Saturday, 10 January 2015

Just for the record

I have realised that all I like(sorry that should read as LOVE) music, most of the artists that I love are primarily what are now known as "classic" rock I do like some new music.....just not much! I have to admit there are only a select handful that I have stuck with through thick and thin, Queen if I'm honest I think I stopped being a super fan around 1979 although I limped (and bought fucking everything with their name on it) on until the day Freddie Mercury died, still enjoyed some of the tracks but as a whole albums didn't match up to the seventies catalogue, Blue oyster cult I have never stopped loving them even through the "club ninja" period now as they preserve as Two oyster cult I still love them I just wished they released new music occasionally, Judas Priest need I say more OK so we will skip over Nostradamus! Kiss I still like the new stuff and I really don't care if the junkies/alcoholics aren't in the band they still rock so go figure, I could go on and on (what do you mean I usually do) but today I'm going to travel back in time to a band who on first listen I kind of with my reputation! how do I remember most of this shit? I don't, but I used to keep a diary and even in those days I would write down tons of shit purely because I could.


Music drink..............girls (not many but some)..................and lots more drink were the order of the day, me and the motley crew that I called friends may not have had lots of money, but we sure as hell did have some fun. off around Gimpsville (my hometown) off to Newcastle and Durham for local gigs and fun and frolics, off to London for more of the same as well as work some serious work music music and then some music! we would hit various venues I wonder how many bands that I like now I stood at the bar in the marquee (or various other music venues) because I didn't get, I few I did straight away (FM being one but that's another blog for another time). I do remember trying (if I was sober) to give any band that I saw a couple of songs at least but then again sometimes (in a fast show voice) I was usually very very drunk!

Summer of 1982 me and a few friends were off to the Theakston festival at Wakefield we had a choice of that or the Reading festival, I'm not a fan of outdoor gigs never have been and as for festivals well I went if there was going to be free drink (woo hoo) I had gone to the previous two Reading festivals and although they were good I hadn't enjoyed them from a drunk point of view (I kept wandering off and kept needing to be rescued) Theakston was one day so I could focus purely on the headlining band (Jethro Tull) and spend the day getting absolutely hammered. I made a rookie mistake  I took a new girlfriend with me and lets say it didn't help me, I was the first in the beer tent and probably the last one out (without said new girlfriend) we got there quite early and the weather was quite nice (I'm not 100% as I was in said beer tent for at least some of the day .....tee hee) I missed the first band of the day most of the gang had wandered off to see them but wandered back when the PA system broke down but allegedly the Tall Scottish vocalist had some good banter, maybe one to watch next time man PINT!

I managed to see at least three songs by Lindisfarne before requiring to lie and blink for several (minutes) seconds, I woke up as they said their goodbyes, so I wandered back to the beer tent and fell out with said new/ex girlfriend because I kept buying her pints well I didn't require the exercise that buying half's would have given me, we had some great banter and generally had a smashing time (although I didn't realise that said new/ex girlfriend had already made her mind up that I wasn't the one, I don't know I'm like fungus I have a tendency to grow on you....I hope) Jethro Tull were great and I remember sleeping in a friends car going home as everybody else went off to see the last day of the Reading festival, me I wanted the pub......go figure!

Fast forward a few months and I was being a much better behaved boy with a new girlfriend and virtually the same group of friends who had arranged to go to Redcar to see the band that had been the opening act at Wakefield, now on the day I was being a misery, not because I wanted to but simply the issue I had was in it's earliest stage and when it gripped me there was very little I could do about it, we all met in the salutation in Durham and I remember sticking with the girlfriend and not drinking alcohol because I knew I would spiral out into a major freak out, something I didn't want to happen, thankfully my friends saw the signs and were damn good at keeping me occupied and in touch with some semblance of reality. The mini bus turned up and to be damn truthful I was tempted to bugger off into Durham and just get Hammered I wasn't wanting to go and see some Prog rock band.

The journey didn't take as long as feared but there had been an accident so we were late to the venue, we hadn't intended to see the support (so we weren't disappointed) band but we walked in and the headline band were in full stride and in that second the night was transformed the band held my attention from the word get go, and the vocalist although not the best singer in the world, had me hooked I loved the music (more like Yes than Genesis) this was my initiation into the world of FISH.
gig over I sat at the back of the mini bus and although I think some of my friends seemed worried for me they needn't have been as I was totally blown away, I now just had to see what I could do to see them again.


