In the pub – White men can’t jump.

It’s an old post but what with all the proofing and wotnot I’ve been doing lately I am inspiration-less

I’m off for dinner….t’ra


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“I had an odd dream last night,” said Alf.

”Really?” Bert asked.

‘Yeah. I dreamt I woke up and found I was black,’ Alf said.

“Y’mean like a coal miner?” Bert asked.

“Don’t be daft. I mean Black,” Alf relied.

“Ah, with the capital,” Bert nodded. “What was it like?”

“It were cool.”

“You mean you were wearing a short-sleeved shirt or something?”

“No, not cool. Cooool,” Alf drawled.

“Did you have the hair?” Bert enquired.

“Course! And I got to say, Yo!”

“Yo? What’s that then?” Bert asked.

“Dunno. But all those Black blokes say it. You know? It’s Yo this and Yo that. You’ve ‘eard ‘em on the telly, right?”

“Like Wesley Snipes, you mean?”

“That’s the feller,” Alf acknowledged.

There was a significant pause as each man took a thoughtful sup of their beer.

“I wonder what it means?” Bert asked.

“What? Alf asked.


“Dunno,” Alf replied. ”But I said it a lot in my dream.”

“You’d think the string would come off, wouldn’t you?” Bert ventured

“Probably why they all play basketball, I suppose,” Alf opined.

“Sidney Poitier didn’t,” Bert said.

“Well, obviously, he was an actor and . . .”

“Neither that French footballer, Thierry Henry,” Bert added.

“Yeah, him too I guess,” Alf conceded.

“Never could stand basketball. Stupid bloody sport,” Bert said.

“Wonder why you don’t get many white blokes playing then?’ Alf asked.

‘Ah, because white men can’t jump, that’s why,” said Bert, international sports fundi.

“But you do get a few of them. I’ve seen ‘em on the telly. They ain’t much good either,” Alf said.

“You know what you call a white basketball player?” Bert asked, with a smirk.

“No, what?”

“A Yo-Yo!”

“Sod off, Bert. It’s your round.”


The Ark


copyright©DSP 2012




Nite Nite – It’s the weekend

There are many albums that might be considered classic, if not iconic.

I never appreciated CSNY but the odd record from Neil Young I enjoyed.  Harvest is an exception.  I adore this record, and my love of it has never waned.

It has a certain feel about it that is the perfect record when one is out of sorts.

Here are two tracks from the album: Out On The Weekend & Heart of Gold





The Ark

Leading you up the garden path

Things I found yesterday afternoon and this morning.

Male and Female Rock Pigeons. This pair nest under the eave of our roof. You’ll note the feather on/in the beak of the male? It must be a bit of down from their nest. He couldn’t seem to dislodge it  – not that it appeared to bother him, pigeons being a bit short in the grey matter Dept. After this shot was taken he left his perch and flew up to the roof to join his missus. As I lowered the camera the two birds touched beaks and the female pulled the bit of fluff off of her mate’s beak. Wow!  And I didn’t get the shot. Sigh.

rock pigeon male Mrs Rock

This morning I spotted two Glossy Starlings atop one of the trees in Em’s garden

glossy starlings


and on the way back I saw this Thrush  from behind a branch of the wild plum tree. She had just been  snacking on half an apple.


I then walked around to the rockery and saw this little Lizard peeking out from a rotten log .



And squatting down to take a shot of some Alysumm I spotted this tiny little bug.


Nite Nite…Bye bye Johnny…

be good.

Yesterday, Roughseas and I were chatting about the potential dangers to albino pets and I read today that Johnny Winter passed away last week. The connection? He was also an albino. He was seventy.

The very first time I heard him was the day I walked into the ‘underground’ record shop I used to hang out in as a kid – often while bunking from school if I must be honest.

Since the moment I asked Mike ( the guy who owned the shop) “Who the hell is this!” ( I was 13 or 14 I think ) I have been a fan, and I bought the album that was playing, The Progressive Blues Experiment there and then. Cost me 95 pence. I used to save my dinner money!

