Monday, 8 November 2021

Falling out of love with professional football...

Now, don't get me wrong, I love football. I have since my first memories of the game. The emotions that it can bring still shred and jangle the nerves. But, I am falling out of love so very rapidly with the professional game, for these reasons (and a 100 more).

The lack of joy - the self-importance - the money - the lies - the suits - the kits - the boots - the sponsors - the throw-in coaches - the agents - the transfer deadline day - the journalists - the pundits - the bloody pundits - the lego stadia - the fixtures - the relentless fixtures - the pointless tournaments - the international breaks - the re-writing of history - the hyper-legacy culture - FIFA - UEFA - the backhanders - the TV rights - the ex-players harping on about when they were playing they could stab the opposition centre forward with a stiletto knife, bury his body in a trench behind the away dug-out and marry his bereaved wife and still have a pint with him in the players bar afterwards - the contrived commentary convincingly concocted by an alliterative allegory addict - the perfect pitches - the crisis club in complete chaos - the conmen - the chairmen - the ever changing kick-off times - the club ambassadors - the corporate hostility - The...... etc etc you get the picture...

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Did I ever mention...

...That I host a radio show every Wednesday evening on Sydney's 2RRR Station on 88.5FM 

You can catch it live on the previous link or simply by heading over to Mixcloud by clicking on this link here...

London Calling Mixcloud!




Tuesday, 26 October 2021

The Language of Pop - #1

Scritti Politti - Lions after slumber

My diplomacy, my security, my hope and my ice-cream

My tomorrow and my temperature, my lips and my selfishness
My cigarette, my uncertainty, my penetration
My notebook and my limit, my importance and my glycerine
My customer, my function, my lawlessness, my charm
My hunger, my refusal, my tissue and my vodka
My ommission, my ability, my telephone and my holler
My relaxing, my distress, my bedroom, my cassette
My dictation and my pulse, my fortune and my death
My flake and my restlessness, my headache and my dirt
My paper and my charity, my rose and my pallor
My guess and my closet, my light 'n my time
My worry, my perversity, my transgression
My temptation and my polythene, my gunshot [click]
My jealousy and my water
My demands 'n my angels 'n my waiting 'n my distance
My death, my curtness, my insulin, my memory
My partner 'n my sadness, my story, my wantoness
My wish, my despair, my erasure, my plantation
My white chocolate, my thoughtlessness, my gracelessness
My courage and my crying, my pockets 'n my mistakes
My body and my sex, my gaze and my helplessness
My letter, my sugar, my homework, my walk
My records, my smile and my struggle
My reflection, my eyelid, my fragility, my discretion
My hair, my austerity, my tattoo, my demise
My fooling and my terror, my problem and my judgement
Oh my disguise, my tongue
My ownership, my formula, my property, my thought, my razor
My blessing and my silence, my lust and my practice
My sincerity, my penicillin, my window and my androgyny
My mother, my recorder, my pity and my posing
My light, my carelessness, my drummer, my drummer, my drummer, my drummer
My tenderness 'n my car, my undoing and my history
My bottle and my drugs, my drugs, my drugs
Tomorrow, my temperature, my lips and my selfishness
My cigarette, my uncertainty, my penetration, my notebook
My limit, my importance, my glycerine, my customer, my function
My lawlessness, my charm and my hunger
My refusal, my tissue, my vodka, my admission
My ability and my telephone, my holler, my relaxing
My distress and my bedroom, my restlessness, my headache
My dirt, my paper, charity, my rose
My pallor, my guess and my closet, 
My light 'n my time, my worry, my perversity
My transgression honey, my temptation honey
My polythene, my jealousy
My water, my demands, my angels
My waiting, my distance, my death, my curtness, my insulin
My memory, my partner, my refrigerator
My sadness, my story, my wantoness, my skipping
My wish and my despair, my erasure, my plantation, my chocolate
My thoughtlessness, my gracelessness, my courage and my crying
My pockets, my homework
Like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number
Oh yeah

© Green Gartside

Thursday, 21 October 2021

This lockdown, that lockdown...

Last time around this website was a flurry of activity. Memories of meandering alone along Marine Parade coupled with Soho drinking sessions and perfect days (still to be completed). 

This time, I've spent more time playing guitar and less time hovering over this keyboard (complete with sticky G). Anyway, the purpose of this post is to remind myself to write, write, write. 

