Significant Songs (4)

I am reblogging this 2014 post because other than Jude and Sarah, hardly anyone has ever seen it. I still love this record!


Woman Trouble

In the year 2000, I was 48 years old. I had just moved to Camden, and was living alone, for the first time in ages. I had a new car, and like many tracks featured in this series, I heard a record on the radio in that car, that I had had not heard before. I couldn’t keep still in my seat, and found myself jiggling around, oblivious to strange stares from other drivers, in the heavy traffic leading out to Brent Cross. I didn’t really catch the name of the song, as I was too busy humming along to it, and car-dancing like a fool, to listen to the announcement at the end. I wanted to listen to it again, straight away, and felt empty when it had ended.

I had to endure the embarrassment of going into a record shop in Central London the next day…

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Our ‘Disco’ Toilet

The main light in our bathroom also operates a very noisy extractor fan. That runs for over ten minutes once activated, and can be very intrusive at night. So we had a motion-acitvated night light that provided sufficient illumination to use the toilet in the dark, but it was very easily activated just by walking past, and used the batteries up very quickly.

Then Julie spotted one of these for sale.
(They are very inexpensive)

Just put in two small batteries, and it is ready to go. It doesn’t get touched by any water during a flush, so is completely safe.

So we now have a ‘Dico light’ effect inside our toilet, albeit a very sedate disco.
(It looks a lot more colourful in real life)

A Life In Music: Roland Kemp

One of my greatest and oldest friends is Roland Kemp. Photographer, video artist, and musician, he has spent most of his life in one band or another. The first time I met him when I was just 17, it was when a friend took me to see his band play in a small hall in Eltham, South London.

Over fifty-one years ago.

His latest project is this song, called ‘The New Blues’. This is right up my street musically, and comes with an excellent video showcasing the female vocalist, Molly Alro, and many images relevant to the lyrics. If you enjoyed it, please give the video a ‘Like’ on You Tube.

Lyrically Evocative (30)

In 2004, I heard a song by the British band, Keane. It was called ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. I liked it a lot, but not enough to buy the album it came from as some of the other tracks did not appeal. Many years later, the song was covered by Lily Allen, to be used as the soundtrack for the John Lewis Christmas TV advert, in 2013.

Her plaintive vocals touched my heart, and for me they lifted the song to a new level.

Earlier this morning, I commented about her version on another blog post, and listening to the song once again, it made me remember just how relevant the lyrics are to me.

Here are those lyrics.

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute, why don’t we go?
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute, why don’t we go?
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
So, why don’t we go?
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Rice Oxley Timothy James / Hughes Richard David / Chaplin Thomas Oliver
Somewhere Only We Know lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Mgb Ltd.

And here is Lily’s version, with the animated TV ad.

A Song In Your Head

You know what it’s like when you get a tune or song in your head? It is usually random, and not because you have just heard it. Sometimes, it is one you really don’t like, or something as obscure as an advertising jingle from your childhood. It can hang around for days, sometimes weeks, and the moment you stop concentrating on what you are doing, there it is, overwhelming your brain.

Last night, I was preparing some vegetables in the kitchen, and this popped into my head.


It’s not that the song is terrible. The film is fun too, and was a big favourite of my mum’s. But it won’t go away now. I lay in bed trying to sleep, and there was Phil Harris singing about Paw Paws and Prickly Pears. This morning, I woke up to the chorus playing in my head, my right foot tapping uncontrollably as I waited for the kettle to boil.

“The bare necessities of life will come to you
They’ll come to you”

Somebody make it stop!

An Alphabet Of things I Like: X


When I was very young, I was given a toy xylophone, identical to the one in the picture above. I would spend many happy hours bashing it with the small round ‘hammers’, which I am sure must have caused some consternation to my parents. Sadly, other toys interested me more later, and I never learned to play anything resembling a real tune on it.

