Four countries in a week!

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'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, everything was ready, which elated my spouse! We could go on rhyming this post to ‘The Night Before Christmas’ but we think for all our sanities sake we’ll leave it there! The sentiment is relevant though - it is the week before Christmas, everything is (nearly!) ready, and the spouse is, indeed, elated.
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Honestly, it’s taken a bit of time for us to fully understand the ‘why’ of this blog. Why are we doing it again? Oh yes, to document our journey. But what journey? Yes we are travelling - but it’s not supposed to be a travel blog. Yes we are living in a van - but it’s not supposed to be a van-life blog either. Hmmm… Throw into the mix
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Four countries in a week - Electronic music duo The Love Tectonic are travelling the roads of Europe while they make their dreams come true. But just how many countries can you visit in a week? Click through to be inspired to follow your dreams too! - www.thelovetectonic.com
The oldest bridge in Prague

Ooooops!!! It’s been a wee while since the last post… here’s what we’ve been up to for the past few weeks 🙂

Wed 5 Sept

It’s our Super Anniversary today!! Wooooo!! That means that it’s 3 years since we got married! Yesterday was our Wiggy Anniversary, which was the actual official wedding day - so if we ever get captured and asked when we got married (to prove our identity, obvs), we need to remember to say 4th September as that is the date on our official marriage certificate. But 5th September was the wedding day that we wanted, the one that was outside in nature, somewhere really pretty with all of our friends and family. It was lush 🙂

Thurs 6th Sept

Drove from Deutsch Jahrndorf, Austria to Čilistov, Slovakia

Fri 7th Sept - Čilistov, Slovakia

Sometimes you’ve just got to get up and get ON IT!!!!!!

On with music that is!

Later on we drove to Telč in Czech Republic

Sat 8th Sept

Drove to Prague! Spent the afternoon and evening in Prague - so much fun!! Met up with an old friend from the UK and his girlfriend. Many beers were drunk…

Sun 9th Sept

Drove to Dresden in Germany!!!

Mon 10th Sept

Today we are in Dresden. At a stellplatze on a motorhome dealers! It’s really well kitted out though and fine for what we need.

I have been working on one of our tunes today while Bryn has been working on a mix. We’ve both become aware over the last few weeks that we have a tendency to put a lot of barriers in front of things. Like going, “well I can’t just get up and get on with music because I’ve got to exercise, shower, breakfast and meditate first!”. Well it turns out that you can get up and do music first thing if you decide that you can.

Before we came on this trip we’d been saying for months that we really wanted to meditate every day, but finding the time was proving difficult. And we’d already managed to make exercise a daily habit, which was great. And now, since we’ve come on the trip, we’ve both managed to make exercise and meditation daily things that we do. Yay! But I realised this weekend that it’s actually not serving me anymore. I’d started being ruled by the activity rather than me ruling it - and if I had a day when I hadn’t exercised or meditated I would get a bit antsy and say “oh it’s because I haven’t exercised/meditated so I feel out of sorts/not myself/fill-in-the-blank]”. I’ve realised this weekend that I don’t have to be ruled by that. It’s my choice how I feel. So if I don’t exercise or meditate first thing, there’s no need to ‘feel’ anything negative later on in the day.

We were finding that we’d get up at 8:30, then the whole exercise, shower, meditation, breakfast routine would take about 3 hours in total, then it’s nearly 12 noon and you haven’t even started yet. I know the days are our own and that the time of day doesn’t really matter, but still, psychologically, when you’ve been used to a 9-5 routine, getting started on your ‘work’ at midday doesn’t make you feel super productive!! So I had a think and realised that I don’t have to exercise and meditate first thing - it served me fine for a while and I’ve really enjoyed doing it (and it’s been really great just to get that into my routine so I can now tick it and say ‘yes I did it!’) - and instead I am utilising my morning clear-headed focus for what really matters in my life - music. Then after a morning on music, I can have a break for lunch - do exercise then - and get the awesome post-exercise energy boost so see me through the afternoon. Winner!!

Thurs 13 Sept

Ok, I’m being slack on writing this week! It’s because I’m in the music zone! Every day this week, I have got up and got on with music straightaway. And it feels so good! So right. On Tuesday morning I got up and thought to myself, I’ve got plenty of time, why don’t I meditate first? So I sat down and meditated. But within a few minutes I realised it just didn’t feel right! I was there, focusing on my breath - and occasionally getting distracted, as is par for the course with meditation - and I realised that I shouldn’t be using my morning clarity to focus on my breath - I should be using it to focus on music! So I stopped, got my laptop out and cracked on with the tune we are working on. And it felt good! It’s so nice to finally have this unwavering focus… I love it!

We’re developing a new way of working on tunes, which is great. It’s essentially playing to our strengths - me on arrangement and Bryn on the deep production and sound design. The tune we’re working on at the moment for example, I’ve spent the past few days working on my own getting the arrangement sitting well together. Then yesterday and today Bryn and I have looked at it together so we can decide on the final sonic elements together. Then Bryn will most likely take over for the end bit, getting all the sounds tweaked and sitting really well together, and finally, mixing it. We thought that we always had to work on tunes together, but we’re realising that sometimes a bit of time on it by yourself can actually be really beneficial.

Fri 14th Sept

Worked some more on the tune… adding in some ‘shape’ and ‘texture’ to the arrangement with little bits of percussion and risers, incidental noises and things. We’ve reminded ourselves of how intrinsic these elements are to a tune! We think that perhaps in future we need to put these elements into the track sooner, then we’d be able to hear the peaks and troughs of it better and stop searching for that elusive ‘perfect instrument’. Anyway, it’s sounding awesome and we are ready to work on recording final vocals on Monday! Wooooh!

Sat 15th Sept

Went out to explore the city of Dresden. We found out that a lot of Dresden was pretty much flattened in the war - apparently as retaliation for the bombing of Coventry in the UK? - but a lot of the historical buildings have since been rebuilt, in many cases using a lot of the original stone, salvaged from the wreckage. And there are so many beautiful buildings! Many dating back to the 17th Century (I think!). It was a really cool place to wander round with a camera!

And we drank beer out of boots! Which we’ve never done before so that was cool 🙂

Sun 16th Sept

Drove from Dresden to near Bremerhaven in northern Germany. It was a bloomin long way! Got stuck in a traffic jam (caused by, we later found out, a motorhome breaking down!!), and it took us about an hour and a half to go 8km!!! It was about 550km in total, pretty much all on the autobahn, which was a blessing - but hell it was a lot of driving!

Tues 18th Sept

Woke up to a beautiful crisp autumn morning at our home for the next few weeks in northern Germany. It is at the home of a friend of ours, someone we met when we were in Rota in Andalucia in Spain and he was travelling in his van. And it is just perfect here! We are in the field outside the back of his property - where we have electric too! - plus a little lake, and a gazebo with a firepit next to it. And tranquility. Peaceful bliss! Loads of mature shrubs and trees. And a small woodland! It is the perfect setting for us to get deeply immersed in our music for a few weeks.

Yesterday we had a busy day. Got our shopping for the week, gave the van a clean, managed to manouvre Dixie into our ‘field’ home and find the perfect spot, then spent the rest of the day recording vocals for the tune we are working on. The vocals are sounding really good! We’ve just got to comp them this morning (find and fit together all the best bits) then a few more tweaks and it will be ready for mixing. Oooooh!! It’s exciting!!

Lots of love

Heather & Bryn xxx

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