Saturday, October 28, 2006

I Ching Daily

Here is a beautiful and fairly addictive I Ching poem generator - thanks to cafe del nightmare for this.

Click here for the latest podcast!

Enjoy! There will be another one soon - this one was done in rather a rush and from my bed consequently the choice of music was rather random and was accompanied by half asleep ramblings from myself and probably too much rustling of duvet.

I am now very

Back next week - am off to a wedding - I will probably want this place

to be open by tomorrow morning when I no doubt wake up with a hangover of some description and will be in need of medical assistance. I will probably miss breakfast at the B&B and have to sneak out at lunchtime - or - stumble down rather dishevelled lured by the smell of fried bread and kippers just as they are clearing away the last egg-smeared doily. I will no doubt be told I can only have what's left of the variety pack (all bran then) or cold toast as the kitchen is now getting ready for a straining, over-laden coachload of oaps for lunch at 11.30.

Now I've got to go and sort out my outfit. Must dash!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Now Listen Here You Lot!

The Romo For Real 9 will be up in the morning. Now I don't want to hear another peep!

UPDATE: I've amended the link - please try again if it wasn't previously working

It's the 200th post!

So - how better to celebrate than with Battle Of the Album Covers - YOU ROCK - and thank you everybody for reading/commenting/whinging for new podcasts......mwah mwah xxxx

Friday, October 20, 2006

Currently grumpy

Normal service will resume very shortly I hope - got flu - ears full of gunge which makes me dizzy, head hurts, feel achy, can't breath properly - consequently very grumpy and am writing my own sick note. Be back once I'm better.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Are a few

of my favourite


This post is in place of the one that should have come even before the one that was before this! But it's lost in bloggo-hyperspace stuck between two major corporations - Youtube and Blogger. Either there's a backlog at Youtube or an even bigger one at Blogger - it doesn't make sense and doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

I was a very impressionable and lively 12 year old when Christiane F came out. I remember seeing the trailer and really wanting to see the film - to this day I have never actually seen all of it. I have seen this clip somewhere before and I love it for two or maybe three reasons - firstly, it features one of the best tracks of all time - Heroes - beat that - difficult for some! But more so, it is beautifully shot and composed. I love the lyrical. tumbling teenagers, their vibrancy and sense of being alive and living for the moment. They seem to tumble at all the right moments as they dash through the dingy, empty mall to Bowie's epic track. It should feel fake and forced but it doesn't. I really did try very hard to get into see the film and failed on several occasions - mainly because I was too baby-faced and always very short for my age so there was no way I was ever going to pass for 18 as a 12 year old but I really tried. I probably looked like a child prostitute as well in my attempt to look older which I'm sure didn't help. But why make essentially a coming of age film and not allow teenagers to see it - because it contained scenes of drug-taking and the demise of the main character because of drugs? Even more of a reason to let teenagers see it surely?

I put up Kraftwerk - live in Utrecht 1981 because it simply is, is, is brilliant and I now know where Beck steals his ideas from. When I worked with him recently he did a great set which ended with him solo randomly punching keys into an electronic calculator that was wired up to an amp - wonderful. When I saw this today - I realised it is a direct steal - probably because he is a fan but even so - a direct steal. My one great regret is that I never saw Kraftwerk live. I remember wanting to go and see OMD instead - how absolutely mis-guided and foolish of me. I'm so ashamed. I hope I will get to see them some day.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Random Thoughts & Warblings

I've always wondered how my friend Jamie can do this as he is very skinny and you just wouldn't think he had that much spare flesh.

Things I have done this week that I have never done before:
ear candling - I let someone put flaming candles in my ears in a bid to clear blocked ears without having to ingest antibiotics. Strangely enough I fell asleep when she did the second one. It seems to have worked.

fallen asleep mid-comment on a blog - woke up five hours later with the laptop still open at Billy's comment box but precariously hanging off the side of the bed - serves me right for coming home a little tipsy and trying to blog from bed

attempted to teach myself an editing programme - getting there! (can you sense the frustration?)

Books I have read in the last 10 days:
Baggage by Janet Street-Portah! As Lyn Barber writes in her potted review "she's infuriating" actually Lyn not half as irritating as you love! I really enjoyed it. Baggage is the first book old Janet from another planet (Perivale via Fulham) wrote about her childhood. She recounts growing up in 50's London in a very vivid, engaging and witty way. Her childhood and more so her parents have undertones of an Ealing comedy in parts. I can thoroughly recommend it.

