Friday, June 29, 2012

Great Gran

hey again

after visiting Great Gran & Gramps it was off to visit Great Gran just down the road from them, if that makes sense. well, it will to family members and those that know our family i suppose!

it was time for some further walking across the fields, some excellent Suggits ice cream and numerous other treats. there was a great deal of playing with Ruby too, who has really taken a shine to her new playfriends! this last bit was most useful when it came to getting a picture of the boys with Great Gran!

both boys love Great Grandma just as much as she loves them! the trick is getting the three of them close enough at the same time to get a picture or two of them, which we sort of could do today!

i believe i am soon to be going to some sort of Wacky Warehouse or something, but let me see if i can get at least one more set of pictures uploaded this afternoon! after today, updates are highly unlikely until mid to late next week!

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

Great Gran and Great Gramps

hi there

well, another fantastic day here visiting family to report on for you! i know a few of my more regular readers would be expecting a rundown on the latest at Heaton Park in advance of The Stone Roses (bit of rain Friday, lots of rain Saturday, cleared up by Sunday), but there shall be plenty of talk of them next week!

today, then, was off to Great Ayton to see as much family as we could. happily, we were able to start off with Great Gran and Great Gramps. Gran has not been feeling too well lately, but she was well enough to see us for a little bit today.

Gramps is Gramps, of course, and is always ready for everything. that would in particular mean seeing James and William this week!

James and William have really taken quite a shine to all of the family we have met so far, which is rather wonderful! usually they are a bit shy around new people, but it seems that they instinctively know who is part of our family!

James is really rather taken with his Great Gramps as you can see! i think the way that Great Gramps rather shouts when asking what he is up to instead of just asking in a more conventional way rather reminds him of how his Grandad does things!

sadly no pictures of William with Great Gramps today, but there is still plenty of time to do that. in the mean time, here's another one of two brand new best friends!

as i said Gran has not been too well of late, but seems to be on the mend. this is great news in general, but so much the better since we were able to see her for an hour or so today!

Gran has taken to the boys just fine, and they both love her very much indeed! and that was before she gave them any pocket money!

Gran needed to go up and rest a bit, so the visit was nowhere near as long as any of us would have liked, but health matters come first.

before we went, though, William decided to have a little dabble with the camera. he has not previously expressed all that much of an interest in taking pictures, but he seems rather good at it. that would be even if all his models do not pose as nicely as you would hope, as can be seen with James here!

and here is a most excellent picture that William took of just his Great Gramps!

hopefully we shall get to see a good deal more of them next week, so long as Gran is feeling up to us!

great to be able to see everyone, although at this point it seems we still keep missing a certain Auntie.......

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

smoking in the English summer

hey there

the fine people of England, for the most part, really do not like this smoking business. fair enough, really, for it possibly is not all that good for you, and it certainly seems to be less a social thing now than it was a few years ago. to this end, the people of England limit the places that you can smoke, and put what can only be described as exorbitant, excessive pricing and taxes on the things to try and discourage the discerning gent from purchasing a packet.

i am not sure if the latter works as well as the former, really, going on my exploits in trying to have one in the garden during a fine English summer afternoon!

yes, we experienced the full beauty of the English summer yesterday with the rain pelting down upon us! it was quite a storm, with some areas (i believe mostly Newcastle) experiencing a degree of flooding.

Michele, Andrew and a few others found my adventure exceptionally funny, hence these pictures being available for you now!

Andrew, bless him, also thought that it would be a jolly good idea to lock the door whilst i was out too, making sure i could experience the full joy and beauty of this glorious summer afternoon for a little bit longer!

i do trust that the weather is even better wherever you are in the world right now!

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

fun with love bead loaded toothpaste

hey there

i was today, on receipt of one of them email things, very much reminded of that moment in This Is Spinal Tap when Marti Di Bergi  asks Nigel Tufnel why on his amps he just doesn't make 10 louder and make that the loudest. "these go up to eleven", was Nigel Tufnel's answer, stating that it made the band "one louder"

"if you were pictured holding it on Tuesday", my Dad wrote, "why is it that on the Wednesday you are saying you will get around to buying it? Wouldn't it have been easier just to buy it then?". this was of course in relation to that which he covets, the impressive yet expensive toothpaste that comes full to the brim with some sort of love beads in it.

i tried to explain to him that i did not wish for the rest of our time to be one big anticlimax, which surely it would if we loaded up with this stuff on the first day. to ease his fears that we might not get any, however, off we went today to get some.

between today and giving it to him we are, of course, going to be messing about with it. i am not sure how one messes about in 1001 ways with love bead toothpaste to be honest, but one way at least is certainly to build super hero dens out of it!

