Wednesday 10 July 2024

No bombing

I posted recently a photograph I came across online that I'd not seen before. It was of Shirley Jones and her then husband, Jack Cassidy, together with her stepson David Cassidy. Turns out it wasn't the only photo of hers I'd not clocked before. Here she is, probably taken high up in the Hollywood Hills, on a diving board. Which got me thinking; you know what's coming next don't you; that's right, and purely in the name of research I hasten to add, I then began to find more photographs of other starlets taken in their local baths...

Barbara Stanwyck

Rita Hayworth

Marilyn Monroe

Phoebe Cates

Deidre de Peyer

I think now would be a good time to stop (after all, I do have a reputation to think of). 

If you've been affected by any of the content in this blog post I would strongly urge you to take a cold shower. 

Monday 8 July 2024

High Voltage

My friend Neil had a spare ticket for Electric Six last night. Of course I went; it would have been churlish not to. We met in good time (very good time) and so went from a boozy Sunday afternoon to Chinese meal to gig. To my shame I  didn't really know an awful lot about them prior to showtime (apart from a couple of standout hits 20+ years ago), but in the course of their 90 minute set I was absolutely bowled over. Echoes of the Hives and Turbonegro if you wanna know roughly what page they're on. (Kicking myself now for not getting a tee shirt.)


I particularly got off on their version of Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Murder on the Dance Floor - a contemporary in so many ways of their their own monster single Danger! High Voltage. This is from last Tuesday night at the Brudenell in Leeds.

Saturday 6 July 2024

Gone to the wall

In July of last year I and countless other volunteers helped contribute to a giant work of art that took over a year to complete: a huge mosiac mural that when installed (about half a mile from where I live) would dominate an entire wall over 5m long x 3m high. It's called The Sherwood Tree of Knowledge and is the brainchild of local artist Anna Dixon. The piece was broken down into bite size chunks and each of us worked on small sections approximately 12" square. 

My 'bit' was the poppy you can see above. Until  I walked into Anna's garden studio 12 months ago on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon I'd never mosaiced(?) in my life, so I had to learn fast. With nothing more than a tile nibbler and hundreds (thousands!) of broken tiles & porcelain fragments at my disposal, off I went. Everyone in the room was dead friendly and very helpful.

A few hours later and after consuming countless cups of coffee and chocolate biscuits I had my poppy in the can (or whatever mosaicists say when they've broken the back of the thing they've been working on all day.) I loved doing it and loved being part of something very special. Sadly, I missed the grand unveiling a couple of weekends ago as I was out of town, but the picture below taken from the local rag gives you an idea of the buzz it's created.   

A big thank you to Mike Douglas & everyone at Sherwood Business Centre for helping to fund this fantastic installation.

Friday 5 July 2024

It's a new dawn, it's a new day

Spoiler alert - we did

After Adam's heartfelt (and beautifully written) demolition of the Tories yesterday I realised, as starkly as I've ever realised, that my hatred of the Conservatives and everything they've stood for over the last fourteen years, is as nothing compared to how Adam and millions more like him have been directly affected by them.

So after a very long night (I personally stayed up till 5:30am this morning) we have all woken up to Day 1 of a five, if not ten, year Labour plan. What pitfalls lie ahead can only be best guessed as I'm sure the recently departed blue rosetted cunts have left many, many UXBs along the way.

James O'Brien threw out a left field question this morning: "Do you feel euphoric?" To which I thought the best reply, paraphrasing massively, was: "Not yet. We've just escaped from a 14 year abusive relationship. Euphoria, I'm sure, will follow. But, right now, it's a massive sense of relief coupled with a large helping of guarded optimism." It's also how I feel. You may feel totally different. But, you know what, I am feeling good. Ask me again in 3/6 months and I'm sure I'll update you...


Wednesday 3 July 2024


When it comes to living a purposeful life I subscribe to Ikigai (translated from the Japanese  生き甲斐 as 'A reason for being'). One of its 10 doctrines, 'Surround yourself with good friends', has always been a constant in my life. Several of those friends were in Newcastle last week. And one of them very kindly painted me this beautiful handmade card. Thank you, C. I was struggling to put into words how I felt when you gave it to me (most unlike me I know!). But please know that I love it (I did tell you that much), and every time I look at it I know it will bring me joy. Thank you so much x.

Robohands - Ikigai (2021)