2013 June | Rise and Dear Demise
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Carnival of Thieves “Welcome to the Carnival....

Carnival of Thieves “Welcome to the Carnival.
The other night sitting out in the yard, BBQ fired up, (Once I had been on a magical mystery tour to replaced the propane)  roasting a nice Cajun BBQ Whole Chicken I needed something special to play on the musical rock. It was getting late and still as hot and sticky as it can get, I  call out to # 1 Daughter, still up as school has finished “Give me 2 numbers” (This game corresponds to shelf and CD  allowing me to access truly random music). What The Hell ! out pops Carnival of Thieves “Welcome To The Carnival” So how did a signed copy of this most excellent and obscure (to the uninitiated) album get into my music library? Well sometime around my  Birthday Oct 1995 visiting my home town of Sheffield my best buddy Mark  drove us over to Chesterfield  dragged us up some stairs into a bar to see Mr Nick Harrison & Carnival of Thieves Mark IV play , sort of they were doing a three man show can’t remember why. Now you may think this is when I got hold of the signed copy of this  and you would be wrong. This is how the next morning I ended up in Carlsboro Sounds buying a Westone Thunder 1a Bass as a birthday present to myself. (The first consequence of my Birthday promise to myself to turn over a new leaf, from now on any foolishness uttered while drinking had to be followed up by dedicated action the next day a sort of credibility check, you have no idea how much trouble this has caused and how hard it is to stick by, but mostly believe it or not I have.) Twelve months later sitting in “The Lossie Inn” (a bar at the time that had its fair share off bikers) on the front at Lossiemouth in the wilds of Northern Scotland its  October 1996 I was busy enjoying an Indian Summer and the cold beers that go with it. Discussing how great the summer has been and how as always the three day Folk Festival at the “Beach Bar” had been excellent and wouldn’t it be great if we could have a Rock Festival as well. (Sounds like a sensible beer drink topic while sitting in a Biker Bar feeling very Rock & Roll in...

A Heartbreaking Truth.

A Heartbreaking Truth.
Well it had to happen sooner or later, something I want with all my soul has turned up out of the blue, something I would almost give up everything for and if I did and was capable of upsetting my son, bribing my daughter and demanding my wife accepts my decision I would be poor or poorer but have something that would fulfill all my wildest dreams for the rest of my life. But you know what, I will not put them through this, I will suffer in silence. Now what is it that has me so heartbroken, something I have subconsciously wanted from birth ( well that’s my story and I am sticking to it).  A Faberge egg, a DB5 well 007’s DB5, a Monet, an island with a Malt Whiskey distillery on it? No this trifle is only $399,900 and if I sell every thing and talk to the bank its mine. A FARMHOUSE, “A Farmhouse!”, I here you say what possibly could be exciting about a Farmhouse? well everything all my rise’s and dear demise’s can be completed in one grand project, and my memorial will be left for generations of my offspring to wonder at. Not any old Farmhouse but one sitting here on the Prairies on a miniscule 6.5 acres some arable some grazing some woods and outbuildings. Not just a Farmhouse but a Red Brick built two story Heritage Farmhouse built in 1918 ( That’s old here my local city had its 100th anniversary only recently ) To cap it all its described as requiring the correct handyman to appreciate and love it. There  we have it a lost cause a project so beyond reason. I have not slept for a week we have an opportunity to have an Architectural Salvage business in the 69′ barn together with what my daughter is describing as ornamental pigs an old garage big enough for an Art Gallery and restoration shop and arable for heritage vegetables room for greenhouses . A local hops grows here in the summer I could make Bitter, enough room for Nov 5th, Dogs hunting variety, Partridge , Grouse, Pheasant and Ptarmigan. And a whole period Farmhouse to re-finish in traditional methods and fill full of period pieces of course I would pretend it was older and I could invite the people who care about me...

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”....

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”.
I was surprised this came out in 1983/84 completely off my radar back then. Eventually bought this in a Hi-Fi store selling Linn, Rega, Arcam, Cambridge and other equipment I will never be able to afford. Vinyl was allegedly dead and I was busy buying albums at knock down prices so I became a proud owner of the Linn pressing of  The Blue Niles:  “A Walk Across The Rooftops”. It turns out to be the first album recorded on the Linn label and its in 1001. And its a delight a blend of soul and electronica and halting passionate  vocals of Paul Buchanan. Sort of small-town suburbia  passion very similar to the lyrics of Everything But The Girl. Just put it on and play it time and time again. So you will be asking why the hell did I sell it together with all my other LP’s? I can only claim temporary insanity my broken turntable and imminent emigration to Canada. Until recently my desktop slide show at work has been the art work from these missing /sold albums I remove each one as I repurchase it on CD ( Alas a lot of stuff has still not made it off vinyl) . Finally last year Virgin re-released this album 2 CD set with additional tracks and once again I am enjoying the pleasure that is The Blue Nile.  Loved by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Rickie Lee Jones and Annie Lennox. Even my kids are beginning to appreciate there old dad may have some taste in music (No rude comments please).  Recently I was sent on a mission by my son to find music for his girlfriends birthday present apparently I know what sort of weird hip stuff she would like. So birthday present was The Flaming Lips : Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and Portishead : Dummy,  apparently I did a good job however it appears they are not currently on speaking terms. If I did not own copies of these I might have been tempted to ask for them back. Oh the good old days. So the final question what the hells all this releasing albums on vinyl even ones that were not. I will not fall for it I tell you. especially when these newfangled 189g  LP’s  they are whopping  $25-$59 and CD’s are $5-$15...

