Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts

Sunday 19 July 2020

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

This morning I mowed my lawn, it's a small lawn. I checked how many steps I'd done and it was over a mile. That surprised me quite a lot that I could walk so far in such a small area. I know people have smaller gardens but sometimes a mile is not very far and other times it seems a long, long way. I am not a very active person but don't mind walking a few steps each day (actually about 11K which is around five miles). It is amazing how some people are aghast at that while I have friends who often cycle ten or fifteen miles a day , 50 to 100 miles a day at weekends plus serious gym time. So no I am anything but a fitness fanatic.

Today I have decided to retire the  www.spoongig, URL but the blog well remain possibly in a subdomain of this one. I don't get to that many gigs these days and was just using one email so it's not really worth keeping. I am going with the subdomain which I hope will start working soon on 

The weather is rather good for a Sunday so that means I should be able to his my steps target.

I'm two thirds of the way through "Everville" and I would have remembered reading this excellent books , so it's only taken me ten years but I'm on it now , and soon will be deciding what to read next. Though a lot of reminds me of certain parts of "Preacher".

I've completed "Vikings" and "Lucifer" so far , but enjoying "The Umbrella Academy" though there seem to be a lot of ideas lifted for other iconic films and series such as "Preacher" and "Pulp Fiction" and enjoying the mind bending complexity of "Altered Carbon".

Music wise I've gone for "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" by Big Daddy Wilson , although there are numerous more well known renditions available.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Luck and The Mystery Cat

This morning I went out for the papers and outside the dentists I noticed a large cat. He looked very familiar, like my neighbour's cat who is also large and furry. The fact that he came to me, didn't run away and had a harness on made me think I had the right cat, so I picked him up and took him to my neighbours about five doors down.

It was the right cat, my neighbour thought the cat was in the back garden on his leash, but it turned out that he had probably escaped when my neighbour was putting a bin out.

It got me thinking how many times it's lucky that we just happen to be in the right place at the right time. If I had not gone for the papers then I wouldn't have seen the cat and he may have got lost. This was not caused by any deliberate action be it was just a confluence of events that had a good conclusion.

Often people talk about fate or destiny but it's just really coincidence.

I just wanted to record that this happened.

I've also done some hedge trimming and therefore filled my brown bin, and it that hedge were two derelict birds' nests. I've refilled the bird seed hoppers so will see if the rat comes back, hopefully he won't.

I think I'll share "Cat Black (The Wizard's Hat)" which I first heard on The Best of T.Rex on the Fly label , but this was recorded as Tyrannosaurus Rex on the album Unicorn

Bookwise with Laura Purcell

I finished Matt Haig's excellent "Notes on a Nervous Planet" and decided to start on Laura Purcell's  novel "The Silent Companions". I bought the book from Amazon to to make up a package so I didn't have to pay postage and it is definitely not the sort of thing that I normally read, although it has definitely drawn me in with it's gothic creepiness. It jumps between three time periods the link being a potential murderess in an asylum , her family and their time ravaged home. It has been compared to various classic gothic novels, and although I I can't really comment on the comparison I can say despite finding it claustrophobic and not my normal far it has got my attention so well that I will happily continue on the end, and I don't really expect it to end well.

I had intended to hit 2K posts for this blog this year which meant I had to post about 210 this year,, but I have already posted 168 times so I could easily hit that target in July, which then means I will be thinking about hitting 3K posts.

Walking, I am still doing the rolling million steps every three months and to complete June I need to do another 56K steps by a week tomorrow so that is another positive for this morning.

I also need to mow the lawn and cut back some hedges, although it never fails to amaze be how much hedge actually grows and needs cutting back, but we have to remember that with a combination of photosynthesis and drawing water from the ground provided by rain plus the recycling of carbon dioxide to produce breathable are, these are essential to use staying alive.

I've also seen a rat in the garden, it actually looked cute and friendly, and was scavenging spilt bird seed and then looking round for something once the seed had gone. I think it was just an itinerant rat , like the hedgehogs and frogs that sometimes appear unexpectedly.

