Friday, September 30, 2011


hi everyone

well, Stage It have decided that one outside of the USA who wishes to see bands on their site now need one of those "paypal" accounts. as i very much wish to see Nasher and Jonathan Granville (Johnny Guitar) perform, i have had to work out how to open up such an account.

since i have one, you can now see the link to it on the menu bar here, if for some reason you wish to donate funds to me. i cannot think of a worldly, heavenly or alien reason why one would do this and i am certainly not asking for such, but there is the option to do it if you are of a mind to do so!

all funds, if any, received shall go straight towards watching Nasher and/or Johnny Guitar do their online gigs.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

oh, i like this guy

up until seeing the news today i had absolutely no idea who or what a Mark Esterhuysen was. i had a general idea of who was "working" on that rather trivial, self-serving and self important little regional radio station down here, but little interest. as it turns out, Mr Esterhuysen was working for them right up until 1am or thereabouts yesterday and then resigned in the most spectacular and impressive way that a radio show host could do. nice one quire, well done! what a pity it was so early, though!

his statements after the fact provide a fascinating insight into how that little station works and how vastly inflated their view of themselves and their importance is. feel free to click on any of the links here to see. the biggest laugh, though, comes from their "news editor in chief" Katy Katopodis (who i have referred to as 'Katie Krapopdis' by more than a dozen or so people), who said that Mr Esterhuysen is a "publicity seeker". i guess she is an expert in spotting once, since in 2008 she famously took the time, trouble and imagination to go to the Human Rights Commission to complain about the fact that the Black Journalists Forum would not allow non-members to attend a dinner they were holding in the presence of President Jacob Zuma. of course, it was presented to them that they were not keeping it members only (which is very fair) but that they were "being racist" by excluding white reporters. as i recall, they even sent reporters to try and gatecrash the event. the comical part in the complaint Ms Katopodis (or however you would prefer to spell it) had the audacity and nerve to state in her complaint that she was making it "on behalf of all journalists and reporters in South Africa"! the cheek! i dare say more than a few would not wish for her to be speaking on their behalf, thank you very much.

this trivial little station has of course won "MTN Radio Station Of The Year" status for the last two years, which happen to be the only two years it has been running. how have they won it? well, if you cast your eyes upon the "expert panel" who vote for the winner and google their name, you will be surprised at just how frequently and indeed currently their names come up in association with the winning station. and as the station, the last time i listened, seem keen to advertise that they are the "MTN radio station of the year" at least once an hour, what a winner on the free advertising stakes for the cellphone company who sponsored it.

nice one, then, Mr Esterhuysen. good on you for speaking your mind and saying what you seen, and best of luck with the future.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the Minute Detail Preachers box set latest

hey everyone

well, groan away if you so wish, but just to keep on top of it there's been the slightest update to this Manic Street Preachers National Treasures Singles Box Set business. nope, no details on the tracks included as of yet.

there is, however, a fairly eyecatching, nice, "want it want it" picture showing what it all looks like. here you go!

looking good, however, simply does not justify the rather high price tag placed on it. the band's site claims that it is very much "in demand", but i know of only 1 or 2 absolutely fanatical fans who have ordered this blind, everyone else seems to be waiting for musical content confirmation. and wisely so!

the release date is supposed to be 31 October, and by the looks of the above the thing is in the process of being produced. surely they cannot conceal the tracklisting for too much longer?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ching ching, darlings

hey everyone

well, on a recent trip to that place known as Middelberg (see August posts, i think) i found a number of items in a Spar store there which amused me to purchase. one of them was a set of fine, eloquent tea spoons, which i offered to my beloved wife as a gift. she was rather, if not somewhat, bemused by the gesture, but accepted them no matter.

another item was a cigarette lighter bearing the name in the font and logo of that drink known as Cinzano. i am not particularly keen on the stuff, but the idea of owning a Cinzano lighter, and thus in appearance alone embracing what is known as "the Cinzano lifestyle", attracted me a very good deal indeed. i was going to post a pictue of it on here, but then i had an even better idea whilst at verk.

