Monday, October 15, 2012

Time flying, again.

So, it's a Monday morning, I'm sitting in the playroom, kettle boiling for the bottles, getting the house up to speed. Milo is on his way downstairs with his Mum - and we're off to his 'settling in" session at nursery today. Quite amazing that this amount of time has passed already. Where did all those eight months go?
Busy day today, as I'm looking after him for most of the day, and attempting to tie up loose ends for the JJ tour as well. Need to plot for evening meal too - there's some leftover Brisket that is just crying out to become the best Ragu of all time.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Autumn rain.

Sitting here in the playroom, as Milo shouts and screams and plays with his little baby computer. He's become so much more vocal over the last week or so - and more animated too: he's throwing himself around like a little dynamo. Rain is lashing down outside, which always feels strangely comforting. Autumn is the one season that is best viewed from behind a window.
The conker trees have started to rain their little bounty onto the roads and pavements now, too. It's the one thing that I love most about Autumn, and the one thing that has a slight melancholy twist to it as well: they always seem to do it in the last week of September - my birthday. I love seeing it happen, but it always reminds me that I'm another year older.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's as old as I am.

And it still sounds incredible.
I'm in my Grandparent's house - 72, Surrey Grove, in Sutton. It's the early 1970's. They have the standard house layout for that time - a front room, where the telly is, where we eat meals, where we sit and play games and relax. They also have a back room - which is the formal lounge. This has the piano, the nice china, the plush cushions, the curtains which tend to always be closed. no-one goes in here without a good reason. I go in because there's a record player in there. A pile of vinyl too - easy listening, some trad jazz, show tunes. And amongst the pile of goodies, the best of the lot - a Tony Hatch album on Marble Arch. This song is on there, and I play it constantly. In fact, I still have the very same album here now - I asked If I could have it, and my bewildered Grandparents agreed, whilst shaking their heads "what's he want that for? It's only music! Sure he'll find something better to do with his life...."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quiet Sunday? Sort of.

Great day, but not without its drama. This morning, I managed to collide with a small child on his bike, whilst I was riding through Nonsuch Park. He wasn't looking, and just sped out into the road. I had no room to swerve, and not enough time to do anything other than slam on the brakes, and pile into him. He just fell sideways, and I went straight over the bars. Luckily, all those years of skating taught me how to stop, drop and roll pretty well, so apart from some pretty aching shoulders, I'm OK. What shook me up more than anything was that, some ten seconds later, a 4x4 roared round the corner going considerably faster than I had been going. If he'd been hit by that, it would have been very different. At that point, I just kept thinking about Marnie, and what I'd have felt like if it had been her. That shook me up more than the impact.
Apart from that - a day of cooking, and friends. Kelly & Matt came round, with Oliver and Elliot. Lots of Indian food, including a first run for my attempt at Cauliflower and Potato Gashi, which came out BRILLIANTLY. Will definitely be doing it again - and to be honest, it looks like the sort of Curry which could quite easily be adapted - the delicate flavours would go really well with some chunks of firm white fish.
Now, I'm sitting here, nursing an aching shoulder - sipping a cold beer, and getting ready to turn in.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friendfeed went down today

And finally got back up on line.
I've been using friendfeed for around five years - a lifetime in social media, and it's still the model for what I'd like to see from a social network. Committed users, engaging content (with massive engagement from users), dynamic time line, and above all, a sense of community that turns strangers into friends.
It's still there, and it still does it better than anyone.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Web Genius

Sometime back in 2003, when I started this little blog, I can remember posting a link to, and saying it was possibly my favourite site on the net. Well, almost a decade later, and more than a decade since I first found it - it seems like it's still going. I can't tell you how happy this makes me.


I've been playing this for most of the day.

Fantastic food.

