Upbeat About The Internet
This month I wrote a feature piece for the British Flute Society’s ‘FLUTE’ magazine where I discussed using the internet and social media to promote your music online. It featured quotes from interviews with flute players Alexis Del Palazzo, Anthony Kershaw, Kyle D Owen, Meerenai Shim, Niall O’ Riordan and Tammy Evans Yonce. Here is a reader friendly version, as my...
Do We Need A Partner?
I was fourteen when I first felt the urge. A mere twitch which escalated into longing. Horniness. A world of possibility opening itself up to me. These boys. These men. Why pick one when I can have them all? I played with it. Tried it. Enjoyed it. Loved it. Physical love which so quickly becomes attachment. Easy love. Melding into another. Building a shared identity, friends, home. Merging...
The Year She Took Prozac
The year she took prozac her grandparents died. First: Grandad, who worked the filling factory stuffing bombs, shells and cartridges. Second: Grandma, the circus contortionist who wielded the unicycle, walked the tight rope and engaged the crowd. She juggled from the wooden stick the ringmaster stuffed into her mouth, like a horses bit. Later, she stuffed gun-powder into bombs, at the factory...
Step In Step Out
For a moment today I was fully aware. I’m right here, I thought. In this moment. And in another, it will be gone. I paced the living room, checked my phone for messages, stroked the cat. Sitting on the sofa, I sighed, lay down and watched the familiar ceiling cobwebs sway. In this moment time stands still. I am 34 years old and I am unfulfilled. The ache in my middle comes and goes....
A googled-y shrew and a googled-y guy Drink special brew on the corner of Wye The rags in the bag and the hag with a sag pets a dog with a wag and a jiggled-y jag They’re happy sat there on the corner of Wye Drinking special brew lager, the sun in the sky Warming their faces as cars whizz on by Until a suit passes by with disdain in his eye And looks to the sky with a sigh of: “oh,...
The Vanity Trap
Having the right font is paramount. The wrong font tweaks my inner control freak: my brain starts to wreak havoc and I panic: it is ugly. The pressure inside your nose spreads to your cheeks and you sniff but nothing comes. Your eyelids feel heavy: they don’t open all the way anymore. You do a strange facial contortion, trying to make the skin move back where it should be; to untuck it somehow....
HOW TO WRITE BAD
Are you overly precious about what you write? I am. I edit and re-edit articles, stories and blog posts for up to five hours, until they’re abso-bloody-lutely perfect. And even after publishing them, I re-read them time and time again, checking for and amending typos and grammatical errors. My worry is that I might be completely shit if I don’t succumb to over-editing when really, the...
Welcome to Sky Live Chat Service. A Sky Advisor will be with you shortly. Your chat may be monitored and recorded for training, legal and compliance purposes. You are now connected with Sagar. Sagar: Hello, you’re chatting with Sagar, a Sky advisor, may I take your name please? You: Emily Peasgood Sagar: Hi Emily, How are you today? You: Is this a real person, or a machine? Sagar: Real...
Lounge on the Farm: The Meeting
It has been two and a half months since I met with the Musicians Union and Lounge on the Farm and I have been putting off writing this. Why? Because I’ve been between what some call a rock and a hard place. For those of you that have been following this debacle you will know that some time ago I wrote a blog titled Scrounge on the Farm. This blog discussed how Kent’s bestest music...
Lounge on the Farm and the Musicians Union...
On the 15th of June 2012 I met in Soho with the Musicians Union and a representative from tour operator Outgoing; one of four companies Lounge on the Farm currently hire to run the festival. During this meeting we discussed the following: 1. ‘You Say They Play’ Competition Competition procedure Decision-making criteria 2. Other emerging artists/grassroots gig slots at the...
Music Students Today (BFS 'FLUTE' Journal)
‘Music Students Today’ - my first article for the British Flute Society’s ‘FLUTE’ Journal, June 2012.
Scrounge on the Farm: The Follow Up
Lounge on the Farm claim I am single-handedly campaigning to slur their good name. They, and some of the young musicians who play at the festival, have exhibited abusive and threatening behaviour towards me both online and in emails. On a more positive note, musicians and non-musicians alike have been debating online about the issues raised in my blog, some in agreement, and some not, and I...
Scrounge on the Farm
As festival season approaches, competitions offering local musicians the chance to perform are on the increase. It might seem harmless enough; a great way to gain exposure and all in all a whole lot of fun, right? But what we need to ask is: why? Why are prominent festivals who charge big money for big acts eager to recruit little-known bands who can often be seen at the local pub? And do they...
Mediocre Musician Magazine: Singers Edition
Great Singer? Don’t Audition for a TV Talent Show ...
