in theory...

I just got the email from the ABRSM about my Grade 8 Music Theory pupil 's exam result. He passed with a Distinction with 94 (that's 94/100). Quite reasonable, I would say very very well done, James/ Wojciech! (well, he is not on DW/LJ but still..). Quite chuffed about this. This music teaching thing is a rather erratic and precarious way of making a living but it does have its rewards.

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some things on a Sunday

Showered, breakfasted, caffeinated and waiting for the first of three pupils having lessons today. The Met Office says it's going ot be sunny today but the sky is standard issue battleship grey today.

Went to a goth club in Camden Town, 'No Tears', organised by Cavey Nik of Dead & Buried. A good time with friends -different petals of the wenn diagram of the london goth world. A strange counterpoint (for me) with the latin club upstairs, occasionally pumping out salsa amdst a barrage of what people really listen to in those countries (like my original Venezuela) which is no longer salsa but that abomination, reggeton (sp?) which is a sort of latin hip hop with very bland music and, most often, extremely offensive, misogynistic, violent words. But the occasional bursts of salsa made me think of how I hated that music when it was the mainstream in the working class neighbourhood in West Caracas where I was growing up, incapable of dancing it, etc and which I now I see of one of the symptoms of social alienation of young Flavio. Have I outgrown that? I feel much more at home now, or did until three years ago. Odd how those things work. May elaborate on this at a later point as it has for me lots of contradictions and questions about myself.

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I've had this account in Mastodon for a while. So far, I have one follower. I don't know anybody there but also I don't know anybody who uses it. In case you want to go there, I'm @fflavio there, or I'm not entirely clear on how it works, it seems to function in a similar way, in terms of distributed server, to, what was it called, 'Diaspora'*. Anyway, I'm there...

* and it seems to be pretty quiet overall, although not quite dead on the water like Diaspora.

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week-end things

I thought I'd have a quiet week-end. In some ways it was but it still was full of social. On Friday I met with the folks of the u.c.s.m (that's uk.comp.sys.mac if you are old enough to have used the old Usenet) to have our annual dinner in Merkato, a remarkably cheap and good Ethiopian restaurant in Cally Road. This whole thing started about twenty years ago when there was an Apple expo at the Design Centre in Islington. 'Oh, yeah, they have computers' we said. 'What do we do now?' 'Let's go for dinner at this Ethiopian place I know...' somebody said. And of course Apple Expos are very much a thing of the past but we have been meeting for that dinner in Merkato ever since.

On Saturday I only had a couple of lessons (this is a sign that I shouldn't do so much social, I can't afford it) and then there was a double birthday with the Goths at an Italian place in Green Lanes. The decor was amazing (which I always find alarming), the company was excellent, the food was.. ok and either a few people left without paying or the restaurant made a few 'mistakes' as I'm told that there appeared a £100+ shortfall in the bill when everybody had paid (I had indeed paid and left by then). My friends are now talking of always splitting that sort of bill equally so that cannot happen, in which case I won't be able to come to their events, as I'm always skint, always go for the cheapest thing in the menu and would not want (could not afford to!) pay for the rivers of wine, mountains of anitpasti that the others were having.

Yesterday (Sunday) a friend playing in a band (AlterRed) texted me to say she'd put me on the guest list for a band concert at Kolis/The Lounge in Archway, so I went. I'm glad I did, it was a very good gig by the bands I saw, but very few people.

Now, back in the real world....

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of the morning rituals of the flavio

Ah, it's no longer 6:00 am. It was when I got up. The usual routine on a school day: phone alarm rings, I snooze it but do get up. Check email, etc while I swallow the pills that that young doctor prescribed me when she said 'no salami, no cheese' and I replied 'you mean, life without parmigiano and mozzarella?'. She didn't look happy but I probably looked more unhappy when she said no cheese. Brush teeth, a six or seven minute operation in which I get to believe in karma, getting to pay as I do for all the years I thought that scraping a toothbrush across my teeth for ten seconds was brushing my teeth. Shower -I finally replaced the faulty shower bar so I can enjoy warm showers instead of that test of character of early morning cold shower; I don't need my character tested.

Ok, so change into the clothes I'll wear for school, a milder version of what I would wear any other time except without the silly boots or the belt with studs and instead wearing a tie. Make an arepa for breakfast (see Wikipedia for arepa), see whether I have some mozzarella left (see above), make coffee (the most important bit of the whole ritual) and serve some orange juice.

Once on the street, hope that the 393 bus is not too packed, too full of screaming children and schoolboys listening to music or watching things on their phones at full tinny volume without headphones... this is not the best part of the morning ritual and I'm kind of grateful that it only has to take place twice in the week.

Once in school, sign in (twice), then spend the ensuing twenty five minutes getting the classroom in a state that I can actually teach in it. It is the drumkit room and is used for other things so it is usually a tangle of cables, amps and other gear in s state that would not be too dissimilar to that if a hurricane had swept through. Then I'll have to hope that the first pupil remembers their lesson time or I'll have to find where in the school they are and fish them out of wherever it is.

Teaching music is not a bad thing, it is certainly better than many other possibilities, for sure better than destitution or playing in Underground stations (I did that for three years back then) but it comes with an assortment of small and not so small annoyances -it is certainly not what I thought I'd be signing in for when I started studying music all those years ago, but hey. Yes, it is better than many alternatives.

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swedish chef

no moose were harmed in the making of this.....

And another edition of my ... er, 'famous' Flavpastasauce. Won't give it any name as it would make my Italian friends (real Italians as opposed to myself) twitch and throw rocks at me. It involved garlic, tomatoes, various hot pepper things, quorn mince, the remains of a mushroom pate from Borough Market plus some dried porcini, basil, oregano and a few other things -it was delicious and it will be even better tomorrow.

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life of flav, S67 E305

So, the uncertainty with the -ok, I won't mention it; the 'B*' word, continues, exacerbated by the GE coming, it feels like this will never end. Many jokes and memes have been made along those lines but it doesn't feel like a joke.

The changing of the clocks left me quite disconcerted for a few days as

ION, need more pupils; I'm depending too much on the two schools I teach at and not very happy about many things in each of them, need to have the option to walk out if I am really, really unhappy at some point. Can I interest you in guitar lessons? 😎

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trivial household post

Not much of an update.

This morning I changed the thermic bar in my shower. I didn't flood the bathroom.. well, ok, not much; I did have to run outside to shut the stopcock at some point :D -Did I ever mention I'm not very good at DIY and that sort of manual work? It's more like I'm hopeless at those things.

After a couple of attempts at flooding the flat I fitted and fixed the thing and now I can have hot showers again. Luxury....

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Book of G-Quan, Soldier of Darkness, B5

[ Books ]"Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead" - Olga Tokarczuk

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the DeadDrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this a lot, even though I found it somewhat difficult at first -little things that I found irritating, like the detailed description of astrological stuff. Some of those things (not the astrology!) become clearer towards the end. Interestingly, I now feel that some of those little irritating things were there on purpose, somewhat like when we meet a new person that has traits and foibles that make you wary of them or simply not relate (like, say, the astrology). As the book progresses and the main character and the story flesh out, they become complex and interesting, as in the case of those people one might have found irritating at first and end up accepting as friends. So many strands of it -the way someone in her situation will get ignored, talked down or condescended to. The way the grass was greener on the Czech side of the border. The one liners (and the make-believe pop wisdom quips). The characters slowly become believable (at least the main characters, many of the secondary ones remain very roughly drawn). I liked it.

This was the set reading for the Bibliogoth meeting in October 2019.

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