Friday, 28 February 2014

So Shattered ....and Oasis



Last night was in bed at 7:30. I just dropped into bed I was so tired, I obviously need a holiday (which will start with a five hour drive tomorrow). Anyway I am awake now and discovered a cover of The Beatles "Birthday" by Oasis on Youtube. I'm surprised that Oasis didn't cover more Beatle's songs , well I suppose they did but just changed the words and titles and put Gallagher on the songwriting credits .... allegedly. Just a joke. Oasis have done some excellent stuff , though my mavourites are Champagne Supernova, Step Out (a Stevie Wonder lift for a change) and Acquiesce.

Still feeling tired , but it's my last day for a week, so I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Twenty Minutes Late

Car Parked Outside The Cottage
It's amazing how an extra five minutes in bed can make you twenty minutes late. This means that this post will be extra extra short.

Also when you are writing you often get onto a roll and before you know where you are there goes another twenty minutes.

I still have to do my voice only post, but will do that in Shropshire I think, with trips to Stradford planned and lots of quiet walks I hope.

This is where I will be staying , and it's usually fairly quiet so signing off as it's time to leave for work now. Have a great day everyone!



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Another Morning



The days are getting lighter and yesterday we had sun and blue skies. We're still in February but March is here on Saturday when I start a week's holiday , not a moment too soon. I am looking forward to not doing my normal 11 to 12 hours away from home day thanks to the current work regime.

I am very happy to have been chosen as a World Book Night giver again and looking forward to that on 23rd of April. I have some ideas on how I will be giving away my 18 copies of Matt Haig's The Humans. I've ordered my own copy as I need to have it read by April 23rd , I like to be able to tell people about the book.

Just listening to Chris Hawkins on 6 Music and he's playing Royals by Lords,  then followed it by Blue Moon by Beck which at the time of writing is available as a free download (click on the link), but I'll include the Lords track. I was surprised to find that she hails from New Zealand. It never fails to amaze be how many great things emanate from the antipodes. Where would we be without them.

Anyway I need to get off now, so have a wonderful day.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Seven Hundred and Two Days For Your Diary


This is my seven hundredth blog post and this morning I was informed that I have eighteen copies of The Humans by Matt Haig to give away on World Book Night 2014 on April 23rd, that's a Wednesday this year. I have some ideas how to schedule it and this year I have less to go round so I will make sure none get wasted, on people who's cultural highpoints are Top Gear and Bake Off programs.The premise sounds brilliant:

"One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world's greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears.

When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he's a dog.

Can a bit of Debussy and Emily Dickinson keep him from murder? Can the species which invented cheap white wine and peanut butter sandwiches be all that bad? And what is the warm feeling he gets when he looks into his wife's eyes?"

Sounds brilliant doesn't it? I do have my copy on order and will have it read before the give away occurs.

On 19th Of April (I think because it doesn't tell you the date on the site, just a countdown) it's National Record Shop Day, well that's what I call it , so I will be visiting Reflex and RPM and Beatdown and JG Windows in Newcastle and buying some product. These days are now very big and great fun, with lots of events, and I'll post more in the run ups to both of these events.

Time for bed now, happy seven hundredth post to you all, and it the words of James .... "How Was It For You?" , here's to the next seven hundred.

Last Night I Had A Dream .... A Very Weird Dream



..and I've woken up exhausted. This was a real dream in which nothing made any real sense while also being vaguely familiar. I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day with it, but there's nothing major in it, just a lot of weird juxtapositions. Here goes:

I'm at a skating rink or bowling alley meeting up to go to a Syd Barrett (original leader of Pink Floyd) concert (he's long dead and only die hard fans would attend) . When we get to the venue , a small theatre I meet up with hris from work (who is getting married in a couple of weeks and I'm with my daughters and a few other friends. Syd Barrett comes on stage , which is at the same level as the stalls, but he's obviously out of it so I get up, hold him up, and I sing the first song for him , before he's taken away and a tribute concert then takes place.

