Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Last 2 videos of 2008

Hi Folks

Hope you all had a wonderful Xmas

Here's a couple of new videos (and they are going to be the last 2 of 2008)...expanding a little more on how I improvise and this time I'm trying to show how you can use your noodling/improvising to play through mistakes and how to make mistakes sound creative:-

Video 1

Video 2

Hope y'all have a lovely New Year


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Adding Auto Rhythm To Our Noodling/Improvisations

Hi again folks

Okay it seems there is a small amount of interest with this stuff and a few of you are enjoying have fun with it?

If you have a digital keyboard then you can have some fun with your auto-rhythm, built in drum machine.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Mixing 2 different chord progression together to give 2 sections to our song
Apologies, the keyboard was transposed up a half step!

To read some discussion about these videos please click this link to the:- "Pianoworld Adult Beginners Forum" [click]

take it easy


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Noodling for Beginners - video lessons part 1 and 2

Hi Everyone

After posting my recent noodling session .mp3 I have had quite a lot of mail. One person even reckoned I was some sort of "freeeky genius" but, of course this is not true! LOL

I have had a few requests to explain how I do it so, I have bought myself a new video recorder this week and decided to make a video for y'all which I had to split into 2 parts as "youtube" only allow 10 minutes maximum.

These 2 videos are for those that wanted to know more and learn how easy it is to do

I hope you enjoy watching them and that they help you to spend more time having fun at your keyboard/piano.

DISCLAIMER: The singing isn't very good so don't be alarmed and keep young children away from the computer whilst watching this! LOL

I have checked with Mike over at pianomagic.com and he is happy that there is nothing in the videos that would tread on his copyright material (even if he is much better at teaching this kind of stuff as a small part of what he teaches over there)

Video 1:-

Video 2:-

For me this is a way to effortlessly practise my pedalling, control of velocity and rhythm and yes I know Mikes already told me its still a little patchy in places (slipping from 3/4 to 4/4...grrr!)

Hope they give you some ideas and of course if you'd like to learn more on how to do this kind of stuff and how to play piano by ear you can always come and join Mike, the gang and I over at pianomagic.com

EDITED TO ADD: A few more videos

These 2 are just for ideas and to try and get some feedback as to where I could explain things deeper or clearer for you

Video 3:

Video 4:

In these 2 videos I mention the "Circle of Fifths" just to prevent confusion here is a picture of the Circle of Fifths:-

If you take a look at the outside of the circle notice how the chords go E to A to D to G to C anticlockwise


** Eminor > A minor > D minor > G7 > C **

These last 2 videos are because Lenny over at Pianoworld pointed out that the angle wasn't helping him to see clearly enough what I was playing so hopefully this new angle is a little clearer for him and for you? however, its about the best I'm going to get off of this tripod without getting my big head in the way!

Video 5:

Video 6:

Till the next time, take care

Lee :)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

An example of My pianomagic noodling

Hi Folks

I often see asked over at the pianoworld.com forums questions that talk about "exercises" and "how to stop getting bored of practising" and how to "make ones playing more emotional"

I have to confess I don't do any exercises such as Hanon or any scale work of any significance either unless I'm working on a new key (which I am admittedly very lazy with)

No, for me I "noodle" its a technical term LOL

When I get fed up I often noodle around the 1,6,2,5 pattern

In the Key of C this would be the chord progression of C, A minor, D minor and G (G7)

This is a cool chord progression as all the notes in the chords are from the C scale so that almost any melody note played on the white keys sounds good (this is good to know because you can just make things up as you play)

I can noodle like this for hours and go to place in my mind where time just doesn't exist

There are other chord progressions you can use and the other day I recorded myself freely noodling on a major to minor change - for about 20 minutes!!

So, if you've got loads of time on your hands (and no life LOL) you can always take a little trip into the weird and wonderful mind of Seaside Lee when he's noodling - In the first minute the recording drops out a couple of time - dunno why? darn computers! so apologies for that - but, then it seems to be okay

Seasides major to minor practise Noodling [click to hear]

The chords I mainly used were C, Em F and G for the major section
and A minor, F, B diminished and E for the minor section

All I'm doing is playing around with textures, volumes and rhythms, I may throw in the odd 1625 here and there too. Sure, Its all a little repetitive but, it doesn't matter when you are noodling, just keep your headphones on and who hears it anyway! LOL

Nobody ever asks any questions (that's if anyone still reads this stuff?) but, if you want to ask something please feel free to ask away.

