Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Weight

I was quite surprised when I converted my weight from kilograms to stones and pounds,  My weight is not really going down although I am hardly ballooning, but I remember being close to twenty stone and always feel that's roughly where I am. Sometime it the last two years I dropped below a hundred Kg which was a big landmark for me and have been trying (not very hard) to get below 95Kg.

Although I am diabetic , I love chocolate and sweet stuff although as I get older certain things I used to find irresistible now don't hold as much attraction for me , such as fried breakfasts and most meat although I am still OK with fish.

Anyway this morning I weighed 94.6 Kg and when I converted it to stones and lbs it came out as 14 stone 13 lb which is a lot less that the twenty stone that I think of myself as. The 209lb still seems a lot to me and I have to get under 200lb / 90Kg , just to do it which meats losing another five Kg or ten lb. When I got hit by 'flu' or COVID about fifteen months ago I dropped to 92Kg but then put it on when I got better.

Given what I've already lost I don't see the 90Kg as impossible , and it's not all that far away. 

So I know this is a short post on a sunny Tuesday morning, and the obvious song is "The Weight" by The Band. Incidentally it was included in the film of "Easy Rider" but due to contractual wrangles the version on the soundtrack album was replaced by a version by the band Smith, who I have never heard of before or since. The scene from "Easy Rider" is on Youtube, and beautiful thee minutes of roadtrp thru The NAVAJO NATION (US 89 North to US 160 East to KAYENTA,then US 163 to MONUMENT VALLEY,AZ/UT) feturing Peter Fonda , Dennis hopper and I think Hack Nicholson riding pillion

Wednesday, 24 March 2021


 I had my COVID injection yesterday and it physically knocked me with a lot of the symptoms but I think I am now over the worst.

"Steppenwolf" has taken a major unexpected twist, in a drug, drink and sex induced surreal scenario Harry Haller takes a step into a man vs machine world scenario worthy of JG Ballard. I really didn't see that coming , and with about twenty pages left of the book I am not sure what else will happen. If I'd known the format of the book , two breaks in the first fifty pages then two hundred pages of non stop narrative, I think I may have been put off, and it's not for everyone but I am glad I have read and got through it.

I have also decided to revisit "Tarantula" by Bob Dylan next before maybe dipping into another unread (by me) classic.

So as I am still not 100% , I am going to go left field and share "Shadow Line" by Jordan Reyne because it is the song that hooked me on her and the video is wonderful as is the song.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Last Night I Dreamt ....

 ... but don't remember anything. I obviously slept well though was woken by traffic around 5AM and then the alarm at 5:46AM . I watched the last episode of the current series of "American Gods" and thought it was coming to a tidy close, but how wrong I was about that.

I keep wanting to write a one word post , but I am not sure what that word would be, although doubt there would be a reaction as people would look at it and then go on to the next thing that might actually catch their interest.

I'm not sure if there is a problem with my Google Pixel 2XL phone as a few apps have suddenly stopped working. It's odd because they open then just disappear , had a similar problem with an app on my work computer recently. The thing is it's stuff like GMail , Words With Friends (which seems memory intensive anyway) and IMDB , however other apps seem fine. I've run the virus checker and nothing comes up so may be a case of uninstalling and reinstalling , which is fine for a single app but annoying for multiple apps.

On my walk for the COVID test all of a sudden all the non working apps started working , so all looks good,

Today is my first COVID jab so will be walking out soon to the Centre For Life to get mine. It's a greyish day but should be a good walk into town. The walk was pleasant and the lady who dealt with me was a dentist from Fenham , told her the story of how I got my name which she thought was hilarious , and when I told her who I worked for she said "Well That's a conversation stopper" , cue more guffaws from both of us.

So my first #MusicWhileYouWork disc when I get in will be Gerry Rafferty's "City To City" so that should appear on my Instagram Channel and as I write this the sun has started really shining , so all is looking good.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Two A.M. Too Late or Too Early?

Thanks to virtually a week off , last night I stayed up while 1:30 AM , I think I could have stayed up all night , not sure how I would have felt today but isn't that why party animals only get up in the afternoon , which then means it's easy to stay up all night,

Now if you are partying or at a rave the question in the title doesn't matter , but if you are just at home is 2 AM too late or too early to watch a film , make some coffee or tea or a bacon butty.

I have the dates for my COVID injections and the systems , while a couple of glitches went through fairly quickly , unlike almost all the contracts outsourced to the government's mates and cronies.