i should, before you pursue your perusal of this, point out that as far as i am aware no one featured in any way endorses or has any relation to whoever it is that makes Cinzano or similar, nor do they condone the use of a cigarette lighter as nature intended. the former is certainly true of your humble narrator; the latter not so much. right then, with that disclaimer out the way.....

it's pretty standard, as regular readers will be all to aware of, for me to flash a new mug around at verk and post a few pics here. good enough for a new mug, good enough for a new Cinzano lighter i say, so here we go! here is Jayson, one of my most trusted mechanics, proudly displaying the lighter whilst making what he assures me is some sort of 'gangsta' sign quite popular with the kids these days.

and yes, Zama enthusiasts, that is Zama lurking in the background, waving about what appears to be a plastic and subsequently disposable fork. for some reason the people of New Zealand are in particular fascinated with Zama, or at least Zama believes that the people of New Zealand are fascinated with him. whichever is the case, there he is.

Jayson, as you once again are aware, is one of the chief mechanics when it comes to my car. this is also true of Naeem, pictured here showing it off. and by it i do mean the lighter; not his deft skills at the infrequent but all the same interesting mechanical issues my car attracts.

sat behind Naeem, who was rather hoping that i would show him how to log in to do his tax rather than insist i take a picture of him, is Noz and stood behind him, at her own insistence, is Siphokazi. bot Noz and Siphokazi have kindly introduced and educated me to the ways of the world of someone called Khanyi Mbau; someone i had absolutely no interest in or knowledge of until certain pictures of her turned up in the more colourful corners of the internet.

anyway, here is Siphokazi proudly showing off the lighter herself, with Ernestine looking on in a sense of wonder and awe.

my English based readers may well struggle with the correct pronunciation of the name Siphokazi. you can either try and do it properly and basically "drop the h" as she told me, or you can cheat and just call her Foxy or something similar.

once i had managed to wrestle Siphokazi into giving me the lighter back (not easy), it was time to spread the wonders of it across my colleagues a bit. like, for instance, Tanya.

Tanya is one of the more resilient and optimistic, pleasant people i know here at verk, which is saying something as they are all like that really. an added bonus is that Tanya knows some sensational, class places to get lunch from. oh, and you can see the lad we call Ronaldo in the background.

some people, it has to be said, flat refused to pose for a picture. Sinbad in particular was very vocal in his decline, using certain sexual swear words that i am not prepared to repeat here, duckies. there was no such problem, however, with one of my dearest and longest standing friends posing. ladies and gents, a very familiar face to you all, say hello again to Ignatia!

i cannot recall when she was last here on the blog, but i do know that she was at my wedding, if only to make sure that it happened.

another regular face is the one known as the other Michelle, or Ace Ventura to make things a bit simpler for me and my warped outlook on the world. Michelle/Ace has been very kind in teaching me how one or two things work on these blueberry phones, as it happens!

no celebration of a Cinzano lighter would be complete without Nedine having a look at it, of course, and so in order to make sure this is complete here she is!

Nedine was busy getting a drink of water when i pounced with the lighter and the blueberry phone/camera thing. good of her not to get particularly angry and play along with me, i am sure you shall agree!

ah, now here is a special one. to some he is known as Dewaldt; others call him simply "Big D". well, those who he can persuade to.

note how stylish the shirt looks. he is clearly good with colours. no doubt he wears comfortable shoes too, and probably has one of them "sat nav" things to help with his sense of direction.

moving on and here is a relatively new member of our get along gang at verk, the interesting and fascinating Stefan. i believe he ended a call to his wife or someone of similar signifigance to ensure he had his picture taken. nice one, mate.

