Friday, September 30, 2005

Chicago Rock

Another Epic night in the life of Mike Da Hat blagueur extraordinaire.Last night was the photo gig. I went to photograph a few bands for a "battle of the bands" competition. I got to Chicago Rock at about 10:15. With camera. There was a huge queue to get in.
Queue? Moi? Fuck off!
So I just walked straight past the queue, straight past the box office. As if I owned the place. No one stopped me. Thye wouldn't dare. I have found I can just about anything if I act confident enough. Also having the camera helped. because they thought I was official or something. So I didn't pay to get in. People in the queue just stared at me as they waited to get in. Amazing what you can get away with. No fear.
I'm Mike Da Hat. I can do anything.

The first band up was Sumo playing Rock and roll covers. Nothing spectacular. Solid band, good music. But I'd expect to see them in a pub not a theatre.
Coldplayed were on next. My friend Steve was on lead guitar. As you can guess from the name of the band they are a Coldplay tribute band and very good. They'll go far.

Finally at 11:30 Sacred Heart



This is Sacred Heart. They played all original material which while it was very good didn't seem to spark off the audiences interest like Coldplayed. Technically they were very good. But didn't stand a chance against Steves band.



Coldplayeds lead singer he's even got the coloured tape round his fingers and the black bars on the back of his hand. Trust me he has.



So thanks for everyone who commented on my last post. I appreciate it. I don't know but I visited Steve Dix and he had a post almost exactly the same as mine. So it seems we all have these moments when we need to validate ourselves. As Natali said it doesn't matter, we're all going to keep on writing, painting, singing anyway. It's just a little appreciation goes a long long way.

But going on from the Notice to quit post. I have a cunning plan. A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a fox. The property is being inspected in a few weeks time, to make sure no one is living here. I'm packing away all my stuff into boxes. So come the inspection I wont be living here anymore. Inspection over I move straight back in again. Job done. I'm buggered if I'm going to pay rent on this dump.
That landlord, he's got a nerve. Owning property and expecting someone to pay rent on it.
So everything is under control. I am in total charge of the situation. I am being evicted but only in the loosest sense. Only in the sense that the Landlord thinks he's evicting me
I'm gonna stand here with a cigarette lighter waving above my head singing "we will over come". And do you know why?

Because I'm Mike Da bleedin Hat. I will prevail.
Happy Talking Talking Happy talk.

I've just got to toddle off now and find some more empty cardboard boxes. Talk amongst yourselves.......

Rock on Dudes

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm still here

So Del and I were in a pub tonight and I pointed out a brass plate hanging on the wall that proclaimed "In 1832 on this spot nothing happened". Del went into a two hour lecture on how that was not exactly true, detailing historical facts and figures. It was very interesting, especially as I had to drop history at school if I was going to be the emminent scientist I had planned to become.
Oh I had plans. I was going to do Chemistry Physics and Biology at A level and go on to university and do a degree in Biology. Which I did. But then it all went horribly wrong.
Whilst I had a fascination for science, I wasn't actually very good at it. I found that my real interest was in the arts.
I got a job with the government as a science officer. I was a professional bird watcher. The pay was crap. So I became a Landscape gardener. I found I hated working for a living. If only I could have an independant income then I could be a wastrel, I could dip in and out of things that interested me.
I became a journalist for a while. I love to write. But the editor would inevitably rip apart all my stories that I had sweated blood over and rewrite them. The final straw was when someone started screaming at me for writing lies about them. It wasn't me. It was the editor who had rewritten my story and gave it some pazzaz at the expense of the subject. I caught the flack. Disillusioned I gave up journalism.
At a loss for anything better to do and finding it soul destroying working in a bakery doing 12 or 14 hour shifts. I came to work in the family business. That was twenty five years ago and I'm still here. As a business we've been going bankrupt for the last twenty five years as well. I paid for my ex wifes house on the back of this business.
I've been blogging for 20 years although 20 years ago I didn't know I was blogging. It started out with all my friends leaving the country and wanting to know what was happening in this country while they were away. So I wrote three times a week a letter on my Ferranti PC, twin floppy disc drives and actually posted the letters around the world.
Then came the internet and I started emailing the letters to whoever wanted them. That went on for years until 2004 I found blogging for real. I don't know whether my original friends still read this stuff, Gary, Eke, Robin, Kit, John, Clifford, Oliver, Sue, Penny, Elizabeth. But they never comment now.
I don't know why? Perhaps it's because it's no longer personal. I write and potentially the whole world can read. Whereas before I wrote specifically for them. Perhaps they think in a world of so many billion people they don't need to comment because there's always someone who will do it for them, to take away their guilt for receiving without giving. IT's not their responsibility anymore because I've opened it out to the public.
There's been times, many times in the last 20 years when I've wondered why the hell I bother? Because it's sometimes months before anyone responded to my writing. Once I just stopped writing for six months. I got withdrawel and then the letters started coming in "Why have you stopped?"
"Because you sad fucks didn't respond to anything at all. That's why."
"BUt we were still reading. We love your letters everyweek."
"So why don't you reply?"
"I don't know. I'm always too busy."
"So how do I know there's any point carrying on if you don't reply?"
" er.... I don't know. You just write like you always do."
So I shrug my shoulders and carry on. But fellow bloggers.
THAT'S YOU! YES YOU.
I think you'll agree that a little feedback helps.

