Tag Archives: Dreams

Ghosts

Nothing can twist your heart and mess with your mind more, nothing can slice through your soul with more ease like a hot knife through butter.  Chills tingle down the spine, goose bumps pop with a shivering touch, a face from whenever and more.

Does your memory scare you, does it pick those perfect moments to whisper a name or  flash a thought that sinks your heart?  Do you find a revery in solitude but sob at the loss of something you can’t quite touch?

As you sift through your life, events build, time gathers more than dust.  The bitter with the sweet, the warmth with the chill, the ecstacy with the depths of despair.  Your time here is mixed and melted and ground and salted with tears.

You are alone in a vast seething crowd, you are a speck on the beach, a single mind in a sea of thought.  But even when calm, even when the softness of love holds you close, then is the time.  Beware the ghosts.

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Lost?

Hidden deep amidst the lull
Still shines her golden heart
Even though through time it dulls
Together or far apart.

I want to see those eyes glow again
And see that joyous smile
Until I do I’ll settle back
And wait and wish awhile.

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Post Christmas Blues

It’s only Boxing day and already we have that coming down feeling. What is it about a single day in the year that gets so much build up and then… down we go? Anyway on the food side I have managed to be fairly controlled though I am sure my belt feels a little tighter! I got exactly what I asked for from Santa – but I’m not hard to buy for: books and CD’s, the simple tastes.

My wife used to complain every year that I always asked for the same things but I think she’s finally got used to the fact and it does make buying for me very easy. I still find it very hard to buy for her and thinking of new and imaginative things is hard. And on a small budget it is even more difficult. I did manage to get her a few things and she seemed happy with them.

What is the best present you have had? Was it imaginative or expensive? Quirky? A complete surprise or something you knew you’d be getting? I bought a dolphin for my wife one year – we didn’t have to accommodate it thank goodness (we didn’t and still don’t have a swimming pool) – it was one of those adoptive schemes where you get a pic and a letter from the beast. Yes I know dolphins are very intelligent but lack the digits for a pen or keyboard but I think you know what I mean. But for my wife it just wasn’t the same as actually having ‘Flipper’ there in the back yard chattering away and we couldn’t afford to go visit the lovely creature in its own natural environment.

Anyway I have a pile of books to read and a tonne of cd’s to listen to (another 4 Neil Young ones from the trillion he’s released in the 100 years he’s been around – I have a few more to collect).

Enjoy the rest of the holidays where ever you may be.

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The Amazing World of the Truffle

A quick one today and all about the delights of a truffle – the chocolate kind! My wife today decided to treat me to some home-made ones and they are very very nice and a touch alcoholic!

I have had these before, a friend of my wife’s made them and they were scrummy and I have had the ones you get in packets but the home-made ones are very different and actually do melt in your mouth. They are almost irresistible (I have to actually sit on my hands to stop myself going to the fridge to get them – they have to be kept there to keep fresh as they have cream as well as the dark chocolate in them)!

I am just at the end of a diet, my millionth attempt to stay below 12 stones (yes I know I shouldn’t be yo-yo dieting and it does get quite dizzy going up and down all the time). So I need to take a more disciplined stance to staying at this weight and not overindulge! Now this may be quite tricky given the time of year but I’ll give it my best shot. I will eat but one truffle a day and maybe two on Christmas day… maybe…

I may have said this before but why is life so cruel as to make food so addictive and so delicious? If you give up smoking then you don’t die, or if you give up alcohol you don’t die, if you give up food, well… you can never go cold turkey! Not that I eat turkey being a vegetarian (and when I wasn’t I did like a bit of cold turkey with some stuffing in a nice wholemeal sandwich… with pickle…).

Ah food! There I go again! You can’t go in any direction of discussion without it coming up! And it’s everywhere in every shape and form; on the television, on billboards, in the cupboard in the fridge… Right that reminds me I have an urge to eat another truffle!

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Butterfly Memories – A Short Poem

For a time it settles

A beautiful fully formed thing

A mystery a gift

For a moment it fills the air

With Gentle but vibrant colour

A life, natures kiss

Then it is gone

And all around seems bare empty

But remember the joy

Of a simple thing a miracle

Blow away

The melancholy mist

Let it always live

In a special corner

Where corn fields grow

A treasured thing to keep

And never more to miss

Butterflies

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It’s Only Rock’n’roll…

Some of you may be aware but I do a bit of singing and strumming of the old guitar.  I’m not brilliant but I think I have something, enough to make me pick the thing up every couple of years and spend some time practicing with the general aim of getting out there and playing some tunes live, a gig or two maybe to feel the adrenaline pumping…  Most of the time other things get in the way; real life mainly paying the bills, ids, wife, family, work, gardening, decorating, dog walking….

I suppose I do better than many who dream of rock’n’roll stardom but end up selling all their gear, sadly never to touch an e-string again.  I’ve never given up just lowered my ambitions; I keep up a small sliver of hope (it’s hung in the loft next to my amps, bass and spare guitar) and try to maintain my MySpace, YouTube and other sites (though most of them are geared towards my writing mainly these days which looks likely to be as successful a personal endeavour as my musical one…).  I did once have a lady comedian who’d actually appeared on TV (in an episode of Jonathan Creek none-the-less) pick one of my songs on MySpace for her song of the week!  Ah stardom!  You do hear of people being discovered, long-lost treasures hidden away but given the vast size of web these days as it groans under the weight of budding ‘stars’ I think I may have to wait a very long time to be discovered!

I decided the other day it was about time that I dipped back into my rock’n’roll days and get back in touch with Andy my sparring partner in my first band days round 1987 along with Will our guitarist.  We started off without a real drummer but did have a wonderful little drum machine!

