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5co77ie

...could it be?

Well quick update. It seems I'm showing signs of the disease that finished my old man and, I've recently found out my grandfather, it's a genetic illness and there's a good chance i have it. I have to see a neurologist. But it seems my fate could be cast. Least it means i can go back to smoking! :D

Seems my aching joints, shaking legs (Fasciculations - it's called for all those who constantly at me), regular cramp in my feet and lack of strength in my fingers occasionally could be down to MND - Motor Neurone Disease. So i've got a decade or so to pick a nice place to die, if i have it. And can look forward to becoming nice and thin in the future. :)

All i need to do now is build up the courage to see a neuro specialist to know one way or another. This is the thing at the moment I'm struggling with at the moment it's a possibility, if i do all the lovely checks it could be certainty - sometimes i think it's better not to know. Death comes to us all, but for me seems it won't be no surprise anymore. :D

5co77ie

So the results are in:

First off it's definitely not what my dad had! Result! As it's not the neurones which are effected.

Secondly i have synaptic damage - he said to think of it like copper wiring running through the body carrying the signals - well it's stripped - this is most likely caused by alcohol or prescription drugs - but countered I - i've never been prescribed prescription drugs - to which he gave me a hard stare. Doctors know too much!

Thirdly i need to have more tests as the upper body problems i have particularly with my hands are more consistent with a trauma. Less likely is a hemorrhage or a tumour. so they need to do a close up MRI scan on my head and neck.

When he said this my thought was my neck which i often get pain from - K thinks it might be down to repeated head banging - if it is I'd like 'Gave his soul to rock'n'roll' on my gravestone. But a bit of a message to those old hangbangers out there - they said it was dangerous - seems they were right!

I feel so much happier - bring on Brighton

5co77ie

Homesick

My daughter was just watching CBBC and they had a TV show on called Friends International a tv programme about a girl who had moved away from her friends in England to Vanuatu - where i used to live.

In the programme they showed the Rossi restaurant and it's gardens where we used to play, the basketball courts behind our house, our house, Tanna beach - oh how i miss the beach! The volcano on Tanna, the Tanna holiday cottages, BPS primary school, the road from Vila to the golf course and loads more places - oh how it wrenched at me.

To see places i visited every day in my childhood and places I remember so well and have not seen in 22 years - they still look the same. If Z wasn't in need of a decent education I'd sell the house tomorrow and move back there. Guess i have to wait for her to finish school and my Gran to pass on before I have no ties holding here and i can go home. But I miss the place so much and it made me miss my parents too. Why did we ever come here to this country?

There will be more heart wrenching tonight as the Equator programme goes to Indonesia tonight, a place my dad loved so much and died there. I doubt that it still looks the same as i remember it though, there's been too much development over the last 20 odd years.

I certainly don't feel like going to Folkfest again today. I don't feel like doing much. :P

5co77ie

Black smoke!

Grrr - as usual returning from Reading has led to slowly feeling more and more like crap every day until yesterday a stream of black gunk issues forth from my nose and i get the Reading flu.

Now, i feel awful, my deadline at work has slid, my reviews of Reading sunday night still haven't been written - thankfully i took a huge wedge of notes and I've been in work half an hour and feel a mess.

We've got Folkfest at the weekend - and metcgheck has it as one of their events - which i think is quite cool and we're all looking forward to seeing Dragonfly again. Our first free festival of the year and we're hoping it'll be at least as good as Strawberry Fayre.

I've also managed to sort out with Granty somewhere to stay for The Celtic Beer Festival in the vaults of St Austell Brewery!

Here's last year's info:

St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival

The 7th annual Celtic Beer Festival at St Austell Brewery takes place on Saturday, December 3.

Now firmly established as a key date in Cornwall's social diary, the festival is one of the county's biggest and best parties of the year and is expected to attract hundreds of real ale and music fans from across the South West.

This year's event promises to be as atmospheric as ever, set in the unique surroundings of the old wine cellars and vaults beneath the Victorian brewery.