I had a few months to wait but I had gotten some advance (hey I worked with people in music companies you are darn right I was going abuse those relationships) notice of the tour for the debut album by Marillion and I intended to see as many shows as I possibly could, I still had to work around my work schedule but I was devious to a fault  and managed to get a couple of dates before a long weekend of work in Manchester (Bradford and the Newcastle Mayfair where I lost yet another girlfriend as she thought I was in love with someone else, I was a bloody big Scotsman about three rows in front of me or rather his lyrics). a couple of days at work then on to (Nottingham and then Birmingham) then another long weekend of work then a run of eight gigs in something like fourteen days, weaving writing gigs in between at Sheffield I lost some money and really struggled to do the Liverpool and Manchester dates although money was always going to be tight I had no intention of not doing the gigs and I also think I was a strange fan as I have never really wished to meet the people who I like (musically) over the years I have many times but in truth they are just people. so I never used to hang around unless I knew the crew or even the band itself I was usually (hic) in the pub trying to be mysterious reading Kerouac!

Then there was the withdrawal symptoms, no new gigs (for Marillion) until the Reading festival I didn't want to go but hey why, not again the usual crew without girlfriends as we were only doing the Saturday night and we got there just as Mama's boys "put the needle in the groove" we enjoyed Magnum and went a bit daft for Anvil (still a fan these days) down the front and then went in search of drink, I was sorry for missing Suzi Quatro but not Stevie Ray Vaughn does that make me any less a music fan, and we were in place for Marillion as they came on stage, what was so funny they went down so well Black Sabbath (or was it deep Sabbath or black purple that year) staged a fire on the stage they were meant to be playing as headliners that night and nobody gave a shit. Once the set was completed we buggered off home and I joked that Sabbath would encore with smoke on the water (and they did ..........ooops).

Then the long wait until the Christmas gigs and my very first year away from my family starting at Nottingham (rock city and the last time in this venue for more than twenty something didn't change) down to the Hammersmith Odeon for the first time of me seeing them on what was always a great gig, then off to Aylesbury to what was meant to their spiritual home but to me the gig was flat too many chatting while they were on stage, I suppose you had to be  in the clique! we headed back to the bright lights of Birmingham as soon as the encore was completed, we rested up in a pub (what a surprise) and had a great day chatting to some of the crew (again a blog for another day when you consider one of them married my first wife) a great gig and then possibly the best show up until that point a new years eve gig at the Edinburgh playhouse and yes I was sober...........go figure!


During the day in Birmingham I discovered that the new album (to be called Fugazi) was being released in February, so lots of dancing with the devil saving money and generally doing anything I could to try and get some free tickets ( I only paid for the Newcastle gig ....WTF)  I intended to do ten gigs and then the London gigs however well laid plans and the such like I did  the Leeds and Lancaster gigs only to eat something dodgy in Liverpool I struggled through the Manchester and Glasgow gigs before totally missing the Edinburgh gig with the hotel calling a doctor for me and for him to confirm I had food poisoning, thankfully a friend who lived in Edinburgh got me home so I could sleep in a familiar bed. On to Birmingham chilling at a friends flat still trying to recover I did the Leicester gig but I wasn't getting better I did the Sheffield gig and jumped on the last train back north heading to Gimpsville. I never did another show on the tour as it happens I was ill for about six weeks not a good time for me but one of the first times in nearly two years when I never had a drink, this was a turning point for me.

Musically at this point I was always walking around with a bag at this point with my Walkman and lots of tapes, the two Marillion albums done a number of times at this point I was playing these two albums on a daily basis as they spoke to me, personally they helped, certain songs for certain moods I hated London by this point and Fugazi (title track) was a regular different songs helped and they did. I had intended to go the Final Status Quo show at Milton Keynes but I had work and I couldn't get there I wasn't a happy bunny , but sometimes those are the breaks, I had to wait until the obligatory Christmas shows which did the trick, a couple of shows in early November in Liverpool and Poole and I didn't eat for forty eights hours on that trip as I didn't want to get poisoned again, then three shows at the Hammersmith Odeon finishing off at Manchester and Nottingham (this time the more posh theatre royal only spitting distance from rock City and it was funny I was scratching my head as I went off to Firefest in 2012 as I vaguely remembered the venues).


