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NEWS 2011

20th April 2011

Irritating Welshmen and Changes To The Newsletter; What's Occurring?; Help For Heroes; iTunes and Ping

Irritating Welshmen and Changes To The Newsletter


I almost choked on my coffee last week when a newsletter subscriber suggested that I'm not very busy at the moment. It's true that I've lost a few days through illness this year but otherwise I've been writing, rehearsing and trying to catch up on the numerous non-creative aspects of this venture. I guess many of these things are "under the bonnet" and so perhaps it's unsurprising that people might think I've either dried, died or given up. However the subscriber's comments were a little surprising as they were after what generally seems to be a well received account of me "dying" on stage a few weeks back. The Welshman's (subtle clue for those that used to work with me) comments have however prompted me to question the purpose of the newsletter.

The original idea was that the newsletter would only cover significant news and perhaps include a quarterly summary. This was because I didn't want to irritate subscribers by inundating them with newsletter emails. Anyone who was interested in less significant updates could follow via the social networking sites (Twitter,FaceBook, MySpace, ReverbNation etc). However I'm becoming increasingly aware that some of our fans / followers etc via the social networking sites are missing notifications just because they are not logged on at the apposite times. Furthermore, newsletter subscribers might be interested in some of the gig reports and blogs that now occur which are only currently notified via the social networking sites.

The simplest way to resolve this it seems is to increase the functionality of the newsletter so that it mirrors our use of the social network sites. This will mean that newsletter subscribers will receive notifications of all updates on the site. For those subscribers that would still prefer to only get newsletters for very significant news this does not present a problem: either resubscribe with the "lite" option (you don't need to unsubscribe first) or just let us know here and we shall put you on a "newsletter - lite" list which will function exactly as it does now. Hopefully in this way we'll be able to keep everybody at the level of "updatedness" which they prefer and stop those that originate from the western part of this wonderful island being irritating. If anyone can see a problem or is unhappy about the changes, please let me know.

Anyway, what of this quarter's newsletter?


What's Occurring?

(See what I did there?)

If you haven't visited recently, there' are a few things that maybe of interest:

  1. The aforementioned "dying" on stage a couple weeks back. Apparently some people found this funny. I had hoped to be "resurrected" (hey, topical) last Wednesday but food poisoning prevented me from being too far from a toilet, so tonight hopefully shall go much better. (That's not meant to infer I'm performing next a toilet!)

  2. An account of my ill-advised first "real" music performance playing American Pie to a captive audience of approximately 200 13 year-olds when I was a teacher.

  3. Learning of a film (Finding Joe) which is closely associated with our song You've Got The Magic Back. (There was a point that I was hopeful that Magic Back might have been included in the film but alas it didn't happen. The director said he liked the song though, which was great. But how cool would that have been to have got included in the film? It'd have uniquely summed up what "following your bliss" is all about.)

  4. A new section has been added: At The Water's Edge, which is self explanatory when you visit it but a little neglected as other work has taken precedence.

  5. A piece that I wrote based loosely around questioning if we are becoming obsessed with preserving the "moment", due to the better technology that is available, and as a consequence not enjoying it as much.

  6. As I say, I've been doing a lot of writing, not only lyrics but some stories and articles etc. It took a while to get back to being "writing fit" again but I'm rising early again now and feel like I'm back in similar sort of "writing" shape before all the technical problems started on At The Water's Edge; likewise for the singing and playing, which had also been neglected. The plan now is to do what I wanted to do two years ago and travel around a bit and play.

  7. Help For Heroes
    That's it really. However I'd like to draw your attention to a sponsored mountain marathon (Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon in under 24 hours) that my friend and ex-telecom colleague Bruce Leslie is doing for Help For Heroes, the charity that supports the UK's injured servicemen and women and their families. I'm not usually one to talk about charities and prefer it to be a private matter. However, though I haven't personally been affected by the loss or injury of a loved one through the services, I have become more aware recently of the very high price paid by some who choose to do a job that I would've have been too much of a coward to do. I don't think anything can really compensate our service men and women and their families for their losses but perhaps they can be made to be a little more bearable and I think Help For Heroes provides an effective interface to help in that regard. Good Luck to Bruce and his friends as they continue their training


And finally, those of you that have bought At The Water's Edge, thanks! I hope you liked it. And of course thanks for your continued support and interest via this newsletter and Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation etc.

iTunes and Ping

Actually, there is one last thing: if you're an iTunes user, you can now also follow us on Ping.

That's it!

Have a great Easter,