Friday, December 30, 2005

Pearl jam and Party Lists

I have just been watching a DVD of Pearl Jam in concert from 2000 that N bought me for Christmas. Was vey interesting as I had not seen them perform before, just heard their albums. There was a fantastic bit of footage from a concert in St Louis where a woman is signing everything they are saying and singing just below the stage. When the singer notices her he gets her up on the stage for a number. She signs and dances at the same time and it is amazing to watch - a real visual interpretation of the music - the track is called Given to Fly if anyone is interested in seeing it.

Yesterday Hunchermuncher told me not to get too obsessed about making the perfect party soundtrack. Too late I am afraid! I am obsessed, I will be obsessed and I want to be obsessed, it's the most fun thing I have done for ages and I am really enjoying it. I used to think that I should have been a DJ or a record shop owner - only money and lack of confidence in my abilities stopped me, also I suppose a feeling that I should be doing something more "worthy" with my time. I guess it's too late now.

Anyway back to the party playlist, which I have to say is coming on a treat. I have been playing the list in i-tunes whilst I do other stuff on the computer and if a track doesn't make me want to groove, out it goes. I have also started a beginning of party list which is more mellow.

Songs that have almost definitely been added to the party list:
Utah Saints - Something Good
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Trenchtown Rock
Counting Crows - Mister Jones
Madonna - Sorry
Pointer Sisters - Jump
Primal Scream - Movin on Up
Third World - Now that We've Found Love

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm Loving Angels Instead

Top 10 Songs featuring Angels

1) Angel Eyes - Roxy Music
2) There must be an Angel (playing with my heart) - Eurythmics
3) Angel of Harlem - U2
4) You Angel You - Bob Dylan
5) No Angel - Dido
6) Heaven Must be Missing an Angel - Tavares
7) Angels - Robbie Williams
8) Angel - Sarah Mclachlan
9) Angel - Aerosmith
10) Zip Mouth Angel - Rolling Stones

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pressies and top 10 songs about eyes

A late merry christmas and an early happy new year to anyone who is reading this.
Pleased to relate that Santa brought me a fine selection of music related items this year including Moonage Daydream by Mick Rock (lovely big book full of photos of David Bowie from 1972), the new Madonna Cd, the Bob Dylan Chronicles and ipod therefore I am. Although life has been such a social whirl that I haven't yet had time to read any of them.

Lying in bed last night in an alcohol induced fug I started thinking (as you do) about top 10s, 2 that I found particularly amusing were Angels and eyes - so here goes (although they may end up being top 5s due to lack of contenders!)

Top 10 songs about Eyes

1) Angel Eyes - Roxy Music
2) Don't it make my Brown Eyes Blue - Crystal Gayle
3) Lyin Eyes - The Eagles
4) Blue Eyes - Elton John
5) It's in Your Eyes - Kylie Minogue
6) In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
7) Bright Eyes - Art Garfunkel
8) Green Eyes - Coldplay
9) Jimi Hendrix - Gypsy Eyes
10) Gary Gilmore's Eyes - The Adverts

angels to come later as breakfast is ready!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Top Ten for December (and no absolutely NO Christmas songs!)

Decided the other day that each month of the year I will make a top 10 of songs for that month, so here is my Top 10 songs for December 2005:

1) Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
absolutely superb AND you can dance to it too!

2) Square One - Coldplay
From the album X & Y, which I have to say has really grown on me. Love this track.

3) Sorry - Madonna
From her latest album, better than Hung Up and that's pretty good. Wouldn't mind betting that this is released as a single. Very dancey!

4) Give me Novacaine - Green Day
Fantastic! Thoroughly enjoyed watchong the Greens on an extended Top of the Pops last week. i would love to see them live, they have such a brilliant energy. This track is from American Idiot.

5) High - James Blunt
I really like this track, actually I quite like James Blunt in general, although I found him slightly annoying when I saw him interviewed. I haven't yet bought his album but I may do!

6) She's a Rebel - Green Day
Good rocky track, never fails to perk me up!

7) Trenchtown Rock - Bob Marley and the Wailers
From Live, revisited this album this week (on vinyl) and thoroughly enjoyed it!

8) Talk - Coldplay
I make no apologies for liking Coldplays latest album, I haven't always liked their previous stuff, but I am really getting into this one and find it neither boring nor maudlin (two accusations levelled at them in last weeks Observer music mag)!

9) Burden of Shame - UB40
Going back to my roots...always liked UB40, although not so keen on their later stuff. I think I prefered them when they were more streetwise. This is from the most excellent album Signing Off.

10) Speed of Sound - Coldplay
Yes three Coldplay tracks in this months top 10. Lets hope the new year brings some musical gems.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rock on Tommy

Was saddened to read in the Observer music magazine that the DJ Tommy Vance died earlier this year after a suffering a stroke. Tommy was the god of rock when I was a teenager into heavy metal. My friends and I listened to religiously to the Friday Rock Show, as like John Peel he was never afraid to play new or old music (both a rarity on radio 1 these days!).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Assimilate this (UB40, Patrick Stewart and the Utopian Dream)

I have been listening to some reggae this week and found myself revisiting my early UB40 albums (on vinyl no less!), rememebering fondly their early lyrics
"I'm a British subject and I'm proud of it,
but I carry the burden of shame" etc...

In my opinion it is a great shame that UB40 stopped acting as a cattle prod to the social conscience of Britain. Is it I wonder because the more famous a band gets, the more removed from real life they become? I guess it's hard to write about issues that effect the people on the street, if you have no direct experience of them yourself. That's why their first few albums were so powerful, they had been those unemployed lads queueing up to sign on at Birmingham dole office. They had experienced the harsh reality of Thatcher's Britain first hand.

So There is a price that's paid with the arrival of fame. It can detatch you eventually from issues that once seemed so important to you. Some artists/bands however, do try to and marry themselves to some social cause like coldplay/Bob Geldof or U2. Most of Bob Dylans most poignant protest songs were written before he really hit the big time, but he did champion other causes later on once he was "off the street".

Just to completely change the subject, N and I were watching the film "The Canterville Ghost" (not the 1944 version, but the 1994 remake) starring Patrick Stewart. N remarked that Patrick Stewart often plays similar roles (Sir Simon De Canterville, Scrooge, Captain Ahab, Professor X, Captain Picard). N also observed that in the roles he takes he rarely falls in love, and thinking about it I have to conclude that he is right. He generally plays someone that is very noble, moral and slightly aloof, yet with a wealth of hidden warmth and humanity bubbling away just below the surface, that shows itself from time to time.

