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Friday Fictioneers – Patio

The clocks may have gone back last week here in Merry Old England, but Rochelle‘s email still arrived first thing Wednesday morning, regular as an unerring pendulum. Writers the world over peruse the prompt pic, suck the end of their metaphorical pencils and, by Friday, create 100 words. Here is this week’s pic: Read more…

Choon Choosday: Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters

Can it really be 30 years since this magnificent film was released? I’ll answer that question for you – yes it can be, and yes it is. And tonight I will be at the pictures seeing a celebratory anniversary screening.

This is a film that really needs to be seen on the big screen, if only for the [SPOILER ALERT] Stay Puft marshmallow man at the end. Have I seen it at the cinema before? I must have done. And did I sing along with the theme tune? Hell yeah. Cause it’s a




Friday Fictioneers – Bench

The arrival of this week’s FriFic email was an even more exciting moment than usual for me this week. Because our beloved curator and chief FriFicer Rochelle chose MY picture as this week’s prompt! I’m so pleased and so proud that she picked me :) Read more…

Choon Choosday: The Undertones – Teenage Kicks

Ten years ago this week, on 25th October 2004, a true great, a genuine legend, a uniquely loveable and popular man, John Robert Ravenscroft aka John Peel passed away. It is impossible to overstate the influence Peely had over the entire musical industry in the 37 years he broadcast on British Radio. His show was THE show. He didn’t just bring the best records and the best bands to the nation’s awareness – he singlehandedly championed whole genres. Thousands of DJs and musicians since the late 60s namecheck Peel as the number one influence on their career.

His knowledge and love of music was enormous and his favourite tune was, as everyone knows, Teenage Kicks. When asked why, he didn’t give an arty answer about chords or teen angst or poetry or the zeitgeist of alternative late 70s music. He just said “because there is nothing you can add to it or take away from it to make it better”. And when asked what his favourite kind of music was, he would say “music I haven’t heard yet”. He lived for the new, for that buzz of discovering truly great music.

Peel often played the wrong record, the wrong side of the right record, the right record through the wrong fader, or the right record at the wrong speed, and all of this revealed his “one of us” character – he was a normal bloke who just happened to be a wonderful broadcaster. And sometimes, just sometimes, he would do the one thing that no DJ should ever do – he played the same tune twice.

Here is a clip of him doing just that. Peely, you were unique, a great, and you are still sorely missed.

peel 6

Friday Fictioneers – Teacher

It’s time for the weekly gathering of Friday Fictioneers everyone! Enormous gratitude as always to Rochelle for sending prompt pics around the wall for us all to study and scratch our heads over until 100 words come out. Here is this week’s pictoral pondering: Read more…

Choon Choosday: The Streets – Blinded By The Light (Nero Dubstep Remix)

Mike Skinner (aka The Streets) is a great talent. Much like Jarvis Cocker and to some degree Blur, he reflects sections of british society in his music and his lyrics, meaning that much of his appeal is the recognition, in much the same way that comedians whose material is observational are popular. Blinded by the Light is I think my favourite track by The Streets because of the lyrics describing a night out, but also because of the wonderful synth stab which seem to be in some sort of 11/8 time signature that complements the chilled nature of the tune but is enough out of kilter to give it a nervy edge.

This is the remix by dubstep / dnb royalty Nero. The lyrics of the verses are sacrificed, which is a loss, but what the track gains is an additional layer of bass and an extra drum track. Added depth, added quality.




Oh okay then, since you asked nicely, here’s the original. That’s a choon too…

Is the glass half happy or half sad?

There is a divergence in my mental state recently, as though my emotional self is standing with one foot on a boat which is slowly drifting away from the bank. Which way will I go? To sea or back to shore? Or will I end up in the water?

To the outsider, to those I socialise with and to some extent those I work with, I am a lot happier lately. I engage more with people, I talk more, I listen more. And I think that during those times I am genuinely more content, more emotionally settled and the black dog isn’t on my shoulder. So maybe that perception of me is right.

But when I’m on my own – which, as a single person living alone who shies away from socialising much, is a lot of the time – I feel myself sinking lower than I have done for a long time. I’m lonely and unhappy (the two aren’t linked, I don’t believe, just happen to co-exist), and less inclined to do anything about either of these. My enthusiasm for anything at all is at an all time low. I sleep in later, I go to bed earlier, I snooze during the day at weekends and during the evening on work days. It is an enormous effort to leave the house if I don’t have work or some other unavoidable commitment. Cooking seems like a tedious chore – why waste an hour making something, even something nice, that will be gone in five minutes, leaving behind only a tower of dishes that will take another half hour to wash – when I can heat something frozen or just eat some stupidly inappropriate and unhealthy junk that isn’t a meal but is easier than cooking? You get the idea. Maybe this is the person I am.

So which of these two extending extremes is the default me? Am I a more together person who inbetween suffers darker darkness than before? Or am I sinking into the quicksand of depression and loneliness but sometimes manage to fool myself and others I am chirpy and happy so as to hide the truth from us all? Or maybe these two halves are both the real me?


And in case you were wondering, this isn’t a self-wallowing woe-is-me post. Nor is it a cry for help, or a passive aggressive attempt to make readers reassure me that everything is fine and I’m a great guy really. It’s an ordering of thoughts, a genuinely dispassionate and objective attempt to work my head out for myself. But I still don’t know. I’m 700 posts into this blogging thing, and I still don’t know.

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