Kings Croft 83/84

Kings Croft 83/84
After some frantic memory searching and a hiccup in my memories internal time line I now have this great event nailed down sort of. Here are the Black & White photos from Kings Croft common room  circa 1983/84 featuring the band we think were called ECLIPSE thanks Jeremy.  As you can see scattered throughout the band and in the crowd a collection of the usual suspects, all looking ridiculously young and on their best behavior.  I wish I had the soundtrack to go with it. This was the year I got seriously into Photography. Having returned from my first Euro Rail trip and working at the Big Tree ( Temporarily Beefeater at the time a horrible experience  they made me wear a Red and White striped uniform which I would like to say was the most hideous thing I have ever worn but in all honesty I can’t, but it is the one and only time I have been caught in the Red & White I can only say I needed the money for Cameras ). Just to put this period into context (1983) Blackadder debuted and it was the last year for the Professionals and Animal Magic. Spitting Image  and the Tube were  going strong.  (1984) was the last year for The Young Ones. To keep with the rise and demise theme we lost the great Tommy Cooper (Just like that), Eric Morecombe . Leonard Rossiter (The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perin) and Reginald Bosenquet.     So 1983/84 listening to Magazine, Thin Lizzy (As always), Peter Gabriel, Dire Straights & The Blues Breakers. Interests include Photography,Travel and Beer. Albums released in 1983:- ZZ Top : Eliminator.  Duran Duran : Rio.  Def Leppard : Pyromania. Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Hanoi Rocks : Back To The Mystery.  Eurythmics : Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). The Blue Nile : A Walk Across The Rooftops.      ...

Jasper 2012 (a slight return pt 2 )

Jasper 2012 (a slight return pt 2 )
As our 2013 trips get ever closer I guess I should close out last years trips. How things change 2012 was the year of the Techno Campsite I booked a slot with power initially I thought I might need it to start my old lemon meringue  Jeep but due to my wife never failing to surprise and delight me I got a new car well not new new but  from 1994 to 2004. So what to do with the power? Well I had just become the proud owner of a slightly used   i Pad 1  64 gig and 3G and and after my new camera from last year running out of battery  the power came in handy. My daughter showed me how to play Angry Birds and I have no idea what our fellow campers thought all the laughter was about. I had started loading my CD music library on to the i pad ( I found out my daughter likes Muse ) and a couple of apps  (Word Press for 1 ).  So 3 season Vango and new ZR2 loaded up we set off on our adventure Father and Daughter into the Rockies.    ...

Long-board 2013

Long-board 2013
Well as mentioned at the end of HEB Softball 2013  we have the pride before the fall. You guessed it we have an accident and a broken elbow #1 Son (Who was a bit upset about this) ended up missing the rest of the Softball games, he was not able to play Sax in the spring music concert and had to sit in the middle of the raft and not paddle during the river watch on the North Saskatchewan river last week. Now I know what you are thinking there is some risk in long-boarding to school. and I agree I was set up for an accident but believing in a bit of prior preparation #1 Son did a trial run the evening before using paved bike trails and carrying the board over major intersections we discussed pedestrians and to be respectful to other path users etc. So off he sets, gets up early (which is something in its self) so he has plenty of time to get to school, 19 minutes later a I get a call from an upset wife # 1 Son is all bleeding and battered dragging his long-board home. Fell off ? Well no on his way to school he moves aside for an oncoming bike and the arse on the matt black BMX with his Chicago Bulls cap on backwards leans over and clotheslines him instant wipe-out. I rush home take him to the emergency room X–rays later one broken elbow which is set in a splint and a forecast of three weeks before it will be healed. Why did he have no protection on well I don’t know so now he has a broken elbow I sort him out a new helmet that actually fits over his mop of hair and isn’t too embarrassing how this will stop him breaking bones I have no Idea but a Dad has to do something. The school also suggested that the incident was pretty serious and needed reporting to the police so that took up the rest of the day and its not a bad job watching out for concussion (you can see we also sorted out how he could continue online gaming and use his keyboard).        ...

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