He is definitely like that in his role as Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek the Next generation. The writers could have given him myriad romances like the fickle Captain Kirk, but instead Jean Luc stays resolutely alone with a hint of deeper feelings between himself and Dr Beverly Crusher. You can almost see the sparks fly between them sometimes but (in the series anyway) there is no action. Even in the one episode where he does have a romance he ends up alone at the end.

One of the best films that I have seen Patrick in is Safe House, where he plays an ex intelligence operative who thinks someone is out to get him. Everyone thinks he is mad and just as you start to think he is too he is proved right and along come the baddies - an exciting film (helped along by a delliciously naked P S in the shower!).
I think that the episodes of Star Trek that I enjoyed most were the ones where Jean Luc does show more of his human side - I especially like the film First Contact where he loses it a bit and goes after the Borg on a vigilante revenge trip.

I have often tried to quantify what exactly it is that attracts me to those Sci Fi series (beyond mere escapism of course), and I think it is because they embody the kind of Utopian society that I long for, where morals and ethics are held in high regard, war is virtually non existent and people aren't all out for money, power and fame. It is also because they are about the complexity of human relationships and the human condition, spiriuality and they embody both physical and spiritual journeys.

Of course in Deep Space 9 the Utopian society is shakem up into an unexpected war giving the perfect example of why she should never let ourselves become too complacent and smug. Life is held in fragile balance and one little shake of the metaphoric tree can set everything all akilter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cynical Older Men and Female Role Models

Now if you had told me ten years ago that I would one day quite like Jeremy Clarkson I would have laughed in your face. At the time I felt that he embodied many of the things that I despised - sexist, blokey leather jacket wearing smoker who liked to drive fast cars (or should that be cars fast?).

so it is with some reluctance that I find myself reporting that I nearly bought a book by him today. Has Jeremy mellowed or is it I who have changed? Well I couldn't tell you...

The rot set in when he was on What not to Wear last year (that tight jeans and leather jacket on an older bloke look really is the pits - sorry guys!). I expected him to be obnoxious, but he actually came across as alright, self deprecating and quite funny. Since then I have occasionally watched bits of late night top gear (or whatever it's called) and he really is quite watchable. Then today I started reading bits of The world according to Clarkson when I was waiting to use the loo in Ottakars and realised that I wanted to read more - it was full of short pieces (not sure if it was originally a newspaper column), not unlike a blog, cynical, intelligent, well informed and witty, which makes a pleasent change from the in your face, chavved up humour that is so popular at the moment.

And just to completely change the subject. I was waiting in for a package to arrive from Santa this morning and was watching the early moring news, on which there was a short piece about Kate Moss and what a bad role model she is. what disturbed me tough was that they had done a survey of teenage girls asking them who they looked up to as a role model and the top answers were Jordan and Abi Titmuss! If that's the future for women in this country I'm bailing out now!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Corner Shops and Party Music

Haven't written my blog for a while - I have been soooo busy - doing christmas stuff. Like buying presents, christmas meals etc. My house is a tip, money is tight and N keeps saying every five minutes that he wishes Christmas would hurry up and arrive!

Well tonight I wanted to chill, I thought that I would nip to the shop and get a bottle of beer or cider or something and just relax, look at newly decorated and cute (but diddy tree). The fates were against me though - I went to the shop, got my drink - queued up for ages behind a man who was paying £2.79 in 1p and 2p pieces, which as you can imagine took absolutely ages, and when I finally got to the counter the assistant told me sweetly that they are not allowed to sell alcohol at the moment! Something to do with a problem with their liscence apparently. But why, why, why - don't they put up a notice, or take the booze off the shelves or cover the shelves like they used to when the Sunday liscensing laws were stricter?

Anyway I know it's all for my own good, blah, blah, blah and all that.

The other news (if you can call it that) is that I am thinking of having a party for my 40th birthday. I thought of just booking a room above a pub where we went to another party recently. It was quite a nice a room and there was a sound system and a space for dancing and there was also a smaller space round a corner (it's an L-shaped room) where they had buffet food. Well anyway once I had started thinking about it I found myself becoming increasingly obsessed by the idea of making music cds for dancing to, and I can tell that it is going to take me the whole two odd months until them to find the perfect mix of tracks.

I found myself going through all the music in my library both on i-tunes and cd to find music that's good to dance to and then I started looking at other peoples lists on the net. I decided that I want a good mix, I like some of the disco classics but there are some like YMCA that I am definitely NOT having. I want a mixture of oldies, recent music and some that is not strictly dance music. I downloaded a few tracks and have put them on the MP3 player to give them a trial run.

So far the only absolute definites are
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Pretenders - Show Me
Jamiroquai - Love Foolosophy
Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
DJ Satomi - Castle in the Sky
Madonna - Hung up
Faithless - Insomnia

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Similarity or Contempt?

Well here's another one for Hunchermuncher to check out if he happens to read this. Was listening to some music this morning and couldn't help noticing an uncanny similarity between the first few bars of "Dream On" by Aerosmith and those of "Don't Speak" by No Doubt - coinicidence? Who knows?

And while I am at it I have been listening to a couple of tracks off of the new Madonna album (which I wouldn't mind in my Christmas stocking this yeear Santa!) and there is somthing about the track which really reminds me of the Lightning Seeds last albun Tilt. I am listening to said Seeds album as I am writing this trying to pinpoint it but can't as yet - I have narrowed it down to two tracks "City Bright Stars" and "Life's too Short".

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What's on your MP3 player this week?

Tracks on the MP3 player this week:

lots of Madonna this week, not sure why, going through a kind of disco phase (help!)

anyway won't list all or tracks but an idea of the vibe

Jars of Clay (sort of melodic rock - christians but hey we won't hold that against them!).
George Harrison (a track called Beware of Darkness that I found listed on a blog called Bloggedy Blog).
Pearl Jam (2 tracks Better Man and Evenflow).
Patti Smith
Pink Floyd
Lightning Seeds
David Bowie
Smashing Pumpkins
The Vines
Fun Boy Three
the Smiths

It's a hard road

Watched a Tv programme about the Tsunami the other night and was struck deeply by the survivors belief in God - and they were all different religions. I can't help believing like some of them that somehow we humans are being punished for the way as a species we are behaving. Even if you just take global warming as an example and all the extreme weather things that have been going on in the last year or two. Whether or not the government denies that it is global warming (and at some point they have to stop saying that it's just a coinicidence!), maybe the palnet is trying to rid itself of the parasites that are sapping it's life force and energy (like a dog with bad fleas!).

