Friday 30 November 2018

Latte Liking

Whether it's because I'm old and softm my preference is for cafe latte or milky coffee, and this has now caused me to relearn to use a microwave (well th eone at work). Although work provide coffee and milk for coffee I have now taken to getting a litre of skimmed milk to make a very palatable cup of milky coffee,

I do remember when it was tea or coffee and either black or white, with or without sugar, now the "choice" is ludicrous. When I was at EE at the Costa Bar in the basement in Paddington there was someone in from of me how asked for a double shot espresso decaffeinated skinny soya latte. I did think a pummelling was in order,

So this is the last day of November 2018, and am hopefully going to be chatting with Mike Harding on Monday, but think a good song to share with you would be Rick Danko's "Java Blues" (he was the bassist with The Band, but of course sang and played other instruments).

It's Friday so enjoy your weekend.

Monday 26 November 2018

A Wordless Weekend and That Christopher Lee Video

I didn't post anything this weekend. No particular reason although I was in Edinburgh on Saturday, and Sunday was a just plain lazy day although I did get out and do a couple of things as well as cooking Aloo Chole for tea, so that means I have something good, vegan and tasty to eat over the next few days. I've loved it ever since I got it from the excellent Rajnagar as a takeaway, and I still get it, but I now also make it myself as it's a great one pot meal so you don't have much washing up.

The Edinburgh trains going and coming were rammed due to Cross-Country treating their customers like cash cows rather than customers but that is the nature of what happens with privatisation, the bottom line is all that matters is lining the pockets of owners and shareholders by whatever means possible,

On a more positive note That Christopher Lee Video is nudging towards 10K views with 200 likes adn a lot of positive comments. I first posted it in 2014 when I found out he was producing Heavy Metal music and on the first day it hit nearly 10K views before Youtube pulled it. Click on th elink to find out more. But I think it may actually surpass my Nick Cave / Dr Seuss "Red Right Hand" video which is standing around 16K although I have updated it and the upgrade has only 2K views so far, but you can see it here.

So although it's only Monday the week is off to a good start, so enjoy your Monday and Christopher Lee's take on Paul Anka / Frank Sinatra's "My Way" which in my opinion ourt muscles the Sid Vicious version by a long chalk,

Friday 23 November 2018

I See Red

If you read my last post you may think this is a continuation of it but it's not really. The title is stolen from a Split Enz song and yesterday I was reading a QI book on my phone which told me when we blush our stomachs turn redder too, and the acid in your stomach would actually burn you skin if it had direct contact, it seems we have more in common with Alien and Predator than we think.

I love reading, especially things that stimulate my imagination or tell me interesting things that I don't know (and the QI books are excellent for that). I suppose Science fiction and fantasy stimulate my imagination although then again I have read a lot of biographies and straight science books (though often these swamp my minimal intellect). The QI books are ideal for ereaders to drop in and out of although mty youngest daughter does most of her reading on the move on her phone.

We have hit another Friday and it's Black Friday. I used think this was named because of some terrible thing that has happened but apparently when companies go into the black from profits in the financial year. We are only half way through the financial year!! Personally my own Black Friday for the financial year of 2019 will be sometime in 2029 thanks to continues wage suppression, and I am very well paid compared with a lot of people I know (though not well paid for what I do, although the fact that I am so conveniently located, the people I work with are great and the work is interesting are major mitigating factors).

So without further ado we will continue on our merry way. Have a great Friday.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Spirit of the Age

I don't know if it's getting older , diabetes sided effects, our current grey weatrher, but at times I seem to be getting a little narkier when things don't turn out as expected (buses being late or not turning up, Post Office trying to deliver items on a work day in the middle of the day and not leaving it with a neighbour then offering a redelivery option to "my local Post Office" but not giving me the option to deliver to my local Post Office but only to a smaller one three quarters of a mile away, then the item not being there because they don't deliver til after two.

I know these are just situations caused by events that usually can't be predicted or catered for, and I just decide to calm down because anger is a wasteful emotion unless positively channelled (thinking Public Image Limited's "Rise", "Anger is an Energy").

As I've mentioned the weather is attrociously dreary, so not exactly inspirational so I wasn't sure I was going to write anything today, I didn't yesterday.

A propos of nothing I noticed a Tupperware contained of sliced cucumber in the work fridge, not the most appetising of snacks or meals.

Anyway "Spirit of the Age" was the opener from Hawkwid's excellent "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" so I will share that with you today. I love the concept, story and black sense of humour in this extended take on the song.