This was played on my Casio PX-320 keyboard and recorded using Audacity straight in to my computer from the line outs.

"Happy Noodling"



Saturday, 13 September 2008

Chatting With Rickster at pianoworld

Hi Everyone

There's a member over at pianoworld called "Rickster" and he plays by ear all by himself (which is rather cool in my humble opinion - because I had to be taught!)

Anways, Rickster posted up a video of himself playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" which was quite amazing because he hasn't been playing piano for too long

here is the video:-

Just fantastic but, I was thinking maybe with a little help Rickster could make this even more F*A*N*T*A*S*T*I*C

And with this in mind I decided to try and help him (its aways a little scary offering advice because you may offend someone)

This is what I posted to try to help Rickster

"Hi Rickster,

Really really nice - loved watching you play

You say you want some feedback?

Its beautiful as is but there are a couple of things you can work on to make it totally awesome

1. Play with more contrast same notes just a little softer in places then coming in with a splash of louder - think passion when you play try and talk to my soul and you may astound yourself

2. the left hand pattern is lovely but just change it in places maybe just some simple block chords or some tenths should do it

3. One last thing try and add little pauses and speed ups to emphasize the emotion in your playing

As I say its pretty as is - play around with those ideas for a few weeks and hey someone may be hiring you for $$$$'s - try and bring a tear my eye with the next video

Would you like me to record something for you to give you some ideas to chew on?"

I then went on to record a version of "Somewhere over the rainbow" with some ideas for Rickster to chew on :-

Some Ideas for Rickster to chew on [click here]

I was hopeful that because Rickster plays by ear that he would be able to hear what I was trying to show him.

He did post me a very nice reply:-

"Hi Seaside_Lee,

Wow, your version of “Somewhere over the RB “was great! I doubt if I could mimic that anytime soon. It does give me some good ideas for improvement though.

Thanks a lot!


I do dearly hope that my friend Rickster takes some ideas with him.

take care, til next time


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

For-chan and "Hear and Play"

Just like a bus you wait around for ages and then 2 come along at once!! LOL

Every so often someone asks about playing by ear over at pianoworld and I end up chatting about how I learned to play by ear as an adult beginner with Pianomagic.com and Mike Anderson

Anyhow, a member called 'For-chan' was asking for advice because he was finding that Hear and Play by Jermaine Griggs the Number one play by ear course (guffaw) wasn't helping. Sorry Jermaine I love your stuff and nearly always end up buying all your special offers - its cool but, how the heck anyone learns to play by ear off of it? I have no idea!

This is what 'For-chan' wrote:-

"Is there anyone that has had success with hear and Play and is completely happy with their purchase?

Anyway.. I'm really interested in PianoMagic because I like how scales aren't the main focus, more on chords. "

Here was my first reply to his question

Hi For-chan

I have hear and play infact I usually end up buying every new thing that they come out with, I never get anywhere with any of it but, I would say that down to the fact I don't really dig in properly. Would I sell any of my hear and Play DVDs? (no way - they are always on my to do list - I like to watch them from time to time just to see if I can glean anything new)

I can never quite put my finger on why I don't connect but, on the whole I just don't - but, I'm always thinking "one day I'll get it"

Check my blog for my story about pianomagic if you like - it works like magic but, it doesn't work for everyone and you really have to ask questions in the forums when you get stuck.

So many people don't ever make one post not even to say hello which see-ing as the forums is the key to getting really good and understanding everything that never makes sense to me but hey?

I have Sudnow too which starts you right off the bat playing big lush chords from dot sheet notation (Misty and As time goes by and there are many more) and teaches you the way to voice your own choice of songs from lead sheets as you progress.

Its probably not the easiest way to learn how to play by ear but, its a great way to learn to play jazzy cocktail style voicings of the tunes you love - check out swinging barb in the jazz thread she plays like a dream and she is a 100% Sudnow-a-holic [Big Grin]

Hope this helps a little

Then For-chan asked:-

Could you tell me what the Piano Magic course starts off with?

To which I replied:-

It teaches you in the beginning to see (and hear) how chords and melodies follow a very logical path through most of the tunes you know, It teaches you how to hear simple chord changes and their relationships with the melodies you know.

You will work on the songs that you know, the songs that you can whistle, hum or sing and you will learn to play them by ear starting with your simple stuff first.

You will be taught how to add basic rhythm patterns to the songs that you know and from which you will grow into playing erm "For-chan style"

From the basics you can take it wherever you want to go, you will learn about cousin chords and hidden chords, how to resolve accidentals, the C of 5ths and much much more [Big Grin]

There are many many many videos about playing styles whether it be boogie woogie or latin rhythms that all start out from a basic foundation.