I had planned to try a marathon this week , but the thought of maybe spending 12 hours to do 60K steps in 12 hours  in cold weather somehow lost it's appeal. At some point I will go to top my 15.5  miles but that may be at the end of March , but even then it may not happen, we shall see.

I have listened to a lot of music this week and still written nothing . I really need to learn how to use my simple Kindle recording studio as I can't get anything that links up to my computer to use Audacity to record it.

This week's vinyl included Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and maybe their finest album "Killer" , as well has Hawkwind's "XIn Search of Space" and "Space ritual" and as I write this I am listening to "This Time It's Personal" the excellent covers album by Hugh Cornwell and Dr John Cooper Clarke.

But I will share , what is in my opinion Alice Cooper's finest song , the amazing "Halo of Flies" , love the image the title conjures up and the song is eight minutes of aural adventure. I also found this cover's band Pretties For You NYC doing a cover which I also have to share as it is rather good.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

With The Possible Exception of Being Garth Crooks - #AnimalAugust #9

Every time I wash a sieve the Half Man Half Biscuit song "Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes"  from "Look Dad, No Tunes" comes to mind:

"There is surely nothing worse than washing sieves

There is surely nothing worse than washing sieves

With the possible exception

Of being Garth Crooks

There is surely nothing worse than washing sieves"

Possibly very true but what Garth Crooks has done to incur Nigel Blackwell's ire , I haven't a clue.

Today is very hot and clammy but foggy. I went to Morrison's but wearing the mask can feel a bit claustrophobic , but we are in a different world now until a vaccine is found for COVID-19 . The mask is annoying the alternative is frightening.

Talking of claustrophobia , which I suffer from slightly, that is the feeling that I am getting in "The Lost" by Jonathan Aycliffe , being trapped but frightened of what might happen, ironically I'm enjoying it , and saw parallels in "The Revenant" in the cold, snow , and forest settings , although one is in North America and the other is in Romania. Leonardo Dicaprio's fight with the cear is stunning, and Tom Hardy play s a great villain.

Keeping with Half Man Half Biscuit for #AnimalAugust we will go with "King of Rome" which is about a pigeon , and one of their covers but not officially available digitally. Here is a list of their covers. Luckily for everyone it is on Youtube and you can listen to it on this post.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

A Cautionary Covid-19 Tale (That Has Nothing To Do With Covid-19)

Today I have been remarkably tired , although I've been out a bit and done more than my normal 11K step target. This morning I fixed a picture that had been disconnected from it's frame (a little sellotape fixed that) , and posted a CD off to the USA, so it's not as though I have been doing a lot or a little, but on the way back from town had an idea for a short story, which may not be to everyone's taste but every story needs an idea, and this is just a straight draft , no editing , just coming out of my mind.

So a 300 word black humoured short story (probably influenced by Roald Dahl)  for you

All my posts these days have an accompanying video, I think "Free" by VAST is sort of suitable.

A Cautionary Covid-19 Tale

The takeaway had a sign in the window (which was fully covered in advertisements and the takeaway menu) , "only one customer in the shop at any one time, wait til the ENTER sign lights". The ENTER sign was lit so he opened the door went in and checked the menu on the wall.

After perusing the menu he placed his order and pulled out his card.

"Cash Only , we don't take cards, there is a cash machine next door"

He checked his wallet and had enough to pay for his meal, so handed over the notes and took the change.

"Thanks it'll be about twenty minutes, are you OK waiting"

"Yeah , no problem"

There were a few magazines on a small table in the seating area, mostly supermarket periodicals advertising food and meals to make, but he decided to see what was happening on his phone, the internet and news sites held a little more interest than the magazines.

He heard a noise but didn't take any notice, the BBC site had an article on Liverpool's lifting of the Premiership , and that now had all his attention.

The person who had served him had disappeared in the back, presumably getting his order together.

There were some more noises, like something scurrying on the floor and behind the seating .

"Maybe it's the heating"

His phone had his attention.

Then there was a bite on his ankle,  it felt like a bite , he grabbed his ankle (he had come into the shop wearing a T-shirt , tracksuit bottoms and slippers , nothing else...

There was blood on his hands .

"What the .... "

He didn't finish the sentence .........

The server came back behind the counter, with the owner and looked at what was left of their customer.

"Are they all back in the box?"


"Well that looks look like enough mince to keep us going for the next fortnight......."

The End ..... Or 

Saturday, 23 May 2020

A Slightly Different Perspective

By actually posting , I am continuing with the #maywriteabit , although I know others are doing it and my interaction with them has fizzled out a bit.

