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HUG NEWS 78 3rd Feb 21

Welcome to this milestone edition of HUG NEWS, this being the 78th edition it marks one and a half years of weekly Blogs. It has been an interesting exercise writing the Blog and took on more significance as we could no longer meet. I have always seen it as a way of imparting information to supplement our face to face contacts and of recording for our history just how we have evolved. It will be a sad fact that we have spent more time together as a group meeting virtually than we have actually. So here are some facts:- The Blogs have been accessed some 4424 times to date.

(That does not include Little Blog that ran for a while at the start of total lockdown). The number of accesses for each Blog varies, I don't really know why that is but Blog 2 has been read just12 times, Blog 21- 227 times and some others in the 200s and 100s. The typical view is just above 50.

There have been milestones recorded, like in Blog33 when we first went live with the stream on he 27th March 20. Blog 51 when we experimented with 3 of us playing live at the time when we were allowed to meet up indoors! I remember it being a logistical challenge setting up and ensuring safe and sanitised environment taking many hours!

Along the way we have recorded special events such as our 1st Birthday Party and other key events like the ground breaking Christmas Concert.

As I looked back over the Blogs it is remarkable to see us moving from our first foray into live streaming through to where we are now. Truly a momentous journey, not bad for us wrinklies! We have a genuinely unique channel, it is not like any other.

I hope you agree that the aim of keeping us together is being achieved. We never envisaged still having to meet virtually but I for one am pleased we were able to not only meet but continue to grow both individually and as a group.

This was our first setup!

Hugukuleletv123, fair to say that significantly more people know of our existence since the article. It was a hectic week fielding emails and calls from across the country from other ukulele groups and some none uke groups. We have had buy in and people either signing up or just viewing.

I have linked up with another leader and we are starting to plan for a national event later in the year. The feedback was very positive. It is also apparent we as a group are far more tech savvy than others. The numbers who just could not work out how to join was depressing. Some wanted to replicate what we do but sadly it is just not possible for them to do so without the investment into what is setting up a streaming TV Channel. We have had a year to get to where we are. It was really why I extended the invitation to groups to join in with us, whilst of course doing what they already do (or don't do). Some are embracing this. Sadly, as we know, the limitations can also be the quality of Broadband download speed and ropy internet provision. It is the way of the world and it is definitely worth upgrading Broadband to Fibre Optic with the best you can. In the near future on demand real time will be the norm for all, TVs are really computers now.

It is good to invite someone to offer to select the songs we will play each Friday, This week Liz will select the songs for us.

Over the weekend Kate did a major upgrade on the system giving me greater control over material and instant call up. This is something that goes on behind the scenes but it allows me to verbally call actions that the system obeys. I am getting to grips with it at the moment. I now have something that is called a Soundboard installed, this in simple terms controls the snippets and jingles you hear on a radio station for instance. I will have fun with that! (hopefully not too annoying for you!)

Open Mike contributions, a big thanks to all who have contributed songs, we are just about ready to have a special feature event to showcase them. I will work on this next week so I will keep you informed of progress.

Original Songs, I now need to urgently hear from you if you have an Original Song and how we will progress with it. Fair to say it is quiet on this front so if we are unlikely to have sufficient songs for a showcase then I will need to feature the 3 I have one week.

Poems, this is one area that does feature and I think we are all delighted to be able to present the poems. It was pleasing that one of our newest people on the stream Hazel Cooper sent in a contribution. There is an open invitation to all to contribute poems.

Jokes, clean of course will always be welcome.

Hug Social, we were able to celebrate World Ukulele Day last night as well as the standard features. Thanks to all who tuned in we continue to confound the world with our extensive general knowledge and encyclopedic memory of 70s music! The puns and jokes don't improve though!

Blues Course, we are well in to learning how to create Riffs now to a Blues backing. Well at least in C anyway! It has been an interesting exercise and thanks go to the participants for their enthusiasm, I hope it has enhanced their skills.

So to close, thank you all for reading the Blogs they have been fun to write and hope have been informative. We are were we are but at least there appears to now be a way back to something akin to normality. I hope you either have had an initial jab or at least know it will be not too long away.

Do remember, the Blogs are posted after mid day on a Wednesday automatically so please do not wait for an email from me. I will no longer send an email reminder as it saves me one job not to have to do.

Stay safe.


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