Leaving of Liverpool and Dirty Maggie May

Never got around to posting these vids from our cruise to Canada in September 2016.


Ukulele cruise to the Amazon River


Not really. It’s actually a cruise to the Amazon River leaving Bristol on 5 January 2017. The itinerary is shown here: https://www.cruiseandmaritime.com/cruise/p702/amazon-west-indies-azores

However, a friend of mine from Cambridgeshire – Peter Crush – is continuing his cruise career (along with his lovely wife, Lynda)  teaching the ukulele to fellow passengers.

I have mentioned to him that I intend to take my Beaver Creek guitalele with me instead of the usual uke so need to get around to learning how to play it. Part of this learning entails learning the guitar to learn chord shapes as the same shapes are used on both but making different chords. For example, the G on a guitar is a C on the guitalele.

So have had to buy a guitar and chose one similar to this –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fender-Sonoran-SCE-Acoustic-Guitar/dp/B002CVX3J0/ref=pd_sbs_267_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GN6PVSPME2TA4J1CK4MD

May even take this on the cruise as well.


Taking my ukulele to Canada!

We’ve just booked to go on a cruise to Canada in late August aboard the Cruise and Maritime ship Marco Polo. Details of the cruise are here.

We went on the same cruise last year and on board they had Pete Crush who ran a series of classes on the ukulele for new players. This was the first time I had ever tried to play an instrument (and sing in public) since being kicked out of music lessons at my old school – Vincent Thompson High School – by our music teacher ‘basher’ Brooke.

Every year we all had to audition for the school choir, and he would wander around tapping on the shoulder all those not worthy of making it into the hallowed ranks of the singers. For some reason every year he used to stand behind me as we stood, his arm outstretched so even as I was half-way up he would tap my shoulder! Do you think her was trying to tell me something?

Anyway, back to the cruise. We were lucky enough to cruise to the West Indies at the start of this year – on the Marco Polo – and Pete and his wife, Lynda, were giving more classes so I joined in. He mentioned to us that they would be on this particular cruise back to Canada, so we’ve got a late booking. Honest, Pete – we’re not stalking you!

Canada is a wonderful place for the ukulele as the school system positively promotes the playing of this instrument. You can read more about it here; https://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com.

In addition, university places are provided for this purpose and annual trips are taken to Hawaii to further educate ukulele players.

I bought a soprano ukulele at O’Briens in St John’s, Nova Scotia. This is an amazing shop which has been trading since 1939. I emailed them a few weeks back about buying a banjolele but sadly they didn’t get back to me. Still, as seen in an earlier post one has now been ordered from Holland. We are going to visit a music festival in St John’s this time in Water Park – if we arrive in time. Hopefully the weather will be better – last year it POURED down! The rain was unbelievable. So, finger’s crossed.

I will be taking my Kala resonator and my banjolele – hopefully it will arrive by the end of July – so I can join in and have some more lessons from Pete and Lynda.