Southern Ukulele Square Fest

Talking of festivals (of course we were) the Southern Ukulele Square Festival is fast approaching. A first for SUS, it’s being held at the Square and Compass pub, Swanage. The fest kicks off on Friday 29th of June with the main acts on the Saturday, followed by a mass jam to cap off the fest on the Sunday. Acts confirmed so far include Mother Ukers, Krabbers, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, plus workshops and performances from other great uke artists!

Tickets cost £20 for the weekend or £40 including camping and can be purchased from


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2012 Ukulele Fest of GB: Saturday

Saturday’s proceedings revolved around Cheltenham’s Town Hall. The stage was graced with numerous talented British and international uke acts throughout the day. The clever Ukulolo / Virtual Krabbers duet was a favorite of mine.

Inside the “ukulele village” of vendors was a top place to hang out, test a swag of new ukes and generally shoot the breeze. If you’re a termnal UAS sufferer it was also the perfect place to part with some hard earned cash. Risa’s electric stick  is certainly a strange piece of kit:

I didn’t come away with a new ukulele, although certainly not for lack of models to choose from or drool over! But alas, I settled on buying myself a tin kazoo, hehehe! Talking of new gear, I also aquired a set of Ken Middleton’s new Living Water strings. Officially made in heaven.

I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked – especially of the acts – as I was way too busy enjoying myself. Enough talk for now though, here’s the rest of my Saturday photos:




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2012 Ukulele Fest of GB: Friday

Despite the dreary weather, Friday evening saw ukulele lovers from all across the country converge on the Exmouth Arms to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. We drove straight from work across to Cheltenham, checked into our lovely B&B and then headed out to find the right pub. This was easier than expected thanks to a giant model ukulele standing proud out the front!

The BBQ was fired up for dinner and beer garden was soon full of uke players (and some bemused non-ukers too, hehe) getting together for a strum and generally enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. The jams around the Bridgenorth Strummers table were great fun, thanks!


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2012 Ukulele Fest of GB: Preview

The 2012 Ukulele Festival of Great Britain kicks off this evening over in Cheltenham. Friday night’s festivities get underway at the Exmouth Arms (Bath Road) where some of the performers and hopefully plenty of you will be down to sample some of the good food, fine ale and finer music that will be on offer.

It’s too late to buy tickets online but if there’s any left you can still purchase tockets on the door, either Friday night at the Exmouth Arms or on Saturday at the Cheltenham Town Hall.

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James Hill & Anne Davison engaged

This charming email landed in my inbox last night:

We’re engaged! Weeeee! It happened last weekend under a lamp post on Salt Spring Island, BC. The right place, the right time, the right question… and the right answer! Wanted to share the news with you.

Warm wishes,

James & Anne

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh and yes, I’m back. Sort of. Still a couple of boxes left to unpack and my internet access is patchy, but the move went smoothly. I’m settling very well into my new home!

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Pack up your troubles…

This is a little bit how I feel at the moment: Surrounded by boxes and bags and lacking much furniture, but I still have the ukulele out for a strum!

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You guessed it, I’m in the middle of moving home. Because of this it’ll probably be a little quiet on my blog while I pack my life up, relocate, unpack and settle into my new surroundings.

The whole moving thing is daunting, exciting and exhausting to say the least. Not nearly as scary as when I moved from Australia to England, fitting my entire life into one suitcase! It’s amazing how much more stuff I’ve gathered in those few short years… Stay tuned though, I’ll be back!


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Sailor Jerry / Sloop John B

Sailor Jerry’s Original Spiced Navy Rum: The spirit of choice for pirates and topless hula skirted island girl ukulele players all over the world. In honour of the long weekend, I’ll be enjoying a glass or two of Sailor Jerry’s and diet coke tonight. How cool is their bottle label:

And what better tune to accompany Navy Rum than Sloop John B. A traditional West Indies folk song, a hit for The Beach Boys and a favorite of ukulele gatherings world wide. You can have a lot of fun with this one using various strum patterns and harmonies. The great thing about this song is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you like!

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