Stefan is one of them medical type people, which is cool. although he has never done one, he believes that he could probably do one of those tracheotomy things on someone, although he couldn't see what sort of emergency would happen at verk that would require cutting open someone's throat and shoving a tube in to resolve. we are trying our best to arrange such an incident for him, and it could well mean even more interesting pictures of Zama on here.

last and certainly not least would be Melissa, who is wearing an ace Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt that very nearly distracts one from the class of the Cinzano lighter.

actually, looking at the above, if my Cinzano lighter had some glitter on it like that shirt, it would be even more excellent, would it not?

my thanks to all of those who posed for a picture. i may take more on my travels, we shall see if it amuses me further.

i trust you all have enjoyed these images.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Cat Woman Walks (in The Dark Knight Rises)

i suppose i should say *** SPOILER WARNING *** but what is the point? here you go!

we haven't had any news off The Dark Knight Rises for a while, so i thought i had better share!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

one september sunday at south fork

hello again

not much really, just a quick blueberry snap that James asked for on our weekend trip to the joys of South Fork.

James helped Grandad do a bit of gardening, with Grandad showing James what to do via a bit of loving, caring shouting. William ran as wild as ever!

hope you all had an excellent weekend!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

one september saturday shopping

hey everyone

well, yesterday saw me take a bold, brave and perhaps reckless path! i was going to nip out to the shops to get one or two items. then William decided he wanted to come along. then James did too!

i figured "what could possibly go wrong" and took the both of them along with me. thanks to the magic of blueberry photo taking and email, here they are!

yes, that is a Toys R Us bag you can see, which tells you all you might need to know of how much "proper" shopping was done. i think, grocery-wise, i was able to quickly grab some milk. the nearest closest thing to other "proper" shopping we got was probably a packet of ice creams that James grabbed. other than that, it was all toys and super hero related items in the trolley! William was a touch tired, as you can see, and soon dozed off in that excellent chair!

needless to say, then, i am going to sneak off to the shops on my own today to try and get the things that we need that do not have Silver Surfer, Wolverine or a velociraptor on them!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

the Manic Street Abridgers

hey everyone

yes, it's another post on the subject of the Manic Street Preachers and their "complete singles" business, National Treasures. this one is some rather good news, though, despite it featuring "less" music than the CD set on the way. all will become clear if you chose to read on.

the Manics have in a sense "teamed up" with Q magazine. Q are about to celebrate 25 years of worshiping Bono, Phil Collins and similar; the Manics are of course eager to push and promote their new release. as a consequence, we get a "selected singles" vinyl collection available only with the 25th anniversary edition of the magazine!

it's understandable that under the circumstances it is a "selected" thing; putting on all of the singles would require at least a double album, probably a triple to have it mastered properly. the listing is interesting and, on the whole, rather good :

Motown Junk
You Love Us
Kevin Carter
From Despair To Where
La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh)
Ocean Spray

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
Let Robeson Sing
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
(It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love
The Endless Plain Of Fortune (previously unreleased)

a few fans are (perhaps understandably) somewhat upset that this release features a song that will only be on this album, but in fairness the cost of it - £16.99 including shipping, delivered worldwide - is rather good for what is on offer here. i very much like the fact that they have avoided the obvious (in particular not having A Design For Life but instead having another two singles from the Everything Must Go album on) and have presented what looks like a well balanced, awesome album to listen to. If it's a Manics "best of" that does not feature Autumnsong it's a winner for me, really.

as mentioned above it seems they are happy to ship this to you anywhere in the world for what as far as i can see, considering it's a limited vinyl thing, is a very good price indeed. click on this writing here to be whisked off to the site where you can order it.

now if only they would give some details - in particular the tracklisting - for the very expensive 38 CD box set version.......

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

further pictures from the weekend before last (i think)

hey everyone

well, Grandad sent these further pictures through a few days ago, but i've been that busy with verk and that (honest) i just have not had the chance to post them here. let me fix that now!

these pictures were taken by Grandma with her camera, which is an actual proper camera and not a blueberry thing like mine. this would mean that the pictures are of a good deal better quality!

i am at least pretty sure Grandma took these pictures - she certainly at the least took this first one, as Grandad features in it!

that would be three of the four grandchildren who visited him sat listening with interest, then. i have little or no doubt that as this picture was being taken Grandad was telling the gathered all about how excellent Jeff Bridges is, or even how he is disappointed with "filtering" and how he intends to get a new lens soon. no doubt they wandered off, then, not long after this picture was taken.