Misplaced Childhood: I have done this tour to death previously and if you haven't read it maybe you should have bought the books, I never toured  to see shows like this again and it stayed with me, a very personal time and I came out of it a much better person for it, I still couldn't write as good as him.


My life had moved on again covered in many blogs and books mentioned previously I was recently divorced and I suffered turning back to the bottle, simply because I was weak willed and because I could, music had disappeared from my lifestyle, I was still going to gigs and the such like but that part of my life was closed I had become a civilian and I knew it, I hadn't bought clutching at straws I didn't want to know, some friends helped (as always) took pity on me and I got an early present for Christmas when I was given the album on cassette, it happened again that spotlight moment, again the lyrics spoke to me about my life my journey and where I wasn't going to, the oblivion that I was facing and what I needed to do, that album was played to death over the next year virtually every single day, the next time  that would happen was with Fish's last album a feast of consequences, I got the bug (metaphorically speaking)I managed to blag some tickets for some gigs Two in Edinburgh where Fish looked tired and didn't seem to be with it even though the gigs were great (little did we know) then two nights at the NEC in Birmingham where the stage looked too big for the whole band but again there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on, I loved the shows but these were the first time ever seeing the band by myself and sober,.


Newcastle city hall for one last time and it was a great gig but oh so bitter sweet the band as whole were on fire I had wanted to do more gigs  but my connections weren't what they had once been, and I needed my job in the real world, so with a heavy heart I knew I would see them on the next tour, I attended a wedding in London in the April and discovered and managed to get on the guest list to see them at the Marquee club something I had never done, I had seen the various members there ligging over the years I even saw Fish steal the Guinness pump from the bar on the infamous last night where I bet Dresden would have looked better after all the devastation of people stealing historically items, at least Fish (seemed) to have permission for the pump I wonder whatever happened to that pump? my intention was to go and see the band at Fife aid but issues with Travel to the gig was problematic so I bottled it, I wished I hadn't as I could have actually seen them do their last gig with Fish.

1989 and beyond.

Did I go and see the separate parties well yes I did I loved the seasons end album but when I went to see them at the city hall I realised it wasn't for me and we bid adieu in a live setting I left after four songs as soon as H started singing Fish material I got the hell out of dodge, maybe if they had treated it as a separate entity and maybe changed the name? I'm not sure, they have done some nice music but noting that touches close to the original four albums, hey that's my opinion what the fuck do I know, as for the big scots man I still follow him to this day and he was my first Tattoo (but that is another blog for yet another day) the crux of this blog though is I still play those first four albums and they still speak to me (not in a stalker kind of way) but they helped me through some crap times. I realise I still use music to help me though my moods I hoped this is what people who follow this blog wanted because keep your hands in boys and girls there's a few watch the skies and until the next time Toodles!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Set fire to the hive

What the hell  happened there? the new year sprinted ahead saying that it would wait for me and it didn't (the bastard) so many spinning plates I took my eye off the ball and well here I am, stuck in no mans land its not Christmas its not the new year either and I have two fairly good (historical) blogs  nearly done, but I missed the boat so I thought I had better do something quick and off the cuff to get this new year underway.

Christmas came and it was...........OK!  the dinner was fab (as always) just the right amount even the Kraken was on her best behaviour, I didn't have a repeat of last year and it pretty much went without a hitch OK so we squabbled we bickered but we didn't go off on one.

Then the wife became the lead zombie in the walking dead (she is still suffering) and boy has she suffered, mind you she did have her moments were we nearly came to blows (move along move along nothing to see here) as a rule it went OK , new year was again quiet with the wife really kicking off when everybody started slagging off yet another toy boy (again lets not go there) the evening was muted thinking of friends who have gone through so much in the last year lets just hope for continuing good news in the coming weeks and months.

My self will has been quite good over the last few weeks (well we all over indulge over the festive season) but I didn't, no big blow outs, just went with the flow with the new regime starting today (failed but only just....damn you Poundland) each day is step taken with positivity (here's hoping) I might stumble from time to time, lets see if I can get up under my own steam.