William came along to the shop with me to get it and i must say i was impressed with the way that he grabbed every packet they had of the stuff and shot it in the trolley, not caring what it smashed as it went in. the only down side was that they only had 5 packets of it, when Dad has said he wants "at least 6". perhaps he knows they only stock 5 packets (tubes?) at a time, or otherwise this stuff is really popular.

look at how Rath (i think) out of Ben 10 Alien Stuff looks on at the construction James made!

if William was quite excited about getting this stuff for his Grandad at the shops then he was even more excited to see what James could do with it all!

i would have no idea how many pictures would be normal to show the world of our sons playing with some sort of bizarre toothpaste that their Grandad wants, but there are quite a few here for you to admire.

it's very tempting to ask my Dad what it is that makes toothpaste with love beads in it so wonderful, amazing and wished for, but i dare not do that. once he has given his answer, well, if it is somewhat dodgy or dubious - and let us be honest here, in all likelihood it will be - there shall be no way for me to undo or unhear what it is that i have heard. i shall leave him in peace and privacy with it eventually, but for now the boys really, really like playing with it.

if you are in any way fed up at looking at pictures of toothpaste that has love beads in it being made to look like some sort of quasi-Stone Henge den for super heroes then you may be delighted to read that the next picture is the last one of that nature.

for now.

that's all for now, dear readers, and possibly all for the day today too. although you never know what might crop up or happen next; it is possible something class happens later that i take a picture of and get the chance to do an update. this is Andrew's laptop, after all, and he may have some top level internets that he wants to go and do!

fear not, though, for the toothpaste of the love bead shall appear here again within the next few days.....

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

our hosts and their other guests

hello again

i know that some of you get quite excited about things being in a correct and indeed chronological order. that, alas, is not going to happen with this post. the excellent new format for blogger makes changing pictures around on it more of a young man's game, and i am quite frankly not too good with a laptop. do bear with me, then, and please don't stop bearing with me!

we are not the only visitors that the Harlo gang are getting from the corners of the world at present. well, Chez Harlo is a most excellent home, so attracts all of us at some point. it was wonderful to find, then, that David and Joan were in town! they came over for a most excellent tea yesterday, along with Gran and Auntie Maureen!

absolutely brilliant to see them! we didn't get told that Auntie Maureen was coming along too, and it was one of the single best surprises ever. it's been far too long since i last saw her, and hopefully not too long before i see her again!

yes, by the way, that is indeed Michele in the picture too. see, i told you she was OK. but you want for and crave a picture that includes the more ultra, or if you will "hardcore" element of the Harlo gang, do you? well then step this way!

lovely for us all to be together! it seems to be particularly lovely, splendid indeed, for Colin, who appears to have used the occasion of our visit as an excuse, if not all the reason he needs, to develop a very, very good friendship with practically anything that has alcohol in it. or near it, even.


glad we could provide such a great motivation and source of inspiration, Uncle!

now, i did tell you that these were not really in any particular order, did i not? on that note, here is a picture from earlier in the day when i tried to get a picture of Great Grandma with at least one of her two visiting great grandchildren. as you can see, i could not really get a more traditional pose!

never mind, there shall still be a good deal of time to get some good photographs done. the above was taken after the walk through the fields, bothering sheep and ducks, earlier in the day and posted here earlier too. i have to be really careful writing of ducks. i find these laptops somewhat fiddly and the d key is dangerously close to the f one.

moving on, and indeed moving back to Chez Harlo, here are Michele and William watching with a certain sense of awe as Colin and Andrew indulge in one of their top hobbies; staring at a camera and seeing if they cannot clock how it all works.

attempting to work out how the camera works, with specific emphasis on the timer bit, happened after we had tried to use it to take some big group pictures similar to those as seen above. i am sure what came out instruction free will look class anyway!

