Bizarre Weather Here In The UK

The sky turned an unusual shade of orange on Monday afternoon, bringing to mind the French word orage (storm). One of my colleagues joked about the apocalypse, but the whole thing felt unsettling.

The following day was humid at times and chilly at other times. I’ve definitely come down with a winter bug and will take Piriton at bedtime.

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Busier Than Usual

I haven’t had time to blog here recently. I went back to work after an extended summer break and have an extra musical work playing jazz and light classical piano in north London.

I’m also preparing posts for a sister website blog that tells my musical story from scratch.

Plus, my language studies. And the magazine interview last week.

Till next time.

A Magazine Interview

Hi, I don’t want to spoil the show – but tomorrow, I’m doing an interview for a creative arts magazine on the subject of my new blog, mypianobio

The blog project, titled My Musical Journey by Lawrence Estrey, tells my personal story as a musician, but touches on sensitive topics like gangs, bullying, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I don’t want to say too much now. I think it’s a case of, watch this space. 

Difficult Writing About Past Experiences

A person wants to share autobiographical material. How do they proceed? Too much, and the reader may get bogged down in the detail. Too little, and the narrative will lack conviction.

Plus, the past is complicated. And messy. And emotional, of course. Can a writer really reduce a period of time to a few paragraphs or pages and expect to convey their experiences?

I think the answer lies in painting pictures first, then providing summary in later parts of the story. Describing new scenes, themes, in detail, bringing the narrative to life. But choosing summary techniques as well, to prevent the story from getting stuck at later points.

Writers also have the task of deciding on various lenses, to borrow a term from photography. Does the person choose an introspective approach, looking inward? Or do they project their material?

I’m currently sharing my experiences as a piano player on my sister blog and facing these structural and editorial issues. I use a number of narrative techniques. You can access the story here.

Till next time.

Some More Language Learning Tools

I love learning languages. French. German. Russian. I purchased these cheap tools in various north London charity shops and paid about a fiver in all:

  • COLLINS GEM French Grammar
  • German, Teach Yourself
  • AA phrasebook and CD, French

No course is perfect, but I believe the materials will help bring about an overall improvement in my studies.

Till next time.

Coming To London, An Anniversary

Twenty-four years ago today, I arrived in London from Exeter.  The day always evokes a mixture of feelings. Pride that I made it work, to the best of my abilities. Nostalgia for a different life, for Exeter. The Roman city. The summer evenings.  The lack of responsibility. 

Devon, the place where I’d studied. 

It took me a long time to get used to London life, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.