Misery has been kept at bay ( I have no idea how I did it but hell I will go with it) although solitude was never far away, as I have said previously one problem down, others slide into place to take their place in the new order, again all I can do is my best and hope that the world comes with me, I am a new person not quite as jaunty at times but not the miserable bastard that I had the potential to be, I have always been insular at times lets just see where the stream takes me, cunning plans and obvious inventions!

So where do I go on from here? well I still need that hobby I was told to get and my health issues are my number priority, lets not take that particular detour I'm trying to keep this light (hahahahaha me with my reputation) one blog a week is what the Dr ordered so that's where I intend to be even though I was late this with this one, go figure what are you going to do sue .......actually in this day and age more than likely!

Music as always has been to the fore front trying to get away from all the stuff I normally do, with some modern stuff including the band that sings the song that I have lifted the blog title from, yes Nils it's still the name game, keep up for the love of god! thankfully it has all been good even a trip down memory lane and playing the Stranglers Black & White album kept me in the groove, this blog was very nearly called a toiler in the sea!

Money as always is a huge factor in our cunning plans and furtive first steps that we call a social life in 2015, but worse things happen at sea, and I have a small cunning plan in place, baby steps ssshhhh its a secret! Photographs are another area I intend to move into as I see so many people having selfies and various other types (in a none sexual kind of thing)of photograph taken and being generally happy so I will have to learn to grin and bear it ........allegedly, again baby steps but you never know!

Work I have to admit is the fly in the ointment and for legal reasons I won't go into details on this very public forum, lets just take it for granted, if you know what I do for a (real) living starting a fire in the hive is the last thing I should do, if you know where the emergency exits are, please make your way there as I'm starting to stockpile dry fire wood, when it goes its going to burn with an intensity that will melt any lead hearts out there...........incoming!

The dam burst finally and I promise to do the next one justice, I have a choice either more war stories from following Marillion (title undecided but down to three at the moment) or one all about the dawn patrols trolling around London in the early eighties as I tried my hand in that hallowed and stable work environment called Rock N Roll!

Now that's the game plan you all know as much as I do onwards and hopefully upwards, again many  thanks for all of the kind words, they really have helped, and the numbers of the blogs has been........upwards, so we will have some more of that if you don't mind I need some rest and some beauty sleep (cough splutter - I really must get that cough sorted) so watch the skies you all know that there is incoming until the next time Toodles!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Thank god it's Christmas

Yes I know an obvious (crap) title for the blog, but that's the level of enthusiasm I have at the moment, my spirits have been slowly sinking, hey if you have read the previous blogs/books you know why, its my kryptonite, I just have to get past the 24th then I'm hoping things will have to improve.

I have had loads of you bleating at me about lack of blogs to be honest I have tried and although they were all right they weren't a special kind of right, so I didn't post them, I know there is usually loads of mistakes in here, but the two or three I have on the go will have to be polished, yes they are historical just not quite there yet, I knew I had to get something out and this could potentially be the last blog.....................of this year, I just need some uumphf, my get up and go has ran ahead of me and is sitting just up the road ahead of me laughing at this fat oaf out for breath shaking his fist!

Lots of cunning plans and curve balls have been the order of the day, but before we go any further my intention above anything else is my health this really does need to be addressed and that's where my priority lies next year, I have a huge pile of priorities but that is the one leading the pack, yes I know I had my treatment earlier in the year and some of you think I should be all happy as Larry (if I ever meet this Larry, boy am I going to kick his Ass) but in reality it has opened a can of worms with some of them escaping and me now overthinking my life the universe and everything, now no its not as debilitating as what my other issue was, its what I would call small speed bumps and obstructions and I have to work out how to weave my way around them.

Socially I know I need to improve as I'm aware that I am becoming slightly (cough splutter f***ing slightly) anti social, purely because I'm over thinking stuff, nothing to worry about (hopefully) I just need to get back on track and I include everybody in that sweeping statement family, friends and pets , work is way down the pecking order but I can see storm clouds on the horizon and its in my own best interest its time to batten down the hatch's and try to wait it out!

Music is the only thing that has been driving me on and as always my taste isn't to everybody's, I don't care as long as it gets me through the day, we are now in plague carrier season so I better have every musical device fully charged just to get me through the journey out in the real world, the journey to the asylum isn't too bad but coming home it's shocking, mothers and their prams rammed full of shopping and all other manner of lunatics if it wasn't for my knees I would bloody well walk it!