I've been there nearly 5 years and am still only touching the surface of what there is to glean but, you have to participate. I have posted more questions than any one else I may not be the best player there but, I'm the best ME - I still thirst for more knowledge and I still keep asking (only you can have the desire to want it)

Some people thrive on having a weekly lesson and being given strict instructions I'm not like that you might be or you may not? only you can know

Then I provided a couple of demos for him as to how I sound and how pianomagic works taking a simple melody and chords and making it sound...erm...prettier?

Demo 1 {click here}

Demo 2 {click here}

To read the entire thread over at pianoworld {click here} I think its an interesting discussion if you are considering joining pianomagic.



Pianoworld Recital Number 11

Hi Folks

I seem to have been to hell and back these last few months - lost my business, my home and family and going bankrupt! well as they say "things can only get better" and I hope they are right.

I must apologize for not posting much here recently but, hey I hope y'all understand.

Anyway, onto the August Recital over at Pianoworld I submitted a piece maybe not the greatest thing I've done but, I still think (hope) my playing is improving. I have had some nice comments so that always helps to keep my chin up.

Here is the direct link to it :- How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees) with a little Seaside twist {click to Hear}

thanks for listening and for sticking around


Monday, 21 April 2008

A Concert pianist arrives at “pianomagic”

Hi Folks

I am so excited about this post and hope some of you find this interesting

As many of you know I have learned to play the piano by ear with Mike at pianomagic.com and over the past four years there has been some exciting times for myself and for many of the other members over there.

However, about 4 weeks ago a quite famous “Classical concert pianist” joined! Yikes a proper, for real, living, breathing, walking, talking! CLASSICAL CONCERT PIANIST…what? join pianomagic? why????

I am sooooooo excited about this guy, I wrote to him to ask him if “it was okay to write about him in this blog?” and if "he would mind if I quoted him too?”

Itzhak wrote back and said it would be a pleasure for him to feature in this blog and quote whatever I wanted to.


First, he said hello to us all:-

“Hello everybody!! I'm Itzhak Solsky, a classical concert pianist from Israel, currently living in France

Click here to read a little about one of his CDs

Why would he join pianomagic? (Heck, we’re the ‘children of the corn’ LOL)

This is why in his own words:-

“I've been teaching piano for the last 12 years or so, and I've always been frustrated by a certain gap between my ability to play and my ability to teach. You see, I started playing the piano when I was 4. I could read music very well by the time I was 5, and on the other hand, at the age of 6 I could play by ear most everything in my father's vinyl library, and most everything that came up in the radio.

Later as an adult I won international prizes and played in many countries (I still do, of course), while amusing myself and many friends in parties and other occasions, playing and singing songs - which recently I also started doing in formal, paid performances - it's simply fun :-) I make my own arrangements, of course.

BUT - with my students, I was still more or less stuck with old, 'orthodox' methods.”

Alrighty then, this is exciting I thought. Ah yes but, not as excited as our new concert pianist was becoming about his new journey:-

“Exactly 12 days ago, in the introductory part of www.pianomagic.com I found the answer. I consequently did a pilot on all of my students here - 100% success!!!! Everybody was so happy to learn 'the truth' about chords, to learn to play by ear, I found myself teaching many more things that I know, but never really knew how to teach, in short - the experience was so inspiring!!”

He then goes on to say,

“I had a BIG PROBLEM with beginners – especially with beginning adults who didn’t want to necessarily major in classics, but who wanted to learn to play songs. PM solves this problem with a vengeance!!!

But now, I also take the classical experts and lead them into a little ‘adventure’ of learning to understand and figure out music from within – everybody likes it, and I’m happier – and incidentally a lot busier as a teacher! :-)

In teaching, I like very much a light-hearted, simple approach. Also, playing should sound like that. Behind that, there are a lot of things to learn – and it’s up to the teacher to make it seem [easy] to the student who simply wants to acquire an easy, fun hobby. I’ve never seen it done before as convincingly as Michael puts it, and I really like it. :-)

Michael takes music theory (which he never learned formally, but which he actually knows way better than many ‘formalists’ whom I know) and puts it under a highly critical microscope. He carefully eliminates anything which may confuse or complicate someone too early, and either dispenses with it altogether, or postpones it until a more fitting moment, when the student knows and can do more.”