After the gig we wonder about going for a meal , there are two Mexican / Indian Wetherspoons pubs restaurants, one called the "Droopy Bell" with a logo of a Bell Pepper. We decide on the other restaurant and at this moment are in an area reminiscent of Newcastle's Haymarket. , coming out of roughly where Boots is now (may we'd been to Sergeant Peppers, but the "Bell Pepper" was where the Metro Station is. We decide on the other restaurant

On the way I'm then with a friend who's a pub owner who needs to order some replacement aluminium beer kegs, so while he's doing that I decide to let people know by phoning them. My phone is out of charge, so I look in my satchel and find an iPhone and wonder what that is doing there....

Then I woke up and thought what he hell was that.

Hope it's kept you entertained, and I have another post to do tonight but I need to get off to work. Have a great day everyone and hope I haven't twisted your melons!

By the way all the drugs I take are purely medicinal , honest. And by next blog  post will be number 700!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I'll Be Damned If I Just Can't Be Happy Today

Not me , but a heck of a lot of people. Last night I got a good sleep, and had a relaxing day , barring the chopping of logs for the wood burning fire. So many people are going round looking for people to blame for anything they can think off. I remember last year a couple of old guys nearly coming to blows in a betting over over who was to blame for the snowed off race meeting , the government or the council.

Similarly  you have the tabloids whipping the public up into a panic of weather , immigration, benefits , heath, whatever.

If you want to get retweeted on Twitter you have to tweet something bad or derogatory or a complaint, probably why I only have a massive 24 followers on my account mikeydred96.

The thing is there are loads of brilliant positive things in the world. If something goes wrong deal with it with help from your friends, it's what they are there for. So many seem to want to play the blame game , I prefer to fix things.

I look for things that put a smile on my face , and they are majorly abundant, although the major ones is people talking to to me and sharing good times. I just wish more people would do things like that. I am proud to have great encouraging friends all over the world who look out for me and always have good news for me and make my day happier.

So my message for today is , you sunshine people out there who keep making my day , please keep making mine and other peoples day, and those out there who play the blame game, try not to , look for something positive , buy someone a present , phone someone. So today I'm going to  post two videos, one The Damned singing the track that inspired the titls and the wonderful Simon's Cat. I am NOT a cat person but these cartoon are brilliant. Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Knocked Out .. Loaded



Having to give the Ben Waters , Nine Below Zero gig a miss because of the cold and getting run down. Although I thought it was a Ben Waters gig, then I find it was Nine Below Zero featuring Ben Waters, which is not a bad thing but I really need to sleep and recuperate. So I've included Ben's imprmptu Eastern European Style Version of Johnny B Goode in Australia which shows what a versatile , clever and humourous keyboard player he is.

Again that's not  a bad thing, it just means I need some rest, there will be other gigs , and the weather is improving (lots of blue skies this morning).

And that's to Youtube and Catch Up TV I can watch things from the comfort of my front room. I love going t gigs but sometimes your body tells you no, and you need to listen to that. I'm going to have an early night, and get lots of rest to make sure I am going to be in tip top form for Sunday..

So an early night for me , you enjoy your Saturday Night everybody.

Because i Can ....Be Happy



Just woke up , and it's 2am here and I'm just posting because I can. I feel wide awake , but 2 am is not a good time to be wide awake unless you're at a party. But there's no work tomorrow so I can do this. It's also an excuse to include a brilliant TED Talk on the "science" of happiness and it is worth watching. One of the reasons I blog is so that I can remember things that I've enjoyed, sometimes it will be a gig , sometimes something I've seen on the web , meeting with friends and lots of things and that's why I leave it  open to the public because others my find itinformative and worth reading.

I'm a fairly public person on the web, easy to find if you want, but I suppose the blog is fairly selfish and self centered, itn that it's essentially for me, and if others want to come along for the ride then so be it.

I really didn't intend this post to be much more than a sentence , but it's amazing how sometimes once you start writing words seem to just flow from your fingertips. Whether those words are worth committing to some permanent medium is a different matter (M Knight Shyamalan and Dan Brown I'm thinking of you, but it's made you both a hell of a lot richer than most people, so as usual I'm in the tasteful minority here).

