Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

How Jazz Influenced Pop Music of Today

The history of Jazz is deep, varied and its influence has seeped into many genres from hip hop to pop and even rock music. This genre of music can be sometimes misunderstood as ‘too complex and enjoyed by music snobs’ or ‘background music at a bar’, however, it has likely had an effect on some of your favorite artists! Let’s take a closer look at its early origins, characteristics and find out how jazz influenced modern pop music.

Jazz origins

New Orleans is hailed as the birthplace of jazz music, originating in the second half of the 19th century. It was a melting pot of different cultures, all mixed together, sharing and playing their music. Born not long after the abolishment of slavery, jazz signified emancipation, freedom of expression, and experimentation. It is a unique blend of rhythms originating in West African music and the variety of instruments and harmonic chords used in European music. While we can trace its roots back to the late 1900s, jazz really got its ‘big break’ around 1920, in the era of ‘roaring twenties, which made it an overnight success. Musicians like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie all came into prominence. Since then, this diverse, complex, and exciting genre has morphed into other forms and influenced many genres of music we know and love today. At the same time, it hasn’t died out and still maintains a vibrant music scene of awe-inspiring jazz musicians. Let’s take a look at some of the key features of jazz and how they have influenced popular styles like pop, rock, and hip hop.

Chord progressions

Jazz typically uses a lot of extended chords, moving away from the standard three-note triad. We notice the use of 7ths, diminished intervals, 9ths, 11ths, and sustained chords, among others, creating colorful harmonies. These chords add more complexity to jazz music and are powerful ways to create tension and add a broader range of emotion into your performance.

Harmony

The harmony created by these extended chords is vastly used in R&B, neo-soul, blues, and folk. Jacob Collier is an excellent example of someone who uses jazz harmony extensively in their music. It also appears in the songs of popular artists like Lianne La Havas, Celeste, Hiatus Kaiyote, and countless others. Exploring intervals beyond the 3rd, 5th, and octave allow us to add a different flavor to our compositions, and jazz has heavily influenced the currently popular r&b and neo-soul artists as well as classic pop songs.

Song structure

Jazz steers away from the traditional pop song structure of verse-chorus or ABAB. Instead, it often uses AABA song structure or even ABABC, and it generally offers much more room for looser structures for artists to explore. We can see this influence used heavily in The Beatles’ music, for example, in the song ‘Honey Pie’. When it comes to more current artists, SZA is very prominently influenced by jazz song structure. Her songs feature multiple sections that all sound slightly different. This way, she keeps it interesting for the listener, encouraging them to keep coming back, as the songs are less predictable and keep our attention for longer. Improvisation and call and response are heavily featured in jazz, emphasizing its freedom of expression and an exciting way to communicate through music. These meticulous improvisations, which seem so effortless also make the jazz song structure much less rigid, compared to pop or classical music.

Rhythm

Jazz music is characterised by its swing rhythm but it’s also an endless resource for ear-catching rhythm elements! Syncopation, off-beats and infectious grooves are found everywhere in jazz. This genre has also been influenced by samba, bossa nova, and afro- Cuban beats, which have found their way into current pop music. We hear jazz-influenced rhythms in the music of Amy Winehouse, Tom Misch and many others, whose memorable grooves make us want to listen again and again.

Jazz influence in Pop

You may assume that pop music and jazz have nothing in common, due to pop’s rather simplified and straightforward elements. But the truth is, it’s heavily influenced by jazz, especially now that we see more neo-soul and hip-hop artists come into the spotlight and dominating popular music. Jazz musicians often feature on pop artist’s line-up, due to their varied and impressive skills in sight-reading, improvisation, and quickly picking up complex material. We see these examples countless times in live touring, for example, the impressive multi-instrumental bands that support artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and more. Music production is another example of how jazz-influenced pop music like Quincy Jones’ work with Michael Jackson. Quincy had worked as an arranger with Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie. His heavy jazz influence can be heard throughout Michael’s discography. If you listen closely, you’ll notice it in many of today’s popular artists, too. The funky disco-pop music of Charlie Puth and Dua Lipa, for example, has clear jazz influences in their syncopated basslines and energetic grooves.