In the meantime, the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's passing lead me to seek out some words on writing:

“My story is endless. I put in a teletype roll, you know, you know what they are, you have them in newspapers, and run it through there and fix the margins and just go, go – just go, go, go.”

“I really hate to write.”

So until tomorrow...



Monday, 12 July 2021

Football coming home - #2

England's failure to qualify for the 1974 & 1978 World Cups helped to ease them to the back of the countries collective consciousness. Whilst we had a rubbish national team or club teams started to assert themselves on the European stage. With Liverpool, Nottingham Forest (I know) & Aston Villa (I know) all helped themselves to the European Cup, whilst England bumbled along until 1982 in Spain when for a brief while things looked to be heading in the right direction unlike Kevin Keegan's misplaced header, that saw us crash out in the over complicated second group stage. Mind you the progress to the finals themselves had been fairly harrowing... How can anyone forget Bjørge Lillelien? 

"We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana--we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all.
"Maggie Thatcher can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of the election campaign. I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the football World Cup. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!" 
Bjørge Lillelien - Norway v England Oslo 9th September 1981 

The 82 World Cup was mostly memorable for the celebrations of the numerous Italian students who used to spend their summer holidays learning English on the snoozy Sussex coast. They went Tonto! 

Whilst Chelsea bounced around between the top two divisions barely threatening to win anything, England had plumped for mediocrity: Ron Greenwood replaced the despicable Revie and Brian Clough was left to rot in a bottle at the City Ground. Greenwood in turn was replaced by the affable Bobby Robson (who like Sir Alf Ramsey had had the misfortune to manage Ipswich Town prior to the England job). I on the other hand had missed the formative months of punk rock, embraced a Modernist lifestyle, swerved the New Romantic scene and settled on a Mod/Post-Punk/Funk/Jazz vision of the future!

Occasional trips to The Shed were accompanied by visits to Kensington Market & Carnaby Street. Fred Perry & a Chelsea pin badge - nice! 

Thankfully, England managed to qualify for Mexico 1986. We even had a decent couple of players, the mercurial John Barnes and the clinical Gary Lineker. We managed to escape the group stage in no part due to Lineker (Line-acre according to Mick Channon). "It's finally happened in Monterey..." courtesy of the magnificent Barry Davies. Next stop Argentina in the quarter-finals, what could possibly go wrong? 


Sunday, 11 July 2021

Football coming home - #1

I have been a fully fledged football fan since 22nd February 1970 around about 2:30pm. The trigger for what became a lifelong affliction was the transmission on ITV of 'The Big Match' featuring QPR v Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final. The specific incident that then changed my life was the decision of the referee Mr K.Howley to demand that a QPR penalty be retaken. The reason being that Chelsea keeper Peter Bonetti had supposedly moved before the kick was taken and smothered the shot by Rangers skipper Terry Venables. So incensed was I, by this blatant anti-Chelsea bias, I immediately and irrevocably threw my support behind The Mighty Blues. Although to be honest I didn't know they were blue at the time, not least because we were wearing our yellow away shirts but because our family only got a colour tv in 1975!

The reason I mention this is simply because, it was my choice, my decision alone and all these years later the fact that I am a season ticket holder (East Upper), despite living in Sydney, Australia is a direct result of that decision. The fact that I put on 'Three Lions' an hour ago and immediately dissolved into tears is something else all together. I did not choose my country of birth. I am English, despite myself. Therefore, I support the England team, I have to, not necessarily because I want to, just simply because.

I had been aware of the England team prior to my Loftuscene conversion in 1970. Any kid growing up in England knew of the holy trinity of Moore, Hurst & Peters - in fact I'd even flirted with becoming a West Ham fan but it didn't feel quite right. In a perfect storm of falling in love with Chelsea, them subsequently beating 'Dirty Leeds' in the FA Cup Final and the World Cup being played in Mexico that summer, I was being groomed for a lifetime of success and... failure. 

England crashed out against the dreaded West Germans and what's more, one of my Chelsea heroes Peter Bonetti (aka The Cat) was widely blamed (though not by me) for his part in the defeat - although Gerd Muller's shot from about 4 years out also had something to do with it. The heartbreak that particular defeat inflicted is still surprisingly raw. Surely, the reason to like football is because my team would always win. This losing malarkey was not what I signed up for. 

