Sunday, 30 May 2010


For long and complicated reasons I only just been able to get hold of the pictures I took of the wallabies at Leonardslee gardens.
I then find that the above picture is the only one in some kind of reasonable focus.
This wallaby appears to be standing in front of a small black hole yet doesn't seem to be affected by it's gravitational field.

Nosferatu Double Feature.

On browsing the Internet Archive last night I found a version of Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens.
Whilst watching it I was struck by the 'Count's' resemblance to Spike Milligan, especially in the early scenes when he's wearing a hat to disguise himself.
Then imagine my joy on finding out that BBC 2 is screening Werner Herzog's version of Nosferatu in the early hours of this morning.
I'm going to run the original on a portable T.V. stood next to our main T.V. and watch in 'stereo'.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Potato's Final Dressing.

This poor bicycle has been subjected to many, many style experiments but it's finished now.
The last addition being a set of colour coordinated 'ape-hanger' handlebars.
Other than attaching a price tag I will do no more to this bicycle.
I rode it up and down the prom as the evening sun sank into the sea and decided I really like it.

Feral Shoes No. 12: The Boot.

I'm beginning to believe that the 'feral shoe', or boot in this case, is a seasonal phenomenon.
This one was waiting at a bus stop.

And You Are ?

This cat has decided that it quite likes our garden and visits every evening between 7 & 8 p.m to drink the pond.
I've tried to engage it in conversation but it seems happy to remain aloof, ginger & fluffy.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Grand Day Out.

Linda and I paid a visit to Leonardslee gardens on Monday.
It's the last chance to see their displays of Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Wallabies (!)  as the whole estate has been sold to an 'international businessman' who has no intention of opening the gardens to the great unwashed.
I'd assumed Monday would be quiet but the place was heaving with people by the bus load on the same mission as us.
I was dismayed to find that the British public have forgotten how to dress for such an occasion all of them seeming to favour beige shorts and baggy t shirts topped off with ridiculous floppy head gear.
I tried to set an example to this misguided rabble:
Linda let the side down though:
The gardens were a delight for the senses.
Here are some highlights:
The Rockery:
The Bluebell Wood:
The Lake:
The Very Big Stick:
My New Desktop Picture:
We were wandering around the lakeside path when I was approached by a group of elderly women.
They were all wearing white polo shirts, immense white knee-length shorts, white socks and sandals.
They told me they were from California (in America) and wanted to have their picture taken with real English eccentric person.
It took me a while to realise they meant me.

When In Doubt Tidy Up.

I've hit the wall again.
I can't seem to build anything.
When I do try to work the limited abilities I have seem to have abandoned me completely.
I read in a book once that it's best to accept the fact that you're 'blocked' and busy yourself organising the materials you use and maybe the spark may reignite.
I followed this advice and...
I'm not entirely convinced I'm back on track yet but I have an indication as to the direction I may follow.

Monday, 24 May 2010

As I Rode Out One Bright May Morning.

I put on a hat.
I spoke to some small cows.
I saw the wave that never broke.
I saw a greenhouse on stilts.
I saw a stone that told me it was 134 years old.
I saw the first feral shoe of the season.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Things I Don't Understand.

Recently I've been restoring lots of garden furniture for people.
The conversations usually go something like this.
Garden owner: 'This table/chair/birdbath has seen better days I think it needs to go to the tip'
Me: 'Let me see what I can do with it before you dump it'.
The garden furniture pictured is really good quality.
It's around 15 years old but hasn't had any T.L.C. since it was bought and plonked in the garden.
I think it's obvious which pieces I've treated.
The more observant will notice that the supports on the chairs have been attached incorrectly.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Linda's Vintage.

The 'wine' that Linda made in August is now, according to her, ready to drink.
I'm not convinced.
I have been invited to a 50th birthday party in Selsey this afternoon which provides perfect opportunity for testing this liquid on human subjects... well, folk musicians anyway.
My plan is to wait until every drop of decent alcohol has been consumed, wait till the crowd get ugly(ier) then uncap this bottle.
I won't be, or at least have no intention of, drinking during the party for three reasons:
01: I'm riding my bicycle there and find the return journey problematical after a drink or five.
02: I've only recently met the hosts and don't want to impose my 'personality' on them until I know them a little better.
03: I'm going to take notes on what happens when they drink the 2009 Plum (the depths) Brew.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A Collection Of Novelties (Musical...)

It's alive!!
Here's the link to iTunes:
A Collection Of Novelties (Musical...)

Caveat emptor!
The contents of this album may not be to your taste but, should you chose to purchase it, the proceeds will go to establishing the 'Underground Pig Detector' record label which may in turn publish music you do like.

I am now going to indulge myself in a little bit of 'Rock n' Roll lifestyle' by opening the bottle of Newcastle Brown I've been saving for this day.

So Long Vince.

Vince just passed over.
He was the last of Linda's 3 cats and the favourite.
Suddenly the flat seems empty.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A View From A Shed.

I've been doing quite a lot of work on our garden in the past few weeks.
Since I started 'doing a bit of gardening' to hold body and soul together I thought I'd better make an effort to get our own garden looking as good as I possibly could just in case any of my customers came round to find out if I can actually do the business.
Ours is not a garden in the conventional sense it's really a concrete yard with some raised bed planters.
But no one can tell.