The festival is organized and staffed by volunteers from the brewery, together with suppliers, with all money raised going to local charities in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset through the St Austell Brewery charitable Trust.

As well as the opportunity to sample St Austell Brewery's own award winning ales, there will be a great range of real ales donated by local and national brewers across Cornwall and the British Isles and St Austell's head brewer Roger Ryman has been busy working his magic to create more than a dozen special beers just for the day.

More than 80 brewery staff will be on hand to run the day and make sure guests have a brilliant time. This year for the first time all food will be provided by a team of St Austell Brewery's pub managers led by St Catering Development Manager, Paul Drye – all using fresh Cornish produce and some using beer in the ingredients. The team will be putting in all their efforts for free and all food profits will go to local charities.

Music is an important part of the day and the line up includes a combination of local and in-house bands offering a mixture of rock, dance and soul. The line-up features:

12- 2pm Cunning Old Celts

2.30-3.15 SOS

3.30-4.00 Save from Oblivion

4.15-4.45 Paris

6.00-8.00 Horseband

9-11 Sex Slaves from Hell

St Austell Brewery Head of Marketing Jeremy Mitchell said: "The festival is always a fantastic event, with an unbeatable atmosphere and something that everyone at the Brewery is looking forward to."

The St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival takes place on Saturday December 3 from 11am to 11pm in the vaults below St Austell Brewery.

Tickets £5.00 per person - includes free commemorative glass.

The vaults are huge and there's stages and bars all set up underground - old school cornish style like they would in the old Smuggler's caves. Live music, local food and great beer. Green light for 02 December 2006

It's £5 again this year! :P

A lot of these click are also there! Yummy!

More pics here!

5co77ie

It's the happiest time of year again and no I'm not Jewish, but it's Rosh Hashanah for them too. I'm feeling very perky although a little peeky. Had a pleasent night out in hurricane George last night enjoying the warm strong gales and a pint or three. Then tried to stay up all night but failed but awoke before dawn. Heard the dawn chorus, saw the sun rise and felt the vibrancy of the morning, no sign of the darkness that's to come yet. Considered wearing green but had nothing clean - but will be carrying the green flag all winter long in the words of Jethro tull.

We've got mead and a bonfire ready for tonight. Although with my herbal cigarettes many think I've been burning bonfies for weeks. Hoping the weather stays nice we've got dough ready to make some bread things - although we're not decided what as I'd like to make apple bread and K wants cheese bread.

Jethro Tull's - Jack-In-The-Green

Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?

With his long tail hanging down.

He sits quietly under every tree ---

in the folds of his velvet gown.

He drinks from the empty acorn cup

the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.

And taps his cane upon the ground ---

signals the snowdrops it's time to grow.

It's no fun being Jack-In-The-Green ---

no place to dance, no time for song.

He wears the colours of the summer soldier ---

carries the green flag all the winter long.

Jack, do you never sleep ---

does the green still run deep in your heart?

Or will these changing times,

motorways, powerlines,

keep us apart?

Well, I don't think so ---

I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

The rowan, the oak and the holly tree

are the charges left for you to groom.

Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.

Oh Jack, please help me through my winter's night.

And we are the berries on the holly tree.

Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.

Jack, put out the light.

From one of the best pagan albums with a song for every solstices and Equinox:

Click - which is a great reference for the album and related imagery.

Anyway here's a little on Mabon for those who are interested:

Mabon lore:

Now the God is preparing to leave His body. He knows He is dying and it is all right because soon enough He will be reunited with His bride once again. The Goddess prepares to grow weak as the Earth will freeze over when Winter arrives. This is the Harvest Thanksgiving.

Mabon sentiments:

The harvest is completed by Mabon. This is a time for reflection over the past year and giving thanks for what has come of it. All year long, literal and figurative plantings have been going on and have finally been harvested; there is a lot of thought about how it went. This holiday is for the preparation of the "season of sleep," and for introspection, and understanding our dark and wise side. We think of sacrifices others have made for us and what we can sacrifice for others. Mysteries and unknowns are pondered.

