Halloween and other stuff

Happy Halloween to you!

Here follows the sea as I saw it a few days ago, phone camera in hand. It’s been tweaked using the wonderful open source program ‘Paint.NET‘ – oddly, not its URL.

The beach at St. Leonards - manipulation #1
The beach at St. Leonards – manipulation #1
St. Leonards Beach #2 - manipulation
The beach at St. Leonards – manipulation #2

Then there’s this. The latest piece of sculpture in the local sculpture park.

A Memorial for an Unseen Presence. By Jaye Ho

I think it’s a pill box (gun emplacement). Art designed to remind us of the 1st World War is a good thing. We, and by we I mean the human race, should never forget the horror of war, nor the millions of young lives that were needlessly lost. I only wish the sheet covering the frame looked more like concrete and less like tie-dye.

NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow (1st November). If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, or why I often waffle on about it in October, then it’s well worth checking out: especially if you’ve ever felt you have a wonderful novel inside you just waiting to be written. I’ve taken part most years since 2006, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s almost as good as sex drugs rock & roll visiting a local sculpture park . 😉

You can find me at NaNoWriMo HERE.

Have a great Halloween! Ave. Oh, if you fancy reading a short horror story I wrote for Halloween then click here. It’s called ‘Pleiades.’


I spy with my little eye… an Olympic torch.

Once in a lifetime

If you’re deaf and blind you might possibly have missed the news that we’re hosting The 2012 Olympics in the U.K..

I’ve known about the torch coming to St. Leonards and Hastings for months, ever since a very excited bank employee told me. Why? Because the bank – which is 80% owned by the public after it came close to collapse and had to be bailed out of its difficulties by the government – is an Olympic sponsor. What this actually means I really don’t know… except that a few minutes before I caught the torch bearer on camera the front of the ‘convoy’ had driven by.

The first bus in the sponsors’ convoy was ‘Samsung’ which was handing out blue ballons and flags and had a rapper rapping loudly about the Olympics and Hastings. The ‘Samsung’ bus was followed by a ‘Coke’ bus that had pretty young things handing out chilled bottles of the same – not that I got one. No, they weren’t handing out phones or Olympic mirror and razor blade sets which I can guarantee would have got them a lot more publicity. Then came the ‘Lloyds TSB’ bus. As busses went it was definitely the funkiest and, had they been distributing £50 notes, its picture would have been the one above. In fact the ‘Lloyds TSB’ bus did nothing other than have ‘Lloyds TSB’ written on it along with their annoying cartoon characters. No hint of free money, or a loan, or even a mortgage offer. Meh. And I’m one of the owners, too.

They left a respectable 5 minutes-ish gap between the sponsors convoy and the torch bearer which, I guess, was sensible. But on the other hand you simply can’t escape the fact that the games are not really about sport at all. The original Olympic ideal is long gone. Now, it’s about global recognition, marketing, brands, and money making… sadly.

However, I can say I was there. Along with thousands of others lining the route I saw the torch – or one of them at any rate. 😉

Kamakura Sussex

Around and about

As I haven’t blogged in what seems an age, and as I’ve just backed up my phone camera – which had over a thousand pictures on it, I thought it only decent to post what’s probably tgoing to be closer to waffle than diary. This is in reverse order, so the more recent are at the bottom and the oldest at the top. However it does include Royalty, so those who are all pooped out with the Jubilee should beware.

Here then, are a few scattered oddities around and about town and other places:

There’s a vacant lot by Warrior Square Station. Obviously they couldn’t sell it as a building plot – besides, there are so many empty shops nearby you’d have your pick and you definitely wouldn’t want to live there – so instead they have used it for a mini sculpture park. Not that you can walk inside and touch! To me it looks like they had an accident putting razor wire on the fence, but what do I know. The following two shots are, I think, artistically better.

Better viewed from more abstract angles and directions.

Then I come upon this. The Tubman. I’ve never been inside, and I’m not sure I’d want to drink there without a Harry Potter to come to the rescue. I kind of like the decoration in a dark, black goth, sort of way: but it’s not at all jolly hockey sticks, or very welcoming. It’s more a ‘fancy a pint of blood?’ kind of gaff.