Andrew has featured in a few of these pictures but i have not said much of him yet. other than being excellent in letting me use this laptop thing, he has been great in that James and William have taken a major, massive shine to him. they seem unprepared to leave him alone (unless Colin is around, who William just adores as, well, pretty much everyone does), and to his credit Andrew really does not wish to be away from them for too much!

this doesn't always pan out as well as it could, though. Andrew, alas, needs a new knee or hip or something like that, and thus it probably was not his crowning glory of ideas to get on the trampoline with the boys. but he did anyway, because it is immense fun!

you will note that, unlike the one at home, the trampoline here does not have one of them safety nets around it. this gives Michele and i a wonderful sense of adventure as we watch them play on it!

just to hammer home the point of how out of chronological order these pictures really are, here comes another one of Auntie Maureen, Gran and some of us!

you are probably wondering where Angela is in all but one of the above pictures, are you not? mostly in the garden with Michele, as it happened. but not necessarily having speaks with Michele, as it happens, when there was the ways and the wiles of how the magic of a camera works to be studied!

righty-ho, i believe that this covers the best or perhaps most important quarters of the pictures i have taken thus far on our travels. as James is getting a touch overwhelmed with it all at the moment - these long days and it staying light has not done much in the way of wonder for his bed time - we are taking it a bit easier today, so probably not too many pictures for a day or so. unless i take the camera to Tesco with me, of course......

so long as Andrew lets me use this laptop, so long shall i do my best to keep you updated here!

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

of ducks and sheep

hey there

well, i am somewhat more awake at present (just the one cup of coffee, mind) so as Andrew has left me this laptop thing i thought i'd give further updates a whirl. i am not the best on these laptop thingies so do bear with me - it is a good deal better than that blueberry thing of mine, which seems incapable of accessing the ways of blogger anyway.

yesterday was time for a most excellent walk across the fields of Great Ayton. keeping an eye, and frequently a hand, on the boys meant that i could not take quite as many pictures as some would have (hello, Dad), but i think i have done OK.

here are the boys kindly pausing for a moment in their quest to run off from me at some great speed!

the reason for their haste was, to be honest about it, to try and get their hands on some sheep. exactly what they would do with the sheep if they caught one is something, perhaps happily, of a mystery at present as they did not catch one as such. the sheep were just a little bit too fast for James and, now that i think, were even faster when they noticed that Uncle Trevor was behind him, so to speak. perhaps someone looking rather like Uncle Trevor has bothered them?

still, James really went billy-ho in trying to catch them, at the least!

i have little or no doubt that one day that we shall get to that land they know as New Zealand and James' Uncle Grant will be able to show him all there is to see in respect of catching sheep and exactly what one would do with a caught one. i suspect the answer sounds something quite like "shear them". moving on.....

William did not try to catch any sheep. he was, in rather more Grandad language rather than i will say it here, advised to watch his step and not stand in any sheep droppings. this led to William deciding that the sheep were naughty, and in order to avoid the droppings wished very much for me to carry him. this you can see below, indeed as James takes the time to say hello to someone that has become a rather good friend of both James and William!

yes, followers or if you will disciples of my Uncle Trevor, that is indeed Ruby the Wonder Dog! she took an instant shine to both of them, and the feeling is certainly mutual! Neither of the boys seem to be particularly bothered when she eats their toys, so they must really like her very much!

if you are wondering, Michele was sat with (Great) Grandma H as we were off and about, perhaps wisely since we had just had a massive cod and chips lunch! that means that, below as above, there's only pictures of 2 of the 3 beautiful ones and the ugly one from our family for you to see!

after walking across the fields and the failed attempt to catch a sheep, it was off to see if the boys could not catch a duck or two. now that i think on, what Grant does with sheep might well sound more like duck than it does shear, but that's another story.....

the boys were well impressed with just how many ducks congregated around a nice little park near the Beck, and a touch sad that they had no bread to feed them. this did not stop them from having a go at catching some of them, though. it was quite a surprise, for William in particular, when the ducks simply flew off as the boys got close!

yes, disciples and enthusiasts of the great man, that is indeed Uncle Trevor you can see there!

as i mentioned the boys didn't have anything yeast based to feed the ducks with, but this did not stop James pretending that he did in the hope of luring a few of them, in particular the ones of a weak mind lured by jedi mind tricks!

we've had two days of running about, with the days of course being somewhat longer than usual, it staying light here until well after 10 at night. as a result, James is rather worn out so we might be taking it a bit easier today. there will, of course, be further pictures taken as soon as possible!

so on that note, more pics as and when i have them!

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

toothpaste with lovebeads in Tesco

hi there

well, go on then, one more post!

Andrew has been showing me the magic of Tesco. massive the place is, with stacks of excellent things for sale. stacks equals many things, and one of them is that class looking toothpaste that has some sort of love beads in it that my Dad seems to think is so excellent.

i am unsure as to if it is a social faux pas to have your picture taken in Tesco in general or holding toothpaste in particular, but here you go!

i shall do my best to record any and all further adventures i have with this magical looking toothpaste!