Ruby-Lee was probably sleeping or eating whilst the above picture was being taken, but she was certainly awake when this lovely portrait was taken!

whereas i remain relatively sure that Grandma took these pictures, it could well have been Grandad really, or taken at Grandad's suggestion. they do have something of a "portrait" feel to them, and no doubt he is getting ready to start making and printing calendars for next year!

if that's what they are up to then they have some great pictures for the calendar, including this one of Lyla!

no doubt the next picture shall feature on a calendar, too. and under it shall be a few grumbles and complaints - totally, and i want to make this quite clear, totally - out of character for Grandad about William pinching his sushi!

and finally here's a dazzling, most excellent and stunning picture taken of James!

wow! they're all good, but that last one is brilliant! well done, whoever took it!

righty-ho, i think that's all of the best of the pictures from the weekend before this one that has just passed!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

surface mail

hey everyone

well, something of a surprise in the post yesterday! Great Grandma Harland sent a parcel to the boys around the middle of July this year. As there was no sign of it in July or August we just had to assume that someone at the Post Office, either in England or here, had decided to accidentally (i am sure) steal it. i am delighted to say that this isn't the case, for it is that parcel which was the surprise!

James was rather excited to get something sent to him!

sorry for the poor quality pictures - yes, done off my blueberry again. as far as i can see my model or number blueberry doesn't have a fancy flash or anything, sorry.

it seems that the parcel had been sent, either by default or design, via surface mail instead of airmail. ho hum, that means the parcel was literally shipped in then; perhaps some of the sailors on the boat it was on have crossed paths with my Dad at some point!

anyway, the important thing is that it arrived, and the boys love their new shirts!

i can assure you that William did really like his, but cannot show you a picture of him with his. as soon as i tried to take a picture he wandered off, sadly. i was, however, able to get a picture of him stabbing an abacus with a toy screwdriver.

clearly he is learning all about the best way to repair things from his Uncle Richard!

well, many thanks indeed to Great Grandma H for sending them over, and well done indeed to the Post Office for delivering them eventually!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kasabian - Velociraptor!

I first became aware of the band Kasabian, if not how to correctly pronounce their name, around 2007 or possibly early 2008. I recall seeing them perform one song, Empire, on one of them Jools Holland shows, and thinking “these guys have the look and the sound of a proper rock band.” I didn’t particularly pursue much of their stuff after that, though.

By 2009, though, it was rather difficult for any genuine lover of music to not sit or stand up and pay attention to them. A song called Fire was released by the band in advance of their 3rd album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. If you’re not familiar with the song then you may wish to stop reading this for a while and go seek it out. A dazzling chunk of catchy, quality rock; perhaps the greatest rock single of the last decade not to have Jack White involved with it somewhere. A hallmark of the quality of the song is that, in this disposable era, the power and audacious enjoyment of it has not diminished at all, despite rather heavy exposure – the Premier League have licensed it, thus football fans hear it several times every weekend.

The album which the song heralded, the mentioned West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, was one of the best albums released in the 21st Century. Between it and the Manic Street Preachers Journal For Plague Lovers, it made 2009 a golden year for music lovers. Time has been both kind and unkind to it, however – whereas the awesome opening and powerhouse songs at the end of the album stand the test of time, the “middle bit” gets skipped by me most plays. I mean it’s good, just not memorable. The truly memorable parts of the album, though, were so amazing that one wondered if and how they would one day follow it up.

