Monday, 25 May 2020

Growing Old is Mandatory but Growing Up is Optional.

yesterday I was feeling in a black and down mood that I couldn't shake off, not sure why, but it was like I couldn't snap out of it , but there is always part of my mind that says YOU CAN hit normal again. The weather ranged from sunny to overcast , and overcast doesn't hely.

I have a dripping tap that I can't fix and don't want to risk a flood despite the online help that shows how to "simply" fix , but I have contacted someone to actually do the job so awaiting a call back (it is a Bank Holiday).

I don't think my mood was helped by watching episodes of "White Lines" , "Vikings" and "Altered Carbon" , all excellent TV but not exactly taking you to happy place (and still 50 episodes of "Vikings" to go)  , but actually watching "Spy" with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham really lifted my spirits ant the end of the day , both of them providing comedy gold in this James Bond spoof  with lots of violence and swearing but absolutely great entertainment.

I also couldn't even be bothered to write, but enjoyed listening to a few records. Sat at the keyboard to learn Tom Waits' "In The Neighbourhood" and then at the guitar for a run through "Crossroads" and "Cocaine" all of which were adequate but not yer shareable.

I didn't even want to walk, but then got myself out and actually completed my 11K steps for the day and that again made me feel better.

For me , it's basically find something that makes you feel better and do that that. Hitting targets is usually good , but maybe avoid the darker things.

Having said that I am going to share Tom Waits' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"  which featured in the "Cracked Jukebox" documentary broadcast on the BBC, and is really one of my aims of life. The song appears on the soundtrack of the film "Jojo Rabbit" as well.

Apparently the Ramones covered this , so I need to find that don't I? I did, and really OMG that is soooooo god The Ramones covering Tom Waits , almost as revelatory as Hendrix covering Dylan, that is brilliant and has made this weekend end on a definite upward trajectory.

Great quote from the Youtube feed:

"My dad always said growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional."

Today is Bank Holiday Monday and I intend to enjoy it very much.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

A Slightly Different Perspective

By actually posting , I am continuing with the #maywriteabit , although I know others are doing it and my interaction with them has fizzled out a bit.

I've been doing this three month rolling million steps for a couple of years by doing 340K steps a month. This is fine but in months with less than 31 days the extra daily steps are just a slight pain. Then looking at it from an annual view 11K steps a day will result in just under four million steps , which is a million every three months, and given that most days I tend to do a bit more than 11K then I should just aim for a daily average of 11K a day and that will sort me over each year.

It's only taken me a couple of years to realise this , and make my step counting so much simpler.

So that is a good thing at the start of this Bank Holiday Weekend. I don't have much more to say apart from to share another great record that 6Music have been playing  "PDLIF" by Bon Iver to raise money for Direct Relief . 100% of streaming proceeds will be directed to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization working to protect workers and patients alike so if you watch the video you will be contributing to this charity. Here's a description from the Direct Relief site:

"The release marks the first time a music video has premiered on Direct Relief’s website and reflects the myriad of new ways artists — and individuals in general — are helping support Covid-19 relief efforts. Along with the novel distribution method, the song was created in a new way as well, because of safety precautions necessitated by the pandemic. Each contributor worked on their part of the song in isolation before sending their work on to their bandmates and audio engineers."

Enjoy the song , stay safe and look after yourself.

Friday, 22 May 2020


One of the things I like about the English language is because it is so ludicrously and ridiculously complex it opens itself up to lots of of wordplay , sometimes clever , sometimes funny , sometimes rubbish. Take the title of this post "Impossible" , but the addition of a space and and apostrophe turns it into I'm Possible which obviously changes the meaning (although doesn't really make sense , but you see where I am going)  while using the same letters in the same order.

Then you have homonyms and homophones ( which I started #maywriteabit for the first ten days of May)  like WIND could sound like WINED or TWINNED depending on what context it's actually used in. William Shakespeare's plays were full of plays on words , sometimes becoming almost unwatchable because of continuous punning and the like.

So what should I go with tonight , I think with the mention of Shakespeare we should go with the  Reduced Shakespeare Company's "Othello Rap".

