my demo's for this record, I have added other bits and bobs in garage band to spice the songs up, no longer is it just me and a guitar. Just like the last two records, there are 12 tracks, I have averaged one a day in my recording process. I look forward to sharing them with you. I have one more to do, the last track, and it's a biggy.

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog,

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

In the Right Place (Summer Album) Remastered

So friends,

The almighty 11:11:11 is almost here (or gone now, depending when you read this) and I have the remastered version of In the Right Place available from bandcamp for a small fee.

At the end of the month I will release my Autumn record 'In the Light of the Goddess', but until then you will have to make do with my Summer record again. It has been tweaked a little here and there, but there's not much you can do with just one voice and a guitar.

If you do have a few pennies to spare, I would be most grateful of a sale or two :)

Here is the video version of it in it's entirety. Thanks for listening.

I am currently deep in the recording of the next one, I have upped the anti a bit and am adding extra bits on top of the vocals and'll have to wait to hear it though. Then I should be ready to start writing my winter record.

So far this has been an exciting year of creating, and as I get to the final stretch it's refreshing to see what I've managed to do so far to get here. Being an adventuring creative is quite hard at times, emotions can run high and situations can get tense if not properly calmed. I look forward to the reflective nature of winter.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

My precious notebook

Hello friends,

In these crazy times where energy seems to be bouncing around, knocking peoples spiritual centres out of whack and possibly evolving our species in the process, I have had my head down in the creative lands. When things start getting bubbly, I like to pick up a pen and let the creative juices flow. I'm not the only one, the same thing happens to my Beauty, although, she reaches for the small glass tiles and PVA glue rather then a pen.
A Vocalizer page in my note book

I have a note book, it has a very nice cover painting. Back in 2009 I did some work under the name Vocalizer. I was singing lyrics over electronica music made by awesome electronica artists. When I was doing this, I used this note book to write up my lyrics. On the left hand page I did my workings, putting ideas down, finding a verse and a chorus. They are usually quite erratic. Once a set of lyrics can be pulled out of the workings, it would be written up on the right hand page. On a lot of them, I also did a drawing related to the song. Some of those songs are available to hear on the internet.

I stopped doing active Vocalizer work last year, and since I have been working on my solo singer/songwriter stuff. These new songs of mine have also gone in my note book, but in a slightly different way. I have been doing the working out stuff in other books or on my laptop (all of 'in the right place' was noted out on my laptop and then written up).

The first page of my upcoming Autumn record.
So why bother telling you any of this? Well, I have been feeling the changing effects of the spiritual rebirthing of humanity, and to deal with the pulsing nature of it, I have sunk my head deep into my precious note book and done lots of drawing. I have been writing songs all year, but done very little drawing - until now, when I have spent lots of time holding pens and finding images to go with my musical outputs.

My note book is precious to me, it doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but to me it means much. It didn't cost much money, a couple of pounds I think, but for years now it has been the collector of my creativity. I have no money whatsoever, but I am the richest man in the world. That's my point.

Have a great day you beautiful creature

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

In the Shed (Spring Album) - Remastered

Hello friends,

So as November gets well under way, I am in position now to record my next 'In the...'.
I shall begin that shortly, but until then, I thought it would be nice to re-release my Spring and Summer records so that people could buy them for small amounts of cash if they so wanted to.

So if you so want to, please download and enjoy In the Shed, the Spring album of my four seasons 2011. Coming on 11/11/11 is the remastered version of 'In the Right Place', the Summer album, and then hopefully, if I have managed to record it all properly, on the 1/12/11 I will release 'In the Light of the Goddess', my Autumn album.

In the Shed has been remastered to sound crisper, clearer and a little bit less shed like. You can hear the difference if you compare it to the video version below.

As it is getting colder, playing in the streets is getting harder and more undesirable, not only are people less generous (I guess they are saving for Christmas or the inevitable crumbling of the financial system), but they are also less willing to stand and have a little listen to the red nosed, red guitared singing bearded man. So I am turning my attention online, where people seem to be hanging out most of the time these days.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Thursday, 3 November 2011

So what comes next?

Hello friends,

At the end of October I had a couple of interesting things happen to me, I will include them in this blog rather then giving them a blog entry of their own.

Firstly, I should talk a little about the Occupy movement. Here in Utrecht there is a small Occupy movement outside the town hall (and the only legal squat left in Utrecht). Henk and I have been there presenting 'Henky and Andy TV' where we had a wooden frame around us so we bring some reality music to the square of Occupation. It was fun, but I don't think we changed the world with our improvised songs.

We went on a march, from the Occupy centre all the way to the Mint, where money is printed here. It was interesting, as we chanted Dutch and walked through town slowly. People who were out shopping gave us one of three reactions, hatred, support or general indifference. The third was the most common.

Straight after the march I rushed up to Amsterdam to play at an art show for my friends Robert and Mirdije. It wasn't in a squat this time, and there were a few artists with work on display. Robert had made a giant paper snail which sat on the wall in the hall as you walked in. He had also made many small paper snails which were displayed coming down a pillar, going across the floor on a zebra crossing, and then up another pillar. I wish I had a photo to show you, but alas, I have lost my phone so am no longer capable of taking pictures of my moments (on the plus side, no more phone radiation, Yei!). I played a set in the main hall section, and then slipped to the back stage area where I drank and smoked and played more guitar outside to the other smoking artists. Good times in Amsterdam.
More copies of my busking album

I had to print up more copies of my busking album for the show, but I failed to sell many.

I have had another focus since then, my upcoming Autumnal 'in the...' record. My Summer record received more reaction then my Spring one. I have remixed both of them and will release them for download (at a small fee) very soon. That will be shortly followed by the release of my new record 'In the Light of the Goddess'.

I am going to start recording them this month, and I expect they will start being released one by one towards the end of this month.

Also, I shall put some stuff up that relates to 'online busking'...coming soon.

