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.


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