Monday, 30 May 2016

Earth, Wind and Fire

In the seventies when my major musical influences were being formed , my attention was often caught by bands with a penchant for presentation, but most of my grammar school peers were into progressive rock, while the music teachers bored us with classical , and my out of school friends were Teddy Boys and Greasers with a taste for rock and roll and hard country.

Early need to see bands were Hawkwind and Pink Floyd , I caught Hawkwind but never got to see Pink Floyd, both had light shows and multi media aspects to their shows and Hawkwind had the attraction of Stacia an Amazonian Proportioned dancer.

Then I heard about a band called Kiss , masks , flame throwing guitar, fireworks , so I checked out their albums and .... was not impressed. They sound weak , turned out to be bandwagon jumpers and just plain annoying.

But then came Earth, Wind and Fire. They had mysticism , magic in their stage shows , huge sets , amazing musicianship .... but they were disco. This was totally at odds and messed  with my brain, how could a band that looked and seemed so interesting be a disco band? Seriously.

Well forty years on I bought The Eternal Dance and I will give them a real listen, I have loved some of their stuff but my musical bigotry has stopped me from buying theor stuff.

That changed today so of course I have to include some live footage of the band from Japan in 1988 for you to enjoy. The stage set is very impressive .We didn't have this in the seventies , but we do now.

Enjoy and have a great week

Nova Vega

Over the past few weeks I have been asked if I am vegetarian , vegan and when did I become vegetarian and was it difficult to cut out meat and fish , just because I ate some vegetarian food. The answer is  I am not vegetarian or vegan, when it comes to eating I am blood awkward and fussy. I eat all the wrong things, I am diabetic , I like a bacon sandwich although I think I may be weaning myself off chocolate , which I adore and today I bought some scales and recorded the terrible fact that the scales tell me I am 114.6 Kg that's like 18 Stone.

Anyway enough of that, last week I visited the excellent Bohemian Restaurant and recorded my thoughts here so you can check it out , apparently one of the top ten British Vegan  Restaurants, it's in Pink Lane Newcastle and is definitely worth your time. They recommended Farplace which is a vegetarian / vegan shop / cafe in Clayton street , that sells  Vegetarian and Vegan products AND supports animal welfare so to quote George Orwell it really is DoublePlusGood , the staff are really nice and when I went in they had the guy from The Nut Roaster demonstrating his machine and selling various nut butters (you can see his oven in action here)

I went with Cashew Nut Butter along with a lentil curry pasty and vegan Victoria Sponge and a Chocolate Orange Scone.

Then today I was walking up Grainger Street and noticed a new cafe called Super Natural , there is already one near Carliol Square but this is a new one and very pleasant it ism, I checked in on Facebook here. As my friend Katie says it's a great time to go Vegan is you are in Newcastle.

The places I've listed are all town center, and they are not the only ones. If you go out to other Novocastrian districts you will find more Vegetarian and Vegan places.

I thought I was going to have to you use Meat Is Murder by The Smiths as accompanying music for this pice buth then remembered The Mothers' Call Any Vegetable which is far more positive , which lets face it Vegetarianism and Veganism is.

Enjoy your vegetables , they keep you regualar.

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Bohemian Like Me

They say you wait ages for a bus then three turn up at once, well this isn't quite the same but had arranged with my friend Katie so try out the vegetarian and vegan place.I was saddened with teh demise of The Stateside Diner and was glad when The Bohemian appeared. I had met a chef from there in Kazbat's Den and said I would visit.

Anyway I got there early and noticed that it was cash only , not a problem as Central Staion is two minutes away and full of cash machines. Anyway I returned and Katie had booked a table , and was impressed with the album cover decor and the music playing , load enough to hear but quiet enough to talk. I then turned round and saw they also sold Vinyl !! You can see my instagram video here , so I was on to a winner m definitely.

Two weeks earlier I had found The Long Play Cafe on the Quayside , food , drink and Vinyl , so hence the bus analogy. Both these places are must visit places , if you are near get yourself in there.

Your Starter For Yum
Anyway we started with three tapas , tempura vegetables , breaded mushrooms ad nachos with vegan cheese, guacamole and the usual trappings . This was augmented by 241 cocktails though mine was non alcoholic.

The atmosphere was lovely , the music superb and they had Major Tom by Peter Schilling on vinyl , a record I had never heard until seeing Deutschland 83, so that was a must purchase.

Mains were a vegan hotdog and a chilli cheese chimichanga , and that left no room for cake , which did look lush.

This place is gorgeous,  while I normally only look for positives , this place positively ooozes positivity.

Will I be back ? Of course darlings.

And for the music ... "A Bohemian Like you" by The Dandy Warhols set to the Aristocats video , what is not to like.

Have a brilliant brilliant weekend.

Burn The Witch

Looking art the weather outside this morning , bright sunshine and dark clouds , which could symbolise hope and fear , good and bad , but luckily taking an umbrella with me should be enough contingency to protect should the elements turn unfavourable.

