Wednesday 30 January 2019

A Big Freeze

I don't know if it's me getting older or what, but the frosted white cars and rooves and the biting burning cold this morning just made me want to get into the warm again. As a kid I'd be wanting snow and would go out in a T-Shirt and make snow angels. That would definitely not happen today. Is colder or is it just because I am older and more susceptible to the cold. I really don't know.

Another unrelated thing is that we have a new security entry system where I work amd it makes a two beep or three note noise when you go through whatever door or barrier, and those three notes trigger a musical sequence from Jethro Tull's "Passion Play" every time I come in or leave. While I think "Passion Play" is rather good I could do without it playing in my head every time I walk through a security door or barrier. It's an almost Pavlovian reaction to the three notes and it just happens every time.

Last night Newcastle United beat Manchester City 2-1 and my local branch of William Hills were offering 50/1 for that result, but I thought it would just be money down the drain. It turned out that my actual bets were the ones that actually lost . C'est la vie.

The lack of cloud is what's driving the temperature down, though we have had no snow .... yet. So I think maybe I need to share a bit of "Passion Play" with you although "Frozen"by Madonna was a possibility as well as "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" by Bruce Springsteen, but we shall have a bit of "Passion Play" that is not "The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles" which I featured in this post here.

Monday 28 January 2019

I Can Put A Tennis Raquet Up Against My Face And Prentend That I'm Kendo Nagasaki

It's a line from my favourite song on the Half Man Half Biscuit album "McIntyre, Treadmore and Davitt" which was the name of three retired footballers called on to save a Football team in the "Golden Gordon" episode of Michael Palin's "Ripping Yarns". The song is "Everything's AOR" and will of course accompany this post.

It's my dad's 84th birthday and the older someone gets it's more difficult to get birthday presents, especially when his main hobby is working, although he has a penchant for post boxes and boxing. I decided to get him a copy of "There Is No Map In Hell" by Steve Birkinshaw which I bought just for the title and found to be an excellent book seeing what some people can force themselves to do against seemingly impossible conditions.

The weather has been incredibly cold and during January absolutely not conducive to walking although I have managed to keep up my target steps so I am still exceeding my million steps every three months and I will start February in Whitby so I am not sure taht will be a good or a bad thing. Whitby is great for walking but if the weather is not good that may discourage me from actually doing my required steps.

Kendo Nagasaki was a wrestler in the sixties and maybe still is but I remember watching wrestling on a Saturday afternon at my grandmas with Kendo, Mick McManus , Jackie Pallo and others too numerous to mention. It was all staged of course as it still is in the numerous wrestling francises going on today. The link to the Kendo Nagasaki (there are/were many) portrays him as a mystic an dhypnotist as well as a wrestler, so not a one trick pony. The tennis raquet gives a similar effect to the samurai mask worn by Kendo in the ring.

So that's my Monday so far ..... now what's yours?

Friday 25 January 2019

Ulysses, James Joyce and Japan

I don't know what brought this into my mind apart from the fact that I was having a dream and couldn't remember who wrote "Ulysses" though the names James Joyce, WB Yeats and WG Grace slipped through my mind, so I did know but my mind was telling me I didn't. These days scaremongers so often try to equate forgetfulness with Alzheimers and Dementia.

I remember THAT passage beimg screened on the BBC much to "Angry from Purley"'s disgust, and also seem to remeber my parents having the book , and mee seeking out THAT passage to read over and over. This was the days before video recorders and catch up TV and colour was a luxury. The thing with books is that you can always re read them, if you enjoy them or need to concentrate on the meaning.

I am now thinking I should get myself a copy as someone recently described the book as the greatest in the English language. Maybe on Kindle or Aldiko though , in fact I may have a copy in my ebook library that I acquired a while back.

The Japan part of this post comes from the fact I sold a CD on Discogs yesterday but the guy hadn't paid (shipping is generally added automatically), then I saw that the despatch address was Japan! Internation Stardard shipping is about a fiver and takes five days, International Economy costs four pounds but takes up to 56 days. I charged £4 and sent Standard as you can't be waiting two months for a CD can you. The album was Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" so another Irish connection there.