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

bumping in to Sophie!

hi there

well, apologies were given for the lack of updates for a bit, but thanks to the kindness of Andrew i am able to do a few posts! i would have to say that i am rather tired out at the moment, mind, so bear with me!

after some extensive travels, thanks to the most excellent services of Emirates, i was able to take the boys for a walk up to Suggits for one of the finest ice creams in the world and indeed to purchase a quarter of sweets in a class paper bag.

who is it that we should bump into on our way there but Sophie, who we have not seen many pictures of!

Elizabeth was in quite a rush to get Natalie since she was running late, but I managed to get a couple of pictures. Here, mostly for the benefit of the family around the world, is Sophie then!

and as Uncle Trevor happened to be with us, he was able to take a super fast picture of me, the boys, Elizabeth and Sophie!

nice one! hopefully we shall get to see Elizabeth, Sophie and many other people for more than 30 seconds in the next few days, and hopefully I shall be able to do a few more blog posts! In the mean time, I believe I am off to bed!

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

Saturday, June 23, 2012


hello again

blimey, i think this makes three updates today! apologies in advance once again for the fact that over the next few weeks there shall be quite limited updates here. do hang in, normal service will resume as soon as possible.

today was a day as good as any day to go off and see South Fork for the novelty of seeing what might happen. those of you who have read the post earlier on "toothpaste love beads" will i presume know what i mean. away from toothpaste and for some reason James decided he wished to play cricket on the sprawling lawns of South Fork.

this pleased me greatly, as i would hope of all the sporting activities he could take up, cricket is the most civilized and the best. Grandad has a different view, as in James is currently kicking footballs with his left foot only as Grandad anticipates a huge shortage of left footed players in the future. Grandad, presumably for retirement (ha) funding reasons, is quite keen for James to be in football.

i was too busy playing cricket with James to get any pictures - my, he has an excellent off-leg sweep move - but i did manage to get some images of William playing.

telling William that the aim with the ball was to knock the stumps out of the ground was, in retrospect, rather ill-advised.

yes, i probably should have qualified the advice as being knock them out by throwing the ball at them. in fairness, his way of doing it is somewhat more direct, effective and very much works.

in case you are wondering, what he is holding in the other hand is some sort of Ben 10 space ship thingie.

not content with smashing the stumps out of the ground, William had a go at throwing them about too!

this did not go down quite as well as it could have when he started throwing them at Grandad, but in fairness Grandad did manage to (more or less) get out of the way of the flying stumps!

if either or both of the boys took up cricket on a slightly more serious level i would be exceptionally happy, needless to say! that said, if William carries on playing the game as he did today, well, it seems to make him happy!

as i said, i am unsure as to where or when the next update here shall come along, but come along it most certainly will!

 in the mean time, as ever,

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


hi there

Michele was a bit late on Friday, so the boys dietary concerns were a matter for me a consequence, i opted to play safe and go for the only food on earth that contains every known good thing in it. yes, pizza.

after that the boys were wishing for a treat. there was only one thing for it, then - custard.

i must say i am not particularly fond of the stuff myself. James and William however, which hopefully you can see through the mists of my blueberry phone camera, think it is most excellent!

yeah, they are dressed up warm as it is that cold hereat the moment, making their fascination with the not exactly warm ways of custard all the more strange to me.

after finishing his custard James requested another treat. custard isn't strictly speaking a treat in the world of James, you see, as it involves using cutlery. as Mummy was not around to say no, i said sure. off he went to watch something (Island Kings or similar) with his other, proper treat. this gave William something of an idea.

William decided that James got another treat as he had finished all his custard. instead of simply asking for another treat (which he would have got) William instead devised a plan which saw him empty the rest of his custard into James' bowl!

a not at all bad display of initiative there!

if this post has in some small way inspired you to go off and tuck into some custard, well then nice one or my apologies!