The tale of Chelsea's travails and subsequent redemption will no doubt be covered at another date (the joy of lockdown). This article however, is about my relationship with the England team. After Mexico, things got steadily worse for Sir Alf & his boys. Gunter Netzer demolished our Euro 1972 hopes and Poland had made qualification for the 1974 World Cup a little harder than anticipated. However, all we had to do was beat them at Wembley - easy!

Expectations both at school and home were ridiculously high. Special plans had been made and I could even watch the game: A) live and B) in colour - thanks to the next door neighbour. Anyway, history shows that England only managed to draw 1-1 and that Norman Hunter should have smashed the ball into row Z before Shilton had the chance to dive over Domarski's shot. We were out and not going to the World Cup. The upside was being able to revel in the joy of Holland's total football and that bloody Muller again. Perhaps England were not the team I'd been led to believe...

Surely the appointment of Don Revie from 'Dirty Leeds' would change our fortunes. In hindsight, it was as misguided as appointing Sam Allardyce decades later. Revie's Leeds team were a talented bunch of players, managed by a negative and dubious individual (to say the least). Brian Clough was right: 

"Well, I might as well tell you now. You lot may all be internationals and have won all the domestic honours there are to win under Don Revie. But as far as I'm concerned, the first thing you can do for me is to chuck all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest f***ing dustbin you can find, because you've never won any of them fairly. You've done it all by bloody cheating." 
Brian Clough - To Leeds players on first day of training.

Revie failed to get any decent results (or even bribe any opponents) and he ended up bunking off to the UAE for a sackful of cash (always his ultimate motive). World Cup 1978 was off the cards and by now I was firmly of the opinion that we were bloody useless. I'd find myself going to Stamford Bridge every week and quietly tolerating the rubbish on the windswept and distant pitch from the confines of the hotbed of congeniality and ready wit that was The Shed End. However, the thought of watching England, despite their swanky new fancy pants Admiral kits (courtesy of Don Revie?), was not so appealing. I'd much rather spend my money on going to gigs or on the brand new 7" single 'In the city'from a little known trio from Woking who I subsequently realised were called The Jam.


Monday, 22 March 2021

Rain

The rain hasn't stopped, the rain will never stop.



Sydney - March 2021

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Day in the life...

 The Beach Generation

Nobody
else
is
awake 
-
Atlantis
is 
closed
for 
another
two
hours 
-
We
glide
barefoot
to
the
beach 
-
We
are
the
Beach
Generation
...
sprawled
on
the
sand
once
again.



Monday, 1 March 2021

For Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A picture of a long gone world
 
                           
 Stood at the top of the long world
lighthouse at my feet
            chalk cliffs plummeting into the grasp of the relentless
                                    
Aspidochelone in the depths
                        the gorse leaning towards life at 45°
                                    rainbows plucked from other hemispheres
   words shimmer in the refracted/reflected light
                    the steam rises from the Cappuccino machine
 plumes of Marlboro smoke emerge and merge
                            a huddle of young poets sit
        amazed and deranged in the hurly-burly hours of a weekday morning
                                    the haunted shadows of deep night erased by the golden cacophony of sunrise
            the book is held open and the words are shared...

... there are others out there, we are not alone.





                                  
                                

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Day in the life...

A Moment in Meads 
(Part 2)

--The storm raged
black sky, silver
lightning, strobing
out over the Channel.

The silhouette of 
The Grand Hotel
flickering.

-- In Meads,
on the third floor,
a window was open.
Her back, bare and
tanned. Her hair
tied in a ponytail.

--The wine was finished.

He would always 
remember this night.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

What is the point of music? - Part 1

Stagewear

I remember when I suppose I was about 10 and beginning to take note of the music and the charts. This burgeoning interest was fuelled in part by an awakening driven by two things: Top of the Pops & Girls. Girls liked music, I liked girls; ergo I like music. Simple. 

Things were complicated by the fact that the chart stars of the day were androgynous and confusing chaps(?) like Marc Bolan & David Bowie. Even grown up bovver boys Slade dressed a bit bloody weird. Anyway, girls liked musicians more than they liked footballers. So, whilst not turning my back on 'the beautiful game', I needed to become a musician. No problem. 

All you need is a tennis racket, some cardboard, sellotape, marker pen and some string. Within an hour I had knocked up a 'Fender Slazengercaster' - it was mint! Of course, it didn't make a sound, at least nothing like Bolan's riff to 20th Century Boy. More of a dull pfft - but hey I'm only interested in miming, like they do on 'Top of the Pops'. 