Great lunch - good company, great location, stimulating conversation - and great food.
Le Caprice was a real success (and now we're not sure if we actually had been there before!). I had some incredibly good Sashimi to start, Calves liver with creamed onions and Bacon for my main - and a fantastic trio of desserts. This included a vanilla cheesecake topped with Greengages, which was so good it stopped me in my tracks.
Back down to reality with a bump today, as we deal with poor Milo - struck down with the same Chicken Pox which clonked his sister a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I love it when people return, and surprise me.

I interviewed Esser at least a couple of times during my tenure at NME Radio, and found him incredibly interesting. Always more than his outlandish image - thoughtful, polite, reserved. Very, very focused. I loved the stuff he was doing back then, but this? It's just.....fantastic. As much of a jaw-dropping reinvention as that last Horrors LP.


For those regular readers of the blog, it's that time again. A periodic Wednesday lunchtime appointment with old Uni colleagues Kevin and Johnny.
I look forward to these meals immensely - it's a chance to catch up, gossip, share tales of our past, as well as plans for the future.Plus - the chance to eat some great food (L'escargot, Quo Vadis, Passionara) and occasionally, some pretty average food (hello, The Wolseley)
Today's venue is Le Caprice, which apparently, we visited a few years ago. I have no recollection of this whatsoever. Whatever wine I was drinking that day, I may avoid today.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why I'm keeping this blog going

Well, it's simple really: nearly ten years. That's how long I've been doing this - sure, there have been periods of inactivity - but it's a huge chunk of my life! This 25% segment covers all of the incredible stuff too: my reincarnation as a Radio DJ, the divorce, the rebirth of the Joneses, the actual birth of my children.
Blogs are a little old hat now - everyone's got Tumblr, haven't they? But there's something about a blog -it's polite, measured, and slightly aloof. It's a place where you lot can actually find out what I'm like, as I tend to speak with my real voice. How many of you out there use facebook in a (let's face it) slightly preening fashion? I know I do - it's all about the smart remark, the witty rejoinder, the devastating putdown. In essence, facebook has actually become Lamebook, and most people seem to like it that way (it is great entertainment, after all)
But a blog - that's calmer. Quieter. I like it that way, and I'm keeping it that way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back in the saddle...

In more ways than one, I suppose. One of the best things about living out in the 'burbs are the green spaces. I've never really found urban cycling much fun - I much prefer to be out and about in places like Ashtead Common. Don't get me wrong, I've not sudden;y changed into some sort of lycra-clad bike nazi, yelling "Let's off road!" and covering myself in mud: I just like open countryside. It's a legacy of being brought up in deepest Wiltshire, I presume.
I've been experimenting with the Strava app over the last couple of days - and it seems to be fantastic - mapping out my rides, and comparing segment times with other cyclists who ride the same trails. Help, I appear to be just a tiny bit competitive. Not too much mind you, it's too much effort. I just want to beat my own times, that'll do me just nicely.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

...And one more thing

I think I should whack a few random posts up here quite soon - just to get rid of all of the Amplify posts on the front page. It was fun while it lasted, but it's gone. In the strange world of social media (hello Shadowglobe!) that's just the way it goes.

Where have I been?

Well - Japan, Australia, Birmingham.....and a serious diversion to that place called fatherhood, again. And Milo makes four. Quite amazing, really.
Lovely to be here in the suburbs, there's something peaceful about it all.
Familiar too, seeing as I was born just up the road. I'm learning to get out and about on my bike, too: I'll be healthy if it kills me.....
Today's listening pleasure comes from Winter Hours, something quite wonderful sent my way from my old friend Moe.
For those of you who may want to read my musings because of my connections to the band, I can tell you all now - I'm working INCREDIBLY hard on getting that programme of remasters and reissues sorted. As soon as there's news, I'll let you all know.
I'll leave you with this, I think. One of those random songs that popped onto the car stereo this morning, as I was doing my daily journey to pick up bits'n'bobs for the little boy. OK, it's nominally about Winter - but it has a sonic palette that equally suits a sunny summer morning.