So that's what comes next from me, I look forward to sharing it with you.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Concert on a Houseboat - the wonders of modern gigging

Hello friends,

Thanks to the almighty Couch Surfing community, but mainly the legend that is Piotr Jaworski, I had the opportunity to play a very special and unique concert on Saturday 23rd October. First a little bit of back story... I met Pio at Averecht (the open mic night in Utrecht) while I was there with The Fongster100. Pio is a very active member of the couch surfing community and one of the friendliest and nicest people I have met. We hit it off straight away, chatting about music, travelling, life in general etc.

After my set that night, Pio asked me if I would be willing to perform at a house concert on his houseboat. I very quickly agreed, knowing that it would be something special and a chance for me to play a set longer then twenty minutes. As a street performer my sets come in two forms, the first being the 'on the streets' set, which can be really long (if the security guards leave me alone) and mainly consists of cover songs that people might know and therefor possibly open to giving a little change or at the very least a smile for. The other type of sets is the short sharp in a venue open mic style, these have a maximum of twenty minutes, so I try to cram in as many of my own compositions in these sets as I can.

Pio asked me 'can you put together an hour set?' to which I responded with a resounding 'of course'. Two weeks later and the house concert was a reality.

I set up the corner of the room like my busking spot, with my guitar case in front and my CD's nicely displayed. I had my books rested on the little cat stool thing.

Linda did a support set, singing solo, and I backed her on guitar for one song. After that, I played for an hour, we had a break, then I played for another hour and a half, maybe longer (I'm not sure). There were over twenty people there, all sitting listening and drinking. I managed to sell 8 CD's as well (a new record for me). The evening had such a nice atmosphere, couch surfers are such lovely people, and so multi cultural. I even played some of my brand new songs from my upcoming Autumn record.

After my extra long performance, the event quickly turned into a full on party, complete with loud blaring music and much laughter and merriment. I stayed around for a couple of hours and then caught the last bus back home. I was later informed that the party continued for many more hours and even involved some late night skinny dipping in the water (I am glad I wasn't present for that actually). A fun time was had by all, especially me and Chiana (my guitar).

I would love to do more house concerts should the opportunity arise :)

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Monday, 17 October 2011

How to write/record/enjoy a new song in 4 hours (with Rick Franssens)

Hello Friends,

When Beauty and I first came to Utrecht we had the fortune to meet the wonderful Rick Franssens. He was playing at the very first open mic night we went to at Averecht and we had both been amazed at how good he was on the stage.

We met again at another open mic the following week and spent some time chatting, finding out we had much in common and deciding that we should try doing some collaborative work on music. Rick very kindly invited me to his to see what creative sparks we could make fly.

Once he had come and picked me up from the station in his car, we got to his, had some lunch and chatted about our musical histories. Once the chinese soup and turkish bread had settled in our stomachs, we turned our attention to the task at hand, making up a new song.

Rick at the mixing Mac, guitar having a chill on the seat.
We set ourselves up in Ricks living room, even though he had another room that was already pretty set up to record. Since we were only going to be using Garage Band and a laptop, it seemed to make sense for us to sit in comfort while we created. Now, lyrics have never really proved to be a problem for me, I love writing lyrics and coming up with ideas for lyrics, the music is the part that I struggle more with. Rick, is the opposite it seems. So we played to our strengths for our first collaboration. Rick sat playing his guitar, working out some nice chords and progressions for our song.  While he did that, I flicked through my book of lyrics and settled on a set called 'Unordinary Day'. I tried to sing them along to the things Rick was twiddling, but they weren't working out for me (which is probably why I hadn't tried to ever use them myself). I decided, probably better just to come up with some new ones. I flicked to a blank sheet in the book and started musing. There were a couple of trails from planes across the sky, and these caught my imagination to begin with, a couple of lines about that came out. Then I hooked into a different idea all of a sudden...'This fork in the brain, blunts like a knife'...yeah, that worked. From that start point I started to formulate further ideas. All the while, Rick was strumming and picking at the guitar, shaping his sequences.

Rick at the mic, recording some noises.
Rick got a phone call, from a new student of his (he teaches guitar for a living), so began explaining things in Dutch over the phone. I got up and went to sit on the balcony, taking the book with me just incase further inspiration struck. Luckily it did, and the opening lyric to the song was born in the cold air 'Infinity in a grain of sugar'. Once I had that line, the rest just flowed out. I love to rhyme most of the time, at least, in the way that a singer can (by sometimes bending words a bit).

It didn't take us long to piece the song together, Rick had verses, an intro, a transition to chorus bit, and a chorus. I picked through the mess of words I had put down and pulled out the structure. We played it through a couple of times, with me singing and Rick playing the guitar. Once we were happy with the structure we moved straight to recording. Rick recorded the guitar part first, then I did the main vocal line, then Rick added bass and backing vocals. Then I added another vocal line, before we moved on to hitting pots and pans, making shakers from kitchen objects and making silly noises with our mouths.

After 4 hours we had a finished track, and here it is 'Huh!'(Excuse Me) - by Rick Franssens and Andy Jackson.

HUH! (with Andy Jackson) by rickfranssens

It took us about 4 hours to finnish, from conception to final track, not bad for a first track together. I look forward to working with Rick again, on a more serious song next time I expect.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Art show in a squat bank

Hello friends,

So on Sunday 9th of October I went with The Fongster100 to Amsterdam to play in an artist's squat on Bos en Lommerweg. There were several open houses/places where art was being displayed, all around the area. We were in a former bank, with a big safe (not full of money though - I wonder if it was a symbol of all other banks!).

Awesome art by Mirdije and Robert
This was to be the first gig that I offered my busking CD 'in the making' to the public, I had only previously had it out on my guitar case while busking (without making a sale) so I was hopeful I might make a few euro. The space was amazing, full of art by both the curators Mirdije and Robert as well as a few other artists (whose names escape me, sorry guys!). 