Punters often approach me at gigs to lovingly suggest that I should audition for the X Factor. And although I understand that this is their way of saying you’re really good, I laugh it off to cover my disdain at their suggestion. After all, what self-respecting musician would put themselves through a process where they’re pitted against fame-seekers and the downright awful? Not to mention the fact...
The Olympics - Musicians Need To Be Paid Too
But musicians are always asked to play for free, aren’t they? Two weeks after I published the article Why Musicians Shouldn’t Work For Peanuts it came to light that organisers of the London Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee celebrations had been contacting musicians and asking them to perform unpaid. How ironic when you consider that musicians were initially wetting their lips in...
Freelance Gig Rates - London
Current London Gig Rates guide for freelance / casual gigs from the Musicians Union.
Why Musicians Shouldn’t Work For Peanuts
Music venues are paying less and expecting more from the ever-struggling musician. They want it all; brilliance, pa and lighting, posters, publicity, a ready crowd of family and friends to pack out their venue and what do they want it for? Peanuts. But can you blame them? After all, they’re only trying to get as much as they can for as little as possible and that sounds like standard business...
What Not To Put On Your Album Cover
So, you’ve recorded an album of your own material. You’ve done the studio time, struggled over which takes to keep, edited it all together and sent it off to John Smith in The Isle Of Wight for digital mastering. All that’s left is the fun part: the album art and as a freelance musician it is now time to design your own. You are no doubt familiar with spending months at a time learning...
The 24 Hour Musician: Rights, Respect and...
For fun, this afternoon I googled Why are musicians so expensive? And as expected, there were no relevant results. I retyped Why are plumbers so expensive? and clicked search. A barrage of related sites appeared with suggestions ranging from high overheads and high demand to it’s a highly-skilled job. High, high and more high. The reason I embarked on my little google-a-thon was because I wanted...
Other People's Shopping
I dislike shopping in big supermarkets; there are too many people pacing beneath the headache of artificial light, confused, as once again, the store layout has been altered. These stores are designed to confused you; have you ever wandered why store layouts aren’t displayed on a map? Stores want you to wander the aisles like a zombie, lost and stressed because, in this state, you are...
How to use a Custom Domain Name with Tumblr and...
A few months ago I decided I wanted my blog to have it’s own web address so I paid for a .com with Godaddy. But, setting this thing up has not been easy. I am fairly computer literate and even know a bit about coding, html and java but still, could still not figure this out. And neither could my partner who is a professional programmer, web builder and content designer. There are two...
Iceland's Bogus Card
Since supermarket chain Iceland opened in fair Whitstable in 2009, I have shopped there at least a couple of times a week. They are the only place that sell Linda McCartney sausages for £1 a pack. But who am I to justify my use of Iceland? Perhaps I’m worried my Whitstable readership will tut in disgust. After all, the arrival of Iceland was fiercely opposed to by many Whitstable residents. I,...
The Trouble with Teaching Music
“But, you’re singing a soul standard and you sound like a cheap cabaret singer. Who are you trying to emulate?” Last week. James’ first singing lesson. Spoken by me, the ever-frustrated music teacher. James booked his first singing lesson with me in lieu of auditioning for the latest in TV talent shows; BBC’s The Voice, and, he wanted to sound like Stevie...
The Defensive Tradesman
Whenever I phone a tradesman for a quote, they are keen and pleasant and promptly arrange to come and check out my goods. And after a short-lived scramble amongst my pipes - sweaty arse cleavage upturned - they roll over and stand, overly exerted and shake their podgy head. “Tut, tut, tut…” is the sound they make as they frown and raise a dirty hand to a sweatier brow. A bead of sweat...
“If you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it at all”. I never did subscribe to that chain of thought and I can’t understand why others do. The idea that it’s a good thing to tell someone why they bother you to their face completelybaffles me. Why? Because I believe in being ‘two faced’ and I’m going to tell you why, for once, to your face. But first I will openly admit that I am...
Abreast - Next to another ship. Something you don’t want to be caught staring at. Aft - the ships rear end aka ships bottom. Air Conditioning - a loud device in the ceiling of your Stateroom (see) that circulates air and controls room temperature but stops you sleeping at night. Also known to cause dry skin, rashes, bloating, fat knee caps and sore throat. At Sea - you are in the middle of the...
Cruising (Part 2)
I forgot what day it was today, twice. My three days aboard The Prince Albert feel like three weeks and I have spent my days aboard in my cabin; writing, watching TV and ordering room service. I did however venture into The Sun Lounge earlier today to engage in some light cruis-erly reading. The lounger chairs remind me of those found in a nursing home and sometimes, if you are unlucky, you might...
