Tag Archives: Music

Tonight in London!!

Right this moment I am standing outside Royal Albert Hall in London (UK) about to go inside to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain perform! Posted from my Windows phone, because I’ve finally figured out how to do that…

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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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Vintake ukulele player pics

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Life lessons from 1 year of ukulele

Today I realised that I’ve been writing on ths blog – and therefore playing the ukulele – for a year this month! It’s been an interesting journey from not being able to strum a chord to where I’m at today.

Playing the ukulele has certainly taught me a thing or two. So for my first anniversary post, here’s a few things that the ukulele has taught me about life:

Everyone has their story. People are natural storytellers, whether it be old friends around a campfire or a stranger on a country path, there’s a story inside everyone. Along these lines, the uke is a natural conversation starter. If you’re out strumming your uke, conversations and stories flow more easily.

Slow down. In music, as in life, sometimes it’s best to take a step back, relax and just slow the pace a little. As the age-old cliché goes, “take time to smell the roses.” Or in ukulele-speak: Learn it slow, learn it correct, then speed it up!

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Persistance is key. Like everything worthwhile in life, it may not come to you overnight. Pair that with an ever-aging brain filled with degrading neural pathways and it may not even happen next week or month, this could take some time… But eventually, one day, it will just click. Persistance pays its dividends to those who stick with it.

Like minded individuals. Sure you can progress just practicing by yourself, but nothing compares to getting together with a bunch of like minded people and jamming out. This is especially true if you get the chance to play with people more advanced than you are! There’s only so much you can learn from books.

Be Prepared. The great scouting master Baden Powell said it and it rings true for life and ukulele. Always have a repertior of “most wanted songs” to draw on. From my experience so far, over 40’s tend to ask for a bit of classic Formby. Anyone under 40 may request Train or Jason Mraz.

And lastly, lots of good-looking females in their 20’s will ask you to play a bit of Bruno Marz. Just sayin… 😉 Happy strumming!


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“Stay Awake” by Julia Nunes

Track 1 from her latest album, Settle Down.

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21 Jump Street (2012)

From the Telegraph: “….meanwhile, in real life, teenage girls reach for geek glasses and tie their hair in buns when they want to go glam, and the male heart throbs don’t play sports, but the ukulele.”


I don’t really remember much about the original 21 Jump Street TV series. As a kid in the late 80’s to early 90’s I didn’t watch much TV and only caught the odd episode, but I do remember that it starred a very young but still very cool looking Johnny Depp!

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Winter snow, village walks & ukulele

Snow! Finally after a very mild English winter we’ve been hit with a cold snap and a coating of snow! I took the opportunity (after building a snowman) to go for a wander around the village. As I was heading for the door I looked at my ukulele and thought, why not take it with me!

Everybody is so friendly when it snows – and even friendlier when you’re strumming away on a ukulele. It just makes everyone smile! On my walk I met this guy, Arthur, who came up to me to have a chat and spin a yarn or two about ukulele playing.

He said he’s been playing the ukulele for many, many years. He told me of a local group I didn’t know about and where I could meet him for a jam. We had a good chat and then I continued on, content in the knowledge that the ever humble ukulele had spread some good vibes today.


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