Friday 25th November, 2022

Album of the Day: Joni Mitchell – Hejira

The fretless bass is beautiful, as are many of the guitar riffs. Not so great are the vocals and the lyrics – which is kinda the whole point of Joni Michell. The songs sound as though she is rushing to fit all the lyrics into each song. A breathless delivery agains the backdrop of some laid back music. I would have enjoyed this more as an instrumental album. Sorry.

⭐ ⭐

Buzzed: Lambeth Council receives £2.7m funding from central government to help residents through the cost of living crisis

Lambeth is set to spend £50,000 on a network of of ‘warm spaces’ to help keep residents warm during the winter months. The Council has been given £2.7m by central government as part of the Household Support Fund.

The Postman Delivers:

Socks #socks #rainbowsocks

They’re very bright and cheerful. Just what I need right now to add a little colour to my jaded winter wardrobe.

I blitzed my current eBay items that I’m trying to shift, offering substantial offers on some of the big hitters. The Frank Sidebottom cassette and FUCK OFF cactus still aren’t moving, mind.

Most of the working morning was spent giving training. I confess that this isn’t my strongest point. I always fear that I’m about to descend into David Brent mode. My approach is to stop thinking about the corporate world and tell colleagues what I think they need to know.

I flicked in and out of the Wales match. At one stage there was FIVE Forest players – past and present – on the pitch. They don’t call it The World Famous City Ground for nothing.

In Wisteria News: we’re reaching that time of the year when it’s due its annual prune. Daisy and Dotty are doing a good job of dismantling the wisteria for me this year.

I found a solution for the email forwarding fuck up via my domain name. Ditch gmail and fwd the mail to a Hotmail address. There. That worked. gmail is a little too clever and detects that you are trying to fwd a mail via a domain name that doesn’t exist. Hotmail is still thick as pig shit and oblivious to it all.

I listened to the England build up via the Forest round up on BBC Nottingham. It was scraping the barrel in trying to pin a Forest angle on a game where no Forest players were taking part.

It was good to hear young Nigel talking about his trip to Hillsborough with Mansfield. He was asked about the FA Cup Semi Final in 1989. His response was eloquent, mournful and masterful. I could listen to young Nigel all day long.

The England match passed me by. It’s not really my thing; it’s not really my team.

We attempted to SPLAT Daisy with her monthly Stronghold protection. The latest batch comes pre-loaded in a syringe. We managed to SPLAT the wall rather than Daisy.

Oh dear.

Links for Friday 25th November, 2022

Cyclist donates £1 to charity for every photo of a driver parked in a bike lane | road.cc

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper turned into ice sculpture – BBC News

Proportional representation, power and class | Morning Star

TfL offering discounted cycle hire for Black Friday weekend

The Museum Of London’s Closure: 10 Things We’ll Miss

Active travel campaigners release footage of anti-LTN vandals setting bollards alight | road.cc

Thursday 24th November, 2022

What Lidl’s FUCK OFF family pack of Greek yoghurt lacks in taste, it certainly makes up for in price. I was even prepared last week to transport a tub all the way from Sunny Stockwell back to the bloody Estuary Wilds, just to save on the price.

But yeah, that taste. It’s bland. No worries. I’ll add my own flavouring on Thursday morning I thought. There was some lemon juice in the fridge that A had squeezed for a meal a couple of days ago. Perfect.

It was an interesting and unique taste. It had a tinge of Mediterranean cooking and was slightly greasy.

“Have you seen the salad dressing that I made out of the left over olive oil?”

…asked A a little later.

Oh. That will explain the Mediterranean yoghurt then.

Album of the Day: Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition is a live album by English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in November 1971 on Island Records.” That’s me done, then. I parade my musical snobbery with pride. I’ve worked hard to refine my exquisite tastes. This shit is beneath me. DNL.

I gave the Radio 1 Drum ‘n’ Bass Show another try. It passed a pleasant hour and woke me up for the morning tasks ahead. It was also very poppy. I confess that my days of listening to the UK Top 40 are behind me. But the D ‘n’ B Show dropped a top 5 hit. The Sweet Love cover was a killer though.

I like my D ‘n’ B a little more DIRTY. Ah, looky looky over here. Fabio and Grooverider have an occasional show on Soundcloud. Sorted.

Buzzed: Race to become your next MP: Lambeth Councillors on political manoeuvres as they eye up Westminster wet dreams

A brief update on local Lambeth Councillors and their careerist Westminster ambitions as we limp towards another General Election. Now is the time when local Constituency Labour Parties like to separate the talent from the tosh as they put in place candidates.