Cruising (Part 1)
I first cruised several years ago on The Regal Chocolatean. I found the whole experience to be so horrendous, I vowed never to cruise again. However, I must have forgotten the true hell of that first cruise because I am once again sat in sealed plastic box listening to the loud whir of air conditioning on a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. All aboard the Prince Albert! Home for...
Happiness and Loneliness (Song)
I wrote a song today. From the moment I woke until 5.30pm I hammered it out and it was bloody hard. Tears. Anger. Wanting to quit. At 9pm I went to The Smack in Whistable and performed it at their open mic night. I’m a gig whore who performs only covers and it’s been so long since I just got out and performed a song of my own. And on a guitar - not my forte. It was scary but...
I often think about being hugged, really tightly, by a man And I cry. A friend hugged me. He knew I needed it. The lump in my throat sank And I held it in. Is it my old partner; the one I loved for so long who in the end couldn’t want me, even though he wanted to? Maybe it’s my father; twice this month I have reached for the phone. But he died three years ago and I...
The Last Fag: Chapter 4
Four and a half weeks ago I smoked The Last Fag and since that day I have been in a terrible depression. I forgot about the hopelessness and the crying. It has been six years since I cried and meant it but now I remember. I’m a prick. I have been happy these last six years and I have been a twat.“You can change how you feel”, I self righteously suggested to a depressed friend. “Look...
I have found my balls. Fortunately they aren’t little hairy elbow-skin-like sacks between my legs and are in fact… oh fuck knows. Testosterone courses through my gentile veins and guts, yes guts, I have them too! And I’m not behaving like a complete pussy and it is no doubt a by-product of Nicotine withdrawal but I’m grateful because I. HAVE. FOUND. MY. BALLS. I have...
The Last Fag : Chapter 3
Brrring brring. Brrring brring. “Hello. Estuary View Pharmacy”. “Hi. I’m ringing to register for the Stop Smoking Service. I quit 10 days ago and only have two days of Nicotine Patches left. Can I please book an appointment to register? I was told I could get free Patches if I register…” “We can’t book you in at such short notice. We do have appointments available next week if...
Loneliness and Happiness
Yesterday I defrosted my freezer, dug my vegetable patch, got my bike fixed for free based on my feminine wiles, easy smile and massive hooters, took a 2 hour bike ride where someone yelled ‘nice arse’ at me and went to a fabulous deli for vegan goodies. Today I cleaned out my fridge, planted my vegetables, went to the garden centre and cycled some more. And this evening I met my...
The Last Fag : Chapter 2
It’s amazing how after a few hours of non-smoking you feel like you’ve cracked it and want to shout to the world: “I am a non-smoker! Now, all smokers listen to me! You can quit!” This is what I did when I saw my friend Classy this afternoon, even though she doesn’t smoke. However, several hours later I feel like hell; a steady trickle of snot is running out of my nose and...
The Last Fag : Chapter 1
I normally smoke skinny little ‘prison rolls’, so named because apparently in prison, inmates are only given a meagre tobacco ration. Inmates will roll their cigarettes so tight and thin that they basically smoke rolling paper with only sprinkling of actual tobacco in there. And I roll my cigarettes in this manner because as a chronic chain smoker I can’t afford not to. I...
Not Pregnant, Just Fat
At 00:00 today I was in a bloody good mood. I had just turned 30, hosted another successful monthly Jam Session at the local Jazz bar and was having a great post-jam conversation with the fabulous Noel McCalla. But by 00:01 I was in a foul mood; my conversation and positive state of mind had been rudely interrupted when a drunken moron pointed at me and shouted: “look, she’s drinking and she’s...
Emilie The Extreme
I have a problem. Since the age of 14 I have been single for a total of 10 months. I’m 30. The latest episode in my cumbersome love life resulted in an epiphany of sorts and I did the maths. The sum of my relationship anguish is 15 years and two months. A painstaking 15 years and two months of emotional bull shit. In finer detail: 132,840 hours, 7,970,400 minutes or 478, 224,000...
As I descended the escalator that cold Saturday afternoon in January, I looked at the mirrored wall opposite and perused my fellow elevator-ees. I’m always eager for new literary inspiration; the heavily mono-browed women behind me inspired an interesting character description in the novel I’m working on, and the guy a few people down was rather cute. And as I continued to scan...
When You Gotta Go....
The summer of 2004 was one of those extremely hot and humid summers I’ll probably boast about to my Grandchildren: “I remember the summer of 2004…” I’ll reminisce, with a cock-eyed smile on my wrinkly face. “I bought the coolest lilac fan from Stoke Newington High Street. Ooh…it were hot”. But I doubt I’ll tell them the real reason I...