There Is No Fork….

Bent Fork

Hey folks! Apologies for the  delay in posting another episode of the blog. Been a busy time here!

So, you are probably thinking that my bizarre title may be vaguely related to the movie The Matrix, where the main character, Neo, is challenged to see his reality from a different perspective. A kid is apparently bending spoons with the power of his mind with incredible ease. Neo goes to watch him, amazed and intrigued. The boy says to him:

“Don’t try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, realise the truth: there is no spoon. It is not the spoon that bends, it is YOU.”

I admit, I was kind of thinking about that film and its fascinating philosophical ideas. But not entirely. You see, I have seen Uri Geller apparently bending spoons in a similar fashion. But……I have never seen anyone attempt to bend a fork.

Now THAT is interesting! Why not? I have no idea. Where am I going with this, I hear you ask. To which I reply, “Pardon? Speak up a bit.”. Seriously though. I do have a point.

Life can be tough and perplexing a lot of the time. Things that you think should work out, don’t; and things that you think never will happen do, for better or worse. So, what am I learning from life at the moment, with all the confusing things and frustrating things that happen along the way? I am learning the valuable, more valuable than gold, lesson that life is one long opportunity-laden learning experience. A chance to discover something new about myself, about God, and about other people; and how I can learn better to get on with all three parties!

All too often, I face a disappointment or set back with a grumble and a “how dare you!”, rather than a, “well, that is totally gutting, BUT……teach me! What can I learn from this, and how can I develop better for the next time? What does this teach me about me, about God and about other people? What does it teach me about how I handle situations? How can I handle them better? I want to learn! I want to grow! I want to be better at being me, and better at interacting with the people I care about the most: God, my family, my friends, my Church family, my neighbours, my fellow Edinburgh citizens.

Now, I do not do at all well in social situations. I find them extremely stressful and hard. And I end up exhausted by them at the end of them. But, I have, in recent years sought to deliberately put myself in those kind of situations. It is my way of bending the spoon, so-to-speak.

Do you, dear readers, have ways in which you seek to “bend the spoon” of your lives? If so, or even if not, leave a comment below. I am really interested in beginning a discussion on how we face our challenges, and how we allow ourselves to keep humble and have a teachable heart.

Until next time………..

New Year, New Era….

Happy New Year, belatedly, to all my readers! Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings, rants and musings over the last year. I appreciate your support, and I value your comments on the things I write about, so please keep them coming.

2016 has got off to a racing start! The decorations are down, the kids are back at school, and our normal routines are re-established. In some ways, this year will be just like last year, but there are some exciting new things on the horizon for us.

We also have to finally close the book on our life connected to Cornwall. At last, my parents have finally found a buyer for their house and will very soon by moving up to Scotland to be much closer to us! That is exciting, and we are seriously glad it is happening, but there is a wee tinge of sadness about this book coming to an end. Cornwall has been a MASSIVE part of my life, even though I left there in 1994, I have regularly summered there. I began my music career there. I had the best music teachers in Bob Peters and John Austin, who encouraged and inspired me enormously. I would possibly not be doing what I do now, if it had not been for them. I was encouraged by my Dad to get into Cricket at a very early age, and, down in Cornwall, I had some great coaches who provided some wonderful opportunities for me to play for my local club and explore playing at county level. Although I no longer play the sport, due to a number of injuries, I still love to watch and write about Cricket. If I could name but two of those coaches, I would like to thank Nigel Bishop and Dennis Roberts for encouraging me and giving me chance to shine.

On the studio front, I am working with a client on his forthcoming EP, I am continuing to work closely with Johnny Geib developing songwriting training resources and content and I am also working on my own EP, which I am aiming to release in the Spring this year. I am looking to fill my diary with a lot more clients this year and really develop the business in to a successful profit-making concern.

2016 is shaping up to be an amazing year! We are looking forward to seeing all that God will do in and through us as a family, and all the adventures we can get ourselves caught up in! If that interests you – and I will be documenting it all right here – then, please, follow me! Subscribe to this blog, my studio YouTube Channel, check out my Studio website HERE…….AND….please leave your comments!

Until next time…….See ya!

“Super To Be Six” and a Headlong Dive

Apologies for the absence of more frequent posts recently. Things have been VERY busy, and there have been a couple of illnesses in the family. All are now well, though, which is a great relief to us all.

So, almost 4 weeks ago, my daughter Anna turned 6 years old. It amazes me how fast the time flies by! We ensured she had a fun-filled day on her birthday, and then that weekend, we organised a ten-pin bowling party for her and 12 of her friends. All had a wonderful time and the staff at the bowling centre were pretty good, in spite of the centre being very busy.

My wife Cate has been phenomenally busy in her work as a community midwife, and she has been working a lot of extra hours while some of her colleagues have been unwell. And, at the same time, she has been amazing with Anna and Sam and me. My wife is, without doubt, awesome!

