A Surprise View of Wonder – Happiness is Key

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Settling in to this tiny little Kia Picanto – ‘Welcome to the Hotel Kia Picanto’, as comfortably as one can. Seat far down, pillow, blanket and with the added tiredness from a two-hour drive, sleep came fast and easy. Arriving here at night there was no detail in the surroundings other than shadowy outlines of the mountains.

Then the sun woke me up “yo, wake up, check this out!”. My eyes opened and I screamed with excitement, the views burst brightly in my face, I was overwhelmed with joy and loving thoughts. Jumping out the car, breathing in the peacefulness of it all, the sound was pure, silence within beauty.

We’re so small in this world, surrounded by gigantic things. But it’s fascinating because even though we’re so small, we can create and build things so big! Everything around us was once just an idea sat in someones mind, that fridge, that postbox, that apple pie, that car etc etc. And if it’s a natural thing, then someone took the time and energy to study it, to give it a name, share it’s existence and teach others about it. It’s incredible, all of us, every single one of us, is helping to create the world and reality that we live in. Don’t let your ideas and dreams die!

More beautiful views below from a morning hike. Featuring a sheep that was annoyed at my presence.
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It’s beautiful. Being amongst nature this expansive is really inspiring and healing, like, everything is fine, you have time, you are alive amongst beauty like this, you are a part of this. Coming here was the right thing, I had a feeling of doubt and utter loneliness yesterday, that I felt lost on my path. But it cleared as I took the time to just be and not think about working or doing.

Take time to be a part of nature.


From hiking around Snowdonia to making noise around Caernarfon.

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The intent was to busk a little, as last week in Tenby I played many hours every day and my hands began to hurting a little, so to take it easy over the next few days is the plan + songwriting is a must!

The exploration of this place was fun! A very colourful and happy atmosphere/presence. A very friendly book store, where I purchased – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – actually recommended by a man I met in a hostel in Cardiff, it’s about someone who wonders to London with a violin and the intent to survive through busking. I feel it’ll be an inspiration with this journey I’m on and also push me to turn these blog posts into an actual book – now that would be awesome – to write a book!

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On an end note – Happiness.

Happiness is key, it’s so important!

What makes you happy? What really makes you happy? Forgetting materialism, fame and money. What makes your soul happy? Is it creating, is it making other people happy, is it drawing dragons on glass, is it playing football, is it playing games with your friends online, is it cooking, is it providing for your children…what ever it is – that’s the gift that will both grant you happiness and this world happiness!

Whatever makes you happy – do everything in your power to do that every single day.

Gary Vaynerchuk and his words help me out of the darkness inside and helps me understand life. His words have helped push my energy to pursue the goals and dreams inside. I recommend his words massively.

Happiness is key!


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Have a great day!

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Nice Spot for Songwriting :) + A Few Hostel Tips

Songwriting with a view! A lovely spot to spend the morning. Songwriting is something I need to make more of a habit, to extend my song selection and musical vocabulary. With the dual guitar setup I’ve found songwriting to be the best way to practice, as it opens up new technique ideas. Improvisation is also a great way to write songs, as at times ideas jump out like a frog running free from the hands of an excited explorer. But I at times feel improvisation leads to repetition, maybe that’s just me, I think that’s sometimes due to the fear of doing something ‘wrong’, so reverting back to the patterns and riffs that I know so well. But as my teachers at university said, within performing and improvisations there isn’t such thing as ‘wrong’, unless you state that is wrong, so I suppose just chill out and let it be!

Well here’s some ideas from the writing session. I want to change my sound by slowing down and being more melodic, I’ve been listening to cinematic scores recently so massively inspired by that. Check out this song, it’s beautiful;


A couple tips for staying in Hostels!

1. If you find clothes on a made up bed in a dorm, it’s probably because someone has claimed that bed.

I’d been in the Hostel for a few days, settled in etc. A long night of CD making in the main lobby, till about midnight maybe. Walking back into my dorm for sleep, to find a very large man spread out in my bed, my clothes scattered on the floor….. Okay? I had my journal and padlock keys under the pillow, he was far out. What will be will be, there were plenty of other beds to sleep in, but clearly, that bed was THE bed!