So what do we go with ? "Mad Alice Lane (A Ghost Story)" by (Peter) Lawlor fits the bill, named after a street in York. It was used in a Land Rover advert and reminds me a lot of Portishead and has a very disconcerting vibe while being a great record, although difficult to track down, but not impossible.

Enjoy your Sunday

Wednesday 29 May 2019


I'm giving the Laptop update attempt a rest, the guy is comping to fix the roof link later and the weather is good. I also decided to pay for the Garden Waste Collection for this year found the site and it told me to follow a new link if I was renewing. The new site is a beta site that doesn't work, so I thought I'd try the normal way. It told be I can't because I have paid before (last year).

It does amaze me the sheer volume of online idiocy who's normal excuse is YOU (the customer) must be doing something wrong. I don't know if  I've just become immune to it or what , but I just feel it's another example of the idiocy and buffoonery profligate in our world today. This is the page and the new link is at the bottom, but it resides here. It may work when you try this or they may change it on the live page to a live address.

I also woke up very early and couldn't get back to sleep and now feel tired, but I am showered and dressed and ready to get off to work, so no real option to go back to sleep, also I have a piece of work to do using my three screens at work before I work from home this afternoon.

So really what better song to share than "Gardening At Night" by REM, which I first heard when I bought the album "Epobymous",  who I've never featured in a post before which surprises me, Enjoy your day.

Monday 8 April 2019

#AprilSongs #8 Blue Monday

There might be a few Blue Mondays before the end of April. The first one I've chosen is the Fats Domino one. When I say they will be a few Blue Mondays I mean that there are quite a few songs called "Blue Monday" although most people will now associate the title with the band New Order, though I am not sure that one will be included in the #AprilSongs sequence and there are quite a few other options.

The morning I finished Michael Moorcock's "The Skrayling Tree" and I now know what it meant as I hadn't a clue when I picked the book up. The book is a swirl of ideas and genres with references to Moorcock's early work as well as various mythologies and histories with a finale in a giant golden ziggurat on a frozen lake in extreme North America.

I'm not sure if that stimulated a dream that I suddenly remembered as I read the final sequence, where a couple of North American friends Pandora and Gina and I were posting Instagram videos of us walking out onto frozen lakes as far as we dared. Mine was the lake in Leazes Park and while I have seen it iced over I have never considered walking out on it. I remember as a kind walking over iced ponds and once the ice cracked while a friend was in the middle, I've never seen anyone move so fast and he got back to the shore without getting wet.

Yesterday I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, and it's April. Having said that it does look very well, whereas most years I think I am going to have to get it relaid, but it is looking good.

So I know it's Monday morning , but although it's grey we're getting closer to Spring and Summer. Have a good day.

Friday 29 March 2019

Today Is So Gorgeous ...

...that I went out in the garden and refilled the bird feeders before seven am. When I first started blogging that would have been enough for a post, and as it's more like a diary than anything else, it should really be enough for a post now, but although my posts are still bite sized, one sentence is never enough.

Lots of friends start blogs and come in with a big excellent piece and then that's it. On the one hand they may think that's enough or they may just realise what they have let themselves in for. Here's a few:

These are just a few that seem to have been abandoned, but what they contain is still worth taking time to read and enjoy.

So yes a very short post and I'll leave you with "Eye Know" by De La Soul  because it just came on 6Music and sort of goes with the mood.

Have a great Friday everybody we aren't leaving the EU today and hopefully the whole Brexit thing will crawl away into a corner and die.

Sunday 24 February 2019

Early To Bed

Well it will be once I've written this. I've had a quiet weekend, though I expect my steps for February to be complete by the end of tomorrow. The weather has been a little warmer and soon it'll be time to release the lawn mower, a chore I really don't like doing , but it has to me done. It does amaze me the way that grass, bushes , flowers and trees grow with little more than sun and rain to feed them.

