Wednesday 31 July 2019

Night Watch

I can hardly believe the extreme heat and extreme rain we've been having, and amazed the the people in power don't seem to see a problem. We've been lucky we haven't been hit by floods but I made the mistake of trying to walk to work without an umbrella today and got hit by two heavy showers. Looking out the window it's grey with some impressive cloud formations.

"The Illuminatus Trilogy" is going along but it's essentially stream of consciousness slipping between realities with long meaninglessly titled chapters / splits but I'm about two thirds through book one "The Eye In The Pyramid" coming across the detective Saul Goodman, Atlantis , gratuitous sex ., pyramids, giant submarines and right wing southern USA jail stays but you are never in the same place for long. I'm enjoying the read / ride but this will not be most people's cup of petrol.

I watched a couple of films on Amazon Prime including the remake of "Suspiria" which has a lot of touchpoints of "The Illuminatus Trilogy" and an experience to watch with a Thom Yorke soundtrack, I may have to watch the original now which is an hour shorter.

I also watched a documentary on Joy Division which again was excellent and to me their music sound as fresh and pertinent now as when it first came out. The thing is everything was generally analogue so the sounds and noises were actually made and not just something downloaded. A highly watchable film following on from Nico 1988 that I watched the other week.

So I am going to share the excellent video for Joy Division's "Atmosphere" always one of my favourites, as i get ready for bed.

Sunday 28 July 2019


Like the 1999 post the 2001 post will go the same way except not with the Prince song but the Arthur C Clarke book and the Stanley Kubrick film which still look jaw droppingly awesome now, fifty years sich it was brought to us in the days before CGI, and thank god no one has decided to to ty and remake it for a modern audience.

The original main theme is "Also Spake Zarathustra" (there are various alternate spellings and wordings by Richard Strauss , also used to open Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special , but remember being shouted down in a pab discussion when the shouters said it was Holst, proves that shouting louder does win the argument.

Johann Strauss was the composer of the "Blue Danube" for the docking scene included below.

So this is post 2001 with some appropriately great video and musical accompaniment. I know there's not many words but it is good to be able to share this film and book and if you haven't read the book or seen the film do yourself a favour and make time to do it now.

Millennium Post #2

I don't know whether I expected to do this many posts. I do know I expected to have a book written but the ideas come and go, and I expected to have some recordings out there and a combination of laziness and "not having enough time" , life and things have distracted me from hitting those targets.

My first Millennium Post can be seen by clicking on the link and was about eight and a half years after I started this blog. This one is about four years after the last one so the rate of posting has doubled and again I'm not sure if the quality has improved although the quantity definitely has.

One of things in the last four years I have started walking a million steps every three months on a rolling basis which was inspired by the Diabetes UK One Million Step Challenge which raises money for charity. I just did it to see if I could do it and it has helped me discover a lot of places that I would never have seen if I had not been on foot.

The fact that this has fallen on a Sunday would have some kind of divine significance for some people but lets face it there was a one in seven chance it would happen. At the beginning of the year I wanted to hit two thousand posts by the end of the year, and because I kept posting I realised I could actually hit it this month, so I have done that.

This means I will soon have the number of posts up to our number of Anno Domini years whether that's significant or not.

So nothing momentous to write about, and trying to think of a significant song for this , should we go with Pulp's "Disco 2000"  or The Rolling Stones "2000 Light Years From Home" but definitely not Robbie Williams "Millennium" (which I always thought was spelt with one 'n') or "2000 Man" by Kiss , but then I saw on "Their Satanic Majesties Request" the Stones had a song called "2000 Man" so we will go with that, with it's heavy Kinks influences. The video is full of images that appear in "The Illuminatus Trilogy" so it's strange how many things just coincide.

I thought Captain Beefheart had a song called "2000 Man" but I had got it mixed up with "25th Century Quaker" , understandable mistake.

So it's a sunny-ish Sunday have a good one and thank you for reading.

Saturday 27 July 2019


This is post number 1999 so there's only one way this is going isn't there. In fact the next few posts could all definitely be music related, but "1999" is one of those all time perfect songs.

It's not like the album was short on quality but opening with the title track followed by "Little Red Corvette" and you already have a killer, and this was pre CD so I had a double vinyl copy, and it is one to consider for my vinyl collection.