So I have to go with one of my favourite Donovan songs "Season of The Witch" which is one of the songs on the "Sunshine Superman" album.

Enjoy your Friday everybody.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Tangence or Tangience

Both real word, click on Tangence or Tangience to see the definition. They came into my head because I was just again thinking of the tangential nature of almost everything to do with me. On Sunday's Post here I started on about getting up early, though my slow CD clearance via Discogs which took me on to my favourite Pirates song which led to me discovering  Sons of Pirates and then chatting with Mick Green's sons via Facebook. Almost like a Pinball game of events and connections.

Talking of Pinball, I was in The Strawberry today and they have a Kiss Pinball machine!! I mean what's that about? KIss were always the worst bandwagon jumping poodle rockers with the perfect business model of being facepainted so everyone was replaceable. The ultimate corporate toy rock band.

So I could have shared something by Kiss, but when you are talking Pinball it can only be Elton John's take on "Pinball Wizard" in Ken Russell's feature length pop video masquerading as a film (loads of highlights though such as Tina Turner's "Acid Queen". YOu also get The Who on stage too and those hilarious boots.

Monday 21 January 2019


I missed the Lunar eclipse and can't understand why it's listed as a "Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse" , yes because it's red "Blood" but why include the word "Wolf" in there? It seems a pointless addition like when mobile and broadband companies describe speeds of Super Ultra Mega Fast, it's either fast or not. TV manufacturers and broadcasters do the same with picture quality with Ultra and Super HD. Pointless extra adjectives.

There were some amazing red skies this morning, examples on my instagram channel here. I don't know if that was caused by the Lunar Eclipse.There are lots of explanationa on line on how the moon was turned red by the eclipse and that should keep you occupied for quite a while if that is to your particular taste.

This post is unusual in that it has no musical content, though you can always go for Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon" or Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" as vaguely related, but I just got a bit of video from the Guardian to see what happened, and I am sure that is far more relevant.

Sunday 20 January 2019


Sunday morning, come down to make a cup of tea, that's the time on the oven clock 8:19 , and I'm thinking "I'm Late" . I'm not the White Rabbit from "Alice In Wonderland", although at the end of the month I will be in Whitby and visit La Rosa where Lewis Carroll once stayed and now has a room named after him, and I will probably nip by as I've not been there for over a year.

The weather is still grey and cold although the sun is hot when it shines through. I am vaguely perturbed by the similarity to the weather and the book I am reading "The Pince With The Silver Hand" where the fog, mist and cold accompany the "gods" of Limbo trying to destroy the world by turning it into another Limbo.

I was looking at the number of programs on my Virgin TV recorder, as well as my DVD / Blu Ray collection as well as my CDs and realise that in my case I have bought things just because I thought I should. Part of it is actually supporting record shops and artists but it seems, especially in this digital age,  we have become magpies, collecting things just to have them rather than to continually enjoy them. Downloading and recording are the worst because you have it then and then it just sits there, often not being watched or listened to. It is nice to be able to enjoy something and having it on tap but I am now listing CDs on Discogs some of which are selling at rather inflated prices, but of people are willing to pay then that's what you list it at. The Pirates "Shakin' With The Devil" compilation is selling for up to £56 but I've put it on at a far more reasonaly £20.

There was something else that I wanted to say but it's now gone from my mind, but if it comes back I will just do another post. So what to choose, there's obviously "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, or "I'm Late" from Disney's "Alice In Wonderland" but I am going to go for The Pirates "All In It Together" which I loved as soon as they released it on their seventies reformation. Then I found the video below by "Sons of Pirates". I've not been able to find any more info because there is an American band of the same name but I'm wondering if they are the offspring of Mick Green and Co. Mick Green was also the inspiration for Wilko Johnson. They are probably the Green Brothers, Mick Green's lads here on Facebook.

Friday 18 January 2019


The title is because I saw the time and it's the title of a dystopian Who song from "The Who By Numbers", so obviously that will lead this post. 905 was written and sung by John Entwistle who in my opinion was one of the greatest rock bassists, almost up there with the Motown bassists.

