Sunday 15th January, 2023

A return to the CTC Club Run on Sunday morning. I thought I was organised and left ahead of the Leisure World rendezvous with plenty of time to spare. Five minutes into le depart and I was freezing my bollocks off.

Oh dear.

I had four layers of decent cycling clobber to keep me warm. It was at best one layer short. I didn’t have enough time to turn around and grab an extra jacket.

This was the first time riding with the CTC riders on the Raleigh electric. I was unsure how it would be welcomed amongst the cycling purists. They bloody loved it!

And why not?

We rolled out at exactly 9:30am. I had no idea where the route was taking us. It’s all lanes and fields to me.

One of the poor riders was in Covid shit recovery mode. This was his first time on two wheels after being laid low over the New Year. The golden rule of CTC Club Runs is that no one gets dropped. We had a slower ride as the poor fella found his fitness again.

The combination of the pace and my electric assist meant I was finding it hard to get the blood circulating. A bastard headwind didn’t help.

I was daydreaming along a quiet lane. I missed completely the low hanging branch.

BANG!

Ah, so that’s why you wear cycling helmets.

Morning coffee was taken at the National Trust gaff at Flatford Mill. I didn’t hesitate in tucking into a large mug of hot chocolate.

It would have been rude not to snap away at *that* scene whilst I was in the area.

The decision was taken to double down and call short the ride for four of the six cyclists. It was just so bloody cold.

We headed back via Manningtree. The fields around Flatford were flooded as we gazed down from up above the ridge. This didn’t stop the Sunday walkers ploughing through all the shit.

I made my apologies and flicked the switch on the Raleigh electric. I wanted to make up time, I wanted to warm up. I returned back to base riding solo.

I passed a couple riding a cargo bike and a Brompton near to Ardleigh. The cargo bike had a couple of kids as the main luggage.

I bloody love cycling and cyclists.

For some weird reason I had the urge to play the first RATM album as my recovery music. URGH. That sounded fucking awful. I bailed after three tracks. My tastes have mellowed over the decades.

Oh year – Arsenal really are going to win the Premier League, right?

Saturday 14th January, 2023

A fail from 5Live at 6am:

“Today is the East Midlands derby. We know how much both supporters look forward to this.”

Hang on. The East Midlands derby? Forest are at home to L******er later, and not the sheep shite from up the A52. We don’t give a shit about L******er. You can see that clearly by the way I have asterisked it out.

Oh.

But yeah – Forest Vs L******er is a meh match. If we ever get to play the sheep shite again then come back to me at 6am and talk about a real East Midlands derby.

More tuned in was Robert Elms. He ended his Saturday show with a classic run of tunes: Nina’s Baltimore, Roxy’s Avalon and then Bowie’s Wild is the Wind.

#PeakElms

I messed around longer than I should with the shed alarm. The batteries needed changing. It should have been so simple.

The back of the unit was unscrewed. I placed three new batteries inside. Nothing. Oh. I went to the Coop to buy more batteries, thinking the ones I tried may be flat. Still nothing.

I poked around online but there was little go on. When I’m on a mission, I’m on a mission. I tried various combinations of ‘new’ and ‘new new’ batteries. Still nothing.

It’s a crap alarm anyway tbh.

In desperation I thought: I wonder if you need the back unit on for the alarm to work?

BUT OF COURSE YOU DO.

Oh well. At least I have some spare batteries for when it goes again.

I lost the best part of an hour to all this battery bollocks. It meant the planned luncheon walk was abandoned.

Out when the shout of: To the University!

Saturday night is BALL GAME night, etc. Essex Rebels women had a home court game against London Lions, followed by the Div 3 men’s team against Northampton.

I took another soaking cycling up to campus. The dark skies dumped on me almost immediately as I left the house.

It was a tough game for the women against the leaders of the WBL. I confess to having Forest in the AirPods, rather than focussing 100% on the basketball.

My Forest fist pumping looked a little out of place as the Rebels put in their worst performance of the season. It was a shocking game.

We were joined by A & S midway through the game. It wasn’t the best Rebels introduction for them. We drowned out sorrows waiting for the Div 3 men in the SU bar. Blimey. Brixton Brewery’s Coldharbour was even on tap. It made a change from the pints of cherry brandy and cider 30 years ago.

The Div 3 men put played magnificently. They went toe to toe with a strong Northampton side. The scores were level with two minutes left on the clock. Rebels then pulled away with some killer three pointers.

I’m loving basketball, and loving the Rebels experience right now.

Link for Saturday 14th January, 2023

William Whiffin, Photographer

Friday 13th January, 2023

The Postman Delivers: a pair of Sundeks for the Lido, a Crass T-shirt not for the Lido, and a bunch of CD’s.

Never change, Jase.

It was a mixed bag on the CD front: Ted Hawkins, Bob, Heaven 17, and Roxy. Now is still a great time to buy up CD’s. Most can be bought for £3 including P&P with a little digging here and there. Have wall space, will buy.

Daisy was all over me early morning. She took up the position sitting on the back of my neck whilst I was working away. This use to be the norm a few years ago. Maybe she missed me whilst I was in S Ldn? She’s off to the vets again next week for a weigh in. Tough love on the food front, luv.

Album of the Day: Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain

This completely passed me by when it was first released. I listened to so little new music around the turn of the Century. It all sounds very sincere and serious – which kinda sums up that turn of the Millennium period. There’s not a lot of joy here. Some days I just want some dumb shit rock ‘n’ roll. It got interesting with some of the Latino rhythms on Human. But it wasn’t sufficient for me to jump up and down and act like a twat. Today was a jumping up and down and acting like a twat type of day. I should perhaps come back to this after I’ve had dental surgery.

⭐ ⭐

Robert Elms had another great Cover to Cover: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, The Platters Vs smoothie Bryan. The Platters were sublime. Strings. pitch perfect vocals and a pompous ending. Bryan was Bryan in his Roxy solo sandwich period. Bryan won, which surprised me.

Elms also had Noel Hawks in to talk about Vol 3 of the Jamaican Recordings book series. We’ve reached the Upsetter to the Computer period. This is where it gets exciting for me. Roots and Culture, through to the early digi reggae and the glorious run of 12’s on Greensleeves.

I had a couple of spare hours for a luncheon bicycle ride. Out came the Raleigh electric again. I cycled straight outta Weird Wiv. I clocked an alleyway not far from the town. I’ve not seen this before. I wonder where it leads to?

There was brilliant sunshine and high winds when I reached the lanes. I found that I was cycling faster than normal on the Raleigh. I’m not really sure why this was.

Arsehole motorists continued with some crazy overtaking. The five finger shuffle has become my default hand cycling position around the bloody Estuary Wilds.

I disturbed a pheasant in one of the hedgerows. The magnificent bird rose, and then flew alongside me for about ten seconds. It was quite a moment.

The loop the loop route took me back along Great Bentley Green. A lone worker was marking out the lines on the many football pitches ahead of the weekend. It looked hard work as he pushed his paint trolley against the wind in the open space.

The headwind got a little too much for me. I flicked the switch from Eco to Touring and pressed on to Alresford.

Chapeau!

I was five minutes than my usual time around this route. The sunshine and dry lanes made this the best ride so far on the Raleigh electric. More of the same over the spring months, please.

The weekend sport preview on BBC Nottingham was interesting. The team led on Notts for once, rather than Forest. The story was Luke Williams landing a five year contract down at The Lane. FIVE years. Woh.

#MagpieJase #shandyarmy

Album of the Day Extra: The B-52’s – B-52’s

Planet Claire was a youth club disco favourite around 1982. What the fuck is this? It sounded like nothing else that was around at the time. It helped that my gf at the time was also called Claire. Our planets never really collided. The is the dumb shit rock ‘n’ roll that I craved for earlier. Rock Lobster is as stupid as stupid can be. I bloody love it.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Links for Friday 13th January, 2023

What is a mountain bike onesie? And could it be the best investment you make for your winter riding? – BikeRadar

NO.