Today I spoke to a friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while and I started telling him what was happening in my life.
He said "Oh I know all that. I read it on your blog."
"So why didn't you comment?"
"OhI don't like to, I never know what to say."
For chrissakes! You can't win.

So for all you sad fucks out there who profess to be my friends. here's what you can say. It's really easy.
"I'm still here." you don't need to make a witty or pithy comment, you don't have to stare at the ceiling for hours to think of a smart arse one liner. I don't expect that. I accept that some people don't like writing or believe they can't write. So in the abscence of anything witty Just tell me "I'm still here".
I'll do the wracking of the brains to think of something new to write each time. You just sit back and relax.

Good morning Del.

Rock on dudes.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pizza

So I've run out of food in the house and go next door to the pizza shop. Hmmm that's convenient. I order a super dooper chefs special with extra everything at the regular price because they don't want to piss me off.
"Ten minutes Mikel" they say.
I gave them 20. Half expecting them to walk round to my back door with the feast. It didn't arrive so I went next door expecting to see my fabulous pizza in the hot cupboard wiating patiently. It wasn't there. The pizza chef was sitting in the corner reading a book. Smoke was pouring from the oven at the back of the shop.
"is that my pizza." I ask casually.
"Oh fuck fuck shit fuck!" says pizza boy. He leaps up and opens the oven the shop fills with smoke and he slips in the pizza shovel and pulls out this smouldering black mass like something from the Quatermass experiments.
"Fuck fuck fuck!" he continues and he aint Hugh Grant either.
"Ten minutes?" I ask.
He's flustered now and apologising profusely. "Yes I bring in ten minutes."
His mate is offering me trays of spicy potato wedges so I don't starve in the extra ten minutes I have to wait. I decline.


pizza california


Pizza boy has just delivered my pizza. It's perfect.
Time to chow down and Watch Bob Dylan part two on the video.

Rock on dudes

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Notice To Quit

OK I guess I'd better come clean with you. I'm not a high flying, rich executive. I'm not a world famous musician. In fact it's a lot worse than that. I have been found out. The guy who owns my squalid little flat has just discovered, that I've been living there, rent free for the last five years. Yes I've been squatting. I've said it now. Hate me. I have been given notice to quit. Move out. Leave my compact and bijou pied de terre, where the drunks regularly urinate against my back door and find somewhere else to live. Oh yes I have options. I pay the exhorbitant rent that has been asked for and stay. Another option would be to move out temporarily, then move straight back in again when he's not looking. That idea appeals to the devilish side of me. Another option is to use my silver tongue to blague my way out of the situation, put myself forward as an unpaid caretaker of his property in exchange for the use of one room (which is all I have).
Another option is to move back in with my parents, which quite frankly would be a fate worse than death. As much as I love them dearly, I value my independance very highly.
But am I down hearted? No
Have I slipped into depression? No
Why? Because I'm Mike Da Hat.
Actually I never thought of myself as a squatter until today. I was just utilising a property that otherwise would be empty. So now I'm a little bit dangerous. I'm a little left field. I am not part of regular society. I am a non person. I have been a non person since I left my wife and the CSA threatened to take me for every penny I had. I came to an amicable agreement with the ex. Told the authorities I was leaving the country and disappeared of the face of the earth. I've been on the run ever since.


Today I found myself in church. St Kyneburgers just outside Peterborough. I took this photo of the door, it's from the 14th Century. It's four inches thick. How many people have touched this door? Gone through it? It makes you think....... I must have walked miles today, just enjoying the countryside.

The other day I saw a guy with a camera across the street from where I work. He had a long lens and he was surrepticiously looking round the corner into the cemetary and taking sneaky shots. Then he suddenly ran to his car, parked on double yellows, and sped off down the road. Moments later this woman walked out of the cemetary carrying a pair of crutches under her arm. She had no problem walking at all. I guess in a few days time she'll discover that her claims for damages has been rejected and a summons for fraud issued. Oh yes!

