Time to write again? I am sure it should come more easily than this. Or maybe it is just that I am too busy to sit back and reflect? Anyhow, it has been a good week or so and, ooh look, we are already well into another one.

At the weekend I decided that going to the seaside not-in-the-summer (I didn't want to call it winter yet - it is not that bad) is a lovely thing to do. We strolled on the firm damp sand and had a pot of tea with fish and chips and the grey sky was quite fitting for the run down air that Bridlington sadly has these days.

The buildings along the sea front are worn out and shabby - paint work peeling, windows empty, colours washed out - so running Bridlington through the CS2 lomo action from CODA throws away any pretence of subtlety or reality even and instead offers an alternative - saturated, colourful, kind of like fast food. I like the perverse idea of taking pictures with a relatively expensive camera, then using equally pricey software to make the pictures look like they are from a cheap Chinese Holga. And this is the sort of thing that you end up with when you turn it up to 11:

I guess it makes me think a little further about photography as an expression of my individual vision of the world - a conversation I was having the other evening. A few days ago I posted a similar but totally different picture to the one above on my other blog. That black and white version is pretty much what I felt like saying that day. It was a beautiful autumnal Saturday afternoon, with dry, crisp light. I saw contrast and shapes and shadows and took a handful of pictures of Skidby mill that I thought captured that, kind of.

And then this morning I was looking for pictures and an excuse to write and my interpretation of that day seemingly changes. We now have super saturated blue skies in winter, dream like clouds all glowy and without depth and blown out detail that - this morning - just doesn't matter. Maybe nothing to do with what really happened, nothing to do with how I feel about it now either... but just because it is possible to see the same thing in many different ways.

OK, I just like taking pictures.

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I do like words. Putting them together to make sense of ideas that are sometimes just vague shapes of thoughts in my head. And I kind of know who reads this - and even when they are reading it - thanks to the ooh so creepy voyeuristicity that is the tracking code written into the html of the page template (hey, you read about my life, I know where and sometimes who you are, what computer you are sitting at, which web site you came from...). There are passers by out there, coming in from all over the world, Canada, India, France all the time. There are occasional visitors, some of whom I know and some who are total strangers please say hi if you pause to read me catching a glimpse of this description of the aspects of my life that I choose to portray - and who knows how real that is? Then there are the regulars, those that I know - mostly by real name and face too, which is a nice thing. So when I want to say something in particular to one of them either I can call them on the phone or suggest it here for all to see.

But sometimes I find myself making a decision; whether or not to write about things that are private. Not necessarily things that I don't want others to know about, but perhaps just that I don't want to express inadequately. I am an open person and I don't really have secrets, though there are times when no words seem good enough.

But there is a place in my life right now. A lovely place that I like to go and for which I might just have found a description. It is the very apex of beauty, I can almost feel it within my grasp as I write, and it is very nice indeed. I can't wait to be there soon, so until then, goodnight. Goodnight.

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a tuesday in history

What a blissful way to start the day...

It made a wonderful, misty October morning even more magical. And then I hear on Radio 4 that it was 'One Day In History' day and that the whole country is invited to blog about their day and how it relates to history. History, as in a narrative of events that have happened, I suppose is essentially about how you tell it. And my Tuesday? Well it was an exceptional day, supernormal, a day to be narrated about in the future even. Even by breakfast time there were funny anecdotes to store away for sharing maybe, one day, a fuzzy warm feeling more special even than that inspired by Bod's overdriven bass sound, and soon after, a short drive through rush hour where sitting in traffic was calming, serene, and I hope set the opening lines of a new chapter.

The nice thing about days like that is when it continues and starts to turn into a week - and I am having a fine week. Funny how things turn round. Oh, and do listen to Mogwai's EP +6 because there are moments of sheer brilliance. And I used to wish I was a Superhero of BMX, but now there is no need.

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Life is good. At the end of last week I had a few days in a city that is totally new to me with the fellow who introduced me to GusGus by getting me lie with my head at same level as the bass speakers of the floorstanders he had crammed into his small student room and playing Polyesterday at the appropriate volume (amongst other things). Bristol meant lots of music, conversation, a few photos and a little spot of red wine. Thanks H, it was a great couple of days and I will be back to see the new house. Question is, will Bob get to go too?