I've been doing this three month rolling million steps for a couple of years by doing 340K steps a month. This is fine but in months with less than 31 days the extra daily steps are just a slight pain. Then looking at it from an annual view 11K steps a day will result in just under four million steps , which is a million every three months, and given that most days I tend to do a bit more than 11K then I should just aim for a daily average of 11K a day and that will sort me over each year.

It's only taken me a couple of years to realise this , and make my step counting so much simpler.

So that is a good thing at the start of this Bank Holiday Weekend. I don't have much more to say apart from to share another great record that 6Music have been playing  "PDLIF" by Bon Iver to raise money for Direct Relief . 100% of streaming proceeds will be directed to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization working to protect workers and patients alike so if you watch the video you will be contributing to this charity. Here's a description from the Direct Relief site:

"The release marks the first time a music video has premiered on Direct Relief’s website and reflects the myriad of new ways artists — and individuals in general — are helping support Covid-19 relief efforts. Along with the novel distribution method, the song was created in a new way as well, because of safety precautions necessitated by the pandemic. Each contributor worked on their part of the song in isolation before sending their work on to their bandmates and audio engineers."

Enjoy the song , stay safe and look after yourself.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

All Queued Up

This will be a very short post , almost just a note, there will be very few words, almost none (I have an ambition to do a one word post one day, but not today).

One of my biggest bugbears is queuing , I always avoid it when I can. However the lockdown and social distancing means that I do have to do it to get into certain places , normally supermarkets and chemists. I still don't like it , but now I have to do it and I totally accept it although some people still think it should be everybody but them that has to queue.

The reason I am doing this post is that the phrase "All Queued Up" came to mind and I thought it was an early Ultravox song but it was actually a Deaf School song but you can hear the similarities between early Ultravox and Deaf School. and that is what I am sharing with you.

I think the first song I heard from them was "What A Way To End It All" and they are a band surprisingly absent from my music collection , so you know I will have to do something about that, although these days you can usually find stuff on Youtube or wherever.

Have a listen , you may be pleasantly surprised.

Share The Good Things

While life may not be perfect at the moment , we are getting a lot of chances to do things that we didn't think we could do before. It does help when the weather is good and I have not actually used a bus for about three weeks, that's not because I dislike buses , it's just because I don't need to use them.

Today I am going to visit Westerhope for supplies shopping , rather than going into town, It means actually crossing the A1 but there is a foot bridge so I don't have to dodge motorway traffic.

I am listening to a lot of vinyl and digital at the moment, plus 6Music and a hell of a lot of TV , there is so much to watch and so much choice and it does amaze me that people record , watch and rewatch soaps . Having said that is me watching "Vikings" and "Lucifer" and different that someone watching "Eastenders" and "Coronation STreet" in the grand scheme of things.

I always try and dig out some piece of music that is either new and you should hear, or appropriate to the post, or some great song that you have never heard. This one fulfills the latter two criteria , being "Television" by Dave Edmunds.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Choose Your Masques

I think facemasks in close contact with people you don't know are probably a good idea, but there are people who think (or probably don't think) they are a fashion accessory. I saw a guy in the street the other day wearing one, pull it down and then sneeze into the air, obviously didn't want any germs polluting HIS mask. As far as I am aware the point of facemasks is to stop YOU spreading anything to others, rather than protecting you. Only the surgical type ones protect you from close contact with infected non mask wearers.

I've given up on th erolling million steps every three months and halfing it to two million steps per year which is around 5.5K steps a day until I get to easily wander again. The main problem is a relatively small area that I am walking in resulting is a boredom / familiarity scenario which is why I don't do gyms and only do swimming very infrequently.

In other areas "Not The End Of The World" by Christopher Brookmyre is rather excellent, although it covers a heck of a lot and the initial "Marie Celeste" event of the prologue has not featured too much , but I expect will be resolved in the final quarter of the book. I home it doesn't turn out like many episodes of "Elementary" where everything is wrapped up in the final two minutes.

So I simply chose the title becasue of the name of the Hawkwind album, but if I wera one it will just be a bandit / neckerchief or scarf , though was also thing of a balaclava / motorcycle helmet inned balaclava thing.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

April Shower

Yesterday got a phone call from my practice (Thornfield Medical Group) telling one of the drugs I am taking should stop if I get Coronavirus. Shows the excellent service I get from them and why I have been with them for twenty years. I am going to keep on taking it but know if I get hit with the Coronavirus to stop the tablet (Forxiga) .