He was signed to his first major record label a couple of years after this was recorded,  reportedly for $600,000, the highest signing ( at that stage) in history. That’s how highly rated he was.

I realise this type of music is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Winter, like Hendrix had a unique approach to playing the blues. and there are very few players who could touch Johnny Winter, and for me, the way one plays music is all important. And he had the technical skill to go with it. Couple this with a voice that was straight out of the gavel pit and  you had blues right down to your boots.

This a live version of  the song that was playing  that afternoon I walked into Impact Records.

From the album Johnny Winter And …Live.  Mean Town Blues.

This is kick-ass blues guitar at its very best.




Hot and very Yummy

The car too…

Yesterday I posted a Top Gear excerpt and was slated by Rough Seas who reckons Jeremy Clarkson is sexist.

To show that I’m definitely  sexyist here’s an excerpt from Fifth Gear…

Scroll to about 7 seven minutes.

Hoo ha!  :)


Afternoon Tune.

Sometimes we just need to get our …

Rock Off. From the Rolling Stones 1972 album, Exile on Main Street.

I bought my copy while on holiday in France.

Trés bon, n’est pas?  Especially when you consider the album was recorded in France.

Let me go for a wander and see  if I can find something to photograph before the light goes.

Leading you up the Garden Path

The Intrepid Ark was on the prowl this morning and while practicing my Standing Still Doing Nothing routine this chap settled on the paving by the pool. I gingerly stepped out of its way and nipped inside to fetch the camera, came back and took a few photographs.

First time I have seen this butterfly at The Ark’s spot.

It is called a Garden Commodore.  And it is a male ( according to the trusty Butterfly Guide I have)

Photographs ©Moi.   ;)

Garden Commodore Garden Commodore 2 Garden Commodore wing Garden Commodore wing 2 GardenCommodore front

Nite, Nite – For two dear friends.

I am busy watching Avatar  for the second or third time. ( I have never managed to watch the entire film in a single sitting and I think this time will be no exception)

As much as I love the graphics , the first time I watched it I thought the story and the dialogue  were dreadful.

I still do , even though I am trying to get over my prejudice.

In the scene where Jake first has to ‘ride a dragon’ he asks “How will I know he chooses me?”

The answer: ”He will try to kill you ”  and Jake replies “Outstanding! ” ,  is the same word said in the same tone and style of delivery as Corporal Hicks uses in the movie Aliens, which I felt was a much better Cameron movie and Sigourney Weaver was hotter then. She still is, mind!

If one were to substitute European Settlers/ General Custer for the  Humans and  Native Americans for the ”Blue Monkeys”, the Na’vi you have a  smaltzy tale told a hundred times.


Anyway, the graphics etc are impressive.

I love the  Hallelujah ( floating)  mountains in the film –  they remind me of  some of the artwork on classic Roger Dean Album covers.


Roger Dean also designed albums covers for the band Osibisa




And talking of album art work…… I saw the Welsh band Budgie, at a club called Quaintways in Chester when they toured promoting the album Bandolier.


David Sparling did the cover art.

Here’s the track, Slip Away.

For my mate Nigel and his beautiful wife Nikky, who have recently  celebrated thirty years of marriage.

Good one guys!









Book Excerpt – a smile before dinner.

Thanks to blogpal Tish Farrell for once again providing inspiration for a post.  Her mention of lead roofs in her latest post prompted this excerpt  from The Nine Amendments, the third book, in a comic fantasy series titled The Meaning of Lif.

The Trois. Wholly Order of the One God.

Chapter 3

The room was large but not ostentatious, containing a small oak desk, a swivel chair and a bookcase against one wall.  The other three walls were bare stone. A single, grubby window, high up towards the ceiling, allowed only wan light to filter through. Hence, the two large candles on the desk. These provided adequate light to read by but did little to dispel the crepuscular atmosphere.

For such a high-ranking Judysear official, the highest in fact, the room was austere. Precisely the way the individual who used it wanted it to be.

He did not like visitors to feel warm and cosy and for this reason the cavernous fireplace remained unlit.

