Our first hockey game

February 19th, 2013

The other day we went to our first hockey game, the Calgary Flames were playing Minnesota Wild at the Saddledome. We had great seats three rows from the ice. I was a bit concerned as I had been told that the games goes on for about 3 hours! There are 3 periods of 20 minutes each. As I found out the game is very fast and rough but has a lot of stops for various things like penalties and fights! Although we did not see a fight at this game :(

The Flames hockey

The Flames hockey

The Flames hockey

The Flames hockey

The other news Dave's persitant nagging has paid off and we have brought a truck!

Recently Dave's mum visited for a sking trip - we had a great couple of days skiing - here's the video of our time in Lake Louise.

New Year new skiing

January 21st, 2013

So we had a quite new years, it was bloody cold over xams and new year, It was great to be in the new house over the holidays, it was a shame that our things from the uk had still not arraived but they should be here anytime soon:) We also went skiing over the new year, which was my first time this season the snow was great. Here a video that Dave did.

for xmas, santa brought me a a diamond stud earring from tiffanies, which I have always wanted......

It's Christmas!

December 5th, 2012

Christmas eh... its been nearly a year since we got our residency and its Christmas in Calgary - Yay... and for the first time in 4 years we are able to get a real tree for the house. We wanted to get our tree from the forest. So we drove for an hour, bought a tree license, and walked off into forest to find our tree. It was really cool... the snow was deep and the sun was out...

driving into the mountians

After sometime looking for the 'right' tree, we found it......and cut it down

Dave and the xmas tree

We drove it home on the roof of the car, went to buy some baubles and lights, and decorated it...

xmas tree

Its great to have a tree again :D

A couple of other things we got up to over the summer was making our own wine using the apples from the tree in the front garden, sorting out the house, and drumming. Wine making isn't as easy as it looks but we have been able to produce a good batch ;)

collecting apples

homemade wine maiking

homemade wine

We also got a great new couch for the living room...


On the drums... I joined a Jazz Club. But they had to many drummers - so I left. I got to play a couple of times and really started to understand what was going on. So I've been practicing jazz a lot lately. I've also started teaching as a drum tutor, I've done a few lessons and the business is building.

Xmas tree and fire

Peace on earth and Happy Christmas.

Jazz and Drum Camps

August 26th, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks I have been at Mount Royal University attending couple of music camps, one a Jazz performance and the other a drum camp. Both were highly enjoyable if not a little tiring.

The jazz performance camp gave me my first opportunity to work and perform in a jazz setting, which was both scary and fun at the same time....

I learnt a lot on the jazz camp, about song forms and how jazz is performed, which has helped me understand the music a lot more. Playing with a band was every much the focus of the week and I really enjoyed this although it was a bit like being thrown in at the deep end. We were placed in an ensemble at the beginning of the week which were streamed to our ability. I learnt how important it was for me to make regular eye contact with the other musicians playing in the ensemble. In particular, I had to focus on the bass player and piano player, as we formed the rhythm section. Our tutor played the piano from time to time and this really helped as I had some difficult hearing the bass player when the ensemble were all playing together. I felt that my timing and overall feel really locked-in with them as the week progressed.

I also learnt about the musical "form" for jazz. The term “form” refers to the overall structure of a song and it describes how the song is divided into sections. Knowing a song’s form really helps to understand the way phrases are organized into larger chunks, like the verse or chorus. Letters, such as A B are commonly designate to these song forms. The A section might be the verse and the B section might be the chorus. Therefore, an AABA form would signify two verses, a chorus, and then a third verse. I was also shown a really good drumming exercise using this form structure to build drum fills and solo. If we take the form AABA and come up with sticking patten, rudiments and label one A the other B, for example A = RLL sticking, B = Flam, then the fill or solo would be RLL,RLL, Flam, RLL, you could play this on the snare for move it around the kit. You can expand this to C and D .

Another excersie worth mentioning was given to us by Mark Kelso, he called it Metronome Displacement. Ill try and explain it ! We are used to playing with the click on the down beat on the 1/4 notes, he suggested a number of variations to this , for instance try practicing with the click just playing on 2 and 4, works well for jazz, or on all the off beats. You can place the click on any variations in the sub division, the thing to remember is playing to a click where you have to feel where the 1 is and then making sure that you placement is on the part of the sub division were you have the click playing.

Busy few of weeks

August 5th, 2012

Its been a busy few weeks since I got back from the uk.

We went to see some friends for a night in Canmore and went for a small hike in the mountains around the Nordic centre in Canmore.

Lake in the mountinas

Waterfall in the mountinas

Dave on our hike

We have also had our 5th wedding anniversary and celebrated with dinner in the Calgary Tower, we just love the views from here and we can now see the back of our house:)

Our new house from the Calgary Tower

Our 5th anniversary