I won the lottery yesterday. £10. Whoopee! I wont the lottery last week as well £68. You see life isn't that bad. Reasons to be cheerful. Andre told me to "Shut the fuck up" apparently I have no business being happy, and under the circumstances perhaps he's right. I could be homeless in 21 days, which is how long I've been given to get out. I could be picking up dog ends in the street and selling "Big Issue". I could be sleeping in a custom made cardboard box. I could register as an alcoholic and get extra money from the DHSS but then I'd be obliged to shout random insults at passers by. Or I could shrug my shoulders, say "C'est la vie" and just get on with it. Which I think is exactly what I'm gonna do.
God! I'm so confident. I was talking to a friend today, she said "What's it like to be right all the time?" You see we'd been walking and she wasn't sure which way to go. I said "Trust me I know."
"But you've never been here before."
"It doesn't matter. I just know...."
"But how can you know? How come you never get lost?"
"I know where I am at all times."
"But you are so sure of yourself."
"So the question you should have asked is 'What's it like to be so confident?'"
"So how does it feel to be confident all the time?"
"Brilliant. There is nothing I can't cope with. Life is a breeze. It's a walk in the park. I just glide along while others struggle with their petty problems. Where they see problems, I see a challenge. When they see despair and hopelessness I see opportunity. It's great."

You see I am not scared. I may end up having to change my lifestyle, have a change of scenery, things will be different. But that's good isn't it? You can't stay in one place too long anyway. Keeping stuff the same is boring. We need a challenge. I can rise to that challenge. After all I am the one, the only, Mike Da Hat.

Rock on dudes

iPod now playing - Bring me Sunshine by Morecambe & Wise

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Withins Last Gig Ever

I've been a busy boy tonight. I was asked to film a gig. The band was Within. So I took along my professional outside broadcast standard Video camera and set up it was difficult conditions with drunks falling over and people standing in the way of the camera. Because it was their last ever gig they had a few guests. This is Julian Stone.

Julian plays solo mostly. Some of you may recall last year I was running a new talents night every fortnight at a local pub. he played with a band called The Kidnaps then. They've changed their name to Point Seven Pistol. God knows why. Anyway Julian played some good stuff and then in walked these black dudes. Woh! Cool or what. They seemed out of place somehow until Richard announced they were the next act.



The boys from the hood. Apparently they have a single out right now that's getting airplay on Radio One. They've got the moves. They've got the ganster rap. They've got style. So how come no one gave a shit? Talk amongst yourselves why don't you? OK we're talking Genevas bar here. It's an Irish pub. Hardly a hot bed of rap music so I think they were on a sticky wicket right from the start. But full marks for style if not content.



Richard and Abbi and Within were on next. They did three sets in all going on until after 01:00am. I was filming all the time. Hard bleedin luck if you need a comfort break.


So this is Abbi's last gig with "Within". She's already recorded eight tracks of her new album to be released soon "Angel of rebellion". She's got a two week break then the beginning of October she starts her UK tour with her new band supplied by the record company. She is going out as "Abbi Yellow". She's not overly keen on the name, it refers to the fact that she has yellow eyes. But all the songs are her own original material. I've been trying to think of who she is most like to give you an idea and all I can come up with is Toyah Wilcox.
I took Jamie to see her. She gave him a hug and a kiss. He went red. Later she asked if he could do a cartoon animated version of her, for publicity purposes. Chrikey he's just started his A-levels and already he's been asked to do what he's good at. That's computer animations, so in a sense he'll be working for Polydor and EMI. The parent companies of her record label.
Jesus Mary and Joseph but I've got some clever children.
Gemma has already directed and produced a video for MTV. And now Jamie is getting in on the act. And there's me just a pub musician. Hey ho!

Rock on dudes.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gongoozler

Over the weekend I went exploring another part of the Peterborough area. I came across this place, Water Newton. There's a lock for boats and it was at this lock I found a new word. "Gongoozler".
This is going to get a bit like call my bluff.
1. Gongoozler: A Person who has drunk too much and vanished from his group of friends.
2. Gongoozler: A person who hangs around locks having a nose at what's going on.
3. Gongoozler: An implement used in the making of moulds for church bells.



Of course you all knew it's No: 2 someone who hangs around locks craning their necks trying to see inside the boats and having a looksee. This old guy in a houseboat after having me open the lock gates for him. Said "Yuh knows what you are boy?"
"Boy? I'm 46 years old." I thought.
"You're a Gongoozler."
"A what? Is that good?"
"Yes boy you're a Gongoozler alreet."
"er... thanks... I think." I quickly left the scene not wanting to be associated with the art of gongoozling in any shape or form. I left the boat man he'd been well and truly gongoozled.
The picture above is Water Newton Mill.

So I did my usual search for wild flowers and took this one that was growing right next to the river. It's a Red Valerian.




My friends richard and Abbi came to the music club last night. They have there last ever gig with their current band this Thursday. The reason? Abbi has just signed a recording contract with a major record label.


Abbi is just too cute for words. I've got to run and have a cold shower now.

Rock on dudes

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why I hate Pete Trewewas.

