Wednesday, 20 September 2017


The edgy, fragile version of Van Morrison's 'Take Me Back' song still raises the hairs at the back of my neck.

Admittedly the performance needs to be seen in the context of the excellent film Georgia from which it's taken (one of those great films that the Americans can make that aren't connected to Hollywood and the Oscar craziness).



Old Van Morrison was pretty good at writing songs like this. A couple of my favourites are Cypress Avenue and the visceral TB Sheets.

Check this out if you dare:


I remember in the early 1970's, trying to explain to Richard why I thought that the Roxy Music song If There Is Something was so good and how I really liked the three parts to the song connected by piano bass-guitar and saxophone.


We were at Tony's place in Hargreaves street listening to the album and Richard (being Richard) was listening closely and dissecting it. He was at this time studying Pendrecki at university. To get a sense of what Penderecki sounds like pull out the cutlery drawer in your kitchen and let the whole lot fall on the floor.


Richard didn't really get the Roxy Music song. He didn't connect with it.


I connected with it.
At the time I was head over heels with a young woman who was in my French and English classes at university. Her name was Robyn Westbury and she was beautiful - way out of my league. I mooned over her:



I remember once sitting in the library. I was at a reading table and was leaning way back in my chair which I had tilted at a critical angle. I was daydreaming as usual when Robyn came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder and asked me a question about the English course. I got such a shock that the chair toppled back and she was just able to stop me falling to the floor. Boy I was embarrassed.
Nothing came of this infatuation but recently I've thought that maybe she was interested in me.



Tuesday, 19 September 2017


I was born in 1952.

I first heard REM's E Bow-The Letter in 1996. It had immediate resonance for me.
Why? I'm really not sure, but I was 8 years into my relationship with Lynn (The Old Girl) and the music and lyrics just hit the spot for me.

Lynn and I have now been together for nearly 30 years. We are still going strong and getting stronger.

I was once a christian - or, more correctly, was brought up as one not by choice but because my parents said they were and sent me to Catholic schools - and I once dabbled in the occult (astrology and Tarot but mainly because a young woman I fancied was doing it) so have some sort of lingering 'it must be ordained' belief in my subconscious. To this end I guess I can give a nod to Kismet and Serendipity and say that The Old Girl and I were always going to get together.

Well, that's whimsical but nice to think of.

What is serendipitous is the fact that E Bow-the letter which I like features not only REM and Michael Stipes who are superb but one of my all-time favourites Patti Smith.

I trawled the 'net tonight and found this:




I'm tired.

I don't think I slept well and had to get up early ....... to play tennis.
We play on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.30 to midday. That's quite a long time for old buggers.

We're actually social amongst ourselves but at coffee break sit around and discuss politics, crime, school teachers and cleaners and get a bit homicidal.

After tennis I came home for lunch (tuna and spicy noodles) and sat down to read thereby promptly falling asleep. I was woken by mate Rod - the one who thankfully has bought a car - and whom I'd been playing tennis with, to ask me to go for a walk around the bay with him. I grumbled and moaned and made all sorts of excuses but could see that he wasn't going to bugger off so I agreed and set off with him. Yesterday's bad weather had gone so it was a pleasant hour and a half walk but when I got home i discovered that I was .....tired.

I had another snooze and this time (it was later in the afternoon) I was awakened by my cat Willow. She who had been bloody sleeping all day decided that as it was 4.30 (how does she know that?) it was time for her meal.

After sorting her out I decided to sort out my evening meal. Looking in the fridge and freezer the makings of 'mince and tatties' eventuated. My mince has as ingredients: lamb mince; onion; garlic; spring onion; home-made stock; capsicum; peas; carrot; various herbs; soy sauce; Worcester sauce; anything else of interest lurking in the fridge or pantry. 'Tatties' will be mashed potatoes with Parmesan cheese.

It's after 6pm now and the mince mixture has been quietly simmering and the potatoes peeled and ready to be boiled.
I made a pact with myself on Sunday that I wouldn't drink this week. Not at all. None. Nada. On Sunday night I opened an alcohol-free bottle of wine, a 'Shiraz' and had a couple of glasses. I had another glass of this concoction last night with my meal. Tonight, looking at the one third bottle of alcohol-free 'Shiraz' in the fridge and at the makings of my Tuesday nights meal - 'mince and tatties' - I relented. I opened a bottle of Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Chardonnay that I'd bought on special last week and guzzled down a couple of glasses. It was (is) good. Not as good as that slippery bastard the Te Mata Chardonnay I talked about in a previous post but still pretty bloody good.

I've got to stop doing this.

(Not stopping drinking wine obviously)

No, I've got to stop making these stupid pacts with myself.

Monday, 18 September 2017


It's pretty stormy here today

Cold rain and big winds resulting in very choppy conditions in our normally sheltered bay.

I walked down to the jetty this afternoon as a neighbour told me that the leopard seal was close to the beach by the jetty. Before I got to the jetty though I saw this baby seal dead at the edge of the water.

I went to the beach past the jetty but couldn't see the adult seal. I hope that it's not a parent of the little guy that died.

I wonder if I can make slippers out of him?


It's a bit slow going up north this morning.

It's raining and I can't go walking, golfing, gardening, tennissing, kayaking, - anything outdoorsy.

I note on other blogs that nothing much is happening.

Robert has mastered walking and thinking at the same time which is a good move in his development but it hasn't actually led to anything re posting.

Maybe he's still walking. Or thinking.

Richard seems to be sitting by the telephone anxiously awaiting a call from his luthier to give him news about the double bass which is undergoing surgery. Poor guy, he had to go all night without the big fiddle. Sad.

"I told you Richard, it's not ready yet"