Saturday, 26 December 2015

China Crisis ......

It must be the best part of 20 years since I was last in Hong Kong, but as you cross the Harbour from Kowloon to Central Hong Kong you are greeted by that familiar sight ........



But since the British relinquished the lease over Hong Kong back to the Chinese, there was always the wonder how Hong Kong would be transformed. I don't claim to be an academic nor wise and knowledgeable about Hong Kong and Chinese history, but like most I have been able to read the history books. Equally I don't claim to be an adept orator on Chinese / Hong Kong political affairs but what struck me more than anything was the wealth and opulence exhibited on the streets of Hong Kong.

There is a lot of debate currently abound how many Hong Kongers reject the notion of greater and greater interference by China's state Council. But considering that Hong Kong has been considered a special administrative region of China since 1997 it appears to be thriving. Everywhere you look there are designer shops cheek by jowl, and the busy streets adorned with super cars whether they be Ferrari or Lamborghini ..... In fact central Hong Kong appears to be wall to wall designer shops and malls.....

Even the Apple store was thronging ...... it seems that Hong Kongers are as much as in love with Apple products as the rest of the world are .......


To say that it has one of the freest economies in the world and low taxation it was a damn sight more expensive than when I was last there, and £6 for a pint was not the communist price I was expecting ....

I did notice a building across the road from the Apple Store that
was marked ...... General Post Office


I did get to wondering if there is another building somewhere in Hong Kong
marked ...... Very Specific Post Office ....

And so here I was walking around Hong Kong, thinking this is so not what I was expecting under 'Chinese Rule', and no wonder the controlling elite want to get a bigger slice of the cake ....

But as a casual outside observer, 
if there is a China Crisis, 
I couldn't see it,

Last time I saw a China Crisis
was at Nottingham Rock City
in the 1980's


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Joy Division .......

.... more than once I have been caught out when looking at the TV listings and seeing the Movie Joy Division scheduled .... and each time I have flicked it on ....... to be greeted with the movie about a German boy who ends up working for the Russians and not the music band .... I knew there was a movie about the band, but that's what wrong footed me ...... I could never remember what it was called ......

Don't get me wrong the movie Joy Division is a very good movie and well worth the watch .... in my case more than once .... but when you are expecting love to tear you apart.... well ......

So a couple of weeks back, on the plane en-route to Hong Kong and flicking through the movie listings .... [I don't normally watch movies on planes simply because the acoustics are shite] ..... but as I flicked through...... up popped ..... Control ...... of course ........ that's the name of the movie about Joy Division the band and not Joy Division the war movie..... funny that ..... "Control" is about Joy Division and "Joy Division" is about control ........

So shite acoustics or not, I decided to watch the film ..... well if you have ever seen real footage of Ian Curtis, then Sam Riley could be his doppelganger ......

The film is based on the book by the wife of Ian Curtis, and their somewhat troubled marriage, but it is never maudlin nor sensational  ..... to me it gave what appears to be a honest account of a young man troubled ..... and if you grew up in the 1970's and locked into the music of the 1980's...... this is a movie you can appreciate ..... It tells a very honest account of the short life of Ian Curtis and the rise of Joy Division.

In light of Ian Curtis untimely death at his own hand, Joy Division were not around very long, but you only have to listen to some of their music to see the wider influences they created.... I am not sure you even have to like all of their songs, but you can see just how one song leads to another ..... and if like me, you hear a song and think .... fook .... or as the Hong Kongers might say .....

Lukfook .....



Then how can you not stop and listen to this song
and think Ian Curtis went too soon
This my SoD .....


I remember first listening to this song when it came out in 1980
and I was 17 years old and thinking ......
wow

there I was on a plane to Hong Kong 35 years later
52.9 years old and thinking ........
wow

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Four years ..... four years gone by and I remember it like ....

... well this morning ..... I suppose ....

Billy Bragg wrote a great song 
in tribute to his late father ....

Well it seems like a perfect choice for today
A tank park salute
for my Dad

Still missing you big fella ...... x


Friday, 6 November 2015

Momma Mia ......

... following the Italian Job Theme with yesterday's Matt Munro .... it is on days like these, when skies are grey and fields all wet, I look around and think of days in Italy ......

Like the vast majority of free thinking adults I am still enslaved by the world of work, but whilst I have a cunning exit plan, not quite on the scale of Andy Dufresne, I can see light at the end of the tunnel ......

So whilst I still have to crawl through a pipe of shit to get there, sometimes I do get a glimpse of what awaits me.