I have this thing where I will never EVER buy a Marillion CD. I wont even listen to Marillion. I refuse to get sucked into their crap. I don't care how good they are, and I like to think they aren't good, it's just there's a load of morons out there who are deluded. In particular I hate Pete Trewewas their bass player. I hate him with a vengeance. I know hate is a strong word. But I have reserved this hatred for someone special. Some complete and utter bastard who deserves to hang by his testicles, until the blessed release, when they whither away and drop off.
So why do I have this venom? Why am I so full of spite? It goes back a long way. Thirty years ago to be exact. I had a girlfriend called Dougal because she had big hair. She was very cute. We were always together. I loved her dearly. This was before I could play guitar but I was already on the music scene. I was a roadie for a band called Iona. I took her to rehearsals and to gigs she/we had a great time. She thought I was great because I was on the inside. I had other friends, notably Pete Trewewas who at the time was the bass player for a band called Orthi. So one day, after she begged me, I took her to meet the band at one of their rehearsals. It was in Wendover in Buckinghamshire, in a local hall half way up Tring Road. I introduced her to the band. Hands were shook. They rehearsed. Fucking Pete bastard Trewewas poured on the charm. I was young, inexperienced. I didn't know what to do. He was a "big shot" bass player. I was just a roadie. I was left by the wayside. Dougal didn't so much dump me, so much as never said a word she just disappeared over the horizon with Pete fucking cunt shite bastard Trewewas. He ditched her later for some blond buxom groupie. The last I heard Dougal was a physiotherapist in Birmingham.
So now you know why Marillion are crap. They'll shit on their mates. But then that's show business.

Pete Trewewas could well be an ace guy. But I am biased. I bet he's kind to animals and small children, but he's still a bastard in my eyes.

Rock on Dudes.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bunking off work


Today I took a day off work to go to Lincoln to see my daughter.


Lincoln is pretty cool. This is the street that leads up the hill to the cathedral. After dinner we went to Whisby nature reserve just to have a look and a walk and talk. Dragon flies were in abundance. This is a dragon fly. You know that because it doesn't fold it's wings.


The litle bastards are so quick. It's difficult to get a good shot of them that's in focus. This was perhaps the tenth attempt.


So I took a few photos to build up the database. I'm planning a website detailing locations and photos of what's to be seen at various locations.
I have a few plans and a few people who might want to collaborate. but I'll keep that under wraps until I have an agreement with them. These are Hawthorn berries if you hadn't already figured it out.


And we found this. haven't a clue what it is. It was abandonned on a bench. Couldn't find the original plant. We searched high and low to find where this came from. But no luck. We may need to look again.

Rock on dudes.

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Dixon of Dock green

I was going to write an incredibly humourous blog tonight. It would have had you holding your sides and begging for mercy. It would have been so funny you'd have wet yourselves laughing. But instead I'm going to watch Jack Warner and Dirk Bogard in "The Blue Lamp" released 1950. A film I recorded this afternoon while I was supposedly working. I love those old films.

The music club was awesome tonight. We had Rory turn up who was a professional musician in South Africa until recently. Also Sean and Hayley who are going from semi professional t0 professional about now. I was at the bar when Hayley started singing. By God! She turned the pub upside down. Even behind the closed doors. Everyone turned round to listen. For a small skinny girl she has such a powerful voice and such stage presence.
Sean practices religiously for four hours every day. I guess that's why he's a million times better than I am.

That's it I'm outa here.

Rock on dudes and Evenin' All

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Songs


Baby. My mandolin.


We at the music club are getting fed up. Between us we must know hundreds of songs from Elvis to the Beatles to Coldplay, The Verve, Kirsty MacColl, Simon and Garfunkle, The Monkeys, Greenday old ones, new ones. Sometimes we're cutting edge sometimes we dredge from musical antiquity. Sometimes we come up with a new song and stick it in our set because it works so well.
BUT NOW WE'RE BORED.
We've played all the songs we know. We've run out of material. We're too bloody lazy to think of new songs to sing, new tunes to play.
Simon yesterday told me he's on a roll, he's found his musical enthusiasm all over again, but he needs new inspiration to keep him going.
I'm in the same position. I've got bored with the songs I know.


So what we need is for you guys to come up with new inspiration for us. New songs. Bearing in mind we're all playing acoustically with no raging electric guitars etc. So get thinking. I guess Mick will have a few suggestions.

Rock on Dudes.

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Being hyper

Have you ever had one of those days when the weather is perfect? The sun is shining but it's not unbearably hot. There isn't a cloud in the sky and there's a gentle breeze. Dragon flies are buzzing around and all is well with the world.
Undoubtably somethings gonna fuck it up somewhere along the line. But until then you just wish time could stand still so you can enjoy it just a little more.
Well today is one of those days. I love it. Even the cars driving past my gaff are driving quieter than usual.
people are walking in with smiles on their faces. Friends have been in to see me just to say "hi!" Tonight when I went to pick up my boy to play pool he said "I'm worried about you Dad."
"Why's that?"
"You're hyper. You are in too good a mood. You're over the top."
"But it's the perfect day."
"I'm worried."
So he's worried that I'm in a good mood and my life is gliding along and I don't have a care in the world.
I met the ex she was leaving as I arrived, I started talking to her. Very friendly like. Her undertaker boyfriend was cringing in the driving seat of his car.
"Mikel. You're hyper aren't you."
"Not you as well..."
"Take deep breathes and try to calm down."
"I am calm."
"no you're into one of your hyper moods."
"No I'm just happy, it's a perfect day."
"You need help Mikel."
No wonder I divorced her. I'm not allowed to be happy.
..... and old Mrs MacAvoy the cook is going to do a super picnic with lashings of Ginger beer and cake an ev'rythin.
Then later if we're all good mummy will let us stay up late and put a tent up in the garden, and we'll all run around in the dark with torches and have a midnight feast.