Cake Åik – an e-cargo bike that can be fitted with three batteries for monster range | electric bike reviews, buying advice and news – ebiketips

Thursday 12th January, 2023

I updated to Ventura 13.1 overnight across two MacBook Airs. It was a nervy start on Thursday morning. I fired up both machines and everything seems to be working without any issues.

Buzzed: Lambeth Council considered ending the Country Show before deciding to hand the 2023 event over to the private sector

“Lambeth Council considered ending the Country Show as the landmark event approaches its 50th anniversary. A Council report ahead of the 49th Show in 2023 backtracks by stating: Lambeth does not wish to completely lose the Country Show at this time.”

AT THIS TIME.

I left the Brompton in the flat and made the short walk to the SW9 school in yet more South London rain. Rain, rain go away. Come back when my garden needs you again in about six months time.

The first task in SW9 was to help the Year 12 students prepare for their assembly celebrating different cultures. The presentation involves dancing from Jamaica, Ghana and Nigeria. The call went out for a suitable English song to add at the end. I volunteered Chas and Dave. I was met with blank looks from students and adults alike.

I was then treated to a tagliatelle food tech session with an Italian master chef teacher. ALL my culinary, science and art history knowledge comes out of this school. We’re all still learning, Comrades.

Boy Y asked me over lunch:

“What is your job here?”

I wasn’t entirely sure how to reply.

The school day ended with a game of dodgeball with the Year 13 students. I couldn’t… dodge out of this one, despite my protests.

My watch pinged as I was leaving. I managed to sell the Ziggy Motion Picture soundtrack on cassette for a tenner. It’a a great, underrated live Bowie album. The CD version will do nicely for me, thanks.

I made my way over to LS and then back to the bloody Estuary Wilds. The Christmas lights were still turned on around the town.

My feeds showed that one of the old Rat Records team is hopefully returning with a new business. This is brilliant news. I’ve missed my Saturday morning CD spending sprees in Camberwell over the past twelve months.

Welcome back. Hopefully somewhere in SW Ldn.

Links for Thursday 12th January, 2023

We can’t wait for Labour: we must kill this anti-strike Bill with industrial militancy

Wednesday 11th January, 2023

Late Junction welcomed in the midweek for me. The theme was reinvention. I quite like the old me tbh. I’m still pondering experimenting with a rockabilly quiff, mind.

Daniel Taylor published another ACE long read behind The Athletic paywall. He addressed the recent departure of CEO Dane Murphy at The World Famous City Ground. I’ve yet to read a DT piece that I disagree with. He’s a superb journalist with trusted contacts.

Tell It Like It Is.

I had some issues with my Apple Watch charging at the start of the day. It was making an annoying ping sound every few minutes. The charge was going in and holding, but the ping was doing my nut in. The modern interweb reckons it might be due to cutting corners with a cheapo non-Apple charger.

Whoops.

The wall in the office was also making WEIRD sounds all morning. It’s a false wall, as are most walls around here. Every fifteen minutes or so it makes a cracking sound. This isn’t good, obvs.

As ever, my solution is to ignore it. I put on the AirPods and fired up the 1001 albums generator.

Album of the Day: Morrissey – Vauxhall and I

First up: Mozza 2023 is a knob. Mozza 1994 was a different man. His masterful lyrics flow through each track. The More You Ignore Me remains infectious. This is a great, great break up album. It’s still a little raw for me, almost 30 years later. There’s a ray of hope from the old bigot with The Lazy Sunbathers. Lyrics on ecological issues didn’t get you NME covers back in the day. It still stacks up. A reluctant five stars.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The wall rattling was still there. If it was a load bearing wall I’d be concerned. At worst it might be a cosmetic issue to address when it crumbles down.