My World Cup allegiance switched yet again later in the morning. We’re all Swiss fans, right? Forest’s Remi Freuler was starting for Switzerland against Cameron. Club before country, every time. It’s dreamland for Forest to have so much representation at the World Cup.

I returned to the pool at lunchtime for the first time in four weeks. My tattoo man said leave it two weeks; I’m taking no risks and so sacked off from swimming for a month.

The new gravel on the Trail is taking its time to bed in. Even with the recent rain, it’s still a very slippery surface. There was an incredibly high water out along the estuary. It had spilled over to some parts of the newly laid gravel Trail. Oh dear.

A warm pool greeted me. Winter swimming outdoors at Lake Brockwell this most definitely wasn’t. I had a lane to myself for the first ten lengths, and then two other swimmers joined in the fun for the final 30 lengths. It made for some tight turns and overtaking.

I was using muscles that haven’t seen any action for a month. I focussed on the pull, rather than the power. I comfortably ducked under the 17 minute timeframe I give for 40 lengths with 30 seconds to spare.

I suffered a bastard cut to my thumb putting my MTB away. I tried to move the BEAST that is the Raleigh electric. My thumb became caught in the bicycle stand as it sprung open. OUCH. That bloody hurt. It was also rather messy.

Biblical rain hit Weird Wiv late afternoon. I prayed to the God of Home Improvements hoping that it would all hold together.

Links for Thursday 24th November, 2022

Would you spend £58 on Silca’s new tyre levers? | road.cc

NO

Ignore false claims and bad journalism – most LTNs do reduce traffic

Keir Starmer Had a Photo-Op at the Telegraph As Part of His Rightwing Media Tour | Novara Media

#Transpontine: New record shops in New Cross and Camberwell

Wednesday 23rd November, 2022

I thought that my ever so slight calf strain would resolve itself in time for the run on Wednesday morning. I was wrong. Ping! Oh, there she goes.

It was around 4km into an 8km run. I had to be back at base pretty sharpish for work. There was no other option than to do a runner and limp around the second half of the circuit.

The onset of the pissing rain did little to raise the spirits. I’ve had more enjoyable runs.

Album of the Day: Machito – Kenya

This was the perfect music for a rainy morning. Sixty-five years old and still sounding fresh. Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Gilles Peterson of late. You can never listen to too much GP tbh. The horn stabs are so sharp that they leap out and grab you by the bollocks. OUCH! That hurt, but soulful pain is good pain, right? The rhythm helped out with the morning typing tasks. I had a very productive and enjoyable morning at the keyboard. The tunes are special. They need to be remembered.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I looked into buying a CD copy of this. The prices ranged from £20 – £80. I think I’ll stick with streaming then. Spotify has gone WEIRD of late. I’m being served ads asking me to join up with the local military in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure what’s going on with my IP address.

The Postman Delivers: #CD Wednesday

Some Kitty, Daisy and Lewis (COOL cats), Julian Cope (CRAZY cat), The Smiths (territorial cat) and the new Weller box set (cat, cream etc).

The missing ONS Covid shit voucher is still giving me grief. I’ve accepted that my email address going through my own domain is b0rked. I’ve changed all the settings in cpanel, but nope, nothing.

This led to a call to the ONS to change the email record it holds for me. It’s always awkward having to spell out trickyskillsjase as a 52 year old. This was the reason I set up the forwarder in the first place. The modern interweb is unforgiving for your early errors back at the start of the 90’s.

I gave in to pressure from A mid-morning and downloaded the Lidl app. I’ve tried to bury it away in a folder, should any bastard phone thief get their grubby paws on my iPhone and start to make character assumptions.

The reasoning from A is that we’ll get BLITZED with endless offers. It sounds a little like a false economy. But I am the Lidl King of Sunny Stockwell.

We both had a mid-afternoon break for a windy wiff waff session wearing the wellies. The beastly Estuary Wilds weather had died down. It was half decent at the Table of Dreams as the sun was starting to set.

The Table of Dreams is very public by nature. You’re on show to the great and good (and smelly) of Weird Wiv as they walk past.

“WELL PLAYED!”

…shouted one dog walker after he paused to watch what I admit was a very, very strong rally. I took the game 4-3, but then offered A the chance to come back with a final game draw. She didn’t hesitate. We left the Table of Dreams all square.