There was a rug set up as a performance space, as well as a cooking station where Robert cooked up some of the best pancakes ever made in the history of art shows in squat banks. There was a calm beautiful atmosphere about the place, and at several points throughout the day I had to go and look around at all the awesome artwork again, and again.

I set myself up just as I would in the street, with my guitar case on the floor, CD's lined in front of my shoddy '€5 only' sign, my hat with some loose change in it, my water bottle and my book of songs (I have far too many songs to remember them all, plus I do like to smoke pot quite a lot). I decided to play it like a busker, to begin with. So I played a few on my own songs and then many of the covers that I have been lining the streets with.

After I played a set for half an hour, The Fongster100 did a set, but he didn't take to the carpet, and people seemed to pass him by. Also, he wasn't amplified, and he only had an electric guitar with him. We rectified that for the set he did later, plugging him directly into the PA system. The sound carried nicely around the space, bouncing back enough to be a warm reverb, but not too much.

Robert setting up the Fongster100 (who is also called Robert)
The day continued with another busking set by myself, and then another by The Fongster100. I managed to sell a total of 6 CD's, not bad for their first airing. I also debuted a new song there, 'Riot', which will be included on my next 'in the...' record. It went down well, and a video of it can be seen on my facebook page.

We checked out the big safe at the back, and decided it would be an excellent place to record, so possibly, if it stays a squat for a little longer, we will get to record in the safe.

The event went so well that I am working out when I can go back there and record a whole busking set, for my new upcoming project 'Busking Online'. More details to come on that one very soon.
More Amazing Art 

It rained all day while we were there, spitting rain, not big heavy rain, but still, it got you wet. Lots of people still came through the show though, which just goes to prove that the Dutch are hardcore art lovers, no weather will stop them taking in a bit of culture.

Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Flying Carpet Jam Sessions at ACU - something extra special

Hello friends,

Every first, third and fifth (if there is one) Tuesday of the month, there is an excellent jam session at ACU in Utrecht. ACU is a fantastic venue, with a great cafe/restaurant at the front (which serves superb food at affordable prices). The Flying Carpet jam session is run by Monique Veenswijk, and you can check out the website for it here

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to help Monique set up the last jam session. Although I have little to no experience of being a sound engineer, I have spent lots of time either watching or assisting sound engineers with the rigging of studio's, venue's and clubs. It was a great opportunity for me to get a bit closer to the technical side (something that usually freaks out acoustic musicians like myself). Wires and knobs ahoy!

Soulecy rocking out!
After having a spot of (FREE) food, Mo and I headed into the venue, got all of the equipment down from the secret loft hatch, set up the magic carpets, rigged everything, plugged it all in, tested it, put the lights up (not literally, we just turned them from off to on), turned the smoke machine on a few times (because it's fun alright!), sound checked the opening act Soulecy (check them out on facebook! They are hardcore) and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done.

The jam sessions all start with an opening act, so everything is set up for them first. Once they are done, Mo and I had to quickly rig up a couple of instruments, change parts of the drum kit etc. Then it was on to the jamming. Oh sweet Jam, how you come in many shapes and sizes, with many ego's and (hopefully) much talent.

Henk giving us some 'Humble Pie/Occupy'
Most Jam sessions (in my experience) take a while to come together, but at ACU, you can always rely on the legend Henk to kick start things with some power improv singing. With Occupy Wallstreet being high up on the agenda, the songs that were made up across the night all seemed to lean in someway towards the state of the world of money today. Henk is a master at spinning great meaningful rhymes, and the people of ACU were treated to a once only performance of 'Humble Pie/Occupy', which was something special. Henk needs to be on stage, it is a shame that the only chance anyone gets to see him perform is at the jam sessions, but really, you need to see him, he is the jam master.

The night continued to go swimmingly, with some more exciting jamming. I was very focused on the overall sound, wanting to make a good impression as Mo's sound help. The hardest part to control was the guitars, because they were going through their own amplification and were not controllable from the central desk. I kept ninja'ing around the back of the stage and turning them down, to keep the mix right. Guitarists don't like it when you turn them down though, so it was a bit of a constant battle. I took to the stage as a performer a couple of times, and we knocked out some upbeat Blues. I don't have much to feel Blue about at the moment, so I sung the Happiness Blues.
Monique the flying carpet pilot

The swimming goings of the evening turned a little when the toilets flooded (I think someone was trying to flush some Humble Pie). Monique got stuck in fixing them (I won't go into more detail about that, you can imagine for yourself if you really want to) and the jam continued.

The evening wound to a close about 1am, and once everything had been put away back safely in the roof hole, we sat in the bar listening to nice music (mainly chilled Radiohead, Devotchka, Beruit, Elbow etc) talked politics in Dutch (I didn't have much to add as I don't speak Dutch), and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Then to end the night, Henk and I carried a carpet to Monique's place, and then we found a couple of pretty flower heads that had fallen off, picked them up and used them as trumpets the whole way home. I bet we looked like crazy people making up songs with flowers, but the music was still in our souls, and we had to express it somehow.

Not long till the next one now...

Spontaneous music making in the living room

Hello friends,

Staying at Henk's pad has meant that live inspired original music flows like wine in an alcoholics wet dream. It's a place where singer songwriters share their wares, not in competition with each other, but in support of each others talents.

The sun was shining bright and although I still had illness in my bones I needed to get out in that sunshine and soak up some vitamin D. Beauty and I had been tasked with doing some gardening, and this was the perfect opportunity to get hands dirty and weeds rooted out. So we took to the garden and started de-rooting.

From up on Henk's balcony, we started to hear voices, which was quickly changed to music, sweet music. Henk was playing guitar with Monique (another great singer/songwriter from Utrecht), and the kids were playing percussion. We went up to join them, and after a quick shower to get all the mud off, we were in and joining in the musical explosion. I would put up a video of our work, but I haven't got approvals to do that so I wont.

