Thursday, September 23, 2004

Owww, owww, ouch, grumble, mutter

Had my fourth session with the physio today, and yet another infliction of pain of the acupuncture variety. It hurts. rather a lot. especially when Maggie [the physio] twiddles the needles to make an ever more efficient contact with the pain receptors in my nervous system.

Today I lay there, snoozing quietly with pins in my leg [2] arm [3] hands [2] shoulder [2] and neck [1]. It hurt, but was a dull sort of ache/itch which did'nt really bother me, because I knew it was doing me good.

Then she came back and twiddled them some more. I yelped, it hurt so much. So when you think about it, when it comes to extracting information from suspects using torture, all you need is a good acupuncturist to insert one of those fine needles - in just the right place - and then twiddle it a bit, and you'd be ready to rat on your gran. And then the needle is pulled out and the pain magically disappears and you feel quite relaxed and a little snoozy.

But, I have to say, what with the acu and the physio, my shoulders are improving albeit rather slowly. i've given myself until next easter to be back to what passes as full fitness for me. So it's off to the gym for some weight training also.

Monday, September 13, 2004

musical ramblings

..Sitting here debating on whether to write something else for this blog, and so not allow it to fall it into a state of, shall we say, disrepair, I realised that I've said nothing about music. Or, rather, the music I listen to.

Once upon a time I would have regarded my musical likes and dislikes as being somewhat wide ranging but on reflection, I now have to admit it's only wide ranging within one or two genres. The classics field, with a couple of exceptions within the much derided 'popular-classics' area is a closed book, which frankly, I'm not bothered about. I have precisely 4 classic albums. Two of Vaughn Williams on CD; Holsts "Planet Suite" and Dvoraks "From the New World" on cassette. That's it. And I'm not bothered about getting any more. Opera? No.

So we're down to 'popular music'. you know, the usual suspects. So.... jazz? err no. Swing, Be-bop, Big Band?... nein. Sinatra??? eurgh. Easy listening a'la James Last? again, eurgh.

OK then..... modern youff stuff, Rap, Hip Hop, House, Pop, Disco, Punk? ...... err no.

So what is it that I like?

I'll tell you, since you are all gagging to know! I like a leetle bit of this and that from world music, reggae, soul, blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, even AOR.

I reckon that's enough to be going on with. So what am I listening to as I write this.....
Beth Orton's retrospective 'Pass in Time' or more specifically her version of John Martyn's 'Dont want to know about evil' which is sublime and I hate to say it, even better than JM's album version, although I have heard him crank it out live where it made the hairs on the back of my head all stand up.

So what have I bought lately? Well apart from the aforementioned Beth Orton offering, John Martyn's latest 'on the cobbles' which I have'nt really got into yet; Natalie Merchants folksong covers 'Carpenters daughter', which I'm not wildly enthusiastic about, yet; Chris Isaaks 'Baja sessions', surf music at it's best IMO.

A word or two on the above artistes. Beth Orton. love her, love her, love her. a voice which can be tender, and hoarse and unmusical all at once, she reduces me to jelly when she's on form. did I tell you I love her? well I don't mind saying I'm in love with Miss Beth.
John Martyn. The guv'nor. irascible, unpredictable, a liability. and yet. and yet. woefully overlooked, he's the muso's muso. loved, revered and hated in equal measure.
Chris Isaak. Think of Roy Orbison with his own guitar band, and indy leanings. luvverly west coast rock. and a surfer to boot.
Natalie Merchant. something of an enigma. sometimes a little too earnest. but I did like her last album.

So who else? in no particular order- late Emmylou Harris, Nick Drake, Davey Spillane, Fairport, Afro Celt, Eva Cassidy, Robert Plant, JJ Cale, Ry Cooder, Gillian Welch etc etc........ mostly in a folky, rocky, celtic, way

Oh I absolutely hate: the Eagles, american power ballads [ala freebird / wind beneath my wings/ etc], MOR , C/W, "novelty" songs, boy/girl bands, europop, RAP [argh!!!]

