brian's soapbox

DECEMBER 2021

 

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS
As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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1 | 2 | 3

**Sun 19 Dec 21**
LIFE AFTER THE DOUBLE RED LINE
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Day 7 [Saturday] - and it seems to me the Covid positive red line is less strong today.

Bri with Day 7 Covid Test

DAy 7 Test

So I’m feeling that my immune system, with the enormous help of three Pfizer jabs, is now winning the battle against the invader. So do NOT be afraid - there IS life after Covid ! But DO be careful … you do not want this, and neither do your family. Thanks for all your great messages - in spite of my pleas for no sympathy ! Much appreciated. And yes … I did promise to tell you the story !

What I didn’t say ? All my love and gratitude to my amazing wife Anita - who was a warrior while I mainly slept through this - cooking up a storm and caretaking and holding everything together. Again. Who could be as lucky as I ? Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful Christmas.

This is my promised story. I hope it helps somebody somewhere.

Brian May: Life After The Double Red Line - 19 Dec 2021 - https://youtu.be/HT0I1vTcYMo

Transcript by j Tunney
E&OE

Hmm

[Music]

Well i just wanted to show you that you can actually play guitar after Covid.  Probably helped if you could play guitar before.  Nevertheless, he's an old friend, actually a new friend which i can talk about later.

But I just wanted to talk to you folks about all this that I promised I would, because I find it interesting and of course we tend to walk around very fearful of what might happen if we got this terrible plague. Well, it's kind of ironic for me, I guess for all of us you know. We carry on. We've been incredibly careful, Anita and myself, spraying, food and really not going anywhere - being very hermit-like in a way for the past what is it 20 months or so and then last Saturday we decided we would go to a birthday lunch and we thought, “Oh this is the last social function we will go to”, not that we go too many. “Anyway, we'll chance it. Everybody's triple jabbed, everybody's going to be with one of these things which says your negative on the morning - the lateral flow tests.”

So it seemed to be set up very safely but of course, yeah, you kind of know you're taking a risk, and so we all went to the party and I think it's useful for me to tell you this because you can make your own decisions. As Professor Whitty says, you kind of have to decide what your priorities are, and we did - and in retrospect perhaps we made the wrong decision. We could have seen him another time but that's history now.

But just like you to know, yes, it seemed like a safe situation. You have your negative tests. You have your triple Jab, so what could possibly go wrong? We thought we were in a kind of safe bubble, so we didn't wear masks not so it's worth knowing that now. If it had been a board meeting where everybody's sitting a long way apart maybe that wouldn't have been the case, but the new strain seems to be - the new variant seems to be - so incredibly transmissible I'm not even sure that would be safe. This thing is spreading at such an alarming rate.

So just so you know, I can tell you kind of from the other side now just for the few of you out there who haven't had this no, I can tell you from what it feels like on the other side. Saturday was when the party happened. Sunday Anita felt a little bit of a cough. I felt kind of all right - maybe a little snuffly. Monday we both started to have some kind of symptoms and we thought, “Oh maybe we've got some flu, whatever”. We're testing the whole time and we're testing negative, and Tuesday I hear that I think eight people from the party had already tested positive and had the Covid in their systems. And I realiaed that they had been testing negative up to this point as well. So, Tuesday night we tested ourselves once more and we were both positive. So, it took that long - Saturday to Tuesday - for the test to show anything, but I would guess we were infective all along that time, so that unfortunately the test doesn't give you kind of immunity from spreading it, it certainly would seem. Luckily we pretty much kept away from everybody because we had a bit of a feeling, so hopefully we didn't infect anybody else although I'm not sure.

We're now quarantining of course. and yesterday I showed you the picture with the lurid double red line very strong in my system. By that time [I’d] had two horrendous days, I have to say. It's like a really… like the worst ‘flu you can imagine really and felt very despondent.

I nearly came on here to sort of show people how pathetic I looked but I thought, “No, this is when I grabbed sympathy and it would frighten people”. But yeah, we were both poorly - me particularly. I was pathetic and just didn't want to talk to anyone - didn't want to see anyone - couldn't get out of bed. It was just filled with a mess in the head and all the ‘flu symptoms, the terrible cough.

Now Saturday - this is day seven you saw the test and it seems that the red line is weaker, and I feel pretty good. I felt pretty good the last couple of days so this thing does go away but of course there are so many people in hospitals right now who weren't jabbed, who are right on the line between life and death, and I can't emphasize to you enough, this is not the response that my body would have made on its own. It's making this response because I've had three Pfizer jabs and I beg you and implore you to go and get jabbed if you're not already, because you need the help.

I lost one of my very best friends to Covid very early on. Un six days it killed him. Could have done me the last six days but it didn't because of the jabs, and you know I despair seeing these people protesting against the vaccine and protesting against their rights being violated because they might have to wear a mask. Jesus Christ guys !!! - our parents fought through wars and had their civil rights kind of knocked away you know. All anyone's asking is for you to play your part to try and unite against this invader and it's a nasty thing and it isn't finished yet, so by all means protest.

