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HUG NEWS 77 27th Jan 21

As we head inexorably towards the anniversary of the Original lockdown it is a sobering thought how all our lives have been impacted. I can only imagine the stress that those less fortunate are living under. The fundamental affect on peoples lives, particularly the younger generation who will have to live with the decisions taken way beyond our lifetime.

Closer to home you have done so well to hang on in there with the group. It is hardly surprising that viewing fatigue sets in and a craving for getting back together rather than virtually. The novelty wears off. I have been fortunate that the stream has kept me very busy and mentally sharp (not physically though!)

Hugukuleletv123, last Friday saw us tweek things a little. The way songs are selected to be played changed. This was as a result of changes to the way I can call up videos to be streamed and gives me greater control. It was good to have a selection of songs chosen by Birthday girl Sharon and a great choice they were. I will continue to ask someone to select the Friday songs. First port of call will be anyone who has a Birthday in the week. If there is no Birthday then we can invite individuals who would like to select to let me know and I will draw a name out of the hat. Let me say there will be no bad choices of songs, we will enjoy playing along and it spares you having to put up with my selections!!

We added All Shook Up to our Playlist. this is a fun fast song which is easy to play.

Original Songs, I am hoping that some of you are busy composing your own songs and shortly I will be deluged with them! Well here's hoping!

It would be especially nice to receive originals from people who have never done this.

As I say there is a lot of experience and guidance for you to call on. Help will be willingly given.

Open Mike, I have been receiving a steady flow of Open Mike Contributions which is brilliant, thank you. I am happy to receive more. We are very nearly ready to have an Open Mike feature session. Songs from Open Mike are a great source of new songs for us.

Poems and Jokes (clean please!), are always welcome contributions and will be featured.

Video v Audio, you will recall that initially we relied upon audio to play along to. As we have introduced video there are some of the audio songs that we are yet to convert to video format. It would be nice to be able to feature them again. So if you did a song in audio and fancy redoing it as an video that would be great. Three songs that I miss featuring are Blowing In The Wind, Dirty Old Town and We shall Overcome, all from Roger.

I realise that performing on video is not every ones cup of tea. I know that Geoff and Sheila and others are happy to do so but I also know that they would be happy if others wanted to contribute songs. Some of you made a contribution to the Christmas Stream and have picked up the skills required for submitting songs. So please see this as an invite to record songs not yet videoed. Just let me know before hand so I can guide you.

Hug Social, our quiz based socials on Tuesday continue. I say quiz but really it is not too serious more a chance to chat and share bad jokes and puns! Its good to also share poems and replay our original songs. Whilst I introduced 2 new songs for us in reality they were fairly easy and just to get us in to the swing of learning new songs. The stream is an ideal way of breaking down a song and highlighting particular parts. Particularly things like strumming patterns.

I would like to feature a new song each month and spend a little time on clarifying the learning points. it is likely that future songs will be a little more challenging for us. I will give notice when we are going to tackle a new song. Also, I aim to put the learning version on to our website and the video on to youtube for you to listen and use to aid learning at your own time and pace., our very own website is being fully utilised by members and by visitors, so that is great to see. Shortly I will be undertaking a revamp of layout as I feel it is getting too busy in its current form.

Heswall U3a website , you may know that there was a revamp of the site and they have been busy uploading content. The website now contains images from the Christmas Concert in the Gallery page from the menu. Click on the link underscored and in green to go straight to the site and view the images.

U3a articles, I was very pleased to be able to inform you that at long last the National U3a has picked up on what we have been doing this past year. Firstly, as I indicated we have been featured in the National U3a Blog, it is called Source. It can be viewed via our own blog 76 where I have included a clickable link to the feature I wrote. Also, the National Newsletter sent out yesterday via email has a short feature. Again with a clickable link to the full article. Finally on this subject, I have been asked to submit the article and photos to the Editor of Third Age Matters for consideration of including in Aprils edition. This is a hard copy magazine sent out quarterly.

UPDATE! At Tuesdays Hug Social, it was very pleasing to have people from other U3a groups sign up and join us. This is as a direct result of them reading the Article and wanting to find out what we do and experience it. They all commented on the limitations and frustrations they have experienced using Zoom. Comments and emails and ongoing conversations all express how impressed they are. I will be encouraging them and their members to join in with us as they did last night, I know you will continue to make them welcome.

Blues Course, it is pleasing to see the group progress to learning the skills of Riffing and Soloing. I know from when I learned these skills it was very satisfying to be able to do this along with accompaniment. Unless we have a partner who plays, sadly we cannot all have someone accompany us at the moment. So to get around this I have created a backing track for them to use. So they are stuck with playing along to me!

And finally, we hope there is a way out of the situation we find ourselves in. It is very likely though we will not be able to quickly get back together. Even when it is possible, there is initially at least, likely to be restrictions on numbers and how we meet. It is something that is never far from my thoughts. Any changes are likely to be gradual and phased.

The Blog will continue to keep you informed and will be published each week from Mid day on the Wednesday. So I will not need to send out an email informing that it has been posted, this saves me a job!


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