Mabon practices:

As Mabon is the time of the harvest and a time for meditation and thankfulness, it is a good time to make wine or mead - yummy. Lots of people like making wine for Mabon because it uses harvested foods and is symbolic of the fruits of the year. But I prefer mead as it's champagne and hunny - very summery. Plus a lot of it is probably going to be packed away and fermented, much like we are packing ourselves away and thinking over what has happened. Some like to call the spirits of their totem animals for help in inner searching. Meditation rituals are very common for Mabon. Some people use this time to visit their friends' and relatives' graves and give them flowers. I also like to have and give a massage in oil and no doubt Sifi would approve though i tend not to use olive oil. :D

The Mabon season:

Mabon Herbs--Apple, balm of Gilead, calendula, corn acorn, cypress cone, hazel, milk thistle, mugwort, myrrh, oak, orris root, passion flower, pine cone, rose, sage

Mabon Incense--Myrrh, sage, pine, frankincense, jasmine, cinnamon

Mabon Colors--Orange, dark red, yellow, brown, violet, deep gold

Mabon Decorations--Acorns, pomegranates, pine cones, baskets of fallen leaves, cornucopias

Mabon Foods--Breads, corn, cornbread, squash, apples, roots (carrots, potatoes, onions), cider, beans, nuts

Mabon Sacred Gemstones--carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, yellow agate

Spellwork appropriate for Mabon--spells for protection, wealth and prosperity, security, feeling of self-confidence, and balancing magick.

Mead:

Mead, a liqueur produced from fermented honey-water, is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. It was once the favourite beverage in regions of Northern Europe where the climate was not suited to maintaining vineyards. Mead had ritual and spiritual significance for the Celts of the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings. Many ancient legends recall the pleasures of mead: early Irish literature speaks of the ever-full mead cauldrons to be found within faery mounds; the Norse Eddas tell how the god Oðin seduced a giantess to gain the mead of poetry; and the joys of the meadhall are a common motif in Anglo-Saxon verse. Popular folk-belief traces the origin of the word honeymoon back to the medieval custom of newlywed couples drinking mead for the first month (moon) of married life to ensure their fertility and to increase the chances that their first child would be a son.

Mabon:

Maponos alias Mabon

Celtic God of Youth

The name Maponos or Mabon means 'Divine Son'. He was the son of Modron, the 'Divine Mother,' but a father is never mentioned. He was stolen from his mother at the age of only three days and imprisoned in Caer-Gloiu (Gloucester), until eventually rescued by King Arthur. Perhaps the city was sacred to Maponos. For he was not a mortal, but the Celtic God of the Young & Youthful Pursuits, particularly hunting. He appears in the tale of Culhwch & Olwen, helping the former fulfil his quest by slaying the great magical boar, Twrch Trwyth.

Maponos may be identified with the Welsh mythical character, Pryderi, who was similarly kidnapped in his youth; or, possibly, he is the Irish God of Love, Oenghus, known as 'Mac Oc' meaning the 'Young Son'. He certainly had a popular following in Northern Britain as still to be noted by Lochmaben, west of Lockerbie in Scotland. This may be the Locus Maponi mentioned in the Roman Ravenna Cosmography. A silver plaque from the Roman fort at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) has been discovered inscribed "Deo Mapono". At Ribchester, Maponos shares a stone with a hunter-goddess - perhaps Apollo's sister, Diana - bloody thievin' Romans :D . At Hexham, however, his musical and poetic attributes are emphasised more. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic World though and his name has been found in several places on the Continent.

Mabon - Kernow:

mab [maab] masculine noun

PLURAL meibion [meib -yon] - men

The son of man - This sense survives in the word baban (= baby), originally maban (mab + diminutive suffix -an)

côr meibion - male-voice choir (choir of men) - Welsh and Cornish

A descendant as in mab Adam - a son of Adam, a descendant of Adam, a human being

Mab Duw (the Son of God),

... Mab Dyn (the Son of Man)

Mebyon Kernow (the sons of Cornwall) - The Cornish political party is called Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall's greater independence.

