A Last Day In Paradise

As the last full day here reality hits. We are going to miss the sunshine. But have the hot tub and kitty cats to go back to. With Ange’s new found love of American Football. We have experienced a lot. 

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Couldn’t do everything, but got a glimpse of life in LA. Tourism in Vegas and we got to go to The Castro in San Francisco. We don’t want to eat bacon for a while upon our return. The walking has done us good. The sun has definitely raised our vitamin D and happiness levels. Zuma Beach and Malibu has been both Mine and Ange’s favourite place. Vegas is Vegas. It’s a crazy place. Maybe we will come back to Vegas in 10 years. Who knows. Definitely Los Angeles and San Francisco. Won’t miss the cheesy feet smell each time we walk past the ‘posh shops’ at Caesar’s Palace, each time we come and go to our room. It nearly put me off Cheetos for life! 

21.10.17 (T-Minus 8 hours, Pacific time, plus tax and tips) Buffet Breakfast at Balleys. 
Flamingos at The Flamingo and Pelicans. 


A bit of a flutter. I’m no gambler, I’m a creative. I’ll stick to what I’m good at. 


Pool chillout afternoon and then a ‘last night’ family Italian Dinner at Maggiano’s (really good food!) and bed. 

Lovely time had on this adventure to San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles, Through the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas, Lake, Mead, The Hoover Dam on the Nevada / Arizona State Line. Great holiday and experience. Really relaxed. Vegas is a crazy place. Looking forward to a proper pot of tea and a fig roll. Get ready for the jet lag…. 

In the back of a Cab on the way back tonight. 

Relevant 

Claudsville Blogs and Biog of a Bog Woppit

My name is Claudine West. These are excepts of this present life as me. 2016 was rather fabulous making music, writing, recording, gigging, doing the full time day job. Looking after wife and cats, mowing the lawn, breathing in the sea. Exploring Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Writing recording and releasing more meditation music under ‘Earth Tree Healing’…. Being happy. 

https://claudinewestmusic.com/ 

These are my blogs and here is the Kindle book.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claudsville-Blogs-Biog-Bog-Woppit-ebook/dp/B00M5IR94K/

claudsville

Spring means one thing…change. Good change.

Spring is here.

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Yes Snow chaos in the UK.  So glad we invested in new snow boots and coats for the ever-evolving seasons to wet, wet and wet. Gregorian Monk chants have now been replaced with Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Pink Floyd.

Discovery is an enlightening experience.  If I learn something every week. I know I’m doing well. I’ve been working my kebabs off lately finishing my Reiki certificate homework, NVQ Merit work. Creating art, designing stuff for our Earth Tree Healing Projects. Attending a great course ‘Liberating The Talents’ for personal development (Thank you NHS) all helps with my career path and ambitions.

I’ve had the lurgy for a good few weeks now. So overwork, no rest working 12 days on the trot in the hospital. Wiped Claudsvilles vagazzle out. Luckily I have some great work colleagues that when the going gets tough. Sit quietly and let me snore on my lunch break. Plus some good daily banter and music is refreshing.

As one door closes day job wise another few open. Fate handed us a break. Then said. RIGHT its really time to crack on now with Earth Tree Healing. So you are gonna get a slap round the chops and no choice but to do it now!! One giant leap of faith required. A few tears and fears. Then determination. Then our cat shat on the bathroom mat, I tripped over and we both laughed so very much.

The forces of darkness are bullying the lightworkers, testing us. Faith, belief, positive mental attitude. Knowing, seeing the goal is in reach. Life is learning and tests. As the saying goes. It’s not what happens, its how you handle it.

I’ve been experiencing so very weird dreams lately. My messages come through them. The knowing of being watched and influenced has been dealt with. Our time, minds and privacy are ours again. Some people can lead you down the wrong path. Well the path they believe is our one. But actually. It’s the one they want. In reality, it was a diversion to learn a few painful lessons. My detour is at and end. I crossed over and am now ‘walking the walk’ slowly but surely on the right road.

I’m looking forward to gigs and recording with the Idolins.  & other music projects. Now my time is freed up.

I’m actually looking forward to mowing the lawn. I find it therapeutic. Even though it’s tiny. Planting our food and lots of lovely plants is going to be fun this year. I need to be surrounded by greenery. A paradise.

Working on a new art project with old guitars (Watch this space) Creating brings me so much joy.