A father and young son rocked up during the final game. It’s good to see the Table of Dreams getting some use after the little shits of Weird Wiv burnt it down over the summer.

The electricity workmen from yesterday were AWOL today, although half the road remains dug up with barriers blocking the path. I’ve clocked that they’re working on the faulty street lights which I reported to the Council last week. I’m quite impressed. It’s worth the drill ‘n’ bass soundtrack inconvenience.

Links for Wednesday 23rd November, 2022

Does Jeremy Corbyn Need the Labour Party?

London cyclist films bike lane motorist driving straight at oncoming riders

LeftLion – Diving Into the Past and Present of GForce, the #Nottingham-Based Fashion Brand Regarded as the ‘Forefathers of the UK Streetwear Scene’

Wish I had those shoes still 👌

Tuesday 22nd November, 2022

I had a WEIRD dream about The Beatles’ Carnival of Light. So weird that I looked it up over the first cup of tea of the day. I spent a little to long looking into the history of the last great unreleased Beatles track. I even listened to fourteen minutes of experimental crap on YouTube. I then read some of the comments underneath. THIS IS NOT Carnival of Light. It’s a fake track recorded by a fan. I then realised that I should really start the day and get on with something more productive. Dreams are overrated.

I switched to Late Junction.’Forest Improvisations’ was the theme. We’re not talking 5-3-2 either. Less than a week into the World Cup and I’m really missing Forest, if not the PL. I surprised myself last night how Welsh I could become with three Forest players finishing on the pitch for Wales.

We made the most of dry skies for once and headed out for a brief table tennis game before breakfast. Minimal wiping was needed beforehand, despite all the recent rain. After a summer away from The Table of Dreams, our skills are returning. Spin even featured on Tuesday morning. We made a real game of it in a short period of time. It was a close call, with a 3-2 win in my favour.

Album of the Day: David Bowie – ★

What a bloody glorious racket. Bowie gives it some really UMPH for his final hour. There’s the danger of eulogising this as one of his finest works, given that it was released two days before his death. A six year retrospective period seems about right for a reappraisal. It still stacks up fine and is worthy of the tag of one of his career highlights. Working with young musicians leads to an energy and urgency throughout. Plus Bowie’s voice sounds magnificent, despite all the health shit going off at the time. I Can’t Give Everything Away is a strong message in which to say farewell upon, bowing out in style.

★ ★ ★ ★

My web host got back about the email forwarding from different domains not working. It got a little fiddly trying to find a solution with SPF and DKIM records in cpanel needing to be changed. The issue is that gmail is marking outgoing content as spam. Hey! That’s not spam. It’s my ONS Covid shit voucher! I stuck a stick down my throat for that.

Elsewhere and IFTTT seems to be making the trigger once again to get Insta and Tumblr talking. Applets only kick in each time new content is created apparently. Oh.

More bloody roadworks appeared outside the house. Having had the roads dug up for a modern interweb fibre network last month, attention has now turned towards electricity. The drilling throughout the morning did my nut in. It made it tricky to focus for work, even with AirPods.

Gilles Peterson had a gospel set from Maida Vale with Voices of Creation. Cracking music, hit and miss message. There’s a lot of tambourine shaking tunes going off right now. The SAULT Earth album being the standout. I love the music, but the message is bollocks and means nothing to me.

I didn’t get quite annoyed as I did in seeing the Christmas decorations up around Weird Wiv again. Annoyed? Strong stuff, Jase. It’s the ridiculous upside down Christmas tree each year that gets me. Oh, but IT’S TRADITION! We’ve always done it this way, and we’ll always do it this way. Ha, bloody ha. Fuck tradition, fellas. You just look backwards.

In Cost of Living Shit News: Lidl’s FUCK OFF cheddar has gone up 20p. Bastards! It was £3.99, but now clocks in at a whopping £4.19. We still stocked up with two bricks.

Cloud watching followed for most of the morning. I was free for a lunchtime bicycle ride and there was big blue skies overhead. Chapeau! I rolled out on the Raleigh electric with the mantra of follow the blue sky.

This was also an opportunity to work on the chain on the Raleigh. It’s still ever so so slightly tight in the top two gears. It needs a little wearing in. I could try and loosen in by pulling in the rear wheel. But I don’t trust my mechanical skills to put it all back together again. Let’s put the km’s in and let the chain take the strain.

It took a while for me to find my natural rhythm. The Senegal flag flying proud outside a semi-detached in Great Bentley was a pleasant surprise. It was also a joy to see the dozen or so primary school kids out on their bicycles taking part in some cycle training.

