Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A little bit of politics

Except it shouldn’t really be political. But somehow it seems it is. I’m not sure why I’m surprised but the barrage of contempt and ignorance thrown up by rather a lot of police officers and their uncritical supporters has left me dazed and confused. And angry. Anyway, here you go, check it all out, sign the petition etc.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Slowly but surely

I went to see Holly Golightly play the other night (May 12th, to be precise). I've been meaning to get to one of her gigs for years, so I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that it was great. That at least is the fuzzy impression that I'm left with. Over the course of the evening I had rather a lot to drink and can't really remember too much about it all. (I do remember Fabienne Delsol was in the crowd. Stood right next to me for a while actually. I affected a nonchalant attitude, she seemed unmoved.)

So, I can't remember stuff like which songs got played, but I do remember being particularly pleased at two or three of the choices. And, er, Slowly But Surely may have been one of them. It's probably my most recently acquired favourite track of hers - the LP version is just immaculate (the kind of thing that might have got into the Top Ten in the eighties maybe) but I prefer the demo version on the b side of On The Fire. Both are amazing.

Anyway, I didn't know it was a cover version until about two weeks ago. Here's the original. Yet another upset for my tending to prefer whichever version you hear first theory (I may scrap that theory). I like this better. The harmonica has a more yearning quality, the vocal more forlorn.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Beermat of the month

This series idea has not proved to be the goldmine of blog posts that I expected, to be honest. Beermats these days are pretty boring. It's a shame. But this one's not too bad, a bit of a Spacemen 3 vibe going on I think. It's for the Big Smoke Brew Co. As I always say the quality of the beer is immaterial, but as I also always say, it's actually pretty nice: their Dark Wave porter is great and if they haven't got that then their milk stout is also excellent.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Benchmarking exercise

We've not had a park bench post for a while have we? Here you go - this sturdy little beauty and many others just like it can be found in the Virginia Water bit of Windsor Great Park.

I noticed the other day that the very first benches I mentioned on here have been removed. They've replaced them with really boring ones, the kind of thing that you can get in garden centres.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Word of the day

Hamsteren v., to hoard. Discovered on Wednesday while flipping through a Dutch/English dictionary in Oxfam, it just leapt out at me.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Space age bachelor pad

Is it wrong for a man to be envious of his hamster? Above is our hamster's habitat, or one of them any way. This is his fun palace (it has a running wheel). His other pad is a much more spacious, though more traditional residence.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

New hamster etc.

I've been absent for a while. In this time I've nearly posted.....twice. Something about a gingerbread man biscuit (too whimsical, I decided). And when I got a copy of the Spectrum/MGMT 7" on the Great Pop Supplement. My god, did you see that sleeve? So beautiful. The track's not bad either - Spacemen 3 cover Little Doll basically. The Spectrum track was called Bo's Web which brings me to: we have a new hamster. ʊ is, uncontroversially, how his name is pronounced. As to the spelling, my wife maintains that it's Beau (as in Brummell), whereas I say it's Bo (as in Diddley). As I remember it my rationale for Bo Diddly was that Bo (our hamster) was so small. So, like diddly squat, ie: nothing, a paltry amount (of hamster). My wife is at a loss to explain as to how he takes after the famous Regency dandy. 

Other than that there's a round the world post just sitting there, waiting for the MP3 to be uploaded. And a new, very unoriginal, series idea to follow that. I used to have a few half formed posts sitting in the draft folder of my email account, but I came in pissed one night a while back and accidentally deleted them all. No great loss really (except for one about some Mervyn Peake drawings, and the top ten best songs ever one, and a questionnaire style one, that was quite funny).

Added to that is that life has been pretty good. It's occurred to me before that I don't post that much when I'm happier. I know I was certainly stuck in a miserable job when I started this blog. I am, at the moment, very happy in my work. I get in at 7.30am, blink, and it's home time, whether I like it or not. I am, additionally, fairly happy with the other bits of my life. How have I achieved this state of bliss? The usual stuff: how many records have I bought since October? I couldn't tell you, a lot though. I've got enough pairs of Clarks shoes to last me about ten years. I've acquired a fairly perfect striped blazer (burgundy and navy blue, quite subtle. All it lacks is a thin yellow stripe). The girl on the coffee concession is clearly in love with me (she gives me extra stamps on my loyalty card. Or is this a common ploy? Anyway, it's getting a bit ridiculous, I would say around fifty percent of my stamps are bogus).

Been to see some great bands (White Fence and Ultimate Painting at the 100 Club, musically absolutely outstanding). Looking forward to Moon Duo and Belle and Sebastian in April and May. Slightly bummed that I couldn't get tickets for Lee Perry (why did no one tell me about the International Ska festival sooner?). He's playing the day before Good Friday, so no hangover worries and also Good Friday falls on my birthday. (Did you know, I was born on Easter Monday and my birthday won't be on Easter Monday again until 2051, what a weird holiday it is eh?).

So, yes, no new cafes, no new lighthouses and no new beer mats but everything's been just lovely.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rambling man

I like the attitude of this pedestrian marking, he looks a bit more purposeful than other, more languid looking specimens. And, to me at least, he seems to wearing a pair of Clarks Albernis.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Magical mystery spore

On a lovely stroll through Richmond park today I stooped occasionally to poke about the undergrowth looking for magic mushrooms. I never find any and today was no different. Such behaviour feels very conspicuous in this popular park and picking any discoveries would have been a fraught experience (my cover story if challenged would have been that I was looking for stag beetles). This sort of thing is so much easier in Derbyshire. On the subject of paranoia, an Apache helicopter flew over at one point, a most unpleasant sight.

Anyway, check out one of the fungi I did encounter. Quite fearsome looking, I'd never have guessed it was edible, but according to some probably not very reliable internet research by me, it's a parasol mushroom (the name becomes more appropriate later on in its development) and is quite tasty. It reminds me of one of those German hand grenades.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Which side are you on?

Or, are you a roundy or a squary? Without wishing to put words into the mouth of the late Roger Hargreaves I think his colours are pretty clearly nailed to the mast.

I often bewail the fact that this country is held in the poisonous grip of a right wing media, but generally kids books are full of this kind of leftist propaganda - where does it all go wrong? So much for the Jesuits and their "give me the child" business eh?

I have already sung the praises of the Mr Men books and the part they played in my moral education. For the record I also enjoyed the slightly more madcap Timbucktoo books, but I don't remember seeing these Roundy and Squary books at all. Suppressed, no doubt, by the Establishment.