On a lighter note I was out walking yesterday and I was struck by the beauty of wet brick pavements and roads, especially the ones made of those bricks that are almost black. I like them best when the bricks ar in straight rows (not herringbone or fancy patterns). There is just something almost mystical about them.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The funny thing about MP3 players

The funny thing about MP3 players is that it makes you see things in a new light. I put some tracks on mine last week and then hadn't used it for a few days - today when I did play it, it was interesting guessing what the track was. Another thing that I notidced was that the intro to "Stupid Girl" by Garbage was almost identical to that of "Train In Vain" by the Clash (can anyone else verify this I wonder?). It's only the first few bars but when it came on I really thought it was the Clash track (bearing in mind it's also one of my favourite Clash tracks of all time!).

The other thing that struck me is that there some bands where you only have to hear the opening bars of any of their tracks and you instantly know which band it is (you don't need to wait for vocals). Two that I can think of straight off are Coldplay and U2 and I am sure there are more (I am slightly tipsy as I write this so bear with me!). Usually it is a certain style of guitar playing (the exception being Nirvana who nearly always start with an unmistakable bassline).

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Beware Big Brother Blair is Watching You

and what a responsible big brother he is....

first I hear on the culture show that the new licensing laws are about to make it very difficult for people putting on musical events on a small scale. I checked this out today and it does appear to be true, check this link.

It sems that it will be ok for pubs that already have an entertainments liscence but the ones that suffer will be the ones that don't. Up until now they were allowed to have small scale acoustic performances of 1 or 2 people. So this could include pubs that run folk clubs etc. The new rule suggest that it will be a fairer system now that they have abolished the two in a bar loophole, however I disagree, some of those pubs will never be granted a full entertainment liscence because of their location, and quite rightly so - a full entertainments liscence would mean that they could have a full scale electric rock band if they wanted. But the other glaringly obvious fact is that the government are going to making a lot more money out of it all, whilst small businesses suffer.

And this will affect outdoor entertainments like street fairs and festivals too....

and if that wasn't enough to get your toes curling uncomfortably it was implied on the news that dear old Tone is about to do a u-turn on the nuclear power issue and announce plans to build a load more nuclear power stations...can you believe it?? what amazed me though was that according to the news report I saw on the BBC Britain has 22 nuclear power stations already! 22! I had no idea at all that there were that many.

Anyway the trouble is it seems that gas is running short and prices are rising etc etc. Maybe someone should suggest applying more stringent measures to save energy rather than just raising the supply for the rising demand. For instance how about a law making it an offence for shops to keep their doors open all day long in the winter. It is a common marketing belief that an open door means you are more welcoming and hence more likely to get passing trade. Well yes that seems logical, but in the depths of winter does it make sense for shopkeepers to be standing in hats etc whilst the heat slips unnoticed out into the street. Or worse still (the increasingly common practice) that there is a massive heater above the door blasting out heat to try and combat the icy blasts.

And then I read in last weeks Sunday paper that the British government were thinking of pulling out of the global warming agreement (the Kyoto protocol). Now is that dim or what?

Now if you want my opinion (which I'm sure you don't but I'll give it to you anyway!) there is a lot of sensible measures that governments could take to reduce energy wastage. For example:

Only manufacturing low energy lightbulbs for ordiary household use.

prohibiting councils from lighting their Christmas lights until December.

Making sure that every household has loft insulation.

Banning shops from keeping their doors open all day in cold weather and fining them if they do.

incentives to schools colleges and business to use low energy lighting.

Scrap any plans for new nuclear missiles (for gods sake!) and spend the money on renewable, sustainable energy.

etc etc...

Cheesy rock songs.....

It's a VERY cold and frosty morning here. So cold that ezing cold even though the heating is on...brrrr.

Spent a large part of yesterday making a compilation of soft rock air guitar type tunes...great fun and then thoroughly enjoyed lkistening to it...even if it is a bit cheesy.

tracks as follows:
Aerosmith - Janies Got a Gun
Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive
Bad Company - Can't Get Enough of your Love
Guns n Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
Guns n Roses - Paradise City
Guns n Roses - Civil War
Aerosmith - Dream On (recommended!)
Whitesnake - Here I go Again on my Own
Pearl Jam - Better Man (recommended!)
Cold - Stupid Girl
Bon Jovi - Have a Nice Day
Bon Jovi - Keep the Faith
Bon Jovi - It's my Life
Chad Kroeger - Hero
Guns n Roses - Sweet Child of Mine
The Calling - Wherever you will go

I think my next task will be to make a less cheesy rock cd with all my old faves like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath etc.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

reality Kicks in

have been slightly concerned to notice that of late this blog seems to be mainly about music - that's obviously just where I'm at at the moment. And true to form this entry is about music too (although I could make it about how incredibly sexy David Bowie is I suppose!)

This evening I revisited the Reality Tour DVD that Hunchermuncher bought me last year and was amazed at how fresh it sounded. I especially enjoyed the live version of Hello Spaceboy, which is much heavier than the Pet Shop Boys mix (which incidently I love) but somehow seems to work even better. DB is looking sexier than he has done for along time and probably has the best band he has had ever or at least since Young Americans.

All in all it was a most enjoyable hour and I don't know why I haven't watched it again sooner. I may have to dig out my DVD of the Bowie videos at the weekend.

Bowie videos now there's a thing, the most critically acclaimed video is usually Ashes to Ashes but I have to confess that innovative though it was at the time it doesn't do much for me now, and some of the other late 70s early 80s vids are very dated (boys Keep swinging and DJ for example). I suppose if I was pushed my favourite videos are Jump they Say, hearts Filthy Lesson and my absolute favourite Time Will Crawl.

Albums You Just Can't Live Without.....

Last night I was posed a hard challenge - if you can only keep 10 albums what would they be? Harder than it sounds, and I find that I am still thinking about it this morning...this is what thay are at the moment - in no particular order.