Shortly after that came to end, Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield arrived. They are amazing musicians from Florida, only visiting Utrecht for a day and night before going to play a gig in Den Haag. They had to go and see Utrecht (it would be a crime not to), but they were around for the evening. We decided to have an impromptu singer songwriter circle round at Sylvia's house.

So, Roy, Kim, Henk and myself (later joined by Herijo and Sylvia) sat in a weirdly shaped circle and started to play songs to each other, one by one, going around the circle, with improvised backing for each song by the other members of the circle. I recorded most of the evening on my laptop, and once I've cut it up I might release some of it as a podcast. It's been a long time since I've done a proper podcast (since Products of Monkey Love fizzled out last year), so, if I can get it all together properly then there will be a Singer Songwriter circle from Utrecht podcast coming this space (not literally though, this space is just a blog on the internet and it will unlikely change unless the thought police force me to change it, but if that happens they would demand I remove the bit about the thought police, so only this pointless aside would be removed).

With the recent loss of Steve Jobs, my macbook has been feeling sad, so it has been harder to get my musical works done. My ambition often exceeds my grasp, but, I guess that's what keeps me driving forward, even if hardly anyone listens to my music, or reads my blog, or gives two flying shits if I was to live or die. Just so you know, I love you, and a big thanks to you for actually reading this, you have a skill that few seem to possess and you should cherish it. Most people have the ability to hear, but very few ever actually listen.

Me at Trippers Corner back in April
Peace and infinite love

Andy x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Andy Jackson - 'in the Making' (a busking album)

Hello friends,

My busking adventures around Holland have taught me a lot, the main thing being that street performers don't often receive the respect they deserve (but, in this world that's nothing surprising right?!). The best (and worst) street performers tend to have some merchandise available next to their hat for any 'customers' interested in taking something away with them from their street based musical experience. Most often of course the merchandise available is a CD (I have seen cassettes as well believe it or not). So, I have decided I really should join this CD selling trend, since I have been involved in the making of several CD's of original material in my time.

But what should go on a busking CD? This is a tough question. Beauty and I discussed it at length, and decided that probably the best way for me to go with this was to record some of my busking covers, and then add some of my own original songs as well. That way I can pimp my own material on people a bit, but still give them the songs they recognise, know and love.

20 copies of my busking record, all with unique covers
So here it is 'Andy Jackson in the Making', my busking record. Available where ever you find me with my guitar, usually in Utrecht or Amsterdam. For only €5 you can own a unique copy of this very rare, hand crafted record. It contains half busking covers and half originals, the track listing is as such

1. You Can Call Me Al - the Paul Simon classic song, done in my acoustic street performing way. This song often earns me a good wack, so I tend to play it earlier in my busking sets.

2. All You Need is Love - the Beatles original, this one has been in my busking set since I first went round Europe with my friend Ali. It was a good earner back then, and it still is to this day.

3. High & Dry - by Radiohead, my acoustic version of this song makes me a pretty penny on the streets, I think it's because of the high singing bit :)

4. Not a Job - by Elbow, this song isn't that well known, but I do love to sing it, and spread the word of how awesome Elbow are where ever and when ever I can.

5. The Ballad of John and Yoko - the Beatles again, this one is fun to sing as well, but is more well known then Elbow. I make nice money for this song too.

6. Songs of Love - by The Divine Comedy. This song probably isn't that well known either, but it does contain the theme tune to Father Ted as the middle eight, which I always sing in a 'doo, doo', doo' way. It makes me think of Ted :)

7. No Worries - now on to my original songs, this one was from 'in the right place' and is about not worrying about everything if you can help it.

8. Out the Back Smoking - this was from 'in the shed'. I often busk this song as it has a nice walking pace to it's strumming. Makes me nice money too, even though it's about smoking.

9. Another Email - this is my Bob Dylan busking protest ranty song, although I don't busk it that often because it is not that upbeat. I make more money for my upbeat stuff.

10. Prime - I never busk this song, it's from 'in the right place'. I do this at open mic nights and gigs though, it goes down a treat in those environments.

11. Cat Found a Home - The Cat's demanded I put this one on.

12. Count Your Blessings - This is one of the songs I busk from time to time, it makes a euro or two. The chorus is big and bold, and there's lots of strumming involved so it holds it's own on the streets.

13. Salt - Not a song I busk, but one that goes down well at gigs/open mics etc.

14. Sleep - This song I would never even attempt to busk because it is all pretty and high, not bold and in your face. I put this as the last track because the mix I did of it is all spacey and echoes.

So that's it, the full track list of 'Andy Jackson in the Making'. Come and find me, pick up a copy :)

Friday, 30 September 2011

Rose Tinted views of the Past - (lost lyrics)

Hello friends,

I have decided to publish some of my lost lyrics in my blog, since they are just sitting on my screen taking up stickies, maybe someone would like to read one :)

This set was written while I was working my office job back at the beginning of the year, I doubt I will ever 'music' them up as I have covered the idea better in other lyrics since this.

Rose Tinted views of the Pastby Andy Jackson

Staring at the paper moon,
Collecting up the stars in a jar,
Dancing on an ancient wheel,
Fixing the bumpers of a futuristic car,

Rose tinted views of the past,
Human decency doesn’t last,
Mistakes take the same shapes through the ages,
To history pages the die is cast,

Listening to the audio books,
Softly spoken words of wisdom,
Printed on crumbling wood pulp,
A cheaper way to quash some freedom,

Rose tinted views of the past,
Human competency doesn’t last,
Mistakes take the same shapes through the ages,
In history pages it all goes so fast,

Heroes and Villains occupy the same coins,
How can you be special based on your origin loins,
The Kings got this sh*t sown up rather tight,
So many souls willing to die and fight,
To feed the needs of some overweight birth right…what pointless tripe

Rose tinted views of the past,
Human complacency doesn’t last,
Mistakes take the same shapes through the ages,
In history pages the lies reach is vast,

I love this tree :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Back to Busk (tales of a street performer)

Hello friends,

So busking (street performing) is a strange way to try and make money. There are lots and lots of musicians in the world, some are good, and some are very bad and can give us all a bad name. I think I fall somewhere in the middle, I am not a technical wizz capable of playing three hundred notes a second on the guitar, but I do know a bit, enough that I don't look like a total lemon when I play. My special skill is my voice, I have a pretty nice voice when I sing (I got compared to Rufus Wainwright while busking last week!). So I try to make the most of it.

