Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thirteen Things this Girl Can't Live Without

Thirteen Great Inventions that This Girl Can't Live without

well actually I could live without them but my life would be infinitely less convenient - I am not including all the obvious (lightbulb etc) as that would take up the whole list....
1…. The Telephone
Without this I wouldn't be able to keep in contact with my mum who lives 200 miles away.

2...Hair Crimpers
These prevent my hair looking like a rookery...not that I'm vain or anything.

3...MP3 player
tiny pieces of lovliness for the eyes and ears.. I love mp3 players - and to think in the 1980s we thought that ghetto blasters were cool! (and portable!?)

4...The Umbrella
Much under rated, but essentially allows you to go out without always having to drag a bulky coat along with you...I just wish they could make a small one that is wind proof.

5...The Cafetiere
How did we manage without this gadget. Before the cafetiere came along it was all nescafe instant or coffee makers that took an hour to make your coffee as well as taking up half of the space in the kitchen!

6...The continental quilt
I still remember all those dusty, scratchy blankets that I endured as a kid, and a candlwick bedspread. They weighed a ton too, I love the quilt.

7...The Internet
All that knowledge at your fingertips, not forgetting online scrabble and blogging of course.

8...Roller ball ink pens
biros just suck and fountain pens leak and blot. With a roller ball you get the best of both worlds and your words can flow unchecked onto the page.

9...The bag
Now what a clever invention this is and I would be lost without one - how men manage with just a jacket pocket I will never know...

10...The train
Wow another marvel. You get from a to b relatively fast, they are safer than the motorway, plus you can get up, walk around, eat, drink, read, write, sleep, go to the loo and all while you are hurtling along.

you know spectacles, the things that help blinders like me see better...I would be lost without mine!

what a great idea that was! Someone had to take that first bit of chalk, pooh or whatever and go "Oh I wonder what would happen if I rubbed it on this wall" clever stuff!

13...The cooker
without this I would be chopping kindling at 6am every morning.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Vicky

2. Natsthename
3. Mommy the Maid
4. this pastors wife
5. Knitting Maniac
6. Zeus
7. Kimmy
8. Cass
9. jenny ryan
10. jersey girl
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Girlfriend in a Coma A Must Read Book

I have just finished reading a great novel by Douglas Coupland. A kind of semi fantasy book, that starts out like a regular novel then gets progressively weirder. It also has more allusions to Smiths songs than just the title (but he has more recently published a novel title Elaenor Rigby so he must be into the song title theme).

It makes a change to read a novel that leaves you thinking about bigger issues but also is a thoroughly good read (the other that springs to mind is T C Boyles "A Friend of the Earth"). This book does both of these things in spades, it takes you on a mindbending, reality twisting, roller coaster of a journey along with its main characters and once you are hooked in to their story you are powerless to get off until the end. But at the same time it leaves you with a slightly uncomfortable feeling that there is more you could be doing with your life and more to life than we know - and that's no bad thing.

I won't say too much as that would spoil the ride for any of you who haven't yet read it but the book is essentially about a girl who wakes from a coma after 17 years and what has happened to her friends meantime. But there is oh so much more to it than that - you'll just have to go read it yourself!

Wordless Wednesday

Photo taken by Pupski

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Quest for the Perfect Veggie Burger

Writing my post yesterday got me to thinking about veggie burgers. What is it that makes the perfect veggie burger? They come in all shapes and sizes. When I was a teenager we used to by dehydrated vege burger mix. It came in a packet and you just had to add water. I wouldn't eat that kind now - for a start those dehydrated foods always give me stomach ache.

If you buy a veggie burger in a chip shop it is usually pulped vegetables with breadcrumbs on the outside and deep fried (but for the colour you wouldn't really know they were vegetables). McDonalds sells veggie burgers made of quorn that are thin and grey - they both look and taste like damp cardboard. Readymade veggie burgers come in all shapes and sizes - some are loaded with cheese, Cauldron make mushroom burgers, some are like the chip shop version, some are like fake beef burgers.

