Came home from work, made the dinner (merguez sausages in a harissa tomato sauce with pasta) and raced up to the attic.

First on my agenda was to have a go at the ukelele (see yesterday’s entry for context). I found a short YouTube video which warmed me up by teaching me how to hold the ukulele, how to strum it and how to play the C, F, G and E chords. So I practiced those for a while and then I found the tabs and lyrics for Hey Jude. I used to play this song on the guitar so I kind of had the basics in my head. There are a few difficult chords in it, however, so it was a challenge. Anyway, I went over a few verses slowly and then I thought I’d video myself playing and stick it up on YouTube (as a private video). The playing isn’t great and the singing is dire, but I was very pleased with myself for having got that far so quickly. I’m going to enjoy learning to play this instrument. I know I am. I’m not going to link anything here until I get a bit better.

Next, pebbles. A bit ambitious this but if one doesn’t stretch oneself, one doesn’t learn. So, I traced a simple Celtic design onto a flat pebble and had a go at etching it out with the Dremel tool. It’s not fabulous but I’m OK with it. It’s difficult to keep the lines even and to know how deep to go. And it’s quite strenuous too!

These are the books I received in the post the other day.

One of them suggests strongly that best way to learn the brush technique is to copy good stuff done by other people. I’m good with that. Here’s what I copied today. First crickets, or grasshoppers. Not quite sure which.

Then poppies. They’re not delicate enough but I’ve started to get the hang of loading the brush with two colours and to understand the importance of controlling the moisture in the brush.

Better than TV