It amazes me that we are in the year 2016 and still anything that doesn't fit the desired model is deemed to be undesirable. Sometimes things have to fit the the model , utilities need to function , transport needs to run ,  etc . I do get that , but sometimes , when we're outside daily life the best things are the things that don't fit what you expect.

The media and governments expect us to  watch soaps , consume what they tell us , and behave as they want us to , in order to maintain their own positions of power.  The media tell us that one political side is trying to take us back fifty years (when is was the norm to aspire to buy your own house and anything you want) and the er wants us back in Victorian times , with a slave underclass and a ruling class unanswerable to no one but their own greed.

Burn The Witch
So basically these days if you don't conform to the norm often you are treated like a medieval witch and are a target for the ire of the media led masses.  So I am happy to include the video for the Radiohead song "Burn The Witch" with it's Camberwick Green / Wicker Man hybrid .... though watch it to the very end. I have ordered the new album.

Anyway it is Friday , it's nearly weekend,  and things are looking good.

Have a brilliant day.

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Digital Forever

Yesterday evening I went out , It was cold and foggy and again I was feeling alone and cut off (in a good way) and was taking photographs and posting some black and white versions to Instagram because it felt as though it should have been in black and white. Those images were to try and convey what I was feeling and then thought maybe a video would to so I posted this which included some commentary , and then thought that as long as the cloud , the web and stuff exists , then this makes me immortal. Most of us have some kind of online presence now and it means that even when people pass , unless someone removes their stuff they will be around for us still , in writing , comments , pictures and video these days.

This year we have lost David Bowie , Lemmy , Prince , Alan Rickman  though Keith Richards and Bob Dylan still endure . But we still have them in their music and film legacy which is often instantly available thanks to the Digital Forever that the networks that spread the globe have given us.

You can go online and listen , watch and read stuff from people still with us and who have passed Youtube channels will be around for a long time after I have gone.
one. They are not dead , they are still with us in a myriad forms and that is just amazing. I am not going to get into anything spiritual or religious here , but I am happy this blog, my Instagram and

Anyway sorry if this sounds dark , it's not meant to be , it's meant to be hopeful, which is why I soundtracked it with Bowie's Heroes possibly my favourite Bowie single, well it is today.

Have a brilliant day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

In The Middle Of Nowhere

Clay Bank View - One of Many
This week I have been near Stokesley in Yorkshire. You can find stuff on TripAdvisor here about the area but the cottage I am in is here. It's at the end of a half mile track but has provided a great relaxing week with the opportunity to to take walks and relax and see some amazing scenery.

I do wonder what possesses people to build houses in such remote places , but I suppose the rest it has given me is testament to that . I had hired a 3 door Corsa from Enterprise and they gave me a 5 door Fiat 500 Monster car,  which was handy for getting up the track.

On The Way Up
I was hoping to get up to the Cleveland Way and see The Wainstones but when I walked up the first time and there were lots of "No Right Of Way" signs , although I could see people walking along the top. It just seemed there was no way for me to get up there. I was a bit disappointed but thought I would chance a bit of internet research.

There was This and I found the Wainstones Walk here which indicated I follow the fence for a while where I had stopped, and sure enough I went through a gate rounded the corner and then saw a stone path leading up to the Wainstones. I met a couple of girls who had been walking since 8 in the morning , shared my Pepsi with them and took some photographs before they continued on their way to Clay Bank.

When I got up there I was presented with amazing views and it goes to prove that if you want something you should not give up on it . Yes this was a small thing , but too many times people give up because things aren't easy. Some people want things on a plate , and while it's nice to get things like that , you get great satisfaction when you succeed due to effort that you have put into things.

The result of this is a lot of photographs and videos of me sort of in the middle of nowhere,  getting very Zen and peaceful, and I feel good about it and about myself.

So if you want something , and it is possible to do it , then do it, you won't regret it.

I was trying to think of an appropriate song and the title track from Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) is so beautifully appropriate. I love this

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Control and Football

A weird thing. I am not at home and am using my laptop on Windows 10 and the wallpaper is reflecting the slideshow on my home desktop PC. The only vague connection is that they are both connected to the internet and Windows 10 wanted my email address. This is slightly worrying as it's doing something that I never asked for and I don't actually want. I want control of my stuff and I don't want Google , Microsoft and Apple connecting everything I do and potentially sharing it with anyone who pays them.

It's like the iCloud situation where Apple delete personal files and put copies in "The Cloud" which you can access if you pay them money and have an internet connection (see here). The guys personal recordings were stolen by Apple and he was basically told "tough". It amazes me the arrogance of corporations who put things in very small print and then say it covers them for anything they want to do. Mobile phone companies are like that too.

One article says they wont delete your stuff (see here) , but I have had dealings with them and they will never ever admit there is a problem. Your iPhone could explode and burn your hand off and Apple would say it is performing as required.

I thought She's Lost Control by Joy Division is appropriate because our reliance on technology , sees technology doing more and more things we didn't expect.