Despite never having been abroad nor owning a passport until I was 16.5 ys old I have been fortunate that my working life beyond 16.5 yrs old has taken me all over the world. Since starting my own company in 2000 not a year has gone by without numerous over seas assignments .....

So with my mind fully focused on Operation Pompeii, what better than my latest assignment to take me to Ascoli just a few miles inland from the Adriatic coast of Italy. I love driving along any part of that coast, and this time the car hire company supplied me with a Fiat 500 .... what a great dinky remake of a classic..... except for 1 thing..... they only had automatics ... my word what an utter shite of a gear box ..... everytime it changed up a gear it lurched..... christ at one stage I thought my pasta might be on it's way back up ..... but other than that, a loverly car ....



But the real treat of my visit was not the car,  it was thus ..........  I had completed the work I was commissioned to do........  and I had a few hours spare before heading back to the airport ..... So I headed into the centre of Ascoli ...... oh my word what a breath taking place ..... to steal the words of wisdom from .... In Brugge ....... it was like a fucking fairy tale ......{there's a lot of swearing in that movie} ...... but here I was in Ascoli and it was an archetypical Italian town.


I had never been before, nor actually heard of the place and yet by some random act connected with my work, on a wet windy day in England, I am instead driving around the wonderful place of Ascoli in a Fiat 500 [with a crap auto box].

Even the name of bus stops in Italy sound so poetic ....



...... in England we ask where the bus stop is .... but in Italy it is called..... Fermata Bus ..... say it out loud to your self ... gue on say it ..... Fer ~ mar ~ ta Bus..... again and this time put on a fake italian accent ..... now say bus stop in a broad english accent .... Fermata probably one of the worlds most beautiful words ....... not sure the same can be said for stop ........

This is why I want to escape this life and hide myself some where in Italy



no day-2-day bullshit
no emails
no crappy SMS text
no twats at Talk Talk to talk talk with

...... yeah yeah ... I know Italy is not perfect 
but you look out of your window now

........... then look at this



it may well rain in Italy ... 
didn't look too clever the day I was there
but where would you rather be ?

I know where I will be when I finally get out of this shit pipe, 
and the light is getting ever brighter and the shit not so smelly....

Till then how about
this for a Friday SoD .....



and if by a quirke of your job your find your self in Ascoli
you will not be disappointed .... 
who knows one day we may bump into each other ...


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Terry Parsons

Tonight I watched the One Show for the first time in yonks* ......

Alexander Armstrong was on, and he was banging on about how he originally started his entertaining career with the intention of becoming a singer but ended up a comedi ..... ache erm .... cough .... a comedian .....

Anyway he was plugging his first singing album ....... A year of songs .....

At the end of the show, he sung the first track from the album ......

No..... No...... No .....[and for effect]...... No fucking nooooooooooooooo ......

He slaughtered what can only be classed as one of music's great master pieces ...... only my Elvis was ever capable of making a cover version better than the original, but tonight ..... seriously ....

The only person who ever sung this song to perfection 
was non other than
Terry Parsons
Robbed of this life at the stupidly young age of 54 .....
Oh what a voice of velvet taken too soon
On days like .........


A year of songs by Matt Munro
would beat a life time of songs by bloody pointless Zander !
£10.99 on Amazon ......
shittin ada .... if on days like these is anything to go by
what a joke .....


[post script - * it is officially recorded that a yonk is a period of 5 years]

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ee bah gum, ecky thump ......

you don't hear many Yorkshire accents in Cambridge, but last night.... by eck it was the dulcet tones of non other than Richard Hawley ..... aside from his singing, a couple of things about Richard Hawley ..... is that in fact he is not a strong toned Yorkshire man, and coming from Sheffield he doesn't actually say by eck very much, but he does like to use the word fuck alot in his sentences ....

I like a man who swears, on the basis of how much I like swearing ..... not offensive rude in your face swearing, but swear words used in the normal context of a sentence, not to shock but to give a gritty tone ..... but I didn't go to the Cambridge Corn exchange to hear Mr Hawley, swear [nor to exchange any corn] .... no it was much fucking better than that .... it was to quite simply to hear him sing and belt out a good tune .... back to blokes and guitars I suppose ......






So ....... as it is Tuesday PM,
what better song than this
for today's Tuesday PM SoD ......

 


Here is a couple of other cracking tunes
he belted out last night,






Whilst they may appear as 
thoughtful ballads
he did give the strings bit of bashing
with all his renditions

Admittedly anyone under
the age of 45 yrs old stood out in the crowd
but this was by no means a sit down
with ya cardi and pipe gig ...

