Tuesday, 23 January 2018

On A Fiction Kick

Just reading "Cold Hands by John Niven, a Christmas presnt from Fiona when I found two John Niven books I hadn't heard of. John Niven to me is essentially darkly comedic with some serious points, but this is marked as a "thriller". I got it because it was John Niven and following on from the first "Book of Dust" by Philip Pullman must mean I am on a fiction kick.

While "Cold Hands" is more Irvine Welsh with it's flashback sections there is no comedy in there. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's anything but, reminding vaguely of the TV Series "Tin Star" based on it's location / relocation premise, but something has just happened which is the literary equivalent of being hit by a truck (that's a good recommendation for a "thriller").

Outside it's black, grim, wet and cold and even the snow has gone. This is the sort of morning when the walf to work doesn't look so inviting, and I have a nine o' clock meeting which, shall we say , may be challenging, but luckily my views on systems are taken seriously so I am in a good place for it.

So what should I play. Yesterday I was listtening to Bob Dylan's "Tempest" his last great album, and found a Sony album sampler on Youtube so thought I would give you a taste before I set off for work. I love the sound of his voice on this album, and the lyrics and songs are brilliant depite lifting the "I'm A Man" riff for "Early Roman Kings" just wonderful.

Have a great day.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

When You Don't Have To Get Up and The Coconut Connection

... but at six AM you are wide awake. You sort of have to get up, it is nice and warm in bed and because it's weekend the heating hasn't come on yet. These days I'm finding the thought of having a shower a chore, especially early in the morning, but once I'm in I don't want to come out. I don't do cold showers so enjow the warm water and current shower gell is Coconut and Vanilla and current shampoo is Coconut and Keratin. I'm not a huge fan of coconut although I quite like Bounty Bars. Then when I'm in the shower I don't want to come out because of the chore of having to dry myself and put my contact lenses in, luckily I don't do make-up or hair drying, but in it's place I need to sort out my medications for the day and take them and inject myself. On a normal day this is all done before six thirty AM and today I will probably do the medication in the next hour (it's seven thirty now). So that is my usual start to a day.

They are forecasting snow or rain later and it's still dark now as well as still being cold with icy footpaths and iced up car windscreens. I was speaking with a lady who was clearing her windscreen yesterday. She said she was going in the car as she had already slipped and fallen three times, buut seemed in fine fettle. I thought she was maybe fifty and she told me she was seventy!! I don't know if my idea of what old people look like has changed as I passed sixty this year, but I do remember thinking sixteen was old, and seeing a documentary about Tyneside in the sixties and this guy was talking (I thought he was about forty, he was seventeen).

Anyway what song should I choose this mornin. Yesterday I was listening to 6Music and some guy was talking about band who exude joy in their performancesand one of the bands he metioned was The Avalanches guerilla sampling Australian Mad Hatters and  that has turned me on to "FRankie Sinatra" from their album "Wildflower" , love the song , love the video , love the band. Enjoy my friends. After this played "Frontier Psychiatrist" came on which contains the line "Crazy as a Coconut" so as it's the bands finest moment and because of the Coconut connection I have to include that as well. An Avalanche crazy Sunday.

Have a good day friends.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

And One More

Today I didn't really do much except getting some  essentials and refilling the bird feeders. It is still cold and there is still snow about, but it is Saturday night, the middle of the weekend for us Monday to Friday workers.

I've gone on in my last post about the number of words that I writes and I suppose even if I stopped this post now it's just adding to the number of words that I have written today and a few more more for you to find your way through. Well this is just over 90 words so far, so not that many for you to digest.

I've started watching the new Sky production "Britannia" and it's totally mad with David Morrisey and Mckenzie Crook hamming it up with some huge slabs of unspecified mysticism thrown in with this particular Roman invasion. I don't think I've TV like this since Robin of Sherwood , but because I've cancelled my NOWTV subscription (they didn't offer reduced rates when I said I was leaving), I have a week to watch the remaining 8 episodes, so a binge watching week coming up methinks.

This also uses Donovan Leitch's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" as it's main theme tune so that's another plus point,  but I'll leave you with this to listen to before I go to bed.

Sleep well my friends.


It's not yet eight o' clock , it's still dark (or was when I started writing this), there's snow still on the ground and the cars are white with frost and the footpaths dangerously slippy, and this is my 1500th post hennce the laconic numeric title. It's just over two years (November 2015) since my thousandth post here and when I started I wasn't sure how far this would go. Lot's of friends have started blogs and then left them and I have a few friends who still have current blogs such as the BBC writer Paul Campbell's cleverly titled Scriptuality and a few others.

On the positive side it's Saturday morning so I don't have to go to work and it has been a very intense but satisfying week, managing to get the impossible tasks and donkey work done and not having to worry about the coming week.

I need to shower, take drugs, get dressed then go out to shop for essentials after I've posted this, and start towards my 2,000th post my going on about nothing in particular.

This morning I'm attempting to record stuff to the PC, and while the guitar sound is great the original device I was using created a half second lag on the sound from hitting the string to hearing it, and lets face it Alvin Lee could have played a hundred notes in that time (see Ten Years After playng "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock to see what I mean. Techically it's just very fast and in tune , the song is just basic rock and roll and blues time. My daughter Kirsty was well impressed when I played her this.