Once I was older, I became interested in Jazz music and listened to some records where some of the solos were played on an instrument called ‘Vibes’ When I eventually saw a photo of someone playing them, I realised that it was little more than a huge xylophone, with the addition of tubes to amplify the sound. It was known as a ‘Vibraphone’.

The leading exponent of this instrument was the American Jazz-man Lionel Hampton.

Here is Lionel, playing his huge hit ‘Flying Home’.
I still like the sound.


Long-term followers of my blog will know that I am part of the testing group for products supplied by Amazon UK. Members are known as ‘Vine Voices’, and are allowed to choose from a variety of free stuff which they get to keep, in exchange for a fair review.

Over the years, I have had my share of books and DVD films. Also electrical items like kettles, power tools, vacuum claners, lawn mowers, and various kitchen implements. Useful things like backpacks and holdalls, as well as numerous toys that have benefited my grandson when he visits. Ollie has received various different varieties of dog food, and some dog-related accessories too, like chew toys.

Some items are quite large and expensive, like a multi-function child car seat, and a modern buggy-style pram that converts into a carry-cot. Then there were hair driers and straighteners for Julie, and a plethora of make-up and cosmetic items. The only proviso is that you must review them within a certain time period, and that they cannot be sold or given away as gifts. After six months, they are mine to keep, and should they become faulty or defective this is dealt with by updating the review, as they are not eligible for return.

I have a profile as a member, and that includes a list of preferences. One item on my list is ‘photography’, but so far I had never been offered any photographic equipment.
Until recently.

I was delighted to see the new Sony ZV-1 appear on my offers, and requested it immediately. This small camera is dedicated to the ‘Vlogging’ market (video blogging) but also takes stills. I was even more pleased when it arrived complete with the expensive accessory handle/grip/tripod too.

Then imagine my delight when following my review of that camera, another was offered. A full-frame, mirrorless digital SLR, a new model launched by Nikon. The Z5 is an enthusiast’s camera offering a great deal of options in a small package. Mine came complete with the standard zoom lens, which is rather limited at 24-50 MM and only f/4.
But still, it was completely free!

I charged it up today, and ordered a memory card. Hopefully soon, I will be shooting full-frame 24 megapixel stills from a camera with a great pedigree. Sadly, if I put them on the blog, I will have to reduce them down in size to save space.

I get nothing from Amazon, Nikon, or Sony for mentioning this on a blog post, just so you know.

This will only be of interest to camera enthusiasts and photographers out there, I appreciate that.

A Short History Of British Coinage

Here is something for you to watch and digest while I am away. My friend Antony sent me this 10-minute You Tube film that gives an easy to understand history of British currency since the time of Queen Victoria, to the modern day. It covers the change to decimal currency in 1971, and explains very clearly why all our coins are the size, shape, and colour they are.

If you are writing historical fiction, you may well find this to be a valuable resource.

And it also explains why I still use terms like ‘A quid’, ‘Ten bob’, and ‘Three half-crowns’.

And if you ever intend to visit Britain as a tourist, it will help you understand the coins in your pocket.

Royal News Blackout

*** UPDATE***

Please see Fraggle’s comment below. This clip is supposedly from 2018, according to the people who posted it, and not from yesterday

I am reblogging this from my other site, as I feel it is very important.


Unless you have seen it featured on Twitter, you will be unaware of a loud protest by a fair-sized crowd outside Buckingham Palace in London today.

This is a protest against Prince Andrew’s involvement in the trafficking of underage girls for sex, part of the Epstein scandal in America. The Prince has also declined to appear in court in America, where he might face charges of sex with underage girls at the Epstein mansion.

Not that Andrew is in the palace. The Queen isn’t there either, and has decided ‘not to return for some time’. I doubt anyone is in there, except the poorly-paid staff, and royal lackeys who keep the whole thing going at the taxpayer’s expense.

That in itself is disturbing enough, the fact that Royal privilege means he is exempt from being extradited to America to give evidence. He cannot be arrested by US Federal agents in…

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