Moon bright

Brighter than bright, the moon woke me up


The full moon was on the 7th, but either it was cloudy or I was deep, deep dreaming. Last night it seemed so bright that whatever I did I couldn’t avoid being woken by it. Some might say I should have pulled the curtains, and maybe so. But I didn’t: I opened the window, shoved my phone out and got this evocative—werewolf howling—snap.


Where have the children gone?

Nature vs Swing. Nature wins.


As is, untouched: this swing set in a neighbours back garden is virtually unrecognisable.

At one time, in the not too distant past, children must have been oh-so-excited as daddy assembled the swing set for them. Complete with its orange slide they must have spent many happy hours and halcyon days mucking around on it; chasing each other around and around as they battled for king of the slide. as they discovered who could swing the highest.

Where are they now? And why has nature been allowed to take control?




I walked by this and had to take a photograph. It brought to mind ideas for all kinds of  stories. Admittedly, most are dark. 😉

  1. The nouveau-riche neighbours who feel the garden is bringing down their property value and will do anything to get it sorted out. Anything, up to and including murder.
  2. The house has been owned for generations by a warlock. He’s frightfully polite, never seems to get any older than his apparent thirty five years, but has recently — some twenty years ago — given up on gardening.
  3. The old couple suffer from dementia. She, who used to take the car out mini-cabbing, and he, who was in the SAS and has taken to wearing his jungle uniform complete with weapons, pack and machette. The postmen keep disappearing.
  4. Sometimes the house is there, sometimes it isn’t. Two boys, who are looking for their football, stumble into the garden just as the house decides to transmigrate.
  5. There are layers, and there are layers. Underneath the garden are tunnels that lead to other worlds, but passage is strictly one-way only, and anyone stumbling into the tunnels had better have a map.
  6. In the lean-to on the side of the house, an old man sits, whittling. A young boy, playing truant, befriends him. Their relationship flowers as the young boy grows up; the old man tells his story, and one of the figures he has carved finds a soul.

If I’d stumbled upon the garden walking miles from anywhere out in the woods I’d probably think it was even more strange, dark, magical and odd. As it is there are quite a few dilapidated spaces around, if you only look for them. The gardens that butt onto the back of my garden, for instance, are equally unkempt. Three doors away a swing is almost completely covered by brambles, and I wonder what happened to the kids who used to play on it.

Mankind thinks it’s tamed the planet, but beware! Plants, given half a chance, will have their day.

Kamakura Uncategorized

Cat, Cats, the Fat Pidgeon, Kamakura, and some odd thoughts.

Percy dreaming of foreign climes

Not the best picture I’ve ever taken. Still, it’s a picture taken today, which was the original point of this blog. That the idea behind ‘Congenerous’ seems to have become ever changing and fluid should allow me to leave out the daily picture, if I feel like it. But I don’t feel like it, yet. Besides, Percy rawks!

There was going to a photo of an amazingly fat Pidgeon who sits on a branch in the tree outside my bedroom window. There was going to be, but by the time I stumbled about finding my phone he (or she) had gone (how do you sex a Pidgeon without getting up close and personal?). You’ll have to wait for that treat, then.

I’ve been listening to the recording I made of our rehearsal yesterday, and, considering it was our third proper rehearsal, it’s damn good. Maybe you think I would say that, being the vocalist. But being ‘real’ about my music is a definite seachange. Normally, even if I know deep down that something is good, I’ll shrug it off as a fluke. I wish (wishing is something else I have to change along with je ne regrette rien, which is utter bollocks and futile) that we’d carried on after the Pestalozzi festival. I wish I’d had the balls to have a go twenty years since. Humph. Obviously I’m an arse for hiding my light under a bush for so long. Obviously. Duh.

Odd thoughts.

  1. I’ve suddenly realised that even if I spent the rest of my life doing nothing but reading I wouldn’t be able to read all the books I have, or those I want to read. Especially now that eBooks are with us. This led to a mild panic. But as there’s nothing I can do about it – I can’t suddenly start reading at a gazzilion words a minute, or give up everything else and do nothing but read – I have to accept it and be more decisive about what I do read.
  2. I’m a lazy git. I want to write – at least one decent novel – and consequently have to stop being a lazy git.
  3. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
  4. ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ is balls, as is Je ne regrette rien. Accept what you can’t change and get on with it.
  5. This list of odd thoughts seems to be getting horribly close to New Years resolutions. Stop it!
  6. Cats really make wonderful friends!
  7. ‘Cats’ could be our next single.
  8. Relationships are fragile things; butterflies have stronger wings. Do not take friends for granted.
  9. Patience! F1 2012 will begin sooner or later and there’s nothing you can do to hasten the 1st race.
  10. Must better my punctuation; Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a wonderul book.
  11. Cease waffling.

And that’s that.


Blood & mosquitoes.

That's my blood, that is ... the fuckers!