I do find it amazing that I metion things on this blog to find I've never mentioned them before in the eleven years I've been writing this. Here's my first post and in the first couple of years the posts were barely notes and now you get a couple of hunderd words. I think possibly the longest post is about two thousand words when I sat down one day in Craster just to see if I could actually do it and it's here.

Anyway I need to kick start the day and I will leave you with Alvin Lee and Ten Years After at Woodstock.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Day After Yesterday

Yesterday we woke up to a decent snowfall, two or three inches deep in parts as I walked into work. We had sun and the snow started to melt. By the time I walked down Barrack Road the footpath was like slush driven slide. Because it was still so cold the melted snow started turning to ice.

I don't know if it's age or my lardy weight but despite a decent pair of boots I could not negotiate even slight iced slopes, each time having to find an alternative clear path which involved extra walking. This wasn't me being safe rather than sorry, it was me being forced to take a (slightly) different route to get to where I want. The final one being the path from Rosie's bar near the start of the Town Wall to the front door of Citygate. I could,t go on the path and the grass was reduced to a slippery muck, luckily the footpath round was level and partially ice free. Having thought about it no one else was walking on that slope either.

It's like the feeling you get on the bus when you are starting and the bust (apparently) slams on or goes violently round a corner , and I have difficulty keeping upright. Again is this old age or is it just that buses (I still think it should be spelt - or is it spelled - busses, the joys of the english language, I'm English and can hardly spell.

This morning looking out of the window ther is still a decent white snow blanket, though this will now be infused with ice so the walk to work may not be so comfortable. I will tell you tonight how it went.

February will mean increasing my daily steps by 10% to 12,250 steps a day but so far this month I am averaging more than that (12,650 a day at the end of yesterday).

Chris Hawkins played "Calling All The Heroes" by It Bites and that reminded me of the excellent "American Life In The Summertime" by Francis Dunnery http://amzn.to/2DpHDAvafter he left the band, which is what I'll share with you twenty three years after it's release.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Polish Wind

How do you pronounce that? Is it Polish  - relating to Poland or polish - to buff something up? Is it wind - the atmosmeric movement of air or wind - the ,ethod of tightening something up like a spring on a mechanical clock. Then the words wind, wined and, at a push whined could all sound the same when spoken, In isolation you wouldn't know what the person meant. Similarly wind and winned are both the same.

The English language is brilliant for writers and wordsmiths but must be hell to learn as a foreign language.

The reason that this came up is I was watching "Black Lake" last night and the police turned up and the word POLIS was on the car but the end of the word slightly obscured by snow and I though is that POLIS or POLISH ? "Black Lake" is well short on humour although absolutely excellent.

This is my first post in which I have mentioned Poland. Currently I have two Polish friends, Marek who runs RPM and Ola who I work with. At school I had lots of Polish friends and used to rehearse at Chorley Polish Club with my first band Cyrus Teed. I remember the first gig was a snowy night in Chorly and during the drum solo in "Wipe Out" the drum podium  (which consisted of four big blocks) split four ways leaving the drummer and crowd and us "surprised".

Anyway we have had real snow last night (see here on my instagram feed)

I have donned a large pair of boots because I would like to see what Nunsmoor is like covered in snow so that's a ¾ mike walk on snow covered paths but I will post a video on instagram if I get there before I freeze.

For absolute no reason apart from the smow / rain at the start of the video I'm including Jordan Reyne's "Shadow Line" which still gives be goosebumps, reminding me of the first time I saw her (documented here). Wrap up and be careful if you have to go out.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


For some reason my blog redirection is not working. It's actually a 503 not a 404 but I watched the dream sequence in Mr Robot and there was a 404 sign on a tree where a house was missing. It's been cold today but the snow dusted footpaths were fine but the walk across Nunsmoor almost took my face off (which many would say would be an improvement) but I warmed up once I hit the shelter of the trees. Tonight more snow is forecast and no doubt it will be very cold.

Snow looks nice and is fine while it is solid and crunchy but once it melts a little the freezes it becomes treacherous. I am not looking forward to that.

I'm currently flipping between Mt Robot and Black Lake on TV catch up , the benefit of Mtr Robot is that I don't need subtitles but Black Lake is creepy and scary and uses a possibly non existent language, so just a small smattering of the glut of excellent TV we have out our disposal and I still have to watch the latest Black Mirror and Orphan Black. That's three excellent series that have the word BLACK in their title. Are my viewing preferences trying to say something to me.

I've been listening to Blue Oyster Cult's "Fire of Unknown Origin" which is a bit rock by numbers. There's probably three songs on there that are worth continual revisiting, the sword and sorcery of "The Pact", the drum heavy Michael Moorcock collaboration "Veteran of The Psychic Wars" and the bona fide classic "Joan Crawford (Has Risen Frome The Grave)" which I've included or you delectation with a great video and slide show.

Wrap up well and keep the heatig fired up, it's going to be a cold, cold night.