Mabyn:

Listed as Mabon in 12th Century records, Mabyn was said to have come from a large family, with 23 brothers and sisters. A depiction of Mabyn exists in the wives’ window in St Neot Church. She is wearing robes, a crown, and is carrying a palm branch. A well in the parish is also thought to represent her. She is thought to be the symbol to the preceeding Celts who the church embraced.

St.Mabyn

St.Mabyn is a village situated between Wadebridge and Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall. The village is centred on the grade 1 listed 15th century Church of St.Mabena.

800px-PICT0947.JPG

Cae Mabon (the storyteller's roundhouse) in Penzance

Mabon is referred to as the “Great Son of the Great Mother” in the Mabinogion. The name is also a form of “Maponus” who some say was the Solar Deity to whom Stonehenge was dedicated. So “Cae Mabon” could mean the “Home of the Divine Youth” or the “Lair of the Ancient British Sun God”! Grandiose pretensions indeed! On a more earthly plane, for ten years storytelling has homed in on the Cae Mabon Roundhouse. Many of Britain’s storytelling “greats” have performed there, telling their funny, epic, surreal, moving, poetic and extraordinary tales.

stdcaemab471logo.jpg

Well i think that's everything - so raise your glass tonight to the Jack-in-The-Green and think of harvest time. I'm always fearful I'll die before Mabon but once again I've made it. Blessed be!

:)

5co77ie

Archery

Well me and Z have just had our second session of Archery and it's fantastic. We're both doing really well and had our first go with sights yesterday took a bit of getting used to but we're both getting gold with them.

Next week it's our first scored session so there's a bit of competion going on then and after that we join GNAS and get are cards to fire at any archery field and carry bows!

One of the instructors had been out hunting pheasent and had shot a brace of them. Mmmm huntin' your own food sure sounds 'Ted Nugent' doesn't it?

We've also plugged in the Guitar Hero over the weekend and both been shreddin the songs with me finally nailin' No One Knows by QOTSA on expert and Crossroads by Cream! How bleedin' excellent did i feel as the last note died and the score flashed up - 97% on QOTSA and 113 note run on Cream! I rock!

Been looking for a CD Everton shirt on the net but not had any joy so I've started emailing people in the hope i can track one down and K should know in the next couple of days if she's got her job. I seriously hope she has.

Also great news C&R have got on the property ladder at last, buying a 3 bed house in Redhills. Could we be hearing the patter of tiny feet soon? But him saving money for it means he's not going to see Plymouth v Birmingham on Saturday - guess I'll be on my own for that one unless i can persuade Granty.

There's also sad news in the untimely death of talented guitarist Steve Roberts - brother Greg and mamber of the awesome Dreadzone. Gutted for Greg and Family Dread - condolences to the family and loads of love to all grieving at this sad time.

Oh and the fish are doing well seems our Siamese Flying Fox is merely a Flying Fox and therefore a true shark, so as he gets older he'll harass the other fish. So we're supposed to give him back to the shop. Gutting! But it's that or pick bodies of the others out one by one.

kallop.jpg

ah well take him back and get some corydora julii's I guess.

corydora.jpg

At the moment we have:

3 Honey Gouramis

honey1.jpg

2 zebra danios

Copy%20of%20sbs_zebra.jpg

1 leopard Danio

Minnow48.jpg

4 Glass Bloodfins

Tetra-GlassBloodfinTHUMB.gif

7 Black Neons (including the baby one born in the tank)

fw0118.jpg

3 Neon Tetras

023.jpg

3 Cardinal Tetras

p-axelrodi.jpg

4 Glowlight Tetras

Hemigrammus_erythrozonus_s.jpg

See comments for the rest!