I had a very brief window over luncheon to road test another old f717 camera. The post it noted from 2019 documents a dodgy LCD screen, with a possible failure to manually operate the lens.

Larkhall Park was perfect for the half hour turnaround I had to see how the camera performs. It was worth testing. It threw up Memory and Formatting issues. I couldn’t get a single shot as I paced around the park.

It finally came to life on the home straight outside the majestic Stockwell Bus Station. I wouldn’t trust this model in a professional setting.

full flickr set

I fired up the Canva app on my iPhone and experimented a little with some Insta stories. It’s all a little too fiddly and takes the enjoyment out of the upload and move on moment.

The Whistling Man of Sunny Stockwell passed by during the afternoon. He’s like the Pied Piper of SW8. I first clocked him around a year ago. He’s a Gentleman of the Road who plays a penny whistle. He was only drowned out by some very loud party celebration taking place in the old church building opposite the flat.

I turned on the heating. The rattling wall fell silent. It may bankrupt me, but I’ve found a solution.

Wednesday evening was all about Forest. BBC Nottingham had another brilliant pre-match build up. They played back Wembley memories from ’89 and ’90. Over THIRTY years ago.

OH MY DAYS.

Tuesday 10th January, 2023

Some early morning prep in the flat. An electrician was booked to carry out a couple of running repairs. It was pissing it down outside on the mean streets of Sunny Stockwell.

I didn’t hesitate to take my lead from Tizon, the OCD Hero of SW8. Out came the dust sheets as I plotted a route for the electrician around the flat. I felt a little guilty; it would certainly change the dynamics of the relationship. But needs must. OCD is OCD, innit.

I needn’t have worried. Mr Electrician was very understanding. He was in and out in under twenty minutes. A few extra parts need to be bought. A return visit will take place. I hope it’s the same geezer so I don’t have to go through the whole dust sheet guilt trip again.

Album of the Day: Bob Marley and the Wailers – Exodus

A fantastic and influential album. Try and put aside the political and social messages, and it still stands up as a musical masterpiece. Marley’s vision was simple: bring together people through music. It helped that he was a half decent songwriter and performer. I’d never considered the two sides to the story on the album: one political, one personal. It’s all music to me. Waiting in Vain has always hit a personal spot. A remarkable record.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The chase for the missing post I paid the extra postage on continues. I put in a call to Royal Mail once again. I managed to hang out the washing, hoover the stairs and make a start on the window cleaning for the time I was on hold. I’m chasing £1.50 that I paid in extra postage. It’s all about priorities, Jase.

Twice I have been told by Royal Mail that the unknown package has been delivered; twice I have pointed out nope, that’s not the case, pal.

More money matters followed with the fella who bartered over 50p for the Springsteen Darkness cassette yesterday. He buckled and agreed to my counter-counter offer of £5. He’s getting free postage as well. The cheeky fucker.

I tried to get rid of the six foot cactus one more time. I sent out an eBay offer of £200, down from £250. I’ve no idea what is a realistic price here. There’s not a lot of guidance online. What I do know is that the rate of growth will soon exceed the height of my ceiling. It’s attracting watchers online, but no buyers.

Lethargy set in for the afternoon work. I turned to the Drum and Bass show to liven things up. Charlie Tee dropped JB’s I Feel Good. I never had that down as D & B. It didn’t sound out of place.

Some Gilles Peterson followed. It’s been quite a year for losing some outstanding musical talent. GP reflected this. The Specials’ Friday Night, Joyce Simms and MTUME all featured. I missed the passing of James MTUME last year.

Tuesday evening was spent watching the Forest I Believe in Miracles film. Again. It was showing on BT Sport 3 early evening and I couldn’t resist.

I laughed, I pinched myself to make sure that this all wasn’t a dream. I’m not ashamed to say that the tears came at the end.

GLORY DAYS.

Monday 9th January, 2023

The bastard 6:55am train straight outta Weird Wiv on Monday morning. It was cold, dark and damp. I had to double check to make sure today wasn’t Blue Monday. That pleasure can wait for another seven days.