This was a foot tapping, guitar ripping, drum bashin, full volume gig

So if you fancy accepting a recomendation 
from a stranger
if you like these tunes
buy ya sen a ticket
and get thee sen to a Richard Hawley gig

There are still plenty of dates left, and for sure
 of those dates still to play
my first choice would be
The London Roundhouse, Camden

I am very tempted ......

[Postscript: When I finally do fuck off to the live the life of a recluse in Italy, I won't miss emails, mobile phones, or even blogging for that matter, but I will sure miss seeing live music acts at great venues..... better than watching any footie match for sure]

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Don't choose a life ...... live a life .....

As part of my preparation for Operation Pompeii, I was drawn to the Movie ...... The Way

It chronicles the tale of a father's quest to complete the pilgrimage of El camino de Santiago .... all as a result of his son losing his life on the first leg of his own attempt of the journey

In real life the man playing the father ..... Tom Avery ..... is non other than Martin Sheen who has completed the pilgrimage ..... he did it with his own grandson.

Martin Sheen first came on to my radar in one of my all time great movies ....... Apocalypse Now..... don't you just love the smell of napalm in the morning ? ......

But in this movie ..... The Way...... he plays a wonderful role.

It is true, the movie is short on fast car chases, there are no rampant sex scenes and the violence is well .... almost not there, but what a gentle wonderful tale of the coming together of different lives.

To once again, steal the line from Mitch Albom ...... There are no random acts.... you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate the breeze from the wind ......

So if you fancy accepting a recommendation from a stranger ..... then seek out the ..... The Way ..... and let the real world drift over you.

I can't imagine I will ever complete the El camino de Santiago..... but I can see myself riding a bike to Pompeii .... If the sound track for my trip is half as good as in The Way .... then the ride will be to be enjoyed .....

First we have
from his sublime first album
[aren't all first albums sublime]
It's non other than .....



Then we have a former SoD
the very very naked
but blurred in all the wrong places
Alanis.......




and to end with, we have

the ethereal Nick Drake

Nick came along and was lost too soon
Then along came My Elvis to replace him, but he too was lost too soon

But at least wonderful {not of this world} songs of the day
like this one
were left for all time ....



as a bonus track and whilst not from the movie
it is yet a beautiful Nick Drake rendition




Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Cancer is shit .....( part VII )

Carey Lander succumbed to cancer this past weekend ...... 
Carey Lander ? I hear you ask .....


Saw them at Shepherd's Bush Empire, great gig, great band, great songs ...... 

33 years old ....


Friday, 2 October 2015

But surely that would make her ......


a Girl Saturday ? wouldn't it ?



As for animals and biscuits ...
I love chocolate biscuits
but tend to find cats a bit chewy...


Still any excuse to play 
a bit of Bowie...
Davey ! Davey ! I've got
Friday on my......




Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The end of an affair ......

.... before all the tosh about Ashley Madison, there was the internet and you didn't need to register to a specific website for illicit activity ..... some simple googling skills and the internet could just as easily offer up your hearts desire .....

For me it all started back in the winter of 2008 / 2009. After a bit of tapping away on the keyboard and soon contact was made ..... a picture was supplied and that was it I was hooked ..... of course looks are not always a per-cursor to desire but when it comes to sophistication you just know that you can be sucked in .....

With Ashley Madison, there is a certain amount of pre-deceit in the deceit it's self, usually there is fake email address, possibly fake names and perhaps even a fake photo with potentially secret credit cards .... how else are you going to pay for your deceit ?

But for me I was upfront, my real name and my real phone number, and once these were exchanged a meeting date was agreed ........ and lordy lordy lordy ...... that first sight, the immediacy of the beauty ...... I don't know about..... you had me at hello ......

I was kappow'd ....... there was no turning back ...... I was hooked ........ time to rip up the rule book...

But like all first meets, you need to hold something back ..... but once away and back into the real world ..... there was nothing else I could think about ..... I couldn't concentrate .... my mind was else where ..... even going to sleep at night .... the last thing I would think of as I fell into my slumber ......... was my new love ......

Once the deal was sealed, that's when I was into new territory ....... I stroked, I loved,  I purred .....

As time moved on, it wasn't so much as complacency that crept in, just simply that the real world kept pulling me back ..... and then comes  that moment, when you know the affair is over..... there isn't a definable clear reason why you know it is time to let go, but you can sense it ..... sure the love is still there the desire is still there .... but the real world keeps holding you back from your hearts desire ...... no matter how much you may love the object of your affection .... eventually the truth catches up with you and you know it is time to let go.

