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Minchin’s ‘Storm’

I have to admit that, to my chagrin, I’ve never seen Tim Minchin live. I’ve found him on the net several times and always meant to get tickets. But he’s either not playing anywhere closer than Sidney, or I wander off elsewhere and the mists of time obscure the desire. You know what it’s like online; you click a link and BANG! the next viscerally exciting new thing appears. You know: shiny things. So, back to Tim Minchin.

“Who?” Some, with a quizzical lift to an eyebrow, might ask.  To them let me say you’re in for a treat. Tim Minchin is an Australian English-born skeptical atheist musical comedian who lives in London, and I think he’s very, very, spot on and funny.

Earlier today I visited Patrick Rothfuss’s site. That’s the Patrick Rothfuss who wrote the utterly stellar fantasy ‘The Name of the Wind’, it’s sequel ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, and yet hasn’t got around to finishing the damn trilogy. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s a true trilogy with a story arc that won’t be complete until the end of book III. It’s rather like having some yahoo tearing off the last third of the best book you’ve ever started reading and taunting you with it. Anyway, I had a gander at his blog and though there was no news about the book, there, live as any link to YouTube can be, was Minchin’s  ‘Storm.’ As I hadn’t seen it in a while I thought I’d post it here.

So, without further ado, sit back for a few minutes and enjoy.

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…and I’m feelin’ bluuuuuue!

Most humans are diurnal (active during the day), except for me. During the winter months I could happily hibernate and sleep for England.

I also (woe, woe, and thrice woe is me) suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Otherwise known as winter blues, it’s rotten, and proof that no matter what we think we are, we are animals like every other creature on the planet. Animals with a body clock – a circadian rhythm – that gets upset during the winter months because of the limited daylight.  It’s our body clock that governs whether or not we’re ‘larks’ (those who get up and go to sleep two hours earlier than average), or ‘owls’ (those who get up and go to bed two hours later than average) and our body clocks (chronotype) are as much outside our control as the colour of our eyes, the colour of our hair, and how tall we are.

Bloody body clock! I can re-set my watch, why not my body clock, too?

Body Clock
Average Body Clock

Not knowing it was a seasonal thing, I went to see el doctore about my winter blue depression (there’s a song or twenty in there – probably with a mournful harmonica somewhere near the end). The doctor handed me a script for an SSRI class anti-depressant. Luckily for me I don’t like pills. Besides, they take several weeks to start working, you can – amongst other wonderful side-effects – become suicidal, and it’s damn near impossible to stop taking them … super! 😉

So I took to the net and found light was the answer: blue light of a specific frequency to be more exact. I bit the bullet and bought one and I can honestly say it works. I could still sleep for England, but now I’m not depressed about it. 🙂

...chasing the blues away
…chasing the blues away

 

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Jesus wept

Christmas 2012
Christmas 2012 – Jesus Wept

So here we are. Christmas! 🙂

The St. Leonards’ Christmas decorations: situated on the vacant lot by the station and probably paid for by Colin Booth, the sculptor of ‘Jesus Wept.’

St. Leonards’ used to have proper Christmas street lights. Of course, those were the days when the council could afford them; before we found out that bankers and politicians were infallible humans, too; not to mention crooks. They were the days before ‘austerity measures’ became the new black; when you could put petrol in your car without a mortgage, and buy your weekly groceries from your local grocer.

Christmas 2012!

Sixty years ago, when the general belief was that by now we’d be living in a utopian dream and have colonies on the Moon and be settling Mars (like the wild west), did anyone dream we’d be where we are today? The dystopian fiction I read never went this route. Yes, they’d be a nuclear war followed by a nuclear winter, or, killer robots, or, a pandemic that kills all but a ‘lucky’ few. No one dreamt that the world superpowers would switch; that they’d still be starving children, a vicious re-emergence of AIDS,  ice caps melting, and a slaughter of innocents by deranged gun toting lunes…. No, that wasn’t seen. Not in any stories I read.

The picture above isn’t good quality by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still in colour. Maybe black & white is closer to the truth:

Jesus wept bleakly
Jesus wept, bleakly.

I’d guess you would weep if you were being crucified for humanities sins. After all, it’s not terribly fair, is it?