I had a cartoon moment flicking the switch from Tour to Sport mode on the Bosch motor. It was like one of those Whacky Racer scenes where the throttle is opened, the vehicle accelerates and the driver follows behind a few seconds later. Woh. That’s a bloody powerful motor down in the crank.

I’m learning to trust the accuracy of the power readings. I was riding down to two bars towards the end of the 40km ride. I should still be able to get 50km+ out of the remaining juice. I was still ten minutes slower on the Raleigh electric compared to a ride on the roadie on the same route back in August. This was my FAVE electric ride so far.

Back at base and A had cooked up some soup shit. She threw all the excess veg we have into a pot, added water and then let it soak for a few hours. It was warming and half decent.

I flogged a couple of Auteurs cassettes and Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. All three are great albums; all three are also sitting there on my CD shelves.

Matty Cash did Forest proud playing for Poland. Sure, he’s a Villa boy now, but having a Forest Academy graduate playing in the World Cup is pretty special.

I got sucked into some Fall listening in-between matches. Always different, always the same etc. LOVE ‘EM.

Links for Tuesday 22nd November, 2022

HFL admit that they have had to defer repayments of loans to Lambeth council. This is a classic sign of a company which is about to go bust #localgov #housing

Monday 21st November, 2022

A day of two halves – which was apt, considering I tried to get at least some interest in the World Cup today. The morning was positive, mainly with work and running; the afternoon was foul, dirty Estuary Wilds weather. It was quite depressing.

I managed to get a lunchtime run in before the skies darkened. This was the first appearance of my running trackies this autumn. They’re a rather cool cheap as chip purchase from Lidl.

I’ve been looking at branded black trackies of late in an attempt to keep up with some of the dudes in the SW9 school. There’s not a lot of change out of £100. I’d forgotten that I had my running trackies, which I just might be able to get away with on a school day.

The run itself was OK. That’s all you can hope for on a Monday lunchtime. It was a race to try and avoid the forecast rain at 1pm. I also had half an eye on the 1pm KO for England Vs Iran, but with slightly less urgency. This led to a time of just over 40 minutes for the 8km circuit.

I watched the football on and off, whilst carrying out other online admin tasks. One of my IFTTT applets is b0rked. I’ve tried everything. It’s bloody annoying that support is only available for paying customers. No surprises that I’m not a paying customer. In frustration I even deleted the applet, then started afresh. Still nothing. Hey hoe.

And then I had some issues with an email forwarder. I’ve cheekily piggy-backed this on a separate domain. In theory it should send all email to my own named domain to my main email address. It has been working. I only noticed that it had stopped when the recent ONS Covid shit voucher didn’t drop. I had my eye on a fancy branded pair of black trackies and was relying on the voucher…

The cats were also pissed off for most of the day. I washed one of Daisy’s fluff things that she sits on. Dotty was sneaky in making a move on Daisy’s second fluff thing of choice that was next to the radiator. Ah yes – the radiator. We’ve caved in. the BEASTLY Estuary Wilds weather means needs must. Arse.

I had more interest in the Wales Vs USA match than England. Nothing to do with nationally, but club triumphs over country for me every time. It’s been a while since any international team has boasted THREE players from the World Famous City Ground.

Album of the Day: Derek & the Dominos – Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs

Christ, this was shit. Any hope I had faded when I saw the running time of 1 hour and 16 minutes. How many Atlantic soul singles could I fit into this timeframe? ALL winners, unlike the crap from the silly old racist doing his guitar shite on this album. I know, I’ll wait until Layla, I thought. I could probably just about stomach this in a non-ironic Partridge strumming style. But it was the penultimate track. Even the Spotify ads for CEX were better than this shit. Bailed three songs in. Ahh – here comes Wilson Pickett. That’s better.

Links for 21st November, 2022

Loss making Pop Brixton bought up by property investors

Peddle launches its first four e-bikes

Sunday 20th November, 2022

A subliminal message from Dotty was left on the attic window pane overnight. It simply read: If.

She had carved out her feline communication on the condensation that had appeared. It was all very frustrating. If what, dear?

If only we could forge a closer human / animal bond by developing a shared sense of communication? If you clean the litter try then I promise not to shit in the neighbour’s garden?

Or maybe she had just licked her arsehole and her fur randomly caught the condensation, leaving an imprint which most people would struggle to recognise as the word If.