I have been reading along with Itzhak for the past 4 weeks and the way he is discovering things, the way he is seeing things so quickly and so clearly, the way pianomagic has opened up his eyes to see and understand how he played, the way he loved that Mike had found the simple secrets to learn to play by ear, how Mike could teach the pure basics and get people playing by ear straight away, the depth of Mikes knowledge was quite literally blowing his mind!

The way Itzhak writes so eloquently about the discoveries he has made so quickly himself and the discoveries he is making through interaction with his students has suddenly made me aware of something bigger too! I am not ready yet to share what this is in words but, you are going to hear it in my playing over the coming months so hold on to your hats because I’m having revelations by the day!! And you my friends are going to hear it here first!

In the mean time Itzhak recorded 4 short improvs for us all to hear over at pianomagic and he has kindly said that I can post them in my blog for y’all to hear too

ENJOY – the pure MAGIC of Itzhak Solsky playing by ear!:-

1. Improv 1 {click to hear}

2. Improv 2 {click to hear}

3. Improv 3 {click to hear}

4. Improv 4 {click to hear}

One day I’m going to play this good

I like them all and hope you do too but, my favourites are 2 and 3 (or maybe number 4?) let me know if you enjoyed listening and I'll pass your comments on to Itzhak

Finally {click here listen to Itzhak speak and play} in a new audio demostration regarding classical music and chords provided at pianomagic.com - this guy is amazing!

For more info on Itzhak and his tour dates {click here}

Take care


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The support of my online friends

Hi Folks

I am proud to be a member of two on-line piano communities. If you are new to this blog they are the forums at pianomagic.com and pianoworld.com that I have mentioned previously.

I have to admit to spending quite a lot of time on both forums and have found myself sitting here many a time laughing out loud, smiling, sometimes crying whilst reading and joining in with threads at these places.

I am unfortunately going through a split with Sharon and have moved out back to my Dads house. It has been a mutual decision because the arguments and bickering between the two of us had just spiralled out of control these past few years and it was decided that for the sake of everyone especially the children it was best we separate.

I'm doing okay on the whole but, worry about the boys so much and the whole thing is really quite sad. The thought of dating again or meeting someone else is quite daunting and I think its going to take a while for me to find my way back to be honest.

Anyway, I find the best way for me to chill out is just to play my piano and sometimes I record myself playing, you know just let it run and forget about it. Sometimes something comes out of me and its only when I listen back I think "WOW...did I play that?"

Anyhow the other night I played 'The Way We Were' and I think it captured my feelings perfectly, its like therapy for me.

Please feel free to take a listen:-

The Way We Were {to hear click here}

What amazes me though is the support of people that I only know as user names, have never met but, somehow feel so close to. Just when I'm feeling a little sad and sorry for myself they listen to me play and chip in with words of such kindness and enthusiasm (even if they are just being kind it gives me strength somehow) if you are reading this folks you know who you are and I'd like to thank you all personally in this blog.

Its comments like these...

"Very beautiful, sensitive playing Lee"

"I was close to tears (seriously), given the song you chose and the situation around it."

"Wow... Lee...I am in awe at you talent. You played with such depth of feeling... Thank you for sharing your beautiful music."

"Wow Lee. You literally portrayed a story through the melodies and the way you played this tune."

"Lee, Thanks for sharing this. It is very moving. I don't know what you're going through"

"Holy cow, Lee - this is an example of music being a window into someone's soul. So elegant, melancholy, and beautiful. Delicate, but confident. I'm impressed with (a) your playing and (b) your willingness to express your emotions through music."

"So beautiful, so deep, so brave."

"Hi Lee, It may be your "therapy" but a gift for us"

...that mean the world to me, somehow make me stronger, makes me even more determined to get through this and to take this "piano journey" of mine wherever it wants to lead me.

To all those members who have posted and are maybe going to post in the future I dearly treasure your support and kindness so thank you once again.

The idea of this blog was to inspire fellow adult beginners like me that you can achieve your dreams! Okay, so I've had a little blip in my personal life but my DREAM carries on...

take care


Saturday, 12 April 2008

Discussing Waltz "bass chord chord" at Pianoworld with "koldo"

Hi Folks

Over at pianoworld a new member "koldo" was asking about Waltz rhythm played as "bass chord chord"

This was part of his question :-

"The question I have arises from the book "How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons", which I saw on Amazon and seemed interesting. I've got to chapter 10, in which the authors describe what they call the basic skeleton arrangement (bass-chord-chord - if playing in 3/4 time). The right hand plays the melody an octave higher than written, whilst the left hand plays both the song's chords - tightly grouped around middle C - and the bass line- which is the root of the chord played from the piano's lowest possible octave - two notes an octave apart".

