on the inside

Hannu bought herself an iPod for Christmas... lovely hey? But that is not the point. I am just sitting in my own little musical world, rediscovering the joys of the headphone experience. (Ah those many years of hours on the school bus with my Walkman and Rage Against The Machine, Silmarils and Soundgarden).

Badger really likes the black iPod - like me, he is not a purist and anyone who says that iPods should all be white just deserves a black eye. He does however think that some more badger friendly headphones would be welcome... must speak to Trevor then.

Like really loud music without it having to be really loud. Like being in a room with some musicians.

Kent - Elite

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summer I love you

I keep wondering what should really be on this blog, thinking that it should all be up to date and All New. But then there are all those times that I haven't written about at all even though they were great and worth seeing again.

Like back in the summer, in France, where I used to live. Hannu and I took our best friend-cousin down to the Lot with us and we took pictures and drank wine and ate duck. It was marvellous. One evening, a good friend invited us along to see a torch and candle-lit tour of the gothic cloisters of St Etienne cathedral in Cahors that she was giving. Because of Sue we got in early and had the place virtually to ourselves to take pictures.

But other than seeing the cloisters in a totally new perspective, what I enjoyed so much - in a no-guard-rail, use-your-own-commonsense, health-and-safety-is-somebody-else's-problem kind of way- was that flaming torches were just handed out to random tourists. Old and young alike, anyone was welcome to brandish an 18" torch in the middle of a small group of holiday makers. And did anyone bat an eyelid at being handed such social responsibility? Well most there were French and most looked like they had already handled burning torches on previous cultural visits. It was relaxed. Relaxed like the Lot valley.

weezer - perfect situation

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it is all over for another year. I'll just have to wait for spring again now, for things to start happening. For the weather to make me want to get out and actually do outside things. For longer days so that I see the outside of our house other than at the weekend. Oooh, optimism and good weather and all sorts.

I took this picture a few weeks ago when it really was autumn. I was walking back from Puplet's, having enjoyed steak and fine red wine and I really wanted to capture the colours and the movement of a draughty autumnal evening. The picture looks OK if you don't look too close... I was just holding the camera against the tree trunk, so camera shake was inevitable. But it was just too late and too cold to go back out again with a tripod. And Tobias wanted to play games on the stairs and then go to bed.

So now I will have to wait until next year to try again. But spring will be here before too long and with it a wider choice of colours.

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I concentrate very hard I can almost get there. It is not November but August and though it is now dark outside, that is because the sun has set over the St Gery cliffs and summer heat has given way to evening warmth.

If we try to eat outside this evening in Hull we will probably die of exposure, something to actually keep the cold out is probably much more appropriate. Tonight I am going to The Lamp with some friends to watch some short films (Monday night, undemanding... they have Leffe on tap). Winter has definitely arrived. It is feels bitterly cold here after a mild season so far.

This 1993 Chateau Montaiguillon was rather nice on Saturday evening - another welcome treat from our inherited wine collection. It is the sort of thing that brings cheer on dark autumn evenings when combined with a hearty dinner. Right, soon time to go home... what to cook tonight?

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return of Badger

So what has Badger been up to since his previous near miss with a heavy goods vehicle? Well here he is with his pair of X A50s. Apparently they keep him warm when they get turned up and he is thinking of establishing his badger set just behind them.

Puplet will of course understand where this badger came from. But for everybody else I shall just add that one of this fellow's distant family members wasn't so lucky one night in August... and should really have looked both ways more carefully before crossing the road.

And he wasn't even carrying his donor card.

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what's in a name?

So, altitude zero, what is that all about? Well, when this collection started sometime in summer 2004 it was already my record of the year. That is no mean feat for someone as indecisive as me, but Agora Fidelio touched me in a rare way. How to do justice to the one album that I would pick out of a whole 12 month period? Those that know me at all will know that – given the volume (ooh, double entendre) of music involved – it is something indeed for me to say that. But it doesn’t mean that I can tell you what it was to hear that record
on the way to hear Phi-One play with Manimal
by a log stove in a wintery St Gery
chilling with Vanessa on Finkle Street
relaxing with old friends in French summer sun
… essentially as a record for many different moments.

It is an outstanding album, that goes through the full rollercoaster of emotions that 2004 was for me. It is like Toulouse’s mogwaiesque take on proper guitar music and that means a lot to me. Ah, the Frenchness, yet the perfectly produced post-rockness of it, not to mention the pure Frenchness of it all. Simply wonderous.

I am not sure if it is available in the UK, I don’t think so unfortunately. But next time you are in Virgin on the Champs d’Elysées or maybe the FNAC down in Toulouse you really must get a copy. I have heard that they are excellent live (one day, one day...). Get on over there will you then.

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praise, thanks

A good friend of mine, as well as being a good friend, is an excellent photographer of things that I also like. His work has already appeared here and here (although the latter is his take on my classic-Motoconfort-outside-a-restaurant picture) and I would like to say a sincere thank you to him for retrospectively (now that the personal experiment is going public) letting me use those pictures.

It is over a year now since I first stumbled (not literally) on Blogger, having found it in the course of my work in online marketing. I am now in a different place - new job, happier, less stressed, more time and energy for this - and this stuff here is some of the things that I have been thinking about since then.

like sunsets over St Gery Cliffs,

or just nice things that happen at the weekend...

So I hope that Puplet might be a new friend of this blog. And that all those passing through here might drop by his collection of small kittens and interesting lomo conversions. Cheers to you Puplet and thanks for the excellent gin and tonic last night.

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two rooms

...well just about done another room. It has been a long weekend of being in the smallest bedroom. Mainly up a ladder.

OK, so it is not very rockandroll. But then again neither is a 1930s terrace house.
Today smells like winter. Hull is getting colder - probably about time now we are into November. Right, I am just going to publish this now.

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old stuff

Words are just symptoms of ideas, side-effects of thoughts, an inept expression of images, morning after memories of dreams that you don’t want to wake up from, but out of which day light drags you, mumbling and stuttering into the real world, incapable of saying why it was so good, so attractive so... . In the end you can but give a pale sketch, a shadow of the true beauty stretched to shapeless oblivion by a setting sun, a silhouette lost to obscurity. Perhaps I gave up through frustration (or gave up being frustrated), perhaps I ran out of things to say, perhaps as age goes on everything becomes more and more mysterious, less and less definable. Perhaps it is best that I don’t really understand… .

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meanwhile, under the stairs...

about me

Weeks and months turn into years and who knows what surprises a new day will bring? As shelves fill with more songs, dust collects, memories accumulate and we pass through the lives of others, sometimes pausing, sometimes pulling up a chair, sometimes moving on. Thinking that tomorrow is going to be like yesterday. What do we know? I just like words and pictures, so why make excuses for collecting those either? But some things will never change, the sad songs will always be the best ones.


old old old

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