I didn't think I would hit my monthly walking target and normally I have a few free days at the end of the month , but I need to walk 6K steps today to hit the target , so that's a target hit although May may be a different kettle of fish as it is getting a bit samey and that is something that I don't particularly like when I go on a walk.

The last few days have been decidedly dreich so April is ending with showers.

I'm into the Christopher Brookmyre book "Not The End Of The World" (an appropriate title for our current situation) put was put off because after the large print of "A Shadow on the Wall" by Jonathan Aycliffe this is small and densely printed and I don't like the font so it looked challenging , but there was an interesting prologue and there is a lot happening in it. For some reason his style reminds me of John Niven , well in the same universe as hom.

I've just finished series three of "Lucifer" on Amazon Prime , although the final two episodes (which were after the series finale) were entertaining but a little disjointed, so now it's either Netflix but I have rejoined "Vikings" and have four series of that to work though.

There are two records that have could my ear while working at home, I share the second tomorrow but today the almost wrong doom laden  piano motif driven rap of "Ooh La La" by Run The Jewels, an absolutely excellent record.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Je M'Ennuie

No, I'm not bored ( je m'ennuie is French for I'm Bored in case you were wondering what I am on about)  but I think others might be in this COVID-19 Lockdown. On my Discogs store I sell a CD maybe once every two weeks but this week it's more than one a day. I think people are getting bored and browsing Discogs and buying CDs , a sort of online retail therapy. It's good that people actually buy music as opposed to getting a Spotify subscription, alth I suppose buying from me doesn't really benefit the artist, but it is helping people get through the Lockdown.

In my last post I said how good "Crocodiles" by Melt Yourself Down was , and they had a great conversation with me on twitter although  Melt Yourself Down is a great name for a song and reminds me of "Melt The Guns" by XTC , but Crocodiles is a great name for a band. Anyway I am gonna be pursuing their music much wither but the sax riff on "Crocodiles" is something else, it could almost be classic Van Der Graaf Generator (unusually for a rock band they had no bass and no guitar in their early incarnations but still managed some of the most impressive music you will hear).

So I'm going to share "I'm Bored" by The Bonzo Dog Band , because I am sure that is hitting a lot of people at the moment, but a litle good music can definitely dispel the ennui and we drift into lockdown Easter, and on Amazon I've just seen a Cheese Easter Egg!!

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Coincidentally Coronavirus

I had no plans to post again today but still reading and enjoying  "What If" by Randall Munroe  and the latest question was "Could we eliminate the common cold if we stayed apart" . The common cold is a rhinovirus , that is it attacks the nose and throat and goes on to analyse that the basic concept probably would work but there are many other things that need to be taken into account and I was struck by the obvious correlation with the current COVID-19 that we are in at the moment.

Although they are different they are both virus based and a lot of the ways of combating them are based on stopping them from spreading, as all sensible people realise that prevention is far better than cure, unfortunately it is difficult to deal with the "stupid" segment who just ignore guidelines of what action to take.

I have been put in the "stupid" section because I go out for a walk or two each day. If I lived in flats or narrow streets and there were a lot of people around I would probably stay in , and maybe walk round the garden or garage. I live in Fenham  and the streets and footpaths are very wide (though it doesn't stop some couples from managing to take up the whole width of the footpath, almost playing Coronavirus Chicken, which forces me in to the road as traffic is a lot sparser but doesn't happen often)

So because I never planned to write this it's fairly short so my choice of music, so I reckon "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats is fine as it could be a description of the footpath scenario I described above.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Something Positive

Obviously everything I post will be influenced at least in some part by the COVID-19 scenario. There are some positives to be taken from this, although it is still a frightening situation.

I can almost walk across the road at will , traffic is a lot sparser. There are still people out and on my walks I have said hello to a lot more new people than I normally would , a lady this morning explained (at a distance) about the impressive stick she had in her hands.

Animals, in theory , may be a problem because unless they are on a leash they will always investigate new people, I've had both cats and dogs approach me over the last few days.

There has been good weather and bad weather this week, but not so bad that I can't get out, although I am wanting to go a little further afield although I have plenty of green areas to walk through so hopefully I won't get too bored.

I am one of the lucky ones, I can work from home , but although it's fine when you are working singly,  I find screen sharing a little trying.

This really one of those posts where I have nothing to say, although it is my first post in April and last April I did 50 posts, so that's a definite no go this year.