I loved that so much I felt compelled to get the next one - which quite bitterly at times documents her 20's - 30's I suppose. It's called:
Fall Out: A Memoir of Friends Made and Unmade.

Again very vibrant and un-putdownable. She is not afraid to admit that she might be a bit of a harsh perfectionist at times and found it virtually impossible to be faithful to either of her slightly long-suffering husbands. But underneath Janet's teflon-clad rambler exterior there is a very bright, clever and interesting person lurking there. Her descriptions of endless party's dripping with then emerging artistic talent such as Allen Jones, Patrick Heron and fabulous clothes mainly a la Zandra Rhodes are not only fun because of the time but also because they are set against the backdrop of her determination to make it first in architecture and then the male-dominated world of Fleet Street. There's a real vital energy there which I think she does very well. She doesn't know this or know me for that matter but I went to her house in Clerkenwell once. I even went for a spin in her zero gravity chair which left me most discombobulated (thank you Will Self for that word which none of us know what it really means but it sounds good in this context).

I have just started Joan Didion's new book 'A Year Of Magical Thinking' - it's basically an extended essay on death and grief which was written as a reaction to the sudden death of her poet/writer husband John Gregory Dunne. I am a huge fan of Didion ever since I picked up 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem' as a teenager. It had been on the family bookshelves since it had first come out - 1972 in paperback I think. I had seen it on my parent's friends bookshelves too so one day the penny must have dropped - I picked it up. It's a wonderful, clear account of the Californian hippie movement at the end of the 60's. Not only was it a great read but her picture on the frontispiece was an inspiration - a beautiful, gamine woman in some sort of an understated garment smoking a fag - and she looked so cool! I really wanted to grow up and be her. I did grow up and I didn't really become her at all but I have made sure that each time she has published I have sought the new book out without much delay. In saying that - it is her non-fiction that I enjoy and remember. The fiction I could take or leave. Anyway, for the first time I have not been able to whizz through her writing at all. Instead of devouring and chomping my way through it I am having to approach it in little morsels bit by bit. I think a lot of this is to do with the subject matter and the terrible red-rawness of her contained emotion which staggeringly brave and exquisite at times. I think it would serve as a very useful manual for those training as grief counsellors - just to really get into the nitty gritty of grief and understanding how it re-shapes everything around you.

I was going to work on this a bit more and post up tomorrow - in it's place I had blogged something from youtube but.....yet has still not made it to blogger within 48 hours - crap. So that will come after this no doubt which will be very confusing. Sorry.

Finally, mainly as fall-out from the great Stiff Records night on BBC4 the other week I have been mostly playing Larry Wallis 'Policecar' on constant rotation - expect to hear it on the next podcast which is in my head but not yet uttered and squished down into switchpod yet - coming to a blogworld near you shortly - I'm just not sure when.

Finally finally, some of you might have read The Whales rather terse rant last Monday which then ended up with him deleting himself. It's a shame - hopefully he will be back soon.

Nighty night.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday 13th

Friday 13th so far has passed without any sort of accident, spillage or general misdemeanour. I can only recall two Friday 13th 'incidents' in my lifetime. First was breaking my wrist age 13. I turned up at casualty to find I was at least the eighth person waiting to be seen...with a broken wrist. Secondly, I remember calling home to say what I thought could be my 'final goodbye' before I boarded a bucket flight from Gate no 13 on Friday 13th. When I checked my ticket I was sitting in Seat 13 - aaggghhhh! In fact - it turned out to be rather good - I got upgraded to business and was offered champagne continuously all the way to Athens which was where I was bound. So it wasn't that unlucky at all...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya 1958-2006

I was really saddened to read of the blatant assassination of the most brave and intelligent Russian journalist of her generation Anna Politkovskaya. She was relentless in her devotion to uncovering the military human rights abuses in Chechnya and was a constant thorn in the side of Putin's government. Her last piece published in Novaya Gazeta directly attacked the pro-Kremlin militia in Chechnya. It is thought that her death was possibly a sinister birthday present for the Chechyn PM whose birthday fell the day after she was killed. It seems that it is no coincidence that this was also the day when her current article was to be published citing his widespread and unlawful torture activities. Of course, her death has now caused the article to be withdrawn.