I've been talking to Zoe she's been helping me with some technical stuff. No don't laugh. She was playing super sleuth, Inspector Clouseau for me. She's a clever girl. That Zoe. Anyway I asks her all innocent like....
"So what's your evening going to be like? "
"I'm going to watch East Enders."
Well that got me thinking.
Oh no! Not "Stenders" as my children call it. I have a friend who regularly tells me all about it as if I was actually interested. She relates the stories to me with such passion. I say to her "They're just actors you know."
"No but it's true to life though isn't it?"
"No. 16 murders in ten years, three rapes and 17marriages is not true to life if it involves just one family."
I refuse to watch it in case I get sucked in and my mind gets sucked out.
There are those who threaten anyone with death, if they dare to phone you during that half hour of "Stenders". I have friends like that. You dare not phone under any circumstances for fear of a knife in the heart.
"Oh hello I would have phoned you ten minutes ago but I knew you'd be watching East Enders but it's finished now. I just thought you might like to know your house is on fire..... yes huge plumes of smoke coming from the upstairs back window.... firebrigade.... yes I phoned them... asked them to give you ten minutes before they came round. Is that alright?"
I wonder if Corrie fans reach the same levels of fanaticism?

So while Zoe is super sleuthing on my behalf I'm writing notes to her whilst at work. Why isn't she at work? But then.....
I'm the boss of my business I can do what I like. Play Freecell all day if I want. Write letters to people and pretend it's some crucial communiqué to some big multi national corporation. I tell my employees....
"Yes I'm just knocking out a letter to the MD of Merloni International tell him what I think of his new pricing structures."

Dear Zoe
How are you? I'm fine, hope you are the same
Love and kisses
Mikel

Yes it's a Multimillion pound operation going on here. If only I used the time to realise all that money instead of writing stupid letters to people. But it's a living...........
I wont die rich that's for sure.

Must go Mrs Macavoy is calling she's managed to clean my high chair after yesterdays tea time fiasco with the Spaghetti Bolognese. Why does it always wrap itself round your nose when you suck it? You know that last two inches, and the tomato sauce then drips off your lip onto your lovely white shirt. Who invented dressing for dinner? Were they mad? In my house dressing for dinner would be the last thing you do? Excepting of course if it was a full biological, nuclear and chemical warfare suit. Even then you'd have trouble getting the tomato stains out.





This is for Del he misses his mice. You don't really want me to explain do you? Maybe Del himself will, in the comments box. But he truly misses his mice. I think it may have something to do with Figgy his cat that went missing a while back. Shortly after I spent the weekend Cat sitting. I hope there's no connection there. I'd hate to feel responsible for his cat running away. While cat sitting I had to force antibiotics down the poor things throat. Actually force is such a strong word. The daft cat licked the tablets from my fingers.

Before I go I've got to say I was worried about something Zoe said...
"Your blog is a bit Christian, which is unlike you."
For Chrissakes I'm an athiest. How can my blog be possibly Christian? Unless she used the term to mean something completely different to the "Christian" term I understand. I might have to ask her. Or maybe she'll explain herself personally.

Rock on dudes

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Finding time to actually sleep


Today I had to take my daughter Gemma da Hat back to University to start her second year of film studies at Lincoln University. We got just north of Stamford when her Mother rang to say she'd left her ID and credit cards behind. OH joy! So it was back to Peterborough and then back up the A1 an extra half hour on the journey. So we unloaded the car at Lincoln and I left Gemma, her boyfriend and her brother to sort her stuff out while I headed for Whisby Nature reserve. They didn't need me. Christ! I'm an old fogie. Why would they want an old man like me hanging around for spoiling their fun? Whisby nature reserve is incredible. It's very large. If you stay to the well trodden paths it's pretty boring. But off piste, away from the tourists and dog walkers and the OAP's it becomes interesting.

I'm concerned about a load of fish I found dead on the banks of a lake.


This one was two foot long. A prize specimen. But dead just like the three others I found within one hundred yards of each other. I don't know if any of you guys are fishermen. But does this happen? Do fish suddenly die like that? Or is it pollution? Why should an apparently healthy fish suddenly go belly up? Questions need to be asked. Anyway there was more to be seen...


These are the berries of the Woody Nightshade. When you start looking and I mean really looking you can see so much like....


...Spiders.....