Since Christmas the number of hits per post have gone up slightly although I don't know if I have just been dropped by robots. I find it quite amusing that one of the main refering sites is an esoteric "webcam" site if you know what I mean. I haven't a clue why that should be apart from the same of this blog can be read as Seven Day Sin rather than the Seven Days In which is the initial "mission statement" of the blog which was to record travel, but is now just a diary with an emphasis on music, travel , tech and media.

This year I don't expect to post as much but I do intend to hit 2K posts so that means I need to still do 2 posts every three days.

There is still snow and ice on the ground and it is cold but the sun is shining brightly, and that is always uplifting.

So this is just an inconsequential and short Friday morning post as we speed into the weekend.

Thursday 17 January 2019

Winter is Coming ... Everywhere

Well it is in my life. The final series of Game of Thrones comes with the Night King bringing Winter and turning the world to Ice. I'm currently revisiting Michael Moorcock's  "The Prince With The Silver Hand" in which a "resurrected" Corum battles the Ice and Winter brought by the Fhoi Myore in a freezing Celtic world, and today started off extremely cold before a minor snow storm brought snow to Newcastle. It's still white and there is Ice on the paths.

I don't think I'll be walking to work tomorrow unless there is a major thaw.

This morning in the cold I was listening to Primal Scream's "Dirty Hits" and they are a truly awesome band taking on any style and making it theirs , from Rock and Roll to Gospel to Krautrock to Metal. While "Autobahn 66" has an obvious nod to Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" it's closer in type to Neu!'s Motorik beat, and that is the one I'll share with you tho their catalogue is a veritable cornucopia of brilliance. I particularly love "Kowalski" with it's reference to the film "Vanishing Point", one of my favourites, and I know how they stop him.

So we shall se what the weekend brings.

Monday 14 January 2019


Still waking to fragments of dreams and really feeling that I need a full day in bed, but part of me thinks I have responsibilities at work and another part says I should walk into work, but the dark, and the cold wind is putting me off that. I don't know whether I will or not.

Numberless is an odd adjective, and I don't know why the word came to me maybe it's out of one of the dreams. It is amazing the number of book, music and film sequences that are inspired by dreams and, see, I ve just gone off on a tangent in the same sentence.

Still could you imagine a world without numbers. There are peoples who's counting system is one,two many. In the TV series "The Prisoner" Patrick McGoohan states "I Am Not A Number, I Am A Free Man", he is No 6!! Which was also a Brand of cigarette favoured by my friends in my teens. Of course I went for No 10 hand half a cigarette and gave them away and luckily never got hooked.

Every aspect of our life is affected or influenced by numbers, I couldn't write this without the various computers involved crunching numbers to allow me to do this. If I go to work by bus I have to buy a ticket which I have to pay for with money and we need numbers to deal with that.

So I'll leave you with the intro to The Prisoner featuring Ron Grainer's theme tune

Sunday 13 January 2019

In A Broken Dream

It's strange how dreams can be vivid, seemingly keeping you engaged all night and then when you finally do wake up you are left with fragments, even though the dream itself captured your imagination. I had gone to sleep last night after watching some of this week's installment of "Black Lake" so that obviously had some bearing on the contents of my dream.

This is what I'm left with, two rooms, in a containment area and whenever the room is occupied or being used there is a green indicating light and whenever it's empty or not in use then there is a red indicating light. The dream had a hell of a lot more to it, but I am just left with these fragments, and by tomorrow they will be gone too. The fact I am writing this here means it actually won't be forgotten as such, but whenever I revisit this post or search on the Dreans label I will come across it in the future.

That obviously made me think of the record "In A Broken Dream" by the Australian group Python Lee Jackson featuring Rod Stewart on vocals and some of th emost amazing guitar work you will ever hear on a chart single. It was a one hit wonder, but once you hear it you will never forget it.

Saturday 12 January 2019

I Won't Watch Black and White Films, Films With Subtitles or Read Books

Obviously not me, but over the years I continually hear this from people, and variations on the same. Anything out of the blinkered area that they see means you (that's me) are a total weirdo. You don't like "Top Gear"? You're weird. You like classical music? You must be retarded. You don't watch X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent? You have no taste in music. You watch Asian language film? You're strange. You listen to German and French bands who sing in German and French? You are mad.