Anyway I'm going to try and get back to sleep, but really check out Dan Gilbert's talk, be happy and have a great weekend.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday Is Here



I know it's not the last working day of the week for everyone but it is for me and a lot of others. The Arctic Winter and Bulgarian Invasion forecast by the redtops and tabloid rags never appeared, so generally life is good, and thought it was time I posted something.

I do intent to do a blog post by talking into my phone and maybe I'll do that this weekend, and I also need to do some more recording. I have in my head an idea for an album, although I can't say a thing about it as the title will give it away, although it's probably already been done but not by me , yet. The old Apple iPad with Garageband will be my recording studio for that.

I've also keeping up writing my book , with an October finish target and that I will hit. Anyway I'm drinking Lemsip to stave off my cold and will soon be leaving for work. There are lots of Friday related songs but there's only one I'm going to leave on here for you , The Cure's Friday I'm In Love (again).

Have a great Friday everyone, I certainly will.

Monday, 17 February 2014

When You're Happy


In my last post I said I wasn't impressed with Pharrel's Happy. That's just my opinion and I know lot's of people who think it's wonderful, ad let's face it , it would be a boring world if we all liked the same thing.

If you#re happy it makes life much better, things may cause us problems , but these are times when you need to hook on to what makes you happy . It may be friends , family , music , films , books, a TV program , something inspiring , just go to what lifts your spirit. Happiness brings on amazing positivity, it helps you make life better.

We all have lot's of things that make us happy and they are usually not very far away.

This post is not a very Monday morning post as it's the start of another weak , but I have lots to keep me occupied on my journey to work, I know I will laugh a lot while I'm at work , and I know I will enjoy the journey home. I may see a gorgeous sunrise and good things may happen that I have got a clue about and life is really about looking for and appreciating these things . The more things you can find that make you happy then the happier you can be, and the happier you are then life is so much better.

So find the sunshine in everything and have a great start to a great week. And these means I can post my other favourite song called Happy by The Carpenters, my mums favourite band and she loved this song as well!.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Just An Excuse to Be Happy!


I've had a fairly quiet weekend, watched some TV and read the papers, quite impressed at the coverage that the sad passing of Sir Tom Finney got in the media. Anyway it's the end of the weekend now and another week awaits. I can't say I'm looking forward to going to work but I am looking forward to having a good crack with all the good friends I have made there. I also know that I actually have a lot of good things going for me.

A quote from watching Channel 4's Babylon (which I enjoyed) . "I love going to work, It's the eight hour wait to go home that I can't stand!".

Today we had blue skies and sunshine, though it has been very cold without actually freezing. It's still February so I suppose still technically winter, but the sunshine is on it's way back and spring is coming.

I've been listening to some British Sea Power today, their latest album "From The Sea To The Land Beyond" which is wonderfully atmospheric. But I really must get recording and writing again which I keep promising to do.

There was a phone call last night for a plastic surgery appointment which I've had to cancel, but may be rescheduled in  May although I think it's linked to the specialist appointment I have in August about the damaged nerves, but we shall see soon.

I finally heard Pharrel's Happy today, and was shocked how insipid it is. The Carpenters and Rolling Stones both have songs called Happy that are actually joyful.....now which one should I choose.

Anyway I am going to make the most of what is left of the weekend, I hope you do too. Have a good one.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Tom Finney A True Great

Sir Tom Finney
Yesterday was Valentines Day and we lost one of the greatest footballers of all time, a hero of mine, and a Preston and England legend. He was 91 , and a perfect gentleman and exemplified dignity and how to conduct yourself, as well has having a good sense of humour.

He never swore but was no pushover and when the mercenary football authorities uprooted the National Football Museum from it's home at Deepdale he told them they couldn't have his memorabilia. I'm sure it gave them more room for for their Coke and McDonalds advertising.

There will be far better obituaries than I could ever write , so check out the Preston North End Forum , the Preston North End site , and the BBC , there will be many more.

The thing is he left a huge legacy and I just love Bobby Robson's stories of him. An excerpt from his book is displayed on the right.An exemplary servant to Newcastle United.

Football today is all about money, with very few loyalties manifesting themselves. While I agree you have to make money in order to provide the entertainment, now clubs just see fans as cash cows, managers are expected to produce instant results and if they don't they are often sacked immediately.



