Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cloud computing and a reorganization

The day kicked off with a less than exciting presentation on how we are going to be adopting and using cloud computing services in the future. Some of it made sense, some of it didn't. Best part of the whole thing was the fact that technology failed and it took the CIO and the IT department 15 minutes to get the projector working! LOL

In the afternoon we had a presentation on a reorganization in our part of the company. This was one that actually made sense as we will now be broken into geographical regions with R&D managers for those regions and dedicated products beneath them. This means that I am finally started to get free from Billy Smart and company. I guess there will be a few bumps along the way but on paper it does all look pretty positive with some plans that could be quite exciting if they all go ahead. Watch this space I guess!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Packing up, Closing Ceremony, driving home and Rishta

Sadly the day had arrived when it was time to start packing things up. Fortunately the rain held off while we were putting the tent away. Everything got packed into the car without getting wet which was a serious result.

I strapped on the drum one last time as we all gathered at the fire pit for the Closing Ceremony. Then it was officially all over and it was time to say our goodbyes to everyone and then head off back home.It's always the worst bit of these camps although on the plus side we'll be meeting up with a lot of people again next Saturday at Spriggan Mist's 5th Anniversary gig.

It was a fantastic weekend, we had so much fun and as usual it was a real downer having to leave.

The drive home wasn't too bad although I did sleep for a lot of it so I would say that LOL.

We got home and then headed round to Rishta for dinner. This trip was a novelty as it was a free buffet to celebrate their 7th anniversary. It was by invite only so we were honoured to have been selected to attend. The food was lovely and it was a great relief not having to cook or wash up.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Dolmen Grove Beltane Spirit Of Rebirth camp - day 3

Today was less busy than the previous two had been. There was a spate of gathering up the last of the pledges for the Dolmen Grove Land Fund collection which involved Phil Weldon;s back, sack and crack, Baz & Taloch in pink onesies and a nodding Steve Booth.

I had a rude awakening to the sight of Steve Booth's arse coming though the fly sheet wearing nothing but fishnets and knickers! When he looked a bit more respectable I did manage to grab a bizarre Basic Instinct shot

With the majority of the money collected it was time to prepare for the great unveiling. Here's the gruesome threesome just before we marched them into the main tent. Baz had the largest onesie that Maxine could find but it wasn't quite big enough and ended up splitting his difference!

...and this was what it was all about. Phil Weldon agreed to have his back, sack and crack waxed and Baz Cilia and Taloch Jameson donned pink onesies to sing a song. This raised £500 for the Land Fund. On top of that Steve Booth raised an additional £200 to wear a ceremonial kilt, wig and make up and do his nodding Boothy routine. Here it all is:

Following the fun and games Toni, Mel, Steve and I went back to Steve's flat to have a shower. It felt so good! After some tea and a good old chinwag we took Mel and Steve out for a meal at the The Ship Inn.

There was more rain which culminated in a lovely rainbow and a higher and choppier river.

Entertainment for the night was Pixie "Open Mike" Night

Taloch got up to do an acoustic version of The Piper Of Souls:

Next up were Oaken and Lee with some rhythmic joy

Linda Moonbow treated us to a lovely little ditty

Mr & Mrs Sparrow took to the stage next and wowed us all

Spriggan Mist put in another appearance with an awesome version of "Shaking A Deadman's Hand"

Kayleigh and Taloch were up next with acoustic and pipes

After the entertainment the mists started to roll in:

As the night came in another fire was built and it was time to drink, chat and sing once again

Taloch entertained us with some acoustic renditions of songs by The Dolmen. Please enjoy these video of him singing along at the fire.
A Fisherman's Song

Parting Glass


The Devil's Table

Loch Lomond


There was lots more singing and lots more drinking before it was time to call it a night at silly o'clock.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Dolmen Grove Beltane Spirit Of Rebirth camp - day 2

It rained in the night. It rained a LOT in the night. Bell tent didn't bat an eyelid. There was quite a lot of carnage when we stuck our heads outside of the ten though with some of the smaller tents and gazebos being trashed.

Fortunately it was not raining when we finally surfaced into the world. Toni started showing a few people her crochet hats and before long she had sold some and was taking orders!

Pixie Mikey put in a special request for one that Toni knocked up in no time at all...

Whilst Toni was hat making I attended a didgeridoo workshop that was being presented by Oaken. It was great fun but hard work. I had to undo all my embouchre skills from when I learned the French Horn as everything was in reverse for playing a didge. I did manage to get a drone going though so I was happy.
Photos courtesy of Chris Hermon

After the didge workshop Toni and I went to listen to Professor Ronald Hutton give a wonderful talk on the history of Beltane.

 Next up was a drum workshop that I took my newly acquired floor tom to. Had great fun at this one. Lots of great rhythms flying about. I was also introduced to the Dolmen Grove Drummers ceremonial drum rhythm which I picked up fairly quickly. Sadly it was over too soon although I did manage to get some brownie points for my impromptu rendition of Antmusic!

Throughout the afternoon a wonderful Beltane pyre was built with a marvelous pepperami man on it. A very rude one at that!

Next up was a musical interlude with Spriggan Mist putting on a fine set

After the Sprigs we gathered up mead and drum and headed back to the ten to watch The Dolmen. There was mead, there was rum, there was The Dolmen, there was dancing......there was even the macarena!!!!

As was the norm with The Dolmen gigs they ended the set with Go Laddie Go accompanied by The Dolmen Drummers. Tonight, however, there was a new addition.....

What a blast that was, SO MUCH FUN!

It didn't end there though as The Dolmen Drummers prepared for the Beltane ritual.

The rest of the night was spent drinking and hanging out round the fire listening to songs

The evening drew to a close and we headed back to our tent to have a cup of tea, relax and enjoy the candlelight from our chandelier