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HUG NEWS 74 6th Jan 21

Happy New Year to you. I never really know how long you are supposed to keep saying this but its probably just about ok for this week! It is probably said more in hope than expectation because we just don't know what a Happy New Year would be given the current state of play. One thing though is clear we will not be getting back together any time soon so I am afraid you are stuck with me trying to keep things fresh!

Hugukuleletv123, well having taken a little break over Christmas and easing back on things it is time to get back and ensure we can continue to meet, play and create. We had a wonderful time preparing for the concert and it certainly taught us a lot. Not least how to get creative with sharing and collaborating with others to make music. It was particularly pleasing to see people have a go with technology that they probably thought they could not do. Also, to see people prepared to perform for all of our benefits when in reality they probably wouldn't put themselves forward. We will continue to have a good old session on Fridays, nothing too sophisticated but definitely a chance to hone skills, remember the Quick lessons? It was interesting to hear of a group giving up on Zoom because of the crappy sound issues. I have offered to other groups the chance to learn about what we do but have been met either with thanks but no thanks or even in one case no response at all.

For me it has always been about sound quality, whilst its great to see people, whatever you use you cannot play together at the same time so for me it is sound over picture but we sort of have the best of both worlds with video recordings to play along to.

The Website, our website was set up very much as a resource for members and aspiring members, I am pleased to let you know that it has now surpassed 10,000 hits. this means that it is getting used so thank you.

I always used to get shocks when touching metal objects but it recently stopped.

Needless to say I'm ex - static

Original Songs, one of the most successful ventures during 2020 was the way people rose to the challenge of writing their own songs but most importantly sharing them with the group. I am sure people gained confidence from the fact that their song was genuinely well received. You never really know how others will view your efforts, is it a sympathetic "well done", or is it for real? Well I think all can be absolutely confident that the positive responses are genuine. They are out there on Youtube for the world to see.

So now the challenge is for us to once again write and perform our own songs for us to share. Especially so if you didn't have a go first time but perhaps would have like to. All of the help is there for you, from how to collaborate, how to record and how to forward it. Go on give it a go, any subject any instrument you are comfortable with. As I have said you can do it keep it secret and if you are not happy just scrap it, until next time!

Open Mike, I would like to encourage you to keep on recording contributions to our Open Mike sessions. I am hoping to make a feature session from contributions. Remember any song not currently on our song list is valid. You are welcome to use any instrument and can if you wish collaborate with others. Open Mike songs have been a good source of new to us songs in the past. I am looking for a video recording so the guidance about how to do this is in the Member Area on our website.

Why do Norwegians build their own furniture?

No Ikea!

Poems, a particularly strong area for us, particularly our friends in the BBC. So the challenge is laid down, can HUG members also be creative?

HUG Social, we reopened the social last night and it was good to get back to having a social element to the group. Tuesday nights will continue to be a mixture of things from quizzing to starting to introduce new songs. This is something I have been keen to do so that we can spend a little time getting familiar with a particular song. I will start doing this soon. It is likely that those who do join us on a Tuesday will benefit from being familiar with new songs ahead of Fridays where they will simply just be played.

Blues Course, having done 5 straight Sunday Lessons before Christmas we have had a break. Now we are ready to restart this Sunday. I am pleased that people have stuck with me, it is not the easiest thing to learn remotely but I trust the understanding of this music is starting to bed in. Over the next few weeks all of the work put in on learning the basics will stand us in good stead.

What do you call an old person with really good hearing?

Deaf defying

Stream maintenance, over the next week Kate will be working with me to overhaul the Stream and ensure after a busy Christmas period of preparing for the concert that everything is robust. My file management is not the best and she knows it!

I am hoping to add some innovations over the coming weeks but will keep them non specific at the moment so as not to raise expectations!

Finally, I have sought to avoid using the Blog to comment on the virus as I firmly believe my remit is to provide an escape from the reality of the situation and let our music and community lift our spirits for a few hours each week.

I do though want to remind you of the excellent work done by Dr Claud Regnard FRCP and Dr Mark Baxter MRCGP who provide a regular up date which is posted on our website. We are so lucky to have easy recourse to such information.

We are in this for the long haul but grow stronger each week, thank you to all of you for helping to keep us together.


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