Guitar - done!

What to wear next? And this is where the wheels started to come off. I enlisted my mum in this tricky transformation from 10 year-old sporty schoolboy to POPSTAR. Unfortunately, I chose to style myself on the front man out of 'Wizzard', Roy Wood. Even now I cringe at the ham-fisted attempts to make myself look like Mr Wood - who much later I came to realise was a very talented musician (especially in The Move). A combination of make-up, back combing, assorted dressing gowns and other odd bits and pieces and the look was complete. I took one look in the upstairs full length mirror and was horrified! 

What is the point of music?

I flung the Slazengercaster down, scraped the make-up off and put my Chelsea kit back on. If dressing up like a right berk was what being a popstar was all about, then count me out. I think it took a full three and a half years for me to even listen to music again....

And then The Jam came to town!

Monday, 18 January 2021

Day in the life...

The End of Days

-- An Empire built
on a shifting tide.

Intimacy swamped
by the dark waves
of imminent night.

Fog horns sound.
-- The South Goodwin
Lightship released
from Poseidon's 
relentless grip.

No more
no more
no more.




Thursday, 31 December 2020

The things I miss about England blog

I just wanted to thank everyone who has dropped by on this blog during the course of the year. I will (by the time this goes out) have posted 129 times during the course of the year - the most by some way. I have found it an incredibly useful way to share my fears, loves, dreams, strange drinking habits and obsessions with by and large an anonymous but seemingly intrigued audience.

I started this blog when I moved to the other side of the world, with the aim of highlighting & sharing vague memories of England/UK/life for gentle amusement. I had no vision of what the future would bring, just a dim grasp of the past. 

My life has changed more in the last 10 years than in the previous 30+ by some way:

I left a buoyant England (still in Europe) under a Labour government and virus free, married, with two parents, employed, unpublished, without a record out, pet free and 20kg overweight. Suffice to say all that has changed some for good (eg: 20kg lighter!), some much less so (take your pick).

Anyway, thank you once again for popping here and by way of a thank you, why not listen to the 


Wishing you all a safe and happy 2021! 

Andy



Day in the life

A New Year's Eve Anxiety Vibration

-- I have watched 
the film
so many times 
and I never noticed
'Greensleeves' 
playing in the 
background 
as the Group Captain 
drives from base 
to The Jackdaw Inn.

-- 'Greensleeves', 
the sound of a late
Sunday afternoon --
Langney Green --
Such a miserable tune.

The weekend ends here!

Hairs on my neck
stood up --
Fucking 'Greensleeves'!
Haunted Sundays

And then an Ice cream van
rolled by my window.

-- The Battle of Britain is safe
although the same cannot be said
for Mr Bloody Whippy! 




Sunday, 20 December 2020

Day in the life...

The Long Weekend

-- Driving through
empty streets, floodlit, 
waterlogged.

A toy pistol lies
abandoned in the gutter.
All the stray dogs 
were rounded up
over the long weekend.

-- Netball courts 
cracked and overgrown.
A skateboard lies 
upside down, bleached.

The khaki torn tents 
in the car park,
twitching in the 
benign breeze
are the only signs 
of movement.

The car radio
picks up only static...

-- I suppose I should
try and find some petrol.



Thursday, 17 December 2020

Day in the life

A Moment in Meads (Part 1)

-- The Sussex Sun 
hovers over Rye,
beaming along 
the paradise coast,
illuminating a 
third floor room 
somewhere in Meads.

On the wooden table
-- A bowl of fresh 
chopped tomatoes,
spinach, cucumber
and onions, 
smothered in 
olive oil, lemon
and chopped garlic.

'King of America'
on repeat --
A white cotton dress
with red poppies
swishes in to the 
kitchen. 

A broad smile and 
hint of Chanel. 

-- Time to open
the Pinot Grigio.

Time to dance...

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Day in the life...

Music from the other blue

-- The clatter of vacuum,
glass shattering, 
door slam,
wind blow,
metal gate.

The perpetual racket
raw root canal buzz
of Cicada and 
clumsiness. 

--- Surrounded by 
FUCKING NOISE!

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Day in the life...

 32º - South

-- Floating 
above life.

Toasted soil,
rogue clouds.

Dandelions drift
in the scorched
garden.

On the other
side of town
-- Escape routes
are agreed,
false papers issued.

We have been 
BETRAYED!