2. Not everything in the hostel is free to use. Especially fancy coffee.

Making breakfast and coffee in the morning (with a slice of ginger and Turmeric root added, it’s amazing, do it!). I leave to go set my table up and turn my laptop on to upload videos. Go back in, the same man who stole my bed was now stealing my coffee. Ha! I just laughed and let it be. His face and body language suggested he was a ‘tough guy’, my mind state was super relaxed I didn’t want to disturb the peace.

3. Keep your dorm key on you. If you get locked out, don’t act like a burglar!

Last night, about 2am I was flying across great big green landscapes, filled with volcanoes that spurt out this dark green gas, I was flying to land upon it… Then “ahhhhhhhhh!” THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP! The volcanoes dissipated and the dorm room screamed alive. The door sounded like a battering ram was awaiting to siege with an army. THUMP THUMP, followed by squeaking feet, going into the distant, then returning quickly, THUMP THUMP THUMP! I actual freaked the fridge out! ‘ahhhhh!’ whatever was trying to get in, was, f**king crazy! This happened for about an hour, because I was ridiculous tired I was totally in a freaked out mood. So I feared actually letting this battering ram in. AHHHHH! Hostels can be so so creepy! This is a YHA = Youth hostel, there were plenty of families here, so imagine the children’s fear when they heard the AHHH followed by thumping. An angry parent did come out and kindly (not kindly) told them to “shut up please” (didn’t say that). I mean really I should of let this man in, but he was freaking me out so much I didn’t want to move. Eventually he got let in by a staff member with a master key… But then he tried to get in bed with another person,
“What?! Excuse me sir! Get off! I think you’re sleep walking!”
“No I’m not”
“….get off me”
“Sorry”
Then climbed up onto the bunk bed in the loudest possible way. I had to contain the laughter, but also the fact I was freaked out so much.

So if you follow these three rules, then your stays at Hostels will be some what normal!

P.s. Hostels are great, they just have the potential to get a bit weird. But what’s life without weirdness?


A Busk in Tenby after a fantastic night sleep….

Today was great!


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Have a great day!

Church Doors Cove – Take Your Gifts Everywhere – You Are Important

This spot – Church Doors Cove in Pembrokeshire, is just beautiful!

An insanely captivating view with the best invitation to jump right in, swim and climb. Best thing, this spot is a couple minutes away from the YHA hostel in Manorbier. Every morning I’ve stayed here, this has been one of the first things I’ve seen. I love it!

I sat upon a high rock watching the water and songwriting, see video above.

All my stuff there. To the left of this picture was a couple of families, so I was partial supplying music for them, but songwriting isn’t really a performance, repeating things over and over slowly to gain precision. At least I thought it wouldn’t disturb the families – it didn’t – because the next day (as in songwriting was 20th,the next day-this day the 21st) whilst I was busking in Tenby, the Mom’s of each family approached me.

“I saw you at Church Doors yesterday, I thought you were busking but then I realised you were just in your own world. But it made it magic. It was really soothing and fitting to the spot, thank you”.

It was crazy that we bumped into each other here, or is it crazy? Because both Tenby and Church Doors Cove are tourists places to see in Pembrokeshire… What is crazy? Another question for another blog post.

From this I learnt that just being you and taking your gifts everywhere with you, not being afraid to just do whatever it is you do. Can open doors and give people something of meaning.

You are important, your existence is important.

Important means; to hold great significance or value.

You are of great value!

Goodnight, sleep well.

__________

Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Have a great day!

Stay Childish and Be Curious

As a busker, I spend a lot of my time sat down, in the middle of the high street, and often I people watch. It’s fascinating, catching snippets and creating stories of someones life; what are they doing, where are they going and what kind of person are they. This beginning almost opens up a hundred different avenues to go down and write about. But I want to write about the children that I see from a fly-on-the-wall perspective.