I've had all these reactions from people, and maybe it's why people seldom speak with me, but that's their loss. The fact they are cutting out of their life the films:

  • Downfall
  • Amelie
  • The Seven Samurai
  • Casablanca
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Young Frankenstein
....and more

and then the music of:

  • Beethoven
  • Mozart
  • Philip Glass
  • Can
  • Amon Duul II
  • Jacques Brel
  • Alan Stivell
  • Gong

..... and more

And the fact that people refuse to read for the flimsiest of reasons, missing out on the joy of hooking up your own imagination as someone's words take you on a journey that no film could ever do, I list the music I listen to and the books I read on here. I have finished "There Is No Map In Hell" which I bought just for the title and I discovered what it is like to run 214 Wainwright Peaks in seven days. which you can read about on Steve Birkinshaw's blog here, You might not be able to judge a book by the cover but it was the title that hooked me and though I have zero interest in Fell Running it did hook me.

So I should include a song that is not sung in English, so I'll go with Los Lobos take on Richie Valens' "La Bamba" from the soundtrack of the eponymous film

Friday 11 January 2019


This is Post Number 1800

I don't know if it's an age thing, and maybe that's a sign of getting old, but I oftemn start on something with I know will take an hour or two, but want it completed immediately. This is true of work and walking (understandable) but also watching films and TV progams and listening to albums, which have to take as long as the last.

I always found it amusing that mobile networks sold the favct that you could download a four minute song in two seconds. It still takes four minutes to listen two , and if you don't take four minutes over it then you lose all the pleasure and experience to be gained from giving the song the listening time it requires. It's even more true for albums and films. It is useful if you are downloading before going into a no signal area but that is never the reason pushed as it would imply that signal coverage is not perfect (which it isn't).

It's been a mental week and work and next week is probably going to be madder, I'm sure I will be able to cope.

It is Friday and I am actually feeling tired though it's another early Saturday start with a trip across Slatyford Park to pick up some things from the Post Office Depot. I keep forgetting I could have things delivered to my local Post Office when order stuff from Amazon that won't fit through my letter box, still it does give me some exercise.

I'll leave you with "Shooting Star" by Harper Simon , Paul's lad. It's a few years old but an absolutely beautiful way to leave Friday night ti enter the realms of Morpheus.

Thursday 10 January 2019

Future Islands

Just a quick one about blog targets for 2019. Last year I posted over 300 times (with the aim of beating my previous highest year of 2017 with 264 posts. This year I want to take the blog over 2,000 posts since day one which means just over 200 required this year, that still requires around two posts every three days so i am going to have to find something to talk about. Given that I seldom see anyone these days it does give me an option to say things that people may or may not listen to, but it's always pleasant when someone mentions something that I have written about.

I'm  still reading "There Is No Map In Hell" and it reminds me of "Fermat's Last Theorem" in that it's almost a gripping adventure , with the will he / won't he on almost every page, getting more and more tense as you near the end of the book.

I've also been adding more CDs to my Discogs store here due to the fact that I play vinyl more than I play CDs and listen to most of my music via various digital platforms such as my phone and Kindle Fire and Home Network.

I have bought a hell of a lot of CDs without really getting to know them, but also some have only required a single listen and it's pointless having them boxed up doing nothing.

Anyway, this is post 1799 so I will share Motorhead's take on David Bowie's "Heroes", and it is more than up to scratch. I've seen King Crimson's take which is great as well, and while I am sure there will be versions that don't cut the mustard, this certainly does.

Friday is almost upon us.

Monday 7 January 2019

There Is No Map In Hell

The title is the name of the book by Steve Birkinshaw that I bought from 3 Peaks Cycles in Settle just because of the title. I didn't look at the back cover or find out what it was about I just bought it. It's about the guys attempt to run ALL Wainwright's 214 Fells in seven days, this was like running two marathons and ascending / descending 35,000 feet each day. Oh, and just to make it really easy he went public to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. I have a couple of friends who suffer from this horrible debilitating condition so that raised Steve in my estimation, he really does care for others.