When it comes to letting go, there's is no doubt it is a moment filled with huge regret, a 1000 whatif's, but somewhere inside you, you know that if you cannot devote all your time and energy to the thing you love most ....... then it will feel the most unloved .......

 ....... and so after 6 years the time came........ to let my beloved Ferrari 550 go .... 







As part of Operation Pompeii now seemed as good a time as any to sell, not least of which the price of Ferrari's have gone stupid..... most cars that you own for 6 years will depreciate in value, quite significantly .... but with my Ferrari 550 I made a handsome profit of nearly 50% on the price I paid, and even then I sold cheap. But such is the little free time I seem to have these days, I had only managed to drive it some 300 miles in the last year.

I recognise that if you are not really a car person you might think ......... tosser .... or even if you are a car person and you see a Ferrari owner talking about his car you still might think..... tosser ..... to be honest I don't give a rats arse what people think, because I brought the car simply because it was a fantastic car to own ......

There were many times during my guardianship of this car, that I shall cherish for always ..... cars come and go, but some memories are etched in to our neurons, and till the day I die these memories will never fade ..... I have owned some great cars in my time, but this one, my 550 ...... rates among the top 1.

Growing up as a kid on a pretty rough estate in Nottingham, with my parents not a pot to piss in, turning on our telly [oh yes we could at least afford to rent a telly] and there was Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair side by side, Brett in his Aston Martin DBS and Danny [aka Tony Curtis] in his Ferrari 246 Dino....... and that was it ..... as an 8 year kid I knew Ferrari was the car I loved ..... the 246 Dino a car I still love ..... don't get me wrong the Aston is a great car .... but there was only one car for me ...... little did I know back in 1971 that one day I would wake up and think ....

.... fook I can afford to buy a Ferrari ..... but that is what happened ..... I woke up one day, googled around the internet and saw the picture and that was it I was hooked.

Less than 10 years before I bought the 550, a 246 Dino could be had for around £35,000 .... want one now ? that'll be at least £ 250,000+ please sir / madam {delete as appropriate}. Not bad for a car that cost less than 7 grand brand new.

The 550 is without doubt one of the best cars built by Ferrari, not only was it fitted with a fantastic V12 engine, but the build quality was far superior to it's predecessors and oh my word what a body it was dressed in .... no matter what angle you looked at it ..... it's shapely lines. For sure, for any one who maybe shits money, the 550 doesn't compare to say a Enzo or a F40 or F50 or maybe a GTO288 but as an everyday usable Ferrari then a 550 goes a long way ....

But for all it's greatness, for all it's beauty, for the way it beguiled me .....
it was one last lingering look .....




I have no doubt there will be many a day in the future 
that I will look back on my affair with fond memories ......

I will even look back and question my sanity why I said goodbye

but the truth.... the truth is ....
there really can be no going back ..... 
it's too late the affair is over .....



Friday, 4 September 2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

Up the hill backwards ........

I have on a number of occasions tackled the London to Brighton bike ride ..... and on each of the past rides, I have never been able to conquer the infamous Ditchling Beacon  ..... 

that is until ........
 
On Sunday 21st June this year, my best mate Mike and I hit the pedals at 7am and it was very congested getting out of central London but we were a bit surprised to pass a Roman Chariot along the way…. 

That must have sounded like a great idea between pints 6 & 7 but 
on the open roads ? 



........ what were they thinking ?

The only drama’s we had to contend with, was Mike getting a puncture at 32 miles, and then me coming out in sympathy 5 miles later with my own puncture. But we were soon back in our rhythm and reached the base of Ditchling Beacon in fine fettle. By this time the sun was out and it was warming up into a nice 22c

So for the assent of DB, I put the bike in to the lowest gear and worked with one simple strategy. As long as I could keep turning the pedals, then the wheels must keep turning away. It is interesting watching people tackle DB with great gusto and for the first quarter of a mile, many are in the saddle pedalling away, but as the climb steepens, you see them one by one dismount.

For sure I was huffing and puffing all the way up and about half way for one brief moment, watching people dismount, I thought how nice it would be to get off the bike and walk ……. But I am not a defeatist and I was here to beat Ditchling Beacon, so I dug in and kept the pedals turning …… and finally 
1 mile and 12 minutes from base camp I reached the summit on 2 wheels…… at 52.5 years old I had finally conquered Ditchling Beacon !

The image of the peak coming into view was a sight to behold ....... 


