Thursday 31 December 2015

New Year's Eve Is Here

We are on the last day of the year ad it some ways it's like a software update (my phone just had one) , you go through everything , waiting , working , you reboot and nothing has changed.

Well actually things have changed. People I know seem to becoming more insular, anything new is not countenanced well . Part of this is people have families , people trying to survive modern life , people tend to go for the tried and tested paths and often I am the same. I will frequent a restaurant or pub that I know is good and drop places that maybe don't come up to my standards.

This year I have met some wonderful people and made new friends all over the world , been made redundant , had a few new jobs , write songs , hit my 1000 posts , 100K views on this blog , and have lost touch with people which is sad.

Facebook is good for keeping in touch and reconnecting with people , but I do detest the posts that imply people are selfish and don't care about others. I love seeing positivity and happiness and smiles, and in 2016 I want to see more.

Here It Comes
This year I have driven through snow , ice , rain , blinding sun almost a metaphor for life , because I've navigated that.

I have been here for people who needed support , I have had some great nights and days with wonderful friends and look forward to lots more in 2016.

Have a wonderful end of year and share a brilliant 2016 with me my friends. I chose the Fingerprintz song to finish this year because it's a theme song of mine

"I can see you want to dance too"

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Is Viv Albertine Big In Russia amd Australia?

The reason I ask is that my post featuring Viv Albertine here is now my third most read post of the life of this blog. The blog has been going eight years and most posts get about 50 views. In less than a month the Viv Albertine has hit 400 , not a lot in terms of world readership , but a lot for one of my post.

Last Months Readers
In the last two weeks views from Russia and Australia have overtaken the USA as my biggest source of readers (and maybe robots) . The USA has not dropped , but Russia and Australia have increased dramatically and really I can't think of a reason. Australia possibly because it's in the correct language.

Australia is the biggest traffic source from the last month , but Russia has overtaken it in the last week.

And this has coincided with the Viv Albertine piece getting so much attention. There haven't been any comment , people don't comment on my posts for some reason , also the blog has only a couple of followers , so given that visitors must be mostly people who accidentally come across it , ithe figures look quite good.

Seriously this must be one of the most boring , uninteresting pieces I have ever written, I had intended to include some stuff about what has happened to me this year but that can wait for another time.

This year has resulted in slightly less posts than last year but it's still running at a post every two days. So I think I'll put in Al Stewart's "Roads To Moscow" to provide a little interest to this post . The album Past Present and Future is well worth aquiring.

Also I have finished the Viv Albertine book and it is absolutely brilliant , I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone , inspiring , well written , uncompromising , easy to read and thought provoking. Buy it here.

Monday 28 December 2015

On The Road

This weekend I drove 300 hundred inhospitable miles to and from Scotland. It that time I saw rain , snow , ice , surface flooding and coming back the combination of bright sunshine and wet roads made it like driving into an arc light . At one point the sun was coming through the trees to the right but due the speed and the distance between the trees it was like a stroboscopic effect. It inspired me to write this:

Hard Road

Hard Road

Speeding into the arc light
I should be aware of the road
 It's like a mirror
Can't see the markings
Can't see the other cars 
Three Lanes Bad
Two Lanes Worse
The sun is strobing
Through the trees
I still can't see
I've survived
I am still going
This isn't driving
It's just surviving

That's my unstructured "poem" of my experience over the weekend. Two small amendments were suggested by my good friend Joan , and they have been taken on board. Obvious choice for me is Black Sabbath's "Hard Road" , which is probably my favourite Sabbath Song, still gives me goosebumps

I really hope you have a had a great Christmas or Yule break and are ready to run up to the end of the year with gusto.