Children are curious, they’re creative and they’re just so amazed by the things that surround them. When they see someone playing music on the streets, their reaction is interesting to watch;

“look at that guitar man!”,
“look Mum, what’s he doing?”,
“whoaw, two guitars!”,
“wat u doinnnnnn?!”,
“what is that you are playing?”,
“can I have a go?”,
“my Daddie plays guitar!”,
“I play piano, and I’m really really good, I can play twinkle twinkle star, can you play twinkle twinkle star?”…

Their excitement just to run up and say exactly whats on their mind is wonderful, like they’re running towards you holding this colourful water balloon that pops and explodes into words, questions and wonder. Sometimes they’ll get really close to the ‘stage’ and just stare intensely, like they’re amazed but haven’t learnt how to react to it just yet. At times, this is the first live musical experience the child is having – how amazing is that? A human, a tiny and new to this world human has yet to discover where music comes from. Perhaps they’ve seen it on a screen before, but not yet in real life. That first experience of seeing live music, must be incredible, absolutely incredible. I can’t quite remember my first time experiencing live music, but I remember as a child I would always be amazed watching my Dad play chords on the guitar. The fact that this thing, this wooden strange shaped thing, would create such a cool sound, what the fridge?!

There’s a lesson to be learnt by children, a lesson I feel people neglect at times. But this lesson of showing curiosity. As following your curiosities leads you down incredible and life-changing paths. To ask questions about everything in life, “What are wasps actual purpose other than to annoy the hell out of us?”, “What would happen if I hung upside down and painted this forest that I see?”, “Where does that off-road path lead?”, “What if I just packed in this job I hate and move to Canada and work in a cafe?” etc etc. I could list a billion questions as there’s an infinite things to be curious about in this world and within our minds, but I don’t want to spend all of time writing questions, I want to spend all of time exploring my curiosities – “What would happen if I write daily blog posts and send them to magazines, companies etc? Could I turn it into a job?” (my current curiosity).

Elizabeth Gilbert writes in ‘Big Magic’, how following your curiosity is more important than following your passion. That you should learn to ask the questions that lead you onward. Each footstep being a new question, each question leading you closer to a new discovery, each discovery gifting you new knowledge, each bit of knowledge building further understanding of this world, then ultimately understanding which bit of the world you want to fit into, which job you want to pursue, which person to love, where to live etc. Curiosity takes you down this wonderful path, a path of growth and knowledge.

Children seem to have this skill of curiosity. I don’t have children of my own, I wish to one day, but I have younger siblings, and their curiosities fascinate me greatly. The way in which they word questions at times;
“Where are you going to live tomorrow? then where are you going to live next week?” – my little sister Emily asked as I was hugging goodbye, both leaving Forest of Dean, Emily leaving with the family back to Worcestershire, me leaving towards Cardiff. Perhaps the way in which a question is asked is different to curiosity, but it sits within context to how creative a child’s mind is. That process in her mind of, ‘James visits lots of different places, so where does he live? does he move house all the time?’, it’s her curiosity to understand something by just asking the question that comes to mind. Sometimes I feel as adults we get too worried about just asking a question, the fear of looking a fool or being judged by another, but you shouldn’t live in fear of what others think of you, otherwise you’ll never get to express yourself fully – just be you! Because YOU are you for a reason, we’re each different and unique, we all matter, YOU matter!

Following the curiosity of a child’s curiosity asking questions, I’ve started doing it more. Spending time in hostels, passes you by lots of people, all with interesting stories and knowledge to share, different views on the world, with great conversations and discussions to have. There was a stage in my life where I was too afraid to ask someone a question, so I would just presume the answer myself, which often lead to me being anti-social, feeling alone and sometimes depression would peep into my mind, “alone are ya? feeling like you can’t speak to anyone? yep, you can’t, alone forever, no one wants to hear your voice, sorry, that’s just the way it is” (now through the act of daily training in self-love and meditation, I stand up and push that awful voice away). I only wish I’d got the courage to ask people questions sooner, but it’s all a growing process.