I find that they are all lacking something. You want them but they leave you feeling vaguely disatisfied. The best veggie burger I have had recently was at the Forest Arts Cafe in Edinburgh. It is hard to say what was in it but I think it may have been chick peas and vegetables. It was nuttier and more substantial than most, plus it came in a toasted bagel not a pappy bun so there was more to get your teeth into.

I am not a whole food nut but I find myself becoming more and more disgruntled at how pappy food is becoming - sliced bread, shop cakes, veggie burgers - it's like they are all made out of the same bland old mush. When we were in Edinburgh and eating on the go a lot I found myself craving real food, sald that wasn't just a few bits of limp lettuce and cucumber, crunchy vegetables, chick peas, proper food.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Good to be Back

Today I realized that it's nice to be back in Norwich. Somewhere amid the stressing out about my noisey student neighbours and wishing I could have a longer holiday I had forgotten that there are good things about being in Norwich. My noisy, talkative, enthusiastic and handsome 13 year old son for instance.

Today we were planning to go and see some open air theatre, but of course in true bank holiday weekend tradition it started tipping down with rain 10 minutes before we left.

OK we thought, plan b, we'll go to the cinema. D wanted to see the Phillip K Dick film - no good, it's a 15 and N is only 13 (well technically almost 14, but still not old enough). The other choices were dire, amongst which were "Cars" look like the worst film in the history of animation (yes even more sick making than Care Bears!), some kind of teen romance, Nachos Libre - Jack Black being his normal annoying self in the guise of a monk and a wrestler (huh?), several 18 rated films, a couple we had seen, You, Me and Dupree - I have seen the trailer for this and NEVER EVER want to see the film, and last but not least Monster House which looks ok but none of us were sufficiently moved by it to warrant spensing nigh on twenty quid to see it.

Ok plan C - go to look at books in Oxfam and go for a coffee in our favourite cafe "Olives". Despite the fact that it's open all day on Sundays, Oxfam was in fact shut. But Olives was a treat. It was another reminder that it is good to be back in Norwich. D and I went for lots of coffees in Edinburgh as well as eating out quite a bit. But apart from a funky arts co-op type cafe that we found on the last but one day it was all decidedly overpriced and pretty run of the mill.

There were too many Starbucks and Costa coffees, it seemed like there was one or the other on every corner. Then there was the over priced vegi burgers, we saw one at £6 ouside the natural History Museum in London a few weeks ago but that's nothing to Edinburgh. We saw some at £7 but then later in the week were flabberghasted to see them at £10 or £12 at The Hard Rock Cafe - needless to say we gave it a miss! In fact we did end up getting our Vege Burgers in the end at The Forest Cafe and for a reasonable £3.80 for a vege burger in a bagel with loads of scrummy wholefood salad on the side!.

So anyway to get back to the point - Olives suddenly seems cheap, it's smallish, friendly, the coffee is good, you can sit for ages reading your book or paper - it's good to be back. What better way to while away an hour or two than drinking coffee and reading a good novel in the company of the two boys you love?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Dirty Record Dilemma

Now that I have my record deck set up, I have turned my mind to the actual records. Unfortunately many of them are in poor condition. Most aren't scratched but some are too dirty to play. Years ago I lived in a very damp flat and some of the lps that weren't in plastic covers have something that looks like snall faint patches of mildew on them. I don't know whether or not there is any cure for this or whether I will jsut have to ditch a lot of them. What a shame!

Luckily not all are effected and there are some like Taxi Pata Pata, Live and Direct by Aswad and White Noise that I have been unable to locate on cd - and by a stroke of luck these are all fairly well preserved.

If anyone has any tips about record cleaning please let me know!

Best of Edinburgh - Insomnobabble

We arrived home from the Edinburgh fringe, having seen the best show of all on Thursday. Insomnobabble is a speedily surreal and hilarious trip through the mind of an insomniac - Keith (played by Matt Rutter). Along the way he meets a host of other charcters (all played by the brilliant Tim Lynskey) and the lines between reality and dream become increasingly blurred. This a brilliant mindbender of a play and is well worth seeing if you get the chance.