 And the feeling..... to finally beat the Beacon was wonderful and clearly all the bowls of porridge  [with one or two doughnuts thrown in…. in fact.......lots of doughnuts] and miles of training had paid off. To be fair 12 minutes for the Beacon is slow, when you consider that the pro-cyclist run up there in under 4 minutes, but I didn’t care....... like the Romans in their Chariot heading out of London  

……. Veni, vidi, vici
 
I would imagine that the pro-cyclists could probably cycle up the hill backwards and still beat me ..... but who cares I beat it ...... want to know why personal bests are better than any world record ? .... well anyone can achieve a world record but only you can achieve your PB.

The ride in to the finish line along Maderia drive from the Beacon was wonderful and with my resplendent red shoes I crossed the finishing line with a beaming smile, all completed in a respectable 4 hours. I even raised an healthy sum of money for the BHF .... what the PR guys call a 'win-win'. To add to the occasion the BHF even gave me a medal that matched the prettiest shoes ever to complete the London to Brighton Bike Ride ......


For all the great things me and Mike have done over the years .... we can now add defeating Ditchling Beacon to that list ....... another good reason why we all need a best friend .......

Davey ! Davey ! .... 
didn't you write a song about going up a hill ?
who knows ...... 
maybe next time I will try it backwards ...



and as the wonderful Damien wrote a song about
a Beacon hill
here's a bonus SoD



and the next stop ?
why of course

Pompeii .......

Friday, 19 June 2015

A temporary fix ..... when ....

.... your life is on rewind .....








If I lay here .... if I just lay here .....

.... would you ?




[Postscript - Coming up for Air was first published on 12th June 1939 - It would have been unworldly had it been published on 11th June, that would have been just too spooky]


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Press the re-set button .......

Katie's passing is not my grief ..... So why has it so wrong footed me  ? I hadn't even seen her for a while .....

But it's very difficult to understand how a person's death at such a tender age can so de-rail your thoughts, especially considering that we are not even related........ Losing my Dad was tough, but for all the love that I miss him, I get it.... he was 77 years old...... he wasn't immortal......

..... What ever has happened this past month ..... it has made me question whether now is the time to really press the re-set button on my life ...... I should have done it a long time ago, but being the weak and ridiculous person I am,  I could always find a 1001 excuses for not doing it......

I was listening to radio 5 live on the way into work a couple of weeks back .... some phone-in or other and I was thinking, what the fuck are these people getting so worked up about...... It was about the significance of St George's day ......

One woman was singing what sounded like some fisherman's ditti [apparently it was the Cornish national anthem] to prove she was Cornish, not English, not British, but Cornish..... christ  I wish I could get that excited...... I was born in Nottingham, but I don't think I need a Nottingham anthem to prove I am real, that I exist.... as it happens, it goes like this ......

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men
Feared by the bad, loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

Anyways ..... I've come to the conclusion that I as soon as I can clear my debts...... that's me finished with this life .......

I have worked out it will take me about 3 weeks to cycle to Pompeii, and when I have seen a place that I have never visited before .... but a place that has been firmly in my head since being a small boy ..... when I have seen Pompeii, I shall find somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Italy...... I shall point the handle bars in that direction and press my re-set button ........ after that I have no idea .......

But I'll work it out when I get there ....... sitting on some veranda under the Italian sun, head phones on, music feeding my brian ..... and no more shit to beat me down .........




But before all that happens I have Ditchling Beacon to defeat in the London to Brighton bike ride on 21st June....... I'd signed up long before Katie passed away, but somehow it now seems right. Everytime I have done the L2B in the past, Ditchling Beacon has beat me ......... but this year will be the year I finally beat it ..... my fund raising tag line is to ....... because I want to beat Ditchling Beacon before I die ....... and I am gunna do it in style ........ I am going to do it wearing the prettiest shoes ever to be ridden up Ditchling Beacon ......

I did think about doing a Reggie Perrin once I arrived at Brighton but the wind over the English Channel can get a bit bracing..... so leaving my clothes folded in a neat pile and running off the beach naked is not my idea of making a run for it .......... to be fair being naked on Brighton Beach might not seem that out of the ordinary ..... assuming there is still a naturist beach there ...... but no...... I shall not make my get away via Brighton ........... the weather and food in Italy are so much better
.....although I might miss me pies ....... I love pies ......


If I can't find any pies in Italy ....... 
I will still have the Blue Nile ....... 
I love the Blue Nile .......













Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hidden Gems ......

For some reason there didn't seem to be much sun over my house this weekend, and then by chance I was introduce to whole different..... Sunhouse






Friday, 24 April 2015

Saying good bye to the tattoo gang......

