Friday, 30 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 273

Felpham 30/09/11:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The errr, Memory… Thingy.

Earliest Pictorial Evidence

I am now firmly mid-aged.
Not a problem thanks.
Even with the tinitus, failing eyesight, eczema on the bottom of my right foot and the occasional back 'flare-up'.
Considering some of the life-style choices I've made in the past I count myself lucky to be among the quick and animate.

On the way to here I've lost everything I've owed at least 4 times and had to start all over again.
This, in effect, means that I don't have many physical objects to remind me of any specific time or event from my past.
I have very little photographic evidence of my existence prior to the year 2000 and, therefore, very few images to take me back way back then.
And, to my eternal relief, I'm not in contact with any family group I've ever been a part of prior to meeting Linda. 
What I do have is my memory, which is good, if a little haphazard with a tendency to wander round in circles.

There is, however, a situation that needs some attention.

The strongest memories I have tend to be quite unpleasant, dark even.
These monsters cast a giant shadow over the better memories, make them seem puny and trivial by comparison and then gradually blot them out.
But they're not the whole picture.
Not by a long way.

I hit upon a way of sorting this situation out and thereby putting the monsters into their correct perspective relative to everything else that's happened along the way.
What I needed to do was 'file' my memories properly.

"How will you achieve this?" I'll  assume you've asked.
I decided the best way to approach this task was to write down each year I've been alive with the age I would have been at the time like so:
  • 1958 0
  • 1959 1
  • 1960 2
  • 1961 3
  • 1962 4
  • 1963 5
  • 1964 6
  • 1965 7
  • 1966 8
  • 1967 9
  • 1968 10
  • 1969 11
  • 1970 12
  • 1971 13
  • 1972 14
  • 1973 15
  • 1974 16
  • 1975 17
  • 1976 18
  • 1977 19
  • 1978 20
  • 1979 21
  • 1980 22
  • 1981 23
  • 1982 24
  • 1983 25
  • 1984 26
  • 1985 27
  • 1986 28
  • 1987 29
  • 1988 30
  • 1989 31
  • 1990 32
  • 1991 33
  • 1992 34
  • 1993 35
  • 1994 36
  • 1995 37
  • 1996 38
  • 1997 39
  • 1998 40
  • 1999 41
  • 2000 42
  • 2001 43
  • 2002 44
  • 2003 45
  • 2004 46
  • 2005 47
  • 2006 48
  • 2007 49
  • 2008 50
  • 2009 51
  • 2010 52
  • 2011 53
The next step is to jot down any information I have about any individual year.
Doesn't have to be deeply 'significant', just something that happened during that year.
Starting infant's school, jobs, groups I've been in for instance.
I'll keep adding what I can, good or bad, to the list.
Eventually each year will have it's own page and will need to be broken down in to months.

I've found some very valuable information in the little red account books I habitually kept from around 1994 to 2008.
They list exactly what I'd spent every penny on and give clues to where I was living, who I was living with, what I was doing for a living and what I was eating.

I have an old cycling diary.
It lists destinations, speeds, weather conditions and a general note on how I felt during the ride.

My findings so far indicate that it's the most prosaic facts that bring forth the strongest memories.
I'm going to continue this process and will report back from my past in future posts.
Stay tuned.

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 272

Aldwick 29/09/11:

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 271

Felpham 28/09/11:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 270

Felpham 27/09/11:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 269

Bersted 26/09/11:

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 268

Felpham 2509/11:

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 267

Bognor Regis 24/09/11:

Friday, 23 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 266

Merston 23/09/11:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 265

Bognor Regis 22/09/11:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 264

Woodgate 21/09/11:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 263

Felpham 20/09/11:

Monday, 19 September 2011

More Cheap Music: The Midnight Car Park Ramblers Play 'Shuffletown Train'

The Midnight Car Park Ramblers present their latest recording 'Shuffletown Train'
'Boris' The Shuffletown Train.

Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 262

Felpham 19/09/11:

A Fleeting Look Back.

I make/restore many things.
Some succeed more than others.
I thought I'd pick my favourites from April this year to date:
In date order of construction they are:

  • The Directional Indication Device
  • The 2 String Rubber Band Box Harp
  • The Cardboard Clock
  • The Biscuit Tin & Broom Pole Slide Bass
  • The Broom Pole & Wine Case Bass
All the above items were made from the stuff other people threw away.

    Sunday, 18 September 2011

    The Midnight Car Park Ramblers' Chart Show. (Updated with Apologies)

    My sincere apologies to anyone who clicked the links I'd put in and ended up down-loading some music they maybe didn't want.
    I'd assumed that the links were to a player on the hosting site and didn't realise my mistake until I clicked one of the links.
    They have all been removed.

    Once again, my apologies.

    Just goes to show there's truth in the saying "When you assume, you make an ASS out of U & ME. (but more me, obviously.)

    Greetings pop-pickers!

    The Midnight Car Park Ramblers' material has been on the Tindeck hosting site for just over a week now.
    The down-load chart looks like this:

    01) Green Door
    02) Haven't Told Her, She Hasn't Told Me
    03) Blow As You Will
    04) MudBoot
    05) Hello Jim
    06) Hey Hup La
    07) The Big Wha Who
    08) Dismantled Wooden Myrna Loy

    I notice that my two personal favourites are at 07 & 08 whereas my least favourite is at number 01.