I almost didn’t make the 6:55am. I had been up over an hour with my pruning and tattoo cleaning routine. Everything was packed. Apart from the AirPods. Where the bloody hell are my chuffing AirPods?

I paced up and down around the house, checking the possible places where they might be. Nope. Nothing. I then looked in the pocket of my Brompton bag where I transfer them to as part of my leaving the house routine. Everyone has a leaving the house routine, right?

And they they were. I had transferred them over the night before. I’m far too bloody organised. It will be my downfall.

I felt and looked the BOLLOCKS once I finally boarded the train. I was wearing my Beatles jacket (that’s not actually a Beatles jacket, but it does have a rather sharp grandad collar.) If in doubt, dress up, as Madam Vivienne use to say.

I dipped in and out of various podcasts, but with little motivation. 7-8am is no hour for podcast listening. I reached LS and set about cycling back down to S London.

This was the first real test in riding the Brompton after the weekend service. Having paid £250+, I expected a Rolls Royce ride. I wasn’t disappointed.

The Schwalbe tan wall tyres are worth every pound of the £60 per tyre. They’re incredibly light on the road, but have sufficient grip to match the responsiveness. The new cassette and chain were seamless.

I reached Brixton and cycled through the Railton LTN. It was an absolute JOY. It’s taken a while, but the LTN ethos has caught on. The usual Ldn cyclists were riding through it for the first 18 months or so. It’s now not unusual to see the Rapha Boys mixing it with kids riding Halfords bikes on the way to school.

Three electric cargos passed me along Railton alone. Chapeau!

Monday was then all about a full on school day in SE21. I made sure that my first port of call was the primary school class I missed out on before Christmas. I walked into a lively sensory session that involved plenty of paint and glitter. The Beatles jacket was back in the staff room. The immaculately polished cherry DM boots took a bit of a battering.

Most of the morning was spent in various PE sessions. The school trampoline was set up for the start of the new term. The kids love it, and so do I. You can’t go wrong snapping smiling pupils on a trampoline. I even shot some video as well.

I spent a little time with the charming sixth formers. They are planning a rainbow themed party as part of their Enterprise learning. The task for Monday was to bake some rainbow decorated biscuits.

Boy Y was asked what the theme of the party is.

“Biscuits”

…came back the reply.

Boy Y is a STAR.

I managed to leave SE21 on time, a little cold and exhausted, but still grinning. I was chased down through Brockwell Park by the ever present parakeets of S Ldn. I had to dodge various discarded Christmas trees around Poet’s Corner in Herne Hill.

A brief Lidl run almost ended in disaster. FUCK – what have they done with the cheese coleslaw and potato salad? It looked like there was a supply issue as the entire aisle was empty. Don’t panic – it’s been repositioned to another aisle.

The Forest fall out from the weekend on BBC Nottingham was painful listening. I couldn’t believe it when there was talk once again surrounding Steve Cooper’s future. Always play the long game, Comrades.

I put in a cheeky eBay offer for Michelle Shocked’s Short, Sharp on CD. Nothing came back. I then got involved in a ping pong Offer War with a cheeky fucker who was trying to undercut me with the Springsteen Darkness cassette I’m flogging.

There was a victory as I landed a Crass T-shirt for a decent price. It got a little confusing with eBay saying ‘we are determining who has won the item’ for around five minutes. That will be mine, then.

Oh the irony of using a tech giant platform to go tit for tat with another dude for a Crass anti-capitalism T-shirt.

Just kick it until it breaks, etc.

Colchester Fibre got back with details of the pricing to roll out the service back in Weird Wiv. They want £39.99 each month, compared to the £42 BT deal I’ve just agreed for a far slower service. The downside is that I’d have to pay an extra £25 for BT Sport, and then grab whatever deal I can with Now for the Sky Sports package.

