Reelin’ In The Years….

The Steely Dan song that provides the title for today’s post is one of my favourites, not least because of the exceptional lead guitar work of Elliot Randel. But, that’s not why I used it in the title of this post. Having had two weeks off my feet due to my cellulitis, I had plenty of time to think and reflect. So, I want to share some of those thoughts and reflections with you, my dear reader.

Five years ago today, I and my wife Cate were preparing ourselves for becoming a family of three, and becoming parents. We were into our final week as just a couple. My life, which had already changed beyond my wildest dreams, when I met and married Cate, was about to change again. Radically. Questions were flying through my head at a zillion miles an hour: “Can I really be a good Dad?”; “Can I handle all the requirements of a new born baby?”; “Can I give her all she needs for life and happiness?” It all seemed so daunting.

Then, on November 19th 2009, my daughter Anna was born. When she came out into the world, suddenly all those questions and doubts melted away with a huge, “YES!” the moment I saw her. Over the course of these five (almost) years, I have learned so much more of the depth of those questions, and have occasionally returned to them. It has been an extraordinary experience watching her grow up and develop. And now, suddenly, my baby girl is a school girl!

She has settled into her formal education fantastically well, and is learning loads every week. It’s just so delightful to see her skipping joyfully to school and then skipping home with the same joy, and then burying her head in her homework when she gets home. She loves to learn, and she is having lots of fun doing it. I hope and pray that this delight remains with her her whole life through.

As we approach her birthday, I regularly find myself amazed that the little baby I held in my arms five years ago has become this amazing little girl…….who already has complete mastery of sarcasm and has a bullet-fast wit.

I wonder what the next five years hold for her – and for Cate, her brother Sam and myself?? Who knows? – God does! I am very thankful the journey of parenting He has brought me on so far, and totally excited as the journey with Him, and Him with us, continues.

Happy birthday (for Wednesday), Anna! Here’s to many more Father-daughter adventures!


Weighting and Waiting

One of my favourite emotions – among many – is anticipation. Waiting for something to arrive, or something to happen, that you know is going to be GOOD. I get all excited. It becomes mostly all I talk about – which irritates my poor beloved wife NO end – until the event happens, or the thing arrives. I count down the days. I am probably very annoying.

I have another one. It’s not really a favourite exactly, but it usually follows anticipation that is not fulfilled: FRUSTRATION.

I am eagerly anticipating the completion of the studio makeover project. It has been all I talk about! However, there have been some rather annoying and frustrating hold-ups to the project, caused by new gear not being correctly delivered or not even arriving at all!

When I get frustrated, like anticipation, it becomes all I talk about and it spills over in a variety of ways, including this blog. So, if that is not your bag, can I suggest eagerly anticipating my next post in a week or so’s time?

So, my big frustration has been with anticipated deliveries not arriving on time, or even arriving at all. After LOTS of phone calls and emails – oh, and a wee rant to Royal Mail on Twitter – I have no gear, one re-send and one refund. Annoying!

So here is the low down on frustrations:

  • First frustration: I have had to order my new DAW (Digital Audio Workstation AKA music production software) via another vendor. This is the biggest frustration, because this is the one piece of gear that has NEVER actually arrived. Royal Mail LOST IT! It is the most expensive, and – for the audio geeks – after 20 years or so of using Steinberg’s Cubase, in its various incarnations, I have decided to switch to PreSonus’ Studio One. I have a full refund on this, so I will be buying it elsewhere.
  • Second frustration: I have taken delivery of new acoustic treatment (to tame the acoustics in the studio), which arrived PERFECTLY on time (NOT via Royal Mail), but I do not have the stuff ordered by which I will be mounting the foam panels and bass traps on the walls. That got returned to sender by Royal Mail! So, that part of the project is on hold.
  • Third frustration: Royal Mail v Yodel. Score line there? 1-0 to Yodel, with two RM sending offs.

So, there you have it. I am frustrated and anticipating the arrival of the mounting stuff next week and then, hopefully, Studio One by the end of that week. In between that, I have a computer to overhaul with my good friend Jonathan Simpson.

Rant over. It was cathartic. Next time, you will hear joy-filled news of the project moving forward, and I’ll post some pics.

So…..what was the “weighting” bit of the title all about? I’m attempting to lose weight.