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Apricot and Amberleigh Emusibles

Adventures in Recording.

News, Views and Mewsings

News, Views and Mewsings

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Finding "The One"

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on June 7, 2012 at 7:35 PM Comments comments ()

Finding The One

So many people devote half a lifetime to searching for “The One”. What higher ideal could there be than discovering the Holy Grail of that perfect love? And yet, is romantic love really perfect love? Like anyone else, as the song goes, “I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out” – so many times too… Discovering someone I thought was “The One” cost me immense pain and five years of near insanity. I made it through only with the help of some very dear friends and someone very special who believed that I was “The One” and tolerated my selfish and rather silly behaviour. (No credits, they know who they are and they know the reality of who I am too!)

I am a poet and a musician. I call myself a Bard and therefore you would expect me to be romantic I suppose, but the romantic experience to me is a different concept of “romantic” than it is to many modern minds. Romantic to me is sensitivity to one’s surroundings, to others, to the feelings and inspiration Nature lends us. Romantic is gentle, it is aware of beauty in everything and acceptance of everything without condition. Romantic is a heightened state of perception that may or may not be associated with being “in love”.

To many people, however, romantic means a state of mind leading to sexual conquest. There is nothing more self-seeking, more mono-maniac, more Narcissistic, or more insulated from the rest of humanity than someone in the throes of “in love”. Being “in love” may share some of the feelings of what it means to experience a higher love, but it has most to do with chemical highs, pheromones – being “hormonal”.

In love derives from a Primary Drive, it is intense and is fuelled by the instinct to reproduce an individual set of genes. I am going to be controversial perhaps in saying it doesn’t really matter whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual because the instincts, drives and organ responses remain the same regardless of the gender of the “object”. In love excludes others – the weaker, the less attractive, the unwanted – it drives the older man into the arms of a younger woman and the older woman to take on lovers.

In love does not take account of responsibilities, duty, or decency. It has few morals and fewer inhibitions and so it is ultimately about Separation, not Oneness. In love is a Folie a Deux that can blind participants to the feelings of others – a chemically induced variety of autism. In this form, the ideal of Romantic Love, often seen as the pinnacle of human experience, becomes the Achilles heel of our species as its relentless hormonal onslaught demands we produce more and more copies of ourselves in an increasingly overcrowded planet.




A Whisper of the Romantic in the Eye of God



It was during some of the most acutely painful times of my life that I felt most at One with the creator. There is no accident in that. In being brutally separated from “the one” I came closest to Oneness. It enabled me to create poetry at a great rate, I saw the beauty in so many things. The Romantic I am became separated from the straitjacket of “being romantic” and set me free to Love. For that I am grateful, but still so much in awe of how it all works!

I learned that “The One” is diametrically opposed to “in love”. Having a relationship with “The One” meant seeing beyond the exclusivity that so many men and women (especially women) hold so dear! “The One” is something to which we all belong, One Creation in its Entirety, the Universe, or God, in which we are both part and whole.

At the centre of “The One” is Love; not an exclusive or selfish “in love” that is hormonally driven, but a shared experience of beauty and empathy that reaches ever further and judges no being. “The One” certainly does not preclude the experience of “in love”, nor does it chain Love itself to one narrow blinkered object. Finding “The One” means discovering that oneself and the awesome, great and gorgeous wholeness of Nature itself really are One and the Same….




Oneness With All Life: Inspirational Selections from A New Earth




Scalping the Bath!

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on June 7, 2012 at 8:05 AM Comments comments ()

Heavy duty chemical cleaners are a Nono in our house in case the Persimews get into them. Most cleaning products are in fact highly toxic to animals and to humans (whether or not it tells you to use gloves). For several years, in deference to a chemical allergy as well as the cats' welfare, I have used a steam cleaner or an old fashioned mix of washing up liquid, sodium bicarbonate and white vinegar which gives amazing results.




Homemade: How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally


Ever felt there was more you could do with those unwanted beauty products? Well, there undoubtedly is! If you have unwanted beauty products lying around, or you have developed a sensitivity to any shampoos, read on! Today however I ran up against a shortage of bicarb, and thought I would turn to something even more gentle.





Whilst this is an amazing beauty product with rave reviews and a lovely smell, I have never enjoyed body scrubs, let alone facial scrubs. My skin is far too delicate and since being diagnosed diabetic it is probably unwise anyway, so I put some honey butter scrub I was given to good use on the bathroom sink. I used an old flannel and it worked amazingly well. Throw said flannel in the wash and it is fine to go - no harsh chemical residue. Job done!






Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time


So, for the next step, the double sized bath is always a personal bugbear, reaching over it is tough so I generally clean it and then reward myself with a long, hot soak to soothe any backache from bending over the yawning abyss! Anyway, I didn't have enough honey butter scrub for such a big job. What to do?






Neutrogena T-Gel Terapeuthic Shampoo, Original, 4.4 Fluid Ounce


I spotted some TGel coal tar shampoo. Amazing stuff! I have late onset psoriasis, probably stress induced, and found this stuff would work incredibly well at first. After a while it worked only after a few days of bleeding and irritation - sadly I was developing a possible allergic reaction and I stopped using it for that reason. Now coal tar is toxic to cats, so you have to proceed with caution if using it. I shut the bathroom door in case they came in to help. Scrubbing a bath with TGel is amazingly fast and effective. The 25 year old burgundy coloured acrylic bath tub (pride of the 1970s!) started off with some pretty horrid soap stains, but after two minutes it literally looked new! Anyway, three rinses and a long, luxurious soak in the tub later and the bath is now feline friendly as well as shiny and squeaky clean. Just imagine what that must do clearing your dandruff...



The Lurker....

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on June 6, 2012 at 4:25 AM Comments comments ()

Spa-N-A-Box Portable Hot Tub

Sometimes our efforts to keep fit and look good take on a whole surreal aspect! Whilst my nearest and dearest often wonder about my enthusiasm for a twice weekly soak, steam, roast and simmer down the hydrotherapy pool they do accept it as one of my little quirks and generally approve of anything that keeps me going. So when I decided to go for a swim and a bubble yesterday, Colin seized the opportunity for a lift into town to feed Luggsy the feral, followed by a walk in the country lanes near Doddington.

We decided to meet up back at the car in two hours, allowing time for said workout, steam, roast and simmer.... So off we went on our separate ways and in due course I discovered the sanarium to be unusually full of an assortment of large men. I am not the sort who hides in the ladies changing room because there are guys around and usually the guys at the pool are total gentlemen, so I wasn't worried.

Well, first of all an African looking guy who was built like an Adonis came in to check up on an Irishman who seemed to have been the brunt of some earlier racist attention! I hadn't seen any of this, but I was impressed with the African looking guy. He seemed really nice, genuine and concerned. Once satisfied the Irishman was OK, he disappeared and the Irishman started chatting away to all the assorted folks about the "heir to the throne who gave it all up to live in Australia".

When the others left, he started asking me questions like "What do you do for a living?" "Do you give private guitar lessons then?" "Do you ever go and see movies?" and "Do you like to eat out?" It dawned on me after a few minutes gossiping innocently away that perhaps I was being chatted up which never usually happens. I let him know I was with someone and off he went.

Back to the bubbles for me for a while, then into the sauna itself - again full of guys. They were chatting happily about keeping fit and joining a boxing club. The Irishman was present, with two younger Irish fellows, one wearing one of those chunky black coloured ankle bracelets, which must have been getting unbearably hot in the sauna! ;)

One of the sports club regulars was lying on a bench and another was sitting on the bench below. None of these guys incidentally was sitting on a towel, but that rule never seems to be enforced - presumably because the guys are bigger than the lifeguards? Anyway back to the story...

Said Irishman by now was probably a bit miffed by my unavailable state and began telling people I was an accountant and could help with their tax returns. He made an obscene joke about the poor guy lying down being "ready for me" and muttered something about earmuffs. His companion then apologised, said he was just off the boat from Ireland and had travelled from Ballygobackwards. Then they decided it was too hot for them in the sauna and off they went back to the sanarium. They hung around the pool a while longer and eventually I had it all to myself until the more usual people arrived. Bliss!

Reluctantly, eventually, I saw it was time to go. Then while I was showering, I heard a woman say she was leaving the back way because of a pervert. I thought little of it, but when I met Colin, he said he had been accosted by one of the employees. Someone had complained about him lurking around the cars, poor guy. Anyway, he explained he was waiting for me, and he was allowed to wait in the cafe for a few minutes after that. The silly woman and her kids left by the back door presumably to avoid him but eventually he went back to the car until I arrived. I had only been ten minutes late, but had caused such drama! 

It all leaves me wondering at human nature - why do people make assumptions about others all the time? The Irish bloke had obviously assumed I was "looking" for a date, somebody had obviously been unnerved by Colin who was only waiting for me! It is reassuring to know that the management are concerned about the safety of their car park. Meanwhile, however, I ask myself why the pool guys ignore what is happening in the hydro and only focus on cleaning floors and testing water?




Trial by Jury or Summary Sentencing?