Tuesday 20 November 2018


This morning I was walking along the street and a guy said be "Morning Luv, How Are You?" .... then I realise he was addressing a woman behind me. That does happen to me a lot where I think people are speaking to me or waving at me but it's someone behind me that is the object of their attention.

I spend a lot of my time making mistakes and correcting them. I'll often misread words and think "What the Heck?" before realising that I was mistaken in what I read.

At work I thought I had made a huge mistakes in a data extract I had run, but after speaking to someone in the know had the situation properly explained and it turned out that I had actually got it right but thought that I had made a mistake.

Life is peppered with these sort of things, sometimes they are mistakes sometimes you just think they are mistakes.

So naturally I will share "My Mistake" buy Split Enz who I cought live in the early seventies long before they morphed into Crowded House.

Monday 19 November 2018


I know a lot of people, mainly Netflix subscribers, who's normal mode d'etre for watching television series in binge watching. It's something that I can't actually do, I feel that I'm overdosing on whatever I'm watching. I completed "Britannia" in a week due to my NOW TV subscription coming to an end, and i have been watching "Black Sails" but have never exceeded three episodes at one sitting.

I also have a number of series to work through, and often I watch films over two or three sessions, maybe I have a short attention span. One of the good things about Amazon Prime and subscription schannel box sets is that you aren't interrupted by adverts, although what you are going to to watch does take the time it says it's going to take.

The blog posts still don't seem to be getting the hits that they were, but I keep getting chunks of hits like 140 yesterday from Hungary so I don't know how that is working. It maybe that Google Reporting is being a bit flakey at the moment but that is difficult to quantify or identify.

So I've banged on about watching television and my blog and it's probably time to share some music with you, and for not reason at all I am going to share Nazareth's "Silver Dollar Forger (Parts I & II)" essentially for Part 2 which I just love, amazing phased guitar out to coda, from "Rampant", which is a brilliant album, Manny Charlton was a wonderful guitarist.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Desert Island Discs

Today my friend Krista published her Desert Island Discs selection on Facebook here, and as such inspired me to do one. I thought I best read the concept of what it is, though I roughly knew it, but here's a definition:

"Each week a guest, called a 'castaway' during the programme, is asked to choose eight recordings (usually, but not always, music), a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island, whilst discussing their lives and the reasons for their choices."

So that's basically what I'm going to follow, Krista had annotated hers with years and events but  maybe mine wont be that detailed, though hopefully it will provide you with a little insight into what makes me tick. Although this will be albums it is not necessarily my favourite album list, just albums that mean something to me and I wouldn't grow tired of. It also dates me fairly and squarely in the late sixties, early seventies but that's just the nature of the beast.

So here goes:

  1. Future Games by Spirit: Still my favourite album of all time and it's sort of a film for the ears featuring dialogue from Star Trek and Sci-Fi "B" Movies with some fine songs and plying. I still listen to it a lot and it still makes my mind fly.
  2. Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix Experience: An absolutely gorgeous cornucopia of blues, space rock and containing his take on Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" which must rate as the best cover version ever, a double album that again takes you places that you want to be.
  3. Live At San Quentin by Johnny Cash: My dad introduced me to Johnny Cash, and my friend Chris Waring reinforced that, although he was not deemed cool by my school contemporaries, though he is now. This is one of his live prison albums and just encapsulates the outlaw spirit that a lot of us would like to live.
  4. Stranded by Roxy Music: Always one of my favourite bands, and though this was the first without Brian Eno in contains what is probably their finest song "Mother of Pearl" and that is something that would have to be in my music collection.
  5. Quadrophenia by The Who: Their second concept album which actually makes a lot more sense than "Tommy" and contained a photo story book about Jimmy the Mod ending up on Brighton beach, which I spent time on when I was down there. Lots of unforgettable songs with motifs for each band member, each representing a facet of Jimmy's "quadrophenia".
  6. Blood on the tracks by Bob Dylan: There are lots of choices for Dylan but this has "Lily,Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts" one of my favourites story songs that I never tire of, and "If You See Her, Say Hello" which still makes me think about my split with my first girlfriend. The album was about Dylan's divorce so no surprise there.
  7. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps by David Bowie: Again not even my favourite Bowie album but a consistently excellent one with not a dud on there. Maybe tomorrow I would have chosen differently but I wouldn't complain if you put this album on.
  8. Li'l Beethoven by Sparks: This is just like a box of musical fireworks. Sparks always surprise and delight and bring a smile to your face and this is probably my favourite album of theirs.