Now when I walk into a hostel room and see someone, I’ll ask them a question about their presence here, unless their in meditation position sat on the kitchen table – don’t disturb their peace. But it leads to a wonder of conversations and I’ll always come out with new knowledge, they know the land better and can direct me to a cool place to visit, or they’ll share an interesting book to read or musician to check out, or suggest an idea with my personal travels. This curiosity has filled my journals with interesting entries and made my days so much better. Recently driving quite late to a hostel, I was feeling a little low and just wanted to shut off from the world, but to check into the hostel I had to walk into the bar, and I had to interrupt a group conversation, “where you heading dude?…awesome! Why? ….oh really you’re a busker? …I used to be too …yeah I travelled all over” = cool conversation that pulled me from the darkness my mind was brewing.

What I want to leave you with, is that – to follow your curiosities, to go on a life long epic quest to find the answer to all those questions that come into your mind from some place either internal or external. To ask a stranger why he’s shouting poetry on top of a phone-box (oh Theo, I do hope you’re okay). To ask the world where you should go. To ask yourself the deep questions inside, to ask questions to help you understand yourself more. To follow your curiosity in a career or university course. Trust me (or don’t, that’s cool, chances are we haven’t met), when you start following your curiosities it’ll take down some amazing paths, it’ll bring amazing people into your life, it’ll make you feel amazing and it’ll make you thirst for more questions and more knowledge. It’ll also help you discover what you do and don’t like, where you want to and don’t want to be, who you do and don’t want to spend your time with.

Curiosity + Action = Adventure & Growth

I do fear that some parents are shutting out curiosity within their children, like it’s a bad thing to be curious. I see and hear it a lot, a child will be trailing behind their Mum who is focused deeply on moving forwards and scrolling their phone simultaneously, “Mum! look at that man playing guitar! look Mum, Look!”, the Mum responding after the child shouts this 3 or 4 times, doesn’t look back at the child “Come on, hurry up, stop being slow!” – maybe the Mum is actually being slow here? Where the child wants to follow curiosity?
I’ve seen this scenario many times, now I don’t know the situation or the people, so I can’t make judgement on them, they could be rushing to drive somewhere super important. But from the body language of the parent I fear they get annoyed to often at their young for being curious. Is it so bad to ask questions? The child has sometimes pulled their parent to turn around, but they just shut down the child’s curiosity. Or the parent will drag the child away quickly, in fear that the busking man will infect them with a creative outburst – oh dam not that bug!

Look at this;

This little girl, Freda is just incredible, her Mum too. This is why curiosity is so important, because it makes us do wonderful things like this, it makes us happy! Look how happy she is just jumping about making up dance moves! If her dancing doesn’t make you smile, then…..


Thank you for reading my words and follow this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join my Patreon Page – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield/posts

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Have a great day!

Worcester River Cruise Gig – 3rd June 2018

Today was filled with many busking sets. A lovely response from the kind hearts of Worcester. The local street artist Tony, who creates beautiful chalk portraits on the streets of animals and fantasy worlds, collaborated with me today. He designed some of my homemade CDs;

Whilst playing across the street from him, he drew what the music inspired. He said he could hear alot of animals and travelling coming from my music, maybe that relates to my desires for travelling, veganism and my love for animals. Its interesting how that kind of energy comes from my music, different people imagine different things from it, the beauty of music, it can be intrepted in an infinite amount of ways.

Many new riffs and Improvisation bought many ideas to fruition. A perfect platform for practicing before a gig. My gig. Tonight was on a River Cruise down the River Severn in Worcester – http://www.worcesterboattrips.co.uk – the top link is a video from the set, my first song which was just a long version of ‘Change’.

A very fun gig it was indeed. The first gig I’ve played where the venue moves! I was unsure on what to expect and what kind of gig it was, it was more of a background music vibe, which is what I was hoping as playing a ‘real’ gig environment kind of frightens me at the moment, to have everyone’s full attention on you and the music, it’s quite a lot to take in. Especially as a solo artists, you have all eyes on you and can’t hide behind a drummer or singer!

But none the less, it was a fantastic day and I will continue to do more gigs to over come this fright and do more with my music!

Have a wonderful day!