Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Sea

Now here's an opportunity that does not come around often, Ive just blagged a berth on the Tall ship "Prince William" early next year.
Now this is not normally my scene.
The idea of setting sail and leaving sight of shore is not the most appealing.
Especially in somthing that is only 60 feet long and only displaces a few hundred tonnes.
Why is it always tall ship wrecks they show on the dicovery channel?
Terrefied is also too strong a word, I have more than a healthy, fearful respect for the sea & weather, ( having had bad riptide experience as a child on the North Norfolk coastline.)
Big boats have also never been my thing, they were for big bearded blokes who spoke pipes, start sentences with 'Argh' and frighten small children for fun.
Anyway Iv'e always figured I would only be issued with a keel boat along with my bus pass, the day I have to hand in my racing dinghy and teeth.
However I am going to put my fear, predudice & paranoia behind me and do this.
I'm aiming to see that I can get a involved in the navigation side while onboard.
To date all my nav' experience has been within site of shore and a good Taverna or pub.
I have the unhealthy urge to get a little more techy and plan a little more than where the next bearing is going to be taken from.
Coaching on the Broads in Norfolk means we have little tide to account for, so it has been somthing lacking in my practical knowlege for some time, leaving me feeling a little naive when I've ever got involved in any thing costal based.

The passage is scheduled to leave Southhampton & make route for the Cannaries.
In all my travels I've never been there so they will be interesting to see, but I think it will be the experience of the journey that appeals. I've been confined on small yachts with people before and it has always been oddly pleasurable, once you get over the awkwardnaess of being so close.
I know that Im probably going to hate every uncomfortable moment of the night watch & I can only imagine what the Atlantic in early March can throw at me.
But I hope to gain somthing from the experience. I've set my self the goal of living a little more dangerously now, do stuff outside my comfortable little box.
We Shall see.
I wonder where I can buy a pipe?

Monday, November 28, 2005


I don't know what to say.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


No sailing, friends & family away, locked in the warm with nothing but a pencil and a guitar.
I have far too much down time at the moment....
Also can't hold a tune it seems.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Polar bears

Arhg...Its getting colder
At this rate there are likely to be polar bears in the broads by the weekend.
Penguins at the very least.
And the water will be too hard to sail on.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cold weather

We have seen the first snow of the year today.
This got me thinking of warmer places as I looked out over the bare trees.....
Does this effect elephants like this ?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stupid games.

One of those slow days stuck in the office when no real work gets done. (Actually one person has nothing to do,so stops everyone else working out of boredom or spite.)
Attention was turned to trying to out do each other as usual. Competitive nature of blokes together I guess.
After boasts & childhood stories, it turned out I'm not the only one to have had fun with weed killer and sugar.
These sessions really can get quite random, trivial & often surreal.
The boys tried to out do each other on the longest song title they could think of and thought they beat me today.
Searching the horrible, dank , murky bits of my memory I came up with 'Queen Alexandra Road is where she said she'd be ,but was she there to meet me? No chance.' , Toy Dolls 1984ish. Can't be beaten?
I was quite proud of this, & a quick Google confirmed my victory. (Thankyou internet, superseeds the guinness book for settlement of arguments.)
Then the usual quick pang of doubt, 'OMG!, Im a wrinkled old bag of memories' followed by 'whats the point of having a head full of meaningless trivia if you can't beat up on the youth'.
I won, yay me.

The favourate word question came out as well, After a while turns out my fav is "Spoon".
Nice & round sound, can be used as an insult too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Musical notes.

I've been reflecting lately on my changing, no not changing, evolving musical tastes and how they are growing to encompass a wider and far more diverse range of styles.

I believe the reasons for this are:
A) due to my works apprentices (yes I have two boys under me,(Can't believe I just wrote that)). They are bringing into the office so much interesting new stuff, which I have no quarms in borrowing during the day.
B) There has been a huge swing in the last couple of years of new individuals & bands hitting the airwaves, that are showing some genuine originality, moving away from the steady dance beats & rap.
C)My own poor efforts at understanding and playing are developing (very) slowly.

To put some context to this a little history is needed.
I went through what I can see now was a fairly revolutionary time in the music industry, i.e. the eighties, most of which I was too young to pay much attention to, but I did listen to the popular stuff of the day, the police,madness, blondie & dare I say Adam and the ants through electro pop etc.

Looking back what I found had happened & I suspect happens to all teenagers was that as I moved on to high school I started listening to what ever my group of freinds were listening to and never strayed or considered listening outside of that box.
In my case it was the eighties hair bands, Guns & roses, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden & thrash bands metallica, megadeth, helloween......and on into nineties grunge.
(I was always the one dressed head to toe in black, this is a poor look for a blonde, imagine if wil a pint of guinness)
To this end I now feel I have been very shallow in my narrow band width ,if you would pardon the pun.