Monday, 17 May 2010

My New Toy.

I've finally laid hands on a decent wind up gramophone!
It's a HMV Portable Gramophone model number 102 and it's in mint condition.
I've had a collection of 78's I've been waiting to play for some years now.
As the sun was setting I thought Moonlight Serenade by the Glen Miller band fit the situation perfectly.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Radio. Live Transmission.

I'm primed and ready to go.
Above is a picture the exciting atmosphere in the radio studio featuring the shows presenter Mr. Ken Hobbs and his brother in law David.
The show went well from my point of view despite a touch of 'ham-fisted-ness' creeping in to my playing on the first song.
I was asked some questions about how I got into music, how I write songs, my production jobs and the City Folk Club where I'm the M.C.
I'd anticipated being asked these questions and had half-heartedly rehearsed my responses but still ended up babbling quite a bit.
Ken played the song 'Somewhere Along The Road' from the album I produced for Cottilion.
It's the first time I'd heard any of the tracks on decent monitors and, even though I say it myself, I was impressed by the job I'd done for them.
I played 3 of my own songs and Daisy Bell.
I wasn't able to promote my album, not because it isn't available on iTunes yet but because it's certainly not a folk music album by any stretch of the imagination.
So my 15 minutes are over.
I feel a acquitted myself well and as I happily return to the shadows of obscurity in my shed I wonder if I made anyone feel any better?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Weapon Of Choice No. 02: The Resonator Guitar.

I'm preparing to play some of my songs on the local hospital radio's folk music show.
I'm genuinely humbled at being asked to perform on what will be the show's seventh anniversary programme.
I've had to be very careful in my selection of material.
No songs involving death or heartbreak which, more or less, cuts out 95% of my songs.
My instrument selection has been a difficult one as well.
I have, at last count, 7 different guitars and my banjo (which is actually a hybrid with a banjo body and a guitar neck.)
Under normal circumstances I'd use the banjo (guitjo, bantar?) but whenever I turn up at sessions I've noticed a certain 'look' in people's eyes that suggests they'd rather I'd left it at home.
Obviously my electric guitars are out of the question though why nowadays this should be is a mystery to me.
My 'good' acoustic guitar needs a new set of (expensive) strings and I'm beginning to find the action to high to it play cleanly under pressure.
My choice then boils down to my 'working' guitar (pictured above).
I was under the influence of alcohol when I impulse bought it from one of those shops where smack/crack heads exchange stolen goods for cash and have found it to be an excellent general purpose instrument.
In fact I'm tempted to rid myself of all the other guitars, apart from the banjo thing, fit a pick-up to it and live happily ever after with a guitar I don't have to think about.
The odd thing about all this is that I don't consider myself to be a guitarist it's just a convenient way of accompanying myself while I sing.
Anyway, must practice now.


I haven't been moved to enter anything on my blog for a few days.
The main reason being that nothing much of interest has happened to me.
I've watched two films, Delicatessen and Watchmen, I've done some skip-diving, I've done some odd jobs for rich widow ladies, I've failed to make a new enclosure for a P.A. amp, I fished a dead frog out of our garden pond, I've posted some Hooting Yard podcasts, and I've made a spectacular failure of applying gold leaf to the face pictured above.
I've had to lay off writing songs for a little while as I'll only end up writing a variation on 'Come Here' (aka For I Dreamt I Heard My Shed Singing To Me)
The only reason I can attribute this void in my life to is the non-appearance of my album on iTunes.
I'm not expecting 'great things' in terms of interest or sales but I paid for the distribution and I want to see a result.


Thursday, 6 May 2010

On The Bridge.

I do a bit of casual work in the city of Chichester.
It's about 6 miles of easy flat cycling from where I live.
On the approach Chichester I use an elevated walk way over the busy A27 as it bypasses the city.
I like to pause mid-point on the bridge and watch the traffic go by.
There's a roundabout just past the bridge and the air is filled with the scent of cooked brake-shoes.
I get the feeling some of the passing drivers are a little nervous when they spot me high above them.
Maybe they wonder If I'm about to jump or maybe they worry I'm going to throw something at them.
Have no fear motorists I'm just looking.

Whist watching the traffic flow the other day I began to wonder if all the journeys going on below me were necessary.
I should make it clear that I'm not an eco-mentalist, being of the opinion that the planet will take care of it's self you human beings on the other hand seem to be in grave danger of running out of road.
I wondered how many of the people in the cars had left a computer and a telephone behind at home to drive several miles in appalling traffic to sit a desk with a computer and a telephone on it.
I wondered how much their cars had depreciated by since they got out of bed this morning.
I wondered how much the repayments, tax, insurance, breakdown cover, servicing, parking and petrol would cost them today.
I wondered how many hours they would have to work before they'd paid for all those things.
I wondered if slavery still existed.
There's no doubt I'm naive.
Who but the naive would consider questioning this status quo, this vision of normal human behaviour?

Later that same day I parked my bike in the arse of a naked Emperor who was wandering about in the middle of the road.