Up the street a nadge is this little lane that instantly sparked a number of fantasy plots…

…and just a stones throw away this – which made me wonder at the fantasy plots I was musing over; at humanity and its taste in general, and the locals and their taste in particular. I guess I’m just not a Gnome lover. Elves and Dragons and Wizards, yes: Gnomes, no.

The next day I was walking along the seafront and saw this beautifully painted car. Being presently carless I’m rather jealous, though I’m not sure how I’d feel if I had a bad hangover.

Then, on the 2nd June, we went to Canning Town to play a gig in a venue surrounded by scrap yards (most odd). Still, you can’t deny human ingenuity. One of the scrapyards had cleverly thought of a way to make extra revenue. I’m not convinced ‘Oasis’ is intentionally ironic, though I rather hope it is.

Then came the Jubilee. Locally, excitement was high. Here, Queen Victoria sports the latest in Royal headwear.

Though I’m not a dyed (or should that be died) in the wool Royalist, I do think the Queen is a remarkable woman, and the pageant on the Thames was rather splendid – even though the coverage was so dumbed down and crass the BBC should be spanked. Here though, I was convinced she was spying on me having tea.

Which brings me to yesterday – or, by the time this is posted, the day before yesterday. The last night of the Jubilee celebrations. We played a really good gig at The Rose and Crown in Worthing. The stage was tiny, but the audience wasn’t!

So that’s me up-to-date. Camera phones are wondrous beasts indeed!

Kamakura Sussex

Dubious or what.

In the bog of the smuggler, Pett.


We played a gig on Sunday at The Smuggler in Pett. As gigs go it went jolly well. There was a nice lady dancing by the bar, and quite a few more people tapping feet. There was also clapping to which I humbly replied “Thank you,” or “Thank you so much,” in a slightly shy murmur that, no doubt, Freddie Mercury would have howled at.

The odd song arrangement I managed to stuff up went well, too: in that nobody noticed, or if they did they were to polite to say. It’s amazing that you can rehearse until you’re as perfect as perfect can be, and then your brain goes blank when faced with an audience. Ho hum, and c’est la vie and all that.

Anyway, the point of this blog entry is A) I haven’t blogged in a while and thought I should, and B) we had a poster and I thought you should see it. Of course the poster wasn’t just put up in the gents, it was on the noticeboard as well. But where’s the fun in that?

Kamakura Sussex

Apocryphal or what.

Kamakura - on the rack in HMV


A while back, though not in the dimest past, I found Mick sniggering. On asking him what was so funny he said he’d put a copy of our album ‘Dealing With Liquids’ in the racks at HMV Records in the town centre.

‘Sure you did,’ I said in a disbelieving tone designed to wind him up. Then I forgot. A while later he said there were now three in there and they been marked up at £10. ‘Hmm,’ said I, as sometimes young Mick can be a little fanciful … a little bit Walter Mitty.

So … I finally found myself near HMV and went to have a look: and now I publically kowtow, and apologise for disbelieving him. There was our CD in all its shrink-wrapped glory. I was almost tempted to buy it so they’d re-order; I was almost tempted to buy it to see if we ever received a royalty statement.

The thrill of seeing your own album in a large record store is worth the cost of putting the album there yourself. Better, anyway, than having them glaring at you from a shelf above your desk.

Word! 🙂


…and the next day

Warrior Square Station


No more snow, though temperature low.

This, of course, doesn’t obviate the need for shopping. One simply has to trudge and bear it—which is better than beering and staggering it, I suppose. And much, much better than Vodka and crawling. Me, I’d stone and float it if I had a choice, but I don’t. Waaay too long in the tooth for that sort of malarkey. Also, I don’t know anyone to turn me on. Sad, but true.

One thing that does turn me on and is totally without the need for a dealer (unless, that is, you count Murdoch’s Sky as a dealer), is F1. All the big teams (except Mercedes) have released their cars now, and all of them, except McLaren, have an ugly step down just after the monocoque and before the nose. Simply speaking the McLaren is beautiful and none of the others are: which is worrying. It’s worrying because I’m now thinking maybe McLaren have gone done a boo-boo. Maybe the hideous step is vital: after all, Red Bull have one, and they’re hardly slouchily slow. Oh dear. 😦

Hmm. I wonder what tommorow will bring?



