Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Wartime Housewife (sigh...)

I have become entranced by the thoroughly sensible Wartime Housewife and her splendid blog here
So much so that I have made up a poster, in the current popular style, featuring some of her wisdom:

Chin Up And Best Foot Forward!

There now, that should make the world a better place and no mistake.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Moon, A Song To The Sea and Some Naked People (Not Pictured).

In my excitement about my trip to London I almost forgot about the events of Saturday night.
Linda and I had spent the afternoon and evening at a garden party in Chichester.
As we drove home we marveled at the enormous full moon which seemed to float about two feet above the horizon.
On arriving home we went down to the beach to take the photo seen above.
We returned to our flat and settled down for the night, Linda snoozing on our comfy settee whist I finished washing the dishes left over from lunch.

I gazed out through the kitchen window at the moon and became transfixed.
An idea entered my head.
I quietly unpacked my banjo and tip-toed from the flat down to the ocean shore, plonked myself cross-legged on the shingle and began to sing and play.
I sang a song to the moon, I sang a song to the sea, I sang a song to all the fishes in the sea and I sang a song to my adopted lobster, Bobnit Tivol, in his home off the Cornish coast.
I made the lyric up as I went along.
If I got stuck I made up words stretching out the vowels trying to make the kind of sounds throat singers make.
Sometimes I hummed, sometimes I yodeled...

'Excuse me, are you going to be doing that much longer?'
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
The voice came from the sea.
'Excuse me, we'd like to get out now if you wouldn't mind'.
I followed the sound of the voice and could just make out two heads bobbing about down by the breakwater near the launch ramp.
'Oh, Hello, do you want your towels?' I shouted, 'If you let me know where they are I'll pass them to you'.
'Errr, actually, would you mind f*%kin' off so we can get out?'
'We've got no clothes on'.
I stood up, brushed off the pieces of shattered dream and trudged back to the flat.

An Evening Of Death, Taxes And Basking In The Glow Of Literary Giants.

So, off to London to attend the launch of the new quarterly surrealist magazine Polarity.
Strikes me that producing an actual physical magazine is a bold move in this digital age and I for one salute the brave young people behind this venture.
The event might have passed me by but for the very sensible inclusion in the magazine of material from Hooting Yard's Mr. Frank Key.
The fact that Mr. Key was to make an extremely rare public appearance to read some of his prose made it inevitable that I would attend.
At 9 a.m. Linda loaded me in to the travel cannon, set the coordinates for the Slaughtered Lamb Pub in Great Sutton Street, lit the slow burning fuse and went off to work.
 (Please spare a thought for Linda as she works in a greenhouse and the temperatures outside are in the upper 20's at the moment. I fear she may melt and I don't want a puddle for a girlfriend.)

Deep in the barrel of the cannon I passed the time till launch (6 hours away) mumbling the Hooting Yard Chant:

Hooting Yard!
Hooting Yard!
Haa Haa and Gasebo.
We will conquer all our foes.
Hooting, Hooting Yard!

At the appointed hour there was a loud bang and I was launched toward the capital.
My journey was uneventful.
I crashed though the doors of the pub and, using my face as a brake, came to a halt at the bar.
I must have become slightly more aerodynamic of late as I'd arrived 20 minutes early so I ordered a pint of foaming brown beer and was charged £14:28 for it. I didn't bat an eyelid as I know, this being London, even the air I was breathing was ludicrously expensive.
I asked the cheery barkeep where the magazine launch room was, his demeanour instantly changed to one of abject terror as, with a trembling finger, he pointed toward the cellar doors.
I noticed he had several more fingers on his hand than the norm but this is London and people have more of everything here.
I drained my glass, spat out the frogspawn and strode manfully toward the doors
Grasping the two gigantic brass handles firmly I swung the doors open with a florish, stepped forward and tumbled 20 feet to the concrete floor.
When I regained consciousness I found myself been ministered to by a couple of personable young men who were carefully counting the remaining money from my wallet.
They did tell me their names but, using a technique it's taken a lifetime to master, I instantly forgot them.
'Has Mr. Key arrived yet?' I asked. 'No' said one of the personable young men, 'but, listen, he's close by'.
Straining my ears to hear I could just make out the distinctive low rumbling of the Hooting Yard 'Transport of Delight'.

I shinned up the exit rope and ran out into the street just in time to see 57 motorcycle outriders streak past followed by the moaning sisters of WoohooWoodieWoo on their ceremonial elephants then came the jugglers with their antelopes and flaming tally sticks, the plumed monkeys on stilts, a flat bed truck featuring a tableau of 'The Vanquishment Of Anaxgrotax', then hens and pigs and cows and goats in numbers the human mind is incapable of conceiving.

I gazed awestruck.

Then, with a mighty crash, the Transport of Delight rounded the corner crushing the buildings on either side of the street with it's gigantic steel legs and atop of this behemoth, sat upon a golden throne upholstered with the woven hair of the widows of the men he had slain in battle I saw Mr. Key.
I averted my eyes, as is the custom, and fell to my knees in abasement as Mr. Key's personal bodyguards lifted him, throne and all, to the ground.
Oh, lucky man was I as Mr. Key, noticing my wretched form trembling in the gutter, shouted in his stentorian boom 'SpaceMan, come forth!'
I began to stand up, big mistake, I was pounced on by the burly bodyguards, had my belt and shoe laces taken from me, my shirt buttons were ripped off and I was then hurled to the ground in front of the throne. Mr. Key stepped down and walked along my body. As soon as he'd stepped off my head I was picked up and thrown in front of him again.
Thus Mr. Key's majestic progress to the performance space was made.
I was overcome by the rapture afforded to those chosen to be of service to the earth's foremost author.