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

toothpaste with added love beads

hi there

my Dad does get some peculiar ideas every now and then. he has not really, i suppose, been quite the same since he discovered exactly what "dogging" is thanks to his decision to have a peek inside a parked van somewhere in New Zealand. ever since that day i have had all sorts of unusual requests from him, such as this one from today.

he would, it seems, very much like for me to obtain for him some particular toothpaste that has a type of "love bead" in it.

i shall do my best to get some, although it does not look like it carries the happiest price in the cousin Andrew declares that Tesco is the best place for pretty much anything you could want in this world. to that end i investigated and discovered that they charge £2.55 for a tube of the stuff.i am not sure what the median or general price is for toothpaste is in the UK, so that could be quite good for all i know. i suppose it would be rather tricky to get love beads inside a tube of toothpaste so it would not be a shock if this is a somewhat higher than usual price.

should i get my hands on any of it i will do my best to share this most triumphant news with you, dear readers.

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

how much?????

hi there

apologies for not much in the way of updates over the last few days. actually, now tht i think on, apologies in advance to the more regular sort of reader - updates shall be a bit far and few between over the next three or so weeks. why? that's on a need to know basis, and if you need to know you are a regular here and are aware of why, that's why!

a third apology would be for the content of this post that i have bothered to do, as i would imagine that it is not of all that much interest to some of you. it is to me, though!

one keeps hearing of how everything in England (or if you will Britain / Great Britain / the United Kingdom / The 'Empire'), with the phrase Rip-Off Britain being one of the best things ever to happen to newspapers and that class, any story will do journalist Mr Phil Space. i decided to do some sort of investigation myself, using one of the more essential items in the world, and must confess that i was horrified by what i found.

Marlboro, king of products and the thing that David Bowie likes so do not argue with me, seem to cost a smal fortune in England. as they seem to allow comparative advertising and pricing there, here's the best deals that i found for legal purchases. and in this instance the definition of "best" should be considered pretty wide.

with that qualification in place, the 'best' deal seems to be on offer at Asda. here's the price of a packet of quality there.

blimey. Michele once saw an advert for Asda and unwisely asked me if people who shop there really do smack their backsides when they leave. on those instances when we are in England, then, i make a point of having her go to Asda and do just that to see how many people stare at her.

the next best price would be found at Tesco. they cost slightly more, but there's a distinct benefit to Tesco's pricing.

the benefit of Tesco's being that there seems to be thousands of these stores in England, with one i am led to believe being within a brisk and pleasant walking distance of where it is in the world that the infamous Harlo Gang live or, if you will, dwell.

finally, for those wondering which place would be a no go for these item, it seems that Sainsburys (or is it Sainsbury's?) is right off the list. have a look at this pricing.

i have two memories of Sainsburys (that's how i am writing it). one is that they seem to think they are like a "chain store variant" of Harrods or similar (the much better Fortnum & Mason, perhaps) and thus tend to go for higher prices, assuming that their clients like to pay more for the prestige of saying they shop there. the other would be that their strawberry jam doughnuts are excellent.

well, there you go. i cannot imagine that this has been of all that much interest to many of you, but if it has been well then so much the better!

i will do my level best to write a proper post or two here over the next couple of days, after that it will be sporadic updates for a few weeks!

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

Saturday, June 16, 2012

woo hoo! Dark Knight Rises toys!

hi there

no doubt one or two people looking at this would say "oh, you should have preserved them by keeping them in the box". well, the truth is, toys are meant to be played with, not "preserved" or seen as some sort of investment. anyway, with a 2 year old child, a 6 year old child and a 39 year old child in the house, there was no way that these ace toys from The Dark Knight Rises were staying in the packaging much longer after we had got them home!

behold, Bane and Batman!

they are the business and they are ace! but of course i have one or two problems with them. well, not directly them as such. the stores here "only" have Bane and Batman. this is class, like, but they do not have the Alfred one advertised on the back.

Alfred would have been rather handy for one reason - as you can see on the packaging and indeed my construction below, you need to have all three to have the parts to make a most excellent looking "batsign".

oh well, i shall just have to look out for any sort of toy that looks a bit Michael Caine-esq and see if i can buy it when i do!
the other issue would be whilst both Bane and Batman look fantastic, they also look somewhat bigger than the toys / action figures / statues that you could get for The Dark Knight. which means that, alas, the two of them somewhat dwarf The Joker....

well, never mind. James and William (and Daddy) have been playing with them anyway, despite the lack of the sign part of the batsign and the fact that they tower over the other figures!

i think it's a month on the nose today that The Dark Knight Rises gets released. with a 2hr 45min running time it could well be the case that we just wait until Christmas and watch the inevitable DVD release, but you never know, we may get a babysitter and go off to watch it!

right, i am off to put them away for the night. well, OK, maybe i might have a test play with them whilst the boys are in bed...........

