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In a month’s time, I will have reached the crucial landmark – five years without smoking a cigarette.

My thoughts on stopping and staying stopped are the same as always.

First, having “just one cigarette” almost always (eventually) results in the person taking up smoking again.

Second, avoiding tobacco takes priority over any methods or props used to help a person quit – in other words, if an ex-smoker feels they need a nicotine replacement product, they should use the product.

Third, walk away from temptation when it gets too strong.

Just a few of my thoughts.

A Summer Evening

A summer evening, 

Birds singing,

A breeze whistling through the leaves.

A tree,

A garden,

The sun getting ready to set. 

The sun is out, the temperature soaring just like on a summer day.

I’m sitting in the local coffee/bookshop, getting acquainted with my new laptop.  I’ve just downloaded one of the later versions of LibreOffice and have added writer2epub, an epub conversion.  In today’s publishing climate, a prospective novelist can never pin all their hopes on a conventional publication deal (although one should always continue submitting), so I have added the epub conversion in case I need to produce an outstanding ebook, alongside a standard print on demand paperback novel.

Apart from that, I hope to enjoy the rest of the day and the warm weather.

Till next time.

 

 

Summer Rain

Summer will arrive soon – in just over three weeks.  The weather here in the UK has improved, the temperature risen, just like summer but still spring, my favourite season.  Today, the rain came without warning and the skies darkened. The air is sticky and humid.

Meanwhile, I’ve sent my novel, a psychological thriller, out to more agents and am waiting for replies.  I continue to practise the piano most days in anticipation of further online or Indie recordings. Then, the languages, of course.  I study French, German and Russian during my free time.

Till next time.

 

Back Very Soon

Having a little break. Back very soon. 

As a classically trained musician and past scholarship holder in piano performance, I, like many other classically trained performers, looked forward to the day I would sign a recording contract. Who wouldn’t, given the years of training and aspirations?

A couple of hundred concerts on, along with experience at several smaller concert halls and an appearance at Edinburgh Fringe, and I began to understand that the recording deal would probably not materialise, especially as I did not have agent representation.

For a while, I continued performing whenever possible and polished my repertoire, tackling a number of the Liszt studies and getting a reasonable technical grasp on the second and third scherzos by Chopin. I also loved to play Beethoven’s Waldstein, which I knew from memory.

Web 2 came along – and with it, file sharing.

YouTube followed.

Over a ten-year period, three technically minded friends recorded me on separate occasions. Eventually I put the best tracks together to form my own CD, titled Classical Piano – Lawrence Estrey. I marketed the project myself and made a modest amount on the CD’s, but I never did it for the money. Only the exposure and experience.

Since then, I’ve got a better phone and downloaded Titanium Recorder, a simple app that lets users record live performances. The user can select the level of quality. MP3 BitRate works fine for a basic “live” semi-professional recording. No distortion, but not quite up to record label quality. This year, I’ve recorded eleven tracks, converted the tracks to still image videos and uploaded them to YouTube.

Early days, but my discography is growing steadily now, thanks to the internet. On a positive note, aiming high encourages me to practise more.

Just a few of my thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

A delightful piece, quite melancholy and almost haunting in places, with a hint of a cadenza in the middle reminiscent of the first subject in Grieg’s piano concerto (movt 1). I also think the nocturne hints at some of the despair of the slow section in the final movement of the concerto.

Anyway, you can hear me playing the nocturne in the video below:

Enjoy!