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Not The End of The Books

I've just finished the excellent "Not The End of The World" by Christopher Brookmyre, and was very impressed , and I was right that he is in the same universe as John Niven. He also has a huge back catalogue so I have the option of buying more of his stuff.

Instead I'm revisiting "The Great and Secret Show" by Clive Barker, one of my favourite authors and these revisitations means that I have an endless supply of books because I can read and reread. As I have said before my memory is not too good so while I have a vague recollection of what the book is about the words are still a joy to consume and the lead me into a different world once more.

I have other favourites too who I need to revisit , JG Ballard and F Paul Wilson to name but two, and this could keep me going til next year or longer.

Music is the same, once you have things in your collection , you have them because you want to revisit them , usually again and again. I've sort of regressed because I play music either digitally or on vinyl with a preference for the latter because it limits you to around twenty minutes of songs, so it connects you even more closely with the music.

Today I revisited "The Lodger" by David Bowie which like all Bowie albums is full of off the wall musical directions and is over far too soon, and that is me listening to it digitally while walking. Possibly tomorrow "Gouster" (unreleased excellent album around the time of "Young Americans") may get a spin. It's only available as part of a big digital box but you can buy the tracks individually to get your own copy at a reasonable price. One of the benefits of digital downloads.

6Music have been playing "Nowhere To Hide" by Ghostpoet from the album "I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep" which has definitely caught my ear, so that's what we go with tonight.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Not Heroes

While out for a walk today I was listening to "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" by David Bowie which I nearly said was one of my favourite Bowie albums but then I remembered this post about the problems with listening to David Bowie albums. That is a little further information on the album, when "Teenage Wildlife" came on I thought , this sounds very like "Heroes".

"Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" sort of follows on from "The Lodger" which was the final Berlin Trilogy album and was the next album he produced so I shouldn't be surprised that that the sound textures are the same and Bob Fripp's guitar features heavily on both "Teenage Wildlife and "Heroes".

It's probably a good idea to share both pieces with you so you can here the similarities and they are both wonderful songs.

I suppose if anyone is allowed to borrow from Bowie , Bowie can.

I know this is a pitifully short post but just wanted to share this with you.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Ten Miles

On Friday I'd decided that hitting my 340K steps this May for the rolling Million Step Challenge was unlikely to happen , then yesterday due my local office not taking a Discogs order to go to the USA I walked into town to the Haymarket Post Office / M&M News who did allow me to post the item.

What this meant is , with other perambulations, I walked over ten and half miles yesterday , 23K steps , which now pots me about 2K steps behind schedule, so maybe I might actually make my target , though I'm just over half way through the month, and the reasons I thought I wouldn't make it still stand.

This is also continuing the #maywriteabit thing although I suppose all my May posts fall into that category.

Though this morning I have already covered 5K stepa and that is close to half my normal daily target.

I switched on 6Music and Chris Hawkins is playing "Isolation" by Joy Division (appropriate for these times) as it's the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis' death. So as I need to get to work we will share that song and if you listen to 6Music today there will be a lot of related things on there for you to listen to.

I think the clip is from the film Control although has spanish subtitles , but wort a watch. Track down the film too.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

All Queued Up

This will be a very short post , almost just a note, there will be very few words, almost none (I have an ambition to do a one word post one day, but not today).

One of my biggest bugbears is queuing , I always avoid it when I can. However the lockdown and social distancing means that I do have to do it to get into certain places , normally supermarkets and chemists. I still don't like it , but now I have to do it and I totally accept it although some people still think it should be everybody but them that has to queue.

The reason I am doing this post is that the phrase "All Queued Up" came to mind and I thought it was an early Ultravox song but it was actually a Deaf School song but you can hear the similarities between early Ultravox and Deaf School. and that is what I am sharing with you.

I think the first song I heard from them was "What A Way To End It All" and they are a band surprisingly absent from my music collection , so you know I will have to do something about that, although these days you can usually find stuff on Youtube or wherever.

Have a listen , you may be pleasantly surprised.