I'm quite surprised I'm on my third paragraph and everyone knows who I am talking about but I haven't yet even mentioned him by name, the sadly missed , immensely talented guitar titing funkster  Prince Rogers Nelson.

Though 1999 appears in lots of artwork , books and film , as well as music as the pre millenium year this is what the Google search gives you. so you don't even have to search.

Summer Rain

We're in the middle of summer and a week of rain is forecast. The good thing is that you don't need sprinklers and water plants and garden, but does mean you need to have some kind of rain protection although it's still very hot so a waterproof jacket or coat is not an option and umbrellas are often cumbersome.

I never thought I would wear a hat, but many years ago in a windy wet Whitby , someone suggested I spend £12 waterproof hat (which you can see here) and that was brilliant , it keeps you mostly dry , leaves both hands free, and stays om your head when it's windy, and generally when it's raining it's my preferred method of keeping dry.

After the mess of the leak in the extension not being addressed by the last lot of disappearing  fixers , the excellent and professional Responsive Roofing  came and looked and put a temporary fix up which kept us dry last night, now I'm just waiting for the estimate which will punch another big hole in my finances, but it has to be done, and they are great guys and happy knowing the will do a good job. The problem is we expect things to last forever and they don't.

So what do we go with this morning, maybe "Wonder Toys That Last Forever" an absolutely brilliant song from Bill Nelson's (one of Yorkshire's finest) Red Noise  (post Be Bop Deluxe) , yes it's very 1980's in it's production but it is a great song.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday 26 July 2019

Turning Lebanese

The Bake in Byker (a lebanese restaurant I have not yest visited but heard great reports about) has a presence in The Grainger Market called Felafel Al Hana, which I visited briefly when it first opened and was treated to complimentary felafel. I had been a couple of times and decided the main courses were too much for lunch, but passed today and checked out the hot starters and these actually looked like more than enough for a meal.

I ordered Batata Harra and Fried Vegetables , which was a more that decent serving of fried spiced potato cubes with sauce , bread , olives , mushrooms and a lot more vegetables , so an aleast vegetarian if not vegan meal , along with a cold jug of water, all for undet four pounds.

Service and the people were very welcoming and I have a few more items on th estarter menu that I am going to try. It is one of the many brilliant places to eat in the Grainger Market and far better thatn most of the chains in The Eldon (Incidentally Giraffe has gone).

You can see what I had here.  It was as good as it looks.
I wasn't sure exactly what music to have on this but as I had just got a new Facebook friend who was a friend of the lead singer with the Coyotemen, Helmut Bruiser,

I think their last single "Can She Cook" should suffice as Felafel Al HAna certainly can cook

Thursday 25 July 2019

The Serpentine Twists of An Unexpected Life

Very often things don't go as you would want them or even as you would expect. The sun rises and traverses the sky for eight, nine , ten hours and then it goes dark and the moon may rise and for the rest of th eearth day you can sleep as the dark hangs around slowly dispersing into the next day.

I've still not got my roof fixed but last night I decided to get a takeway from The Diner in Fenham. My normal modus operandi is to order via their phone app, then walk up and pick up (it's probably about 500 yards from my front dooor) and pay by card (I could pay by card in the app but you have to put in your card number and loads of other details each time) .... except ...... their card machine was not working. There is no cash machine close by... so .....

I walked back to Two Ball Lonnen Post Office to get some cash but the cash machine was out of service, 100 yards up the road is a Nisa and that had a working cash machine. I then decided to walk back to The Diner though the estate and notied a van for Responsible Roofing so I photographed the phone numbers and went to pay for the pizza and curry.

I mentioned that I may have found someone to fix my roof and the guy at The Diner immediately told me about a local brilliant guy who did all their work and directed me to where I had seen the van , it was the same guy we were talking about. I have an appointment today with him so things are looking better.

So this is just a post about how unexpected twists can take you to a postive conclusion.

Just as an aside I'm still enjoying "The Illuminatus Trilogy" by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, and found out the latter has thirty five books published on similar themes  which feature knowledge , lies , great writing, a sense of humour and a razor sharp wit so I have a feeling I will be purchasing more of his work.

So a perfect song would be George Harrison's excellent "Any Road" which basically says "If You Don't Know Where You're Going, Any Road Will Take You There" .

