Thursday, March 15, 2007


This one is for Lucy who posted a comment on Goatfood, saying that she'd been here and was overjoyed to discover that she wasn't the only Pink Floyd fan in the world - who was prepared to own up to the fact! Well, rest assured, there's a few of us about!

In my record (yes - vinyl!), tape and CD collection I have most of their output although I'm not that keen on the very early (Syd Barret - sadly RIP) stuff. I have seen them once, at the last ever performance of 'The Wall' at Earls Court.

So to the title of this post.

For a long time in the 60's and 70's I was totally devoted to folk music (see 'Poem' and 'Totty'). I was considered to be a half-decent guitarist/singer and was out playing 4-5 nights a week, mostly for beer and expenses, sometimes for money. Early on I had the chance to go pro but turned down as I had a pregnant wife (who left me 2 years later - but that's another story!) and a proper job etc. It began to dawn on me that it had little future and I was starting to tire of the whole business when I went back to someone's house after a gig. This music was playing in the background which drew me - it was 'Wish You Were Here' and that was that - it really was a revelation. The guitar went under the bed, not to be played for about 5 years and I threw myself into catching up on all the music I had missed.

30 years on I'm back on the scene this time as a guitar tech/roadie for a 'proper' musician and his various bands and as a stage tech with a sound engineer mate. I miss performing but I'm glad I'm out of it - which in a way was due to The Floyd.

So....Come back Lucy, whoever and wherever you are and tell me your story......

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Shot scot

I have just been turned on to this newspaper thanks to Richard and having done the haggis hunt proceeded to the news headlines. Check this out - I mean, how unlucky can you get? That cleaner nearly HAD 'dunroamin' !
'No action taken' - What!! Having a loaded gun in your hotel room is OK then...!
Obviously the police at Bonar Bridge are kept very busy....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


When I started this blogging lark it was all very easy once I'd set up my template - I'd click on the link for 'blog' or 'dashboard' and there I was. Then THEY said 'Go to the new format - beta blogger - it's a lot better and easier ---- Ha Bloody Ha!!!
It's a nightmare - what a pig's ear - each time I go to 'Dashboard' I have to sign in with my blogger stuff, THEN sign into my Google account and each time I tick the 'remember me' box but it never does (remember me). The only good thing about it is that my usernames and passwords are now firmly imprinted into my ageing and very limited memory.
What was wrong with the old blogger - it seems to have worked for many people for a long time.

There is an old adage - IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT

Frustrated of Devon..................

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I woke up this morning with a song running around my head. This is a not uncommon experience for me - working on my own most of the time I tend to get lost in my own thoughts and tunes in particular can get locked in and in some cases, drive me nuts.
Anyroadup this song just came out of the blue. I haven't thought about it, or sung it, in years.

Strange that!

I should explain that I was a very active semi-pro folk singer in the '60s and '70s (I may well write about this in more detail later) and I heard this song while visiting Ewan McColl's 'Singer's Club' round about '65/'66. It was written and sung by a young chap whos name escapes me except he was a 'John' - I apologise to him for this, as where possible, I like to give credit where it is due.
It is unusual in that it is written almost entirely in cockney rhyming slang - which should prove a challenge for my overseas readers, if not some of those at home! are the lyrics(I actually have a recording of me singing it but fortunately for the world I don't know how to post it!)

As she walked along the street, on ‘er little plates of meat
And the summer sun was shinin’ on ‘er golden barnet fair.
Bright as angels in the skies were ‘er two blue mutton pies,
In me east and west old Cupid shot a dart and left it there.

She’d a grecian I suppose and of ‘ampstead ‘eath two rows
In ‘er sunny south they glistened like two glittering strings of pearls.
Down upon me bread and cheese did I fall and murmer ‘Please
Be me storm and strife, Dear Totty, oh you loveliest of girls.’

Then a bow-wow by ‘er side, who ‘till then ‘ad stood and tried
A jenny lee to banish, wot was on ‘is jonah’s whale.
Gave an ‘ydrophobia bark, she said ‘Wot a noah’s ark’
And right through me rank and riches did me cribbage pegs assail.

‘Ere the bulldog I could stop, she ‘ad called a ginger pop
Who said ‘Wot the ‘enery melville do you think you’re doin’ ‘ere?’
And I ‘eard as orf I slunk, ‘Ere that feller’s jumbo’s trunk!’
And the walter joyce was Totty wiv ‘er golden barnet fair.
Everybody got that?......


Sunday, December 10, 2006


No not the Somerset Maugham story/play, just the weather.