But there is real life to return to, and as the 230 miles back up the road north passed motorway trance I had chance to think, and actually get rather excited about what the future seems to be bringing. After three days of fun, the return was no anticlimax.

Sometimes I am lost for words, not really sure what to write, because it is difficult to build a sentence or two that summarises just how I feel. But I also know that it is quite alright to reflect and just know that everything is going to be OK. Monday today, and that is a good thing.

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Well it is a long old hike from the Lamp to My House, but this evening every step was like strolling through, er, hay or something. And it is time to draw things to a conclusion in some ways, so here is an end to the Clerks plagiarised post titles of course there is a reason for everything. Yes I stole them all...

Was it because after a damp, misty, sad kind of a day, the glowy warmth of the Lamp was just what I needed to pick me up? Was it because the company was exceptionally good this evening? Was it because Fonda 500 were on rare ontheedge form, living the rock dream to each feedbacking fuzz bass climax? Well probably all those things...

So thanks guys, we tapped our feet, it was nice to hear you all properly, we had a rather lovely time. Wednesday rocked in just the way that I hoped it would. Shame the pictures aren't quite up to scratch, but you can't get everything right...

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
(double-barrel buckshy)

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What a nice couple of days it has been for meeting up with new friends and hearing unexpectedly from old ones. One thought long lost in East Anglia, another freshly returned from the southern hemisphere... Sometimes that makes you think about choices that you make along the way. Life could so easily be different, other stories would be told, other memories shared with those we know or are about to meet.

The group round the table, my Vans high tops, a bag with a large camera, a bike ride home, a music collection built over the years that tells a thousand stories, young Tobias cat waiting by the back door. They are all things that make me who I am. Acquaintances, gifts, accumulated stuff, choices, accidents, the things that make a person, that help mould their future, that define a lifetime. And I am happy enough with how it has turned out.

Not only is it going to be an exciting restofweek, with a trip south to visit this chap, listen to hip hop, go to drum and bass gig, talk about Macs, take pictures but it will be equally exciting to come back and see one of aforementioned long lost friends.

And the other things that I did over the weekend? Sunday evening was special because there was interesting music and sitting round that table at the Lamp. The series of Seeds & Bridges gigs that are happening through the autumn are turning out to be rather wonderful. We have seen insane theremin playing roller skater Pamelia Kirstin, Fonda 500 sitting down and last night The Rocky Nest even more unplugged and shambolically folksily popsically charming than ever and McWatt combining upright bass and accordion not unlike Mogwai combine warm beauty and utter noise in making you want to cry into a pint, or a cup of tea, or a shoulder. But for once just this once mind I was not so sure that the sad songs were the best songs.

Let's see if Puplet posts any pictures, as I didn't just this once mind have my camera. Any shots small dog?

Wonder what tomorrow will bring? Or Wednesday for that matter...

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Amongst other things this weekend I found out a little more about this beer.

It turns out that the reason it is traditionally served in a distinctive tall glass (one with a rounded bottom that will not stand up un-supported), is that it was sometimes served outside to coachmen who struggled with a behandled mug when wearing thick coachman gloves. Good old Pauwel Kwak realised that having mugs of beer sliding about and coachmen who couldn't get hold of the handle anyway was just not good enough and not content to being a brewer of fine beer, he also designed tall, slim glasses that hung on a hook on the side of the coach. What a guy.

So drinking and driving is clearly not a recent invention. Oh, and Kwak is really rather wonderful by the way, as is the equally lethal Tripel Karmeleit from the same brewer.

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OK, I finally sent some pictures off to Imogen Heap's Moblog. I was in two minds (who would want to upset purist mobloggers?) as my pictures are not strictly speaking mobile phone pictures. But I don't think that was a reason to not share... For anybody that comes from there, thanks for passing by! Here is a last picture from that night.