On the studio business front, I have been super busy. My good friend Johnny Geib and I have just launched our new joint venture, called Lipsham & Geib: Songwriting Simplifiedin which we aim to provide top-class training in the art and craft of songwriting, mostly for beginners, de-mystifying it and giving budding song-smiths a good foundation in the tools and skills of writing a great song.
With this venture now gone live online, I have been very busy creating content with Johnny.

Also, in the studio, I am working on my next EP, which I aim to be releasing early in the new year. My current client, Bob David Bell has just released his Christmas Single “Receive Your King”, which was recorded, mixed and mastered in my studio. You can go HERE to get it for £3, £1 of which will go to the excellent charity Circle, and their Inner School Social Education Project – a worthy cause I am proud to commend to all my readers.

Next – Christmas! I will likely post a very short Christmas message and then recommence this blog in January 2016.

A huge thank you to YOU, my dear readers, for reading my blog and engaging with the content I post here. In 2016, I will be changing things up a wee bit with some more extra content and integrating different media.

Until next time…..a very merry Christmas, and may 2016 be a year stuffed to the rafters with amazing blessings!

Follicle Recession: A Sniper’s Paradise

So, they say life begins at 40. Well, I am finding that to be definitely true. I have been a very busy man, and with very little effort from me, a lot of really extraordinary things are happening for me and my family at the moment.

Business-wise, I am working on a couple of new ventures with some very fine people in the mixing/mastering/audio world, and my presence within that world is being noticed quite a bit lately. That is all very exciting!

Family-wise, our daughter Anna is coming up on SIX years old in just a few days time. There is also WAY big news as well, which I can’t go into at the moment, but, when I can….I will devote a post to it! No:…..it does not involve pregnancy in anyway!

In addition to the new ventures, I am also working with a client on his next EP. Tracking sessions are going really well for that so far, and I have some other mixing jobs on the go, as well as some new songwriting videos coming along too. So, all-in-all, a very busy time, which is why I have only managed a single post in each of the last two months. Sorry, folks!

So….that’s it for now. Until next time…….Take care!

Life Begins At…..

Since my last post, I had my 40th birthday. Originally, I had organised – or, more accurately attempted to organise – a large party to celebrate. However, there really are two things I ought to know about myself by now:

  1. I am somewhat socially challenged, and thus, am pretty rubbish at parties;
  2. I am pretty poor at organising things like parties

So, I ended up scaling it back from a huge party held at our church building, to an open-house party in the daytime and drinks at a bar in central Edinburgh.

I had a wonderful time! The open-house was extremely well attended, and for those who could not make it I did a livestream broadcast on Periscope (an app built by the guys at Twitter) and a Google Hangout. The evening drinks at the bar was less well attended, but the people who did attend made it an awesome night out.

They say that life begins at 40. Well, I have to be honest and say that I really do have a life beyond my dreams. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing kids, fantastic parents, a very loyal and loving close network of friends, and a bunch of professional colleagues who inspire me to be better at my job every day. Who could possibly ask for more!? I have been blessed beyond all I could have ever imagined 20 years ago.

So, this post is dedicated to all those people in my life I have mentioned above, with love and the deepest gratitude for all that you have done for me and helped me, shaping me to become all that I am today.

Thank You.

Settling In to Round Trips

Right at the start of this post, I must apologise for the lack of post thus far this month (I have been trying to regularly post two entries per month). Since Sam has started nursery, life, as you are about to find out, has been very busy indeed.

So, as I said, Sam has settled in to nusery school, and is doing brilliantly. He loves it! He enjoys making things, and being creative, and has some new friends. This means that every day, with the exception of Fridays, I have a 2 hour period in the day which is child free! This is still a bit of a novelty to me, and I am still trying to adjust to it!

Anna is all settled into her new primary 2 class, with a new teacher, and some new classmates. So far, all is going well, and we are discovering that her reading skills are a long, long way ahead of her peers. She has also taken a real liking to playing football, and has started attending an after-school football club on Fridays. She, and Sam, are both growing up faster than I may be able to handle!

Cate is exceptionally busy at her work at the moment, which has resulted in her having to fairly frequently work late. She still loves her job, but is currently finding it very frustrating and stressful.

I have been busy in the studio with session work, and with a Full Production Package (Recording, mixing and mastering package I offer) client, who has come in to cut a 5 song EP. I have also been working with a good friend and professional colleague – Johnny Geib – in Chicago (all without ever leaving Edinburgh) on some tutorial videos, covering songwriting, mixing and mastering, and some advanced techniques in mixing using our DAW (Music production software) of choice, PreSonus’ Studio One 3 Professional.

As a result of walking my kids to their school and nursery, I have been finding myself getting fitter. This is mostly due to the fact that through both drop-offs and pick-ups, I am walking approximately 8 miles per day – 40 miles per working week. So, I am feeling healthier than I have done in a long time.

So, that about wraps up this post. Next time, I shall be reflecting upon reaching the rather marvellous age of 40.

Until next time……..