Friday, 4 December 2020

Day in the life

Trailing in the wake of genius

-- Even the sketches!
Even the sketches

...summon up 
more about love, 
loss and the torment 
of a broken mind.

Whirlpools
of Indigo and 
Ivory Black
-- Mixed with tears 
of the forgotten
muse.

A man, unshaven
sits at his desk
watching the 
sun rise over
unwashed dishes

-- Purple leaves captivate,
caught on the breeze
of another silent morning.

Even the leaves!
Even the leaves

... are left trailing
in the wake of genius.






Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Day in the life...

Black Flame

-- I am reconciled.
Cold nights outweigh
the diminishing days.

-- Burnt out.
Like the black flame
in my charred
heart.


Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Medway Man

The restless and relentless nature of the way Billy Childish seems to produce his work is something that inspires and challenges me at the same time. I'm a fan of his poetry, music & his painting. He is a compelling presence. 

He turns over different pebbles on the same beach as me. His life living in the Medway towns throws up some stark images (or more honestly dark memories) of similar experiences. 

He is neither innocent or guilty. He is Billy Childish (amongst other names). 

Today is his birthday. 

Best wishes.

Photo by Anna Huix/Contour by Getty Images



Saturday, 28 November 2020

Memories of The Dirt Box and UK Clubbing in the 1980's

I had the pleasure to chat with Rob Milton (The co-founder and original DJ) of The Dirt Box on Wednesday 25th Novemberon my weekly radio show London Calling on Sydney station 2RRR (88.5FM and www.2rrr.org.au). If you'd like to hear some fine music and funny memories. Why not click the link below.




Friday, 27 November 2020

Day in the life...

The Garden

-- Green belt dusk
seeps into night.
The garden settles.

Green Line bus
pushes on 
through the 
countryside.

-- A cupped hand.
The invisible
Old Holborn glow 
stalks the end 
of the Garden.

A voice calls 
into the darkness.

Whatever happened
in Flanders remains...

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Day in the life...

 Daisy
 
-- In an out 
the Soundsytems
heaven bound
spirals of smoke
curried goat and Sensi
 
The 10 o’clock
from the coast
to the shadow
of the Westway
-- Red Stripe
and Daisy.
 
The long fringe,
flowers, sinuous.
Good days, 
sad days.
 
-- Gin, Bitter lemon
and Daisy.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

A day in the life...

DownLand

-- Stale hay clings 
to the memory
of walking barefoot
across the Downs 
at dawn.

Alfriston flickering 
below the low slung
clouds -- rain heavy.

--- She strides ahead
100 yards, 110 yards
120... 

It is never a good time
to say goodbye...

on DownLand.



Tuesday, 17 November 2020

A day in the life...

Birdsong and K-pop

-- The clatter of comms
spinning stratospheres

Calling on 
6.5 MHz
-- Traffic spirited away
over the span of
Mooney Mooney Bridge.

The lost telegrams 
never to be read.
Missed proposals.

the relentless Klang
of Birdsong and K-pop.

Wondering will it ever.

STOP

Saturday, 14 November 2020

And so...

The ragged mob of narcissists have started to turn in on themselves. From Trump to Cummings... the pace of hate just became too much and the 'outsiders' find themselves back on the outside. 

The real shame is that they'll never properly be brought to account for their litany of mad schemes and contemptible actions. 

Anyway... 


Time to move on everyone.




Tuesday, 10 November 2020

You shall find love

You shall find love (for T.Emin)

In the swirl of oil
the breadth of canvas
a swish of a brush ---

You shall find love.

In the depths of
his warmest embrace.

In the ashtray of 
the last cigarette.

In the bottom of
the final glass.

You shall find love.

In the birdsong,
in the breeze, 
in the howl,
in the silence and 

in the vapours 
that trail behind us...






 

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Day in the life...

Orpheum

Found myself 
in the cinema
slightly drunk
mid-afternoon.

The long walk
from happiness
to Seaford Head.

-- The battle
with the bottle --

Staring into
rockpools and 
chalk caves.

The delicate
twist of an
ozone breeze
gliding North

--- Time to take 
a deep breath
a small step.






Thursday, 5 November 2020

Day in the life...

I am Banksy

-- Guerilla tactics
poetry on the streets

the ashes of HEARTBREAK
floating down from heaven

A smoke screen
the filter is LOVE.

Graffiti of the soul
-- A Long Man Tattoo

Staring down the barrel of
DESPAIR 

Will the last person to leave paradise
please turn off the lights....