Clive Barker's Imajica: A thousand pages of majick, adventure, magical creatures spanning five dimensions, and one of those books you just don't want to end, but it is always a delight to read again.

Luxury Item:

A Guitar: And maybe one day I can learn how to play, though just making noise on one is always very therapeutic for me.

So that is my Desert Island selection, tomorrow it may be different but I wouldn't complain if this was all I had on that Desert Island.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Music IS a Drug

Today I listened to Pink Floyd's "A Saucerful of Secrets" and followed that up with XTC's "Mummer" and when "Beating of Hearts" came on I thought wow this is so good, I want more. I had been going thru "A Saucerful of Secrets" thinking how sinister and disturbing "Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun" and getting lost in the three part soundscape of the title track, and the songs that close each side "Corporal Clegg" half comedy/half tragedy and Syd Barrett's farewell appearance with the band "Jugband Blues" which seems an almost cut and paste effort but sad realising the burnt out genius that this was showing us, and still is. Evering song is like a pill that makes you want another.

I think "Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun" and the title track on "A Saucerful of Secrets"are absolutely excellent but they are improved on in the live versions on the album "Ummagumma". I remember going into a shop that sold records at Lane Ends in Preston and the hipster salesperson told me they didn't sell singles!! I never darkened their door again.

Someone once described Ramones songs as like Smarties, you cant have just one you have to have lots.

So onto "Mummer" and "Beating of Hearts" which when you listen on headphones you get the low frequency hit after Andy Partridge sings "Louder Than Bombers In Flight" every time, you know it's coming, and eventually it finishes and you want the next one "Wonderland" and interlude before the single "Love on a Farmboy's Wages" and it continues on and you enjoy every moment.

I definitely could not be without music, even when I have nothing to play or not player or musical instrument handy, it's still there in my head, sometimes songs and pieces I know, sometimes things I want to rediscover.

I just felt I had to put this down here, before I go and sort out my tea, it was just an idea or a concept and it's an excuse to share this incredible XTC song. Have a great Saturday Night everybody.

We Want Our Empire Back!

After finishing Michael Moorcock's "History of The Runestaff" I've continued with the follow up trilogy "Chronicles of Castle Brass". The first is set in a post apocalyptic world (so post that the human race is now functioning again) with the British Empire re imagines as a mad, evil, ever expansive war mongers (which really is close to what it really was, and at the start of the next book there is a resurgence of desire for a return to the "Dark Empire" which closely reminds of the brexit mindset of isolationism while expecting everyone to do what they want.

The best analogy for brexit is the Netflix one from David Osler (@finance_LL):

"I'm going to cancel Netflix and negotiate with each film producer separately, to get the best deal for me and my family #Brexit" 

A Little of the genius of David Osler
 That's it in a nutshell, I don't need to say anymore. You can read more here.  and some of his tweets you can see to the right. Brilliant.

I still haven't got Netflix and was thinking of the time it takes if you want to download a series from an illegal site, with the risks involved, maybe two or three hours. For £5.99 you can get a month of Netflix and watch as much as you want. An hour of my time is worth a lot more than £5.99 so really it's no contest, I will be subscribing eventually.

That's enough of that, today I have to go and pick up some Bowie vinyl that the GPO decided to deliver at mid day on Friday and I do intend to have a most relaxing weekend although that seldom happens and there will be things to do.

 have just started the last episode of series three of "Black Sails" so I have plenty of ways of spending my time.

I was going to choose a Bowie piece as I'd mentioned him, but thinking on "Black Sails" we'll go for some Alestorm to wake us all up.

Have a good Saturday.

Friday 16 November 2018

Foggy Notions

Walking into work this morning it is very foggy. On the sixth floor you can't see the river, or across the river. With th efog I immediately thought of "Foggy Notion" by the Velvet Underground and was surprised to find the Super Deluxe sets shown below. One thing the Velvet Underground were not is Super Deluxe. They made music that almost anyone could play but they set a template for a million garage bands with songs of three chords or less that could be quiet or noisy but always worth listening to.

The Super Deluxe reminds of phone and broadband companies pushing their superfast and ultrafast services. If it's fast it's fast. that's all you need to know. Same with film and TV with UltraHD etc etc, it's irrelevant how good the picture is if the story is rubbish.

Someone told me I had to watch "Taken" in HD, I recorded it from Film4 and watched it and .... it was just another Liam Neeson film with Liam Neeson being Liam Neeson. I had another friend who told me when you watched a certain sci fi film in HD you could see the space backdrop was a black curtain! I don't want to see that, I want to enjoy the film.