Enjoy this sunny Thursday

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Well I Didn't See That Coming

Sheet lightning , thunder , torrential rain, Bojo the poundshop Drumpf as Prime Minister, and now the rain has stopped , hopefully Bojo will too.  Today is forecast very hot and sunny so that should be a bit of summer to enjoy apart from being at work.

It is very hot already and it will be in the office.

The radio is still full of Moon Landing related programmes and articles, and Professor Richard Wiseman is doing spots on the Chris Hawkins Show on 6Music about the whole "Apollo Mindset" where Mission Control planners were all very young (early twenties) and got this done because they didn't know it couldn't be done.

So it's so hot that I really can't write any more but  maybe we should go with "Saturn 5" by The Inspiral Carpets.

Tuesday 23 July 2019


This is post 200 this year , which means 2019 is, so far, my fourth highest posting year since I started. This week I will hit my two thousandth post. I hit my thousandth post , here, in November 2015, eight and a half years after my first post here.  . So my second thousand post has taken about four years so I have doubled my posting rate, which my be a good or bad thing , possibly quantity of quality. You can check the first against the thousandth against this one and see if there has been any improvement at all.

I just got my latest bill from Discogs and I'm now selling about two CDs a week, which is quite impressive as often they are going for above ten pounds, way above the 17p I would get from CEX or Music Magpie. That's nothing against those companies, because they have to take the hit of the stuff they can't sell and then have to hold what they have until they actually sell the things. The latest one will be posted off to Germany this morning.

Today is another sunny day, and I am going to take myself off to work soon so I know this is short, but this won't feature Nico for a change.

I opened the curtains and there was a big fly on the window, but then I noticed it was outside so that was a good start.

So what are we going to have music wise? Just noticed the Faces box that my daughters got me for a birthday, so we'll go for a live take of "That's All You Need" one of my favourite slide guitar rock songs , and this is very rough but totally brilliant.

Enjoy your Tuesday

Monday 22 July 2019


I don't know if that's a real word , but just refers to the fact that I prefer these days to buy vinyl as opposed to CD or digital. I will probably still buy certain boxed sets but  now very seldom look at normal CDs.

I definitely like listening to vinyl and  often think I would like to buy certain music on vinyl, an example being after watching the film "Nico 1988" although the cost of Nico on vinyl is prohibitive although I do have her performances on the fisrt Velvet Underground album so it's not as though I have no Nico on vinyl.

I particularly like her take on "The End" by The Doors which then tempted me to purchase the first Doors album but I have that digitally along with a live Nico take from the live Ayers, Cale, Nico , Eno album at the Rainbow. That would be also a nice album to have on Vinyl but again I have a digital copy so I should be satisfied with that.

I really do have enough vinyl but, as with Oscar Wilde, "I can resist anything but temptation" , although that temptation does have to be something special.

So what music should we go with, maybe Nico live in Tokyo performing "The End" would be fitting

Sunday 21 July 2019

Watching Nico

Over this weekend I have watched a few films. As I am writing this I feel but my blood sugar is way too high but my blood sugar reading is at 5.2 which is fine. I am trying some new tabs (in addition to everything else) forxiga , dapagliflozin which supposedly lets you pee your excess  blood sugar away, which means more time at the urinal or wherever but it seems to be working (I think).

So back to the films and I was most impressed with Nico 1988 which traced Nico's last couple of years when she went out on the road and played some gigs. The film was written and directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli  and features Trine Dyrholm who impressively plays Nico complete with tantrums ,  love and impressive gothic singing with great support from  John Gordon Sinclair as the ever supportive but put upon Richard. "Gregory's Girl" this isn't.

I found a live take of "All Tomorrow's Parties" from Preston in 1982 by Nico and the take from the film with Trine so you can see how good she is.

This has made me want to get some Nico on Vinyl but give the prices I may have to just stay digital (which I can play through my record player via my Kindle.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Conspiracy, Autocorrect and 1984

I went to write this post there was this link to a Messianic Bible which apparently proves that English Bibles are flawed and this proves that Jesus (Yeshua) is the true Messiah. I though the Jews were still waiting for the Messiah. Can't say any more but it's a bit like saying the Hebrew Spiderman comic corrects the errors of the American Spiderman comic.