David Bowie - Young Americans
David Gray - White Ladder
John Martyn - Solid Air
Bob Dylan - Desire
Lightning Seeds - Pure
Sting - Brand New Day
Horslips - Aliens
Mich Gerber - The Endless String
Pink Floyd - Relics (tough choice between that and Wish You wre Here)
Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks (couldn't decide between this and Hard nose the Highway or Moondance by Van Morrison, but decided I like Bob marginally more)

If I could choose 5 compilations to go with it they would be
The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow
The Clash - Essential Clash
Roxy Music - Greatest Hits
Genesis - Greatest Hits
And The Soundtrack from the film Consequences of Love

of course I may change my mind later, and if I wasn't allowed essential Clash the London Calling would probably have to go in my top 10, which would mean a big rethink. Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory by David Bowie would be hard to live without too.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

1000 albums

Got a really good book this week called 1000 albums you must hear before you die. I was encouraged to find that I owned have owned quite a few of them, and as for the ones I haven't ... well that should keep me out of mischief for a while!

Currently listening to some good stuff on the MP3 player, Oasis who I have just rediscovered after falling out of love with them quite a while ago, a couple of Aerosmith tracks - I have never really liked them all that much but have recently discovered that some of their stuff is ok, Pearl Jam - my absolute fave of theirs being "Better Man", Garbage, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Vines, Massive Attack, Madonna, good old Bob Dylan and David Bowie, oh yes and I have to confess to putting a couple of Whitesnake tracks on there for old times sake.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Top 10 Songs About Cars

1) Cars - Gary Numan
Have loved this since it came out in 80s (or was it 70s?). Anyway it still sounds good today and has been sampled many times, which only stands as a testiment to it's greatness.

2) Wish I had a Grey Cortina - Tom Robinson Band (TRB)
A gem from my youth.... "Grey Cortina, nothing meaner...." Now who else writes great lyrics like that??? Well Jarvis cocker perhaps...

3) Silver Thunderbird - Marc Cohn
Apparently if there is a god in heaven he will be driving one of these....

4) Slick Black Limousine - Alice Cooper
It would have to be black for Alice wouldn't it?

5) Little Red Corvette - Prince
Little red corvette
Baby you’re much 2 fast
Little red corvette
U need a love that’s gonna last

6) Greased Lightning - John Travolta
From the Film Grease - I was a huge fan of this film when it first came out (I was about 12!) and I can still remember the words to all of the songs.

7) I'm in Love With My Car - Queen
The inimitable Queen - "Got a feel for my automobile..."

8) I like Driving in My Car - Madness
"I like driving in my car, it is not a Jaguar" Classy stuff!

9) Mercede Benz - Janis Joplin
An absolute corker of a classic, no car related top ten would be complete without it!

10) Pink Cadillac - Bruce Springsteen/ Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
A tie for last place in the top 10, not one of my faves by the boss, but very definitely about cars! And an old fave by tracy Chapman - Nice.

Well there you have it, a nice bit of silliness on a Monday evening, well it keeps me amused anyway....

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Here we are,
Residents of the United States of Blair,
Our every move dictated to,

nannied, surveyed,
Feeding on a diet of mixed messages
and alcopop.

Our minds washed dirty
by soap operas
and reality TV,

Fearful of both neighbours and strangers,
our lives polluted
by noise and exhaust fumes,

our brains fried to a crisp
by microwaves.
And do we complain?

we keep a stiff upper lip,
we fight each other in schools,

and outside nightclubs,
We rage on roads like
car clogged arteries,

In our PC isolation we anihalate baddies
and crash cars
in the name of fun,

We are the alien nation,
kidding ourselves we are free....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Top 10 Punk/New Wave (and why the Sex Pistols aren't in it!)

This is my personal top 10 Punk/New Wave bands. I know that the Sex Pistols are cited as the epitome of punk rock and all it stood for, but more musically influential by far ( and musically and intellectually superior) were the Clash. The Clash were at the forefront of 70s and 80s politicism, as well as being musically brave and experimental. They unashamedly mixed up reggae riffs and bass lines with frantic punk rock and their lyrics were hugely pertinent to the Thatcher years and the youth living through them (Jail Guitar Doors, White Man in Hammersmith Palais, Stay Free, London Calling etc).

I first saw the Clash on an early evening teen orientated programme on BBC2. I forget the name of the programme, but there was a spate of them on the BBC and channel 4 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They usually ran along the lines of a couple of bands playing in the studio, a couple of journalistic features on some topic relevant to youth and a studio debate about a similar topic (abortion, drugs, etc).

Anyway the Clash performed Clash City Rockers and I was mesmirised - I went straight down to Woolies at the weekend and was lucky enough to find one copy - not much call for that sort of thing in Thetford apparently - and so began my punk phase.

I wore a hideous gold lurex dress that I purchased in a juble sale and which was falling apart, an oversized mans jacket covered in badges (Rock Against racism, Anti Nazi League, etc - all purchased from the small ads of melody maker) and lace up brown ankle boots that had pockets on the side. I must have looked apalling and I wish that I had a photo!

I am ashamed to say that until recently the only Clash album that I bought was London Calling, although I did buy most of their early singles, shunning the later covers like Police and Theives as too commercial. But I have always had a fondness for the Clash and was delighted last year when I discovered that the film Rude Boy had been released on DVD. I had been desperate to see it when it came out but I was too you - it was an 18 and I was about 13 at the time.

Rude Boy is an excellent historic record of what Britain was like in the Thatcher years, in fact bits of it should be shown in history lessons at high school. The only downer for me was that it really made me regret the fact that I had never managed to see the Clash play live. The live footage of the band is truly outstanding - I could watch it over and over again. The band has such a unique energy and stage prescence - something that is sadly lacking in a lot of modern bands (Green day and Kaiser Chiefs excepted). And whatever criticisms have been lavelled at Joe Strummer over his background there is no denying that he had incredible drive, a quick witted intelligence, a finger on the pulse of the times and a fantastically energetic and charasmatic stage prescence - in short "He Rocked!"

Top Ten Punk/New Wave Bands
  1. Stiff Little Fingers another excellent band and one that is still going strong. I used to love the single At the Edge.

