Ramblings and adventures


I nearly didn’t bother going up today – I’m knackered from trips to the Dirty old Town. I’m glad that I did though. Emptying the muck midden is my flab-buster, my Christmas cake off-setter. If you could classify rain like regional delicacies, ours would be at its epitome today – ‘a fine Brie.’ ‘a tasty Wensleydale.‘ In our neck of the woods, we have ‘a seeping mist of deeply penetrating drifting drizzle‘.

The English as always, snivel about the weather no matter how it is. I’m not complaining. I like it. The Heathcliffesque drama of the windswept field is the perfect antidote to too much time spent at computers, too much motorway commuting, and too much mental anguish trying to find a parking place (the cunts gave me a parking ticket last week – joyeux Noel fucktards). (I must write a song about it – oh I forgot, I already did.)

I have mushrooms or at least the beginnings of mushrooms. I bought some shit-ache spores (I’m childish, I still look up rude words in the dictionary). They came on 9mm wooden dowels. You have to drill holes in logs then seal them in with wax. I had some oak logs on the wood pile which are perfect. I’ve put them in the shaded spot at the bottom of the little orchard. I’ve also bought some truffle spores. I have loads of hazels dotted around and I’ve picked three sturdy ones to start on. The soil round here is a bit too acidic for truffles, so I’ll have to dig and add lime. There’s a weird triffid-like fungus growing in the little tree nursery.

There’s a branch of organic gardening that ties in with the cycles of the moon – it’s a bit far-fetched for me, but there’s no denying the influence of the moon. It controls the tides and womens’ periods FFS. It’s certainly big in Buddhism. No-one can be certain where Christmas comes from but its true origins have to be linked to the Winter solstice from days when people had no choice but be fully connected to nature.

Full moon

Today is the Winter solstice and it’s a full moon – something which occurs roughly every 19 years. It’s the lowest ebb – the only way is up – most serendipitous. More to the point though, it’s Mad Friday – Where does the word lunatic come from? That’s a triple Mad Friday then. it’ll be a frisky night in the ED.

One of my favourite passages ever comes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest – 

Our revels now are ended.
These our actors, as I foretold you,
Were all spirits and are melted into air,
Into thin air: and, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.

We are such stuff As dreams are made on,
And our little life Is rounded with a sleep.

I can’t imagine that Shakespeare had access to Eastern philosophy, but he has encapsulated the Buddhist concept of impermanence (anicca) perfectly. It points out that NOTHING is permanent. In the same way that a butterfly is born, matures and dies, so it is with planets and universes. I don’t get too het up about the jibberings of the buffoons any more. Most of the terminally destructive actions of the swarms of self-serving greedmongers who have irrevocably fucked the planet are beyond my control.

I try and unsubscribe from the crap and keep it simple. It’s a rewarding challenge to work towards ensuring that not one molecule of the steam off my turds contributes to the actions of the self-righteous puppet twats who are destroying our NHS and society in general – easier said than done. Our planet, alas is dying. We (as a species) have reasonable insights into curing some things but not the living rock that supports us all.

One thing that disappoints me is our sheer short-sightedness. The horrors that have decimated the lives of ordinary families, within so-called civilised countries, within recent living memory (Ireland to name but one), couldn’t possibly happen here. Our fine island life and our bourgeois bubbles give us all the protection that we need.

Rock & Roll

Our Northern soul night worked out well, despite some nerve-racking technical difficulties. The night before, Hannah and I went through all the Northern 7s and we separated them into 2 boxes – the well known biggies in one box, and the stuff we’d never heard of before in the other. On the night, we never actually got beyond the biggies before it was time to finish at 11. I didn’t quite get into the right groove – Sam asked me to play Travis Wammock’s Scratchy and I didn’t. I then got asked for some ska but didn’t have any with me. Normally when I DJ, I just take all the boxes and play whatever the mood dictates. I have to really like a single before it makes it into a box. From now on, I’ll go back to my tried and trusted method. Whatever makes it into the boxes is good, the rest follows. Speaking of which, I got a few crackers at Neil’s today – he gets in a lot of reasonably priced reissues. Julian Covay’s A little bit Hurt and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas I Gotta Let You Go (both Northern), are stand-outs – both straight in the box.

Sage & Hannah at the decks
In The Box

I listened to one of my all time fave records again the other day – The Millionaire Dollar Quartet. It was recorded at Sun studios when Elvis, Jerry Lee & Johnny Cash gate-crashed a Carl Perkins recording session – they had an extended jam session. Their vocal harmonies are heavenly and Carl’s guitar tone is unsurpassed. At one point, Elvis waxes lyrical with massive enthusiasm about Billy Ward and his Dominoes and the way that the lead singer sang Don’t be Cruel. The lead singer of course was Jackie Wilson. Elvis had been back to see him ‘Four nights straight’. He speaks with enormous respect, without a hint of racism.

Our rehearsals are going well. In addition to the songs off the album for the Salford gig, we have a couple of new ones on the go – a Roy Bailey ripoff called Take me to Todmorden (I was born there don’t y’know) and a palatable version of the dark mental health one – it has a heavy smouldering groove. That’s what it boils down to really – pick the right songs for the box and get into the groove.

Salford continues to be endlessly serendipitous. I’ve come across the brother of one of The The Frantic Elevators who puts on gigs in Salford. Writing a book puts you in good stead for ordering lots of information, sometimes difficult, into an easily readable format.

A&E is busy. There are film cameras in at the moment. I personally don’t mind being filmed – it’s part of the 21st century fabric. A lot of my colleagues are dead against it. The bottom line is what’s best for the patient (observing of course absolute confidentiality and gaining consent at all times). A lot of the public actually like to know what it’s like. The paradox is that no fly-on-the-wall television programme could ever portray what it’s really like.

Despite my admonitions sweetness has been wasting our hard-earned money on feeding two stray cats in the back yard. Worse still, some dicktard has been letting them into the kitchen when she’s not there.

Stray Cats
Tickets - Salford Gig
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