I took the ukulele out for a road test last night. Christine and I went to Ukulele Tuesday, a weekly event held in the upstairs lounge of the Stag’s Head in Dublin. We got there at about ten past eight and the session was in full swing. We had to push ourselves in and elbow our way into a spot big enough to strum and sing.

I had printed out the song book but the organisers project the lyrics and chord tabs onto a screen anyway. There were maybe 60 people in the room, about two thirds of whom had ukuleles.

It works like this. Songs from the book are suggested. One is chosen. The song is projected on the screen. The organisers start off and everyone joins in. It doesn’t matter what level of competence one has. It’s all about having a go and having fun, and the energy in the room was palpable. We stayed for about an hour and a half and had enormous fun. Is this creative? Of course it is. Music and singing are about creative expression and, my goodness, we expressed ourselves pretty loudly and creatively last night.

This evening, after a bit of kettle bell swinging (part of my attempt to regain some of the fitness I used to have), I blew some eggs that had passed their expiry date, and that Christine left out for me. I’d never blown eggs before although I’d often thought about it. Anyway, with the help of internet instructions, a pin, a cocktail stick and a lot of puff, I emptied them, cleaned them, and I now have 5 complete egg shells to do something with.

My third Chinese brush book arrived today and it emphasises the importance of regular practice of basic strokes using good technique. So, this evening, I had another little go at poppy petals and then I did some stroke work, concentrating on holding the brush vertically and painting from my shoulder.

Oh, and I bought these today. What are they? Little bottles of essential oils. What do I need them for? I’m going to make some candles and scent them with these and other oils. Sure, why not?