This photo manipulation is closer to the truth of this Christmas in this place. Bleak. It’s bleak, and no I’m not turning all Dickensian and Baa Humbug. It’s just the truth. And we’ve not got it bad compared to some. I wonder. I wonder if, with the way things are going, Colin Booth might not have been closer to the truth if his neon sign had said ‘Arbeit macht frei.’

—————————————————

All the above bollocks aside, I hope you have a great holiday, sincerely. 🙂

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Aww….

Bless my cotton socks!

I stumbled upon this picture while hoovering – literally as I fell over an old box which looked worthy of exploration. I almost remember my dad taking it (definitely with a Rollei): it was in the garden of our first house in Kensington, London.

It looks like I’d been crying, which I used to do a lot, though I can’t remember the reasons. Off the top of my adult head it was probably because I was spoilt rotten and wanted to do – or have – something, and hadn’t been given permission. 🙂

In the same box I also found a bundle of short stories I wrote yonks ago, which should make entertaining reading for the long, windy, rain-sodden June evenings we’re having.

 

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Possibly the best 19 minutes you’ll ever spend.

Like a lot of people I was brought up believing that in order to be successful you had to be a charismatic extrovert. Until puberty I was—at least I think I was. An extrovert, certainly. Charisma… probably not. Though I made up for it by rushing around being very loud.

Now, I’d definitely say I’m an introvert. I like my own company and that of a few friends (and books, and writing). I can’t tell a joke—or pontificate to an audience—to save my life.

Like a light being turned on, Susan Cain’s ‘The Power of Introverts,’ a TED lecture, explains.

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Manking

A Manking Wordle

I penned a poem a couple of days ago and called it ‘Manking’. I recorded it, too. Here follows the poem, and the recording. Also, above and below, are wordles of it.

What does it mean? Everything or nothing; a lot or a little, or, whatever you want it to. I’m not a poet by any stretch of the imagination, but I like words and the way they sound.

So here it is:

Manking

Manking the language
Unscruttled of note
Suggestions of byhorn
Mal-niddleums throat
For the bird farlorn screama
Ain’t yardlorn de-greem
As the young sibdorn
Polishes the groat.

Here is another wordle:

Another Manking wordle

And here is a link to the audio.

Manking

I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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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.

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Midnight Dude print version released.

Midnight Dude book cover

The print version of Midnight Dude has been released today. It’s taken a while and more than one proof to get it right, but finally it’s on sale.

Eighteen great gay-themed tales from a bunch of very talented authors. I’m proud to have been involved.

The cover price is $17.95 from Amazon, but until the 1st December if you’re in the U.S.A. or Canada you can get it for $12.00, or if you’re in the U.K., £11.10. Both prices include delivery.

Get it HERE

You can also get the eBook there, too.

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Adieu

If there is a point to all of this it’s slipped me by
We’re born, sleep a lot, make love, wither, die.
Lessons we learn, trials we suffer through
Covered with sod or burnt, it is adieu.

I strive to make a difference, yearn to carve my mark
Battle genetics daily to change apathy to spark
Yet if there is a point I’m afraid I don’t see it now
Prithee tell me, I will be remembered how?

———

I wrote this an age ago – or so it seems. Though it’s still how I’m feeling, now.

Perhaps it just goes to show the cyclic nature of life … or maybe I’m just an arse? 🙂

Posted from WordPress for Android

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RIP Peter Falk

Columbo played by Peter Falk

If you grew up in the 1970s you couldn’t fail to have seen Columbo, the shabby mac wearing, shambling lieutenant of police with a pin sharp mind. My parents watched it avidly when it came to the UK, and now, forty years later, it’s on everyday on multiple channels and I know a lot of the stories like the back of my hand.

In the early 1980’s we went to LA to get a record deal and we slept on the floor of Corina Donegan’s (daughter of the late, great, Lonnie Donegan) apartment. One day we arrived back and there was an old friend of the family visiting. Even indoors he wore an ancient crumpled mac and was very pleasant and entertaining in his laid back way.  After he left Corina told us that he was a good friend of Falk, and that he had been the inspiration for him when he’d first got the role of Columbo.

Peter Falk died aged 83. He won four Emmy’s for Columbo and had been nominated for two oscars. He also starred in one of my favourite movies, a cult classic, The Princess Bride.