We were the Candidates for a short while and I managed to blag us some good gigs at the local Bradford Queens Hall – I felt quite brave marching in to the guy’s office – I forget his name but he later left the role under a very big black cloud.  I still remember his thinning blond hair, white Miami Vice suit and thick glasses which magnified his eyes to an alarming size.  Anyway he gave us a gig and it could have been quite a good one to tell our children about!  We were down to support The Levellers who went on to score a few hits and quite a big following.  Instead they pulled out (couldn’t take the competition I think) and instead we supported Jester Turtle (a South African band of who I can now find no record of existing apart from in the dusty corners of my mind – I remember tight zebra trousers and permed mullets and a vaguely Africa meets Abba feel to their music).

Andy was in the last band I played live with (apart from a quickly rehearsed works bands I fronted for a 40th party bash for a fellow colleague when we played Love is All Around).  The Lost Patrol died in 1991 live on stage, thanks to the efforts of our drummer a thin mustachioed chap who decided he needed a pint or ten to play spot on.  He was quite wrong of course, it did hinder his timing a touch and as he got faster and faster me and Andy tried and failed to keep up.  We’d managed to fill the place, again the Bradford Queens Hall cellar bar, with 500 paying customers.  This was partly down to an excellent write-up (by yours truly) hailing us as Bradford’s next big thing and to our support band’s larger group of supporters!  We went on last of course and managed to clear the place in half an hour (it should have been at least an hour) which saved us having to sign any autographs afterwards and meant we could split the profits (a fiver each after costs – PA, security, rider etc – no we didn’t pay the drummer, in fact we never saw him again) and get home in time for a mug of cocoa and the 9 o’clock news!

I do have a record of my solo spot the night before – I’d not been able to get my band colleagues to agree to do a full gig so I did it alone (there was no money involved just a pint – I basically turned up, plugged in and played!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nYJkees9hs&feature=player_detailpage

The massive nerve induced headache subsided after about a week and I’ve only ever done solo spots since (apart from the one off gig mentioned above).  And of course another local band stole our thunder and became the best band from Bradford or thereabouts – to be fair Terrorvision were a little more together than us and their drummer could keep time.

Back to Andy.  He introduced me to a whole range of musical styles, a universe of artists I’d either only briefly heard of or not at all.  He was heavily into eclectic music collecting  and his tastes ranged from Stevie Nicks to Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  He was John Lennon to my Paul McCartney – I was the soft poppy guy he was the razors edge.  I loved the way he played bass.

I’m now back in touch with him and I can’t believe it’s 26 years since we practiced in his basement.  At least we tried and even though we didn’t make it we still have those memories of trying.

Anyway time to do some practice – and boy do I need it…

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Living in the Future?

I have a dilemma.  I’m soaked in a society where the old mixes with  the new in a way seemingly unimagined by Sci Fi filmmaker of the past or indeed the general public.

It must be very hard to produce a film based in a future of say about 40 to 60 years from the present.  Just look at Bladerunner – an excellent gritty looking adventure set in Los Angeles in 2019, 6 years from now!  The film was made in 1982 (the year I left school so quite a long time ago) but I’m sure the venerable city doesn’t look too much different to how it did 30 years ago (though I’m sure if any of you are more familiar with the place you’ll tell me if I’m wrong?).

Even books can get it wrong (I’m thinking 1984 here though of course there is no Sci Fi wizardry in this classic book and looking at it from the 1940’s quite possible to imagine such a dystopian future).  None the less anything set in a future within our lifetimes does seem to replace everything rather than embellish it with the potential new.

I have noticed a tendency nowadays to set things in the ‘near’ future which can be a little bit of a copout.  It means they can use current land and city scapes, dress the characters up pretty much as they are now and even use the same vehicles.

I think the job is made harder by some of the things that set time periods apart in the past being less important now.   Hair styles for instance.  There is a clear distinction between the hair styles of 1964 and 1974 and again from 1974 to 1984 but I would argue that in general our general everyday hair styles are now pretty much the same as they were back in 1984 (and I’m not counting the trendy styles seen in film and on TV).  Ok there were a few differences but not as many.  The same with clothes: again look at the mid-60’s to the mid-70’s and then jump to the 90’s.  Yes it’s still possible to look at a TV programme or film from the early 90’s and see the style differences but they are less subtle.  I have worn jeans, t-shirts and trainers for a long time (not the same ones obviously and I do wash them occasionally ) but in general, the same style.  Watch something from ten years ago and you’ll not see much difference stylistically.

At this point I just have to talk about ties.  Just what are they all about?  Men have been wearing basically the same bit of cloth around their necks for a hundred or more years – but why?  What use do they have?  In the sixties the futuristic programmes showed a distinct lack of ties in the future, a future we are now in (think Space 1999 etc.) yet we still wear the things.  Of course they do have some uses: they are excellent devices for soaking up coffee or soup (and as long as they don’t dry out too fast you can refresh yourself later) but otherwise quite dangerous (always make sure you don’t dangle it in a shredder at least if you’re wearing a white shirt – red ones are much better in these situations).

The biggest difference that sets the decades apart is in the technology.  Mobiles/cell phones are getting bigger (which seem a bit of an anomaly really given how we laugh at the bricks from the ’90’s) and TV’s are now flat, thin large screened and can show programmes in HD and 3D (though for some reason you can still see Bruce Forsyth..).

There’s probably a lot more examples (and please feel free to mention them here) but the point is that where in the past the changes were big (black and white TV to Colour, short hair to long etc.) now they are small and subtle.

And so our future will look pretty much the same with similar if not the same buildings, populated by similarly dressed people but if you look closely…

File:S99Cast.jpg

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