This was definitely my favourite show of the week, closely followed by Family Semianyki, who I mentioned in my previous post. Third place would have to go to Floating by Hoi Polloi, a fantastical tale of how the Island of Anglesey floated away into the Atalntic ocean, told by a character called Hugh Hughes. An imaginativea and funny show.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Edinburgh Festival, Stadium Gigs and the Whole Terrorist Issue

Posting this from the Edinburgh Festival. So far we have seen three shows, the best by far being The Family - Semianyki, a show of Russian clowns with overtones of Edward Scissorhands and the Munsters, very funny physical clowning with dark and serious overtones.

I was disappointed to discover that Radiohead had sold out - they are playing tonight at the Meadowview Stadium. However, I am not sure that such a big venue would be the ideal place to see such a serious band. I have never found those kind of enormous gigs to be entirely satisfying. Often you can't even see the band - they are tiny blobs on a distant stage and you end up watching the entire gig on an enormous tv screen - the only difference between that and home is that you get leg ache and you can't get to the loo! (and you pay £37 for the privelige!)

On a more serious note we flew up to Edinburgh this time and it was with trepidation that we arrived at the airport not really knowing what to expect in the way of security checks after the recent terrorist alerts. Suitcase check in was normal, I had to put my lip balm into my suitcase as I was told no cosmetics or liquids were allowed on the plane. Then it was through to security where we were asked to remove our shoes, I had my bag searched. fair enough - but what annoyed me was the woman in front of us went through security with a see through bag containing roll on deoderant. She was not stopped, noone noticed and when they asked her if she had any liquids, gels or cosmetics she didn't declare it.

Now here's a dilemma. I chose not to say anything. She was just a woman with her kids. But ever since it has bugged me. Should I have said something? It would have caused trouble, she would have been annoyed, it would have been confiscated, there might hve been a hold up. I would have worried about bumping into her in the street after. But morally I wonder if I should have spoken up. That's the problem with the whole terrorist issue isn't it. It has made us all paranoid and suspicious (as well as stirring up racial unrest!) Is it just the terrorists though or is it the way that the media deals with the issues? I'm not sure but I know that I don't like it!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What is Modern Art?

Yesterday H, N and I went to London and boy was it busy. I don't think I will go in the Summer holidays again. The queues at the Natural History Museum were horrendous and inside it was packed and extremely hot! N's favourite thing was the girobot Tyranosaurus Rex, which was very realistic. It was huge and only three quarters of the size of a fully grown adult.

Later we went to The Tate Modern. I think N enjoyed this. My favourite room in the Tate Modern is the one with the massive paintings by Mark Rothko. I love this room, the paintings are so huge and the perspective in them seems to change as you look at them. N really liked the work of Roy Lichtenstein.

We had planned to go to the Saatchi Gallery as well but that will have to wait for another time. N asked me the difference between the two galleries. The Saatchi is much smaller, it is a more old fashioned building, but the main difference is that the work is more contemporary (modern). That made me think - is there a difference between contemporary and modern? And when does the work in the Tate Modern cease being modern? After all a lot of the work in The Tate Modern is now quite old (Picasso, Ernst, Monet, etc). At some point this will surely cease to be classified as "Modern Art".

I would consider the work in the Saatchi gallery to be more "Modern", it is certainly more up to date. The dictionary defines modern as :
Of or relating to recent times or the present: modern history.
a) Characteristic or expressive of recent times or the present; b) contemporary or up-to-date: a modern lifestyle; a modern way of thinking.

If you are using this definition then quite a bit of the art at T.M. is not modern any longer. However another definition defines modern art as a general term, used for most of the artistic production from the late 19th century until approximately the 1970s. Modern art refers to a new approach to art where it was no longer important to literally represent a subject through painting or sculpture - so if you use this definition of modern art then the Tate is about right.

But hang on a minute, The Tate is also showing art that is more recent than the 70s - confused - I am. Maybe it is time someone redfined what modern art actually is - is it simply art made since the mid ninteenth century, when the arrival of cameras changed the function of art and also the way artists painted, or is it up to date art, stuff that has been made recently and is in tune with recent times?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mostly Oldies to Start the Week

here is a playlist to start the week...(click on the link to hear sample) - lots of oldies this week!

1) Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
This sounds great through my new speakers!
2) Nobody Told Me - John Lennon
I've always had a soft spot for John and this is a great track.
3) Baby Come Home - John Martyn
from the album "On the Cobbles" Hunchermuncher played this to me a year or two ago and I was less than impressed, he put it on last week though and it was like hearing it through fresh ears. Suddenly I liked it - maybe girls come to the more bluesy stuff later, who knows.
4) As Tears Go By - Marianne Faithfull
thsi is a real oldie but a definite goodie - I am surprise this hasn't been used on any adverts yet.
5) The Dress Looks Nice on You - Sufjan Stevens
discovered Sufjan via someone elses blog - lovely!
6) Whistle Down The Wind - Nick Heywood
very old - I think I hated it at the time. Saw it on someone elses playlist a few weeks ago and have enjoyed hearing it again.
7) Falling Down - Muse
8) I Just Don' t Think I'll Ever Get Over You - Colin Hay
another track from the soundtrack of the excellent film Garden State
9) O Cara Linda (Mr Gorgeous) - Smoke City
10) Garota de Ipanema - Nara Leao & Elis Regina
a Lovely version of the Girl from Ipanema

Pjotro The Man with The Musical Suit

Just time for a quick post before I brave the pouring rain to go to my reflexology client. I came across the most brilliant musical blog this morning called Musical From Russia click the link to visit him. Pjotro has a musical suit and you can make your own song and dance. He also has some great little movies from his childhood. I have never seen a blog quite like this one!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Depressed Poetry?

I wrote this poem this week, it probably still needs a bit of work but I was quite pleased with it. N said it is depressing and H said that it sounded like the person who wrote it was depressed - I don't think I was depressed at the time I wrote it - maybe more alarmed at what is going on in the world. Anyway thought I would put it in my blog to see what other people think - comments gratefully received!

Not so distant future

Gandalf’s in an Elfin fog,
Bond defies the reaper,
L.A.’s swamped in urban smog
And useless things get cheaper.

Sunny days are bad for you
And rain can’t give us water,
The Internet will damn our souls
And steal our sons and daughters.

Now every trip is plagued by fear
And everyone’s suspicious,
And kids don’t know their nursery rhymes,
Or tales about three wishes.

Now all the land is tarmac black,
And all that’s left is vehicles
And Barrett homes and Burger bars
And rivers black as treacle.

And fishes are only a memory
And happiness is fleeting,
And all that’s left of arts by now
Are tiers of plastic seating.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

CD Buying Frenzy

In honour of my new stereo I have had a cd buying frenzy this week - on eby of course! The prices ranged from 99p to £5.99.
So far I have
Pure - The Lightning Seeds - this has to be the bargain of the week coming in at the massive price of 99p plus £1.00 postage! Who's Next - The Who - I had to get this after listening to "Won't Get Fooled Again" in the car last week.
Queen - Sheer Heart Attack - a great big blast from the past.
Led Zeppelin III - imagine my horror, I had just got the new stereo set up and I was desperate to listen to immigrant song - then I discovered I only had it on vinyl or mp3!
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses - I only ever had these two albums on tape. They have survived the test of time very well - takes me back a few years - this is proper music - they don't make em like this any more!
Invisible Touch - Genesis - this uses to be one of my favourite albums in my commune days. I bought Genesis Geatest Hits a couple of years ago, which is really good, but this is one of the few albums of theirs that is good the whole way through and I found myself hankering after tracks like "The Brazilian" that aren't on Greatest Hits.
Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out - I always liked this alot more than Tubular Bells, but then I never was one to run with the pack. This arrived this morning so haven't managed to listen to it yet. It will be interesting to see how they have remastered it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pure Magic - Lightning Seeds

Today I was listening to the cd "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds. I had forgotten just how much I like it. I used to have the album on a pre-recorded tape but had found it hard to find on cd. I was lucky this week though, I managed to pick up a second hand copy from ebay for 99p (in great condition too) what a bargain, it is worth every penny and more.

Pure is a compilation with an impressive 18 poppy tracks. There is a very optimistic feel to this album. It has some great vocal harmonies, some jaunty synth and catchy guitar riffs, couple that with great production and you have the perfect recipe for a great album. Collaboraters include Terry Hall (of The Specials and The Fun Boy Three). Some of the lyrics may seem a little naive and twee by today's standards but somehow that just adds to the charm and appeal of the album.