In Amsterdam I had been having trouble making money in the streets, mainly because there are only certain good spots for street performing and they require some kind of amplification and a permit to play at (I had neither). I did okay in a couple of the free spots, but I would spend so long walking around trying to find a good place to play that I was usually tired before I even started playing. For a day of hard playing (interspersed with huge walks between spots) I could make about €15. You may think this isn't that bad, but for a hard days work, it really should be more. This was disheartening for me, so I tended to find excuses not to go and try. It rained a lot this summer so it wasn't hard to be persuaded to not go and play in the wet streets.

The Fongster100 playing in the streets of Utrecht
When I moved to Utrecht I got a new wind in my sails regarding performing in the streets. This mainly came about thanks to Rob Wilfong, aka The Fongster100. I don't think he was quite aware of the impact he had on me, the encouragement to hit the streets again and play for my supper. We went out busking together (playing separately) and we got good responses, in some spots at least. We tried out several spots on different days at different times to find which worked best. There were times when it was excruciatingly slow, playing for twenty minutes without even the sniff of a euro or cent, but there were other times when the cash flow was pretty nice.

Rob has an amazing little street performance amp, small enough that it can be dragged around in a little trolly bag, but powerful enough that you can make quite a noise in the streets. He also has a little mic that plugs in (see picture), and with this set up it is quite easy to make a big impression.

This was the first time I had ever used amplification in the streets, and it made a big difference to the kinds of songs I could perform. My catalogue is made up of both slow plucky songs and loud strummy songs (very technical language there!). When busking the only songs I could get away with playing before were the strummy ones, but with amplification I had to switch to my plucky ones and pull my voice back rather then belting the vocals out. This was fun for a while, but I quickly found I preferred to belt my tunes out without amplification, the main reason for this was my voice. Having to restrain my vocals to not blow the microphone was quite a challenge, and not being able to strum the guitar with a plectrum made me feel a little restrained. The amp and mic set up was perfect for Rob, for he is a blues man (an awesome one at that!) and he worked the amplification well, using it to round his songs out and make them richer sounding. It didn't seem to do that for my songs.

So, after a couple of weeks of playing in the streets with Rob, I really started to enjoy it again. Just like performance of any kind, the nerves kick in prior to beginning. When I was trying to get into it on my own, I had no one with me to encourage me, so I would have trouble starting, picking good spots etc. Going with another performer helped me to get the confidence and spirit to be able to entertain people in the streets (and take the unimpressed sighs from some of the passers by).

I now have found a favourite spot (I hope to find more) in Utrecht, it's very near the station, and just across the market square by a little bank of cash machines. I have done well there, earning about €25 for an hour (although my permit only permits 15 minutes, I tend to push this to half hour before I move).

The biggest competition here in Utrecht are Accordion players, there are loads and loads of them. When I am walking around looking for a spot, most of the good ones are always taken by an accordion player. Saturdays is the best day to make good money, but this last Saturday I was doing well until I had competition just round the corner from where I was. There was a whole flipping classical band, with 3 accordion players! 3 of them! How was I meant to compete with that. I didn't try, I gave up and let them play (knowing that as there was 5 of them they would have to split the earning so I probably made more then them individually). They were selling a CD, which is common practice for street performers. So I am now in the process of putting together my buskers CD.

Here is me performing 'Not a Job' by Elbow (one of my busking songs).

I'll write again when my CD is finished :)

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Bikeshop, Henk of the Hill and The Fongster100

So friends,

After the great open mic at Averecht, we were scheduled to go onto our next couch surfing host, Henk Van De Veen. Now, this guy has a great profile page on couchsurfing, perfect for any musician looking to make a friendly connection. He is big into 'gigswapping' and is a fantastic musician, and we have been staying with him since we decided to plop ourselves down for a while in Utrecht. He owns and runs a bike shop (see video below), and it's a great place to catch very rare acoustic gigs. I have done a couple of mini shows there now, it's great fun, the bikes hanging up make it feel like a robot surgery, with little internal bike organs found by your feet. The perfect place to be musically inspired.

On our first visit there we were met with smiles and I was told to entertain the customers with some guitar playing. So I did, and here is a bit of it...

Henk gave us keys to let ourselves in at his place, and we left the bike shop. A few hours later he came home and told us that an American was also due to arrive soon. Henk then left us to go look after his two boys and we had some food.

There was a knock on the door, and standing there (bagless!) was Robert Wilfong, aka The Fongster100, Blues master. His bags had been misplaced by the airline and were currently in the land of "unknown whereabouts". We set him up with a temporary bed until Henk could sort out one for him (we had only just arrived ourselves so were a little disorientated).

The following day, Rob played to Beauty and me in the kitchen, it was amazing, and the song 'Ever Since the World Ended' will forever be engraved in my mind.

Thankfully, Rob's luggage arrived a day later, delivered by the airline. He had several guitars in there, as well as street performance gear (amps etc.)

We would go busking together often, but that's the stuff of a blog of it's own...

With so much music around us in such a short time, it seemed like we really had to stay around here, just to give our ears what they wanted.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Seriously (Track 12)

Hello friends,

So we reach the final track on 'in the right place'. I am well into writing the next 'in the...' right now, with 5 new songs written and a couple in semi-existance. This little song used a poem I had written back when I was working in an office. My boss always looked so serious, and that made me feel sad, because life is best taken less seriously in my opinion.