I've been playing Scrabble recently and while you always want to win, you really do need to get beat once in a while to bring you down to earth. I started playing with a lady who normally wipes the floor with me, and I know she has been through hard times recently but aware she is still active on the Scrabble circuit but I have beaten her twice (never happened before) although the third game looks like reverting back to type.

So I've been adding more CDs to my Discogs list and sort of realised that I buy stuff to support the artists usually. Sometimes I may not like the music, but almost always I listen music digitally or on vinyl, it's very seldom I actually play a CD although I do have quite few DVD masters and often listen to "Thick As A Brick", "In The Court of The Crimson King" or "Space Ritual" and the sound on these discs is amazing. I also managed to get hold of a copy of the Newspaper vinyl issue of "Thick as a Brick" from the Skipton Sound Bar so I can listen on DVD or vinyl or just the MP3 ( which I listen to quite often on my walk to work).

So I'll share with you a live take of "In The Court Of The Crimson King" before I hit the sack for tonight

Wednesday 8 August 2018

A Garden

It's strange how sometimes you find the time and energy to do things, in adverse circumstances. Due to a couple of unexpected events at work I ended up missing lunch, and after rising at 4:30 am I thought tonight I would be very tired.

While I am tired, I got home and looked at my back lawn that was more like a lush field and decided that it was time  to mow it. Four lawnmower bags later it was done then I came it and caught up on the latest episode of the excellent Gotham. I cut a fish finger sandwich for tea after taking drugs so it wasn't too musch of a surprise that I had a hypo, but that 's what you get with a lot of physical effort and not musch sustenance.

The problem is, in this weather you don't really feel like eating too much.

I've just watched the clouds turn red as the sun goes down in 'Nam so I am not sure if we will get rain anytime soon.

Anyway although I am a little tired I think I am improving, and as I have been talking garden things I will share The Levellers "This Garden" with you, though I could have shared Mike Nesmith's "The Garden" , his follow to "The Prison" the former of which I have still to read and tell you about.

Sleep well my friends.

Saturday 23 June 2018

Real Head or Artificial Head?

Been slightly worried as a few nights I've been so tired I've had to go to bed at nine. I'm up at six most mornings, sometimes earlier so that should give me nine hours sleep which should be more than enough, but I was under the impression that the older you got the less sleep you got.

Today I wasn't feeling exactly energetic but for one reason or another I've ended up doing 18K steps, the most this month, which i sjustover six miles. Included in that is mowing my lawn and trimming some of the wild edges of the garden resulting in a full brown bin.

Yesterday I listened to "Aqua" by Edgar Froese with it's artificial head recording and while it sounded fine, I wasn't exactly blown away. The title track consists of running water with some electronic sounds weaving in and out and eventually this becomes hypnotically excellent, great music for walking theough green parks to and just the sort for relaxing your mind. I was impressed enough to order the Edgar Froese "Virgin Years" and stick my copy of "Aqua" on Discogs here.

The thing is there's lots of other songs and pieces that have made better use of stereo options and one of the best is still "May This Be Love" from Jimi Hendrix's debut "Are You Experienced" apparently used in the film "Singles". Stick on your headphones and experience this for your self. YOu dontneed an artificial head for this, a real one will do just fine.

Enjoy my friends.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Sweat, Sweat and Sweat

No blood, no tears but a lot of sweat. Due to one thing and another the lawn has not been mowed. It needed doing on Sunday when I got back but I was too lazy, and then yesterday there was rain. The nights are drawing in , but tonight was very muggy, but I forced myself to do it and ended up very hot and very sweaty and therefore no one would want to be withing a million miles of me tonight. It is strange how you never want to do this things, but you do get a sense of small accomplishment when they are done.

As I've said I doubt I will hit #August50 but this edges me a little closer. I would have to average about four posts a day , which is easily do-able , and I have about four things lined up to write about, and as I only tend to write about 250 words , that would be a thousand words a day , and proper writers do that ten times over.

So tomorrow I have a hospital check up so fasting from eight o'clock tonight I think, then I am not sure if I should take drugs or not, so I will bag them up and sally along to the Freeman, though it means I need to leave the house about seven as I am not sure what time I am supposed to be there. It's a flexible arrangement.