Things were a little clearer with the iOS update to my Apple Watch overnight. I can now unlock my MacBooks using my watch, which is pretty cool. It means that I am one less muscular move away from logging in. Expect the next update to enable telepathic unlocking.

An email dropped from Brixton Rec. The centre is switching to what it calls a ‘winter timetable.’ It’s more like a Cost of Living Shit timetable, tbh. Heating a large indoor pool 24/7 is never going to be a cheap option. I’d be interested to see what the Service Level Agreement with Lambeth Council states for access.

I killed off the Vivaldi browser. It was running in the background, but was also a huge memory hog. There. BE GONE.

My mid-morning purchase of Weller’s Will of the People three CD set was a little north of my usual spending pattern. I won with an eBay bid of £14, with a couple of quid P&P.

At the other end of the musical spectrum I gave The Meffs a listen. There’s a new podcast from Colchester Arts Centre where the Sunny Colch punk duo are featured. They came across as being very likeable.

I optimistically put in the diary their New Year’s Eve Arts Centre gig. There was talk on the pod that they’re playing through until 2am. Let’s be honest – I’m going to be in bed by 10am, innit.

Out went the shout of: To the University! …shortly after luncheon. Three times in two days as well. Blimey.

There was another Super Sunday on the Wivenhoe Park agenda. Volleyball was first up. Different sport, same set up; the Rebels have stepped up a level with the Men and Women both playing at an elite level.

I was expecting to pay to enter the Essex Sports Arena. I’ve become a bit of a Rebels groupie of late. The Reception staff spotted me, and then waved me through. My timing was poor. I caught the final set in the Men’s match as they cruised past Leeds 3-0.

American Football was the filler in the Sunday Volleyball sandwich. Essex Blades had a home match against [not sure and can’t find out either]. They were trailing 12-0 when I arrived. No further touchdowns took place for the following hour in which I stayed.

I headed back down to the Sports Arena for the start of the Women’s volleyball. I wasn’t alone. Around a dozen or so other folk made the switch from American football to volleyball.

Leeds Women looked short benched compared to the Rebels. The introductions were lively, with the Rebels WHOOPING the arrival on court of the ‘Croatian Cannon.’

I know little of volleyball, but enjoyed it all the same. We play a little in the SW9 school. The students love it, picking up the various shots and techniques in what can be a very technical game. Essex Rebels won once again inside three sets.

Crap World Cup football followed back at base. ZERO interest. And then the darts. LOVE the darts. Yep.

Links for 20th November, 2022

Gary Lineker kisses Peter Tatchell to test Qatar’s so-called LGBT tolerance.

Saturday 19th November, 2022

More SAULT album listening for the Saturday morning run. On the AirPods was Earth, the second album in the batch of five dropped by the collective a couple of weeks ago. It’s the ideal running record, best described as rhythmic religious music. OK, I could have done without all the God is Love bollocks, but the beats kept me motivated as I pounded around the mean streets of CO7.

The fella with the flagpole at the top of the town had his Ipswich Town FC effort blowing in the wind this morning. He has a great sense of occasion, if not taste in football teams. Ipswich were away at Exeter later in the day. It’s impressive seeing how he changes his flag to suit any moment on the national or local agenda.

A new FUCK OFF sign has appeared around the eastern edges of the University. It declares: University Enterprise Zone. Oh. Which puts my poxy sociology degree back in its box. The whole campus appears to be transforming into a business hub over recent years. Follow the money, innit.

The run itself was decent – almost two minutes up on the exact same route from yesterday. I’m in need of some new running shoes – which is disappointing as the ASICS are less than a year old. The inner cushion is wearing away where I place most pressure on them. It’s also led to a nasty blood blister appearing on the side of my leading right foot.

I had a quick clean up back at base before we strode off purposely for some Saturday morning wiff action at the Table of Dreams. You ALWAYS stride off purposely towards the Table of Dreams when you are wearing a pair of wellies. It’s quite a look.

I beat A 4-2 in what was a wind assisted game. We were both guilty of playing weak shots to allow the growing gusts to add a little random spin to the ball. Light rain put an end to the game.

I was wearing a City Rockers cap, so I fired up Clash City Rockers on Alexa. And then by pure coincidence (or was it?) FB flagged my memories from a year ago today when I completed my Clash collection on cassette. Freaky.

Some fella briefly starting blasting the weeds outside the house mid-morning. It was a bit of an insult; I spend a little time each week pulling the fuckers up. I couldn’t tell what the Council high viz wearer was using to blast the weeds away. I’d rather not know.