In Hell, an article from July 2000, she describes the ruins of the Chechen capital, Groznyy:
"The city ruins are like a new Caucasus mountain range. African-style famine. Painfully thin children...Living streets full of dead eyes. Mad and half-mad people. Streets teeming with weapons. Mines everywhere. Permanent explosions. Despair."

She reported the clear truth in her own direct and inimitable style which earned her harsh criticism despite the fact that her reporting stood heads above alot of what has and continues to be written in the Russian mainstream media. She continued her work at great personal risk and was not a stranger to previous attempts on her life or regular death threats especially over the last decade. In 2004, she fell seriously ill after drinking tea on a flight bound for Beslan. She never made it and ended up in intensive care instead. She was not expected to survive but somehow managed to recover. It was thought that she was acting as one of the few crisis negotiators having previously been allowed into the Moscow theatre seige in 2002 for the same reason. I remember seeing a documentary about Politkovskaya a couple of years ago and was enthused by her intelligence, indescribable bravery and brilliantly clear way of expressing herself. She was and should continue to be an inspiration - not just to the people of Russia but to the world. It is not a surprise that she was joint winner of the 2005 Olaf Palme Peace Prize for her unique journalism and efforts spanning an unrelenting career of over twenty years. Anna Politkovskaya will no doubt be recognised worldwide for her service to the reporting of truth in a country which has a history of fear, suspicion and extreme cruelty towards its own people. As yet, no word from the Kremlin. I hope her death will change the course of Russian politics for the good. Whether it will or it won't (be allowed to) - it should.

Hundreds of mourners across Moscow, St Petersburg and Grozny have been lighting candles and laying tributes to Politkovskaya since the news broke yesterday. Some have pasted up pictures of Putin with the words "It is your fault" scrawled hastily underneath. The Kremlin no doubt will remain silent while the 'investigation' will eventually conclude that no suspect could be traced despite the fact it is thought that her murder was possibly linked to her work. And still, Putin won't quite be able to shake off the ghost of his shady KGB past because the legacy of Politkovskaya will still be there to shake him up a bit.

Their sign reads: The Kremlin has killed Freedom of Speech (courtesy mosdave/flickr)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sardine Mrs Slocombe?


Sale Of The Century

Here's a corker - I can't believe how cheap everything was - especially the two old boilers hanging out by the bikes. Oh no! They were the bikes!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Can't Stay Long

Well, youtube stuff never materialised - sorry. I'll try again when I'm not so busy. Got a big,scary work day tomorrow and am meant to be finishing off preparing everything for it - instead I'm skiving by blogging - terrible. And I'm in bed too and I'm really tired and slurping gotosleep herbal tea. I'm half tempted to go to sleep now and just do it all in the morning from 05:30. I find it very difficult to work unless I do it under pressure, I'm invariably always slightly late, leave most things to the last minute and tend to daydream quite alot. I've never had a 9-5 job in my life. On the rare occasions I've come home early I feel a bit lost like I should be doing something. The one redeeming feature in amongst all that dreadfulness is that I am incredibly organised. Thank god for that. Right - back to work. Normal service will resume shortly. Hang loose my little blogarators. xxx

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jesus H Godbastard Christ!

How long does it take downthetube to upload to my blog - current wait - approx 48 hours. Bo-ring.
(Apologies to any Christian's out there - what ever happened to Terry Christian by the way - did he go back to Radio Lollipop?).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I'm Partial To A Bit of Sensible

For those of you that listen to my podcasts I mentioned some time ago that my religion is somewhat of the Sensible order. And to prove it - I've just joined The Blah Party. Blah blah blah blah blah. Thanks to Istvanski for prodding me to get off my lazy backside and post something for a change. Actually - I've posted twice today from youtube but as yet - nothing seems to have appeared - most frustrating. Anway - I've got the Romo For Real 9 or 10 bubbling away - should be up soon my little bloggertasticnesses. Oh, and before I go - I've finally muddled through and worked out how to blogroll - ish - please don't be offended if you are not on it yet - I tried today and it was all a bit trial and error. I managed to blogroll the links I could remember off the top of my head - all the others - you are being collated but not forgotten - you too will be appearing soon. And.....there's more stuff up on recoverednotebook if anyone's interested. Toodlepip for now. xx