A song for this , well it could have been something by Lawnmower Deth,  but I willl go for the more sedat but no less eerie "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe" by Genesis. You know why.

"When The Sun Beats Down

And I Lie On The Bench

I Can Always Hear Them Talk.


I'm Just A Lawnmower.

You Can Tell Me By The Way I Walk"

Sunday 2 April 2017

Everyone Will Hate Me Even More Than They Already Do Now ....

Well all the male members of the various neighbouring houses will do, because I think I'm the first one to mow the lawn this year, so you know what that means, people will be saying "Well he's mowed his lawn". It actually looks very well after the first mow, but this means I'll have to do it at least once a fortnight. Also there's still quite a lot of leaves so the brown bin is full and ready to be emptied.

We're only two days into April and I'm still keeping up my five miles a day. I'm sure I'm going to miss my target one day, but I want to do it every day in April if possible, the everyday after that. It's a simple way of getting a little exercise although I need to vary my toutes, and today I ended up in a fenced off cul-de-sac.

It's funny ever since seeing the film "Eden Lake" with is JG Ballard type premise, all estates make me go cold. I am fine in normal streets, but when I hit a housing estate, especially if it's walled, I do start to feel more than a little threatened. Obviously "Eden Lake" had it's desired effect on me.

I decided to mow the lawn yesterday but it began to rain so that's why I did it today, and I am glad I've got that out of the way..

Today , surprisingly I didn't actually listen to any music on my walk, but it actually kept my attention.

I also watched the film "Youth" featuring great verbal  sparring between Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, and also cameos from Paloma Faith (Good in Bed apparently) and Diego Maradona (Rather portly but a great back tattoo). I was wondering what song to include and really it has to be "Michael Caine" by Madness hasn't it?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday my friends.

Sunday 10 April 2016

April Showers

Well it's the first time this year that I have mowed the lawn. Today has been a lazy day but I have had a headache but managed to get a few things done. I have been listening and learning to play the songs for the band so as usually am trying to do too many things that I don't have time for . The reality is that I would hate to be bored and it's always good to stretch yourself just to see how far you can go.

For The Birds
When I walked over the lawn there was a squelch of water and I thought maybe it's not time but it is mid April so I should be starting . It turned out easy to mow , just two lawn mower bag fulls of grass and now the lawn looks half presentable. The instagram video is . here. The thing is once you start , everyone else has to do theirs . I can imagine lots partners pointing out that I was mowing the lawn so their partner should be doing it too.

Anyway as I say it's been a relaxing weekend and tomorrow work starts again. Have lot's of songs to learn , but am going to post Rick Nelson's Garden Party which is just a totally wonderful song

Goodnight my friends

Sunday 19 July 2015


Feed The Birds
I have a garden and a stand with various forms of bird seed to give the birds something else to eat. As well as seed I put out fat balls and half coconuts filled with fat and seed. When first half coconut I put out stayed for ages and I thought , maybe it's badly designed, maybe the birds don't like it , or whatever. The one day there was some kind of blitz on the food stand,  Everything went! including the coconut contents.

I'm not sure what caused this, I had seen some crows , although they tend to prefer roadkill, and then the bigger birds are magpies and pigeons as will as the smaller birdlife.

So I put another half coconut out and that has been devoured too. The smaller birds like finches are devouring the fatballs , and am just wondering whetehr they are the ones enjoying it.

Well I'm not going to let it bother me , but will get some more today , and it is an excuse to play Harry Nilsson's Coconut, just one of the weirdest songs that you have to sing along to , and we all know Harry was an "interesting" guy as the video testifies ...