Then further advice was given thus :-

"This would be the "bass-chord-chord" you mentioned (it's often characterized as "om-pah-pah"). This is common practice for 3/4 time pieces at the beginning level."

A little further on koldo asks :-

"Having read ahead it seems that it's a technique that is quickly abandoned, and that it just serves to give the student a quick grounding in navigating the whole keyboard. I'll keep at it."

To which I replied :-

"nope, its a technique and all techniques one can, will and should grow from...I use it all the time when playing waltzes"

and then I continued to play a little demonstration for him using the song "Edelweiss" from the Sound Of Music :-

Edelweiss with waltz "Oom pah pah" or "boom chuck chuck" as we call it at pianomagic {click to hear}

That was only a quick demo and a few people have commented on how much they like it so, I'm gonna work on it some more to see what I can come up with...stay tuned

take care y'all


Saturday, 5 April 2008

The Concert hall is open at Pianomagic to the general public!!

Hi Folks

Some exciting news Mike asked all of us to record something either in the public domain or something of our own creation to celebrate his birthday and 20 years of pianomagic!!!

I recorded an improvisation on my new Casio PX-320 which y'all will have heard below which fit the bill and is now proudly in the concert hall along with 19 other members and their music who joined in the task and have won themselves 2 extra months into the bargain (even though Mikey said "one"!)

Just go to the front page of pianomagic and follow the link to the "Celebration Concert" to hear all of us, Sponge Bob has been there the longest and he's the bomb but, there are many performers from new starters to old hands and everyone is finally doing it playing by ear (how kool is that?)

I submitted something else that didn't get in which was my version of "This Old Man/The Barney Theme" which you can hear below:-

To hear what a pianomagical play by ear pianist can do to This Old Man {click Here}

Take a listen to the concert I hope you all enjoy it!

take care


Monday, 10 March 2008

My First Paying Gig!!

Hi Folks

Finally it happened (with a bit of good fortune) I was booked to DJ a masonic do Friday and Saturday night and they needed a piano because the hotel didn't have one!

I offered the use of mine and also offered to play background for them during the meals and the event organizer agreed....yippeee!!!

For those that can't be bothered going back and reading how this journey of mine started out...

Heres what I said in my first paragraph

"I am writing this journal in the hope that it inspires those who are later on in life (or come to think of it? at any age for that matter!) and still hold the dream that someday they can just sit right down at a piano and play for themselves, for friends or maybe one day for ££££'s!! (or $$$$'s for y'all over there)"

...and heres what I said when I joined pianomagic on Oct 1st 2003!!

Posted - Oct 01 2003 : 09:54:12 AM
I am a new member who is (I get the feeling) going to need some help. My story - I played the piano and started at 9 0r 10 and played until I was about 12 or 13. I was told many times not to give up and that I would regret it. I knew I would, but, I just got bored of practise.

I was always frustrated as a young child that I couldn't play by ear and never really realised it could be taught. I always thought you either could or couldn't! I have always regretted giving up the piano, as I love entertaining people. I DJ in my spare time which only semi-satisfies me, I love the buzz you get from the applause, but, I am only playing other peoples work.

My little boy who is 5 years old has started piano lessons in the last 6 months and to be honest it has given me renewed vigour to get back in front of the keyboard.This time there are no excuses I am going to do it!!

...Well Mike and all at pianomagic and all my friends at pianoworld...

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and here's a video that I recorded on my camera phone...it really needs editing but, I kind of like it as it is (makes it more real IMHO)

Because my disco rig is playing background music too I mixed in my live playing in between Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Ella etc

This fortunately gave me the opportunities to run through a song once before I played it out LIVE!!

As I say because of the background music the first run through that you'll see is just a practise that only you and I can hear...then at 3:43 I fade the music out over to my side and play it LIVE!!

Let me know what you think of this rather cool little keyboard

take care


Sunday, 10 February 2008

"More" fun with the Casio

Hi Gang,

Boy, I'm loving this new keyboard

I was playing around with the built in drum/rhythm machine yesterday, found quite a few rhythms I really liked especially the Samba one.