I have the whole original Adams Family on DVD, the picture transfer is appalling but two minutes ito it you don't notice because the script and acting is razor sharp,

So, it's Friday, have a brilliant day.

Thursday 15 November 2018

Middle of the Night Post

Not quite, a lot of today has been wrestling with Power Pivot and finally making some decent progress, but am still affected by the shortened daylight hours, but it does mean I get to see some decent sunrises but it has been cold when walking in a morning so it is very tempting to just take the bus.

It is dark outside now and this is an excuse to share Public Service Broadcasting's take on WH Auden's "Night Mail" (the full poem is here) and I was thinking it was a Betjamin poem. I've shared Auden before, Alex Harvey covered his "Roman Wall Blues" as "Soldier on The Wall" and I did a video here.

So that's quite a lot of information is very few words which is always good.

I'm on track to pass 300 posts this year and to post my 2,000th post next year, which is something that I just didn't expect to do so that is good. My walking is also hitting the targets so that is another plus.

Tomorrow is Friday, and I am surprised that I've posted very day this week and could possibly hit 300 posts before the end of November, although that is very unlikely, but it does mean I have been posting an average of almost one a day this year.

So enjoy everything I've shared with you and enjoy your Friday too.

Remember A Day

I walked into work this morning as was listening to Thousand Yard Stare's "Live at Electric Studios" and had been wondering who the intro to the instrumental "Petrichor" remind me of, and today realised it was post Roger Waters Pink Floyd, pretty threatening before returning to familiar TYS territory.

The album is excellent but I have been listening to a lot of them this week so decided to to go to Floyd's last album that featured Syd Barrett, "A Saucerful of Secrets" which my friend Harry Clark referred to as "Y D" because of the titling on the cover, which is one of those that you can always lose yourself in wuth it's magu, planets and magical and alchemical devices and colouring.

The secongd song in is the one I took the post title from and still one of my favourites though I first heard it on "Relics" an early cheap compilation featuring a Nick Mason drawn Heath Robinson like cover, another that you can sit andlook at and lose yourself in though it's better to have the vinyl version than the CD or digital version.

I've shared a version used as a soundtack to the Japanese animation "The Wanderer" for you to enjoy.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

The Joy Of Rubik

A friend shared a video of an animated (possessed?) Rubik Cube, and it is quite lovely, giving it the charateristics of a small puppy, whating to be friends and make lonely people feel better. The film is called "Scrambled" and is by Polder Animation who have their own Youtube channel.

I remember getting a Rubik Cube in the early eighties and being amused, frustrated, confused, fascinated and obsessed with this simple puzzle device that had so many permutations, most of them being wrong. You see people who can solve them in next to no time but they are great training device for dealing with impact analysis, ie "If I do this, then it's going to affect that, which in turn will affect the other thing".

It is an excellent way of training your mind as well as being a potential time waster, but it is still an amazing small device which can actually discipline you to remember and evaluate the impact of what you are doing.

Actually writing this has made me decide to get another one to see if I can still crack it, and I know it should actually sharpen my minds, although we shall see about that. I am quite amazed at the number of variations on th eoriginal 3x3x3 cube. having seen a 5x5x5 one as well as pyramids and objects with far more tha 6 faces, I'm afraid they would just fry my brain.

Tuesday 13 November 2018


It looks like Facebook is blocking by blog posts. There's only a handful of hits now, which I assume is from friends, and given that the blog has only three followers I'm hardly headline news.  Last month there were hundreds of visits via Facebook, but now you can count them on two hands. The thing is they've done the same to Spoongig which normally gets a decent amount of hits.

As I mainly write it as a diary it's not a problems, but if I was trying to monetise it or run a business then it could be quite annoying. You should never rely on just one source for anything you do, because if that source dries up then you are fairly screwed.

As I write this I'm attempting to make my own take on an Aloo Chole curry, which Rajanagar do so brilliantly. I was thinking that I'd go for a takeaway, but decided to try my hand at it myself with extra greens and a few olives.

After a busy couple of days, looking forward to a relaxing night maybe even watch some TV, but I will leave you with "Judy Get Down" by Anthony Moore for no other reason than it's an absolutely brilliant song.

Enjoy your Tuesday night.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Do It Again

I am currently working my way through Michael Moorcock's "History of The Runestaff" section of his "Eternal Champion" serious and thoroughly enjoying it. I was worried it might turn out to be like when you revisit old films, music and TV and you think "What was I thinking?" but while the writing style might be a bit clunky and it's full of magical allies popping up when the hero is done fore, it contains some brilliant lasting imagery and sequences, and I like the post apocalyptic implication of Britain as the bad guys though that is just a reflection of the whole British Empire thing.