...and Comfrey. All the comfrey in Peterborough are already dead. This one must be on it's second wind. A second growth. Early seeds that have fallen and already sprouted, rather than wait until next year. I met the warden of the Whisby nature reserve. He invited me into the section out of bounds to the public. Told me about how he was planning to mow the meadow and rake it all up now that the Fleabane has all done with seeding. He invited me back next year to photograph the Southern Marsh Orchids. I know I keep saying it's the end of the season. But it never fails to amaze me that there is always something to see, something to discover. No matter what I always seem to find somthing interesting on my travels. Not least this....


Fly Agaric or Amanita muscarina. Did you know that technically you are supposed to write the latin name in italics? The Genus starts with a capital and the species small case. I haven't done that before because I couldn't be bothered. But this is a hallucinagenic mushroom. Which means that you have great hallucinations before you die. German housewives used to break this up into saucers of water on a window sill to kill flies. It's a spectacular fungus. This is the first decent one I've seen in four years. You may be thinking "yeah yeah yeah! It's a toadstool. So fucking what?"
But to me it's an exciting find. But the excitement didn't stop there....



...because then I saw this, it was a foot tall. Incredible. It's a Shaggy ink cap.
I came home after dropping the boys off and settled down to watch TV. But who should turn up desperate to play me his latest songs but....


...Charlie. he played me three new songs. The first was OK, the second brilliant, the third?...... don't ask. It puts it into perspective when you read Pete Townsends blog. He writes something like a hundred songs for every one song that actually makes it to disc. So Charlie had a few beers made a phone call and announced he was going to meet some girl down Star Road and see if he could get a shag. Oh to have groupies! He left, slipping a can of beer into his inside coat pocket, "For later."
So then I had to create this post for you. I could have been in bed sleeping. I am almost dead on my knees. But no I choose to make the effort. Life can't stop just because you're tired. I can't waste a second of my life. I often get accused of burning the candles at both ends and then in the middle as well. I never stop. Actually I do, I stop when I drop. It can't be healthy. But that's me. I can't bring myself to waste a second doing something boring like sleeping. Life is such good fun. Life is brilliant. As I said earlier my children probably think I'm a boring old fart. But while they are thinking they are having a good time (because they don't know any better) I KNOW I'm having a good time. It's one of the sad things about youth. You have the energy to do stuff, but don't have the experience to actually put it in practice. I remember as a student I thought a great time was to go out with my mates and get slaughtered. Bin there, done that, boring. If only I knew then what I know now. I could have had some serious fun. I'd have had the energy to really kick some fun butt. I look at my children and they think they are having a great time. And I quietly think to myself "You don't know the half of it yet kiddos."


Note to self: Make to time to actually get some sleep.

Rock on dudes.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Maintaining a busy Schedule

I’ve been busy tonight. Took the Children to the deep dark forest to try and lose them, but the little devils came with pockets pull of white pebbles. Bugger!

It got very dark. In the deep dark forest.


I took a flash photo of a sort of bracket fungus. Partly to take the photo and partly to see the fear in the childrens eyes. No such luck. So disgusted I took the children home and went to see Simon and David with their band “Sacred Heart”.


Here’s Simon. They were playing at the Cherry Tree pub in Peterborough. Shortly after this photo was taken, Simon enthusiastically smashed his guitar head on the drum kit putting it hopelessly out of tune. He swapped guitars and dug out his vintage Rickenbacker.


I suppose it’s a matter of taste if the Rickenbacker is better than the Gibson SG he’s just put down. So I tried to take photos of David. He is not very keen on being photographed and swore at me using words you never hear in the bible.


But I caught David on one of the few times he let his guard down. He really wasn’t co-operating so I turned round and there was the lovely Cheryl….. I do believe that's Mark the unfeasibly tall drummer behind her.


After that I got bored. David wasn’t keen on me photographing the band although Simon’s a Prima Donna. So I came home early just in time before the off licence closed.


So I went to see Ismael for some cheap booze. And so endeth my day.

Rock on Dudes

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Suicide

Christ on a Bike! You remember I told you about that car that exploded on the road and the guy driving apparently committed suicide by driving his car straight at the fuel tank of a lorry? The guy was toast, he went up in the fireball, totally unrecognisable. Finally yesterday after forensic examination they have released his name. It's only a musician friend of mine who plays saxophone in a local blues combo. Bugger! I only spoke to him six weeks ago at one of his gigs and he was great. Poor old Piers.

About fifteen years ago another friend of mine disappeared, his name was also Mike, I knew him from the folk circuit, (I was a folkie back then, but I've learnt my lesson) he played guitar and wrote for the Local paper doing music reviews. They found him three days later hanging from a tree. His car parked up nearby. There was no note and no obvious reason for his suicide. We were all left going "What?" and "Why?" but we never found out. It's the same with Piers no one can think of any reason for him to be depressed. We're all having a great time being musicians so what's the problem?