Friday 25 December 2015

Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Chritmas

I hope you have a wonderful day . It's a day for loving ,sharing ,talking ,being kind ,smiling. and spreading goodwill. This is not Christian sentimentality , it's just sensible moral behaviour. We look out for others and they will look out for us,

We do live in a world where money and possessions have become an effectively replacement for moral values for a lot of people, I mean why else would you vote Tory or Republican?  As Woody Allen said money is better than poverty of only for financial reasons , but  there really is enough to go round. When people work together great things happen. Divide and Conquer is a war strategy and when people start fighting among themselves they become much easier to control. Blame the immigrants , blame the poor , blame the sick is the mantra of the right wing as they plunder the nations resources.

Have a Cool Yule
Enough politics , it is a time to enjoy , it is a time to be together, and really it should never stop. This year socialise more , see more friends , talk more , communicate more. We now how the nternet so I can write this, and everyone round the world can read it. You no longer wait for weeks to send a letter to Australia, you can phone your friend in Australia or New Zealand or The USA and it costs very little to do that. You can phone a loved one , a friend, so here is you your New Year's Resolution:


Now go one have a wonderful day and feel free to ring me if you have my number, enjoy yourself.

I've included two versions of one of my favourite Christmas Songs , it by the Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas  - Baby Jesus , Born To Rock!!

Thursday 24 December 2015

It Was Christmas Eve, Babe

It's Christmas Eve and over the past month we've been subjected to some particularly atrocious "festive music" . Last Saturday there were two members of a what I believe are Romanian Busking band on Northumberland Street , a double bass and accordion player , playing a particularly excellent piece which I then realised was "Jingle Bells" , I do hope I see them again , then I can record them. The euphoria was soon dissipated by walking into Marks and Spencers where a Michael Buble-a-like was murdering the very same piece of music.

There are stand outs of course , Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" , Slade's "Merry Christmas Everyone" , Greg Lake and Pete Sinfield's Prokofiev's "Troika" lifting "I Believe In Father Christmas", The Pogues "Fairytale of New York"  and Jethro Tull's "Ring Out Solstice Bells" and "Christmas Song" , so you can have great Christmas music , but you can bet you will only here these every now and then.

Anyway this is the time to embrace friends , family , neighbours and socialise and hug and kiss and enjoy the time but be compassionate for those less fortunate than yourself .

And you what , wouldn't it be great if that didn't stop and the main aim in our lives was to be happy and looking out for others and working to build a compassionate society instead of thinking about paying bills and winning the lottery and just looking out for ourselves.

So today , buy a sandwich and a drink for a homeless person if you see one, do some random act of kindness and make sure you hug and kiss as many friends and loved ones who actually want it.

Remember Christmas Spirit should not be what you drink.

Have a brilliant one my friends

Monday 21 December 2015

Morning Morning 7am - Joy Division To The World

Well another work week has commenced and looking forward to lots of good things happening this week. Time seems to be at a premium although it always is whether you have anything planned or not. Christmas is one of those things where , you actually have advance notice that it's going to happen. I do find it quite amazing in the world of business especially and I suppose socially , the number of people who seem shocked that it is actually here and then have to implement emergency measures to deal with the situation.

Joy Division To The World
My biggest "worry" is remembering to record film's like Brave and specials like the new Sherlock and the Wallace and Gromit Christmas special.

One of the reasons for doing this post is to reshare the excellent Joy Division Christmas Tree and Holly Golightly's "Christmas Tree's On Fire.

So just calm down and you will have a great time , I certainly will

Have a great day , and week , and enjoy yourself.

Sunday 20 December 2015

It's The Time Of The Season ......

We shouldn't need Christmas . We shouldn't need reminding that we should be there for friends , family and those less fortunate than us. I knew a guy who was rude throughout the the year but come Christmas Eve expected everyone to be his friend because it was Christmas. It doesn't really work like that for me.

You should be like that throughout the year. You should be there for people , they should be there for year. I'm not an Ebenezer Scrooge type , and am pleased if someone reforms there ways, but compassion and caring needs to be permanent not something based around a commercial date in a calendar.