... this morning was my 3rd funeral in 6 months ...... so I am now advising friends to keep well clear of me ...... I don't know who's it will be next .... shit it might even be mine at this rate ....

I've never really worked out what the funeral is for ..... the deceased ? the close family ? friends ? .....

I've heard it said that it is a way to say good bye ...... certainly a different sort of a good bye than perhaps saying good bye to someone close and still living yet you know you will never see again ...... but thus far my latest funerals have been a murder victim, natural causes of an aged aunt, and now a far too premature... young lady ..... before that it was my dad's ..... that was different for me ..... but these last 3 ..... I've sat there somewhat as a bystander ..... seen the closely bereaved .... family .... friends and the acquaintances ..... all of us perhaps reflecting on our own mortality ? ..... who knows, maybe we are grieving for ourselves..... my eldest brother claims it's self pity ..... that's a bit harsh but then again....

But I have never seen a funeral as a way to say good bye ...... I haven't said good bye to my Dad and it's over 3 years now .... doubt I can ever say good bye to him .....

But actually this morning I didn't reflect on my mortality .... all I could think of was Katie ...... everything to live for ..... her Mum and Dad having their daughter being 21 years old for always never to grow old .......Katie's young man, his hopes stolen from him ...... her brother now being an only child ...... my youngest daughter being denied a friend into old age ...... I remember once there was a birthday card for one of them, it showed two very old ladies with some witty prose ..... not any more ..... 21 year olds are not supposed to leave this world with a heart attack .....

..... but fuck they do ..... even since Katie passed away, I have read about 1 young woman being killed by being hit by a tree whilst on an adventure of a life time in South America ...... and then only in the last few days .... a young woman took some slimming pills and that was it ..... walked into hospital ... they said there was no antidote ...... she didn't make it, there was shit all they could do for her ....... Only this past week, in the local paper, another 21 year old ..... a promising young golfer had his life cut short.....

What is the meaning of life ? .......... not a fucking clue .....
but it sure as hell isn't fucking 42 ....... so this morning I didn't reflect on mortality ...... I couldn't think of words to express what it was I felt .... what I feel ..... I couldn't even bring my self to make small talk with the other mourners ....... my gob failed me ..... my gob is still failing me .....

So no song of the day shit today ....... but instead put on the head phones, with just a couple of songs to listen to whilst staring out of my office window ........ is this really it ? ......... really ? ...... is this why we get all worked up ?






For Katherine Lucy X








FROM THE ORDER OF SERVICE

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal

Love leaves memories that no one can steal ....


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

We all need a best friend.......

.....sure we claim to have friends..... those on facebook claim to have 100's of friends..... but best friends..... true best friends........ they are rare indeed.......

I've known Mike since we were 16.5 years old, and here we are 36 years later still best friends and never a crossed word, not even a mis-understanding...... but boy how we have laughed .... fuck we have laughed so much in those 36 years there have been times my body has ached so much when we laughed ......... we've been arrested together, fallen off bikes pissed, knocked off bikes by cars..... stuck in a tunnel in Switzerland in a Ferrari about to run out of fuel, and just made it to gas station in time...... christ we laughed at that..... we once nearly got arrested on a German train for not having a ticket......

Mike was going to shop me to the conductor, until he realised he didn't have a ticket either..... quick as a flash exhibition of my credit card, and we narrowly avoided
stalag 13........ we don't put the world to rights, we don't share secrets..... we just laugh, and look at cars..... in fact in just over a week we are heading off to Germany for our annual pilgrimage to Essen Techno Classica..... Some of the finest cars in the world appear at this show.......

I think I would be quite devastated if anything happened to Mike ......

Yesterday morning without warning, my youngest daughter's best friend died....... They had been best friends for 21 years, it started when they were new born babies.... I am not sure that new born babies can actually develop best friendship at such a tender age.... but it was decreed they would be best friends.....

Every birthday they have been together sharing with each other...... Katie played a big part in our life...... in her teenage years she was once in my Tattoo gang.....

1 of my top tens is George Orwell ~ Coming up for air...... as a young kid we spent our summer holidays at Mablethorpe, they seemed like a golden age in the late 1960's, and when I reached my forties, I had a coming up for air moment, except I dragged my family along for the ride, katie came too...... with her mum and dad, Colin and Wendy....... the intervening 40 years or so years since my first visits to Mablethorpe had not been kind to the place..... it was shithole...... but I loved every minute of that weekend...... I always wanted a tattoo but never could have a real one...... I got a stick~on one.... Katie loved it, I got her one too and we formed the Tattoo gang...... there was only 2 members.....