    Linda Greets Mungo the Cargo Ship Back to Littlehampton.

    Mungo the Cargo Ship pays a visit to Littlehampton without getting stuck on the sea-defences.

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 261

    Felpham 18/09/11:

    Looking at this intervention moves me to type another explanation.

    It's sometime in the early 1980's
    My mate, W, used to be an Adam and the Ants Fan but ditched 'em went they went main stream.
    He had the word 'ANTS' in studs across the back of his leather jacket.
    He took the studs out but 'ANTS' was still clearly visible from the holes left behind.
    We were in a notorious drinking den that purported to be a 'Sports & Social Club'.
    We were in the cave like celler room where bands played.
    Access was via a narrow artexed passage with a wrought iron gate at the entrance.
    Me and 'W' were getting hammered.

    I didn't notice the trouble brewing, I didn't notice that the focus of the impending storm was the word ANTS on the back of W's jacket but W had picked up on it and did one.
    The gang chased after him, down the passage toward the exit, only to find that the door man had closed the gate after W had shot through it.

    I ran out behind the gang hoping W and me might stand a chance against them in the open.
    I ran straight into the frustrated gang.

    'U AN ANT THEN?'

    I distinctly remember saying 'I beg your pardon' before the first blow arrived.
    I instantly lashed out in retaliation even though I had a blinding white light in my head.
    I booted someone fair and square in the cobblers but turned full face to a bloke that 'nutted' me I hit the floor and got a 5 man pounding.

    Bust the orbital under my left eye, fat lip and lots of bruising.

    Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Saturday, 17 September 2011

    Cheap Instruments: Broom Pole and Wine Box Bass.

    I've been doing a bit of research into 'primitive' instruments.
    The Cigar Box Guitar (CBG), the Washboard and the Wash-Tub/Tea-Chest Bass.
    I've been taking a causal glance at 'skiffle' from Britain's grey 1950's.

    All my nosing about has resulted in this:
    Broom Pole and Wine Box Bass
    This instrument differs from the Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Slide Bass in that I've reduced the action to the point where it can be 'fretted'.
    At first I was tempted to leave it 'fretless' but...
    (here's where it gets embarrassing)
    I met myself in a dream and told myself to try using zip-ties as frets (!)
    No, it doesn't look any less silly even after I've typed it.
    Still, I gave it a go:
    Zip Tie Fret
    Works a treat!

    One of the tuning pegs removed from the banjolele has been pressed into service and is behaving it's self keeping the instrument firmly in 'C':
    Tuning Peg and Gold Finial
    Originally I just bolted the pole to the base of the wine box which I left open at the back.
    Mystic Roger suggested that I should try adding a sound-board as this would improve the volume.
    This involved bracing the open side of the wine box which also provides the mount for the pole:
    Brace and Pole Mount

    I used an old piece of hard-board to test the idea and it works so I now plan to replace it with a thin ply-wood sound-board.
    But, for now, here's what it looks like:
    Sound Board
    It sounds really good.
    I finished it off with a set of Queen Anne Legs and it looks quite elegant.
    I'm going to hand it over to the Midnight Car Park Ramblers to see if they can bash a tune out with it.

    BTW I gold-plated the finial myself!
    Oh, yes.

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 260

    Felpham 17/0911:

    Friday, 16 September 2011

    BigMetalTower: Invocation

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 259

    Barnham 16/09/11:

    Thursday, 15 September 2011

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 258

    Chichester 15/09/11:

    Wednesday, 14 September 2011

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 257

    Flansham 14/09/11:

    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 256

    Bognor Regis 13/09/11:

    Monday, 12 September 2011

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 255

    Felpham 12/09/11:

    My 'Track of the Week": 'Urban Spaceman' (Innes) Performed by Neil Innes (and a tap-dancer).

    My comment about female tap-dancers in fish-nets wasn't entirely blatant sexism.
    A precedent can be seen here:

    No fish-nets sadly.
    I'd much rather work with a tap-dancer than a drummer.
    Not that I'm drummerist you understand, but have you seen 'em eat!?

    Sunday, 11 September 2011

    Just Because I Can.

    Here's a picture of my shed:

    Windsor Whirle Ukulele Banjo No. 4 (Another Update)

    So, finally, I've managed to establish the correct version of the manufacturer's trade name, the correct description of the instrument (stamped into the head-stock) and the model number.
    Since replacing the machine-heads last week most of my musical output has revolved around this uke:
    It's been given a deep-clean, WD40 (fish-oil) to restore the ebonized finished parts and a damn good bees wax polish.
    The wood actually 'glows' a very pleasing cherry luster.
    I tried to improve the hide head using an eraser but it didn't seem to be dirty.

    During the next week I'm going to try re-fitting steel strings.
    It will get it's first outing at the Uke @ The Duke jam on Tuesday night.

    Sitting in the attic, with my kazoo in a holder round my neck, my foot on the pedal of a bass drum and this uke on my lap I could only be happier if I was actually in the garden playing this outfit.

    If I was playing this outfit in the garden shed accompanied by a female tap-dancer in fish-nets.

    Cardboard Reality Interventions 2011: 254

    South Bersted 11/0911: