Category Archives: GENERAL THOUGHTS

Yet again, half a year has flown by and I am only now returning to this WordPress blog! Since my previous post, I have completed the Brighton Marathon along with my daughter – a truly wonderful and memorable weekend. No records were broken but ‘one’ was received when I was met at the finish by Eleanore of Eleanore and the Lost whose album ‘Parlour Games’ (reviewed here previously) had impressed me greatly during my months of training. She has strong links with WWF and had written a theme song for the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

With the marathon out of the way I jumped at the chance to return to the cross-country mountain bike tracks at Glentress – I managed to cycle non-stop to the start of the main downhill sections only to have my ‘reward’ spoiled when the rear derailleur broke just as I set off down! After free-wheeling back to the car and inspecting the bike I came to the conclusion that too many other bits were on their last legs to justify repairs. I am now making the most of the new replacement.

Our lovely grand daughter is now 18 months old and continues to bring delight to our family.

With regard to community radio, ABC has returned as North Highland Radio, allowing me to keep ‘Views From The Edge’ going. Some ex-collegues from Generate Radio have also established a home-based broadcasting system creating Scotland Online Radio. ‘Views From The Edge’ is now broadcast twice a week, on both www.northhighlandradio.co.uk and www.scotlandonlineradio.co.uk

I recently had the great privilege of helping out with gathering interviews for a special programme to chart the history of the Borders LGBT Group who recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. This will be broadcast at the end of LGBT Pride Week, and available thereafter as a listen-again link.

http://td1radio.com/celebrating-30-years-of-lgbt-in-the-borders/

I anticipate that I will continue to be busy, particularly with community radio; I will consider how practical is is to keep this blog updated.

More soon???


AFFECT THE KIDS?

In the decade when love was all around,

And everything you did was done for me.

When Whitney sang that she would always love you,

It didn’t matter that we came from different worlds;

It seemed like our love would conquer all.

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

You were on one knee when you asked,

And said “I’d do anything for you my love.”

Without hesitation I said “I do.”

Then you sowed your seeds and that’s a fact,

And left me to nurture the growing bundles.

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

You provided for and paraded me,

Another ticked box in your ‘to do’ list.

I thought that we would be a dream team,

But it was never quite a partnership of equals.

Still I was willing to be there until the end

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

Marriage is like life in an earthquake zone,

It’s not a good idea to dwell on faults.

But you didn’t dwell on anything at home;

Always off to meetings and junkets,

Whilst assuming I’d play the housewife.

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

You really thought you could control me;

While I wanted to be your equal.

We could have had it all, heart and soul,

But in the end the choice was easy,

Oh it was so blindingly clear to see.

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

Then GaGa took us all to the edge,

I couldn’t see any hope or glory;

I just couldn’t face another put down.

When talk of separation was finally voiced

You didn’t want to part and warned me plainly,

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

Just what kind of father are you?

As a mother I will always aim

To affect our kids as positively as I can.

Oh baby you were like a firework,

But then the blue touchpaper was lit.

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids.”

 

Seems that everybody has a price,

But I just wanted some sleep at night.

So now we live our separate lives,

No doubt to meet again in court.

It may be too late for us; but for once just please,

Try and affect the kids in a positive way.”

 

And then a year passed and eased the hurt,

You cut me off and made me feel like dirt.

You were then just somebody that I used to know!

Look to the future,

You’ve made it so lie in it.

Everything I do is done for the kids!”

 

A few more years on and it’s Paloma’s turn to sing

Only love can hurt like this.

Frustration got the better of you,

And you turned on them,

Whatever happened to your exhortation,

Just don’t do anything to affect the kids?”

 

 

(inspired among other things by a number of chart hits:

  • Wet Wet Wet / Love Is All Around 1995

  • Bryan Adams / (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – 1991

  • Whitney Houston / I Will Always Love You – 1992

  • Meatloaf / I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – 1993

  • Adele / Rolling In The Deep – 2010

  • Lady GaGa / Edge Of Glory – 2011

  • Katy Perry / Firework – 2010

  • Jessie J / Price Tag – 2011

  • Gotye / Somebody That I Used To Know – 2011

  • Paloma Faith / Only Love Can Hurt Like This – 2014)

 


ONE BULLET PER HEAD

¿dónde está mi padre?

¿dónde está mi mamá?

¿dónde está mi hermana?

¿dónde está mi familia?

¿dónde está el amigo?

Where’s my Dad?

Not the same man

As my new sister’s Dad.

He walked out and left

Just like her’s will

Mama can’t cope –

A dollar a day

Don’t pay the way

Mama’s at her wit’s end

Takes us all to see a ‘friend’

Where’s the friend?

