Monday, 23 March 2015

A Complaint Or Two

I tend to keep this blog positive and try not to moan about things. Although one thing I have moaned about is that positive things seem to get little or no coverage , whereas gripes, moans and complaints  seem to capture most of the proletariat. Always wondered about that, I would love to get on the bus and overhear something generally nice or positive that had caught someone's fancy. Having said that , most of my friends are positive and usually have good things to say about things, or tell me about good things that have happened or are happening.

Anyway here are my three life complaints:

  1. Shrink wrap on CDs, Biscuits and Weetabix. Why are they almost impossible to get into, sometimes damaging the content as you try harder and harder to remove the packaging , sometimes resorting to blades to do so , potentially cutting the CD or it's cover.
  2. Radio and TV Adverts where someone reads the Terms and Conditions but it's speeded up, meaning you can;t really take it in anyway. This is the aural equivalent of the unreadable small print that you have with your mobile phone contract , or Apple or Android apps. I just updated my iPad and there was a 37 page Terms and Conditions document that I was supposed to agree to before I could do those essential updates.
  3. People  who refuse to watch films if the have subtitles or are in black and white

Anyway after saying that the Tyneside Bar and Cafe is showing Amelie as a freebie tonight. It's French and it is one of the greatest feel good films ever. It really is a must see. Watching films like this lifts your spirit , and does talking to great friends , laughing , smiling , enjoying yourself. There is so much good in the world take advantage of it. Have a brilliant day. I'm going to include Eddie Izzard's iTunes Terms and conditions routine and the trailer for Amelie for you to enjoy and to make you smile and laugh.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Seven Days In Orton Cumbria

I came up with the name for this blog as a travel blog about places I'd stayed, which maybe is a bit ambitious as I don't travel very far. I detest flying , not for the actual flight , but for the endless queuing and excuses for delays, plus the fact the flight is usually a miniscule part of the journey unless , say, I were going to Australia.

Anyway the place we were it was Orton in Cumbria, just off the M6 but very quiet and very relaxing. It is also about a mile away from the Tebay / Westmorland Farm Services which are the benchmark for Motorway Service Stations. The now have one on the M5 and one on the M74 planned. While the prices are Motorway Service Station levels, the service, location and food on offer is the best you will find on a Motorway (In this case the M6).

The cottage is a converted barn and can be seen here , and has everything you need although the village is still waiting on broadband and the mobile signal is a little erratic. This meant that for the first time I ran out of data on my EE contract , and due to the stipulations and expense of buying extra data I decided I didn't need it. Of and after 2 messages with a URL to buy the extra data , their app then stops letting you see your data information so you couldn't buy any if you wanted! But it wasn't a major hassle , there are lots of places that let you hook into wifi including the aforementioned Westmorland Farm Services and the excellent Kings Head at Ravenstonedale, which sounds like somewhere from Game of Thrones.

We ate at the excellent Black Swan which is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area, this is one of the meals I had , runny scotch eggs, gammon , garlic cheese potatoes, tomatoes and green stuff. There's also images of the giant meringue on my instagram feed if you want to try and fine it.

The countryside is very relaxing and great for just walking and doing not much out of contact from mobile phones and the like, and the great thing about staying in Orton is that it has a post office that sells 99% of stuff that you actually need, then there's the George Hotel which does food and drink and the people are really pleasant in there, and then you have Kennedy's Chocolate factory where you can buy almost anything made of chocolate , including boxes of chocolates made out of chocolate.

I thought a suitable tune was Lindsey Buckingham's Holiday Road from National Lampoon's Vacation , the guy is a total musical genius , and that is the best of the vacation films.

So that's some short thoughts on my week away, now I'm back home and the weather is looking very good.. Have a fantastic Sunday everybody

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Grey Days Can Be Good

Today the weather is a bit grey and I have time to myself for a change. So I'm going into Newcastle and maybe visiting the many great places to go such as The Discovery Museum , and maybe take a coffee and cake at The Tyneside Cafe I love being in Newcastle because almost everywhere you want to go is in walking distance. And really on this day I suppose walking is is a bit of a thread going through this post.

Fit Phone

The other thing is that since I got my Samsung Note 4 , I've enjoyed the excellent camera, but there's an app  on it called S-Health which sets you a target of 10,000 steps a day to do. I don't know whether I have OCD but I find myself aiming to hit and surpass the daily target. And because the phone seems to register steps fairly accurately I carry it with me a lot more permanently that when I used to have my previous phone which didn't seem to be as sensitive. I've also tried pedometers which just didn't seem to work, and tried  a gym membership , which if you look at me , you'll realise I got bored with. But this is so easy to integrate with your everyday life.

Anyway I'm going to go into town town and leave you with one of my favourite songs about walking, Fats Domino's "I'm Walking"

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

After All .... Busy Doing Nothing

What My Dad Says Goes ... Sometimes
Well feeling abit sore after yesterdays hospital visit and they're still not finished with me , although they are very happy with my positive attitude. The thing is today is a rest day but my dad has this attitude "If you're not working , you're doing nothing , and if you're doing nothing you should be working" and I'm feeling that way this morning. I love my dad , but am sensible enough to look after myself and rest when the doctors tell me too. He once broke hi foot , drove to hospital , got it sorted and they told him to get an taxi or ambulance to get home , but he still drove back.

