Back in Blighty

Our long-awaited trip to the Loncium microbrewery in Kotschach-Mauthen took place yesterday morning. One of the owners of the brewery (who just happened to be the son of the owner of our hotel) gave us a short tour and also explained the origin of the brewery’s name: the town lies on the Via Iulia Augusta, an old Roman trading route, and used to be known as Loncium, a customs-post of sorts. The pair who founded the brewery (which apparently has its humble beginnings ‘in a pot on a cooker’) liked the sound of the name and the links to their own town, and so adopted it long after the town changed its name. Luckily, considering the hour of the day, there were no free samples, although, as my ever-astute grandfather pointed out, it’s always 3pm somewhere.

We had a relatively placid trip back yesterday, despite having more connecting flights than on the way out – Klagenfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and finally Heathrow. It would have been nice to have a bit of a saunter around the cities but, alas, we had no more than an hour in each airport before our next plane. Ho hum. At least we appear to have brought some of the nice weather with us, though thankfully without the fickle Austrian microclimates that throw up thunderstorms with little to no warning.

All in all, it’s nice to be back.

Now, to work – hopefully later on this evening I’ll be uploading some recordings so you can have a listen. Of course, for various legal, logistical and/or pecuniary reasons they won’t be full tracks, but rather short(ish) clips for your delectation. If you fancy something a tad more full-flavoured, get in touch and I can probably sell you a CD or something.

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Wilkommen nach Gundersheim

As you can probably tell from the title, I can’t speak a word of German, which is making this holiday in Austria rather trying. It’s a bizarre feeling being almost the only one here who can only understand a few words, and even then only when they’re written down. I’m far more used to dead languages, I suppose.

Also, there are a lot of flies.

Still, it’s a rather nice reprieve from city life. As those of you who are taking an interest here can tell, I haven’t been doing that much work on the site in recent weeks – that’s because I’ve been busy trying to sort out a few accommodation mishaps for the upcoming year in London. Thankfully, everything at last seems to be coming together so it’s rather pleasant to be able to come and sit out in the sunshine here in a valley near the river Gail. It helps that certain members of the family have been here before and know the people who run the place of course.

My brother’s shortly to give me a short tutorial in writing drum music, something that has frequently eluded me when I arrange music. Even for piano and guitar parts I can generally get some notes down on the page, but drum music has been somewhat a mystery to me for quite some time. Here’s hoping that will now be a thing of the past.

I’ll see if I can do some work on the site over the next week – it’s not hugely easy to get Internet access with no laptop in the middle of the Austrian mountains, but I’ll see what I can do.