I miss the days of the old dials ups delivered by a dodgy CD that you picked up from PC World.

Album of the Day: The National – High Violet

I wasn’t listening to a lot of new music in 2010. I don’t think that I missed out on much. This sounds like a cynical attempt to make a lo-fi record. The distortion is overplayed. The drums crash over all the wrong places. There are hints of melodies that might draw me back in again. But I just don’t get these tidal wave songs that grow and build. The climax is always a disappointment. It leads to an album with little direction. I want some variety in there.

⭐ ⭐

Links for Monday 9th January, 2023

Death of a velodrome: Remembering Edinburgh’s Meadowbank

Sunday 8th January, 2023

Sunday morning down at The Table of Dreams. There was a slight delay to the game as we wiped muddy footprints from the playing service. It’s a public table, and each to their own. But you wouldn’t like it if I rocked up to play ping pong on your door welcome mat.

It was a wind assisted game. Both A and I are piss takers supreme when it comes to serving just as the Wind Tree next to the Table of Dreams starts to rustle up. Keep your eyes on the ball at all times, luv. Oh. That will be my point then. I walked away with a 5-2 win.

We carried on walking. And walking and walking. It was a race against the forecast rain to fit in a Sunday morning leg stretcher.

To Cockaynes Wood! …was the rallying call. Whatever. The local sorts around here RAVE about it. I find it a little dull and muddy tbh.

Puddle dodging was our first challenge as we set off up the back of the farm yard track. Hang on. They’re no puddles; they’re bloody lakes. One of my wellies may – or may not – have sprung a slight leak. I chose to ignore this.

This is the first time we have dragged our arses along this stretch for a while. We missed off the turning that would back track us along the gravel pits. We ended up in bloody Alresford.

Oh dear.

A decision had to be made: road or river? Road would be quicker, but also shitter. When presented with a choice, ALWAYS vote no cars, Comrades.

We shared an AirPod piece each and listened to a little of Robert Elms. His Listed Londoner was someone from The Globe. Apologies, but I didn’t catch the name as we navigated the fields of mud. It was quite a revelation to hear that The Globe “almost didn’t make it” at the height of Covid shit.

I almost didn’t make it either with the five mugs of tea before the morning wiff waff. I was caught short along a deserted Alresford lane. I paused to syphon the python with no one else around. Of. There was another couple walking towards us.

MORNING!

We paused at the Alresford phone booth now converted to a public library. You can always tell something about a community by the books offered up for free. Never judge a book, never judge a community , etc. We left empty handed.

Soon we were back along the estuary banks. There was a fast incoming tide and choppy waters ahead. GOOD EFFORT from the Rowhedge rowing club who were making steady progress in the gig. Likewise for the cold water swimmers we saw leaving the dirty, dirty river at the public pontoon.

full flickr set

We had a quick turnaround back at base, and then out went the shout once again of: To the University! It was Day 2 of the WBBL Trophy weekender at the Essex Sports Arena. We missed the first 11am tip off, but arrived in time to see the start of Manchester Vs City of Ldn Academy.

This could have been a mismatch. Manchester play in the elite top tier. COLA are a development team of sixth formers. They has fantastic support from the stands. It wasn’t enough to get them over the line.

The in-game entertainment was of the usual high standard. There was a Cameo Candy mass public dancing session. Our backsides remained firmly positioned on the plastic seats. We were shamed into some public affection when the Kiss Cam beamed our mugs up on the big screen again.

Newcastle Vs Nottingham was up next. This was a more balanced ball game. I had to leave halfway through the final quarter for work. Newcastle edged it at the buzzer.

I got lucky with the Sunday night eBay snipes: a Crass T-shirt for under a tenner, a pair of Sundeck swimming shorts for an incredible 99p, and Roxy’s Manifesto CD also for 99p. I’m not sure what was going off with those prices.

I played the KDL Smoking in Heaven CD to keep me company whilst working. It’s an ACE album. I’d forgotten how ska based they can be when they fuse it with the rockabilly. I looked a little deeper into the sleeve notes. Blimey. Rico Rodriguez plays trombone on one of the tracks.