Before you start worrying, suicide is not a word in my personal vocabulary. I'm going to be around for ages writing this rubbish. I can imagine myself hooking up the noose then thinking "I've just got to write about this funny thing that happened to me today." No I couldn't wouldn't ever kill myself.

Yesterday my brother called my out of the shop.
"Have you see this?"
"What?"
"This...."
There abandoned in our car park was an ASDA shopping trolley full of frozen meat. Catering size Burgers, chicken breasts, Pepperoni slices and two huge Donner kebab joints that they put on those rotating spits.
"Who left it? Did you see?"
"Oh it was two smack heads, they pushed it into the car park and ran away."
We phoned the meat company. Sure enough the druggies had broken into their cold store and half inched a load of meat and the druggies were marching up our road trying to sell the quickly defrosting meat to the local fast food operators with little success (Now that's encouraging after recent scary BBC programmes).

I notice my very mysterious friend Adam has turned up again in the comments box. He has indicated he knows me from way back and has given me (in the past) several clues to verify this fact. But I'm still damned if I can remember ever knowing anyone called Adam. Oh the intrigue. But if he knew me then he would have known the lovely Elizabeth from my past, hence the comment. (in case you were wondering why his comment was a little left field). Without going into too much detail Elizabeth saved me from myself and gave me back my life. I write to her twice a year at Christmas and her birthday, I thank her every time. She never replies. I don't expect her to, she has her own life now. But I will go on thanking her for the rest of my life. You'd like her she's fabulous.

Rock on dudes

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Men are from Mars

Something made me think:
Del phoned me up the other day:
Me- Are we going to the pub?
Del- Yes
Me- What time?
Del- Ten.
Me- I'll meet you there. Bye.

Short, concise and to the point. Job done no messing.

A girl arranging a night out with her friend.
Jill- Hello Sue darling how are you?
Sue- Oh I'm fine, a bit tired, Rogers backs still playing him up.
Jill- Oh dear. What did the doctor say?
Sue- Oh he's to rest as much as he can and NOT play golf.
Jill- That'll upset him.
Sue- Upset him? What about me I have to live with him he'll be impossible to live with without his golf.
Jill- So how are the kids, Jenny and Becky?
Sue- Well you know I told you about Beckies school teacher that Miss Schofield, well you wouldn't believe who we saw her with at the Coalheavers Arms last friday night.....
Jill- Not......
Sue- Yes....
Jill- No......
Sue- Yes.....
Jill- You're kidding.
Sue- really bold as brass they were, no shame either, necking and making out like teenagers.
Jill- and she's teaching your becky?
Sue- I know............

This conversation bounces along in this vein for the next 40 minutes until finally .....

Jill- So what time do you think?
Sue- I don't know what are we wearing? Are you going to wear black like last time.
Jill- I thought I might, but it depends on what shoes you're going to wear.

This part of the conversation takes up another ten minutes. Until........
Jill- I'll pick you up at 7:30 then.
Sue- OK that's great. Oh my God I forgot to tell you... remember Pat? You know Patricia the one who...................................

And so it goes on. Result girls waste an hour doing what us guys can do in less then ten seconds. But there's more........

A man can go to the pub come back and his partner would ask -did you see anyone?
Man- One or two.
Wife- Was Sandra there?
Man- Oh yes she was there?
Wife- How is she?
Man - I don't know. She looked OK to me.
Wife- what about her husband Bob how is he?
Man- I didn't ask.
Wife- Has sandra got a job yet?
Man- Haven't a clue.
Wife- why didn't you ask?
Man- It's nothing to do with me.

You see a girl can meet another girl and in the space of ten minutes can get her whole life story, the name of her kids, husband, husbands job, address, phone number and the name of a great hairdresser.

Your average guy on the other hand can have known "Bob" down the pub for two years and still not know his surname or if he's even married. It's not important. This is a man thing. We don't place much importance on such matters. What do we care if he's married or not as long as he knows about sport, motors, power tools and a few good jokes?

So how do these totally different species interact? How in Gods name do we ever get together? We've nothing in common. Well, we have to play the game. We show our "feminine" side. RADA should take note of this, there's some great actors out there. So we feign interest in what our girls want to talk about. It works but not all the time. We can't keep it up. Ooer Missus. No we can't keep up the charade of being in touch with our feminine side, and revert to the "Yes dear" and "No dear" routine. You girls see through that instantly.

I don't want to be told what happened on "Eastenders". Tell someone who gives a shit. I don't need to know what Ian Beele is doing now. He's not real. It's a fucking soap. But I am bombarded with this information like it's real life and even if it was real life I still wouldn't give a shit. Ian Beele is not my problem. I don't have empathy with the silly sod.

