Wednesday, 28 July 2021

We Really Need Some Fun

Everything that I am watching or reading seems to be very dark. There may be good final conclusions but the journey is very dark indeed. The book I am reading "Maroc" by Daniel Easterman seems to introduce characters just to be offed and the bad guys seem to get away with whatever they want.

Then I have started "The Killing" on BBC iPlayer and that is a Scandinavian Noir and from the title you are probably aware that the overall premise in not too good, but it is absorbing and drags you into it although it pulls no punches.

"Ragnarok" on Netflix is again Scandinavian , and dubbed (much prefer subtitles) but generally the dubbing works , and I am on to series two where against the odds the controlling baddies have started getting some comeuppance and there are a few humorous one liners , it is in the same universe as "American Gods" , and although it is not obvious early on the Norse Gods / Giants war becomes more and more significant and with the proto Thor / Loki / Odin characters  it is very watchable.

I need to pick up on a short comedy although Ben Miller is rather excellent in "Professor T" and I still have "Wellington Paranormal" so with that and the music I listen to I can hedge myself against the dark things that I am watching and reading.

Today I have been listening to a lot of Julian Cope and Teardrop Explodes so I will share the excellent "Try,Try,Try" from "20 Mothers" with you , in what is possibly my last post this month on Seven Days In.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

The Heat and The Radio

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year and today looks like it's going to be similar. I've read that a cold shower is good for you so now when I get in the shower I don't wait for the water to heat up , juts let the cold water hit me that lasts for about 30 to 40 seconds. I know that's not an image you want it your head , fat old bloke in a shower, but that's what I do. This morning however the unheated water was actually lukewarm so hardly the normal kick I get out of it.

Also this weekend I have actually put the radio on (I have a preference for 6Music) and am currently listening to Radcliffe and Maconie and enjoying it. While working from home I have moved from listening to the radio to my own music collection , partly because the 6Music DJs don't play stuff that interest me as much. I did use to listen to Ken Bruce mainly for PopMaster  as a lot of the music is stuck in a particular time zone.

Generally 6Music does bring in new music , but sometimes has an enormous eclectic sweep like if you listen to Cerys Matthews. The benefit of listening to the radio is that you are there with people and also stand a chance of discovering new music , whereas with your own music collection you seldom discover anything new (but you do) and you are alone , but that is your own choice.

So keep cool to day and we'll go with "Too Darned Hot" a Cole Porter by Ann Miller from "Kiss Me Kate" based on Willam Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew".

Monday, 5 July 2021


 A fifth of the way into "Nightworld" by F Paul Wilson and it is now clear why The Adversary Cycle is six books and not four. You could probably read "Nightworld" as a stand alone book but you would be continually asking who is he , and what is that and how did that happen and how did he know that.

In fact there could be a prequel to "The Keep" but that is just something that stimulates the imagination.

Although "The Tomb" does not refer directly to anything in "The Keep" the links become clear in "Nightworld".  It is similar with "The Touch" , again a sort of stand alone novel , but when you hit "Nightworld" it becomes clear that it is a part of The Adversary cycle.

"Reborn" and "Reprisal" do follow on from "The Keep" but not directly.

But essentially I now comprehend how the six books fit together and am rather impressed with how much I remembered and how much I had forgotten.

Unlike the dreams I have been having recently including  a house with moveable showers filled with ice, and driving in a large van around somewhere that may have been Preston  or somewhere in Scotland but I was unable to go in the direction that I needed due to roads being blocked or bricked up.

But I am not even going to try an analyze that as I have better things to do with my time.

Music wise we'll go with "Hole In The Ground" by The Mekons which is sort of appropriate for "Nightworld".

Friday, 2 July 2021

Into Nightworld

I'm surprised that I have got this quickly to the final book in "The Adversary Cycle" by F Paul Wilson, but the books are , for me , remarkably good reads. I am still surprised the the cycle is shown as six books as  "The Tomb" and "The Touch" are tangentially related in introducing characters Repairman Jack and Alan Bulmer who appear in the finale "Nightworld".

While I remember the overall plots of "The Keep" , "The Tomb" and "Nightworld" a reread is a bit like watching a TV or film prequel , there is no jeopardy , although I liked the way that "Gotham" tackled the Joker in a very unexpected twist..

I have not reread "The Touch" yet though I have started it on my Kindle fire , because I do not have a physical copy.

So into "Nightworld I go, while "The Tomb" feels a bit disconnected from "Reborn" (the real second Adversary Cycle book) , "Reborn" , "Reprisal" and "Nightworld" do flow into each other like a single entity, and I expect "Nightworld" to be as good this time round as the first time round.

In more personal news I am still suffering from a cough and cold , though it may be hay fever. As I write this before work I am listening to the soundtrack of the film "Dazed and Confused" which is packed with classic seventies rock although ironically not the Led Zeppelin song of the same name which you would expect.