I’ve got a chuffing STUPID early start heading back to S Ldn in the morning.

Blame that nice Mick Lynch.

Links for Sunday 8th January, 2023

Sales soar at Brompton – but profits down as company warns of tension over Taiwan

The IMAX Roundabout at the end of Waterloo Bridge

Saturday 7th January, 2023

To Sunny Colch! …early on Saturday morning to pick up my Brompton. But how to get there? That nice Mick Lynch meant that the choo choo wasn’t an option. I’m no Bus Stop Johnny either after the Gawd awful experience earlier in the week. And so I decided on a walk instead.

I took the Trail and soon hit my stride. I was surprised to see it was relatively dry and puddle free. The stretch from Weird Wiv to the University was empty at 9am. I had the wind on my back and made decent progress.

I passed through the Moors and on to East Hill. It got a little weird here. In the short stretch up to Firstsite, I passed three females who were all dead ringers for Michelle Shocked. What’s going off here then? Is there a Michelle Shocked convention happening at the Hythe?

Odd town / city.

My Forest cap remained firmly in place along a blustery Trail. It was only displaced by the wind when I hit Sunny Colch.

I made my way to the bicycle shop, and there she was: my beautiful, beautiful Brompton. The plan was to have a couple of poncey tan wall tyres fitted for the new year. I also told the nice bicycle man to do whatever else needed doing.

£250 odd pounds later. Whoops. It’s all good. I have a new chain and cassette fitted. Plus numerous other fiddly running repairs. I had no idea that I’d been riding with a couple of broken spokes. It’s not surprising considering I transport half my belongings back and forth between Sunny Stockwell and Weird Wiv.

The nice bicycle man also commented that I was riding a bastard Brompton. I bought it second hand. He said that he couldn’t date it as it had so many different features fitted from various models.

The race was then on to beat the rain that was forecast. I hit light drizzle back at the Hythe. This soon fizzled out in Weird Wiv. I just about got away with it.

Robert Elms had an ACE four-fer on BBC London. Trains was the general and theme. The idea was to celebrate trains whilst they are all fucked and we can’t use them. Train to Skaville was the highlight for me.

Out went the shout of: To the University! …after luncheon. The Essex Sports Arena is staging The Women’s British Basketball League Trophy first round this weekend. It’s quite a coup up on campus – and not for the first time, either.

SIXTEEN teams, eight matches across the weekend. Having the elite teams together at the same venue was quite special. It was like a coming together of the basketball tribes.

We sat with the Essex Rebels crowd. There’s a real basketball family building up covering the elite Women, the Men’s Div 1 and the various development teams below.

The usual in-play show was also being blasted out at full pelt. A new addition was the Looks Like Cam on the big screen. The idea was that a pic of a celeb was flashed up. The camera then zooms in on a crowd member who looks the same.

Sounds innocent? It was a little cruel tbh. Jean Luc Picard appeared. I wasn’t the only baldie bloke in the audience looking a little anxious.

I watched the Cardiff Vs Durham game whilst listening to Forest away at Blackpool in the AirPods. Like a FOOL I listened right through until full time. It seemed that many of the travelling Forest fans bailed before I did.

Back on court and Cardiff were being bullied by a physical Durham team. The Welsh team trailed right through into the final quarter. Somehow they managed to muscle in themselves and find a decent victory.

Essex Rebels were up next against Sevenoaks Suns. You could sense this was an important game for the home team. The entire Who’s Who of British basketball had rocked up on campus; this was a chance for the hosts to show what they are building as a club.

They girls didn’t disappoint with a fantastic display full of energy and sharp shooting. The joy in winning 79-64 was clearly visible throughout the entire club come the final buzzer.