I'm not sure why the ad came up apart from the face that I have been including a lot about "2023" by The Jams and "The Illuminatus Trilogy" by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea (which is shaping up to be rather good (lots of conspiracy theories based on actual conspiracy theories in a vaguely underground detective novel.

The last nigh I met with Chi Onwurah very briefly after autocorrect on her email told me to meet her at "campervan" opposite the Tyneside Cinema. What she thought she had sent was Ampersand which is in Commercial Union House for the fortnightly Labour Party meeting , but I will catch up with her properly in next couple of weeks to talk about my various issues with the current state state of the Labour Party , but also how we address the "idiocracy" that belies every word of the right wing media.

Maybe given all this, and the fact that "Space Oddity" is playing on the radio , we'll go with "1984" by David Bowie because your devices ARE watching and listening to you. I found this very hard edged live take from a 1973 NBC TV Special from The 1980 Floor Show which produced the album "Diamond Dogs" as the George Orwell estate refused permission for Bowie to use 1984.

Thursday 18 July 2019

Coincidentally.. A Conspiracy Theory and The Heisenberg Supercut

After finishing "2023" I started "The Illuminatus Trilogy" expecting some exposé of secret societies and the like, but it is more a detective story and the main detective is Saul Goodman and the book , I think was published in 1975.

Saul Goodman also appears as a policeman in "2023" and a CRIMINAL Lawyer as opposed to a criminal lawyer in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul". I have a feeling that this is more than coincidence.

Anyway after the mass of text in a bad typeface that I initially saw in "The Illuminatus Trilogy" it is starting to pick up and I am looking forward to this 800 page slab of reading over the new few weeks. I am sure it probably influenced Dan Brown to write "The Da Vinci Code" but I have a feeling that this will have tongue firmly in cheek with more than a little fun.

Given that I've dragged in "Breaking Bad" (one of the greatest TV series ever) so we will go with Badfinger's "My Baby Blue - The Heisenberg Supercut"

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Darts Illuminatus

2023 is finished and I loved it complete with it's "Keeper of The Page" list and now I am going to read "The Illuminatus Trilogy" which clocks in at 800 pages , double the length of 2023 and ⅔ the length of "Lord of The Rings" if I remember rightly, though at the hospital today I was enjoying the ideas coming from "Acorn", making the time at the hospital fly by despite the retinal scan and the needles to check my feet were still OK.

The font in "The Illuminatus Trilogy"  is fairly challenging and the book looks like it was photocopied, maybe to give the impression of being subversive.

It seems I'm not in too bad shape after all, well not at the moment.

I then ended up walking back from the hospital because I thought I could walk part way to Netherby Drive to catch a bus closer to home then realised I was three stops away so though I may as well just walk all the way, so ended up walking all the way and well over four miles today. While that is not a lot to most people it is fine for me.

So time for an early night.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

An Acorn

Thanks to reading 2023 I am considering buying Yoko Ono's "Grapefruit" but it seems to me perfectly suited to an ebook reader, though is not (yet) available in ebook format. However the follow up "Acorn" is, so I bought it and have started skimming through it on my Kindle app on my Google Pixel phone , and am enjoying what I am seeing.

The only book I have ever read on my phone is "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu and that is a book that can actually be dipped into, although a polar opposite of Yoko Ono's writing. I am also trying to read "Ulysses" by James Joyce though that is much ard going.

The joy of "Acorn" and lot's of Yoko Ono's writing is that you can take a little or a lot and it will still satisfy. Some people will be left cold but we cannot all like the same thing.

I do hope "Grapefruit" is released as an eBook as I will definitely purchase it , it would be nice to have it with me most of the day, when I'm on the bus , or in a hospital waiting room (my annual diabetic check up tomorrow), but I do have "Acorn" , "The Art of War" and a "QI" compendium to keep me going.

So why don't we go with "Walking on Thin Ice" by Yoko Ono ?

Go - 50 Years Since Apollo 11 Lift Off

Sunny days can lift your spirits, and we have a sunny day this morning and hopefully it will be like that all day. Yesterday, without making any particular effort I did over 20K steps (6 Miles). I walked into work for the first time in a while and had to walk round town a bit so that's where it came from, but it was really no great effort on my part. That is really the best way to do things, so they are either part of the norm , ideally pleasurable and afterwards you can feel satisfied with what you have done.