Robert Elms had a World four-fer in celebration (yeah, right) of the World Cup. Songs with World in the title were requested. John Martyn’s One World was a tremendous opener. Not so hippie shit was Julian Cope’s World Shut Your Mouth, equally worthy of four minutes of your time on a Saturday morning. I was left with a lovely warm feeling as The Isley’s Harvest for the World ended the run.

We headed out for what was going to be a hyperlocal morning. Hyperlocal mornings always go wrong. I was wearing my new walking boots for the first time.

The Farmer’s Market was first on the list. I’m not exactly sure why we went. The cost of living shit has meant that we are Mr and Mrs Lidl right now. There was some crafty thing taking place inside the Congregational Church. The sight of a donation bucket led us both to doing a runner.

We walked all the way up to the University. There’s a Radical Essex exhibition documenting the ‘troubles’ at the University with The Angry Brigade etc. I was quite excited about this. I even made sure before setting off that it would be open on a Saturday lunchtime. The website said YES. Back in the real world and it wasn’t of course. Oh dear. It was a nice walk, anyway.

The eBay email today featured a Withnail soundtrack for £35. No ta.

I’ve slipped into a silly Smiths rut. The 1001 albums generator threw up Meat is Murder yesterday. Don’t get sucked in. DON’T GET SUCKED IN. I got sucked in to listening to the silly old racist. I’m trying to justify it by saying he wasn’t a silly old racist at the time, and Marr was cool as fuck. I confess to buying Louder than Bombs on CD for £3. At least the money isn’t going to the silly old racist.

I played Louder than Bombs on Alexa. Wait a minute – what’s this? I knew nothing of Golden Lights. It was bloody awful.

A brief trip to the Coop followed. The Gypo Aisle was disappointing. As were the Christmas decorations in November, plus Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time playing over the PA.

I caught up with the excellent Streets Ahead podcast during an anarchic gardening session. It’s fast becoming my fave pod. There was a great discussion themed around the benefits of active travel against the backdrop of cuts to local authority funding. Niche, for sure. But still fab.

The garden lawn received the first FORK IT of the season. I spent almost an hour sweeping up endless leaves. The lawn will be covered in them again in a couple of days. I reckon we have one more final drop from the wisteria this autumn and that should be it. Meanwhile we’ve still got some strawberries that are growing and ripening.

Streets Ahead switched to Garibaldi Red. There was a brilliant, brilliant interview with Martin O’Neill. He’s got a book to promote, but it was an amazing listen. There’s the danger that these Miracle Men interviews trot out the same tired and tested stories. Not so with O’Neill. He’s always been the brains within the group. He controlled the interview, understanding that his role was to create some new headlines.

O’Neill spoke with great fondness about his lifelong friend in John Robertson. It was was really quite touching. He sounded bitter that after a decade of playing at the World Famous City Ground, his managerial period only last 19 games. We had him at the wrong end of his career, tbh. He did hint about another comeback however.

Out went the shout of To the University! Again. The early evening entertainment was the Essex Rebels Mens Div 3 team on home court against Kent Crusaders. You need a dedication to watch the Div 3 Mans team. I’ve found that in the Rebels. This club is really starting to appeal to me. I wasn’t alone with a decent turn out at the Sports Arena for what is essentially a student team rather than the elite level men.

It was a raw ball game with both teams scrapping for every ball. Rebels traded toe for toe against a more physical Kent team in the first two quarters. The away team had a geezer named Dwight London. It’s such a cool second name. I still get a little emotional listening to Julie London. Jason Nottingham is not the same.

Back on court and the Crusaders stepped it up in the third and fourth. They stretched away, leaving Rebels chasing the game as the clock counted down. The final score of Rebels 84 Crusaders 89 (I think) seemed about right.

I was back at base in time for the darts.

Links for 19th November, 2022

At root this crisis is a war between capital and labour

Friday 18th November, 2022

Album of the Day: The Smiths – Meat is Murder

I wanted nothing to do with this. More to the point, I wanted nothing to do with Mozza. It’s a decent album though from a time when Mozza wasn’t being a complete twat. Rusholme has an ACE rhythm going off. I almost danced. Nine songs at 39 minutes is the perfect length for an album. It wasn’t quite as strong as I remembered. I’m pleased that I have managed to move on from believing that The Smiths would have a legacy that would last 50 years plus.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Early morning work for Friday involved some back and forth action involving Swedish translations. The planned workflow held up well. The fictional character Maximilian featured. I had to wear my specs to focus on the screen at such an early hour. My eyesight is shocking.