On the morning we were packing up the tents... the sun shinning, blue sky in full view.... and my daughter and Katie were still in their sleeping bags..... then spontaneously they both stood up and started to have a sleeping bag race .... ala the sack race ...... we laughed so much...... Katie did that to you..... she made you laugh.....

In some ways I have no idea why I am writing this shit.... this is my shit.... but then again this is my blog..... I can write what I like...... and if I don't write this, get these words out of my head.... by brian will just turn into some kind of mush..... it's feeling a bit jellified as it is......

But I have been lucky I have had a best friend for 36 years..... my daughter had one for 21 years, until she was so suddenly taken away from her yesterday...... all those years she made her laugh..... made us all laugh......

On my way into work this morning, I stopped by to see Katie's mum and dad, what do you say to parents, just a couple of years older than myself, about the loss of their beautiful daughter...... oh how we laughed during that weekend in Mablethorpe......
this morning we cried......

Katie was a beautiful best friend


she died at 06:30 am on Tuesday 7th April 2015

she was just 21 years old

this coming sunday was to be her birthday....












Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Re-deemed ..... at last.....

It was funny picking up on this story this morning ........... alabama redemption  ....... as I was planning to comment on the film Shawshank Redemption this week anyway..... having watched it agaaain over the bank holiday weekend...

I am not sure Anthony Hilton quite see's himself as a Andy Dufresne but for sure it must take something to be let out of prison [off death row no less] after 30 years for a crime you didn't commit .....

Anthony Hilton came out of a prison by a more conventional way rather than digging a tunnel in Raquel Welch's backside and then climbing through a tunnel of shite, but Shawshank Redemption is another one of those movies that no matter how many times I have seen it .... and by the christ I have seen it that many times, if you look closely at some of the prison courtyard scenes, I can now be seen just towards the back next to a group of lackies... but no matter how many times I see it.... it is just a fantastic movie....

It is always difficult to pinpoint precisely what makes a great movie, but somehow you know within the first 5 minutes whether it is a great movie or just a way to waste piss sometime away ......

For me, I suppose it's all about whether you care about the characters... and they don't always have to be good characters triumphing over bad ..... there's many a anti hero in a great movie ... but with Shawshank Redemption the clues are there...... I wonder if during his prison sentence Anthony Hilton got chance to watch it.....


So for today's SoD
we can thank Andy Dufresne
like Morgan Freeman said
I have no idea what these 2 women are singing....

but is it not just wonderful on a sunny day 
so moving on such a sad day
Mozart take it away brother ......












Thursday, 2 April 2015

You can't read braille with your genitals......

... so if you are blind, seems you'll be fucked if you want to read this with ya gonads..... as I once remarked I do talk bollux.....

They say you should never meet your heroes ..... but I once met Fred Dibnah.... and what a wonderful man he was.... he was great on telly and in real life just as great..... Alas Fred is no longer with us, but by eck his memory still lives on ......

Then this past weekend I met another one of my heroes .... the wonderful Mike Brewer ...... his infectious love of cars .... almost matches mine..... All the sh1te written about Jeremy Clarkson, and yet Mike Brewer entertains us year after year and does it with such boyish charm.... without lumping anyone in the process ...... and oh my what a gracious man Mike Brewer is ..... and he even shook my hand with the immortal words ..... hold out your hand fella, you've just brought a cracking motor ..... except I hadn't brought a car from him .... he was just indulging me .......You meet some people in life and glad you do ..... I'm glad I met Mike Brewer ......

What links Mike and Fred [apart from the fact they both met me] is their enthusiasm for their chosen subject.....

There I was driving to Bruges on Monday..... Bruges a fucking fairytale town ..... and listening to the radio, the afternoon play was about another wonderful man who exuded such enthusiasm for his chosen subject...... Patrick Moore ~ Far Side of the Moon ........ It's now 2 years since his death, so not much chance to meet this hero I suppose, but the play charted the start of his TV career with the sky at night..... like Mike and Fred....... Patrick could never disappoint ......

They are / were not celebrities.... merely ordinary blokes with a impassioned interest in what they do / did ......

Someone else I think I would like to meet is Harnaam Kaur ....... she wears her beard with pride..... it's not some eurovision gimmick.... it is her and she is proud of it.....  She was on Radio 5 live drivetime show, talking about how she had faced up to being the bearded lady, and overcoming the challenges and prejudice that came with being a woman wearing a beard..... but oh my lord what an inspiration she is .... for anyone feeling that the world is against them .... I bet within a nano second of meeting Harnaam Kaur you'd be inspired to say.... fuck it, to hell with it with knobs on and just get on with your life..... we are who we are .......