It wasn't until my brother threw his guitar aside in disgust and left it in my flat in 1999 that I started fiddling and looking at other music.
I found old blues form the 20's / 30's appealing & dare I say old folk music. I can't believe I even got dragged to a George Melly jazz concert and enjoyed it.
Anyway Its been like this for a few years. Give everything a chance, see if I can suprise myself.
I now will not outrightly dismiss listening to anything just on the basis of musical genre & what it represents, to the point where I now argue with people when the only srtuctured critisisum the can put forward is 'well it's crap i'nt it'.

Anyway heres my point, I think I may have finally put my finger on what I like in music and why I tend to veer away from the steady beats of dance , disco, drum & bass, etc.


Simple as that, I found I like music with a bit of chaos in it.
By this I don't mean random improvised jazz that just flys off in all directions, but structured chaos (if thats not contradictory?)
The most obvious example of this, and Im going to hate my self for saying it is Queens 'Bohemian Rhapsody"
The point is that it is structured enough to produce a pleasing melody, but it has the elements of changes in key and tempo, rythm throughout that keep it interesting for the ear. This is what appeals, not the listen once and forget stuff, but the musical changes that keep a peice interesting & wanting to return to it. If this makes sense?
Im finding this interesting chaos in so much music at the moment.
I've discovered that I'm enjoying the re-surgence of punk. Go figure that out.
I like a lot of classical,I would have laughed at this not so long ago.
Have falen in love with old progressional 70's rock like Deep Purple & Hawkwind etc.
A lot of the new indie bands have so much to offer, as well as having a raw, unproduced feel and energy to them. The new 'Arctic Monkeys' stuff that I Prime example.

My point is that it has taken me 35 years to suddenly wake up to the fact I my outlook had been so shallow(& by shallow I mean a puddle).
Does this happen to every one eventually?
I don't know. I'm sure it's unique for everyone. Or some just don't care.
Im glad starting to find my way.


Mind you this new insight didn't stop me going retro & spending three hours in the mosh pit at the UEA, Norwich when Motorhead played. Spanking!

Evil uncle Walt

I know this is an odd thing to be irritated about, but Disney.

Exactly how long does it take a modern Disney cartoon to become a 'Disney Classic'?

Given that there is now a very dull and repetative formulea to producing your standard animated feature and that one sounds and feels very much like any other from the studio it irritates me to see the misuse of the phrase 'Classic' on every single release, but to add injury to insult physicists are now having to refine atomic clock technology to measure the time that it takes one of these turning from 'new release' to 'Classic'.

Snow White, ok time honoured classic.
Bambi, pinochio & Dumbo fine, but Little Mermaid onwards, no, no, no, no, no.

I have a theory this is just a subtle way Disney has of brainwahsing the sleeping public into thinking, 'oh it's a classic, must be good, I purchase a copy'.

Thank goodness for Nick Park , Wallace & Grommet.

Im ranting.....I'll stop thinking trivial thoughts now......this is tea deprivation for you.

Todays scribble

This is todays scribble......
I worry about my state of mind sometimes.

As a sport though, it could be big in Japan (or wales).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Blissfull day.

Today was one of those rare days when all goes well & your left with the warm satisfied sensation of weary achievment.
My day was spent with a few freinds teaching sailing on one of the local broads (lakes) in Norfolk.
Its was a more than crisp start, it was cold, cold enough to make penguins want to try hibination.

Still, in the dusky morning light, the wind as still & quiet as it could be, we removed the ice from the boats & uncovered them.

Hot tea with freinds on a morning like this holds a certain magic. Huddled in the warm, looking out, musing how the day is going to be planned. Jokes & more tea, enjoying the few moments before you have to go out into the cold again.

On the water at last, the wind picked up to a gentle, cool breeze. The sun came out & the sky cleared to a provide bright crisp day, lots of dancing light relecting off the broad. Relaxed.

It was one of those light days when I try to gentely push my students to doing things they have never tried before. Everything seemed to pay off, they seemed to pick everthing up first or second time and with out fuss. This doesn't happen when I have a group of twenty odd children that all learn at different rates, so it makes such a refreshing change.

I spent lunch with smiling faces. I like that. Better than lunch times at work.

In the afternoon the strange atmosphere arrived that grasps mosts students at one point or another. It is said that there is an unwritten law that any two sailing craft within sight of each other are racing. Well this is what happens, an air of gentle competetivness takes over and although nothing is said, one is always trying to out do the next boat.
This makes me grin. You can watch your students quietly checking out the opposition.

The day drew to a close, the students left happy and giggling, and while closing up the sky went it's pleasent shade of lilac & pale blue with intense firey orange streaming accross the water. A sight to see.

I like days like this, left feeling warm despite the cold.
Life is good.


First Time blogger

Is this a forum for people who have nothing to say & say it far too loudly?, or a valid conduit for discourse, diagnosis & disection of opinion?

What ever, it is what it is.

It will be a place to vent my perspective, dismay and bewilderment at the world. (Im so very bewildered.)
Whether anyone listens or not is not the point, as long as its out of me & I can carry on without too many "issues" bubbleing away in my head, because I'm sure that would be messy

That said, I'm glad things like this exist. It gives a retiring personality a chance to throw into the light their (more than often highly distorted) view.

Remember everone is entitled to their own opinions, its just that mine are better.

Sorry, (society is to blame).