Pure has a real feel good vibe, it was made before the Lightning Seeds hit the mega big time, so before Ian Broudie became cynical and jaded by the cult of celebrity and the music industry (listen to the track "Brain Drain" on the "Like You Do" album for an example of this!) Ian Broudie was a reluctant star at the best of times, but this album is a reminder that he is a musical force to be reckoned with. Maybe not a a star guitarist like Clapton or Blackmore. But he certainly has his own brand of musical magic.

High Points:

Love Explosion - this is best listened to on headphones, in bed in the dark, it's amazing - all girls wish that someone would write them a song like this.

Sense - co-written by Terry Hall who also sings on the track. This is a brilliant track and leaves me wishing that a) Broudie and Hall would write/perform together more and b) That Hall would make some kind of musical come back. Anything he was involved in was always innovative and well worth listening to.

Thirteen Jobs

Thirteen Jobs that I have had

1…. Office Work - when I was 16 I worked in the Sales Office at a company called Camvac, I did typing, sending telexes (remember those), filing, shredding etc. It was one of the most boring jobs that I have ever had and the lowest paid as it was part of a government thing called the Youth Opportunity scheme - I got £25 a week, £15 of which I gave to my mum!
2....Asparagus picking - I did this a few times, hard on your back. In the afternoon we would be inside an old airforce hut bunching it up. It is a short season about 4 weeks a year. Highlight being out in the fields at 6.30 am seeing deer, rabbits and pheasents in the mist.
3....Reflexology - this is what I do now, although I don't have many clients at the moment. It is a type of foot massage, very gentle working on pressure points in the feet. These pressure points correspond with different parts of the body.
4....Apple Picking - I did this for one season and it was really enjoyable. The trees were small, we only needed step ladders to reach the tops.
5....Warehouse work - in my 20s I worked for a large book wholesaler, going round a big warehouse with a shopping trolley picking orders, if you were lucky you might get to pack boxes. Highlights getting cheap books - I often got told off for looking at books whilst I was working.
6....Sandwich Bar - I did this job at the same time as the warehouse job (they were both part time). I waited tables, served at the counter and made sandwiches, plus washing up. Very stressful at times especially when you had a queue of customers out the door waiting for sandwiches and a bunch of customers in the cafe and only you to do it all. The cafe has gone now - it was called Pumpkin Crunch and the owner was an eccentric lady with green hair.
7....Cleaning - I have had various cleaning jobs over the years when I have needed extra cash. Most memorable was a elderly female osteopath who had lived in India with servants and liked the socks to be ironed with a nice crease in them. While I cleaned her house she went and cleaned the house of her grown up son.
8.... running a second hand clothes stall with a friend. We would pick up clothes in jumble sales, wash and iron them and then go to a little alternative market once a week. We also did a couple of hippy fairs. Most memorable occasion, stopping at the local skip on the way to a hippy fair and finding two hideous suede afghan coats. At the fair the weather was terrible and I sold them for £15 each!
9....Nursery Nurse/playgroup assistant - for several years I worked in preschools. I like kids, studied for several qualifications and it fitted in around my son's school hours. Left a couple of years ago when it became very stressful. Highlights - the kids. messy art and craft projects. Low points - poor pay, employees who don't like children and aren't professional, children with severe behavioural problems.
10.... Daffodil Picking - I lasted a day at this, it is absolutely back breaking. We were working in boiling hot polytunnels and the daffodils have a very acidic sap that damages your skin.
11....Carrot grading - I managed six months at this - largely because all my friends said that I wouldn't stick it out so I had a point to prove. It was awful on a noisy production line, carrots came out of a bif washer onto rollers and we quickly had to grab off all bad and mishapen ones before they went down into a bit where they were putinto sacks. For variety we went into the field occasionally. Picking up parsnips in the snow, and in summer we pulled seedy beet out of suger beet fields and wild oats out of barley. Low points - when frogs and little creatures cale in with the carrot harvest, also the shocking amount of waste.
12....Barmaid - I hated this, I worked in a very busy pub where a lot of farmers drank. They were constantly either making lewd remarks or trying to catch you out on the amount you charged for each round.
13...Strawberry Picking... I did this every year when I lived in the countryside. It was piece work so terribly paid. My friend and I used it as a social time picking slowly, chatting up the young man weighing the berries and of course eating tons of strawberries.Grape Picking - I did this for a few years. There aren't many vineyards in the Uk but I was lucky enough to live near one. A nice easy job. Highlights - the owners took us all to their manor house for a buffet lunch with wine every day.
Have put these two together as they are similar.