Something very disconcerting then took place. We saw Queen Bea, the Rebels mascot, remove her head. Say it ain’t so. We were sitting near the side of the arena where you can look into a store cupboard. And there she was, taking off the massive rubber head and sitting down to have a flick through her socials. I’ll never see Queen Bea in the same light again.

The final game was Scottish Caledonians Vs Thames Valley, aka BRUTE Vs Pace. Brute force won out convincingly. There was some great support from the Thames Valley travelling fans though.

We binged on some old TOTP recordings back at base. 1985 proved to be more rewarding for music than I remembered. It doesn’t get much better than John Peel introducing Smiley Culture.

Aye.

Links for Saturday 7th January, 2023

“Create first, edit for audience(s) second. It’s refreshing & liberating.”

Tantek on the modern interweb

“Vialli grew up in a castle, dressed like a Bash Street kid, spoke in a hybrid Italian-Cockney accent and looked like he knew his way round a street fight. Vialli was very London.”

The Great Wen on the Great Man

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme saw more bikes hired during 2022 than any other year in the scheme’s history, with 11.5 million rentals across the year

Editorial: Working people deserve better than Austerity 2.0 from Labour | Morning Star

Friday 6th January, 2023

I thought the tax return for the past year was complete. Apparently not so. HELLO Friday morning, hello to an updated tax statement. The Taxman always wins. But it’s only a small win, mind.

Whilst I was in the mood for pulling back in the pennies, I chased a couple of eBay CD’s that are still outstanding since early December. Mr Postie pulling a strike day is probably to blame. But the eBay bot sent out refunds seconds later.

It was a bright and sunny morning down at the Table of Dreams. I was playing against Angry A. She was taking our her own personal frustration on the poor ping pong ball. It helps if you land it on the table, and not the adjacent field, luv.

I walked away smiling with a 6-1 win.

The Postman Delivers: KDL’s Smoking in Heaven CD. I love those Camden kids. I say kids – they’re more like middle age now. I’m often tempted to go into the full rockabilly mode, change my wardrobe, grow a quiff etc. I’d be fine with the dress sense, but the new hair style might be a challenge.

Album of the Day: The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up

This is a very sad album. The 60’s dream is over, Dude. It’s almost as if the Beach Boys are twisting the surfing myth and culture. They’re pissing on their own grave. There’s some decent stories buried away in the lyrics. The music struggles to bring them to the surface. Please tell me Student Demonstration Time is a piss take?

⭐ ⭐

Robert Elms had some cracking Notes and Queries Q’s on BBC London mid-morning: a missing statue from a now demolished 1980’s Tulse Hill comp, identifying some Camberwell flats from a painting at The Guildhall and the myth of the barbers inside the gents at the old St Pancras station. QUALITY broadcasting, week in, week out.

I had another spare couple of hours for a luncheon bicycle ride. The lanes had dried out since the rather sheepish riding and cornering of yesterday. I passed a dog walker at Frating with a couple of dogs that were actually larger than the walker. It was a pacy ride – I had to push on ahead of afternoon work shifts.

The rowing club asked me to put together some random snaps for a fund raising art exhibition we’re staging later in the month. Art. Arf. Everyone else is an artist; I’m the random guy leaning out of the boat with an old iPhone 7 taking some hit and miss shots.

The BBC Nottingham FA Cup weekend preview was ACE. They had put together a package covering Forest’s glorious run through to the quarter-finals last season. The background music was Life of Riley. Football in the 90’s was beautiful.

I played the More Specials CD that arrived earlier in the week. Enjoy Yourself has taken on a different meaning in recent weeks. It’s gone from being a good time party tune to being something a little more reflective and deep. Poor Terry xx

Friday finished with a RT of a tweet from my Jay-C YT channel from… the original artist.

AYE.

Links for Friday 6th January, 2023

The UK’s “most sustainable town centre” is not going to be in Southwark. There’s nothing sustainable about knocking down a shopping centre, a restaurant cluster and a printworks, let alone replacing them with concrete towers of supposed “net zero homes”.

DG on markting bollocks.

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