The answer is here in 2011 in the form of their 4th album, the rather curiously titled Velociraptor! (more on that name later). With some trepidation it was that I approached the album, fearing that after releasing a classic album such as they had the next might be a disappointment. This was, after all, certainly the case with the Manic Street Preachers, who seemingly rush-released the “not bad” Postcards From A Young Man a year after Journal. Concerns and fears were, however, pretty much gone by the end of the first play.

The short version of my review of this album is that it is one of the best I have ever heard. You are advised to buy it and play it as soon as possible, and I shall try and post some links at the end. The rest of this review, then, shall more or less be one long love letter to the band and this album. You have, then, been warned if you proceed.

Album reviews can be a bit tricky. Often published ones in magazines tend to be little more than overviews, with sometimes half of the review being little more than the journalists’ opinion on the band or artist. Given the acres of space one has on the internet, there’s the opposite danger of basically blabbing absolutely every detail you can think of about the album, leaving the potential listener with little in the way of surprise or discovery. I shall attempt to show some restraint, then, and pluck but a few highlights for your consideration.

A good a place as any to start is track number five, which is the title track. The band have stated that the album (and presumably the song) are called Velociraptor because, as they hunted in packs of four, velociraptors were clearly the “rock and roll band of the dinosaur era.” I am sure it was in packs of 3 that they hunted in Jurassic Park, but no matter – there’s no faulting the logic. And there’s certainly no faulting the song either – a mental, under three minute blast of high octane rock that borrows heavily from Blondie’s One Way Or Another for the chorus – ‘velociraptor / he gonna find ya / gonna kill ya / gonna eat ya’. The only possible frame of reference I can think of to give you for how it sounds is that it’s as if someone took a time machine, gathered up Keith Moon, The Clash and Motorhead, brought from the future DVD equipment and a copy of Jurassic Park and deposited all of them in the studio where Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumours and left behind a mountain or two of cocaine. Yes, the song is that good.

If there’s a hint of borrowing from others in that song, the rest of the album reveals some very telling sources of inspiration. In a recent interview they stated that they wished to follow a Beatles career path, which is to say take what worked from the previous album and build on that for the next. This is certainly the case in general, but there’s also a wonderful tip of the hat to the celebrated Fab Four in the form of La Fee Verte. It’s a song that sounds like The Beatles, one that you could swear was produced by George Martin himself, yet doesn’t sound like a rip-off or “homage” to any one particular Beatles song. A gifted, interpretive take on the kind of thing Noel Gallagher just lifts outright, if you will. To make sure you “get” what they’re doing there’s a few obvious signposts for you, namely lyrics like “I saw Lucy in the sky” and “nothing is real”.

Kasabian have also said they are “very much” an avant-garde band. This comes across as loud and as clear as you like on I Hear Voices. I think “avant-garde” pretty much covers a song that sounds like Kraftwerk covering Depeche Mode who are covering Primal Scream doing a Kraftwerk cover. And yes I meant for it to read like that.

Otherwise, there is nothing but delights across the whole album. And since I mention delights, now is a good a time as any to mention Acid Turkish Bath. This song seems to have been created on the off chance that guitarist Sergio Pizzorno might one day fancy doing a Jimmy Page and play his guitar with a violin bow. No bad thing at all. And whilst Led Zeppelin has come to your mind, well, it is a great shame that most people will hear this album via CD or one of them (hopefully legal) download things. Two tracks in particular, Re-Wired and Switchblade Smiles, are so heavy in sound that they should only really be played on a slab of vinyl that is measured in units of kilograms and makes the stereo creak as you place it on the turntable. Yes, that heavy. as for the rest of the album, well, i will leave it to you to discover the genius of it. i've had it on repeat for a couple of days now and i've get to find a part i do not like.

Kasabian are, rightly, unapologetic in their quest to be the biggest band in the world. or the loudest at the least. Well, there’s no point being in the business if that’s not your aim, really. They’ve been going for 12 years now and they could well have just got to the point where their style is not so much compromised as it is just plain refined and perfected to unleash on the world they choose to dominate. This is a band we get to enjoy now and one that shall, hopefully, inspire the next generation to get out there and do it. Kasabian join Beady Eye in being just about the “last hope” for rock, looking at the disposable rubbish in the charts, if we are fortunate others shall soon join the party.