Today I actually listened to some CDs (Dead Eyes Opened, The Yachts and Ethiopiques - Ethiopian jazz , which is very disconcerting) because my speakers take a feed from the TV screen that is my new monitor and when  I use it for my work monitor it's not really an option to play music on it. So we can go with "Tezeta (Nostalgia)" by Mulatu Astatke which I think I may have shared before after discussing with Nadine Shah , The music just seems a little off/strange making it very compelling listening, I could listen to this all night , although we are just past midnight here.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

No Future

This is not as negative as the title might sound and is an excuse to share the Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" from which I extracted the title of this post. When I first heard the Sex Pistols I was sort of disappointed because they were more heavy metal than punk though that also might be down to having decent production

This is about the situation we find ourselves in with the lockdown. Normally we have something we have to do , and something we look forward to , like seeing people at work and socially , going to town , for some people shopping, everything is something to look forward to, but the lockdown has stopped a hell of a lot of that.

I am lucky enough to work from home and make random Teams calls to people to maintain sociability , but if your work is closed down you may suddenly lose a huge amount of social contact. We often think that the people we work with are just co workers but they are often friends and do provide social interaction and friendship as well , giving us something to look forward to.

Luckily I live in Fenham , Newcastle which has wide roads, wide footpaths , parks , green areas like the Town Moor which enables me to get out and walk while maintaining social distancing.

Today I went to the local Boots to pick up a prescription, but it took me well over an hour in freezing conditions. I was worried I was going to collapse the cold was so bad.  The other thing I hadn't thought a bout was there were two vapers spewing out their smoke over everyone behind them in the queue. They complainingly desisted when me and another guy told them they could be infecting everyone  their smoke / vapour hit. Smoking and Vaping is OK as long as you don't breathe it on anyone else.

The thing is you need something to look forward to. We have phones , social media, and an unfeasible amount of TV choice. Then there's books and music.

So we can give ourselves new things to look forward to , however small, something to look forward to is something worth having. There are still people who seem to relish things going wrong and telling you you must be miserable because things will only get worse, but I do not subscribe to that.

Although things will change, we can slightly change our goals and look forward to a bright future when we come out the other side.

So find something you like to look forward to. Enjoy your Saturday.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


Yes , this is post number 2222 , probably the next significant number will be 2345, but this is one of the goals I mentioned in a recent post. I have now got 98 positive reviews on Discogs so still two off the century there. I added a few more CDs one of which was a BEF box set with is going for around fifty mounds so it must be quite rare, but I am never going to play it again so I can make some room.

I'm slightly worried that the lockdown will hamper my walking although I have kept up my steps so far and likely to be ok for March , but April may be a different kettle of fish. I have been out and am surprised at the number of people who seem to go out of their way to stop social distancing, managing to take up the width of a Supermarket aisle on their own, so it just means finding another way round.

So it is quite late on this Wednesday , so I doubt anyone will read this, but given our current situations here's another one for it, "Clampdown" by The Clash.

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Isn't Life Changed

So the UK moves towards a sort of lockdown, with too many people think that they are OK. I THINK I am Ok but I don't KNOW that I am OK, and that is probably true for everyone not showing symptoms. My posts will probably address the situation for the near future, but I am thinking this may never be over. Even if COVID-19 is dealt with there may be something more virulent waiting round the corner.

On the other the other hand many forms of Cancer are curable , as a kid that was it , AIDS , SARS etc have all been faught successfully so COVID-19 is just another battle to be fought.

We need to keep away from people we don't know (sounds like advice you give to children) but many adults seem to be just ignorant of this. I had to take a bus today , there was one other passenger on the bus so sat well away from them. Then someone else got on the bus, sat on the seat in front of me (plenty of others further away to choose from) and got on the phone to berate someone about the fact that the person they were phoning needed to make sure they kept away from others. Luckily my stop was next so I went to the front of the bus to distance myself and get off to renew my driving licenses.

Sharing "Isn't Life Strange" by The Moody Blues which seems vaguely appropriate for these times. One of my biggest worries is actually keeping my steps up, though I don't see us being confined to houses , just confined to as little interaction with people we don't know as possible.

Today I had a phone consultation re my Cirrhosis of the Liver but I know the consultant well and that was fine. We may find we don't have to travel as much. I remember the shock of someone at work saying "Maybe I shouldn't be travelling to London every day for a one hour meeting. My jaw dropped. Some people are either unbelievably stupid or selfish or both.