Poop Gothly LXIX had seen the light, and he knew where it came from. Although he did not worship the sun, no matter how one chose to spell the word, he recognised the power, and therefore preferred to keep it at a distance. He did not overtly challenge it and it did not appear to challenge him.

Gothly sat at his desk reading a scroll listing the latest proposed revisions to the Wholly Bye Bill.

He studied the proposals in very much the same way a predator might consider its next meal, which was in keeping with the man’s character; being somewhat mantis like in his mannerisms. It was always difficult to know whether he was considering how best to pray or how best to prey. Unfortunate was the person who misread the signals.

His stick-thin, two-metre frame gave him a permanent look of hunger.  Although this look was one of avarice rather than for food.

On the scroll rested two of a set of three onyx paperweights. The third, with its simian hand across its mouth, sat at one corner of the desk looking accusingly at Gothly.

Word of Isack’s departure had already reached Gothly’s ears.

If there was any substance to the nature of Knewtun’s trip to Sunniclimes, then there was a real danger of compromising the word of the Trois. And of course, that would not do. Not do at all. Therefore, it was incumbent on him, as spiritual leader, to ensure that nothing and in particular, no one, rocked the analogous boat.

A drop of water splashed onto Gothly’s crimson velvet skullcap causing him to look up.  The next drop caught him flush in the face.  He wiped the water away with his coat sleeve then jumped his chair to the right. The third splash landed on the floor.

Gothly looked up at the very large person standing on the opposite side of the desk. He raised an eyebrow a fraction and the person moved with more alacrity than should have been possible for one so large. Or one with such a pronounced limp.

As he came around the other side of the desk, Gothly handed the man a large, gold chalice.

‘Thank you, Hirtliffter.’

Hirtliffter placed the chalice on the floor underneath the dripping water, where it pinged in metronomic fashion as each successive drop hit. It was not long before Gothly began unconsciously counting out an irritating adagio and he also realised he was blinking in time. Looking up, he noticed Hirtliffter’s eyes doing the same.  And worse, between each blink, the man sniffed. Before Gothly could stop it, the rhythm lodged itself in his mind. Blink, sniff, blink, sniff, blink, sniff, blink.  He cursed under his breath, knowing that the annoying little ditty would be with him for the rest of the day, rolling around inside his head like a tiny pebble in a shoe.

Gothly cleared his throat. Hirtliffter snapped out of his reverie and flashed a look across the desk. His gaze fell upon an ornately carved wooden box. He reached for the lid.

‘Not the chocolate ones, please, Hirtliffter.’

‘Sorry, y’Worshipfullness,’ Hirtliffter apologised then opened a smaller, plain box and retrieved a handful of ordinary wafers. He bent down and filled the chalice, thus muting the sound of dripping water.

‘Thank you, Hirtliffter.’

‘Yes, y’Worshipfullness.’

‘I think perhaps you should see to it that the roof is repaired, Hirtliffter.’

‘Yes, y’Worshipfullness.’

‘And also, someone ought to have a word with some of those poor little fatherless mites responsible for removing the lead, don’t you, Hirtliffter?’

‘That would probably be in order, y’Worshipfullness,’ Hirtliffter agreed. Not that he was likely to disagree.

‘Not an order, Hirtliffter, merely a suggestion,’ Gothly corrected.

‘Right, y’Worshipfullness. Suggestion. That’s what I meant to say.’

‘One of your better suggestions, Hirtliffter. Thank you.’

‘My pleasure, y’Worshipfullness. Should I proceed with my suggestion at once?’

‘In your own time, Hirtliffter, in your own time.’

Senior Warden Rumply S. Hirtliffter considered this with a certain amount of consternation. He did not, in fact, have any of his own time so the suggestion threw him.

Gothly saw the man’s brow crease. He sighed.

‘Off you go, Hirtliffter. Off you go. And please tell Mister Perry I will see him now.’

‘Yes, y’Worshipfullness,’ the man acknowledged, clearly relieved at being given a direct suggestion.


The Nine Amendments. Copyright ©Douglas Pearce