Monday, May 18, 2009

Bicylces & Buddhists

James took part in the Etape Caledonian Cycle Race yesterday. It's an 81 mile race through Highland Perthshire. At one point it looked as if it would have to be abandoned because of an act of sabotage.
Hundreds of carpet tacks had been spread across one section of the road, causing several accidents.
There has been some local opposition to the race because some roads are closed for the event, and one group objected because it was being held on a sunday.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured and the race was only held up for 45 minutes. James' time was just over 4 hours. He looks amazingly fresh in the photo taken at the finishing line.

I decided to have a far more chilled out day and went along to the Wesak Celebrations at the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow.
Wesak is the Buddhist New Year and this particular event brings together Scottish Buddhists af all traditions.
I was asked to represent Scotland's Buddhist Vihara, which is the Theravadin tradition, at the opening ceremony. Venerable Rewatha headed the proceedings carrying a small Bodhi tree.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Mr Baxter's Highland Holiday

Question: What does a dog do on his day off?

Mr Baxter is currently enjoying a well deserved rest in the Highlands.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I was starting to get a bit bored with having all this time off so I've decided to take a holiday from the time off. I'll be back next week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Gypsy Cousins

I met my cousin Jim Pitts recently when I was in the south of England playing a gig for Big Jim Sullivan. Jim is a great blues singer.

We're going to be taking part in a memorial concert later this year at Hartlake Church in Kent as part of the Hartlake Tragedy Commerations.

In the 1850's a wagon carrying Romany Gypsy people, who were working there hop picking, went over Hartlake Bridge. The horse bolted and everyone was drowned.

Many of the people that were drowned in the tragedy were Taylor's. Jim and I are descendents of those Taylor's. I can remember my grandmother telling me this story and how many of my grandfather's family were killed in the tragedy.

What is very interesting is how many of us descendents are musicians. It will be good for us to remember our family by getting together and playing music.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Amazing Lisa

I'm always surprised when people come up to me after shows and ask me to sign old vinyl records that I made 30 years ago, sometimes they even have old concert programmes and posters for me to sign.

Lisa is an old friend of mine from Florida. A number of years ago she was in a terrible car crash that left her paralysed, and she's been in a wheelchair ever since. As Lisa poetically puts it "It's a damn long time to be sittin' on yer ass!"

Lisa is made of tough stuff, and now enjoys a wonderful life with her husband in a beautiful house by a lake in Florida.

She now has her own very successful international business designing wheelchair wheel rims. Many have been used by ParaOlympians.

So, knowing Lisa as I do, I wasn't at all surprised when she showed up at my concert in Washington DC last year with my mug enblazened on each wheel of her chair for me to sign.

The Amazing Lisa.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Woman's Hour in the Garden

I'm enjoying our garden today. I don't think the cherry blossoms are going to last for much longer, so I'm enjoying them while they last, and contemplating their impermanence in a Zen like manner over a cup of equally impermament tea.

I'm enjoying being off the road. Once I get started again it's going to be fairly intense, so I've got my feet up with a cup of char and BBC Radio 4.

Isn't "Woman's Hour" brilliant?! I was interviewed on it once by the lovely Jenny Murray. Not alot of people know that.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hank Marvin

I played at the Darvel Music Festival a couple of nights ago. I put a band together with Alison on vocals, James on Drums, Chris Hill on bass and David Newton on piano. We had a really terrific night. The audience was great and it was good for me to be back in Ayrshire again, my old home territory in south west Scotland.

I forgot to take my camera to take a photo for my blog, so here's a photo I made earlier!....Alison and I in Perth, Australia with our good friend Hank Marvin.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ven. K. Rewartha Thero

I've been visiting my friend Ven. Rewartha in Glasgow. He is the Sangha Nayaka (Head Monk) of Scotland, and soon to be of the UK.
We're talking about setting up a music charity for orphaned children in his home village in Sri Lanka.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Graduation Day

We're just back from London where we attended James' graduation. He's now an MBA (Masters in Business Administration)

We also had a great meal at Locatelli's restaurant to celebrate. It was a great day.