…later the same day.

Back garden


There are squirrels and birds of all wild varieties, and cats and wee snow beasties, too. Of course you can’t see them as it’s a still photograph, but they’re there.

And now. Now I have to go to the shops for to purchase comestibles of all sorts (which doesn’t mean liquorice all sorts, though it could if I happen to stumble across a packet). Pity me, for it’s cold and wet and bleak, and did I mention cold?




It's Snowing!


It’s just past 2:30am on the 5th February and it’s snowing!

I love snow. For the first few minutes it takes me back to my childhood and snowdays when school was cancelled and I could get wrapped up warm, go outside, thunder about building snow-men, get soaking wet and come back in to sit infront of a fire and have a hot bath. It’s good to get all snowed up and then, wuzzly warm, go to bed. And it’s especially good, nay, it’s the best, if it snows on Christmas eve: Christmas morning with fresh deep snow is wonderful! There’s nothiing like it. It’s special, magical, and produces wonderful memories.

So, I love snow … for the first few minutes. Then it becomes a pain in the arse. Plans change. Life changes, and quite possibly Swiss Buns double in price.

Wrap up warm, take care, and have fun! 🙂


Swiss Bun – a potential IPO

Jempsons and the Swiss Bun IPO


Jempsons is a noble emporium originally based in the ancient Cinque Port of Rye in East Sussex. They’ve been going a good long while, have a supermarket out in the country that attracts the celebrity set (most folk can’t afford it), a sheik bakery-come-coffee shop in Rye, and most recently have taken over, done up, and re-opened a failing bakery in King’s Road, St. Leonards. It too is a bakery-come-coffee shop, and has tables and chairs both inside and outside – for those sunny days when you fancy a lazy sit down and a snack among the dealers, dog shit and occasional pan-handler that sidles your way.

I was in there the other day to buy a loaf of bread and ‘something nice for tea.’ The bread was hellish expensive, but you feel good buying it as your loaf is personally sliced by one of Jempsons’ blonde young things (if you can attract their attention away from admiring their nails and the endless games of patience they play by the till).

My loaf arrived and I was perusing the cakes. It was rather late in the day so there wasn’t that much choice, however I spotted two Swiss Buns. Swiss Buns, for those who don’t know them, are a small cake of slightly sweet bread covered in icing sugar. They are generally the cheapest cake you can buy.

Not at Jempsons.

Ninety five pence. That’s 95p to those who have fallen off their chair in shock. Luckily, we’ve stopped asking the psychological 99p: Charge 99p – people consider they’re getting a good deal. Charge £1.00 and they think you’re expensive. 99p is dead and buried, but only because no one uses 1p pieces anymore. Now, the psychological amount is 95p.

NINETY FIVE PENCE! For a small bit of bread and some icing sugar.

If I wasn’t a religious man I would probably swear. If I wasn’t pious I might say that 95p for a Swiss Bun is a FUCKING RIP OFF! I might even go so far as to say that Jempsons are SCROFULOUS BASTARDS out to squeeze the last penny from the people of St. Leonards.

Even 50p (that’s £2.00 for 4) would be expensive. BUT 95p!

This 95p Swiss Bun malarkey lead me to think that maybe Jempsons, like FaceBook, are going to float themselves on the stock market. After all, with profit like that who wouldn’t want to buy shares?

You wait, they’ll be a Jempsons IPO soon. The Swiss Bun tells me so.



ain’t so fruity now

Another one bites the dust...

I blogged recently about supermarkets coming in, taking over, and forcing local shops out of business (crushing them financially). This ‘phenomenon’ is happening in every town—large and small—all over the country. Beware! If the supermarkets’ grand plan for world domination hasn’t affected you yet it soon will.

Above is yet another shop from the King’s Road (not the King’s Road in London) biting the dust. Not an orange, apple, potato, kiwi, or bunch of roses in sight: just bags of rubble. This shop has been like this for months. So sad, yet seemingly inevitable.

There has to be something we can do to fight the slow creep of this particular change. But what, I have no idea.