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stone Roses play Sweden, don't swear.

hi there

well, after all the speculation regarding exactly what and what did not happen in Amsterdam, it was sort of business as usual for The Stone Roses in Sweden on Thursday night. i say sort of, as there were two surprising elements to the gig they played.

the first surprise would be reports that they played to a rather small crowd, suggesting that the event was not sold out! very strange!

the second surprise would be the set list, in as much that they didn't start with I Wanna Be Adored for the first time since, well, probably since the song was written! the set was :

Love Spreads, I Wanna Be Adored, Made Of Stone, Standing Here, Ten Storey Love Song, Where Angels Play, Shoot You Down, Fools' Gold, Something's Burning, Waterfall, Don't Stop, This Is The One, She Bangs The Drums, I Am The Resurrection.

nice to see they are mixing things up a bit!

with it being two weeks today until the first of three Heaton Park shows, i am very much guessing that the band are well in the groove. this, quite frankly, is going to be awe inspiring awesomeness personified.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Frankie - The Sex Mix : tracklisting revealed

hi there
well, a couple of days after the (real) artwork was revealed, ZTT have gone one better and given us all the tracklisting for the new Frankie Goes To Hollywood compilation! here it is, complete with ZTTisms....

CD1: Frankie Goes To Hollywood in The Pleasuredome, a Zang Tuum Tumb singlette in five parts: Happy Hi! (All in the Body), The Soundtrack from Bernard Rose's Video of the Welcome to the Pleasuredome single, Get It On, Welcome to the Pleasure Dome (How to Remake the World), Happy Hi! (All in the Mind); Relax (International); The Power of Love (I'll Protect You From The Holocaust) can be read in various ways but, for the sake of CD indexing, has six distinct sections: The Power of Love (extended, singlette – as opposed to 12” – version), The World is My Oyster (Trapped), Holier Than Thou (FGTH's Christmas message), The World is My Oyster (Scrapped), Holier Than Thou (further festive messaging), The Power of Love (instrumental, singlette version); The World is My Oyster (at its full length); Don't Lose What's Left, Rage Hard + ++ *.

CD2: Extracts from Relax, From Soft to Hard, Dry to Moist: Relax (Sex Mix), Later On (from One September Monday), Ferry Cross The Mersey (...and here I'll stay); Music from and inspired by Two Tribes (Keep The Peace): Two Tribes (singlette extracts), One February Friday (singlette extracts), War (somewhere between Hidden and Hiding); Further elements from The Liverpool Look: Warriors of the Wasteland (Compacted), Do You Think I'm Sexy?, Watching the Wildlife (Voiceless).

 ZTT do seem to have a most peculiar interpretation of what does and does not constitute as being "rare". once upon a time the 'Sex Mix' of Relax, assuming they mean the 16 minute version, was indeed rare, but i have it on i think 2 CD releases of late. as for Don't Lose What's Left, essentially the band burping whilst pretending to be The Count of Sesame Street (yep, it is as good as that sounds), i think it's been out on CD four times now, not to mention cropping up on every vinyl issue of the single in 1986.

but who cares? it is a great looking mix of some fantastic Frankie Goes To Hollywood moments, and i am delighted to see that, at last, their outrageous, brilliant cover of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? gets a CD release. the band are on top form with the tune, and Paul Rutherford does an ace job with the vocals. Frankie's extra special Christmas message, Holier Than Thou, is a very welcome inclusion too - it remains funny to this day, and has i think only thus far been available on a Germany-only CD single. i wonder if the use of naughty words by Frankie will remain edited out?

a few people seem to be disappointed that Frankie's near-legendary, somewhat mythical recording of Slave To The Rhythm (a song recently reintroduced to the world by Grace Jones and a hula hoop for the benefit of Queen Elizabeth II) does not appear on the set. the short version is that it seems ZTT very much wish to release it; Frankie Say No. no doubt it will sneak out one day (the only truly "lost" modern recording in or possibly not in the world at the moment remains David Bowie's attempted soundtrack for The Man Who Fell To Earth), but i can't say i am all that bothered. the released versions of it by other artists have never been on my "must play" lists, the members of Frankie, who agree on little, all say it's "poor" (i have cleaned up the language from some of them) and those who have heard it say - at best - "you are not missing all that much". not really much motivation to hear it, then!

a "volume two" is in the works for next year already. they must be confident that this will sell, and rightly so really. 

i cannot find any place accepting pre-orders for The Sex Mix as of yet, but the release date is given as August 6. a 2 CD set to buy it most certainly is!

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