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Coincindence and Connections

Yesterday I went to have my annual opticians eye text , and , with contact lenses it's still 20/20, despite being advised around 2003 that I would probably need to switch to wearing glasses. My opticians are excellent ( C4 Sightcare in Newcastle), I was mentioning the extremely excellent aftercare service from GPORetro and it turns out my optician is a jazz enthusiast and a frequenter of Reflex in Newcastle , we both agreed that John Coltrane's Giant Steps is tedious in the extreme but I told him that Miles Davis' Bitches Brew was worth revisiting as it sounds amazing , he wasn't two sure but said he will try it again. You don't tend to think of people who look after you in one way or another have lives outside what they do for you , and my optician is a vinyl enthusiast and a jazz musician. It's amazing what talking to people can reveal, and can make over the most mundane of things (like eye tests) go very quickly.

Think Outside
This weekend saw me mow the lawn this year for only the second time , and it's nearly June. The weather is nice and we have the Newcastle Unity Festival next weekend , followed by Preston North End's play off final against Swindon , then a Pop Will Eat Itself gig at the Riverside.

Thing about talking with people is they can put you onto good things it one way or another, like Meg Mac , and amazing singer who I had never heard of and now have to find more of her stuff. Enjoy
the excellent song above , just ordered the EP from Amazon.

 If you isolate yourself from people you never see or hear things like this. There is so much we miss out on , and let's face it we can't experience everything , but nothing beats the feeling of finding something amazing that you were unaware of. Anyway still have lots of chores to do but good music to listen to while I'm doing it and thankful for every friend I have.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Blood, Flood and Trains

..Apparently. So I've mowed my lawn, and cut some bushes back and filled up the brown bin , ready for next week. The weather today has been lovely, and despite the downpours this week the lawn is in remarkably good fettle.

This weekend I was intending to do nothing but managed to be so busy today that I forgot my mid day insulin injection, and was wondering why I was feeling a bit tired , just putting it down to physical exercise when I came in a saw four untaken tablets and then it clicked I'd missed my middle of the day injection, checked the blood sugar and it was a bit high but it's back to normal now.

Darlington Brick Train
Anyway looking out the window the sky is still blue ,  there's only a little cloud cover so not sure if we are going to get the downpour, but at least I'm prepared for it.

This week has been good for music and seeing friends so tomorrow I really will try to have a quiet day. Oh and earlier this week I went to see the Brick Train in Darlington which is about ten minutes from where I currently work. Because of this I chose a cover of the Kinks "Last of The Steam Powered Trains" and this version brings out the riff that reminds me of Howling Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning" which incidentally is also about steam trains,
 namely the sparks the could be seen from the funnels when you saw
the trains at night.
About The Brick Train

 Hope you are all having a great weekend, and have a fantastic Sunday everybody. There are lots of great things happening  so enjoy everything.

Say hello to your neighbour or phone a friend , do something to put a smile on your face and you will make the world a friendlier place.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Sun Daze, Madchester and The Heed

A Corner Of The Garden
Well it's Sunday, eight ante meridian or thereabouts and its another gorgeous day. The garden has been done so today can be fairly relaxed , just to enjoy the weather. It's May and it looks like summer is here. Who knows it may even be party time.

I always find that sunny weather does uplift you , although if it was like that all the time would I really appreciate it? May thats why my friends in New Zealand and Australia are always so upbeat generally, while people form Manchester (where always rains) tend to be miserable (only joking , though Oasis, Happy Mondays and Joy Division while producing some great music are not the sort of people you would want to spend any time with, although John Cooper Clarke is great fun but he's from Salford). Though it's funny how a simple thought on what a nice day it is can digress into thoughts on the Madchester phenomenon.

Oh the other good news is that Gateshead are in the Conference Play Off Final against Cambridge, so that's one team that the whole of the North East will be behind today, hopefully they will be back in the league after an absence of 50 years. Theres a big do on at The Black Bull and the scenes will be incredible when Gateshead do the business. OK so I now got sidetracked into football, as you may realise I can get easily led astray! But here's a song for The Heed from the magnificent Rezillos.