Where’s my mama?

Where’s my new sister?

Where’s my family?

Where am I?

¿dónde está mi padre?

¿dónde está mi mamá?

¿dónde está mi hermana?

¿dónde está mi familia?

¿dónde está el amigo?

Another street boy

Found left all alone

Sleeping in alleyways

Left to fend alone

Cause his Mama can’t cope

Such a happy face

Now he’s found a new home

Here in the boy’s centre

With so many others

Abandoned like him

Such happy faces

Must capture images

Snap, snap, snap, snap

Take the film to the store

Why pictures of street boys”

Says the man behind the counter

Why waste film on them

I have a solution

One bullet per head”

Policewoman calls at boy’s centre,

please take these three boys in”

I’ve been ordered to disappear them”

But I need to know they’re cared for”

Better for them to ‘disappear’ here”

Than to be left in the desert to starve”

Where’s my Dad?

Where’s my Mama?

Where’s my new sister?

Where’s my family?

Here in the boy’s centre

I’ve got a new home

I’ve got a new family

Saved from one bullet per head

In the city

In the desert

In the mountains

In the jungle

Where’s my Mama?

Why did she abandon me?

Why do all these Gringos care?

Why do they want to stop

The bullets to the heads?

¿dónde está mi padre?

¿dónde está mi mamá?

¿dónde está mi hermana?

¿dónde está mi familia?

¿dónde está el amigo?

 

(inspired by my experiences when visiting Peru with The Vine Trust, particularly by conversations with Paul Clark, details of his work with Union Biblica Del Peru can be found in this book – http://www.bpsbooks.com/southern-cross-lost-and-found-paul-clark/     )

 


WHERE DOES THE TIME GO INDEED!

Yet again, half a year has flown by and I am only now returning to this WordPress blog! Since my previous post, I have completed the Brighton Marathon along with my daughter – a truly wonderful and memorable weekend. No records were broken but ‘one’ was received when I was met at the finish by Eleanore of Eleanore and the Lost whose album ‘Parlour Games’ (reviewed here previously) had impressed me greatly during my months of training. She has strong links with WWF and had written a theme song for the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

With the marathon out of the way I jumped at the chance to return to the cross-country mountain bike tracks at Glentress – I managed to cycle non-stop to the start of the main downhill sections only to have my ‘reward’ spoiled when the rear derailleur broke just as I set off down! After free-wheeling back to the car and inspecting the bike I came to the conclusion that too many other bits were on their last legs to justify repairs. I am now making the most of the new replacement.

Our lovely grand daughter is now 18 months old and continues to bring delight to our family.

With regard to community radio, ABC has returned as North Highland Radio, allowing me to keep ‘Views From The Edge’ going. Some ex-collegues from Generate Radio have also established a home-based broadcasting system creating Scotland Online Radio. ‘Views From The Edge’ is now broadcast twice a week, on both www.northhighlandradio.co.uk and www.scotlandonlineradio.co.uk

I recently had the great privilege of helping out with gathering interviews for a special programme to chart the history of the Borders LGBT Group who recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. This will be broadcast at the end of LGBT Pride Week, and available thereafter as a listen-again link.

http://td1radio.com/celebrating-30-years-of-lgbt-in-the-borders/

I anticipate that I will continue to be busy, particularly with community radio; I will consider how practical is is to keep this blog updated.

More soon???


SPLINTER ‘HISTORY’

It’s really quite refreshing to be reminded that some musicians and bands are more than happy to remain faithful to their beliefs, both musical and political, as they aim to avoid chasing passing trends. Splinter offer an excellent blend of no nonsense streetpunk delivering a carefully considered critique on today’s society and politics. Fourteen short snappy tracks (plus a bonus one) – driving and insistent, defiant and immediate. This is energetic unpretentious in your face punk that ranks with the best. There are no technically stunning virtuoso instrumental performances, but then again that would be so out of place, just solid and tight, driving guitar, bass and drums.

Stand out tracks on first hearing are ‘Technology’s Lies’, ‘Keyboard Cowards’, and “dedicated to the government” as introduced by Dek when I witnessed them live – ‘Imbeciles’, “the world’s being run by fools”. The album ends with a special bonus track that begins at a slower pace than the rest, initially it sounds as if it will be a bit more laid back but the lyrics reveal a much darker side and the tone of the track changes – the title ‘Night Clubs’ is absolutely nothing to do with an enjoyable night out in the city – it is about the culling of young seal pups.