How many times have you heard that stereotypical phrase "My wife doesn't understand me."? I never understood my wife. We're divorced now. I was discussing this with Helene tonight, she came to the conclusion that she thought like a man, she is not interested in small talk. She wont gossip about her neighbours. She wanted to talk about her new digital camera and it's specifications. How many mega pixels it has and the fact it has macro funtion, video function and other stuff. Christ! Have I fallen on my feet with this girl. Then she spoilt it by saying "You know I love you because you think like a girl. You are so sensitive. Not like other boys."
Bugger!
I want to be macho. I want to talk about power tools and motor bikes but my interests are wild flowers and nature. Oh and being a musician as well.
I am very uncomfortable with having a feminine side. I want to be the hard man of rock. But I'm not. I want to be the testosteroned fueled man of the moment. But I'm not. I have never been in a fight in my whole life. I abhore violence. I learnt to knit. I can sow my own buttons on and do my own ironing. I can cook. I can do embroidery. I do a fabulous job of changing a nappy. It's hardly Rock and Roll. I'm a man. I don't want to be a girl. But I can give the girls a run for their money.

One day I will introduce you to my Helene. She is French. She is petite. She is beautiful. She calls me her "Stupide Anglais". But at least the French hate us less then the Germans. Despite the differences between us boys and girls we have found a common ground. We have had to.

Rock on Dudes

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Wading through the crap

So I pushed the wrong button and up pops this site that tells me my blog is worth $5296.92. Apparently without even asking me there's someone out there willing to trade my blog for $5296.92. When were they going to tell me? Just the outgoing links alone are worth $1349.23.
So what if they sold shares in my blog and someone gets a controlling interest. Would they demand I write in a different style? Would they demand I stopped posting wussy photos of wild flowers and start posting candid shots of the next door neighbours daughter obtained with a long lens? I could go on strike and stop writing. That would fuck em all up. But the main point is who gave them permission to offer MY blog up for sale. It wasn't me.....

So I was playing with the next blog button at the top of this page and finding all sorts of crap; angst ridden girls from Singapore, sad blokes who can't get a girl friend, mumsy mums bringing up their two or three children in a loving christian home (per-lease), someone on a gap year posting photos from Guatemala, resource pages for...... (don't make me list them), A New York Yankees fan who meticulously analyses every pitch and every bat of each game (yawn), I've lost count of the "CraZy gurls" and "InSaNe" blokes, I want to slit my own wrists with their lack of originality. But then I stumbled upon Rachel Fuller, she's a singer/ songwriter, she writes half decently, she's cute, she posts pictures and as I'm looking at the pictures I stop and I recognise the face. No. It can't be. Surely not. It looks like him. She calls him Peter. I read some more to get clues. I'm sure it's him. Then it's confirmed. It's Pete Townsend himself. He's Rachels boyfriend. Oh yeah and Pete himself also has a blog but I've lost the link. Doh!

Meanwhile yesterday was Dels birthday. He phones me up ten minutes after I'd eaten to ask me to go out to dinner with them. Doh!
So Del has this new weight loss plan. He watches sport on TV. Apparently you use up more energy watching sport on TV than you do watching soaps.
If you've a mind, wish Delbert the magnificent a Happy Birthday.
Bless his cotton socks.

Rock on Dudes

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Sunday, September 04, 2005


Today I went here. This is the bridge over the River Nene that leads to Ferry Meadows country park, Peterborough. I wasn't there long before I found......

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...wow! Wild hops. I chewed one. Yep tastes like hops too. There was enough here to makes a huge vat of beer.......

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...here's a close up.

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...so I went to Southey Woods not really expecting to see anything new. I was going for the walk. But just in case I took my camera. Now I've got to tell you I'm no expert in mushrooms toadstools and fungi in general. So I present these for interest only. You never know what you might find when you look.

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... possibly a field mushroom before it opens out.........what do I know...

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...I know this one... it's a puffball...

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...don't even ask...........bright yellow underneath.........

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...this slimey lot were all growing on a rotten dead log.......

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.....then you've got the ........ it's a mushroom.............for chrissakes...

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Stagshorn. I bet you've not seen mushrooms or toadstools quite like this one.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

The End Of Summer


I've been on my travels again searching out plant life. Unfortunately summer is almost over so I've turned my attention to the trees which are getting interesting with their seeds. This one you'll recognise as Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). The seeds, or keys, were thought to have the power to ward off the devil. If only it were so easy. So things are dieing down out there..........

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...but there's still some colour to be found. This is Lords and Ladies or Cuckoo pint.

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English Oak - Quercus robur. You think you're all made up don't you? Find one of these and you know exactly what it is. But is it English Oak? or sessile Oak? OK here's the difference. The English Oak has leaves attached directly to the twig and the Acorns are on stalks. The sessile Oak on the other hand is the opposite stalked leaves and Acorns growing directly off the twig. So now you know. Dontcha just feel great about that.....well you would do except......

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....nature plays a fast one and springs a new one on you. This is another Oak but it's got a spikey acorn case and deep green shiny leaves. Actually if you must know there's over 500 different species of Oak in the world.Let's keep it simple shall we?

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If you look hard enough you'll find this. Autumn Gentian. This is the purple and more common variety. So while everything else is dieing here's one that's just starting. Amazing.

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