I had Late Junction on in the background as my smoothing soundtrack. I’ve not listened for a few weeks. It’s always a rewarding experience. Some gems, but some absolute shit to plough through first.

The lunchtime run saw the appearance of my running gloves and ridiculously looking beanie. The hat isn’t for the cold, but it holds my AirPods in place. I listened to SAULT’s Aiir release. Like the Air predecessor, it sounds more like a film soundtrack than a standalone album.

The Flag boozer at the top of the town looks almost ready to re-open as a restaurant. The owners have done a handsome and sympathetic job with the restoration. Down at the other end of the Quay and I had to dodge endless giant puddles down by the Quay.

I caught myself in the mirror whilst cleaning up. Looking good, looking GINGER. wtf? There’s a slight ginger strand starting to appear in my beard. I’ve no idea whereabouts down the genetic timeline this has appeared from. It’s quite a worry.

Robert Elms played the latest single by Squeeze. It has cutting edge commentary that I’m surprised passed the over sensitive BBC censors. Fifty years on and Squeeze are still relevant. All profits are being donated to Food Banks.

I had to fill in an online health questionnaire ahead of some medical bits and bobs in the new year. The form automatically added my age as 52. Am I REALLY 52? Yes, I am. That was quite a shock.

A run of Half Man Half Biscuit CD’s appeared in the daily eBay emails. It looks like someone is selling on their collection. They’re currently at a decent price of around a fiver. That won’t last long.

I listened to some more of the Drum ‘n’ Bass Show to pick up the pace for the afternoon work shifts. It’s very lame compared to the old Fabio and Grooverider days. Pop music with a D ‘n’ B rhythm would be more appropriate.

I caught a little of the BBC Nottingham weekend sport preview show. Notts have sold out the 16,000 Meadow Lane capacity for the home match against Yeovil tomorrow. Not bad for the National League. Meanwhile Young Nigel was asked his thoughts ahead of the World Cup. It could have been his Old Man talking.

DARTS ended Friday.

Album of the Day Extra: The Beatles – Rubber Soul

I was fearful of being sucked into another Beatles cycle when Rubber Soul was served up on the 1001 Albums website for me. Once I start, I can’t stop. It’s a very healthy musical addiction. Rubber Soul is the perfect pop for me. The songs would work for any artist at any time. The Beatles were getting a little druggy, druggy, druggy around this time. It’s makes for a hazy listening experience. Time stands still. Rubber Soul was recorded in a four week period – which is quite remarkable. I managed to spill a four pint carton of milk whilst listening this afternoon. It made a right bloody mess of the kitchen floor. I still came out smiling. No point in crying over… etc. Only The Beatles can have that affect over me. Them Beatles were alright.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Links for 18th November, 2022

Are Chainless Digital Drive Bicycles The Future of Cycling?

Mapped: The Cheapest Pint Near Every Tube Stop

Thursday 17th November, 2022

Thursday was a school day in SW9. Any hopes of an early morning run were abandoned due to the bloody rain. Ditto for a bicycle ride to make the short journey along Stockwell Road. I stomped around in my rain DM’s instead.

It was another whirlwind of a school day. I found myself in an Enterprise lesson where the school website was pulled up on the whiteboard at the front of the class. ‘ELLO – here we go… I always panic that something might not be working. But there it was, all fine and dandy. Phew.

There is excitement around the school as the students are planning for the Winter Fair. This is the first major school community gathering post-Covid. We looked at my snaps on the whiteboard from the December 2019 Winter Fair.

I remember this well. I was blagging the event on a few hours sleep. It was the morning after the 2019 General Election. Looking at those happy, smiling innocent faces and it’s impossible to imagine how Covid shit would change everything a few months later.

The school is back on track and thriving – and hopefully so was I. Highlights included a photosynthesis experiment with Year 11 [IT WORKED!], tenderising chicken in food tech [WHACK IT!] and a decent volleyball game with the Year 13 students.

I also managed to hang around a little to witness some superb play in the after school table tennis club. I then did a runner and headed back to the flat to pick up the Brompton. The rain had disappeared and I had less than half an hour to get over to LS.

I made it with five minutes to spare. Which was a good job as the downward escalator was out of action. It’s a complete BALL ACHE trying to lift a Brompton with a front and rear carrier up or down any stairs.