So here it is, the last track on 'in the right place', all recorded back in July in Den Haag.

Seriously by ProductsofMonkeyLove

and the youtube video version as well :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The musical kiss of Utrecht (swaying us to staying)

Hello friends,

So, Amsterdam was behind us, we were now in Utrecht. It was still raining, lots and lots. The clouds were having pissing contests and we were the receivers of their golden showers. For our first full day in the lovely city, we were treated to a few hours of nice weather, so we took the opportunity to go exploring. Beauty and I found so many interesting things as we walked around, beautiful mosaics, quaint cobbled streets, low level canal spots (you can get right down by the water in Utrecht, unlike the Dam) etc.

Spot the UFO having a little chill on top of the building
Jasper and Liza (our couch surfing hosts) had shown us a list of 100 things to see/do in Utrecht. It can be found on the couch surfing website. We managed to complete a handful of them, the main one that made us chuckle was the UFO on top of a building. Both Beauty and I do love to discuss aliens and strange things in the sky, so it was a hoot to find the UFO, but, as I pointed out, it wasn't flying, so was a UO, but since it was clearly put there on purpose it was identifiable, so no 'U'. It was just an 'O', an object.

Happy that we had located the 'O', we headed back to avoid the falling sky. Jasper is a bassist in a ska band (a really good one at that!) so I took the opportunity to have a jam with him. His fingers were still sore from a marathon session of gigging, so we took it slowly. It sounded great, it was so nice to jam with a bassist.

The following day the skies did nothing but rain down, the weather menu consisted of a drizzle starter, followed by a rain salad and finally a downpour sundae to finnish. We would not be deterred from going out to the open mic night at Averecht that we had heard so much about, whatever the weather. So as evening approached, we got ready and headed out to Averecht. At half seven we left Jasper and Liza's house and wandered through the rain. I had a plastic bag over the top of my guitar, and our umbrella was doing it's best to shield us from the persistent showers. We hid under building entrances and meandered our way down the roads. We made good time, getting to Averecht by about 8pm. We stood at the entrance and were a little perplexed by how very closed it was. On the door were the opening times, and it seemed that the place wouldn't be open till half past nine. Jasper had told us to get there early as the line up filled up pretty quickly, it seemed we were a little bit too early.
Beauty in front of a beautiful wall painting in Utrecht

We wandered around Utrecht, not venturing very far from Averecht, but getting the chance to see some of the canal in the rain, the streets in the rain, the Dom church in the rain and my personal favourite, an old windmill in the rain. We could have probably appreciated these things without the rain, but there seemed to be no telling the clouds that, no matter how hard we shouted at them.

We stood in a doorway near Averecht and had a romantic moment staring out at the rain. We watched the minutes tick away until it was finally worthwhile heading back to Averecht (we had already past it a handful of times as we had wandered, each time hoping it would have opened early). As we arrived we walked in to see a handful of people, the place had literally only just opened so the sign up sheet for musicians was still empty. We spoke with the guy running the night, Dennis, and he showed me where to sign up and told us that there would be lots of musicians likely to come and play. He wasn't lying, within ten minutes the sing up sheet was full. Standing at the bar, waiting to do his first appearance at this open mic night, was an amazing musician called Rick.

Dennis playing 'Pink Moon' in Averecht, blissful
He had a smiling energy about him that made us feel warm (this would later be confirmed, he is such a nice guy). Beauty had a feeling about Dennis, that he was in some way connected to Nick Drake (one of our personal musical hero's). As Dennis kicked off the night to the very full Averecht, he opened with 'Pink Moon' by Nick Drake. Beauty swooned and smiled, "this is our place" she said. I had to agree. Dennis spoke in English for our benefit, it was such a warming atmosphere. A blues guitarist went up after Dennis, he entertained the crowd for a handful of songs, and then it was my turn. I was given a warm reception and Dennis explained to the audience that I was going to be playing my own songs that had been written around the Netherlands. I proceeded to play and I got a kick out of all the people attentively listening (something that rarely happens when busking). When I finished I was given a warm round of applause and returned to my seat. So many people came up to me to chat, it was amazing. We made so many new friends that night. Another act was Renee, she was amazing, such a beautiful voice and touching clever lyrics in her songs. She was followed by Rick, and then a couple, David and Lisa, calling themselves 'the flying transformers' played. It was their first time as well, and they were great too, quirky fun songs, keeping the mood upbeat. They were followed by Herjo (with Dennis helping out), an amazing guitarist and singer in Utrecht. They played some beautiful Simon and Garfunkle, Beatles and a great rendition of 'I could have lied' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

It was a magical evening, despite the rain. We left Averecht feeling certain that we would be back there again, many times. We were going to find a way to stay in Utrecht...

Salt (Track 11)

Hello friends,

Track 11 on 'in the right place' is a little ditty song I wrote about a mix up in a restaurant. I liked the idea of a song about salt since it's a vital ingredient in many foods and maybe doesn't get the good press it deserves. I also do love to write silly little songs every now and then, can't be serious and deep all the time.

Salt by ProductsofMonkeyLove

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Count Your Blessings (track 10)

Hello friends,

Track 10 on 'in the right place' is probably my favourite one, and a great fun song to play and sing.

It is all about loving yourself in order to be able to love someone else, a very common theme in my musical explorations, but I feel I captured the idea pretty well in this one.

Count Your Blessings by ProductsofMonkeyLove

Friday, 16 September 2011

Couchsurfing to Utrecht (the next leg of the adventure)

Hello friends,

A lot has happened to me since the last update to this blog, I have relocated to a different part of the Netherlands, met a load of great new people, played music in loads of new places, and learnt lots (as always, it's good to keep learning).