In regards of buying, amazon seems to be the place to go. At the time of this hitting the web, they had the standard version for all of £5.99, with the deluxe edition featuring a staggering looking live DVD going for just shy of £13.00. The standard version is all you really need and seems to be at a giveaway price; you may regret not getting the DVD at a later stage, though. Just wait until you hear how awesome it all is. i suspect the standard edition costs a bit less than usual at amazon for this week only as it's their "album of the week". if it goes to a higher price after Sunday 25 September, i can also direct you to the excellent record store who ship worldwide and have given me nothing but magnificent, first class service for some 6 or 7 years. where you buy it from isn't all that important, though, just make sure you do buy it!

there are a few, of course, who are somewhat dismissive of Kasabian, declaring them to be "bland" and "uninspired". i really struggle to understand how anyone can get to that conclusion, but fair enough i guess, each to their own. it's not like every great rock band has had universal love - plenty hate The Who, and i've never been all that keen on Led Zeppelin. Kasabian, however, very much works for me, thanks. as far as i can see, they walk the walk, talk the talk, and play the best vibes on offer at the moment. give them a chance!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

un Portrait de Trigger

hey everyone

well, yesterday i had reason to ponder something or other at verk. i'd have to be honest and say i do not recall exactly what it was, but it was certainly something worthy of pondering. perhaps it was something trivial, or perhaps it was not.

it's rather difficult to give insights to or qualify what goes on when i or anyone else is pondering, really. which makes it rather fortunate that my personal photographer, Trigger, was on standby as usual. here, then, is Trigger's artistic vision of me having a bit of a ponder.

well, what can i say? Trigger has captured several excellent, essential images in the past in his capacity as my personal photographer, but this is - surely and clearly - one of his best yet. good work fella!

i can only hope and trust that you have enjoyed a bit of a gander at this image.

thanks as ever to Trigger for his sterling work.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Monday, September 19, 2011

some weekend pics via the magic of blueberry

hi everyone

well, a bit of a busy but fun weekend on this side of the world! far too busy to get too many pictures, really, but there are a few!

on Sunday i went off on a visit to South Fork and took William with me. James stayed at home partially because last weekend Grandad declared "William is allowed to come back as he is quiet", but mostly as he wanted to spend some time playing with Mummy. which is fair enough.

William quite liked the journey around the shops, and of course had great fun when we got to South Fork. he was particularly happy when Grandad decided to have sushi for lunch, as young William has developed quite a taste for it!

i am not sure how happy Grandad is about sharing, mind. i dare say deep down he loves the idea of sharing sushi with one of his grandchildren, but things like that don't always come out vocally quite as they should. "why didn't you buy him his own bloody sushi" are more or less the words he uses rather than expressing how pleased he is.

i do like the resigned look on William's friend, Marmite, in these pictures. she seems to be aware that there is next to no chance of her getting some of this stuff off William!

also visible in the picture is some French toast and bacon, another of William's top foods. he was somewhat enjoying that until the prospect of sushi appeared!

not to be one outdone by my deft skills with one of them blueberry phone things, Michele took a picture of James not busy eating, but busy colouring in one of his most excellent Scooby Doo books.

it sounds like Mummy & James had just as much fun as we did. although James didn't run into quite as many doors as William did at South Fork. and, presumably, Mummy didn't grumble or play as many Chris Rea records as Grandad.