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Day in the life...

And that was it...

-- Looking out the 
same window,
for all these years.

Horizons swept away.
Every day -- gone!

Journeys remembered
destinations forgotten.

--- Boarding the Metro
at Quai de la Gare... 
The tang of 
burnt rubber 
and last night's 
late hour,
sweeps the length 
of the platform.

The look on her face
betrayed nothing --
except her husband.




Tuesday, 27 October 2020

A perfect day in the perfect pub - #6

"My partner 'n my sadness, my story, my wantoness
My wish, my despair, my erasure, my plantation
My white chocolate, my thoughtlessness, my gracelessness
My courage and my crying, my pockets 'n my mistakes
My body and my sex, my gaze and my helplessness..."

It is 2:35pm and the post-lunchtime lull is precious in the perfect pub. She's gone back to work and 'Lions after Slumber' by Scritti Politti invades the airspace. A song that heralds a slideshow of the past... late nights in Meads... daybreak at Birling Gap... a bottle of vodka and white chocolate on a balcony in Brighton. 

Serendipity swings through the door, sunshine trailing in it's wake...

The cricket is going well. Time for me to do some serious watching, accompanied by a cheeky Sancerre (the other half of Tattinger had seemingly gone the way of the first) and The Guardian's sports quiz of the year (held over from December for the purpose of fictional construct). Joined by Slim, breezing in all Hawaian 40's shirt and dangerous wit. He sits at the table and a pint appears (they know him here). We dash through the hundred questions and score a very passable 92 (we were never going to get the equestrian sports but I should have remembered that David Wilkie won the 200m breastroke, not 100m). 

Another flurry of Aussie wickets means we'll be batting before tea! Not quite Trent Bridge but certainly reminiscent of Melbourne 2010. The Sancerre evaporates, as does Slim's Stella Artois. We cover off key topics: the new book about Samuel Beckett, the potential British Lions starting XV against RSA and uncovering the truth behind what happened to the girl we used to go to school with who became a stripper and glamour model. 

I get more drinks and manage to place a bet with David Jenkins & Sons "traditional bookmakers to gentlemen of a literary persuasion". Fingers crossed for 'Bottle of Smoke'... 

A nice 10 minute interview with Michael Holding fills the break between innings. I remember, in the nick of time, that we (Slim & I) always have Cheesy Wotsits when watching England bat together (it's a luck thing). Thankfully the barman was two steps ahead of me. 

A bowl appears along with an ashtray, a selection of Gitanes, Gauloises, Marlboro (soft-pack), Camel and Lucky Strike, as well as a 1965 Zippo that had seen action at La Drang. They know Slim here...



Monday, 26 October 2020

Code: Tuesday


All transmissions on this frequency are monitored...
all communiqués must be deemed to have been compromised...
Helsinki reported a security breach 05:30 Sat 24/10...
Impact assessment suggests 'we are fucked'...
Two operatives (19 and 46) have failed to report in on line Red...
Implement standard Tuesday protocols...
The Praesidium met 09:00 Sat 24/10...
Viper Committee activated, Beryl from accounts was inadvertently appointed Chair...
...

Stand by for further instructions

13

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Day in the Life...


Long Island
-- We know the route.
Down the path, alongside
the empty house.

--- Footprints in the snow.
On top of the coal bunker.
On the garage roof. 
In, through 
the landing window.

The immersion heater
left on, ever since.
The smell of fresh 
radiator paint.

---- Radio 4 on 
in the kitchen.
Night broadcasts
silent bedrooms,
the Priory.

The inevitable,
hovering ---
A shadow over
Long Island.


* Langney is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words Lang and ey for 'Long Island'.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Day in the life...

View from the roof garden

 -- A glass of champagne nestles 
into the V of the right hand. 
The burnt out sun 
slides into the night.

We can see the
Post Office Tower
revolving through
the traffic's haze.
--- Kaleidoscope.

The lost
sound 
of 1977
rushes
through 
the 
wires.

She looks at him
and he looks down
at the askew
world below.

"No way down from here,
at least not as I can see..."






 

Saturday, 3 October 2020

The Art of Confusion

Is every poem the truth? Are the words of the writer a reality, a distortion or a distraction? Should we hang on to every utterance for a clue as to what the writer is genuinely feeling?