I collected my new spectacles today to the enjoyment of Ange pissing herself at how I say spectacles!! “OOOH I CAN SEE”

Nice to have non contact lens days in the dust. Ange is sat next to me shouting and squeaking impersonations of me now cracking herself up. (OOH I love people reading over my shoulder)

We’ve been raising the vibrations of our home, cleansing, burning Anges incense. Laughter, love, harmony.

How musicians are created…

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I’m blessed to be in this band. The Idolins  

My solo works Bog Woppit 

The big question.

Are you born a musician, or do you train and become a musician?

My name is Claudine West aka Claudine Barker-West. I’m 37 years old. I live in Nottingham. UK. I’m a multi-instrumentalist.  Oh and yes you have probably never heard of me. 

Music has been in my life since I can remember. From my first Bontempi Keyboard and 2nd hand classical guitar; my Dad bought me while on holiday in Norfolk, UK. It was only when I moved onto electric and steel strings did I realise what a nighmare classicals are to play and start on as a kid. (So what to Schools do? Make kids play ’em! Cruel )

Now I’ve not been trained in a ‘training’ sheet music kind of way.

I bought chord books for keyboards and guitar. Sat and played, practiced. Shut myself in dark rooms so I didn’t need to look at my hands to play the chords. Looking back I was a loner, socially crippled (still am to an extent), shy, a disturbed child ( luckily not due to any trauma, abuse etc) just special in my own strange way.

Music made me feel good, it released my pent up creativity. It drew me to it, tempted, excited, satisfied. Music just came out of me and my fingers without me having to sit there and work out each note.  By this point every Birthday and Christmas present was music related. My first tape 4 track recorder.  I was privileged.

School involved verbal bullying, name calling due to my deformed face. (Surgery at 19 corrected it, not my self hatred..Thanks Bullies. I’m so glad im not you. I pity you. no one likes to be called a monster amongst other things!)  and near 6 feet tall skinny frame (I was probably too tall and intimidating to get punched) maybe I screamed misfit.

I retreated, was encouraged and supported into music and art indulgence.  I had an amazing Music teacher (Simon Davie) at secondary School (Frank Wheldon, Nottingham class of 1991/2 ish) Spent most of my lunch breaks and spare time in the music block. Jamming. Playing on the piano, or playing on the Grand Piano in their Concert Hall. Some little turd, with a grudge burnt the school down years later. (and most likely my lovely Grand Piano) Its been rebuilt as a sports college now.

At 16 (thanks to my sister complaining) I got a job in a local supermarket (18 years of customer hell and vileness, back stabbing, gossip, hangovers, but lots of laughs and messing about) I currently work for the NHS. (inspired by true hatred of retail and damage done, my Dad being awarded an MBE (God bless you Princess Anne) for his services to the NHS. (I’M SO PROUD) the final straw being told I deserved to be raped as I was a lesbian!! Adorable customer scumbag!

I’m proud to be doing my day job bit helping poorly folk. Reiki is my life calling along with art and music. Indulgence is bliss.

So basically from my first job (yes kids I worked for my things, put up with some abominations, stinky fuckers, rude bastards and worked every shift pattern known to Mankind) bought more instruments. Worked nights for a year and at around 19, I bought my first Pearl Export Drumkit; and a Zildjian Cymbal every payday. 

My basic chord and note learning moved into capo and key change experiments. ‘Capoing’ a guitar. Recording that track. Then working out a new fret capo and different chord structures to make things sound sweet in stereo.(I still do this today)

From around 13 years old. I’d written songs, composed music, learnt the art of multi tracking (Live performance, warts and all… not computer generated  cheating) Warbled with a very crap gob (surgery enabled me to sing and pronounce words better)

After finishing my A levels. Knowing full well my face operation was imminent. I chose not to further my education. I embraced live mic nights, bands, (Word For Word, Dominion, Subject To Status.. and ones I cant remember right now) gigs, music, booze, fags, grass. Indulgence. I loved my Bongos!

Live Mic at The Lion
Live Mic Night at The Lion, Basford. Nottingham. during the 1990s

Inspired by Jim Morrison’s whisky intake. I had a pretty good go. Ooh I loved my Bourbon and Wild Turkey. Fortunately I never woke up craving alcohol. I rarely drink now mainly because my money is better spent and my body just needs to mend. I do tend to get occasionally battered on the red wine, (big fan of a good Shiraz Cabernet nowadays) at a band rehearsals and spend the next day puking my guts up feeling like death. Swearing on my grave its green tea forever. Ange (my wifey) once farted in bed after one of these night. That set me off on a big boff. She blamed the booze. I blamed the stench. I may write a blog on farting. It’s something that makes me cry laughing.