It also contains the only song worth having by the abhorrent idiot Ted Nugent "Stranglehold" , which I first heard between bands when I saw The Rolling Stones at the first Knebworth concert in the mid seventies.

So I will share that with you this sunny Friday morning.


Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Encountering The Adversary

Possibly an unexpected title given that England play Germany in the Euros tonight but that is not what this is about. This is the least I've posted in a month on this blog for over ten years, it's not that I've not been not writing, but have been publishing on Vocal which has changed the way I write and also actually increased my writing in a year when I said I was going to slow it down. You can see my Vocal posts here.

The benefit of posting here is that I don't need to wait for story / article approval , which may be a good or bad thing, but I should not neglect this blog.

I have been suffering from a cough / cold possible after effects of COVID jab and since Thursday I have lost 3Kg in weight , probably because of my effective total fasting on Thursday and Friday. Yesterday my weight was 91.8Kg which is 202lb or 14 stone 6 lb , I haven't been that low since my early twenties, so I am now thinking maybe one day a week I will try fasting. Today my weight is 92.1 Kg.

So to the point of this article, I am currently rereading The Adversary Cycle by F Paul Wilson and while I know the overall picture I was surprised to find that the publishers push it as a six book series when in reality two of the books are only marginally related. I thought I was going to start what is sometimes advertised as the third book "The Touch" but looking through my collection I realised I didn't have a copy (I think I borrowed it from my mate Steve Kirby about twenty years back) so I ordered a copy on my Kindle Fire.

I am currently on book three of the four, "Reprisal" having read the excellent "Reborn" which soon became obvious was the real follow up to "The Keep" the start of the series (also a Michael Mann film).

When I reread "The Tomb" I was thinking "This has nothing to do with The Adversary" although the hero (or anti hero) Repairman Jack reappears in the Adversary Finale , "Nightworld", 

All the books are excellent trending towards eventually apocalypse mixing mystery , horror and detective genres which some excellent characterisations and given that I am normally a slow reader , this series is one that I will revisit when I am finished.

So I am going to share Mussorgsky's "Night on Bare Mountain" a scary bit from Disney's "Fantasia" which is a good soundtrack for this piece from one of my mums favourite films.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Vegan is Fine for Everyone

 I was in the shower this morning (not an image you want in your head I know) and I read the side of my Lacura Shower Gel that I got from Aldi and it said "Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians". Then I thought if something is suitable for Vegans then it is also suitable for Vegetarians. 

Although there are exceptions for allergic to reactions to certain foods that are Vegan (Nuts etc) no Vegetarian is going to thing I can't have that because it's Vegan , but a Vegan would have to check out something that is classed as Vegetarian to see if it is suitable for them..

Also someone who is an Pescatarian or an Omnivore should not have a problem with a product that is classed as Vegan (barring allergies), although religion could possibly come into it but essentially , if it's Vegan it is suitable for everyone.

I am lucky enough to live in Newcastle and we have a plethora of Vegan eating places, I'll add to this as I discover more but here's the list with links for you to explores:

Please let me know the ones I have missed.

Jack Monroe's Peach & Chickpea Curry
And here is the gorgeous Peach and Chickpea curry by Jack Monroe , click on the pic to get the recipe.

Yes this is a very short post , and I may expand it for my Vocal writing , but this is one of the things that I use this blog for. I was gonna share some appropriate music but remembered this TED talk debunking all the arguments against Veganism by Ed Winters.

Ed Winters talk is excellent because it brings in the "just because it's legal doesn't make it moral" argument ,well worth your time , and if you fancy some vegan recipes try the books below.

Saturday, 12 June 2021


Since I started writing on Vocal , that has become my main creative focus. It has a slightly easier interface but posts need approval and have to be between 600 and 5000 words long. There are other caveats such as no religion and quite a few others. So I have a feeling that this year this blog will not be hitting anything like a post a day , although I will be beating my first few years posts.

This is just my second post this month and 85th this year and we are almost half way through 2021, but I have 40 posts on Vocal which you can see and read here.

I feel that a lot of my creativity has gone into the Vocal posts leaving nothing for here.

I also have not listened to 6Music for absolute ages, preferring random choices from my collection and my Discogs store. It is a Record Store Day , but I feel my vinyl collection has as much as I need. I've stated that often the idea of making a record special is coloured vinyl or a picture disc maybe featuring the band. That doesn't cut it for me.

I have a great vintage record player I got from RPM and that makes the vinyl sound awesome, and often it's the reggae that has the best sound, although everything sounds good , and yes there may be some surface noise but as the great John Peel said "Life has Surface Noise Mate!!"

So I will leave you with "Boops" by Sly & Robbie , a song I have digitally on CD and on a 12" vinyl single purchased from Stay Free records in Newcastle. Enjoy my friends.