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Recent Entries to this Blog Now, where was I?
Posted: 31 May 2008
Lorna Doone
Posted: 11 Apr 2008
Pixie capers
Posted: 15 Mar 2008
Neverland Too?
Posted: 12 Mar 2008
The Valley Of Rocks
Posted: 25 Feb 2008

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devonpete's Blog

Now, where was I?

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:28 pm

I did say my blog would be a 'now and then' situation at the seems I'm succeeding in that!
Weeks go by, days come and go. Then you get a message saying that someone's subscribed to it, and it prompts you to provide a reason to place a new entry.
'Lorna Doone', along with several other tracks, were successfully mastered at a local recording studio - oh, some weeks ago now. The trouble is, I'm still composing music which could have been included on the CD as well. It's an ongoing thing.
I also updated my website recently (I took out the guestbook as I had no control over what is written in it. Not a good idea if some joker decides to unleash a lot of verbal abuse and I can't get to it quickly enough to delete it. But many thanks to those who took the trouble to add their kind messages before I dropped it.)
For anyone who's interested, the website is at:

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Lorna Doone

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:12 am

Having not touched the keyboard for about a month, the creative urges were starting to simmer again. As I have managed to get a link to my website on a major Devonshire site called 'Everything Exmoor', I thought maybe I'd better beef up my Exmoor musical content.
The idea of the Lorna Doone novel by R. D. Blackmore has been lurking in the back of my mind for a while, so I went for it about a week ago, adding to it daily - I've no idea how many hours have gone into it, they just drift past. The outcome is four movements reflecting the storyline.
This morning at 5am I awoke with the last melody of the work ringing in my head - one of those tunes that you can't budge. So, with the help of about four cups of coffee, in my dressing gown, I made the final tweaks to it all, finishing with an appraisal of the whole thing in the correct sequence at about 8am.
I get quite emotional about music, and one part near the end, where Lorna marries John Ridd in the church at Oare, Exmoor, after all the previous romance and heartbreak of the story, but where the wedding bells finally kick in, really starts to fill me up. Soppy old beggar.
The next step, I think, is to source an outfit that can take the now programmed music from my keyboard, and transfer it (by whatever means) to a professional and marketable quality CD. The quality I achieve in copying music to the computer myself just isn't good enough.
The aim is to approach Exmoor based outlets - the National Trust, historic houses, museums, gift shops, etc...maybe even BBC Radio Devon. If you don't try you don't get.
But at least now I have something to work with.

This blog entry has been viewed 668 times

Pixie capers

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:32 am

I could be forgiven for thinking I have pixies in the garden. Or maybe I have. This is now turning into something of a local mystery, and I'm already considering opening up as a tourist attraction (but I don't think the council would welcome it).
Let me explain.
It's a mystery that's been going on for some time now, and to the unobservant eye it would be missed entirely - pixies are so subtle in their pranks. I have a fair amount of paving slabs in the garden, and in many places this is edged neatly with gravel laid on antiweed material.
Just in front of the conservatory is such a situation. A slab path with a narrow border of gravel next to the conservatory wall. I started to notice that where two slabs don't quite sit squarely, but not far out enough to be noticeable, gravel begins to accumulate in a small pile. I brush this back onto the gravel verge with a shoe to neaten up again, and the next's back again. A neat pile of gravel. This has continued for many weeks now, and always in the same place.
And where does the gravel come from? Well it doesn't come up from between the crack, it comes from two equally neat depressions in the verge gravel, next to the slabs.
I've walked up and down the path to see if any human weight and movement causes this deposit, and it doesn't. I've considered rainwater dropping down from the conservatory guttering and displacing the gravel, but it still happens rain or shine.There are no creatures in the garden that would systematically choose that few square inches of gravel to make two small excavations and place it neatly in the same spot each night whilst I'm in bed.
I can only conclude that pixies are fooling with me.



These photos were taken at the same time as, after it's been tidied up, it looks much the same as it would any other day. The gravel has now been left as in the top photo. Tomorrow morning, assuming there'll be another wee pile there, I'll take another photo.

Last edited: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:38 am

This blog entry has been viewed 692 times

Neverland Too?

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:42 pm

Well, well, well...the guys have style! Breaking news just a few minutes ago is that Michael Jackson's older brother Tito is buying a place a couple of miles up the road, meaning there will no doubt be occasional stretched limos gliding past my door.
I wonder if Michael likes gardening?
Offers have been put in on two properties, somewhere locally, as a place for them all to retreat as necessary from the showbiz scene in the US.
Why North Devon? Apparently they've sneeked over a good few times to this thoroughly back water'd haven. I'm only glad they took my advice.
But another 'Neverland' nextdoor to the local 8-til-late store? One hopes not.
But what a thriller!