At the end of August, Beauty and I were looking for somewhere to stay in Amsterdam, there were not many options available, since it was new student time and there are not many living options in Amsterdam anyway (it's a rather popular place for people who like living in houses rather then just living outside with nature). August had been an interesting month, yet again we had been hit with several days of continuous rain, or "European Summer" as it should probably be called.
It was time to move on and get on with some more creative adventuring.

We were introduced to the idea of couchsurfing by a friend while we were looking for somewhere to stay. Now, if you know nothing about couchsurfing then let me enlighten you a little. Couch surfing is an online community of travelling souls that like to meet up, have a coffee and a chat, and possibly offer up a couch for you to sleep on while you are visiting somewhere. It feels to me like a version of facebook for travellers. Search for 'couchSurfing' in google (or any other search engine) and take a look for yourself if you are interested, I can't be bothered to post a link to it.

Our little secret beauty spot in Amsterdam
Anyway, Beauty and I searched for a nice couch to crash on and some lovely people to meet in Amsterdam. It proved quite difficult as we quickly discovered that people that offer up a couch in Amsterdam receive close to two hundred trillion requests a day (give or take a couple of trillion) and have trouble even replying to tell you to find somewhere else to stay (I don't blame them, I wouldn't respond if I was them).

We met with an amazing American woman called Melissa, she is a travelling writer living in Amsterdam, and she has an amazing way of explaining things. We sat and smoked a few with her and laughed lots.

We decided to look outside Amsterdam and find somewhere else to go explore, and we settled on Utrecht. It wasn't a hard decision thanks to the great profiles the people who couch host in Utrecht have.

So on a cloudy Sunday (after a Spanish birthday party), Beauty and I attempted our first hitch hiking. We walked from Dam square to the south of the city where the big road joins it to head down to Utrecht. We didn't have all our stuff with us (of which we have far too much to be travelling, so every time we have moved location we have had to do it in two trips), but we still had my guitar and a backpack each, as well as a shopping bag full of mini supplies (cheap chocolate, crackers etc.). The rain once again decided to come pay us a visit as we were walking, so we took refuge under a bridge and ate plain crackers and watched the wet people cycling along. Once the rain cleared, we headed out towards the big main road, finding it difficult once we got off the foot path, we decided to turn back and head to the edge of town to try and collect a ride from there, rather then down on the big motorway thing (as you might be able to tell, I know next to nothing about cars and roads).

Trippy lights of Utrecht
Standing at the end of rijnstraat, we had our little 'Utrecht' sign and our smiling faces, but it was already getting quite late and darkness was starting to descend on us. The cars sat at the traffic lights were we standing by as the drivers either stared us out, or avoided making any eye contact whatsoever. After half an hour our smiles were fading and our patience and trust in our abilities to get a free ride to Utrecht were waining fast. We called up Jasper, our couchsurfing host in Utrecht, and explained that we might not be able to make it there so we will crash out for the night in Amsterdam and find a way to Utrecht in the morning. Jasper said it would be fine for us to arrive late, so we took off our defeated faces, plastered smiles back on and headed to the train station to pay for our way to Utrecht.

Ahh the trains in Amsterdam, how fun they are. We were down on the south part, so headed to the nearest station (station RAI) with the hope of getting a single train down to Utrecht. We were a little stoned at this point and our only money was a single crispy €50 note. The ticket machines at station RAI were not giving out change, so there was no way our lovely single note was going in one of them. We headed up to the platform to check out which train would get us to Utrecht. There wasn't one going from RAI to Utrecht, so we asked a Dutch couple which would be the right train to get. The informed us that they too were trying to get to Utrecht and we should get on this train with them. So we did, we got on the train and straight away were approached by the conductor (the Dutch couple had tipped him off that we were looking for Utrecht based transportation). The conductor was a scary looking bald man, someone who would look better suited to the army then train conducting (I assume he was kicked out of the army for being too mean looking). Cowering under his scarytude, I asked him which train we need to get to Utrecht. He explained that we needed to change at blad-de-blah, and then get on another train to slap-de-bak, and then get another one to Utrecht. He then turned and walked off, before I asked anything about tickets (which we didn't have!). The train reached the next station (station something or other), and fearing that we would receive the wrath of army conductor man if were to stay and be caught without tickets, we jumped off the train. He shouted at us from the train "you don't want to get off here, this is the wrong station". We stood staring at the train times, ignoring his gruff tone. The train pulled away and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Crossing the platform to the other side, we decided the best thing to do would be go back past station RAI to station Zuid and try and catch one from there. Standing on the platform (still ticket-less at this point) was a female conductor woman who looked a bit scary, AND a police woman who was assisting the conductor in busting naughty ticket dodging people like ourselves. We boarded the train when it arrived, as did the conductor and police woman. We stood ready to make our case as to why we didn't have tickets, but luckily for us, they walked the other way up the train, not coming anywhere near us. Tensions ran high for the short journey, and once we reached station Zuid we hopped off and quickly ran down to buy tickets (thanks to a small pack of curly fries from BK to split our note and give us change). We went back to the platform and relaxed, safe in the knowledge we were now un-bustable in the ticket department. The next train to Utrecht came shortly after and we were on our way.

Arriving in Utrecht rather later then originally planned, we had a quick smoke and then walked to Jasper and Liza's house, meeting them on the way and starting our couch surfing adventures properly. Jasper and Liza were amazing hosts, so friendly and open, funny and kind. We stayed with them for 3 days, in which time we quickly fell in love with Utrecht (a calmer version of Amsterdam).

The turning point was the spooky goings on at Averecht...but that's a story for another blog...

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Quiz Master (Track 9)

Hello :)

These new tracks are available on soundcloud and youtube if you visit my pages there you can hear the whole record (if you are so inclined).

Track 9 on 'in the right place' was the last track written for it, and probably the weakest (in my opinion). I will try and do more with it when I come to record a proper big version of it, maybe a studio audience or the hustle bustle of a live TV studio floor would inject some tension.