I began a 10 year exodus into my world ‘Claudsville’

I bought a Fender Bass guitar, Mandolins, more acoustics, A Fender Stratocaster. Eventually I bought a Taylor Acoustic. Elixir custom light strings. Bar that fact that you really cant have too many instruments. I’m content.

I learnt to finger pick. I practiced strumming 😉 being a percussionist helps with rhythm. Being a drummer is a great cure for PMT. There is a big misconception that playing the drums is about kicking the shit out of them. Maybe for some drummers.. Its about creating rhythm, patterns. Jamming, linking, connecting, locking in with your bass player (my Yang to my Ying is the very Talented Dave Pacey) 

I played Glen Miller Jazz at School. Moved into Blues Jamming in pubs and Rock Bands.

I love the Folk music, acoustic stuff on the guitar. I enjoy experimenting with effects and layers on my electric guitar parts I compose. I’m not anal enough to go into great technical detail. I’ll leave that one to others.

You can watch some videos if you so wish on my Claudsville Youtube Channel

 

I dated a sound engineer. (Pete, lovely bloke) me, trying to at least be bisexual. Ultimately you can’t change who you are and what floats your boat. Women do it for me. I’m happily handfasted to my soulmate Ange. After spending a little while sampling a few unhinged (to be polite) birds. Not a good combination with me being me.

I met Grimm (Graham Skelton-Ruth) an amazing guitarist. You can hear some of his Lead Guitar Genius on my Bog Woppit Recordings.

Had M.S. taught me sarcasm to the extreme. Inspired me. Listened to my drunken rants and exorcism of demons. He died when I was 27. (overdosed) that destroyed me.

Claud & Grimm
Claud & Grimm

I luckily managed to travel to America and spend time touring with my family. Some were living there at the time. Texas. Got to Jam on drums in a bar in San Antonio. Being rewarded by a shot of Wild Turkey courtesy of the bar tender.(THAT MADE MY DAY!) I talked at lots of stuff out.  HEALING PROCESS.

I’d played regularly at the Lion Pub in Basford before Grimms Death. We used to go on a Thursday live mic night. I’d get drunk to try to control my morbid stage fright. Play 3 solo songs (not covers, I performed my own. There are plenty of people riding the cover version appreciation wave for applause and a career. Not me.  I like to  create, not copy) If you are going to cover a song. At least do something different with it.

I met Karen Smalley-Turner at such a night. We recorded a few sessions at Grimms Home Studio. ( I basically lived there and slept in there at weekends and every Holiday)

We then lost tough for a while. She had a baby. Robyn. Then as fate has it. I met her again while working in a shop. Broke the sad news that Grimm had died. (not the best way to tell someone over a checkout) I’m known for my Oral splurts of the wrong thing at the wrong time. We later got together and played a gig. The rest my friends is history. 12 years later. Our official Website is here The Idolins  are going from strength to strength. We have expanded. Played live at the 2012 London Olympics. Love each other dearly and are back recording 2013 after a wonderful 2012.

The Idolins. Sound Of The Rain Album
The Idolins. ‘Sound Of The Rain’ 2010 Album
Greenwich Park 2012 Olympics. Photo Rob Smalley. Scene photography
Greenwich Park 2012 Olympics. Photo Rob Smalley. Scene Photography
Karen & Claudine Live 2011The Idolins
Karen & Claudine Live 2011
The Idolins
Live @ The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Photo Rob Smalley. Scene photography
Live @ The Royal Concert Hall 2012, Nottingham Photo Rob Smalley. Scene Photography
The Idolins 'You Said'  Album 2011
The Idolins ‘You Said’ Album 2011
Rehearsals
Rehearsals
photo-25
The Notts Factor Final 2012.
Subway Circus Live at Nottinghamshire Pride 2012
Subway Circus Live at Nottinghamshire Pride 2012

I’ve also been driven back to playing the Drums again. The new Rock Band. Subway Circus. Has been born. More to follow 2013.

<<Subway Circus Live at Nottinghamshire Pride 2012.
My Dad told Karen and I about my Great Grandparents. The Drews. They played instruments. Maybe music is inherited?

All I know is I love it. I can only describe it as an energy of sound. I’m a vessel for it to travel. I dont consciously think about what i’m playing. It just happens. Flukes. Maybe my mind already rehearsed it? Maybe I’m a puppet for Angels?

The Stage fright gets easier as I age.

People have asked for lessons, like I’ll show them an easy non effort way. My answer is always the same.

“Learn your f**King self!! ;-)”

I’m blessed. I’m rehearsed.