So with a deep breath I prepare for the onslaught of crap, my turkey is out defrosting ready for the big day, the one thing I love about Christmas is cooking the main meal, even if I blow my own trumpet I don't half do a cracking dinner, or so my captive audience tells me so! Its been a strange year blog wise some good some bad some funny some not so funny and as far as I can remember I didn't go off into rant mode......did I? hopefully the new year will be bringing (as requested) more historical before my dementia sets in and less of the oh whoa is me type of blog. the numbers have been consistent some floating above others but usually around the same figure over the course of the reading period, I have done what I set out to do no more than one blog a week (thankfully helped by what was going to be the book) and if I can manage it that's my aim for next year as well.

Two old friends from the old blog have resurfaced and although my previous one was done under my name and this one isn't, once they settled in to read the old blogs they soon recognised (so they claim - I hope the rednecks don't do the same) my style (I have a style???????) and they enjoyed catching up (so they claim) they even entered into the spirit and did the name games so welcome back Jesse from Sweden and Aldo from Sicily why the hell you would want to read the ramblings of an old man from the North of England I have no bloody idea, but hey ho nice to see you back.

So play nice be nice and don't do horrible things because karma is a bitch (I must have been a real horrible person in a previous existence) I hope you all get what you want and that the coming year is better in every way, I thank you for your time, your comments and most of all for the genuine love that a lot of you have sent over the last 12 months, so onwards dasher and prancer or whatever Bambi needs to be called HO HO HO and all that festive crap, play nice and I will see you on the other side of the new year keep watching the skies and keep spreading the disease, click on whatever like or share buttons you have to because I'm a right media whore until the next time........Toodles!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Darling Nikki

It was time to get back on the horse in our social life, the wife had been like the walking dead and me well I was just going to have to suck it buttercup, I had the day to make myself pretty (yeah right) and the good lady was at work, we were on a tight turnaround but I knew we could do it.

I had a lazy day did a few chores (little and often is the key) listened to some music and waved the wife off on her way to work, I then listened to some more tunes and generally pottered, I check the numbers of the blogs (yes I am still addicted) watched the footie in the afternoon dealing with a devil dog that basically misses his mum (the wife) and wants out every two minutes, but the afternoon flowed quite well......almost the wife finished her shift then tried to get home, traffic as always from the asylum is problematic at the best of times, but peak time on a Saturday hahahahaha good luck with that, so after a few frantic messages I managed to calm her down from 50000 feet and get her on the right direction.

She then diverted to pick our youngest home (from the Kraken's) so she could look after the devil dog at this moment in time I'm still not ready. I had prepared a proper meal for everybody coming back, gently trying to grease the wheels so we can get the hell out of dodge back to Gateshead, the wife then becomes a whirling dervish attempting to get ready, and yes you  guessed it I still wasn't ready, the wife running up and down the stairs me I gently wander up the wooden hill, washed, teeth cleaned and dressed, there you go that's how you do it, the wife you guessed it still not ready but on a roll and it looked like we were going to be out of the house at the allotted time (yeah right ........actually we were).

Surely the wheels had to come off at some point? ah there you go I spat my dummy out at the top of the street then sat in a huff (not that the wife noticed) all  the way to our destination, I feel a blog coming all about double standards (at some point) it is true though nice guys do indeed finish way behind the pack! I had a vague idea where we were going having been at a wedding reception at the venue about thirty years ago (how bloody old am I?)  we still managed to drive by and overshoot but a quick hand brake turn (only kidding although I bet the wife would love to do one) we finally arrived and drove in through the out door and parked up.

Once through the doors equilibrium was restored, so many faces from the past thirtyish years and my nerves were gone, people greeting me and the wife and generally being friendly the only concern it was such a huge concert hall it was being heated by gas fires (I very nearly hyperventilated and went into fire safety mode........NOT) some great company some fantastic conversation and generally a great gig from the one and only Dan Reed (of the Dan Reed Network go look him up music lovers) which was simply fantastic, I saw the man and his band at Newcastle riverside roughly 25 years ago and the gig is still in my top five of all time, the show last night with one man and his guitar was very nearly up there with it,not top five but top ten an awesome gig by a genuinely nice man.