Those that didn't quite make it but are worthy of a mention: Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Rezillos, X Ray spex, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Angelic Upstarts, Sham 69, The Tourists (later to become Eurythmics!), and Siouxie and the Banshees.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take me back to the teen Disco....

I think that what I really need in my life right now is a good old fashioned disco - you know the kind you went to when you were 13. Where they sold bottles of coca cola and packets of crisps. I used to go to the 13 - 15 year olds disco at the community centre on our estate - it all seemed very exciting back then. They used to play gems like Le Freak by Chic, Supernature by Cerrone, Abba, Boney M, Baccara, Donna Summer...... And if you were really lucky you might get asked to dance to I'm not in love or some other smoochy record (if you were really lucky you might get asked by someone you actually wanted to dance with).

Oh the heady days of youth....however, it's not the teen hormones that I am missing but a good old fashioned disco where you can go and dance your socks off. It's just not the same doing it alone in your living room and night clubs these days are full of aggressive drunks, well they are here anyway. Ahhh well back to the living room with me......

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Top 5 Songs about Home

Top 5 Songs about Home
1) Going Home - John Martyn
From the most excellent album Solid Air. Great to sing along to in the car late at night when you and a friend are on your way home on the back roads.

2) Home - Lene Lovich

Actually the anithisis of a home coming song as the last line is lets go to your house. But home isn't always about feeling safe and I'm sure we've all had times in our life when we rather go to "your" house!

3) Coming Home - Deep Purple

From the album Come taste the band.

4) John Denver - Country Road

Not keen on John Denver but this song conveys that feeling that you get when you are on your way home after a long trip and are feeling glad to be on your way.

5) Our House - Crosby Stlls nash and Young

Our house,

Is a very, very, very nice house.....

6) I'll Find My Way Home - Jon and Vangelis

Ok well that was 6 but hey who's counting???

I'm sure that there are loads more even homlier songs out there......

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Road to....10 Great Songs about Roads

Top 10 Songs About Roads
Now here's a bit of silliness for you.....
Not actually my favourite road song but is number one by virtue of the fact that the yellow Brick Road in question has appeared in two songs, and making it number one means I don't have to include the original!
A modern day classic! Green Day have evolved into something amazing with their last album and long may it continue.
A somewhat depressing look at american city life by the master of cynicism.
One of my faves from the all american boss who tells it like it is.
Great song from the 1980s by the Heads, Road to Nowhere is also the name of a band and you can hear them here.
Probably favourite Straits track (along with Local Hero) and one of their longest too.
A first melodic entry for the fab four.
The Sabbaths before they were ruined by drink and drugs...
Probably Americas most famous road, and done by many artists - I like this version though!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Autumn Leaves and songs that sum up modern America

Golden Autumn Leaves
Originally uploaded by pupski.
Freaky beaky - autumn is upon us. I took this pic of autumn leaves last week and although I really like it, sadly it has only had three views on Flickr, whereas the other leaf pics that weren't so good have had more visits - weird. Anyway I love autumn as I think I have said before, the air smells of bonfires, gunpowder and leaf mold, the colours are glorious and the sounds are great too.

Not listened to much music this week. Last week was a cross between old rock hits (Guns n Roses, Whitesnake, Crosby Stills Nash & Young etc) and modern Brits (Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs etc) with a bit of Clash, U2, Stereophonics and Rezillos thrown in for good measure!

Thinkin what would one have in a top ten that was really american, you could do the obvious choices like New York, New York, Born in the USA and American Pie. But that would be a bit cliche and boring. I can see that I am going to have to give some seious thought to this.

Immediate tracks that spring to mind are Small Town Boy by John Cougar Mellancamp (or even Jack and Diane?), The River by Bruce Springsteen, and maybe something by Green Day.

more later......

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Top 10 Very English Songs

I was thinking about the Kaiser Cheifs and what it is that makes them so English. There are some bands and some particular songs that are very English. I don't mean incredibly naff english - but something almost indefinable. It might be cultural references, humour, accent or just plain English quirkiness but some bands just have it and others don't. Anyway I was so inspired that I decided to compile a
TOP 10 of Very English Songs

1) Morrisey - Every Day is Like Sunday
2) Pulp - Common People
3) Blur - Parklife
4) Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict a Riot
5) Pulp - Lipgloss
6) The Specials - Too Much Too Young
7) Suede - Filmstar
8) UB40 - One in Ten
9) Madness - House of Fun
10) The Smiths - Suffer Little Children/ Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen

These were just some of the tracks that I came up with whilst sitting in the cafe the other day but I am absolutely sure that there are tons more, probably some even better examples.

The Reasons.....

Morrisey - well "share some greased tea with me..." english seaside cafes come in one of two varieties, the type that serve greasy everything (and probably still allow smoking) or the kind full of doillies and old ladies. Everyone knows about what english seaside towns are like out of season, I wonder if it is the same elsewhere in the world...

Pulp - well you can't really get more English than Pulp can you? Geeky glasses, wooly jumpers, St Martins College, supermarkets, lipgloss and a sardonic sense of humour.... Jarvis we salute you!

Blur, another quintessentially English band, this track references such cultural icons as adverts, brewers droop, pigeons, joggers, dustmen and features another iconic figure, the actor Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia).

Suede - Filmstar, an elegant sir, A terylene shirt, it looks so easy, Filmstar, an elegant sir, In a terylene shirt tonight......

The Specials - what is more English than teenage pregnancy - it was a toss up between this track and Ghost Town.

Madness - now anyone British will get what this song is about, but not sure anyone else would get it.

The Smiths - anyone over the age of 25 in Britain will know about the Moors Murders in the 1960s....

Sex Pistols - an oh so English Band, born out of repression and bordom and a healthy disrespect for the monarchy - this was released in the year of Queen Elizabeth's silver jubilee 1976!

UB40 - this song is not just about britain, but those early UB40 tracks sum up the bleakness of the Thatcher years for Britain's youth. Funny seems that things are starting to feel alittle like that again under this Labour government - now I never thought that I would hear myself say that!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bring me the Head of ......

Bring me the Head of ......
Originally uploaded by pupski.
Here is another collage from my skethbook project.