Jazz influence in Rock

Rock seems an unlikely genre to be influenced by jazz but bear with us. This style of music has originated from rock’n’roll, which derived from blues music. Jazz has derived from blues too and yet it has also crossed over into rock. You’ll hear its influence in bands like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and artists like Jimi Hendrix. ‘Time’ by Pink Floyd is an exceptional example of jazz influence in rock due to its unusual structure, chord changes, and harmony. Radiohead, for example, is usually put into the rock category, but records like The King of Limbs and the presence of drummer Clive Deamer, of Get the Blessing, would suggest otherwise. We hear their jazz influences particularly on songs like ‘Little by Little’. And so, rock is another genre that hasn’t escaped the influence of jazz music.

Jazz influence in Hip Hop

In today’s popular music, hip hop reigns supreme. And of course, it’s strongly rooted in jazz, which brings us full circle, showing the full extent of how jazz influenced modern pop music. Hip hop originates in sampling culture and there are countless samples taken from jazz and reimagined in hip hop. According to Who Sampled, Herbie Hancock has been sampled 984 times, Miles Davis 293 times, George Benson 290 times. The complex rhythms in hip hop very clearly derive from jazz with their energetic, syncopated beats and off beats we have come to love and get accustomed to in popular music. Hip hop and jazz are also tied together by their use of improvisation. Jazz musicians will often improvise over sections of the song, ‘communicating’ with each other through call and response and bouncing ideas between themselves. Hip hop expresses itself in a similar way through freestyling and improvisation that lets us take an unedited peek into the artist’s raw vision, background, and musical ideas. While jazz has influenced countless artists and so many of our most popular genres, it has probably had its strongest influence on hip hop.

The Key to Managing Personal Finance

Personal finance is something many people do not take very seriously. That is why so many people are fighting with debt problems. Personal finance is about keeping a balanced debt to income ratio and ensuring that expenses never exceed income. Personal finance is crucial to keeping a good credit record and maintaining credit worthiness.Personal finance starts with a budget. Every person should have a budget to track and mange their income and expenses. A simple budget lists all income and all expenses for a month. The bottom line of a budget is that the income should never be less then the expenses. Should the expenses exceed the income the person is going to have to cut back on expenses. They should start by cutting out non-essential expenses. This can be difficult, but for someone wanting to be serious about their personal loans, it is important. Budgeting takes a lot of self control and little sacrifice.The next step in finance is managing debt. Most people have some debt. Debt is essential for building credit. However debt should never become overwhelming. A person should make a list of all debt. The list should include the name of the creditor, the amount of credit, the amount of debt and the interest rate. If there is any debt problems they should be handled immediately.Next is credit. If a person is easily handling their budget and their debt then they can consider getting more lines of credit. However, if a person is not handling their debt and budget then getting more credit is out of the question. A person should also make sure they understand all of their credit obligations. This includes all terms and conditions.After a person has all of their personal loans in order they need to look them over. They should check to see if they are struggling with anything. If they are then they need to manage their finances to get them back in order. This may involve some credit counseling or debt consolidation. A person should be committed to whatever it takes to get their personal finances back in order, so they do not suffer damaged credit or financial difficulties.Now that a person has organized their personal loans, they need to manage them. Managing personal finance is about sticking to a monthly budget, keeping debt under control and not getting overwhelmed by credit. Management of personal finances is on going. A person has to review every month to ensure they are not over extending themselves or breaking their budget.Personal finance is an important topic. It is something everyone needs to think about and something everyone needs to control. Too often people let their personal loans get out of control. It is this that leads to debt problems and eventually financial difficulties.A person that controls their personal finance will be using their monthly budget, keeping up on debt and not over extending themselves credit wise. A good, well managed personal finance is going to produce someone who can afford their lifestyle and who benefits in the form of a good credit record.