Anyway I have a new Rough Trade subscription  album by Matthew E White called Fresh Blood , and I'd heard the single Rock and Roll is Cold on Radio 6 quite a bit and loved it and the album does live up to that song, well worth a purchase.

Also I watched the film "Good Vibrations" the story of the record label and one of the first songs I heard on it was Blood and Fire by Niney The Observer , which has an awesome chorus which I knew from PJ Harvey's Written On The Forehead from her wonderful Let England Shake album.

It's a beautiful day and as I write this now have the Hozier album playing with some wonderful gospel type call and response choruses. Anyway I am gonna have a busy day resting. You all have a great day.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

It's Never Too Late

Yesterday morning I couldn't sleep and posted something on here, but it caught up with me and I was not feeling too good last night. So had a sensible amount of sleep and overall probably have had what could be termed a reasonably relaxing weekend. But it's never too late or too early to write a blog post.

Ready to Rip
I've caught up on stuff , sent off some official stuff , bought some stuff , eaten some stuff , read some stuff and probably forgotten some stuff.

The weather has been cold but I think it is getting warmer.

This week is another busy week with hospital appointments, meetings and more taking up all the free time I have at the moment, but it's good to keep busy.

Have Amp Will Make Noise
I also treated myself to a new Blackstar amplifier from GuitarGuitar , which I shall have a play round with tomorrow. as well as transferring some vinyl to MP3 , in particular Women In Revolt and Gary Wright's Wonderwheel after getting some seven inch adapters from Reflex which were not exactly cheap, but vinyl accessories are necessary to it's enjoyment.

Anyway I found "I Know" on youtube for you to enjoy before I hit the sack.

So goodnight , and hit the ground running for this week , and have a totally brilliant one. That's what I intend to do.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Sometimes It's Too Early

Woke up an 3AM , I haven't a clue why. It's Saturday so I know I can go back to bed if I need to. The wind is howling outside , but it isn't raining., though they say if March Comes In Like A Lion , It Goes Out Like A Lamb , so that may bode well for the end of the month weather wise. The best thing is , is that it is the weekend.

From The Back
This week I have been listening to some great music, and am fascinated by the picture of the simple mirrored arch I took in Sunderland this week , just love the disconcerting affect it has. When I look at it from the front , because of the very blue sky I don't see it at first and really have to look before I do see it. Looking from the back it is obvious but from the front , in the photograph it hides in plain sight.

When I took the picture I could obviously see it, which is why I took the picture, but then when I looked at it on my phone I couldn't actually see the thing immediately. It reminds me a bit of the effect of Anthony Gormley's "Domain Field"  which when you look at a photograph or from a distance you don't immediately see the figures.
From The Front
 Maybe it's my eyes and age but would be interested in your opinion. The Domain Field figures are below from an exhibition in the Baltic a few years back. Anyway I might go and grab a few hours sleep, so you all have a brilliant weekend. For a change there's no music on this one but hope you like the pictures

Domain Field With People

Domain Field Figures

Thursday, 5 March 2015

There's Always New Music To Discover and Rediscover - It's A Pleasure

Father and Son
Despite my age I seem to be always find new music to enjoy, reminded of this by a conversation I had this morning, and sometimes those things are new and sometimes they may have been around for longer than you thought.

Music always has the ability to delight and surprise , challenge and lift your spirits.

It's A Pleasure

The case in point is Baxter Dury , son of Ian Dury. You can hear his fathers mannerisms in his voice , but he has been making albums for over ten years. Given his age this isn't a surprise , but I'm quite amazed that he managed to slip under my radar, and I am a husge fan of his fathers music. Anyway after listening to the new album "It's A Pleasure" the whole of his back catalogue is on it's way to my door.

Similarly a couple of weeks I saw Man Made , fronted by Johnny Marr's son Nile. Talent obviously does run in a lot of families

Another record I bought was a best of John Mellencamp , who's done a lot of excellent blue collar rock , although I also have a sneaking liking for R.O.C.K. In The USA , he's one the artists like Chris Rea who broke free of the MOR machine shackles to plough a worthy musical furrow.

Anyway the song I have to leave you is Baxter Dury's live take of It's A Pleasure , hopefully it will persuade you that buying the album is a good idea:

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Theres Always Another Way

I thought I was having anger problems, it's happened a few times recently and with just a bit of thought it's dissipated. I thought maybe it's old age or diabetes , and maybe it is , but , as I've said before , anger is such a negative destructive emotion I do always try to deal with it. I was even thinking of starting a Mr Angry blog to vent my spleen , and let's face it it's always the complaints and negative stuff that people seem to go for , how else can you explain X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent?

Anyway the two incidents today were waiting behind someone taking an age at a cash machine , and then a huge queue in Boots where they had  one girl serving . It's the management that exasperates me , absolutely not bothered about the customer experience.

Keep Calm
To quote John Lydon "Anger Is An Energy" but it does have to be properly directed , and I have always managed to do that and never let it control me, though I never ever queue unless I have absolutely no choice. So the obvious song to choose is Public Image's Rise from which that line is taken , and John Lydon also used it to title his latest book.

Anyway It's the beginning of March and I have a most interesting week coming up , and really need to get to bed due to an early morning physiotherapy session tomorrow. SO have a good week and always look for a way to positively channel and anger you have.

Oh by the way I took thirty seconds to walk to another cash machine across the road , and walked out of Boots because I can always call in another time and these actions left me totally stress and anger free.