On a completely different note I have been trying to distract myself from the stresses and strains of attempting (albeit slowly) to become self employed. The first step towards this is that I have a therapy room on a Monday morning at Neal's Yard in norwich - although as yet only one client booked - nail biting stuff.

anyway as distraction I have been attempting to define my top 10 David Bowie songs - a difficult task as there are so many that deserve to be in there. and how terrible it would (and will) be if I leave out or overlook a something.
Well nothing Ventured nothing gained as they say in the scouts (well they don't really, I just made that bit up). I can always make another more refined top 10 at a later date.

1. Fascination
2. cat People (putting out the Fire)
3. Young americans
4. Sweet Thing
5. Within you
6. My Death
7. Wild is the Wind
8. Jump They Say
9. Hello Spaceboy
10. Heroes
11. Aladdin Sane
12. Kooks
13. Absolute Beginners
14. Little Wonder
15. In the Port of Amsterdam
16. Outside
17. Word on a Wing
18. The Man Who Sold the World
19. Moonage Daydream
20. Fantastic voyage

yes I know that's a top twenty and not a top ten - but it just turned out like that. Once I started I had to keep going!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Drawn Outside the Lines of Reason

Drawn Outside the Lines of Reason
Originally uploaded by pupski.
I am finally getting creative again - and here is the evidence. It's only a small start - I have started making collage etc in my sketchbook - but it's a relief I can tell you - I thought I had lost it for a bit back there!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Good old Fashioned Stereo Loving Boy (or Girl)

I was reading an article in the Sunday paper about MP3 players. apparently manufacturers are now designing them to be more appealing to women. The author (female) was incensed by this - personally I don't understand what she was making such a fuss about. After all MP3 players have been designed to be attractive to the male market all along and you don't hear them moaning, so why not make them more appealing to girls? I quite fancy a nice purple mp3 player as long as they don't charge more for it.

Lets face it most electronic gadgetry is aimed at men - I find most it unappealing. My mum bought me a new stereo last year that my 13 year old gadgetoid son loves but I find hideous - all silver with loads of holes in the speakers - it looks rather like something off Blakes 7 and sounds like it too! In this techno-disposable age we seem to have lost the point with stereos - which is after all (or so I thought) to make the music sound good. Well that used to be the point anyway - now the point seems to be to be as bassy and loud as possible - presumably so that chavs and students can cause maximum discomfort to their neighbours.

Me - well I long for the days when amps came seperately and speakers were wooden with fabric on the front - weird maybe but it made sense. Those old stereos seemed to be much better made as well - we have had several of these new stereo system and they seem to have an internal self destruct mechanism that activates itself about a month after the years guarantee runs out - leaving you with a stereo that still looks new but chews up tapes and damages cds.

On a lighter less ranty note. I downloaded some Stranglers tracks on Sunday and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them on my non-girly MP3 player on the way to my business skills course this week. In fact I have enjoyed them so much I may just have to rebuy the album on CD - see downloading music does boost music sales!

Monday, October 17, 2005

what floats my boat in a photo

Originally uploaded by skipsway.
Just been looking through the photos on Flickr that I have tagged as my favourites (by other people. This photo is one of them - I noticed that I have some definite themes going on now - abstract pictures of things with holes in, spirals, pumpkins, autumn leaves in striking colours, single footprints in the sand, big waves, things with multi coloured mosaic type patterns on, interesting relections, hanging things, circular things (especially in groups, seagulls. interesting writing.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Why a non-speaking dog is more lovable

N and I went to see the Wallce and Gromit movie at the cinema today and I have to say i thoroughly enjoyed it. It was VERY funny. Interestingly, later on whilst I was reading the Observer Magazine I noticed a small piece about wallace and Gromit asking why Gromit doesn't speak.

It may of originally been an accident that Gromit ended up not talking but I believe Wallace and Gromit would not be where they are today (world fame, movies etc etc) if he did.

Not speaking is what makes Gromit so lovable. For a start animals don't speak in real life, so (to us adults anyway) that makes him immediately more believable as a character (forget the fact that he does all that other non-doggy stuff!) It also somehow makes him seem more intelligent. Wallace chunters on, often talking a load of old b******s as humans often do, whilst Gromit just has to lift an impeccably timed eyebrow and you know exactly what he is thinking.

Wallace and Gromit are much like many other great comedy duos (Laurel and Hardy, Morecambe and Wise, The two Ronnies, French and Saunders, etc). Wallace is the loud bullying one who thinks that he is in charge, but of course the real brains of the outfit is the underdog (excuse the pun!) the ever silent and put upon Gromit, who clearly loves his master too much to have it any other way.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Barbie loses her head

Originally uploaded by mohawk.
I spotted this very disturbing photo on Flickr today. I know society is becoming incresingly violent but this is beyond a joke. the culprit must be apprehended - is it Ken? He always seemed like such a nice wholesome guy but maybe he took the split up worse than we thought. Could it have been Skipper? there have been rumours of her depression for a while now.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What makes Good Poetry?

I have just downloaded some tracks that I had as singles as a teenager (youngish teens I hasten to add!) and was shocked at the appaling shallowness of the lyrics. Now maybe I have been spoiled by listening to poets like Bob Dylan, John Martyn, Van Morrison and Horslips, and maybe I am too use to people like Green Day who have something to say and know how to use words - whatever but I am appalled by some of the lyrics I have just heard! For example:

If you’re a stranger here
And you need some action
We have a remedy
That could really catch on
Pleased to see another face
At light – up time
If you’re feeling dull and run – down
We can really make you shine

Dancing in the city
Alleys that we run through
Now we’ve just begun to
Have fun tonight
Dancing in the city
Alleys that we run through
Now we’ve just begun to
Have fun tonight

From Dancing in the city by Marshall Hain. It's an intereresting question as to what makes poetry good or bad or what makes literature good or bad. This week I started reading the new Harry potter book to N. J.K.s books are very readable but there is something not quite right about the writing and I just can't put my finger on what it is. I have decided to ask everyone I meet who says that they have read it, but so far noone has come up with an answer. Is it to do with sentence constrution? J.K. certainly uses enough long words etc so it's not that she's dim. and her ideas are good - but there is just something.

feel free to post if you know!

Franz, Pulp and the Jacko Jarvis Jumper fiasco

I have just been watching Top Of The Pops. It seems very weird to me that it is now on a Sunday night. Years ago it was on a Thursday, then they changed it to a Friday - which didn't seem to be such a good move as most young movers and groovers can only think about what they are going to wear to go out on a Friday night and which hip young boy/girl they might be snogging on the way home.

