Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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A little jazz for the young ones

I’m taking a moment to post about something I’ve just found out and it’s incredibly fun, and intelligent, and good.
In a nutshell: a bunch of musicians and youtubers (or youtube musicians, or something), got together to create a record of arrangements of classic children tunes, injecting in them all kinds of jazz goodness – off rhythms, key changes, triplets and quintuplets and what else.

The end result is a strange beast, a record of children songs that are also fun to listen to for grown-ups.

I started listening to jazz – properly listening to jazz, that is – with Dave Brubeck, and therefore I was spoiled for odd time signatures and exotic arrangements.
Thsi collection might be a good way to start the young ones on a strange musical journey they’d probably enjoy.

And all proceeds go to Save the Children UK, so you know you are helping a good cause.


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Monkey & the Cat

Sometimes all the pieces fall in the right place at the right moment. And it feels good when it happens, because the world’s a complicated place, and it’s good to get some reassurance sometimes, that all shall be well – even if it’s a very small thing.

Yesterday night I was writing a new story (yeah, I know, life can be pretty monotonous hereabouts) – a short fantasy, steampunk-ish number featuring two strays, a girl and her cat.
I’m doing it with two different markets in mind – it all depends on how things will turn out. It’s going to be around 2000 words – I’m allowing myself six 350-words scenes (because YES!, I’ve got Scrivener running again!)
But anyway, I was checking my notes and trying to get the story off the ground, when for a number of circuitous reasons I ended up on YouTube and found this song…

Now I have the names of my two characters, and all of a sudden the story’s got legs, and is running. I plan to have it finished by tonight – I’m working on it only after dinner.
And no, the plot’s got nothing to do with the song, it’s just the name, and the way in which the characters coalesced as soon as I put names on them.
I think Monkey and her Cat will turn out to be fun characters to write.


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Without a Blog: the Earphones Diaries

And so I’ve gone and invented me another thing, a game of sorts to keep my brain going and get away from writing and reading 24/7.
It will be called The Earphone Diaries, and it will live only on my social networks: my Facebook profile, my Instagram page, my Pinterest boards and my Twitter. Much as I love blogging, there will be no blog supporting this guerrilla project.

The Earphones Diaries will be a series of daily post, presenting a record I am currently listening to. I’m going at this without a plan, the course is once again uncharted: no genre tags or other hang-ups, just the music that’s currently playing in my earphones, presented in short, less-than-2000 characters posts.
Just for the fun of it.

The first post will go online in a few hours.


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A day off

And so yesterday I took the day off. It was, after all, my birthday, and so I spent the day reading a book, listening to some music, and watching a few episodes of a TV series (god bless streaming services and my high-speed satellite connection). I also had a nice serving of tiramisù (a simple dessert that apparently is very popular outside of Italy).

And because this is that kind of blog, here’s the recipe, taken from Wikibooks – and also a controversial, egg-less alternative, courtesy of the BBC. My goodness, to reach the tender age of 52 and find out that tiramisù can be “controversial”…!

As for my other birthday activities…

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