5co77ie

118 118

Ah so today is the first of Jan 08 - or 118 as has been rattling about my head all day. The end of December rushed up over me and gave me little time to post. We had our work's Xmas do at the races - where I won enough to get very drunk on alcohol, but not enough to show more than a tenner to K the next morning to justify my huge hangover. Work continued a pace and I completed half my workload for January to give the lads a chance to train someone new up.

Then suddenly it was panic pressie buying and more evenings at the pub and a trip to my sister's for my niece's birthday. Xmas day was nice, we had a delicious crown of lamb, a load of food and a chance to work it off on the new Wii games. Spiced Cider (which Z liked) and spiced wine and Bucks Fizz (another winner for Z) kept us in good cheer between our journeys around the South West visiting the relatives.

The spare room has been converted into an office for the new job, you all might have guessed what it is by now - if not, you've not been paying attention!

New Year's Eve Eve - my traditional party night - involved getting a little too merry and falling asleep outside on my sister's patio while i cooked a five star meal for her, family and friends in her lovely kitchen as they all watched and was resoundingly plaudited all night - guess i still have it as a chef. The night after involved some more nice food and feet up in front of the telly watching the huge fireworks from London. Typical we stop going to the London Eye for NYE and they put on a show like that!

A few days before we managed to get organised enough for us to travel to Exmouth for their fun Xmas shoot at archery - we all came away with golds! Me for Longbow, Z for Junior Girl and K for Ladies Recurve - what a glorious end to the year. See it's worth getting off your arse and doing stuff in your spare time as it pays dividends if you apply yourself!

Anyway new job tomorrow - slightly nervous!

HNY everyone or Honey as all you internet abusers will be aware is just hilarious! :D

5co77ie

Having seen the bbc coverage of Big Green Gathering today I rather wish i was there then i followed the links to Truck http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A13343843 - and I'm definitely going next year it's the week after Guilfest. so here's the plans already for 2007! subject to change of course!

So that'll be:

Hi Fi South (possibly) or Run to The Sun (we've never been and it is local)

Wychwood (essential)

IOW

Glastonbury

Calling

Cornbury/Priddy (more likely the former)

Guilfest (possibly line up dependent) or possibly Larmar Tree although more likely is Tolpuddle in 2007

Eastern Haze, Village Pump or as i say most likely Truck (as it's nearer)

WOMAD 25! (which makes six festies on the bounce! From Glasto, is this possible?)

More than likely Guilfest week will have to be chopped out. Or Calling scrapped depending on headliners.

Big Chill (possibly)

Endorse It or Shhhhh. (depending how good the former is compared with the latter.)

Beautiful Days 5

Reading Festival or Sunrise (The latter being much nearer)

Pilton Party/Folkfest (one's the night before the other - must get tickets next week for this year's)

I'm hoping to add next year and Out There if it's on and Lost Festival too.

That's 14 festivals next year! No way K will go to all of them! More than likely do 12.

5co77ie

is it just me?

annoying mates!

This has been bugging me for 3 days now and i wanna know if i'm over reacting. My mate appears to have a total memory bypass - he says on Saturday he has a film i can borrow - so i email him about it yesterday - and he's no idea what I'm on about and doesn't have the film he mentioned! WTF! This happens repeatedly with him, he's a DVD buff who buys loads of films and yet has only ever lent me about five. The classic was he'd said he'd lend me 'V for Vendetta' i waited a couple of weeks later he gave me the DVD and asked me to hand it to a mutual friend. No mention of the fact i wanted it! Does he have no memory.

Then we mention going to see the rugby weeks ago to see Exeter Chiefs v Plymouth Albion - which is this weekend. So i remind him of this fact on Saturday, he half remembers - iask him again yesterday - and he's not sure he can go, will have to check with his Mrs - wait up we organised this weeks ago!!! ??

And on Saturday we're talking about organic produce and buying local produce, which we've done for some time, he's just started doing it, but he's telling me about it as though we haven't - we've mentioned it to him for ages! since last summer's food fare we bumped into him at. Then he suggests we give it a go? WTF!