Seems like I'm an old reactionary when it comes to music, but I know what I like, everything else can go $^&^&*(* itself. AND I listen to radio 2 [well don't all discerning music lovers?]

PS I don't posses a single album by either, The Stones, The Beatles, Elton John or Cliff Richard. Is this a record?


logs, boobs and falling out

Back in work, and as usual, I'm looking to do as little as possible. I'm working quite hard at evading the mountain of paperwork in front of me, hence my being back here writing yet another pointless missive.

Last week I fired up the club pc and let Jacki and Chris read the log I did of the trip down to the Scillies. General opinion... a humorous and accurate rendition of what actually happened. Sort of.

Luckily they did'nt delve too deep otherwise they would have come across my scriblings about my deep passion and love for Jacki, along the lines of -

'she stroked his manly beard and moaned into his ear " I want you, now". Quickly he ripped off her skimpy black bikini, the one she only used for sunbathing; the one which only just covered her womanly charms; the one that.............'

you get the drift.

I subsequently dived into the "EDIT" function and erased all mention of illicit love of Chris' wife. I'm sure it would embarass Jacki too. I have to say that bikini is on the 'loose' side. It reminded me of the time when the comely Sarah Yak wore an evening dress that was so daring that her 'ample' boobs threatened to fall out at any and every opportunity, and was thereafter christened as 'the great escape'

Only joking Jacki [walks off with a smug smirk on his face]


Saturday, September 11, 2004

Summer is finally over.....official

Well, after a week when the weather swung from 'end of summer' back into 'phew, it's a scorcher' we are now definitely into 'Autumn's here'.

Still, I have to conceed that it's weather like this that makes living in the UK so, well - 'interesting'. We don't have a climate as such, just weather. For instance, whilst in north California a couple of years back I was surprised when it actually rained for a while. Shock! Of course I was completely unprepared for a small shower in San Francisco in late October. I had brought all my wet weather gear with me but the weather for nigh on 3 weeks had been entirely benign, sunny every day, and the only consideration was whether to wear a light fleece over a T. or not.

Now, I'm not sure whether I would like a whole summer of constant sunshine, certainly when we get those long spells of hot stuff, everyone gets techy and things just don't run as well. It's wierd, a lack of consistency seems to work for the UK psyche, constantly adapting to what amounts to mild chaos, makes us go with the flow and adapt accordingly, but give us a consistent sort of of weather - be it hot and sunny or cold and snowy or [very] wet and rainy , our whole infrastructure, national, local or even domestic just grinds to a halt.

Hmmm. I wonder if there is any milage into looking into this as a little 'project'. I'm sure there is an article in the subject, if only I can be bothered to research, collate and write it all up. Nope, I much prefer to comment on the fact, let someone else do the work, and then complain that it was my idea first.

Similar to the way we moan about the weather and our lack of preparedness, really.

Monday, September 06, 2004

the wonderful world of the www

Casting about it's amazing just how many bizarre web-sites there are out there. And not just wierd porn or far-right nazi power sites either. There are some seriously whacky and funny ideas too, presumably from the members of the why-be-normal club.

So in the first of an occasional series I give you:

be carefull, if you are of a 'nervous disposition' it might not be for you. Me? Oh I had minutes of inwardly chuckling at the MontyPython humour............

Sunday, September 05, 2004

my personality

The other night on the BeeB there was a programme on people's personalities. According to psychologists, there are 4 basic areas through which one can interpret one's personality: planner/spontaneous; facts/ideas; head/heart; exrovert/introvert.

Depending on how you score in the above you can be accurately pigeonholed into one of 16 'types', by asking various questions in various sections to gauge your response.

On screen the several guinea pigs all behaved as forecast and so one went to the end of the quiz in the expectation of a pretty accurate personality profile........