As always don't expect a review but the high point of the evening was Stronger than steel one of the many tracks I put on many mix tapes for my wife when I first met her (oh what a soppy git I was), the lyrics just hit the right spot every time. more chat and a turn of events that nobody expected that our famously Gentile Mr Jimmy Gill has turned into a hard nosed hit man known as Tattooed Jimmy it turns out we are safe as long as he hasn't got his pointy shoes on or at least that's  the rumour! some great joy at the expense of Mr Curry because a particular T shirt One your Feet............ and Jimmy's new nick name well I suppose you just had to be there, G was flashing his ring (oo er) Bri Burton or as we know him Albus Dumbledore.......well he does look like a professor, and lots of others Including everybody in the world who I said I would do cd's for (honest I didn't know that you lot were going to be there) Darling Nikki the birthday girl even got Glen up to dance well what ever next you might get me and Jimmy up to dance..........not with each other I hasten to add.

The night as always ended way too early, we even bumped into some of the South Shields massive tucked away in the corner, we beat a hasty retreat and headed back to Gimpsville before the wife crashed and burned with a head from hell, oh the things we do for our art. once home the youngest had a cuppa ready for us and the dog from hell was just so damn happy to see us....go figure! once sorted I navigated everybody including said hell hound to our respective pits so we could rest easy and wait for the morrow.

The dawn came and I was awake early just lying listening to the house and all things quiet, realising I'm not the misery I thought I had become, yes I'm getting older and I will never turn into that spotty 16 year old I was, some might say  that's a good thing, but here I am at 50 trying to groove in the right direction hopefully the blog has proved that, no I'm not cured, yes I will be grumpy, yes I will definitely throw my toys out of any pram I can find toys to throw, but hey ho I'm a work in progress and as long as I accept that (and in reality its only me that has to, so fuck the rest of the world) things shall only get better!

Today the wife heads back to work on the bus hahahahaha then out for her Christmas party (cough splutter double as I say not as I do etc etc etc)me and the youngest or going to continue with the chores and then have lunch and a Hobbit fest so all is well with the world, watch the skies incoming and until then Toodles!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gentlemen take polaroids

I have a face for radio, I'm not keen on having my picture taken, the quickest way to get me to run away is produce a camera, or in the modern age a mobile phone, I love photography, I love looking at other peoples pictures, but when it comes to me I think that I look like a lump of wood!

I have to have an official picture for work and the guy who comes to do it (who I get on with really well) hates having to work with me, we nearly came to blows over him asking me to smile the first time he had to attempt to get my portrait, thankfully he took the hint and over the years we have sorted out the line in the sand he knows why I don't like my picture so he doesn't try to coax a super model shot out of me, he stands in front of me takes three pictures and that's your whack, no fancy poses and no fancy lights any touch up has to be done in the computer as his assistant was nearly bitten by me when she produced a powder brush (GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR).

I have had my picture taken, with my good lady wife by the wonderful if not even grumpier than me Chris Harrison we had a few hours in Jesmond Dene and had some wonderful shots taken, Chris is great and if you are after some couples pictures (no not rude .....mind Chris does do that kind of thing) find him out there in the big bad world, he does a fab job and its very natural there's one of me and the wife in black and white as long as I live I don't think anyone will ever take a better picture of me than that, and the beauty of the photo (no not me) I didn't even know he had took it.

I have no comprehension of why people have to pucker up and strike a pose, again not a complaint, just an old man  trying to understand, there's a young contractor who has been working for me at work and he has over 6000 shots of him (and his quiff) on instagram .....WTF! but its not just him it's everybody, even I joined in,and so far in 11 weeks I have taken about 8 shots I suppose I must try harder (and join the human race).

At school I only ever had one group picture taken in senior school (first year I believe) and a solo shot in my last year, however because we never bought the photo's after the first one I was never asked to participate because ho hum what was the point, this was actually said to my mother at the time which basically lit the blue touch paper (hence the photo from my last year). from the age of one up to the age of sixteen you would be hard pushed to find 20 photographs of me, I know this as I have all the pictures from my mothers collection when she passed on.

There are more pictures of me with my Peter Griffith mask when we went off on a jolly jaunt to Las Vegas then me as a young person, now I'm not saying there's not any pictures of me out there I'm just saying that they are extremely rare. I am trying really hard not to spoil peoples pictures if they try and snap me, I remember a particular evening someone took 32 pictures and didn't get a decent one without me being rude obscene or a fugitive from the FBI! in reality she just wanted a snap shot of a lovely group of friends having a great evening and I spoilt it, see I really am trying to mature as an adult (HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHA) sorry where was I?