So here it is, track 9 'Quiz Master', the story of a naughty quiz show host.

Quiz Master by ProductsofMonkeyLove

and the video version with my fluffy face playing it :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Crunch time - oh how enlightening it can be!

Hello friends,

Life keeps moving on, as it should, and inevitably will always continue to do. I have been struck by realisation, understanding and most importantly, a bold new sense of adventure (which is perfect for this blogs name!).

Andy and Beauty (or Beauty and the Beard)
My parents came to visit Beauty and me here in the lovely city of Amsterdam, for a couple of days. We have been back here since the beginning of the month and have been feeling a little anxious about what our next move should be. Some limping had been done in the metaphorical sense, and we have been feeling a little drawn out by it all. I have been informed that this is very usual for the fourth month of being away from home. Maybe travellers have a name for it, but I don't know what it is. (if you know it then please put the name in the comments for this blog - thanks, I owe you a beer ;)

With feelings of adventuring fatigue, Beauty and I needed to be seen by my parents so we could see how far we had come ourselves. Perspectives, sometimes helpful, sometimes a hinderance, always present if people are around. For us, it was refreshing and helpful to be seen by people we hadn't seen for such a long time. When you see someone after a period of time, you always notice the changes in that person very clearly. For instance, my mum has been slowly turning her hair blond by a process of streaking, and now she has completely blond hair. This stood out to me straight away, and I had to comment, but if I had seen the gradual change, I wouldn't have been so aware of it. Like a child that you don't see for a few years, change happens fast.

Emerson, wise old cat, loves a belly rub and sitting
on my laptop case. What an amazing kitty :)
Anyway, as far as the relevance to me and adventuring is concerned, I was given an outside perspective on all the ways I had grown closer to Beauty, how we functioned as a "unit" (my Dad's word for us), how my creativity had grown and changed, but most importantly how happy we were. It's true, we are really happy. In a time when many people seem to be miserable, Beauty and I are smiling all the time. Life is great, in fact, it's flipping super mega awesome layers of fudge and creamy fantasticalness on a stick great.

Worries about places to stay and what to do get washed away like the contents on a european poo shelf (oh how I love the toilets with poo shelves). Focus shifts so quickly, and with such electrical energy. After being seen, Beauty and I felt liberated from ourselves. I can't think of a better way to describe it then that, it was a sense of liberation from self appraisal, freedom from self judgement, infinite happiness for the very existence of happiness itself.

When spiritual things happen to me I have trouble writing about them. I think this is mainly because it often looks wrong written down, the words fail to capture the experience with any accuracy and instead create either vastly over exaggerated ramblings or underwhelming word puddles.

I got a sense of what I am meant to do, what it is that drives me and will help me realise my dreams. Beauty got it too, and together we swum in the excitement. Now we go travelling for a bit :)

Peace and infinite love
Andy and Chiana (the red guitar)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sexual Definition in the Age of the Swap (Track 8)

Hello dear friends,

So here is the next track from 'in the right place'. This one being all about sex changes, and how they can confuse the definition of "sex" a little, all for the better I think :)

Sexual Definition in the Age of the Swap by ProductsofMonkeyLove

Here is the youtube video version with my ugly mug in it :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Low Planes and Midget Golf (but no midget in sight!)

Hello friends,

My adventuring continues, I am now writing some more songs (like you do...well, like I do I mean) and soaking up the Amsterdam atmosphere. Also getting back on the blog train and writing out what's a been'a happenin'a (...sorry about that, the spirit of Mario took control of my 'A' key'a).

The main thing we have found recently is Amsterdam's secret mega awesome park that no one seems to know about. In fact, I probably shouldn't be writing about it for fear of everyone and their dog finding out about it's amazingness and all swarming to the beautiful revolving yellow gates.

There is a big sign on one of the entrances that says 'PARK' in huge letters, so I guess it isn't really a secret, just a place that not many people go to, even though it is amazing.

(Amsterdam's secret garden)

It has become our spot to go for spiritual discussions, energised meditation and future planning. As an adventuring creative, I tend to live life very day to day, my plans are bigger then that of course, but with so much new stuff happening everyday, I can't really plan much further ahead then that. Using my energies in this way has been very liberating, no longer being tied to a routine of repetitive uninspiring menial tasks.

Other things take over the mind, different priorities, different worries and fears. It seems wherever I go, these things find a way to pull on my ankles. The ground keeps me grounded just as my dreams remain dreamy. In Amstelpark there is a spot down by the Amstel river which has an old windmill as part of the view. It is an amazing spot, picturesque, brimming with romance and joy. We sit there and let our imaginations fly with the birds. This moment of bliss is punctured every ten minutes by a low plane, crossing the picturesque scene like a fly doing backstroke in a bowl of nettle and mint soup. The noise splits the sky as the plastic willy with wings lumbers right through the middle of the calm. After a minute it has gone (it's probably not even that long, it just feels like it) and calm returns once more. After another minute the memory of the intrusion has past...and then another eight minutes later the next one comes and bliss is shattered again. I bet kids would love it, but I don't have kids (that I know of) to share it with.

The Dutch have special golf for Midgets, which
is really nice of them :)

I wonder if Midgets would be as excited by the planes as children? I expect not, as excitement level tests have clearly shown that excitement is not linked to height in any way, shape or form. Regardless of that, there is one place in Amstelpark that both children and midgets alike can be expected to achieve relatively similar levels of enjoyphine release. The Midget Golf. Oh yes, a place where midgets are given priority over larger people in the fine game of small white dimply ball hitting into a small hole through a tiny obstacle. I hope that midgets get a special discount, I will try and find out. It is now my dream to see a midget playing midget golf, I would stay the whole course to enjoy the alignment of rightness that it would bring to the universe. 

One day, oh yes, one day...

But not today, at least, not when I was there. I'll keep checking :)

Try not to read this last bit if you can avoid it, it contains the word phlegm, and that word can alarm some people.