Grandad has taken some further pictures of the weekend, since he was mentioned, and assuming that he doesn't get too offended by this post i am sure he shall forward some of them on. filtering fans are advised to brace themselves, however, as he has decided not to pursue this "filtering" business too much in the future. he is, however, rather keen on a new lens.

until the next time, then,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In Mowbray We Trust

undefeated so far

six cup and league wins in a row away from home

we are truly being flown to the moon

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Springbok Dude Shirts

hey everyone

well, thanks to that event over in New Zealand that England shall probably win. down here to celebrate we are having something called 'Springbok Fridays', where everyone is encouraged to to wear their 'Bok' shirt in support of the side as the go on a valiant and noble quest to try and finish second, with honour, to England. ahem, i have noticed that there is a good deal less enthusiasm for this celebration today after the less than perfect start the defending champions made, but a win this weekend should see the support flood back in.

very much celebrating this Springbok Day business is James. last week he asked if he could have a Bok supporter shirt, and thus i promptly got him and William some rather stylish shirts!

thanks to the magic of my blueberry phone thing, here are some pictures of this morning, then, with the two boys getting ready to go to school in their class new outfits!

yeah, i know - sorry for the quality. these blueberry pictures are sort of OK for spur of the moment pictures, but they do not always come out in the best quality. i will try and take images with a proper camera once again soon-ish! i do trust that these shall do for now, however.

i must confess i did feel "a little bit heart-sore" when James asked for a Bok shirt. i have no problem whatsoever, of course, with him supporting his country and his team, but it is when things like this happen that it is illustrated that me and my children come from different countries. oh well, such is the world.

ah, now in that picture above the more astute of you will note that William appears to be making a dash for it. that appearance would be because he is indeed making a dash for it. i had, somewhat unwisely, left the impressive collection of toy cars he and James have out from last night, and thus off he wanted to go to play with them all again!

James was quite happy to pose for another picture, though!

as James has been telling all his friends at school about his new shirt i am sure it has been great for all his friends to see it at school today!

now then, going off a bit, all this talk of Springboks has brought back something of a memory for me, an incident some 15 or so years ago!

i was in Heathrow waiting to board (as you do) a BA flight to South Africa. i was aware of some Americans behind me. one of them, the lady, said (in the best Southern Bible-Belt drawl that you can imagine) "oh look honey, one of them spinbok things", with the spelling spinbok there being as it was spoken. i didn't pay much attention to them, but was aware of the fact that they were taking pictures. i did pay attention, however, when the lady (let's assume she was called Blanche or similar) said "oh look, it has wings. i guess they fly around". i was rather curious as to see what it is they were looking at, so turned to have a look. and, as you can guess from the picture, it was the tail of a Qantas plane, showing off a kangaroo. beats me why they thought it had wings, though, perhaps they mistook what the tail was? oh well, it was not for me to correct them on any aspect of their vision, so i remained silent!

hope you all have or have had a class Friday, however you may be dressed!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the Indecisive Street Preachers

hey everyone

guess what? that class site for the Manic Street Preachers Singles Box Set has changed the wording again. and, yet again, they have not listed the actual songs included in it.

38 re-mastered vinyl finish CD Singles including B-Sides, a poster, a DVD of all 38 videos plus bonus video content, 7” vinyl of New Art Riot, Suicide Alley, Jackie Collins Existential Question Time, a lipstick and vanity mirror and a limited number will also contain a 7” of Motown Junk.

make up your minds!!! the last communication, as per my last post, suggested that it would include the b-sides "from CD Single 1 only" in regards of each single. this kind of suggests every b-side, does it not?

i love how they keep updating the site with slightly different re-wording of the tracklisting. would it kill them just to put the actual tracklisting up?

one of the singles to feature is called Scream To A Sigh. i think, in following this and trying to determine just what it is that they want a good deal of money for exactly.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shiny things

hey there

well, there's no point in trying to hide away from the truth - i really, really like shiny things. when they are shiny things that feature David Bowie, i tend to like to the point of finding them irresistable.

celebrated rock photographer Mick Rock has chosen to unleash this on the world :

'this' would be a tin featuring a book containing 128 pages of pictures of Bowie (some from an unpublished session in 2002), along with a 7" of Starman and Suffragette City. wow.