At the celebrations for 25 years at work I attended every photo shoot for the celebrations however I ducked in every shot and you won't find me in one and trust me they tried really hard, mind you I was just doing what comes naturally at work..........testing people ......well something like that. I solemnly  swear I am up to no good I mean honest I will try harder.

This blog came as I sat and watched a group of pensioners taking selfies on the plague carrier home and it set me thinking if they can join the new world then so can I, the name game for the blogs is back in play, if you are not sure what I'm on about, the blog titles are all songs that I'm listening to at the time typing up this (drivel) I mean work of art, and people from all over the world try and guess who or what it is, now most of you are a bunch of cheating B******Ds and you obviously Google the bloody thing but some people (Hello Nils) do have a go, this one should be quite easy although I'm not holding my breath, no prizes just huge amounts of mockery from me if you get it wrong. The fan base is growing and although I have had a few complaints about having abandoned the website, look this is me trying to cheer myself up and I'm a luddite, I'm no whizz kid it is what it is if you have any complaints send them to

I seem to have hit a rather large group of Italians and Scandinavian readers of late and again thanks for the compliments (although Per I don't think reading my blog is really going to help you understand us Brits any easier) the demographic is also spreading before I would have said its between the 30-40 age group, these days its more the 20- 60, so well done everybody and as always keep spreading the disease click those share and Like buttons lets get the numbers up to where they used to be, and that's me done I have a day from hell tomorrow mainly catching up on my reports and  inspections but I have  teaching session tomorrow so I should at least have some fun as I try a coax out of a group of teenagers "can I get a hell yeah" I don't do normal teaching....hell no! so watch the sky and play nice until the next time...........Toodles!

oh and here is a picture of me as a I look now.............................

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Nobody's fault but mine

So many mixed emotions after the last twenty plus postings, yes I had intended it to be yet another book but me being the Luddite I am it was safer to publish it as blogs, because to be truthful it certainly reached a far wider audience than my books ever do. numbers were a lot higher than expected and very consistent, so a lot of people obviously came back and followed the thread all the way through.

The blogs were not done as a vanity set, it was done because there are an awful lot of people out there that have issues and just muddle on, overall my issues were/are miniscule however they are mine, because I choose to not deal at the time and yes I know I went a long time (32 years in case you haven't read the blogs) before hoisting the white flag and asking for help, asking for help is the hardest step, its not easy and as I have said before I'm not cured its certainly raised more questions than answering the ones I went in with, but and its a big but, I feel as though I'm better equipped to deal with them.

I wasn't and I'm still not after sympathy it is what it is, sometimes just sometimes I would get overwhelmed by emotions (and if you ever got to know me you would find out I really don't do emotional) and it was the fact that I didn't understand how to fend off the marauding attacks of random thoughts of unhappiness, I'm more angry now, mainly with me but with some little things that really mean nothing, but because of the way I have dealt with similar incidents in the past, the new me wants to kick my arse for being such a prat!

There has been some touching messages left and I have to admit one or two from totally random strangers who have wandered into my world (and more than likely will wander away again) via the blogs who don't know but gave me some nice sound advice, there was only one troll who obviously thought I was a shrinking wallflower (wrong) I'm still waiting to hear his reply to my 3400 word (stinging) rebuke and what he thought about all "you nut jobs" (again wrong) I just needed a reboot with some new software at no point did I infer that I'm a tree hugging hippy conscientious objector, well guess what wrong again, maybe just maybe once that gaping hole of a new arse I tore has heeled he might be man enough to apologise.

Although the bulk of the last twenty plus blogs were written over the course of the last year I have worked on them continually to make them a better read and not seventy million words of bile, they were not sanitised just polished to be easier for the curious reader to deem more palatable. again I'm not looking for sympathy I'm just asking that consider people around you, you never really know what is going through someone's head even your nearest and dearest don't take people for granted you never know when that shoulder could come in to be helpful for someone who might at a later date be able to lend you a helping hand.