You know I'm the first place first person to support people's rights to protest but protest against stuff that you should be actually concerned with. Protest against the ineptitude the arrogance the ignorance the deceptiveness the dishonesty of this Government led by Boris Johnson. Yeah protest. Protest against them killing hundreds of thousands of badgers. Attest against them pretending to be green, but at the same time licensing oil rigs and opening new coal mine. Get real. This is not about you. This is about us. This is about the Planet.

Seeing my past friend Piers Corbyn, who was in our Physics group - a very bright young man. So sad to see him losing his marbles and asking people to burn offices down.

I mean come on we need to get real. So, I'm here to tell you, if I may, it's not too scary. You can get it and if you're jabbed you can survive. You can see I'm pretty good. Don't be scared but be cautious because you don't want to get this. I mean this is obviously putting into our Christmas, but we'll postpone. That's just the way it is and we'll get better and I will get fit again. I’m already back on the bike. I’m already doing 100 laps swimming because fitness is vital for us getting back out on the road.

So, I've probably said enough. God bless you all. Take care out there be brave but be sensible. Be careful and let's all pull together to try and beat this damn Coronavirus.

God bless.



I can dream ! OK - back to narcissism now ! This lady, artist Sarh Rugg, has now quietly produced this rabbit out of a hat - and once again that talent is dazzling. I will definitely go through the whole Christmas season imagining I look as good as this !



Brian May by Sarah Rugg 19/12/2021 - https://youtu.be/G9Ki7ScHRNM

And we still have a few copies left of her beautiful book, which we, as the LSC, proudly published earlier this year. Check at the LondonStereo shop HERE.

With love - Bri


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**Sat 18 Dec 21**
THE DREADED DOUBLE RED LINE
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Yep. The shocking day finally came for me. The dreaded double red line. And yes - definitely NO sympathy please - it has been a truly horrible few days, but I’m OK. And I will tell the tale.

PLEASE take extra care out there, good folks. This thing is incredibly transmissible. You really do NOT want it messing up YOUR Christmas.

With love
- Bri


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*Fri 17 Dec 21**
RESPECT TO - PHIL CHEN
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Paying respects to the great bass player Phil Chen. These blurry pictures of him are from the back cover of my STARFLEET album … which will be next in line for re-release after Another World - coming soon.

Phil Chen
Phil Chen

Star Fleet sleeve



Phil was a great chap and a fine player - full of Caribbean energy and joy. He did a great job on my little session - with Ed Van Halen and Alan Gratzer. But he is probably most embedded in people’s consciousness for that wonderful octave-jumpin’ bass figure in Rod Stewart’s ‘Do you think I’m sexy”.

RIP Phil. Fondly remembered for always. Sincere condolences to his family.

Notice in the studio pics here Phil and EVH have playfully swapped guitars …

Bri


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*Fri 17 Dec 21**
THANK YOU - KERRY ELLIS
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Brian May - Portrait

Thank you dear @kerryellis79 !! A great Christmas present !!! And thanks of course to NENU ARTS. I hope the run into Christmas is treating you all well, folks.

Bri

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*Wed 15 Dec 21**
WE WANT YOUR FESTIVE STEREOSCOPIC SNAPS
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LSC - Festive Photos


News from the London Stereoscopic Company ! Here it is - from our lovely PR person Nicole - whose idea this was. I think it will be a surprisingly lovely book ! “At the start of the pandemic we invited you to send in stereoscopic photos of subjects that brought you joy during a challenging time on Earth. We were amazed by the standard of images we received from all over the world, capturing beauty in many different forms.

So we have decided to compile a book of some of the wonderful imagery, that will be published next Spring ....

And here we offer one more chance to be a part of this uplifting project by inviting you to capture joyful moments during the festive month. Please submit your work to nicole@londonstereo.com from now until 2nd January 2022.

Happy snapping!”

Cheers all !

Bri

(Photo by Elisabeth Frydenlund)


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*Sat 11 Dec 21**
THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW BRITAIN IS BEING RUN
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Over the years that Anne and I have been lobbying in Parliament for better treatment of animals, we have stuck to being a-political, finding support from individual Members of Parliament from ALL political parties for reform of the laws protecting animals.

But during that time we began to understand how Parliament works, and how it can be manipulated for the personal gain of MP’s, and for the accumulation of wealth of those actually holding Government posts. That this has actually been happening was recently confirmed in the scandalous revelations concerning Owen Patterson. So if anyone construes my reposting of this speech as me promoting a political party, that’s a mistaken impression.

I simply think this is the most honest and clearest exposition I’ve ever heard of the way our country has recently been run, by the professional politicians that we as a nation have been stupid enough to keep electing. How can this corruption possibly be allowed to continue ? Thank you Zarah Sultana.

Bri

Credit: @ZarahSultanaMP


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*Fri 10 Dec 21**
NEW “QUEEN THE GREATEST”
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New episode of “Queen The Greatest” podcast now available ! In which I revisit the Jazz Club Room at Imperial College where Rog and I first played together.

Bri


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*Thu 09 Dec 21**
IMMORTAL BEAUTY - COMET LEONARD
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Immortal Beauty.