Shev – bass

Dek – vocals / drums

Rik – guitar / vocals

1/ History

2/ Fashion Victims

3/ Flashback

4/ Tecnnology’s Lies

5/ Cut The Crap

6/ Anticipation

7/ One Of The Same

8/ Keyboard Cowards

9/ Cloud Of Regret

10/ Era Collapse

11/ Forget

12/ Imbeciles

13/ Got A Feeling

14/ Last In Line

15/ Night Clubs

facebook.com/razoredgerecords


WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?!

Prompted by the re-appearance of a friend here on WP after a long absence I decided to seek to address my failed commitment to post regular updates on my post-retirement life. I didn’t realise just how long it has been since I posted anything here; May seems to have been my last visit – over half a year ago. Apart from a glut of reviews from my Tumblr page that I was adding, one of the last posts had been in response to the bombing at the finish of the Boston marathon. Having ‘treated’ myself to a marathon entry in Edinburgh to co-incide with my 50th birthday I had been considering a second for my 60th in 2015 – events have overtaken this plan. My daughter secured herself a place in the 2014 Brighton Marathon as part of the WWF team, this seemed to be too good an opportunity to miss so I put my name forward and also got a place as one of 300 WWF runners. Perhaps I should be careful of classing myself as a ‘runner’ but I am certainly looking forward to taking part in this event along with my daughter. The decision to apply also helped spur me on from a period of relative inactivity – I had stopped running a while back due to sinus problems which resulted in me becoming a spluttering wreck before I had even completed one mile. Now, however, with four months to go until the event, I am almost fully back into training and so far exceeding suggested training (well as far as number of minutes per week is concerned, still need to work on speed).
With regard to community radio, I’m still as committed but ABC Alness has stopped broadcasting programmes as they go through a transition so am now only putting out one live two hour show each week with TD1 Radio. Occasional co-host Colleen has been forced to cease due to other work commitments but I am so happy to have come across a wonderful alternative in Amanda who will be with me every week – given her initials I just couldn’t resist going with a new ‘branding’ for the show = AC/DS!
2013 has certainly turned out to be another packed and exciting year – I look forward to the first birthday of our grand-daughter on Christmas Eve, collaboration with Amanda on TD1 Radio, and the marathon in Brighton in April. Next year certainly looks set to be just as good – now to get the WP reviews updated to be in line with my Tumblr!


MISMATCH

When a heavy piece of agricultural machinery consisting of multiple steel rollers designed to compact newly seeded fields, meets lightweight car body panels – there can only be one outcome. So when my car, a tractor with a rear-mounted cultipacker, and a parked ambulance tried to ‘use’ the same space on a two lane wide street, my car came of worst! Had the implement not been attached and protruding beyond the tractor’s width, I would have got by, but at the last moment I noticed the extra width and just couldn’t swerve onto the pavement in time – the noise of the offside rear of my car being ripped off by the rigid and unyielding piece of equipment only lasted a fraction of a second but the mangled panels of my car will take much, much longer to repair. It is actually like a giant has taken a bite out of the back corner of my car. I can foresee a long wait whilst replacement panels take the ‘slow boat from near China’ as they make their way from Korea – on the other hand I might be in for a pleasant surprise, time will tell! On the other side of the street, the ambulance driver only had to fold back out his driver’s door wing mirror and ponder the slight grazing on his front plastic bumper; whilst the tractor driver simply wonders if there might be any additional little scratches on the side of his cultipacker.
On the plus side, nobody was injured – and I couldn’t have ‘chosen’ a better place to have an ‘accident’ – due to another incident in the locality, there were three police vehicles, five police officers, one ambulance and two paramedics on the scene when the impact occurred – yet when I recounted this to the insurance company, I was asked if I had managed to get some ‘independent’ witnesses! There were, of course, some, as I do remember groups of people gathered on the pavements looking to see if they could see what was happening with regard to the police and paramedic presence. This reminded me of a part of my drive to London last week – our carriageway of the A1(M) was delayed by having to merge two lanes into one to pass a collision that had been ‘moved’ to the hard shoulder; the traffic on the opposite carriageway had also backed up ahead of the incident, presumably due to drivers slowing down to ‘rubberneck’.


UP TO DATE NOW?

Finally, I have transferred all (most) of my archived gig and album reviews to this site. As time moves on and my on-line presence continues to develop, I thought that it would be a useful thing to try to gather things together. I will continue to post reviews on Tumblr but will also include copies here – so there should be no more need for any intensive ‘blitz’ postings.
Coming soon should be a review of last Saturday night’s CD launch by Easter Street and I’m off to Stow this coming Saturday to catch an interview with and performance by SAMA winning artist Plum.
Just a brief post for now before heading off to Galashiels for the first co-hosted ‘Lunchtime Review’ with Colleen on TD1 Radio.