Whilst I was playing around I thought to myself I bet "More" would go with this

I haven't done much of this stuff in the past but, its such a blast and it sure beats a metronome

Mak is right new toys are so much fun [thumbsup]

MORE - Samba style {click Here To Hear}

take care


Friday, 8 February 2008

Traded in my casio PX-100 for a PX-320

Hi Everyone [Big Grin]

If you've not been reading posts at pianoworld recently you'll be unaware that I have finally let go of the PX-100 for a new PX-320 and what a big difference this piano is, I like it a lot (almost as much as my Yamaha Motif rack)

Here's how I let the folks in the digital forums know about it:-

The casio PX-100 finally had to go...I've traded it in for a brand new casio PX-320 [Big Grin]

The PX100 has been a wonderful piano to learn on and its size and weight have always been a big plus for me.

But, this year I've promised myself I'm gonna start gigging and today I test drove the PX-320 (just this morning in fact) and a deal to part ex the PX100 was done.

This is a fantastic keyboard [Big Grin]

128 note polyphony
The weight and the feel of the new keyboard is in a different league to the PX-100
The piano sounds are just beautiful to my ears
and it has audio outs so straight into my rig without using the rack every time and straight into audacity for recording and a SD card record facility built in, to boot!!

I like this piano a lot [Big Grin]

Casio PX-320 information

If you are maybe considering purchasing one and would like to hear how my new baby sounds

I've just recorded a brief jam to show the dynamics of the whole keyboard:-

Practise jam with my new PX-320 {click to hear}

Then a guy called Baz asked me:-

"Hi Lee, you have a lovely grand piano sound there but I was wondering if it had a more upright/bluesy preset? Any chance of a quick demo of it if it has? [Big Grin]"

"Can I hear the Rock Piano? I'm guessing that's going to be an Elton John type of sound but might be a useful compromise"

Unfortunately he had to mention "Elton John" and the "blues" ...unfortunate for me because Elton is so good and I'm not too good at playing the blues!

Nevertheless I had a stab at something for him to hear, here's what I said:-

"Hi Baz

Did you have to mention Elton John!! [Help] [Roll Eyes]

Basically just ignore the playing (cause this aint nothing like him ! [Ha Ha] )

And blues aint my strong point either so no laughing at the "bluesy attempt" at the end...okay?

Hope it helps

I guess this aint what they call the blues !! LOL
{click to hear}

Erm...Yes...exactly!.. I know what your thinking!! [Ha Ha]

Anyhow it seems that my piano sound would suit Baz perfectly despite the bad demo, the only drawback is getting his wifes approval for a new purchase!!! (Erm...Sharon just doesn't know about mine[Ha Ha])

So, just for a little fun and to cheer him up I played him a small sample:-

I guess you would call it the blues [thumbsup]

A small sample - Just to make you smile - LOL
{click to hear}

Oh what fun...I love new toys[Big Grin]


Lee[Big Grin]

Monday, 28 January 2008

Ski Holiday - disaster!!

Hi Folks,

Flew back into England late Saturday night after my first ever ski trip

here's what I told the folks at pianomagic :-

"Just got back from skiing in Austria, a holiday I didn't fancy at all (never have) but Sharon loves skiing and after many arguments I lose and off we go!

I have to admit I quite enjoyed it, got the hang of it (more or less)and on Thursday night went night skiing with Alexander (who had taken to it so well he ended up in upper advanced ski school, doing black runs, jumps and having a complete blast!!) and slipped going to the ski lift fell on my left ski pole and have partially ruptured my thumb ligament so my thumb is now in a very clever plastic removable cast for the next 5 weeks!! grrrrrrr!

Luckily I didn't fully rupture it which would have meant an operation to stitch it back to the bone or I would never have full use of my thumb again!!!!!

However, worse was to come on the final day (we were flying at 20:40 and being picked up by a taxi at 16:30) Sharon was hit full on by a snow boarder at around 11:30 whilst slowly skiing down with Sebby and has ruptured both her cruciate and interior ligament on her right knee.

The boys and I are back home safe and sound she remains in hospital in Austria where she had an immediate operation at 17:15!

The main damage was to her interior ligament which has been repaired and now will have to remain straight in some form of cast? but, unfortunately the cruciate has had to be removed and will need an operation to reconstruct it at some later date as that ligament when repaired has to be exercised and is the least important to knee stability.

Her cartiledge was also damaged and has been cut and reshaped...she is in better spirits today now the boys are safe at home and the morphine is taking the excruciating pain away (in her words worse than child birth!!)

I have tried to play the piano today a little and still can manage it to some extent"

Just thought I'd let y'all know


Here are some pictures of my hand in the clever plastic cast:-