My Tom Finney Shirt
Sometimes even if a manager has done well he sacked after a run of recent bad result. Recently Swansea dispensed with Michael Laudrup's services, Fulham dismissed Rene Meulensteen, Cardiff got rid of Malky Mackay and we're probably not finished by a long chalk. A list on the BBC is here.

These are all Premiership dismissals basically because club owners are scared of not being in the Premier League . The Championship is going the same way due to parachute payments, so League 1 and League 2 are the highest leagues where you can see real competition, where teams play on a relatively level
playing field.





Tom Finney's memory is a shining beacon that people today should emulate but  too many just look for what they can get without regard for others.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

And Another Thing....

I was speaking to a few work colleagues and friend and was surpried how many people read this blog. Even if one person reads my post it's a success as far as I'm concerned. I write because I want to, and to remember things  and to let other people know about things and also to give ideas for my ongoing book , which I am still working on.

So if you are reading this, a big thank you for taking your time and reading my ramblings. And it's great the way writing can trigger something that you've forgotten about. I was meant to send a my dear friend Mick Errington details of walks in Northumberland. I feel a little as though I should be in the doghouse but I will phone him tonight.

Anyway thank you for reading and there's only one song for this, Iggy Pop's Success from his Lust For Life album.

Superstitiously Moving Through a Big Country Storm


I'm writing this somewhere between London and York using my USB Tethered Samsung Note. I'm not sure how long the connection will last, but it is actually fairly robust, but it's the first time I've done it like this. Having said that the train has just come to a halt, not always a good sign. I'm on my way back to Newcastle and given the storms and bad weather we have had recently, just a little apprehensive, is is the 13th after all and one of my friends was delayed by four hours on this line yesterday getting home at one am. Teres a lot of related stories on the BBC here.

The weather today has actually been very good and it makes you feel much better when you are going home. Some lovely skies but I can't photograph them as the windows are so dirty.

The seats I'm in are supposedly reserved to York so I may have to move when I get there, but I'm sure I can fine another seat. Two Japanese girls who gave me a bar of Kinder Surprise thought they had reserved seats but they were half an hour early on their train, the conductor let them off though which was nice. I've seen one of their seats is from London to Berwick so I'll nab that one.

So appropriately I'll include The Storm by Big Country from the first album, which should be in your collection and if it isn't , why isn't it?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Always Have The Sound Of Music Around You

I've thought, sometimes when the house or work is quiet, it is always made better by some form of sound, usually music. So when I'm reading on the train I have music playing , and when I used to work from home I always had the radio on or some other music playing. I do believe in an office you shouldn't be listening to music as people may want to speak to you and it's rude and unprofessional not to be available. I quite often have to ask people if they're on a call or not. I only listen to music when I'm on my own , and if someone phones me I can pause , switch off and give my full attention.

Music and sound is a wonderful , wide ranging experience  that definitely can benefit you in seemingly intangible ways. Also picking up a musical instrument is uplifting as well, actually producing music of your own.

I found this footage of the brilliant Blair Dunlop covering the wonderful Richard Thompson, two fantastic guitarists I've had the pleasure to see live a few times.

Anyway enjoy the rest of the weekend.

The Sky May Be Grey But Birdsong Can Alway Lift Your Heart

Today is cold and grey , but I had a good night's sleep, and was woken up by birdsong. All around the world you can see and hear them and, barring the rasping noises of Magpies and Crows, lots are truly amazing and beautiful , and uit's great to just lose yourself in the wonder of nature and the natural world to which they belong. There are a lot of recordings of birdsong on Amazon if you want to relax yourself.

Sometimes you almost just want to pack in the rat race and join in with nature, but then if I did that I wouldn't be able to broadcast this. It's ironic that technology and progress enables us to appreciate things that we couldn't have thought of even fifty years ago.

So if things are stressing you there is nothing better that some natural sound, even if it's on a music player.

And that reminds me of many years ago a good friend of mine playing me an LP of the TT Races. I though it a little odd , but then noticed albums of trains and other noisy vehicles. I 'm not sure if you get such things on CDs.