FIX PARKINSON’S

I am pleased and privileged to be able announce my little contribution to helping to inform the public about Parkinsons – how it affects those diagnosed, and what some dedicated people are doing to raise awareness and raise funds for research and care.
I introduce a wonderfully engaging radio show in which a great friend and colleague Colleen Henderson-Heywood chats to ‘Fix Parkinson’s’ founder Simon Laverick. In addition to discussing how people might be impacted by a diagnosis, they also provide details about a major challenge due to be undertaken later this month. A team of willing volunteers will set off to canoe from Fort William to Inverness.
Listen in from 11am to 12 noon BST (10am to 11am UTC) on
http://www.td1radio.com
or search for TD1 Radio on your smartphone using ‘TuneIn Radio’ app, or similar.

More information can be found on the following two websites:

Fix Parkinson’s http://fixparkinsons.com/
NuCanoe http://www.nu-canoe.co.uk/


IN MEMORIAM

I have massive sympathy for the victims of the bomb blasts on Monday 15th April – in multiple locations with at least 42 people killed and over 257 wounded it is a story that deserves to have featured highly in news bulletins. Sadly yet another series of bombs targeting civilians in Iraq does not seem to have warranted much coverage by western media. In Boston, however, an equally shocking yet far less lethal attack at the finish line of the marathon did receive wall to wall coverage.
The media coverage continued, enabling the world to watch as two suspects were rapidly identified and tracked down; at times it seemed just like an episode of ’24’ or similar. The media did seem to treat both suspects as guilty despite no trial having been conducted; they certainly appeared to present plenty evidence to support this. I truly hope that the numerous law enforcement agencies continued to consider alternatives throughout the ensuing manhunt – I don’t know enough about the exact details to dispute the decision to pursue the brothers, but I can imagine that two innocent people subjected to such high profile media coverage might be panicked into flight rather than giving themselves up. I certainly hope that the correct suspects have been identified and that the motivation behind the attack may soon be revealed.
It has now been announced that the surviving brother has been formally charged with, among other things, use of weapons of mass destruction. Again, without meaning any disrespect for the victims, I find it rather ironic the the US are so outraged by the bombing of innocent civilians in Boston when for many years large numbers of Irish Americans seemed to be more than happy to offer moral and financial support to the IRA who were regularly causing death and carnage by bombing innocents in Northern Ireland and mainland UK. Throughout all this time it always seemed sufficient to refer to the devices as bombs and IEDs, rather than WMDs. It has always been my understanding that a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ is defined as a weapon that kills or injures civilian as well as military personnel, and is particularly referenced to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Given the number of fatalities and casualties in Boston, I feel sure that many of the legally held automatic weapons so treasured by the NRA must also now be re-classsified as WMDs.

In years gone by there were several organisations in Boston which raised funds for the Irish Republican movement, some of which was allegedly used to buy weapons for the IRA. Following the September 11th attacks, the US Government increased its pressure on the Irish Republican movement in the US. In October 2001 the IRA announced their intention to “decommission and put their weapons “beyond use”. The change of attitude was mirrored by an Irish-American taxi-driver in Boston; in a report following the announcement, he said “I never thought of the IRA as terrorists before 11 September,” and added “but now I see where the Brits are coming from.” A republican activist Kevin Fagan, who in his seven years in Boston had switched to drinking Budweiser instead of Guinness, believed that the US Government pressure was Tony Blair’s pay-back for Britain’s military support in Afghanistan. The situation regarding motivations is clearly complex and multi-layered.
The only way that the Boston attack and other similar ones are ever likely to succeed is if the general population stops doing things for fear of unspecified threats. I actually believe that those caught up in events in Boston are likely to be as resilient as members of the UK public were when faced with ongoing IRA threats. I have already read reports that people who have lost limbs are looking ahead to being able to dance again or to complete future Boston Marathons; the human spirit never ceases to amaze me. On the other hand, something else continues to amaze me; a chilling fact to consider alongside the reaction to events in Boston on 15th April – more than 85 people, including 8 children, are killed with guns on average day in US and more than twice that number are injured, and it’s also estimated that, to take one city as an example, in Chicago 20-30% of children have witnessed a school shooting. Given such statistics following on from ongoing mass shootings, I continue to find it extremely difficult to understand the resistance to introducing some form of gun controls – the only logical explanation surely has to be the desire to profit from gun sales.
I ‘treated’ myself to an entry in the Edinburgh Marathon for my 50th birthday – to date, my only marathon – with two years to go until my 60th birthday, I now feel that I have another incentive to aim for a second.