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on June 5, 2012 at 5:50 AM Comments comments ()

I was saddened to read about yet another child being savaged by a "dangerous dog" today. The poor child will probably bear the scars for life and may well lose his eyesight as a result, but I find myself asking more and more questions about this.

Inevitably when a dog attacks it is immediately put down. No questions are asked as to probable cause and no defence is offered. The dog attacked, so it is destroyed. When the dog is a so-called "dangerous breed" there is usually an outcry to "ban dangerous dogs". Quite apart from the fact that if a HUMAN attacks and seriously injures a toddler it is offered a fair trial and if convicted will only serve a few years, we are not encouraged to address the real problems. It seems we expect higher standards of behaviour and morality from companion animals than we do from adult human beings.

Here it seems to me that there were two sets of adult humans at fault:

Firstly, the dog owners would  seem to be at fault for allowing their dog free and unsupervised access to a garden that was not secure against a child invading. Had this been an entirely secure garden, or a responsible adult had been with the dog we would not be reading about any horror attack, the child would not be critically ill in hospital and the dog would still be happy in its garden! The tragic result of leaving this pet alone may well have been the dog "protecting its pack" from an intruder. However sweet a two year old boy might seem to us,  his extreme noise, erratic behaviour and stumbling gait will be intimidating to any animal. (Ever seen cats and kittens scurry away from kids?)

Secondly, and to me far more serious, the two year old was left unsupervised by his parents in an insecure garden. He found his way, bless his heart, into the "lion's den". He undoubtedly squealed with pleasure or with fear, either of which which would infuriate the dog, and he suffered appalling injuries as a result.

We have a situation yet again where the child has an undoubted life sentence, the dog has a death sentence, the adults are traumatised and the public opinion machine is blaming the dog breed YET AGAIN.  No trial, no jury, no common sense. The only thing that is sure is that this WILL happen again and again. Children will be attacked by someone else's loving family pet - or even by predatory adult humans - just as long as there are parents leaving toddlers unsupervised in  gardens!

Owls, Owl City, Fireflies and other Pretty Things.

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on June 1, 2012 at 8:10 AM Comments comments ()

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It seems to be the day for owls. I was driving home this afternoon, listening to Lincs FM and Fireflies from the Owl City album Ocean Eyes (Deluxe Version) came on. I was struck by how one young man, Adam Young, can singlehandedly produce such an uplifting and great song! Owl City deservedly hit the mainstream, which none of my music on my album Flying To Meet The Sunrise so far has. Maybe I am a bit old for this game, but I know there is so much good music out there from writers of all ages! There is just so much genuine talent - both raw and polished - that will never fall across our eager ears because of the filter of celebrity talent contests that now cosumes the music industry. Beauty is no longer in the eye, or the ear, of the beholder - it is in the power of greatly influential individuals to promote and present as their own! I am grateful for these gems of genuine talent, like Aadam Young, as they somehow filter through the mesh of money and influence. 

Buzzards and Pheasants....A Victimless Crime

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on May 31, 2012 at 5:55 AM Comments comments ()

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Have you seen this stunning video before? Aren't birds of prey amazing in flight? I love all birds of prey, so I am so pleased to hear about the U-Turn on buzzards! (Not that any buzzards have done a U-turn although I am sure they probably could). No, the British government has! Hooray! (Or should it be Hurrah!?!) The law was quite obviously a token measure to please a few landowners.
Buzzards never were villains - pheasants never were victims. Predation is simply nature trying to balance itself and the RSPB was so right to oppose such an incredibly self serving law. In a world with an astronomical (and largely hungry) human population it is morally indefensible in my view to describe any living creature as "vermin" because it does not serve a commercial interest. The numbers make a nonsense of it....


Winning by Default

Posted by apricotandamberleighemusibles on May 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM Comments comments ()

Today has been an odd sort of day in the scheme of things. I saw the most entertaining football in a while with the England versus Japan match. England won without scoring, Japan lost by scoring three goals -  two of them accidental. In the Grand Prix, the two leading drivers duelled, crashed, and let Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton through to first and second places. How strange?

What is this telling us? Can we try too hard? Whenever I have time off, I expect to work hard. As a busy musician I tend to do my best work in concentrated bursts and this applies also to other activities. What is a holiday? The answer to that is leaving home, leaving the computer - heading for the hills!

It is just as well I love what I do, but this weekend I have been working so hard online trying to tie things together. It would be so much easier to find a niche and focus on it exclusively, but in the era of niches, I find myself drawn to expanding what I do. I write, I sing, I compose - and all of these things bring me great joy.-, so why choose? Perhaps I am wrong, only time will tell, but in a specialist age the non-specialist seems so often to strike gold. Perhaps I will too....