This whole thing is not a subject that normally interests me and had you said do you fancy a book about a guy running the 214 Wainwright's in seven days I would have taken a pss. The book is large format and around two hundred pages but I am half way through at the moment enjoying the mentons of places and areas I know and finding out on how he powers through the challenges he faces

This book is a prime example of just diving in and trying something that is completely new for you. I could have easily hit a brick wall and discarded it but the narrative of fell running, nutrition , friends and family values and challenges with the added bonus of familiar locations (Steve works for Newcastle University as well) are making this a joy to read. I will resume my re reading program after this, but this is an enjoyable read from a most impressive man.

So something appropriate to accompany this, there's obviously "The Race" by Yello, but I'm going to go for "Man In The Hills" by Burning Spear because the only thing it has in common with STeve is the title and it is a brilliant record. I know it's Monday , but enjoy it, I 'm off  to the doctors and then to deal with something that will be unpleasantly annoying at work.

Friday 4 January 2019

Steam Powered

I must say I am very impressed with the Steam Gaming Platform. I know there are so many games that run on this but it's great to be able to play the ones that are my level obviously very retro and they cost next to nothing and actually work as they did when first released.

So far I have bought the Quake and Hexen packs which were lest than a tenner for both of them and am considering Doom which again is  a pittance, but all these are veritable timesinks or time vampires. I also got Civilization III for a massive 74p.

I would not regard myself as a Computer Gamer, I have a Nintendo Wii which I use about every six months, and when I see the latest XBox and Playstation Games I know that there is no way I could even start any of those games. These games now have budgets normaly associated with films, with scored soundtracks by major composers. I cannot see where I could put aside the time to actually take part in these games.

I remember buying a Steam Package which contained some amaging graphical games but just couldn't handle all the controls an dthen decided to uninstall it and forgot what my original account was.

Anyway I am really happy with this installation and it should keep me occupied for the odd half hour  when I need a bit of mental relaxation. So the natural music to accompany this (for me) is "It's A Game" by String Driven Thing which was also covererd by The Bay City Rollers.

Hope your Friday is going well.

New Year, New Book

I've finished "swords of Corum" by Michael Moorcock and now taking a break from Science Fantasy (though there is little Science and a lot of Fantasy and it suffers like "Elementary" of finishing off incidents too quickly ("I Killed All The Gods")) , and now I am starting "There Are No Maps In Hell" by  Steve Birkinshaw about his record breaking run of the 214 Wainwright Fells.

This is a book I bought just because of the title when I saw it in the 3 Peaks Cycle Shop in Settle (which also sells book and breakfasts and the people are really helpful. I'm hoping to get back there soon and try their breakfasts. They say never judge a book by the cover, so should you jusdge one by it's title? Well the title sold it to me and the cover is fairly good although completely different to my recent reading.

After this I will be back on Moorcock's Corum books in the "The Prince With The Silver Hand" which is heavily based on Irish Mythology, so looking forward to that as well.

This morning 6Music (John Hillcock) played "Bang The Drum All Day" and it sort of sums the feeling of coming back to work after the New Year for me. It is Friday though, so have a great day.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Bonjour 2019

For some reason I thought it was 2020, probably working in a Finance Department in the Financial Year 2019 for the last eight months. I do believe that tax and accountancy is just an annoying situation where a bunch of ex council pedants make up rules to make life difficult for everyone else.

Anyway less work talk and here we are on the first day of 2019 with my first post before my first sleep of the New Year. I' will go for (like I probably did last year) "New Year's Day" by U2 from the "Under A Blood Red Sky" album that I bought from Woolworth's in Goole when I was on my first contract at Hygena coding COBOL on a DEC/VAX . I was quite amazed when there was all the palaver about the Millenium Bug because I'd been programming since 1980 catering for the millenium, so how come programming in the late nineties didn't see the Millenium coming. Still "Under A Blood Red Sky" is one of my favourite U2 albums which I still play today

Not to worry, we are still here despite the morons in the USA and UK Governments at the moment and sure that we will deal with these like our bodies deal with infections, we will purge them.

Welcome to 2019 everybody.