Some writers declare that the reason they write is because they are searching for the absolute. They are committed to being as raw and as honest as possible and hang the consequences. Others write simply to entertain, to obfuscate or to build an alternative world. 

After a moment of confusion, bought on by writing something that was (in hindsight) easily misconstrued. I had to stop an ask myself: What sort of writer am I? Inconsistent? Yes. An autodidact? Yes. Confused? Undoubtedly. Wilfully obtuse? It would seem so. Does it matter? No, of course not. The joy of being all of the above, means it most probably doesn't matter one iota to anyone but me. But of course, when somebody reads something I've written and translates the meaning to be something completely different and possibly hurtful, then maybe I should pay more attention.

Especially the next time that I sit down to write something without a plan!




Thursday, 1 October 2020

What do all these poems mean?

Who knows... 

They are just hastily composed polaroids that will fade in the glare of the ever brightening sun. They will become bleached and distant until they completely disappear from view. A series of unread suicide notes, football commentaries, record reviews and postcards from the edge of the Tasman Sea. A handful of uncoded Enigma messages, a hidden cache of cassette tapes, badly recorded demos, morse-code transcripts from a ghost ship. They slipped under the radar, got lost in the traffic, flew south for winter and managed to lie low for the duration. 

They mean nothing. 

Unless they mean something to you... 

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Day in the Life... (September 2020)

Midlight

-- The creature 
skitters in the eves.
Sleep is a luxury,
one we cannot
afford.

Somnambulants 
are on the move
--- Neighbours 
have informed
the Government.

Latest reports...
...  bleak outlook
broken spirit...
... banished souls

Torches supplied---
---- The book burning
will start at 8:00pm
attendance compulsory.

---Four hours until Midlight!

"No to decadence and moral corruption!" 
"Yes to decency and morality in family and state!"
"I consign to the flames the writings of
The Traitor Franks"



Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Don't you just love it when...

... One of your favourite bands comes out of a 12-year recording hiatus with a fantastic new album!


I've followed A Certain Ratio's career since stumbling into a dingy basement in Brighton at one of their very earliest gigs (A Sussex University venue in Brighton). In those days they were very much a post-industrial band with a funky drummer, searching for a way to shrug off their long overcoats.

Over the years, the highs of; Sextet (especially Knife Slits Water), Life's a Scream/Sounds like something dirty, the WOMAD festival gig, Brazil shirts, samba whistles, madness in the streets of Kings Cross, The Wag Club (complete with Tilly onstage), ACR:MCR, 27 forever, Up in Downsville, through to the fantastic 40th anniversary gig in Islington in 2019 (complete with a chat with sorely missed Andrew Weatherall), ACR:BOX with their version of Houses in Motion (originally planned to be with Grace Jones) have all added up to being one of my most rewarding and long lasting musical experiences. 

In addition there are very few lows (with the most notable being the sad loss earlier this year of the lovely Denise Johnson - She would light up every show with her fantastic vocals and infectious interactions with the ACR Barmy Army - she is sorely missed).

So, the arrival of the fabulous new album ACR:Loco (released on 25th September) has been greeted with much fanfare and celebration round our way. Do yourself a favour - get this album now! 

Bouncy Bouncy! 



Monday, 28 September 2020

Day in the Life... (September 2020)

Isolation

-- Communiques
are fading
in the ether,
in dawn's
evaporating
mystery.

The final
notes of
a symphony
disappearing
on the neap tide.

---- A ship
goes down
all hands on
deck -----

Love's final voyage.

Day in the Life... (September 2020)

Espresso

-- Days as dark
as Espresso.

The rule 
of six...

--- Clandestine.
The law
of diminished
returns.

13:00 hours
and the 
short-wave radio
repeats the 
same message...

Black lightning.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Day in the Life... (September 2020)

Flame

-- A cooling zephyr.
The garden alight
with the flames of Ra.

A TR-808 fires up
--- 120 BPM
a soundclash.

Sunday sessions
moving through 
the years...

Dub dreams
bass heavy --
A Samba breezes
through the leaves.

Welcome to 
'a discoteca solitária'!







Saturday, 26 September 2020

Day in the Life.. (September 2020)

Silent

-- The dove flies 
in through 
the open window.

It sits on 
a wooden table.
The neighbourhood  
Bodhisattva
has arrived.

---- Sunflower seeds
on terracotta tiles.

The fragrant scent
of morality fills 
the kitchen ---

The man and the dove
a weekend meditation

silent.