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Today I heard that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, had sadly passed away. Although I'm meant to be in bed taking it easy - and in truth can barely speak because of the painkillers I'm on due to the dental work I've just endured - I felt like I couldn't let this go unmarked.
The Cranberries were one of the very first bands I ever saw live, all the way back in 1995 as one of the support acts for R.E.M. in Milton Keynes. And although I was of course excited to finally be seeing Michael Stipe et. al.
in person, I also couldn't wait to hear The Cranberries too.
I'd been given No Need To Argue as a Christmas gift the previous year and been enchanted by her incredible, beguiling and unique voice. I was probably too young (or, truth be told, just not interested) to really understand what the songs were actually about, but something about their raw nature moved me anyway, especially Zombie which just rocked in a way that a lot of other music around that time didn't.
So this afternoon, after reading the sad news of her passing, I got out of bed, whipped out my ukes, and put together this small tribute for her.
It's far from perfect and listening back I realise that there's a lot of timing issues which I would've corrected if I'd had more time. But I just really wanted to get this out there as soon as I could, in order to pay my respects.
Dolores might be gone, but her music will live on.
R.I.P.
To help support this blog, please check out my Amazon store for my top ukulele and ukulele-accessory recommendations!
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Grab Your Uke by The Ukulele Teacher - 11M ago
To help support this blog, please check out my Amazon store for my top ukulele and ukulele-accessory recommendations!
This year I've decided to make some changes to my life!
1. Write (at least) one song a month
This is a really personal one for me - I learn several new songs that other people have written every single week... so surely I should be able to write one or two of my own? Yet, over the last ten years I've probably written a total of about 3 of my own songs... So this year, that changes! Whether or not anyone else will ever hear them is currently undecided, but I'm at least going to try! Might need to find a singer to help me with this project, though...
2. Update my website at least once a week
I created this website last year with lots of fanfare, truly intending to keep it updated with lots of great ukulele news and info... But it's a lot of work, especially with a YouTube channel to run. I'm pretty much a one-man band when it comes to all of The Ukulele Teacher stuff, so everything from filming, editing, uploading lessons to all of the various admin that comes with it is all me at the moment... And building/running/updating a website might be a bit more than I can chew at the moment. But if I at least try to aim for one blog entry a week, maybe that's a manageable way to start.
3. Read (at least) one book a month
I love reading - but since the advent of the iPhone my concentration span has become totally ruined! Last year I probably read less than a handful of books, so this year I'm at least going to aim for one a month. It's so easy to just waste hours and hours browsing Facebook, scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix, so I'm going to try and make a concerted effort just to read more this year.
4. Do couch-to-5k at some point this year
I did something similar to this back in 2015 and got into the best shape of my life - and I really enjoyed it (once I got over the initial shock, anyway)! Since then I moved to America and put on a lot of weight - most of which I've now lost, luckily. But I live a very sedentary lifestyle, being a YouTuber, so again I need to make some time for me, and start moving more. Might wait til it's less cold outside though!
5. Don’t put all the weight back on As above, I've been struggling with my weight for much of my adult life, but after starting Weight Watchers around the start of last year, I've managed to slowly drop around 35 pounds... and this time I want to try and keep it off!
6. Be kinder to others
Hopefully I do a good job of this already! But I'm pretty sure I can always be kinder, especially to people I know. Especially as people have been so kind to me!
7. Only regret the things I have done not the things I haven’t
This is a big one for me! I don't want to look back on my life and think "What if...?" - so if I get any crazy/awesome/exciting/scary opportunities, I want to grab them with both hands, even if it might be easier to just carry on as normal!
8. Become more of a morning person The fact that I'm currently writing this blog post at 2.50am should tell you all you need to know about this one...
9. Learn to drive This one is a big one for me. I lived in London for most of my adult life, and generally got around just fine by walking/cycling/busing and tubing everywhere I needed to go. But now I'm in L.A. things are very different, and I'm spending a small fortune on Uber every time I want to leave the house. Also it's not fair on my wife, who currently has to do all the driving for the both of us. So hopefully 2018 is the year I finally learn to drive! I have to admit though... I'm pretty scared!
10. Learn to put my contact lenses in
WHY can't I do this?! It would make my life SO much easier if I could put contact lenses in. I vow to give this another shot in 2018! I'm fed up of squinting/wearing glasses. Sadly, my prescription and the shape of my eyes mean that laser surgery is not an option for me, otherwise I'd be all over that!
So, those are my 2018 New Year's Resolutions!
Will I stick to them... check back in a year to find out!
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Grab Your Uke by The Ukulele Teacher - 1y ago
As requested by many of you, here's a quick look at what's currently lurking in my ukulele closet - I'll post a more in-depth video of my collection posted soon!
4. Kala Travel Tenor: http://amzn.to/2xs0Nj2 5. Kala KA-C Concert Ukulele: http://amzn.to/2v09bFP 6. Flight DU-BASS Bass Ukulele: http://amzn.to/2wjnVjI 8. Kala KA-SLNG Mahogany Soprano Long Neck Ukulele: http://amzn.to/2wcRzZG 10. White Fender Stratocaster: http://amzn.to/2xs4k0Z 10. Fender Champion 20 Amplifier: http://amzn.to/2iDTL7G  12. Jasmine Acoustic Guitar: http://amzn.to/2xH9OUT 15. Flight NUC 310 Concert Ukulele: http://amzn.to/2gkKZLd 18. Oil Can Ukulele: http://www.UkeLifeCo.com (Promo Code: UKETEACHER for 10% discount) ---
Canon EOS 70-D Camera: http://amzn.to/2wE1msu Tokina Wide-Angle Lens: http://amzn.to/2wEkYgk LimoStudio 18" LED Ring light: http://amzn.to/2xH9AgA Rode On-Camera Microphone: http://amzn.to/2vlqwMO --- 1, 2, 11, 14. From: www.FirstActMusic.com 3. Limited Edition TØP uke - No Longer Available! 7. Duke10 Banjolele: http://www.dukeuke.com/ 9. Populele: https://popuband.com 13 Jeff Jarrett Guitar - ShopTNA.com 16 Junkyard Ukulele http://junkyardukulele.com/ 17 One of a kind cigar box ukulele made for me by a friend!
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