However as I read the questions I found several which I really could'nt decide between, since elements of both were correct. So on that basis in each section I chose the first of those iffy ones. My personality turned out to be 'Realist', but as I read the description I was'nt doing much identifying. Oh sure, elements were correct, but others [like 'hard-working' hehe ] were most assuredly not.

So I went back and checked the second of the iffy questions in each section instead. This time I came up as 'Councillor' and guess what.... yep, I could'nt see myself there either! Again there were major elements which I thought did reflect my personality, but bits where I thought 'no way!'.

But, and heres a thing, if I took the relevant [ie accurate]bits of the 'Realist' and some of the 'Councillor' then there I was, well pretty close anyway.

I noticed afterward that there was'nt a section for 'sociopath' or 'axe-murderer' or indeed 'saint' so one has to wonder as to how efficatious this actually was?

Friday, September 03, 2004

September already!

September has arrived and the memories of the Scillies are fading faster than I would like.

So I had better get something down now, before it all disappears into the haze of summer gone.

A few more indolent days, just enjoying the Islands, the pub, Tresco gardens and the beaches came to an end with the the immenent arrival of the tail end of a hurricane, which was to flood large parts of the south west.

Living, as we were, tied to a buoy in the reasonably sheltered waters of Old Grimsby, we were'nt too worried about the impending storm, although several other boats nearby scuttled off to New Grimsby on the other side of the island in the erroneous belief it would be more sheltered there. The wind [F7-8] was due to come in from the SE to start with before veering S and then into the SW. This put it as just offshore by the time it would be at it's worst. So that was OK then. Of more immediate worry was the huge swell breaking near Men a'vaur outside the anchorage, and wrapping inside.

outside at full chat. double overhead at least; and makeable, going right

Once the tide dropped this problem would dissipate, but it was likely to be somewhat uncomfortable for some time in the night, what with the tide and swell opposite the wind the chances were that Pagan would lie a-beam, which would be unpleasant to say the least.

It was a fine evening and there was'nt the merest hint of what was to come as we went ashore for another of Chris' bbq's [I told you Chris was big with the burnt offering stuff, did'nt I? well to be fair he was pretty good at it] Thus sated we returned to the boat, now sitting in an empty anchorage. Now, we began to wonder if we should really have gone round the corner along with everone else. To make sure Jacki phoned one of her old friends, someone who knew the area like a local, having been coming to the Scillies for years [but was now safely tied up in Milford Haven]. He reckoned we were in the right spot, and that the others would get all the nasties as the wind veered toward the S and W.
So we doubled up the warps to the bouy, took the engine off the dinghy, double warped the dinghy and flaked out the biggest anchor we had just in case we had to bail out and find a spot closer inshore during the night. A couple of hot chocolates with Jamesons and we settled in.

Around midnight I awoke to the sound of wind keening in the rigging and something banging on the hull just next to my head. Sticking my head out of the hatch I noticed that we had indeed swung round to lie broadside on and were starting to roll awkwardly. The dinghy was alonside and pinned against the hull by the wind so I led it round aft and away from us. Glancing at the sky the moon shone through storm wracked clouds and I could sense the wind beginning to build. Being from the SE it was warm, but even so, I did'nt want to spend much time outside, especially as an intermittent rain was now heading in, horizontally.
Deciding to stay up for a while, I made an instant soup and sat under the shelter of the cockpit hood and watched the storm unfold around me, theres nothing I normally like better than a good storm, but usually from the safety of my home. The others slept on oblivious to what was happening outside. As the tide gradually ebbed and the north going stream made itself felt a little more we moved to be bow onto the wind. At the same time the swell entering the anchorage dropped off and so we settled to being a little less roly, although the wind seemed to increase in strength towards the south, pushing F8 and probably more, we were getting a degree of shelter of the land now. A quick check around the boat, and back to bed where I slept, more-or-less until the morning, which dawned bright and warm but with a wind still quite strong, but from the SW now.

We decided that a trip back to Bryher for lunch and wandering was in order.