Time of the Season
I love the joy of meeting friends , being with them , hugging them , laughing , holding hands , and why can't we do that everyday. It's good to have a day to celebrate even more but really if we are happy every day , and look forward to being happy we can deal with life's annoyances.

Anyway I hope this week is good for you , I intend to make it good for me. I have seen lots of close friends over the last week , and made plans to see lots more in January , sort of ignoring the fact there are only a finite number of days in the month.

Some friends have had bad times recently but things are improving for them. I said I was there for them and I know that was appreciated , because I know they would be there for me.

Have chosen a tenuous music link , but The Zombie's "Time of the Season" is always good to hear.

Have a fantastic week my totally brilliant friends

Friday 18 December 2015

It's Friday , It Certainly Is

It's Friday , and this weekend is the last one before Christmas. So a potential busy weekend , including sorting out presents , cards , a 50th birthday (not mine , that was years ago) , a Christmas party , booking a car and more. Do you realise that Amazon have 8 million Christmas related items? Though I am sure to could buy something better for from a local business

I am consistently amazed by Viv Albertine's book , a totally amazing woman, inspirational ,interesting and well , just buy the book here. It's page after page ,of  "Oh My God" , "That Is Amazing" , "I've been There" and wanting to put your arms round her or being over the moon with her or wanting to hold her hand, Amazing stuff , although I've nearly finished it and have John Lydon's autobiography next in line.

Also it is the last Friday before Christmas so to quote Hill Street Blues , be careful out there ... and have a great time

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Inspired or Easily Distracted?- Well I'll Be Damned

Well I hit the 100K reads and hit the 1,000 posts , my target was New Years Eve. I wasn't certain I would do either, I couldn't thing how I would write enough posts then came up with the Odyssey58 idea which meant that I would reach the target. I'm not sure what gave me the idea apart from my love of music and the fact that it was my birthday . I so some hits are robots but I know a lot of friends do read this , so that is a great reason for keeping writing.

Obviously 200K and 2,000 posts are next targets , but I need something to write about and to inspire me , and I do have lots of inspiration.

Odyssey58 is going to be combined with what I've written for my first book to produce my first ebook. I have a song ready that I need to to properly but the first cut is on SoundCloud here . This was just recorded to my phone , made up as I went along.

Anyway so I have lots of things to look forward to going forward , just hope I can keep people interested, I do love my friends , and I love you for reading and being there for me .

Choosing the music for this I decided on Love's Alone Again Or but then found that The Damned had covered it in 1987 and very good it is , although the video I am sure is an inspiration for the Enya / Prodigy mash up video which is still my favourite mash up of all time.

See how all these threads come together?

So am I easily distracted or inspired? Who Knows

This is the state of the site at the moment:

The Figures

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Twelve To Go

Well the view count on the blog at this moment is 99,988, which means this post will probably hit 100K . I suppose I need to start thinking Christmas presents, luckily I have everything so no one needs to but me anything.

A Stiff One
I'm going to leave this post short, very short , just to suggest don't let this weather get you down ,
look for a reason to get together with friends and have a wonderful time.

What song should I choose for this? Beer and Cigarettes by Terraplane from Stiff's Akron Compilation  Not available digitally still but you can get the scratch and sniff vinyl copy here.

Sunday 13 December 2015


Blackpool , my most detested football club are called the Tangerines , but I have other words for them.

Tangerine , when I first allowed myself to listen to Led Zeppelin , was a song off III that I loved to death, an absolute beauty and although Jimmy Page's solo in the live version in a bit superfluously ropey , the song is still an absolute beauty.

A few weeks ago I went to see a film called Tangerine and later found it was filmed entirely on iPhones ... so there is a use for them. The film featured lots of transgender thespians , but the main thing was that it was well scripted , funny , lots of swearing and sexual encounters , and heartwarming. I really liked it.