One thing I keep noticing is spelling or grammatical mistakes in my posts and tweets but they seem to have been done by autocorrect but there is also the possibility that I have made the mistake, but I know what I wanted and intended to write and that is not what is in front of me.

Today is fifty years since Apollo 11 was launched and sent the first men to the moon.Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC, but you got to feel for Mike Collins who just had to stay in Orbit while the other two went down , but you can read more here.

So really it's gotta be something from "The Race For Space" by Public Service Broadcasting and we'll go with the highly positive "Go", which is based on the Apollo 11 mission.

Monday 15 July 2019

The Oblique Grapefruit

Thanks to reading 2023 I am probably going to end up buying the book "Grapefruit" by Yoko Ono , metamorphosed in 2023 to "Grapefruit Are Not The Only Bombs", essentially a series of instructions to direct people to do things to create radical art or change the world in radical ways. The book consis of "event scores" such as:

"Imagine the clouds dripping. 
  Dig a hole in your garden to 
  put them in.  
   — 1963 Spring"

There is more information here. and a few more event scores here

This reminded me of the "Oblique Strategies" card set by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt (who also collaborated on the cover of "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy". You can use and online implementation of it here.  , and the first card says "Is It Finished?" the answer , for me, on this post , being "No"

The second card says "Don't Be Afraid To Display Your Talents" so you can see how this could randomly help you in the creation of an artistic piece. I often say to people that for something to be art you just have to say that it is art, and that should cause an effect in the viewer. The effect may be positive or negative but if you have an effect  then the art piece is valid.

Follow the Oblique Strategies link and see where it takes you.

If you want to produce something these two methods may help unblock any mental brick walls, and these are probably just two high profile art aids or directors and they may help with everyday life, not only art.

"Emphasize Repetitions"

So will take the opening song from from "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy" with an image of the album cover.

Sunday 14 July 2019


I do like wordplay and it's amazing how much you can rearrange the letters in the name "ELVIS" , so "Elvis Lives" has an anagrammatical pair. I chose the title because I saw a book on one of Fiona's piles called "Evil Eye" and then it set my mind off, as things do, I am easily distracted.

Today has been very much a do nothing day, and I spent a lot of time just listening to vinyl while I did a crossword , Sudoku and read a bit more of 2023. I still feel tired and this week apart from work have an eye test and my annual diabetic review.

As the sun goes down, I do feel really tired for some reason , when I should be rested an energetic. My walking has been fine with 13K done today, but that is hardly very far, not even three miles. So that is definitely not the reason.

So as I titled it EVIL EYE and the started on about Elvis maybe we should have my favourite Elvis song , and I could go on about the Turkish Nazar charm for warding off the Evil Eye.

Then another thought pops into my head , this is post 1985 so what about "1985" by  Wings from the "Band on the Run" album and we'll leave my favourite Elvis song for another time.

Now it is time for bed.

Saturday 13 July 2019


Facebook is definitely finished on my phone but I feel I am getting too much political stuff on Twitter, well that has replaced the stuff I used to see and share on Facebook. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but it's nice not to let Facebook really track me as such, so no check ins or film sharing as such. I use twitter to share my blog posts as not many people read them on Facebook and Twitter gets me more (robot) attention. Twitter does however open my eyes to a lot of political stuff that I then try and check from other sources, and I do enjoy Mike Harding's posts which are often funny but always with a serious point, and Matt Haig's posts which are always helpful.

I do share the odd positive or funny picture but I am just waiting for my three month ban, as Facebook doesn't play by it's own rules.

I don't know if this will be a short or long post, but I got a couple of classical vinyl albums today (Bizet's "Carmen highlights" and Elgar's "Enigma Variations") from a charity shop and hopefully that will satisfy my vinylisation for a while. IT is good to just put and album on with no remote option and let it play, and that applies to classical and contemporary albums.

I also need to mention this is post 1984 and 1984 was the year my youngest daughter Kirsty was born and she has turned out to be talented, well adjusted , sensible with a reasonable taste in music, books and media , taking after her elder sister Juliet in many respects while being chalk and cheese in some areas. However as sisters and daughters they are as perfect as you could expect.

While I love "Carmen" I also love "Carmen (L'Oiseau Rebelle)" Malcolm McLaren's "Fans" , his take on the theme from Bizet's opera, which is a much harder edged piece but extremely listenable and that's what we shall go with.