I listened to the Drum ‘n’ Bass Show on the commute back to the bloody Estuary Wilds. Blimey. That woke me up.

Back at base and The Postman Had Delivered: an Electric Ladyland CD. It’s my fave Jimi album, and has been a noticeable absence on the CD shelves.

I wasn’t so successful on bidding for a pair of Vivo Barefoots for A. We lost out by £1. Bastard.

Thursday evening was spent catching up with the ODI cricket. J-Roy: oh dear.

Confession: the heating went on for the first time this evening. And so it begins.

Links for 17th September, 2022

Crown and Sceptre in Streatham to reopen ‘just in time for the World Cup’

When Eddy Merckx met Beryl Burton

Wednesday 16th November, 2022

Not one, but TWO MacBook Airs updated to the Ventura OS overnight. Steady the buffers, etc. I know that one of them restarted at around 3am. Chrome kicked in and resumed playing a Novara YT video. Don’t have nightmares, etc.

The updates appear to be smooth. I always forget that I need a little extra time to get my machines ready for work shifts after an update. There’s an awful lot of password updates and syncing to do, even before you hit the I AM HERE work button.

Oblivious to this was the Lockdown Runner at the back of the flat. MORNING, Madam. She probably isn’t a Lockdown Runner anymore. But she’s been keeping this up ever since the dark days of the first lockdown. Up and down, up and down along what to be generous is a bit of a bleak landscape. She’s my Lockdown HERO, for no other reason than she runs with an umbrella.

Album of the Day: Ash – 1977

This was a big deal back in 1996. Steve Lamacq was all over them. Ash were the young kids that could unite indie and pop. They pretty much pulled it off with 1977. What’s great about this album is the pure pop: Goldfinger, Girl From Mars, Oh Yeah, Angel Interceptor – all timeless songs that would work just as well if they recorded by a boy band. Ash add an extra snark and snarl to the tunes. It’s a pretty cool package when put together.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I don’t know how, but my mind then strayed over to Utility Records. Ah – I remember now. I had a conversation with A last week asking if I’ve still got my late 80’s Utility Ration of Passion T-shirt. I wasn’t sure. I may have cashed it in on eBay a couple of years ago.

Anyway – I wondered whatever happened to the label where Billy Bragg first appeared? And what of the back catalogue of non-Bragg releases? Pre-modern interweb and I would have still been left wondering. Not anymore. Within seconds I had pulled up the full Utility discography. Gosh. I had no idea. I had plans to be a completist and buy up the lot. A brief eBay check soon put me off the scent.

Some cheeky fucker put in a £3 offer for another Bob Dylan cassette. Look: if I’ve gone to the trouble of listing the damn thing for £4 – INCLUDING P&P – then I expect £4, pal. Rejected. I did manage to shift a *shhh* George Michael cassette for £4. I would have accepted £3 tbh.

I listened to the Trevor Horn interview with The Word In Your Ear podcast. I’ve always loved his production output. It’s an honest interview where he explains how he went from jobbing bass player to producer supreme.

I waited for the midweek sun to appear before heading out for my run. There was blue skies all along Clapham Common. I passed some fella who had a tattoo haircut. It wasn’t a design inked on to his balding head, but instead a tattoo of a haircut to cover up the bald patch. I have the need for this unique approach to hair replacement, but most certainly not the desire.

I bolted on the extra lap of lovely Larkhall Park to end the route. The parched grass of the summer months has now been restored to a lush green. It remains one of my fave London parks. My final time was almost a minute under for the exact same route yesterday. I’ll take these small wins at my age.

AT MY AGE…

I managed to pick up a cheapo copy of the Isley’s 3+3 on CD later in the afternoon. It sells for around £12. Somehow I snaffled the CD for £3. I wasn’t so lucky with More Specials. This is another CD that is priced north of my usual £3 cut off point. £10 isn’t unknown. I lost out by 20p as some bastard blagged it for £2.70.

A brief Buzz piece was bashed out for the morning. I’m making it work for me – and hopefully M as well. I can’t dedicate more than twenty minutes a day on this. A skim read, grab the headline points and get the story out there. Move on.

Wednesday ended with a little more Mastodon exploration. I’m slowly building up the network. I like the reciprocal nature of the platform. A complete random follows you; it’s only polite to follow them back. I’m being exposed to some new views and insight. This can only be healthy.

Links for 16th November, 2022

What’s the most popular tube journey?

Spoiler: #Brixton to Oxford Circus

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