When I finish this I have a few more books including the Corum sequence which is based on Irish mythology, and I will appraise you of how that goes though I have sure that they are better than The Runestaff sequence as a lot more of the images are still with me, whereas The Runsestaff sequence is almost like reading it for the first time.

When I've finished this set of books I am going to revisit a lot of Clive Barker, "Imajica" is my favourite book ever still, and "Weaveworld" is the book that first introduced  me to him with it's story of a magic carpet in Liverpool. From then I read the "Books of Blood" which contained some excellent stories, but I will see how far I go down that path.

So basically this is just about doing it again, something you have already done or a place you have been, and the reason why you do it is because of the enjoyment and happiness it brings you, so I will leave you with the appropriately titled "Do It Again" by The Beach Boys. Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday 8 November 2018

Helium Echo

This morning I bougght some water from Tesco and for once used one of the auto checkouts. For weeks the echoey voice on many of them has disconcerted me and I've dicussed this while chatting with the real staff and had a laugh about it. This morning it sounded like it was on helium as well as echoing, sounding weirder than ever.

This comes on top of the Poundland ones that great uyou using the voice of Elvis, which  is also very offputting, wondering if next they're going to have some hologram greeter to freak you out even further.

This reminded me of The King, an Irish Elvis impersonator who had an album out called "Gravelands" featuring covers of songs by artists who have since deprated this mortal plain such as Freddie Mercury of Queen, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, (apologies for spelling errors) and it is a more than listenable album, so I'll share his take on "Whiskey in the Jar".

Have a disconcerting helium filled Thursday.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Grey Day To Grey Week

The sky is a uniform grey still, and now the rain has turned up. This is not the most inspiring of weeks, although the fact that in the USA the Democrats have retaken the House of Representatives giving Donald Trump a metaphorical bloody nose (I wonder if he bleeds orange) is a definited bright spot although the Republicans still hold the Senate, just. There's info here thought not sure if it will stay.

I watched this weekes episode of The Walking Dead and there was a major event which should have been a shocking surprise but the Fox announcers kept telling us about it in the ad breaks. It loses it's impact if you tell people about it, but I'm not done with the series yet and am still working through Black Sails and Constantine, and maybe I will watch the film at some point but cant see Keanu Reeves providing as much entertainment as Matt Ryan.

Tonight I am going to see Thousand Yard Stare supporting House of Love at The Boilershop, so it's not exactly a quiet week for me, things are happening and keeping me on my feet.

So hopefuly the clouds will disperse so I will share Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting".

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Fadely Grayley

Well today is another totally grey day, there's fog on the Tyne and the sky is just a uniform singularity of non colour. There's moisture in the air and thi sis the sort of day where SAD kicks in and there seems to be nothing to inspire you. You don't want t walk, because that's all you are doing, it's unlikely that you will see anything worth taking a picture or video of, and the weather seems to vreate that uniform winter silence.

CHAT Trust Phoenix
I did submit an image of the CHAT Trust Phoenix to MyTownPhotography  just because of the general positive vibes it creats in everyone, although taking a photo today would not have been good, so I'll include an earlier one to your right.

I've also got my House of Love / Thousand Yard Stare ticket so tomorrow night will be the first time that I have been to a gig at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

Yesterday I did manage my first #cookamealinaminute video which you can see here. It's for Jack Monroe's Chickpea and Peach Curry which will appear in her next book I believe.

I'm not sure which song to share with you, I was thinking something by Pearls Before Swine but couldn't find the song I wanted so we will go with "Grey Day" by Madness., which suits the weather.

Monday 5 November 2018

Black Turns To Grey

Just looking at the sky out side it was black when I rose and now it's fading out to grey. It's Monday and looks like just another week coming up.

I'm surprised at the amount of walking I have done so far this month, but I am sure that that will drop off soon although I still expect to hit my monthly target, though not sure I will hit the 400K (that's about 200 miles) I hit last month.

The problem is on days like this I have nothing much to say, it's just one of those days, although I am sure something good will happen today. The grey weather is not exactly inspiring, I will start to walk but chances are I am going to get the bus most of the way into work.

I may cook the Jack Monroe Peach and Chickpea Curry tonight and may try to record it on an instagram video. I only have a minute to do that so that could be interesting, maybe hashtag it with #cookamealinaminute which is slightly misleading but you get the idea.

So the obvious music accompaniment to this post is "Fade To Grey" by Visage, which I have for sale on my Discogs store.

Have a great day everyone.