Anyway to get back to the point - Franz Ferdinand were on TOTP tonight. Now they are a band that I have to confess I don't know all that much about, except that they sell shitloads of albums and they come from Glasgow. Well as it turns out they are quite good, but is it me or do they bear an uncanny resemblance to Pulp. Not so much physically, but definitely lyrically and the sound and style.

Pulp are a band that really ought to be more sorely missed than they seem to be in my opinion. They were huge for a while but all that seemed to be lost after Jarvis showed Jacko his bum at the Brit awards. I could never really understand what all the fuss was about and I suspect that neither could Jarvis. Pop stars have been doing rebellious stuff like that since the 1950s - most stars have done something naughty in public - Blur, Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles and The Sex Pistols to name but a few. So why was what J.C. did so bad? Everyone already knew that Jacko was a whacko and the whole god scenario that he had set himself up with for that particular award ceremony was just one step too far. Someone had to make a stand - and I think I speak for the good people of Britain when I say that we gave Jarvis a standing ovation in our sitting rooms - or at least muttered "good on yer mate" under our breath and cracked open another tinny (or cuppa - whichever takes your fancy).

Hairy Interfaces and Stringy Molecules

Why is it that netting and ropes make such good photos? I had great fun last weekend at walberswick taking pictures along the harbour.

This week has been mainly taken up with N's birthday and other such excitements so I have not been managing to blog as much as I would like.
Also have been trying to go to some galleries as it was the last week of the Norwich fringe art festival - although I must say that this year I have not seen anything that has blown me away. Maybe I am getting old and cynical - or maybe I am tired of seeing the same old stuff.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Truck Philosophy - The Barefoot Doctor and how We Can change our own Realities

Truck Philosophy
Originally uploaded by Pak Gwei.
This photo was uploded to Flickr by Pat Gwei and I love it - I know that I would love to live in a world of fantasy - reality can be scary! having said that I am reading a new Barefoot Doctor book called Manifesto - How to get what you want without trying - and it is awesome. It's great to find a "self-help" book that is written in in an accessible way. the style is more like that of a blog, so it is incredibly easy to read. (it's not that I am not literary, but if a self help book is too dry I just don't take it in).

I have read bits of other barefoot books but this one is the best (for me). Barefoot tells us how we all create our own reality and how we can go about creating an even better one for ourselves - now who wouldn't want that? This is done by imagining the things you want from life - starting with the basics like fresh air, clean water and food and progressing to more detailed scenarios like your ideal house.

One I find particularly amusing is where you imagine yourself as a money magnet with notes of all demoninations flowing towards you and sticking to you.

Other ways to change your reality are by using affirmations. Now I have long been a fan of affirmations. I started using them some years ago when I first worked through the Artists Way by Julia Cameron, and I go through phases where I use them regularly. There are some excellent (and funny) ones in manifesto and barefoot encourages us to make up our own. We are supposed to say them at least 6 times and while doing something else like getting dressed, hoovering or walking to work - or to sing them - I tried this and it's good fun - though you would feel silly if anyone overheard you!

I've only had the book a week so my life so far hasn't changed immeasurably, but I have been feeling positive and fairly happy - mostly - so so far, so good!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Top 5 Icecream Flavours

Hunchemuncher and I had apple crumble icecream in Southwold today and it was absolutely delicious - Huncher said it would have to go into his top 10 icecreams of all time. Now a top 5 of icecream flavours is a very hard thing to do, but I am going to bravely attempt it! Just bear in mind that taste in icecream is transient so I may have changed my mind by next week!

1) apple crumble
2)pistachio and amaretto
3)rum and raisin
4) mint choc chip
5) blackcurrant

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What the photos we like say about us

I've just been looking at the photos by other people that I have chosen as my favourites on Flickr and have noticed that there are several recurring themes.

water and the sea
collections of lots of the same object together (e.g. bottles)
archithecture - especially with curves in it
weird light effects/lanterns/fire
meaningful text
abstract art
spiky tings in nature
big skies

it's interesting to look at the kind of things you (I) like, I guess it says something about the kind of person one is - although I'm darned if I know what!

Maybe -
I am a somewhat spiky person who was a seagull in my last life, which has left me with a lasting affinity for water, the sea and big skies.

I long to live in a curved beach house made of stones and pebbles with abtract windows made from glass bottles and decaying woood, the house would glow with the warm light of many lanterns and an open fire.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Public Leaning Post

Public Leaning Post
Originally uploaded by pupski.
How come he don't come and p.l.p. with me
Down at the meter no more?
How come he turn off the t.v.
And he hang that sign on the door?
We call and we call 'How come?' we say
What could make a boy behave this way?
He learn all of the lines, and every time he
don't suffer when he talk
And it's true! It's true! He sure is aquired a
cool and inspired sorta jazz when he walk
Where's his jacket and his old blue jeans?
If this ain't healthy is it some kinda clean?

I think Chuck E's in love

from Chuck E's in love by Rickie Lee Jones as far as I know the only song that mentions a public leaning post!

Other leaning somgs are:
Lean on Me - Bill Withers (also covered by the Housemartins)
Lean woman Blues - T Rex

Hmm thats about all I can come up with - pretty poor show if you ask me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The inner crumpledness of the creative mind

crumpled metal
Originally uploaded by Leo L30.
Leo L30 took this excellent picture of crumpled metal, it almost looks like a painting. I am feeling somewhat crumpled today, I spent the day deliberately not doing much as I needed to slow down and recharge my batteries. It is hard though to give yourself a day off, I find that I go through feelings of guilt, naughtiness and urges to work to assuage my guilt. Sad eh?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Blandness of shopping Centres a Plea for the return of old fashioned Record Stores (you know the kind where the assistants love music)

Amoeba Records
Originally uploaded by Super Gogo.
Super Gogo took this great picture of a record store of the kind that you don't see too often anymore. When I was a kid every small town had at least one record store - sometimes two and there were loads in every city. This store reminds me very much of the store in the film High Fidelity (a great film incidently). The kind of store where the assistants love music and know what they are talking about.

We live in such a chain store, superstore culture these days that these stores are almost a thing of the past. And sadly even fanatics like me often end up buying our music in the chains cos we can't afford to shop anywhere else.