It's all getting rather tiresome. I have two active, healthy teenage sons who create vast amounts of washing in no time at all. Being (or at least attempting to be) a moderately 'green' person (you wouldn't believe the time I spend organising my recycling) I chose not to get a washer/drier - instead I rely on a clothesline and an airier over the Rayburn. Also I hate ironing and a good, dry, windy day takes care of most of the creases - but this bloody weather is just awful. For god's sake it's like April - sun, shower, wind, shower and then RAIN. I'm getting quite paranoid about it. When it's fine and dry in the morning I feel quite guilty putting washing on, knowing quite well that it will cloud over and start to rain the moment I leave the house having put the washing on the line.
Yes it's all MY fault - sorry about that. I'm pretty certain that the tornado in London wasn't down to me - I can't be THAT important to Murphy, surely....
To add insult to injury - having been extraordinarily busy of late, I found myself with a 'day off' today - wow, what to do! - I quite fancied going to see a Rory Gallagher tribute band called 'Sinnerboy' who are playing (as I write) in Poole - 120 miles away. I was up for the drive - no problem to me - I'm used to that what with all the gigging I do - but the weather is diabolical and I just can't face a 2 1/2 hour drive in gales of wind and driving rain. So no gig. I feel deflated and pissed off.
It's December, for Christ's sake. At least, when I was young, it had the decency to snow - you knew where you were with that!
It must be global warming, caused by all those washer/driers!!!

There, I feel better now, even if I must be the saddest person in Devon.....


Friday, November 17, 2006

Birthday Boy

Today my boy Jack becomes, an adult. My God, is it really 18 years since he was born!

Just like me, he was determined to show his bum first to the world and so was born by caesarian section. I got stuck in traffic and nearly didn't make it in time - they weren't prepared to hang around. After getting him out, they gave him to me and took my wife away to 'finish off' and I was left with my 10 minute old son, alone in a room. Then an extraordinary thing happened - he opened his eyes and looked around the room as if he was thinking 'So now where am I?' and then he looked straight at my face, eyes focussed as if he was saying 'And who the hell are you?' - and then he went to sleep quite calmly.

It was a very profound experience.

So, tonight I shall take him to the pub and buy him his first legal pint, as a father should!

Monday, November 13, 2006

More Poems

These were written by my youngest son, 2 years ago when he was 14. He's definitely the bright one of the family and was reading stuff like 'The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Lord of the Rings' when he was 7. Quote "I don't really understand this bit here, Dad". "What?" "Where Ford Prefect says that going into hyperspace is a bit like being drunk, and Arthur Dent says that's not too bad and Ford says he ought to ask a glass of water...."
Anyway Here are two of his poems. The first should have been posted yesterday - Armistice Day - but I spent most of the day working and then getting drunk (see previous post - 'Gin')

Lives lost in No-Mans-Land

Over the deafening blasts of gunfire and screams of pain,
The signal comes, we turn and run from the death of the trenches.

Trudging wearily forward, each step torture,
Faces barely visible through layers of mud,
Not speaking, limping, sodden, weary, tormented,
Splattered in mud, hair filthy and matted.

Stiffening, we heard and saw gas, poison, death.

Without a thought, shifting our heavy packs,
On went clumsy masks,
But one man chokes.

Gas thickens; shadowy figures try to escape the deadly air,
Drowning in clouds of reeking death,
Drifting to innocent souls now writhing in choking agony,
Retching and staring in horror.

If never that is seem by man, by far too soon it would be,
The filthy bloody face of the writhing man shows what war is,
Never my friend would you have seen with no disgust, no sorrow,
No hate for the common enemy.

But to imagine is to know the rags, the bare bones of what is told,
The sooner you die, the sooner it’s over,
As known when hearing liquidated lungs splutter out spraying
Glory and relief to die.

Never again say, my friend, “do not cower, be proud, war is glory,

You know nothing.

I Do Believe

I do believe that I can cleave the head off
someone’s neck,
The shoulders gone the blade has shone
He’s dead no need to check.

I do believe that I just sheathed a sword
That once drew blood,
It slashed and stabbed and whirled about
And laid it’s foes in mud.

I do believe that I can breathe while others
I know don’t,
The bony hands that wrung their necks means
Blow and suck they went.

I do believe that I achieved
A never ending war,
In which men of many nations,
Went mad at what they saw.

I do believe that I’m the best
That have been born,
Thus I dig myself a grave
For this is what I’ve sworn.

He treats death with a touch too much relish for my liking - a combination of extreme youth and computer games I reckon.......