on the plus side, this set "only" costs £20.00. this is a rather good price for a Mick Rock work, in particular mindful of the exclusive stuff in it. the down side, however, is that some research suggets that it shall cost me a good deal more than another £20.00 to get it shipped to me here. damn.

at the moment i am trying to say to myself that i have the Ziggy Stardust album on vynil and thus have these two tracks in that format, and i have countless pictures and books on Bowie anyway. i am not certain that arguing with myself in such a manner shall result in this not being ordered.

have a look at it for yourself by clicking here! there are some other sets that look equally attractive, so you have been warned!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

filtering with Grandad

hey everyone

as things turned out it was the case that quite a few of us were at South Fork this last weekend! i took the boys over as usual, only this time in particular as they had not seen Grandad for a fair bit due to his travels and they had quite forgotten how musing they find him when he is being grumpy.

a particularly good way to make him grumpy, as it turns out, was to keep riding around on toy bikes.

the look of pride on the boys faces, in particular James, shows off just how class this fun playing was, perhaps made even better by the fact that the noise they for the most part made with it seemed to make Grandad even more grumpy than usual. which is quite a formidable thing to achieve.

you may have noticed that some of these pictures look "different" from usual, in terms of the colour, brightness and perhaps several other fancy terms that i might not particularly understand nor claim to. this appearance change is probably down to his new found passion, "applying filters" or "filtering"; whichever is the correct way of saying it. i am somewhat unconvinced that just because you have whatever device it is that does this "filtering" business that you should consequentially apply it to every single picture you take, but Grandad is of course the expert.

anyway, in a perhaps filtered picture, here is James about to attempt something terribly ambitious from the top of the slope in the garden on a tricycle; perhaps something i should not let him have done but Mummy wasn't there and what is growing up without a touch of danger.

as James' chosen method of bringing any vehicle he is in charge of to a halt is by simply to keep going until he hits a brick wall it is a touch risky to let him have a go at it on a downhill. ho hum, no harm was done!

William, who normally has the sense of a streak of danger in him, wasn't too keen on trying any class downhill runs on a bike, but was all the same happy to sit on the bikes and look stylish. his style being made all the more stylish, presumably, by Grandad's class new filtering technique.

making Grandad even happier than usual was the fact that it was not just James and William visiting him. Richard and Erika had a pressing, top level social engagement to attend, and thus Lyla and Ruby-Lee were there for Saturday night.

Grandma was genuinely happy!

if you are wondering what exactly is going on there with Ruby-Lee in the class walker frame thing, here is a bit of a closer look!

as it turns out, she really, really, really likes chocolate!

other than riding bikes around and making as much noise as Grandad could possibly hope for, the grandchildren do of course find many ways to entertain themselves whilst at South Fork. a particular favourite is staring at the tropical fish and speculating as to what they might be able to do with them all.

William, it has to be said, has a pretty ruthless streak in regards of these fish. he feels that they should constantly be getting fed, and if they are not being fed and subsequently eating then he should be allowed to take them out as they are clearly not doing what he expects and demands of them. William isn't quite big enough to climb up and get his hand in the fishtank all by himself, though. not yet at least.

on the subject of water based activites, you do your best to work this one out.

i must confess i was a little bit puzzled when this picture arrived in my email. Grandad assures me that James and Lyla have their feet in buckets of water as their feet were "filthy" and, due to a broken pipe somewhere in the area, they could not have a bath. i suspect this is all a cover story for some bizarre "this will keep them quiet" ritual he came up with, but cannot prove it beyond theory.

in the mean time, here's Richard, chilling and watching something on TV.

and here i am.

if it looks like we have some sort of restraint across our faces going on, it could well be because our Dad has made a very interesting request. Dad has asked to lend one of the greatest films ever made, and thus a copy is in his hands. Mum is on instruction to alert us the moment that Dad sits down to watch it. this shall be excellent; neither of us can wait to see and hear what he makes of it.

well, there you go! many thanks for the excellent, filtered or filtering pictures, Dad!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!