This blog entry has been viewed 674 times

The Valley Of Rocks

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:19 pm

First, the guinea pigs. They had escaped from next door. I managed to catch one and handed it back, and the other two found their own way home. So a happy ending.
The garden hasn't been that inviting lately - damp, cold and gloomy (apart from a few daffodils), so I've remained indoors. As I hadn't added anything lately to my 'musical sketches of Devon', I set about a new piece a few days ago to keep my interest alive. This is my 'take' on a place on the coast called 'The Valley Of Rocks'. I remember back in the 50's the local coach company, Lovering's Coaches, doing an afternoon trip each week in the summer to Lynton and The Valley Of Rocks. They ran an old (new then) Bedford OB coach in cream and maroon. Would be a collector's item now.
Anyway, The Valley Of Rocks is a place that strangely explodes dramatically from the surrounding typically rolling hills in rocky splendour. More like a moonscape than Devon. My piece of music tries to capture the brooding, soaring nature of this ancient and huge geological upheaval.
For anyone interested, it can be heard here:

This blog entry has been viewed 661 times

Computers. Aaaaarghhhhhhhh.

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:16 pm

Love 'em or hate 'em, they're all part of our lives (if we can be bothered that is.)
Yes, computers.
I've just spent the best part of two days trying to get a new website up and running.
'As simple as A, B, C'
'Your own website is just a click away'
'Impress your friends'
Yeh, right.
I now feel quite exhausted having clicked on anything and everything that looks clickable.
Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, it's all done and I'm going to bed thank you very much.
Oh. If anyone's really interested, it's here:

This blog entry has been viewed 543 times

Wilder than life

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:18 am

The garden sees it's expected quota of visiting furry folk...squirrels, voles and a now (I hope) demised rat. But guinea pigs?
Yesterday confirmed my suspicions that 'something' light brown was fleetingly visible under the shrubs at the back fence. I'd spotted this before a few days ago, but from a distance I couldn't see what it was - maybe someone's small cat.
Then yesterday I was wandering down there and sunbathing under the bushes were two guinea pigs. Big fellows too.
Where they've come from I've no idea, but upon closer inspection I can see that they've burrowed in under the neighbour's fence, and there's a well defined run leading to under my shed. The shed is on a raised platform, so there's plenty of space underneath for a cosy home.
What to do? If I close off their escape route I might be trapping them in my garden as there's no way of knowing where they are at any time. All I can think of is to put down a humane rat trap and see if I can catch them, and put them in a compound until I know which unlucky kid in the vicinity has lost them.

Last edited: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:19 am

This blog entry has been viewed 595 times

Night in gales

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:01 pm

Wowwwww! Last night! Was that a gale, or what? I thought the roof would take off.
I hate unpredictable. Just an awkwardly angled gust can hurtle a piece of garden furniture every which way. I must bring them in now until Spring.
And with the gales were three or four powercuts (I lost count), which kept me awake most of the night with radio phones bleeping. I set the central heating timer once, twice, then said to heck with this, and turned it off altogether.
I've not known wind like that since the 'big' one back in the late 80's, when, looking out of my bedroom window in the middle of the night I saw my tall conifer almost touching the ground!
My animal instincts tell me this is not normal weather. No way.
All is calm now, thank goodness. Apart from rain.
Which leads me neatly into an occasional mp3 musical link...
'Here's That Rainy Day', a favourite oldie I committed to the ivories a few weeks ago...

This blog entry has been viewed 493 times

Up to speed again

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:00 pm

Thank heaven for people who know more than I do about computers!
For the last half a year I've been struggling to stay online for longer than a few minutes at a time. But it's now apparently (touch wood) fixed, and my PC is working at a speed I've never before enjoyed. Thanks to a new router installed for me by a very efficient local engineer, and the binning of all the stuff I don't want, most of which he said was just fighting each other - spyware, adware, out of date applications, etc - I'm now well and truly up to speed. It's like having a brand new toy to play with.
And to think that yesterday I was on the verge of taking the whole sorry lot to the nearest office block , dropping it from the roof, and visiting the computer store for a new setup. Glad I didn't.

This blog entry has been viewed 486 times

Getting to grips

Category: Miscellaneous | Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:32 am

My garden always tends to look quite forlorn at this time of year. The grass doesn't stop growing, but is always too wet to mow. Creeping border plants have overcrept onto paths. Rotting leaves still everywhere. Basically a mess.
It's amazing what a quick lawn mow can achieve though. It was still damp but I chanced a last cut for the winter, and it left a few small mud patches. Never mind, it'll grow back by Spring.
A few daffodil and narcissi bulbs are starting to shoot in the corner of the lawn which I have to remember to avoid cutting until they've flourished.
I think a little while spent out there each day for a few days might sparkle things up a bit...
Weeding the gravel areas, digging over empty beds, enthusing about the coming year of renewed colour.
The pond could do with a muck out now, but as it's such a mission, probably won't happen.
Other tasks lay ahead too. Lifting the patio slabs and relaying them properly is one - they were just placed on earth last year to establish the design, and are starting to sink and tilt.
Restaining the front gates which are losing their protection due to sun and rain.
Getting moss off the garage roof which has built up to almost a second garden - although I quite like the cottagey look of lush moss on tiles.
Plenty to think about, but for now, maybe just another cup of coffee....I wonder what's on TV?

This blog entry has been viewed 593 times

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