I realise that I have actually done more than 13 jobs! I have also done babysitting, a day peeling onions in a pickled onion factory (smelly), blackberry picking, working for Oxfam dlivering and collecting plastic clothing sacks and running a second hand clothes

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Something's Missing
2. Benson659
3. Carmen
4. My Two Cents
5. Ghost
6. Zeus
7. Factor 10

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cheap versus Expensive Turntables

The stereo saga continues - we took the cd player and amplifier back to the shop today and after thorough tests (and much huffing and puffing) they declared that one of the channels wasn't working on the cd player (we knew that already!) and they swapped it for another one - hooray. Watch this place to see if this one is still working on three days time!

I had decided that I would finally buy the turntable at the same time and Hunchermuncher and the sales guy spents ages explaining to me why I should buy the more expensive sturdy model over the cosiderably cheaper flimsy one. When I was finally convinced the sales assistant went upstairs only to come back empty handed - after all that they didn't have one in stock. So the long and the short of it is that for now at least I still don't have a turntable and I have a bit of time to decide if I want to pay over £100 for one!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bad Hi-fi Day

I am beginning to wonder if there is some kind of multi media poltergeist in my house. earlier on this year I had terrible problems with my Sony MP3 player that were only rectified by sending it back and getting an ipod. My pc has a problem where the time and date have reverted to 2002 every time I switch it on, the pc shop swore that this was to do with the battery but that was replaced a few months ago and now it has started doing it again. I had digital tv installed 2 weeks ago and we are now on our second digi box as the first had a sound fault. Not only that but NTL has the cheek to say they are taking the original seperate amounts of money out of my bank account for tv/phone/broadband that I was already paying - the whole point of swapping to digital was to bundle them all together and save money - eek! Finally I switched on my new stereo yesterday and now it only has sound through one speaker - grrrr. After lots of investigation the cd player has to go back - unlucky or what.

Maybe the gods are telling me to abandon all this electrical equipment and go back to nature. Maybe it's the planet telling us to stop using so much bloody electricity. Whatever!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Driving Music

We drove to the coast at the weekend and even though it was hot (the car has no air conditioning) it was a great musical journey. Hunchermuncher has this great gadget that enables you to plug your ipod into the car stereo cassette player, which makes any journey instantly miles better in my opinion.

Some music is just great for car journeys. I often make a car trip playlist trying to cater for the tastes of whoever is travelling. This weekends big hit was "Won't get Fooled Again" by the Who. It's just right for a road trip although if you are driving you need a passenger who can do the air guitar and drums for you!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stereo Sanity

Well it's finally happened, after years of moaning and saying I want one I finally went and bought a new stereo - YIPEE! My life has already vastly improved - my only gripe is that I didn't buy a turntable too, that will be next. Thanks very much to my grandma who left me a little bit of money and too Hunchermuncher who put it all together for me.

I am dead chuffed (as they say somewhere or other) - I used to have a good stereo years ago, but gradually piece by piece it wore out and for some reason I never replaced it. i think when my son was little I didn't listen to music so much. Since then I have had various all in one things that my mum has bought me over the years - passable sound but only passable. Now I have the old fashioned kind, seperate amplifier, cd player (that only plays one cd at a time - hooray!) and lovely speakers and it all looks good too. My last stereo was a silver hideous space age monstrosity!

Not only that but I also invested in a bigger tv table to house all the gadgets we all seem to have these days. When I moved to this house 7 years ago we just had a tv and a vcr - now we have those but we also have a dvd player, a digi box and a playstation. i got sick of the mess of wires all around the tv stand and I can only wonder why I didn't sort it out sooner!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Can't Stop the Playlists

I was amazed to see that several people hadn't heard of any of the artists listed on yesterdays Thursday Thirteen. Some of them like Catatonia are probably better known in the UK, but The Talking Heads! I thought everyone knew them - maybe I really am getting old!