It's quite amazing how nature can make you feel good, and if you feel good then you are better equipped to deal with the bits of life that may challenge you. Still I would like a bit of sun and blue sky but for now I will make do with birdsong and music.

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Rainy Day


Turkish Grand Bazaar - Grainger Market
Well today started with blue skies , but very cold, now we have a bit of rain. It's nice to have a restful weekend . I visited the Grainger Market  and got some amazing bookmarks from the Turkish Bazaar, which I instagrammed at Christmas as well.

I then wandered past Reflex and saw an impressive looking Ron Kavana boxed set for under three quid  called "Irish Ways - The Story of Ireland In Song, Music and Poetry". It's available quite reasonable on Amazon as well here





CDs from Reflex plus a Bookmark
Obviously this talk of music as well as bookmarks means I do need to put something relevant to the post on here, but should it be British Sea Power or Ron Kavana?

I love both these artists  and recommend both to everyone, and you can find lots of both of them on Youtube.

But having thought about the British Sea Power
 preview of the album I've bought would be a perfect addition to this post, and it could whet your appetite if you don't know them.


Anyway I will leave you with this as I get off to bed, sleep well all.



Friday, 7 February 2014

Quietly

A POster From My Phone
Well this is the third post in a row I've done without a music video. No particular reason , though I am very tired as I type this. I've also been fairly quiet on twitter and and instagram has slowed down , probably because there's that that many interesting things I've thought worth posting about.

It's funny how if you want your post to be viral it has to be a complaint or an attack on something. The public are seldom interested in good news.The media always likes to find something to complain about, making it up if it can't find anything truthful. Some people are only happy when they are miserable and surely that should have been the title of a Smiths song.

Anyway, enough of misery, I'm just going to keep positive thoughts in my head and enjoy my weekend. You can be happy when you have time to yourself and you are in touch with people who make you happy. I always love a smile , although I'm not too good at doing one myself, but I do like to be happy and keep happy and make others happy.

I've included a picture and poem I penned on my phone, so no pen was actually involved , unless you include the stylus from my Samsung Note 2. So anyway have a great weekend, mine is just about to start ..... with me going to bed to sleep .

Stay cool

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Where Am I?

Kazakhstan
This week has been manic since  coming back from holiday leaving the house at seven and not getting back til eight at night and I noticed a couple of oddities. We tend to trust the GPS on our digital devices (in this case my Samsung Note), but when in Whitby a couple of the photo locations reckoned I was in Kazakhstan and Речная ул (which I assume is in Russia or east of the UK anyway.




Речная ул
But anyway on Tuesday I used Facebook to check in at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle , and I didn't notice I'd selected the Montreal version!

While this doesn't create a problem as such it is quite amusing , turning me into to a globe trotter withing a radius of less than a hundred miles.

Also a thing about this blog , for some reason the word TED doesn't turn up in the tag cloud even though I tag this post. Click on the tag below and it will bring back all my TED related posts.

This morning I have a fleeting visit to the Freeman Hospital (another part of NUTH)  before going to Darlington so we shall see where it says I am then!

Anyway I hope that tonight I will be back at a reasonable time and I can make my own tea!


Monday, 3 February 2014

A Whitby Panorama

A Whitby Panorama
Back from a good weekend in Whitby staying at the excellent Dillons. Their Yorkshire breakfast and general cooking are brilliant and Matthew and Craig are such wonderful hosts. I'm well fed, but slept a lot and am now back the the grind so to speak. I've tried to put some photos on Picasa which is now Google+ though the annoying Google (like Microsoft and Apple) just try and force you to do what they want. These are my pictures and I want control of the. Hopefully you can see them here.

While I know that Google are proving this service "free" I  may not want to associate it with everything that is associated with me.

I saw a lot of interesting things, ate at the Magpie Cafe, The Moon and Sixpence and The White Horse and Griffin, all excellent and walked up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey , which is a fairly gentle incline.

I do love Whitby, it's somewhere that I could probably live, but I still love Newcastle , but who knows what may happen in the future. There some amazing houses there and the views are great, also it's the home of La Rosa although maybe it's best appreciated and kept as a treat, too much of a good thing may make you bored with it.

I would heartily recommend Whitby to anyone though.