That said there are a couple of small stores in Norwich that I like to have a browse in especially the 2nd hand stuff (circular sounds). It's so hard for small stores to compete these days and it's sad because all the personality has gone from shopping. They just opened another shopping Mall in Norwich and it looks just like the other one and you could be in any city, in any country.

call me old fashioned but I like air between my shops and I also like quirky little stores that don't sell the same stuff as all the other shops. To me it seems harder to be an individual now than ever before. Everything is bland and well packaged but there's no real flavour or bite to any of it. (click on the word flavour if you want to know what flavour YOU are!)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bob Dylan, david Bowie and all that

Just finished watching the first part of Martin Scorsese's film about one of the greatest poets of all time Bob Dylan.

It reminded me just what a great poet Dylan is (and how he is till a very sexy man - probably more so now than when he was younger!!).

"It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn't enough to change my heart.
Now everything's a little upside down, as
a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
What's good is bad, what's bad is good, you'll find
out when you reach the top
You're on the bottom."

(from Idiot Wind)

Apologies must go to David Bowie and Nirvana amongst others. I realised that I was very remiss with which Bowie songs I included in my top 100. I should have definitely had Can You Hear Me (from young Americans), Jump They Say from Black Tie, White Noise and Little Wonder from Earthling - should be included if only for the lyrics - "Stinky weather, Fat shaky hands, Dopey morning Doc, Grumpy gnomes, Little wonder then, little wonder, You little wonder, little wonder you. Big screen dolls, tits and explosions, Sleepytime, Bashful but nude, Little wonder then, little wonder, You little wonder, little wonder you. I'm getting it."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Steve Miller and The Sacredness of Track Order

One of my bugbears is when you go to buy an album you had on vinyl and discover that they have changed the order of the tracks. It's bad enough when they completely change the cover, although I can mostly just about live with that (although it did stop me buying Relics by Pink Floyd recently!). But to change the track order is sacrilege.

I know all the argument, this is the order they were meant to be in, it makes more sense in this order etc. But what about the fans, those of us who have listened to the tracks in that order for years. We know which track is going to come next and itare devastated if it doesn't.

Earlier this year I repurchased Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller, but when I looked at the tracks they were in the wrong order. In the end I ordered an import off Amazon because it was the only copy I could find that had the tracks in the original order. I have to know that after Fly Like an Eagle comes Wild Mountain Honey and that You Send Me will always come after Keep on Rockin Me Baby! Sad - maybe I am - but I looked at the album on the net today and now they seem to be selling it with the original track order again - so maybe I am not the only one who feels that way!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

First Impressions

For some reason I find it fascinating to know which album of particular bands/artists that people first bought. For one thing that first album that you buy determines how much you like (or don't like) the band, but it can also completely colour your view of a band.

With some bands like the Clash I bought a lot of singles before I ever owned one of their albums. The first LP I bought of theirs was London Calling, but I bought and still own most of their early singles.

other albums that I got as a teenager were happy accidents, records or tapes bought second hand that awakened my interest in a band. The first of these was Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin, an LP that I bought off of my parents friend George. It was interesting to have this as my first Zep as it is a lot more mellow than most of their stuff. From the same friend I also bought a pre-recorded tape of Aladin Sane by David Bowie and so my life long love affair with David Bowie began and I quickly followed this purchase with Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity. I bought the aforementioned bowie LPs with my birthday money from a mail order record company (I must have been 13 or 14) and at the same time I got A farewell to Kings by Rush. An album that would hardly be off of my turntable for the next couple of years.

I think often (well for me anyway) the first album you buy by a band will remain your favourite - like Abbas Arrival, which I owned when I was 12 and repurchased on cd recently. There are exceptions to this though, my first Yes LP was Close to the Edge but if I play Yes now it is more likely to be the album 2112.

Other 1sts

The Smiths - The Smiths
Captain Beefheart - Blue Jeans and Moonbeams
Crosby Stills Nash & Young - So Far
Genesis - And then There Were Three (my favourite now though is probably Abacab)
Hawkwind - Live 79
Deep Purple - 24 Carat Purple
Pink Floyd - Relics
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Of course sometimes the first album that you buy by an artist is the only album of theirs that you purchase, either because you are not so keen on their other stuff (for example I love Wave by Patti Smith but am not keen on her other albums) or you just grow up and move on...examples of this are Yazoo and the Thompson Twins (yes I really did!)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Coffee, autumn and all that malarky

I started walking into the city at 8am this morning as there is a bus strike today. During my walk I experienced cloud, wind, brilliant sunshine and bucketing rain. By 8.35 I was sitting in s cafe drinking this cup of coffee and writing about it....

I love autumn. It's without a doubt my favourite season of the year. It sounds corny but there is something magical about it. Autumn is a feast for the senses, it is a time of transition.
For smell you have leaf mould, bonfires, chestnuts roasting, for sight you have glorous colours (red, gold, yellow and brown), bonfires and fireworks, for taste there are chestnuts, baked poatoes and halloween sweeties, for the ears there is the crunch of leaves underfoot, fireworks and the crackle of bonfires, for touch there is smooth conkers inside prickly shells, crispy leaves, sparklers and pumpkins to carve.

The down side of autumn is knowing what to wear. If you put on trouser socks and shoes you can be sweating like a warm cheese by 11 am and conversely if you choose a skirt and sandals you can be caught in downpour whilst being battered mercilessly by artic winds. You just can't win. I sometimes resort to taking extra clothes out with me. Sad I know but it can save a great deal of misery in the long run.

My top 5 Autumn Smells

1) Bonfires/woodsmoke
2) Leaf mould
3) Spent Fireworks
4) Roasting chestnuts
5) Toasting pumpkin (as those halloween candles slowly sear the inside of that lovingly carved pumpkin head)

I once wrote a slightly corny poem about autumn and it goes like this:


Golden autumn,

Showering bronzed leaves earthwards,
Your copper-coated fingers
Creep across the belly of the land.

I am humbled by your frosted silences,
Your wheat-filled ears overflow with rain,
Earthbound chestnuts
Like skydiving missiles assault the ground.

I breathe deeply of your bounteous,
Bonfire-scented air;
I crunch through your leaf-encrusted streets
To pay homage at your fruit-laden altar.

I bask in your sunshine
And revel in your rainbows,
I taste the burnished beauty of your berries
And know that all is not lost in the world.