It was good to hear from Immi's webmaster (check the comment on the M62 songs post below), with his view on taking pictures at gigs. Thanks James for taking the time to comment - I do understand that any artist would want control over what pictures are taken. Of course I am simply a dedicated fan, happy to share a few pictures with others.

On a more modest scale, last night went over to the Wellington Inn to catch Emma who it seems had to break out of a house to get there. Luckily she made it on time, was lovely as always, shame it was such a short set. It was also great fun to see Joesolo who put on a lively performance after a very enthusiastic and well deserved welcome.

So in total agreement with him, it is the simple things that make you happy. The Wellington was cool, at least in terms of their choice of beer - not quite like being at L'Ancienne Belgique, but I didn't think I would ever see Kreik on tap or a four page list of bottled beers in such an unassuming looking Hull pub. It turns out I was right in yesterdays post - it turned out to be a great day. There were even some shoe pictures taken later on at the Lamp... but I did once make a promise.

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Today is a sad day. Just another Thursday for me this year, but that wasn't always the case. Times change. And while autumn rain comes down outside, reminding me that leaves will soon be falling, evenings closing in, Tobias and I decide what we are going to do for the rest of the day. Or for the rest of the week, or just 5 minutes.

I voted for drinking tea, enjoying a surprise packet of magic biscuits, listening to the patter on the window in safe cosy dry indoors. That will do for now.

Tobias is content with his towel (because he did get wet earlier) and a new perch atop the laundry basket.
Could be worse then.
In fact, it is going to be a great day.

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"I'm just trying to work out how sober Andy is".

It is an interesting concept to me, that of level of perceived sobriety in relation to perceived ability to drive safely. I grew up - at least for the interesting learning-to-drive-stage of my life - in the most rural backwater that south western France has to offer. Where road traffic is a concept only vaguely embraced and never really fully understood. Where wild boar and falling rocks are as common as other motorists on an October evening drive up the valley. Where the night clubs are miles from anywhere - so as not to disturb civilisation - and where drinking and driving I fear is as likely as picking a bottle of black Cahors wine to accompany a piece of magret de canard at your favourite restaurant.

But yesterday evening I left my car key behind and walked home. I had a marvellous afternoon and evening in the company of friends and there was no way that driving would have been the right way to get back down Cott Road. Oh and then there is this:

Because while the next morning dawned bright and promissing, my mood was somewhat dampened - again? what now? - by this modification to my car's paintwork. Maybe I shouldn't have driven in the first place? Or maybe there are just some people who should not be allowed to roam the streets. Why such bitter resentment in this world?

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M62 songs

Well at just after 1am I was at home, still with the smell of smoke in my nose, the sensation of movement from the car M62 homebound and many happy memories of Imogen Heap in Manchester earlier that evening. What a beautiful gig.

But I nearly got thrown out, because my camera was too big apparently. Not because it flashed distractingly, or because it makes an irritating, artificial shutter releasing sound. No, just because it was of too high quality for a simple member of the public to be wielding.

Was it because security thought that I was taking shots that should be reserved for members of the press? Because holding such a large camera was preventing me from enjoying the performance more than if I was struggling to get a decent picture with my phone? Who knows? But while it was just fine for the dozens snapping away with digicams and phones all around me, I was firmly beckoned from my seat (in the middle of a row, disrupting everyone I had to push past...) by a sternly officious looking security-usher who then asked me to put away the D100. Because the artist had requested that 'professional cameras' not be used in the theatre.

Because Immi only wants grainy, blurry shots on her Moblog?
Because she hates nice kit?
Is taking pictures of a performance rude? OK, maybe we should just sit back and give 100% of our attention to what is going on? But perhaps part of the fun is taking something other than memories away?

I guess it doesn't really matter. Anyway, I didn't get my kit confiscated. And nor did it stop me from enjoying a wonderful set, by an artist whose albums have me totally captivated, and whose intimate live performance was a step up from that, just out of this world. Not least because of her mastery of the piles of kit on her stage, or because she mutters to herself in a most endearing way between songs. How nice to see another great artist who so loves playing for her fans.

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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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