Anyway I hope everyone is having a great weekend and taking advantage of this lovely weather. Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Monday 21 April 2014

Decking Painting Virtually Complete

Decking Left
Yesterday I started painting the decking, I'd cleaned it off with a combination jetwash and decking treatment, and was looking at my fence I painted ten years back and which still looks in fine fettle and thought maybe I'll use fence stain / paint rather than decking  stain / paint. Decking stuff is about five times as expensive. My reasoning is that if using the fence stuff doesn't work and can redo with the proper stuff. So I got some stuff from Wilkinsons.....

Decking Right
.... £7.50 for five litres or ten pound for two tubs.  So got two tubs. I was putting off doing it yesterday as I only had a two inch brush , but it turns out that I ended up doing the lot and using up the five litres of stuff. There's a few patched that need touching up which I can do today but it looks like it's all done for Easter Monday. I was a bit worried as Wilkinson's Country Brown looked more like Dayglo Orange, but remember that these things sink in, and looks to have taken very well.

The Monolith Reappears
So today will be a little touching up but mostly enjoying myself and relaxing, and hopefully the sun will return.

A bit of cutting back, means we can see our monolith water feature once more.

I hope you all have a fantastic day, I know that I intend to. Enjoy your Eggs

Sunday 23 March 2014

So Glad and English As Tuppence

That people are enjoying my blue sky pictures, it's always nice when you do things that people like. Today we've had more gorgeous blue skies. I've been out for a couple of walks and yesterday mowed the lawn for the first time this yeatr and the garden is looking fine after the winter.

I'd ordered some Aftercut from Amazon and Yodel delivered in a huge box on Saturday, so we shall see how that performs. I need to change the bird feeders as the plastic perspex ones don't seem to do for the birds here, so I'm going to pick up a couple of wire ones and hopefully the birds will enjoy that.

The Local Church
I'm listening to Radio 6 and an advertisement came on for a program called "English As Tuppence" about Vivian Stanshall singer with the Bonzo Dog Band, presented by their musical leader Neil Innes. You can listen here for the next week, though it is three hours long. Now this would be ideal to listen to on the way to work but as you can get a consistent signal between Newcastle and Darlington and they don't let you download radio broadcasts I'll just listen at home.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, I certainly will do

Saturday 22 March 2014

Blue Skies and Sunshine

Blue Skies Over Fenham
To Be Mown
Woke up this morning to blue skies, sunshine and the realisation that lawn mowing may have to start soon, although it is almost the end of March. So really there's no getting away with it. I'm awaiting a delivery of Aftercut that cam via Yodel on Wednesday when I was at work. I was expecting another run in with the delivery company as they only deliver Monday to Friday 9-5 (what sort of time is that to deliver large items to home address/ Anyway, went on their web site and they now deliver on Saturdays, which is good, so I'm expecting delivery of that today, so another thing to brighten up my weekend.

Sunrise in the Back Garden
It's ages since I used my camera to take pictures as I now tend to use my Samsung Note, but have had the camera out this morning and it's good to get to use the optical zoom. It's a five year old Canon Powershot but is compact and easy to use. It may be superseded by my next phone and phone manufacturers have gone for the huge megapixels that allow lossless zooming of pictures negating the the need for an optical zoom for the sort of photographs I take.

Anyway everyone have an absolutely wonderful weekend, I intend to, and if you are in the North East then it's a brilliant day weather wise, and if you are elsewhere in the world you are probably have good weather anyway. Enjoy every moment.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Another Glorious Day

As I went on about in my last post, summer is still here . We've had a bit of rain but it's still gloriously sunny in Newcastle. I also managed to mow the lawn again and hoover up the leaves, so that was good.

Cat in a Window

A slightly annoying thing is that when posting to blog posts to Facebook (should it have a capital?) , it's stopped including Youtube entries as a preview picture so you are stuck with an annoying selfie of me. I've included a photo of our garden and our neighbour's cat in their bedroom window which tickled me.

My Sunny Back Garden
So I remembered a song called "I'll Follow The Sun", which I'd forgotten was by The Beatles from their Beatles For Sale album, but it's an appropriate song for another gorgeous day.

Everyone enjoy yourselves and finish the weekend with a smile on your faces, because that's what I will do , to be ready for the week ahead.