At this point my life could have ended and I would have left this world a happy man but...
Without having to strain my ears this time I heard an even greater sound that shook the very ground I laid upon. Huge chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling, the glass in the windows cracked and cascaded in glittering shards to the floor.
I lifted my head fully believing that these were to be my last moments on earth and fixed my gaze upon Mr. Key. I was shocked to see his face contorted with fear, his bodyguards cowering under whatever shelter they could find and, as I looked on, the roof of the building was torn away by a huge set of iron pincers protruding from the bottom of the biggest flying saucer I've ever seen.
Mr. Peter Blegvad had arrived.

Once again I lost, or had torn from me, the consciousness I'd so recently regained.
When I recovered I found myself lying in a dismal alleyway, my shoes had been taken from me by a couple of ragged beggers  who were in the process of cooking and eating them.
They looked at me and laughed saying 'they've all gone, all your heroes have deserted you and left you to the mercy of the gutter'.

I can't wait to tell Linda about my adventures and I shall sing of this day with joy as I walk the 74 miles back to Bognor Regis.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Linda's Birthday.

It's mid-summer's day, so it must be Linda's birthday.
This means frantic last minute style activity.

I made a card:

I made a cake:

This is my first attempt at cake making.

I used a silicon mould that's supposed to produce a cake that looks like a rose.
(Yes, I am aware that it looks like a cow pat.) 
My chocolate icing needs work but it really does taste better than it looks.
Linda is happy and, I believe, quietly impressed.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A Solution To A Problem That Didn't Exist Until I Invented It.

Due to Linda's love of soap operas I spend a good deal of my time sat in my lab/workshop twiddling my thumbs while my muse is off somewhere musing someone else.
Should I want to entertain myself with sound I have, in the past, happily plugged my pod into the old valve radio set up which, to be fair, involves a bit of a sound quality trade off if I want to listen to anything other than mp3 files of 78 rpm records.
(There is a deeper problem but more of that in a later post.)
I've hit upon a solution.
No, not headphones or, as they are described in the manual, ear-buds.
The AUX input on my Roland Micro Cube.
I stuck my pod cradle to the back of it and plugged in.
Compact, portable and mono.

Here is a list of the pod-casts that fill up the blank spaces in my life:

The great thing about this set up being that I can plug in a microphone and join the conversations.
Sort of chit-chat-karaoke.
Bases covered.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Hallucinations of Bognor Regis.

Once again I must extend my gratitude to Mr. G. Webster for hitting a nail on the head.
He has provided me with art work for the failed collection of sound beds and backdrops I recorded.

I look out of the window and yes, that looks like the Bognor Regis I know.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cleaning Out The Demos And Experiments Cupboard.

Prior to recording the tracks that appear on the album, I recorded several test tracks which can be downloaded here.

  • Track Listing:
  • Surf's Up
  • Joy Joy
  • Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • Play That Funky Music White Boy
  • R.U. Receiving Me?
  • White Rabbit

So, that's sorted that lot out then.

Feral Shoe Pre-History.

I am grateful to Mr. Marrock for bringing this artifact to my attention.
It turns out that the feral shoe phenomenon is not a new one.
 I'm fascinated by the experts conjecture about this size 4 ladies lace up:

'Archaeologists say it probably belonged to a woman who deliberately buried it in the cave during a mysterious ritual. The cave also contained three pots, each containing a child's skull, along with containers of barley, wheat and apricot'. 

Sounds like my kind of girl.
Read more here.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Film Sound Track (Rejected).

I was approached by a local amateur(ish) film maker to provide a sound track for a film he was producing about Bognor Regis.
I was given a brief outline of the locations that were to be included in the film along with the proposed dialogue.
If I'm honest about it I didn't really put much effort into it.
I went to the places in the locations list and tried to absorb the 'atmosphere' making a few notes along the way.
I got home and set to work producing around 30 minutes worth of sound-beds and sonic back-drops.
They were rejected for being 'to gloomy' and might give the impression that Bognor Regis was a 'desolate waste-land'.
I loaded the tracks into my pod and walked around the locations whilst listening to the tracks I'd created.
He was right.
I'm now going to make my own film about Bognor Regis based on the sound track I made.
I'm considering adding the happy-go-lucky dialogue I was given.

The sound track can be downloaded here

Thursday, 3 June 2010


An aged aunt once gave me a book on origami to 'keep me out of trouble'.
I couldn't make head nor tail of it and decided that origami was no substitute for getting into trouble.
Times have changed.
Since becoming Hooting Yard's Podcast Maestro I have to find or, more usually, create pictures to illustrate the postings.
To cut a long story short I needed a picture of a distressed pig in a boat which is not something one sees everyday.
Origami to the rescue!
Since then I've become paper folding mad and am a stranger to trouble.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Things To Come.

I've just watched another movie from the Internet Archive.
I remember being very impressed by 'Things To Come' when I saw it in my childhood.
This time round though I laughed so much I snorted my coffee out of my nose.