New toy

I have not written for a few days. Some times life get busy, and even important things can take a back seat. My life has not been any busier than normal, but there has been a new advent in my life. I am now the proud owner of a bass guitar.

I started playing guitar when I was seven years old. This might infer more than it really means. I have never had any aspiration to play in a band or perform (although I have on the latter), I play for me. I started learning chords and remember being able to knock out a pretty decent ‘Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow’ quite quickly. When I was eight, I started to learn to play classical. I had guitar lessons throughout most of my schooling and did some grading exams. And then around fifteen, I stopped wanting to learn anymore. I still played and loved the songs that I already knew, but I no longer had the motivation to extend my knowledge in this area. I would still sit and cuddle my guitar for many hours allowing my fingers the familiarity. But newness was no longer in my repertoire.

I think that the same thing can apply to so many areas of my life. I learn something, feel that I have achieved all I want to, and then move onto the next thing. This is, on one hand, a truly awesome thing. It allows me to harness many different types of skills. But the expression ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ does readily spring to mind. I then thought about this in a wider context. I was talking to someone about the job market and recruitment recently. It was pointed out to me that the ‘job for life’ has long been extinguished and that now we all supposedly must have a ‘career portfolio’. In essence, this means that having one particular┬áskill set is no longer enough, we all should have several. Apparently.

I have always had the most glorious aptitude of being able to do most things that my work has required of me and have worked in enough places that my skill sets are wide. But they are not focussed. I am good at several things, but am not a master of any of them. I think that this is sad in some ways. If we are encouraging everyone to be good at everything, then some level of specialism is lost. But then I read an interview with Elon Musk. He was suggesting (to massively summarise) that people with only a singular specialism lose the wider view, and thus limit the number of ideas available to them for advancing in their field, whatever that may be. So having lots of skills actually enables a massive amount of cross referencing, what works in one area might be transferable to another.

The most major difference between my six string guitar and my bass is that my bass only has four strings. However, those four strings are pretty much the same (albeit somewhat lower) as the bottom four strings on my other guitar. So now I have started playing bass, I am already equipped with a massive amount of transferable knowledge. Currently, I am playing several times a day, until my hand aches and my fingers feel numb, and it is such an incredible thing, so much love for my new bass guitar! Maybe it isn’t that I ever stopped wanting to learn more, I just needed a way to express it.

Map Point. What do I want to learn next?



Fifth letter

Dear Robert,

Thank you. Meeting you changed my life. That isn’t to say that other people have not changed my life too, but this has happened over a longer period of time. From when we began chatting online things changed fast.

Getting a message from you was excitement. The eloquency of your words to which I could respond became a compulsion, almost addiction. It was so incredibly amazing, being able to converse issues of psychology, philosophy and all manner of what we consumed on social media. Your words fuelled my words, and our collective ideas grew.

Also, there was guitar. To start with I taught you classical, then that developed into learning the chords for ‘Scarborough Fair’, then suddenly we were singing together (with the counterpoint). The book of songs grew and through this, I developed a confidence in my own voice that before hand, I just didn’t have. Singing in front of you doesn’t feel embarrassing, even if my voice cracks or I miss the note entirely, it is funny. You make it that way.

Our nights out. The first time we went out I had no idea what to expect. We sat on the beach and drank Jack Daniels (the honey one) and you chased away an errantly large spider. You were loud and shouty and we danced to a Waltz (music supplied by your phone, think it was Japanese) under the arches on the beachfront whilst the rain cascaded heavy with illumination from the street. Subsequent nights out have been colourful and insightful. From unlikely injuries, multiple destroyed phones, meals of awesome and collections of waiters. They have been fun.

You take me shopping in nice places. You find clothes for me to try on and you have an innate ability to know what will look good on me. You have dyed my hair (even by using my inane drawings as reference) and talked through makeup. You make me pretty, and sometimes I forget to do that.

I know that I have done good things for you too, reciprocation is an inherent part of any friendship, but this is a thank you from me, expressing all the love and gratitude that I have for you.

Shiny always


Map Point. Who do I share my time with that makes me happy?