So I now have to soldier on and try and get semblance of order into my writing, less of the bile and some of the humour which has been missing for a short period of time, again I say thank you and soon (well for me anyway) there will a new happier blog on its way, watch the skies and keep spreading the disease (every little bit helps) until then Toodles!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A cast of millions


Where do start here, Ok I can hear all of you shouting “at the bloody beginning” but I don’t think I can, however I do feel as though I should say thank you (for lots of various reasons) to lots of you and for once I intend to name and shame with good intention, so here goes and in no particular order: - My Wife, Cliché, my lighthouse in the dark, I know you understand and the rest of the world have a damn good idea as well. Elaine Wilson, how can I put this politely she’s a lady, my editor, principal partner in crime and treasonous conspirator (get well soon sweetie), Gary Wilson my pimp, my rock in the maelstrom of insanity and my cross dressing mentor! And CEO of WELD International, Jane Kelley my bomb disposal expert and international diplomat, nobody says Fuck the world with such aplomb! Ignatius the foul mouthed man servant, Geordie man child (typically ignorant), Neil Davidson an untypical Geordie island of common sense (go figure) Ainsley Wills my wandering minstrel (non - chocolate version) who was there for me when the levee was breached and dragged me back the safety of the shoreline on that particular miserable day (in my head) in 2013, without you on that day I was a lost soul and I thank you with every fibre of my being, Lesley Gray my legal counsellor, and dispenser of medicinal bon mots(and actually the instigator of this particular set of blogs, after a conversation a long time ago about Gary Speed! Go figure) Angie Shandi for being the sweetness and light and the mandatory Bill Hicks counsellor, Carl Martin for being my keeper of hounds and keeper of the royal flight, damn good for a Brylcream boy! Gordon Armstrong for basically letting me rant at him since pussy was a kitten, Sir Michael of Ridley for allowing me to be his squire in the battle that we call life and for not allowing me to let life get …..THAT serious! How very dare you! All of the South Shields posse (damn there’s lots of ya and it’s good to be in your company).

 David Robinson my radio operator behind enemy lines (Broadsword Calling Danny Boy) who unwittingingly sent messages of hope at times when I needed hope and inspiration, Kevin Curtis for being my surfing Guru and Southern star when required, deep conversations in the firelight, Amanda Curtis for just being so damn nice! Kev Charlton for guiding me from Hellanbach (get it) to Frogs to Buckets and a shit load in-between, Charlotte Yanni for allowing music to help me with my Pyscho Blues, accidently on purpose, and who could forget Bali, Jimmy (Thunderbird One) Capstick for all jokes old and well let’s be honest even older, but a light house in this morass of anonymity, Louise Capstick for bringing the power and for keeping Thunderbird one in some semblance of order….sort of!, My Brother because dammit  he stuck by me(allegedly),  through the good times and more bad times than anybody else ever did!, My Kids and my grandkids but please don’t tell them, I wouldn’t want then to know I actually care for them and love them, pfft me with my reputation. The one and only Dr K for actually being my light house keeper and helping me rewire my life without the aid of any instruction manual, still a work in progress but better than being fused and discarded!

Mark Gleason without you and your sacrifice I would not be here, so I need to honour that sacrifice simply by being the best person that I can be, unswerving thanks and gratitude.


I have lost people in the past that I wish were still an active part of my life and I do still think of them on a daily basis, those who were there in the early dark days and put up with so much, and you gave your love and support without a thought to yourselves and credit should be given with an enduring love and tear in my eye because you are missed by many not just me: Chris Hughes the daddy and the first to go, we all missed you. John Case my six foot twin with the permanent suntan and grin, the coolest dude in the world and someone I was very proud to call “FRIEND”, Steve Ridley the biggest and funniest anchor in the world, The original squadron leader of “The Dawn Patrol” you carried me back from enemy lines more times than you should have, the person who taught me so much (H.O.P.E – Hold On Pain Ends) if only your grip had been stronger. Gary Shaw a man not to take sides that thankfully came back to the shoreline if only for a brief while before you faded away again, all of you much missed.

A further cast of millions that believe it or not would be as long as the bloody book! Far too many people to mention in one breath but every one of them my friends, warriors, thieves and kings, one and all, from school through to today, many of those mentioned might not be aware of the help that you have given this twisted emotional wreck, but without the emotional crutch that you have supplied to me over the years this soul would have been extinguished many many years ago and for that all I can actually say is………………Thank you!

It’s not enough but it is a start.