Oh My Darling
And now in my kitchen bowls sit lots of tangerines, well clementines , cos they had boxes of them at Aldi , and my lovely neighbours offered me a lift home so I bought two boxes. Thing is whenever I eat one I am sure I feel better. Must be a fructose sugar ruse.

So I suggest you taste or do something sweet tonight. The snow is melting and it's Monday tomorrow. Prepare yourself for a brilliant week.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Here Comes The Snow

Here Be Monsters
Today was meant to be relaxing , but while a little grey , I ventured towards town to get a haircut and a couple of things. Then the snow came down and stuck. It made everything look wintry for Yule tide. I took shelter in the excellent Kazbat's Den a delightful Gothic shelter and shop you could easily lose yourself in, chatting about music and weather with Karen and Lucy. I had visited the shop the odd time in the past but with the sad destruction of the Kard Bar , Karen had set up a fund to help with the funeral of the owner here and is raising money with a hoodie raffle here so if you want to contribute please do. It is a wonderful place to drop into and you never know what you might find.

The snow is still coming down and it is dark and winter has it's foot in here. So it's time to keep warm and light a fire ,keep warm with someone and look out for others. Was thinking of some seasonal related music , but I was talking to Karen and Lucy about The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing and Jordan Reyne , so I have included spoongig links to them if you click on the names, although if you click on this Jordan Reyne link you will get all the posts about her on this blog.

Anyway there is snow so in a vaguely tangential reference I've chosen Antarctica by the awesome Sound Of Guns

Oh the blog has now had 99,700 viisits , so another 300 to the 100K target for the end of the year , tell your friends

Enjoy the snow , enjoy your Saturday , enjoy your weekend

Friday 11 December 2015

The Weekend Is Almost Here - It's Cold - Hug Someone To Keep Warm


..or it is here is you are in the Antipodes. It's cold has hell here so isn't that an excuse to grab hold of a friend or loved one and give them a big hug? I've shelled out a lot of money this morning on stuff you have to shell out money on , and am lucky enough for that not to cause too much of a problem

Lot's of great things have happened this week but I will list them in the next post. I need to run off but leaving you with , for no reason at all , The Oysterband's take on Nick Lowe's "Rose of England"

Go and hug someone , keep warm , and have a great day

Thursday 10 December 2015

Smiles Are Good

It's dark when you leave for work , it's dark when you get home , but really your day can be improved by smiling at people. A lot of people have been smiling at me over the past couple of days. It could be that Christmas is coming , it could be they are just happy , it could be that something good has happened to them , it could be that I smiled at them . Smiles are infectious, and while bad things are happening in the world , smiling can make you feel much better about yourself and it can have the same affect as a nice bar of chocolate. If you smile you are better to deal with mundanity.

I found the TED talk above but have to include an uplifting song for today below , the incredible Turbolenza soundtracked by The Sound of Guns.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Sunday Evening And Happy

Despite the horrific weather in Cumbria , the end of my holiday has left me feeling good. I have experienced some things I never want to again , but grateful with the knowledge that I came through without wrecking the hire car or injuring anybody especially me and Fiona.

Today I saw my youngest daughter and her fiance who have moved to a new house , and it was wonderful having a catch up.

The last couple of nights I have slept like the proverbial log , only waking between eight and nine in the morning . I hope I don't sleep through the alarm.

Tomorrow I have a six month diabetic review , slightly worried because my blood sugars have rocketed despite no change to my eating or exercise, we shall see what comes out of it.

Still I feel good , I have my friends and am looking forward to whatever happens this week , which I am sure will be fine.

Rod Stewart's output was consistently excellent until after "Atlantic Crossing" but he still produces some corking songs like "She Makes Me Happy"   which does genuinely make me happy and that can't be a bad thing can it?

Go on , do something that makes you happy and spread the love darlings

Some More Things That Make Me Happy

I was quite pleased that this post here has started to get some more views . It is important to me because it reminds af things that bring a smile to my face and just make my heart leap a little. Todauy I am lucky to be home having managed to escape the worst of the Cumbrian Weather and Lorry crashes , but still the journey took an extra two hours on a 90 minute journey., details here on the BBC site.