Fog From Claybank
I still don't know what's happening with my laptop.

On a lighter note Leicester were crowned Premiership Champions and had a massive party. The media generally hate it because they would rather cover Arsenal , Chelsea, Manchester City and United, in fact anybody with money and no soul. Money is the new religion you would think. To me it's a necessary evil but not something to be worshiped and put on a pedestal. It negates the need for barter , that's all. The problem is when the big clubs win , it's just about collecting shekels , they don't give a damn about anybody else , they are perfect corporate material.

Leicester have provided The Premier League with a shot in the arm and a great deal of fun , and the combined technical genii of the "big clubs" still can't get near them, and anyone with any sense is loving it.

Anyway I am enjoying the sun and quiet and I don't have to get up tomorrow morning.

Enjoy your Sunday everybody

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Clouds and Blue Skies - May The Fourth Be With You

A very short post today . Something I noticed last night. Clouds are probably the the biggest things that we see everyday . The affect our lives , blocking the sun and cooling us down , raining on us , distributing water, colours from black to white with sun influenced shades of red.

Very often I will see an amazing cloud formation and seconds later it has gone , and really sometimes life can be like that. If you don't take the opportunity when it's presented it's gone. Cloud's are the epitome of that , especially on a windy day. The number of times I have looked for a better perspective and then lost the image is countless, however because of what I have lost , and the fact I carry a phone that can take a decent photograph I can now capture images that previously would have just existed in my memory,

The Sky Last Night
So I'm going to include Clouds by Joni Mitchell and an excellent TED talk on the joy of watching clouds. It's a sunny day here.

Oh and it's May The Fourth - Star Wars Day ... but I wouldn't write about that would I?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Leicester City Premiere Cru

Yesterday Leicester City became Champions of the English Premier League for the first time. This may not sound hugely unexpected given that the Premiership is only 25 years old , but this this the first time they have topped English football in their history. They survived by the skin of their teeth last season thanks to an amazing run in under manager Nigel Pearson , who they proceeded to sack , and replace with Claudio Ranieri , much to the hilarity of the media.

Throughout the season the media rammed the Arsenal / Man City / Chelsea / Ma United down our throats , like most seasons as though no other clubs exist. Most pundits were expecting the wheels to fall off when key players got injured . This was at a time when key players WERE injured. Any week that Leicester didn't win that was the end and the pundits would be proved right and with Chelsea going off the rails it would be Manchester City or Arsenal who would take the title and Manchester United maybe third.

Leicester established themselves as everyone's second favourite team, they got the title through had work and the skill of knittng together as a team. Whenever they hit a problem Ranieri dealt with it.

Also included in this amazing season was the fact that James Vardy scored in eleven consecutive Premiership matches surpassing Ruud Van Nistleroy's record of ten

Meanwhile Watford and Bournemouth established themselves and in the top four the only realistic threat to Leicester was provided by Tottenham Hotspur , with West Ham als punching for a top four place.

Sir Alex Ferguson got it wrong though , he said they'd have it won with three games to spare.

There are two matches to go.

Leicester City are Champions

And already the pundits are predicting their demise next season.

They have conquered the most difficult league in the world , because they are competing against money and the media. Since the formation of The English Premier League only Blackburn Rovers have broken the hold of the the money clubs , and that was with the backing of Jack Walker's millions.

There is money behind Leicester but when they beat Chelsea earlier in the season a chastening fact was that Diego Costa cost more than the whole Leicester first 11.

There will be moves afoot to make sure this doesn't happen again because of the potential effect on revenues , or maybe that's just me being cynical. This may be rose coloured spectacles time but I remembered when you didn't really know at the beginning of the season who would win it , I remember Carlisle topping the First Division ,  anyone could do it. Now you need outside billions to compete in the Premiership .... but the teams mentioned in this piece have given  us a great season. Savour it because this is not  what the money men want.

Have a great day.
It'll Never Last ... But It Did!!

Monday, 2 May 2016

You Want To Be My Friend?

I'm reasonably visible on social media and have a few followers on Twitter and Instagram , but sometimes get friend requests on Facebook from people who I have no apparent connection with, usually these have virtually no content of often are young ladies wearing beach apparel. Needless to say the delete button is employed.

 gratuitous fondling and handling at the #TynesideBarCafe
I got one from a Spanish Lady this week , and deleted , mainly because of no connections, but I saw she had followed me and in particular liked an instagram photo I had posted while in the Tyneside Bar and Cinema watching one of their afternoon silents , Der Golem but I thought it was Faust . I'd done a retouching of the photograph and thought it looked pretty cool. Ruth obviously thought the same . We are friends on Twitter but not yet Facebook friends.

So I know this is just a short post , and I haven't posted for a week, and yesterday was Beltane , so it's not as though I haven't had things that I could write about, but really it's just to try and not miss things because you become numb to the normality of events.

SO if you want to be my friend make sure I have a reason to be yours 

Have a good day