Yes, it’s a really bad if not truly appalling photo (though it was taken on a phone in a room with pretty dim light). The thing is I’m worried. Either there are a LOT MORE savage flying biting beasties this year, or I’ve lost my mind.

Last year it was hot. In high summer (where we are now a year on) it was so damn hot all the windows were open nearly all the time. Yes, I had a few bites, but they weren’t bad.

This year it’s like I’ve teleported to another planet. The bites swell up to enormous lumps which last for several days before going down. As I write I’m sweating in a long sleeved shirt and a dressing gown – but this, believe it or not, is better than suffering the damn bites.

I suppose there’s a chance I’ve become allergic to mosquitoes. But why now? Hmm? Or maybe, if you like conspiracy theories, ‘someone’ wants us out of this overblown shed and is pumping mosquitoes in through its cracks. I dunno, but I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all. 😦

The internet isn’t a lot of help, either. It exacerbates my paranoia with articles about the rather nasty Blandford Fly, which is spreading countrywide. And then there’s this – and I warn you not to watch it if you’ve just eaten. It’s a chap who was bitten by a mosquito and … well, you’ll see.

It’s a battle, and not one I think I’ll win. Even though the walls and ceilings are dotted with their corpses there’s still the question of my blood. I wonder if eight imperial pints is enough?


A drunken society? Maybe, but at least we recycle.

I took this inside the huge metal glass recycling container in the local Sainsbury’s car park – the same store and car park that ‘Perspective‘ is set in. It is not the best photograph I’ve taken, but it is evocative.

What it evokes I leave entirely up to you. 😉


Solstice shadows

A shadow on the solstice

I’m generally a glass half full kind of chap, but when the summer solstice comes around I can’t help reverting to the ‘woe, woe and thrice woe, the year is over’ kind of mentality. After all, the sun has reached its zenith and is now creeping inexorably towards darkeness and the winter solstice –  its nadir. Sigh. 😦

I went on a splendid walk that took in the beach, the canal, the pill box and the valley inhabited by rabbits and sheep. Each has its charms and each is evocative in its own special way. The photo says it all, really.

Tomorrow I’ll be fine. It’s over and done with for this year and I can look forward to leaping around at the winter solstice as I persuade myself it’s instantly starting to get light again. Or, I could migrate between here and Australia and never have to worry again. 🙂


All the fun of the fair

The funfair arrives

Sun setting as I drove M home from music lessons and we saw the funfair had arrived. It’s a yearly event – though this year there is a one off price of £7.99 which get you a wrist band and allows you to ride all day (though only 6 times on the dodgems).

I’ve never been. There’s a large and permanent fair on the sea front that, frankly, looks a lot safer though I haven’t been there either. I went on the pier, but as a right pair of bastard burnt it down last year, that’s out.

The last real fair I went to was Battersea funfair when I was at school – which would make a good short story considering we all got mugged and I had to scream at the man running the rocket to stop it before I threw up. He did, and so did I – a salutary lesson not to eat candy floss whilst on a violent sick making whatsit.

Perhaps vomiting is an integral part and parcel of the funfair experience?


Alpaca love

Alpaca love - bless their cotton socks.

I was looking through my photos for one to use in the background of a book of short stories when I came across this, taken last year at the open day of ‘Lightfoot Alpacas‘ in Hawkhurst, Kent.

It was a lovely sunny day and, as days out go, it was a great success. You see, alpacas are soooooo cute it’s damn near unbelievable. They are the very definition of cuteness. They are cuteness personified – no, really, they are. In fact I’m amazed there isn’t a cult of alpaca worshippers out there. Oh, just so we’re clear: alpacas aren’t my bag (or sweater, or socks, either). They’re just cute; damn cute and it’s hard to lose the rictus smile when you eventually go home.

The fact of the matter is that if you took a bus load of hardened criminals to see the alpacas, they’d come back repentant and safe to release.

Waffle over.

Studio Sussex

Fluffy things and soya.

Aww, ducklings. How cute!

Walking to the studio yesterday I came across these ducklings and their mother. Mr. X who breeds them is not my favourite person – not that I know him or have ever seen him. He has a little floating duck house moored in the middle of the canal and, presumably to supplement his income – or because he’s a ferocious meat eater, he breeds ducks and geese. And they’re so, soooo cute and fluffy and cuddly.

Last year, while we were recording the album, Mick and I would feed them. We’d call out ‘ducks, ducks, ducks, ducks, DUCKS!’ and they’d come swimming up for all they were worth, quacking away for their snacks. Eventually Mark, who’d come out to see what we were up to, cleared his throat and said ‘you know they belong to Mr. X and they’re for the pot.’

The fact of the matter is that I’m a sucker for cute wee beasties: be they cats, ducks,  lambs or whatever. It breaks my heart thinking of eating them and yet I’m not a vegetarian. Why? Obviously the flaw is mine and not Mr. X’s. After all, you can’t get attached to soya protein, can you?