It's a friend's birthday today and I always try and post a mybe appropriate song on Facebook , and while this song is not a birthday song , it always brings a smile to my face (as do a lot of Big Daddy covers) . Their cover of Once In A Lifetime is a total delight

Music can always lift you but other things can do to such as:

You Know What To Do
  • Reading A Book
  • Meeting A Friend
  • Watching A Film
  • Going For A Walk
  • Visiting A Museum
  • Going To The Theatre
  • Socialising
  • Anything that puts a smile on your face
Smiling is contagious , you start doing and others will soon follow suit.

So tomorrow smile lots and make this world a better place

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Viv Albertine is Nice Enough To Eat

Today I want to visit a stone circle, apparently there are a lot round here (Orton). It's Gamelands and all the stones have fallen but I do like visiting these places. I often use my Julian Cope's Modern Antiquarian to look at these sites.

The problem is the weather is wet and blowy and traipsing through fields may not be the best way to spend the day. The roads in Orton are covered with running water and the wind as destroyed my umbrella (which was a fairly sturdy model) , but who knows the weather may get better.

Nice Enough To Eat
 Anyway to the title of the piece, I am currently reading Viv Albertine's autobiography (Clothes, Music, Boys) x 3 , and think she comes across as a totally wonderful amazing person although she "Nice Enough To Eat" and we played it to death. And be both recently bought a copy from a second hand shop because it's like a first love. You can't get it on CD but I made up my own CD copy which I listen to at least once a week.
would not have  two words to say to me, Although I shouldn't be surprised as we are of a similar age one of the first albums we bought was the Island sampler

Also bands like King Crimson and the Motown sound are things we both love. It was great that she formed a band and got to hang with Mick Jones and others , but like all girls often preferred the gits to those who really loved her. I  heartily recommend the book to anyone who can actually read , but it's not for anyone who prefers life to be on the straight and narrow. So the song I chose is Typical Girls by The Slits. These were never typical girls.

So I am going back to reading and may get to see that stone circle. Have a great day everyone.

A Storm Is Overhead - Looking For The Positives

The wind is blowing and it's raining outside. It's just past midnight , but I am in a warm cottage. I am am one of the lucky ones. I have a huge bed to go to. I will be warm. I don't have to get up for work tomorrow. This is the sort of time you need to take advantage of the adverse elements outside because it gives you a valid opportunity to hug and cuddle and show someone you love them.

The problem may be that they aren't with you  but you have a phone and a computer (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this).

Today was good although it involved lots of motorway driving in fog , and having to deal with the worst one way system I have had the misfortune to experience , Kendal , although the people in the town are lovely. Still I came out of it unscathed appreciating the clarity of the out of town roads.

Is Anywhere Better?
So enjoy snuggling in your bed , look for the positives in the situation , sleep and have a brilliant

And I chose the beautiful Teddy Thompson song "In My Arms" for you , my wonderful friends.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Before The Deluge - Hello December

I wasn't expecting to be able to write this as due to the rain and landscape I've hardly had a mobile signal. It's quite funny that my former employer made a big thing about covering this area with a 4G signal , well it hasn't quite reached here. That's fine though, but it does leave you at the mercy of the elements.

It doesn't seem that long since internet access was not even on your radar , now it's difficult to do without.

The main reason is to keep in touch with friends who are a long way away , but with a phone and signal you can now share experiences and chat easily and be there if people need you you across the miles and distance.

The weather forecast is for more and more rain , so this may be my only post this week, but it doesn't matter because I am relaxing and on holiday and that is the main thing. Also you can can always give or get a hig and a cuddle when I return or even better find a friend or loved one to share one with now.

There's only one song for this post isn't there, Jackson Browne's "Before The Deluge".

The Deluge