For some obscure reason today I woke up with the song "Can't Stop Movin" by S Club 7 buzzing round my brain. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. I certainly wasn't a fan although my son was when he was about 6, he won tickets to see them in a concert at Hyde Park. The highlights of which for him were
1) seeing Mr Blobby
2) hearing the BBC philarmonic orchestra playing the Star Wars theme while letting off fireworks (not as spectacular as it sounds because it was a summers afternoon!).

I have been going to bed with my ipod this week (how sad is that?) - so here is this weeks playlist (click on the links to hear excerpts:

1) Got ID - Pearl Jam
This is currently my favourite PJ track, sorry the sample is such bad quality!
2) Five Miles Out - Mike Oldfield
Five Miles Out was always my favourite Mike Oldfield album and I had the urge to hear it again this week.
3) The Saxophone Song - Kate Bush
From the excellent album "The Kick Inside".
4) Keep on Running - The Spencer Davis Group
5) Blinded by the Light - Manfred Mann
7) Slight Return - The Bluetones
From the 1996 album Expecting to Fly, this band were very big at the time but have sadly faded into relative obscurity.
8) I Won't Close My Eyes - UB40
from the album UB44.
9) Closer to Your Heart - Clannad
I loved the album Macalla when I was younger and went to see Clannad in concert.
10) Reflections - Diana Ross and the Supremes
11) Caring is Creepy - The Shins
This comes from the great soundtrack of a brilliant film called Garden State.
12) Sunshine Day - Osibisa
A feel good blast from the past.
13) There is an End - The Greenhornes with Holly Golightly
From the soundtrack of the Bill Murray film Broken Flowers.
14) Lebanese Blonde - The Theivery Corporation
15) In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
16) Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
17) Love and Affection - Joan Armatrading
This was played to death at the time but I found myself wanting to hear it again this week.
18) Black - Pearl Jam
From the album ten.
19) Rome wasn't Built in a Day - Morcheeba
20) Highway Star - Deep Purple
from the album Machine Head.

and on that note I am going to finish as the copy of Machine Head that i ordered from ebay this week has just arrived - yummy!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Whatever Happened to...Thirteen Bands/Artists to wonder about

1…. The Bluetones
They were the next big thing a few years ago. Everyone had their first album, it's good I listened to it today. Then Poof I never heard of them again.
The Welsh siren et al.They were huge for a while but then bam, now you see them now you don't!
3....Damien Rice
What's that you say, storm in teacup?
4....Lemon Jelly
One really good album and some bits and pieces, time for something really good again I think.
5....Joe Jackson
He was great, he should definitely make a comeback.
6....The Communards
They were good on top of the pops!
Another band that were huge but then what. Probably off enjoying their money somewhere.
Now there's a band that should definitely make a com back. The world is a much bleaker place without them.
Forget all this Gorillaz rubbish, Blur were the real thing.
10....Terry Hall
Good in all of his incarnations.
11....Talking Heads
Yes I know David Byrne has done some good stuff without them. But sometimes a band just has the right chemistry.
Midge Ure should definitely be sharing that musical talent around a bit.
About time they resurfaced, noone writes lyrics as nonsensical as Jon Anderson.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Kontan
2. Mysterious Lady
3. Norma
4. Raggedy
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Thanks everyone for all your guesses, this is actually part of a church wall at Salthouse in Norfolk. It is a flint wall and each individual flint is surrounded by lots of little ones - it's very unusual.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Creatively Blocked

I am a frustrated artist today - I attempted a batch of mono prints and failed miserably. They all ended up in the bin - yes they weren't even good enough to be used for other art projects!

This leads me to one of three conclusions: either I have lost the knack, can't properly remember how to do it or I am creatively blocked for some reason. I suspect it is the latter of the three, especially since I am not happy with anything I am writing at the moment and I am finding it hard to even write my blog!. I had better get unblocked pretty quick as I am supposed to be starting at art school in a few weeks....