---

A beautiful new visitor to our skies - captured by Jamie Cooper - Comet Leonard.

It’s been a while since I attempted this process - to give a wishful in-depth view. Toggle between parallel free view and cross-eyed viewing. Which do you like best ? Wishing you all clear skies.

Yes - it’s my own conversion process. How So ? Starting with the mono photograph, I make a copy layer in Photoshop, and, one by one, manually, I doggedly remove every single star using the rubber stamp. This gives me an isolated comet, if I’m careful to preserve its smoothness in the process. I can then subtract this layer from the original, which gives me the star field without the comet. Using “lighten”, I can then put the comet back on the star field, but now it’s movable ! It’s then easy to copy these layers alongside the original - so now I have a stereo in which I can move the comet slightly on each side, to place it where I want it in the 3-D space.

Finally I apply some ‘polishes’, slightly adapting the comet’s shape on one side - to give the comet itself some solidity. A small sheer on one side will make the tail slope off into the distance, making it look like the comet is headed towards us - (which it probably is in reality at the point) - and a subtle ‘warp’ on a small scale can make the nucleus look solid. So it’s all wishful thinking really - but it’s fun !



PARALLEL:

Brian - Comet Leonard - Parallel

© Jamie Cooper Phoogrphy (Brian May conversion)

CROSS-EYED:

Brian - Comet Leonard - Cross Eyed

© Jamie Cooper Phoogrphy (Brian May conversion)

Bri


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*Wed 08 Dec 21**
THANKS RORY KAPLAN
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Lovely !

Thanks Rory Kaplan, old pal !!!

Bri



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*Tue 07 Dec 21**
ONE BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS DAY AGAIN !!!
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Kerry Ellis feat. Brian May - One Beautiful Christmas Day
- https://youtu.be/G-dQp3-4fi8


One Beautiful Christmas Day Again !!! A small Christmas gift - enjoy our Kerry Christmas masterpiece once more !! Available on Youtube

link: https://youtu.be/G-dQp3-4fi8 and streaming apps ! Happy Yuletide Season folks !!!

Bri x


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*Mon 06 Dec 21**
WASTING THOUSANDS OF HOURS…
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Currently wasting thousands of hours trying to get my new Samsung TV to allow me to watch BBC etc. If I reset the whole thing, I lose all of the other log-ins. How did we allow TV’s to get so complex and impenetrable ? Or is it just me ? Anybody out there feel the same ? I yearn for a TV that you just plug in to an aerial and it gives you the News. I’m definitely becoming allergic to the Modern World.

And, kind folks, please don’t waste your time offering me technical advice. All I want is sympathy.

Thanks.

Bri


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*Sun 05 Dec 21**
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2021
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This is the only Total Solar Eclipse of 2021.



It happened yesterday, Saturday, but it was only visible from Antarctica - to a few lucky people and a whole lot of penguins !

This is my edit from the NASA live feed - showing just the few minutes around Totality - a bit speeded up. It’s not great - the image jumps about because whoever was operating the telescope evidently didn’t get the tracking quite right - you only get one shot at these things ! It’s also a bit hard to figure exactly what’s going on because the exposure changes a few times. Eclipse photography is very tricky. But if you watch this sequence a few times, you can see that the Moon is moving from left to right - achieving that amazing cover-up of the Sun’s dazzling face.

So first of all that descent sliver of the Sun’s ‘photosphere’ at top right gets thinner and thinner until it splits up into the famous ‘Baily’s Beads’ - shining out because we’re seeing fragments of sunlight briefly glinting down valleys on the Moon’s surface. Then these are extinguished and the full glory of the Sun’s atmosphere - the Corona - is revealed.

It’s the magic Totality moment.

After a few moments the Moon has moved on enough for the Sun’s surface to start to re-appear at the top left - giving that so-called ‘Diamond Ring’ effect. And then a sliver of brilliance grows quickly - making it impossible to see the Corona any more. The show is over.

People don’t tell you this, but in fact Baily's beads and the diamond ring are exactly the same physical phenomenon.

What is different is the way our eyes are adjusted at those moments, and generally the same goes for movie captures, as here. We’re adjusted for a bright scene when those last beads are seen before totality. But as the first Baily’s Bead appears AFTER totality it’s a shock - quite blinding, because our eyes, and the cameras, are dark-adapted.

Gotta see one more of these wonderful events before I check out !!! I advise you all to see it once in your life. It’s unforgettable !

Bri


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*Sat 04 Dec 21**
THANKS A-STRINGS - MOMENT TO REFLECT
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Brian - A Strings


THANKS A-Strings for looking after all my needs.

Bri

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I found a moment to reflect. Happy weekend, dear folks.

Bri


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*Wed 02 Dec 21**
HAPPY WORLD AIDS DAY
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Brian - artwork by Suzanne Duncan


Thank you Suzanne Duncan for this amazing portrait. I’m not going to ask how it was created (that’s impolite) - but it gave me a jolt, realising how it abstracts the struggles in my life. How wonderful that art and artists are always full of new surprises.

Happy WORLD AIDS DAY folks.

Bri


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