And how do I know you can't read braille with your genitals ? It was declared on the same radio 5 live program..... quite how the chap [who declared it] discovered this little known fact is not immediately clear.... he was talking about how important the sensation of touch is for humans ...... imagine there they were in the laboratory researching the effect of touch ...... knowing how scientists always want to learn the unknown ..... and I suppose between pints 5 & 6 someone must have said ...... I wonder if I can read braille with my genitals ? and the rest they say is history ........

So imbued with that knowledge, I finally arrived at my destination of Bruges ..... a fucking fairy tale town..... I love visiting Bruges .....

Here's my SoD
I'm sure Patrick Moore must have seen
a champagne supernova






Friday, 27 March 2015

Blokes with guitars .... from one Englishman to ......


..... to well..... back to an Irishman ....

but not just any old Irishman ....
this Irishman....
this Irishman is my ....

Surrogate Preacher ....

trying to decide which of his songs to use
is like trying to decide which pie to eat...

but in the end I went for this one ....



to be fair this should really be listened to when he sings it with the divine Marketa ...

but when you do listen to it ....
close your eyes ..... Marketa or no Marketa ....
it works everytime.....

One obvious ommission from this week of
blokes with guitars is non other than

my elvis

Jeff Buckley is in a league of his own
Jeff will get a week of his own SoD's

but for now here is Glen Hansard's own tribute to
the great late Jeff .....



Jeff oh Jeff.... why did you go swimming without your armbands...

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Blokes with guitars .... from one Irishman to ......



another .....

this guy left us too soon 

but if you like this track, then buy the album ....
 he should have given so much more....

I hope somewhere on the other side
he is making molecules dance ....

...... but for sure they are dancing on this side




This is bit of a cheat as he has more a guitar on this track, but I couldn't leave him off the list... heyday

Monday, 23 March 2015

Blokes with guitars........

.... this week it's blokes with guitars week .....

Last week trapped in my car for 2 hours I was listening to radio 4 and there was an interesting program [well in my head it was interesting] about how this chap was giving up music for lent......

A first flush it sounded an easy concept, but it got into very deep thought as to what constitutes music..... is bird song music ? what actually is music ?

There are people who cannot hear music.... amusia it's called..... how dreadful must that be....

At the time of writing this,  the program can still be heard on BBC iPlayer, but be warned if you are trying to give up music for lent don't listen to it during lent.... it contains music.....

What I have often thought is why I like certain music.... my theory is down to frequency.... all music has a certain frequency ...... and we as physical beings resonate at a certain frequency...... think about it ..... we are merely a mass blob of molecules held in rigid form by skin and bones..... without the skin and bones we'd just be a messy guey blob on the floor ..... but even the skin and bones are just molecules.... and one thing that molecules do is move around..... I think when we hear a tune .... what happens is our molecules are dancing.... and when they dance in perfect harmony of the frequency of the music..... kappow you just love the song ...... we even use the phrase in tune with our body ......

I know what music I like..... but I have no sodding idea what frequency my body resonates at .... but looking at my SoD's it is very similar to the frequency of blokes with guitars ...... time after time there they are ...... as for the Blue Nile, it goes beyond guitars ..... their music is so aligned to my frequency everything else just stops .... hence when I pass from this life to the next and my molecules stop dancing ....... oh gosh I do hope I am listening to Paul Buchanan ..... I know he will still be singing to me in the next life......

So this week, it's a week of blokes with guitars SoD's .......

Starting with non other than Damien Jurado
this guy just hits my frequency everytime
and I started with this one because....
my kids went to Beacon Hill

some of my happiest moments were....
scoring goals for the 
Beacon Hill Dreamers .....

...... ageing dads
having one last oorah with a football...
before making that last step into middle age....




Friday, 20 March 2015

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Don't know if this is actually dancing ......


 .... but this is a truely unexpected moment from the movie .....

Mauvais Sang ........

If you love French movies...... 

If you love Juliette Binoche .....

oh Juliette ..... oh Juliette .... wherefore art thou Juliette

doth thee love me like I love thee ? ....

ach erm ..... if you love French art house movies

then you should give it a whirl .....

here is the scene with it's slow burn and then totally unexpected twist....





Tuesday, 17 March 2015

More dancing from another bloke who may not be .......


one of the great dancers......

but hey......

is Thom not just so captivating ......