I kinda feel he just doesn't really take any interest in what i say ever. Is he really forgetful or just pretending he's interested. There's loads more examples of this amnesia he suffers from. I mention a film to him, weeks later he's telling me about it. Is this normal?

BTW If he reads this, sorry mate but you're doin' my head in!

5co77ie

spamalot

I really want to go and see this. so i thought I'd mention that the Monty Python stage show - starring none of the Pythons but with Rice as King Arfur has hit the West End. This way hopefully I'll remember to request tickets for Christmas.

Which reminds me dammit I've been sucked into the whole Xmas present thing already! To the extent that my mind is already making lists and thinking hmmm add that to the Xmas list. It's not even Halloween yet FFS!

5co77ie

Ahh heard from the hospital - I have an MRI on Tuesday morning - couldn't come too soon. Getting a bit fed up of the dizzy spells, stars before the eyes and the intense pain that can't be controlled with lots of ibropofen! I'm currently highly worried the two acts I've most wanted to see Rolling Stones and Yusuf Islam will be missed either cos I'm dead or cos they call me in for surgery (fortunately this is the NHS we are talking about doubt much will happen til after Shambala. That's dizzy as aopposed to Dozy - my old mate from Zim has emailed me today so I'm glad to be in contact - may even send him this blog link (Hi Goose!) so he knows I've remained as lazy as ever! And can catch up on my life. Do people read these things?

I'm a bit worried about the MRi as I'm thinking these days it is an injury causing my problems rather than an illness - so i suspect it'll be an operation after - i hate hospitals for no rational reason - but my belief time in non-linear time means it could be cos of something in my future like a bleedin operation making me miss Yusuf Islam and the Stones!

However in other news my sister appears to have split our family in two. She's got my mum's side of the family and me my dad's! Just phoned her and my cousin's down for the weekend - only she forgot to tell me and she and my dad's mum aren't getting on. Wooried now she'll not inform of any summer gatherings - we left Endorse It to see them last year and would happily do it again. Life's too short for me to get involved in the whole thing but I'm now worried she's trying to freeze me out of that side of the family. Shame I'm so useless on phones (I grew up before the days where people constantly phoned each other) or I'd be better able to phone them.... anyway.

This week we're busy we got Exfolk tomorrow - a trip to the relatives (clearly) and then Endorse It Indoors - yay and then a go in the MRi machine listening to Hawkwind, ahhh great weekend - and possibly a bit of rabbit stew and some chocolates - oh and i think we're off to the cinema.

Z's report was really good and she's doing sailing next week to earn her SD1. And she's had a friend over today and made a video starring some bears they bought in the bear shop she now needs splicing together - ahh Dad the editor clearly. Oh and her school put on an end of term show - there are some very talented kids there including one doing Minac Theatre productions, another on the west end, a cellist of prodigal talent and a staff band who were dire! I was considering reviewing it but decided against it.

Oh and HSBC came around about the holes in the wall/floor and said it wasn't covered but dragged the builder around with them who was shamed into fixing it for nothing. He phoned earlier to come around and sort it (finally).

Oh and Lee Scratch Perry is at Endorse-It outdoors - superb what a coup. All this plus the Grand National!

Happy Easter. :)

Ohand have i mentioned The Stones play IOW on Sunday.

5co77ie

Glasto better value?

Could it be that if you buy a ticket for Endorse It and for Beautiful Days then you've pretty much spent the same amount as at Glasto and if you take the week off inbetween you're actually at festivals for longer and liable to get some sleep at some point. If you're an old school geezer like me then you prefer Avalon, Jazzworld and Greenfields more than Main and other stage- i just think you have a better time not having to trudge everywhere.

Also, after Amy Winehouse's recent coming off the rails I've noticed that bands are actually much fresher at IOW than Glasto, so if you're into mainstream you are better off seeing them there. As they seem to often fall apart come the end of a gruelling schedule Ms Winehouse being the latest example, an excellent performance at IOW has slowly deteriorated to her feeble sounding recent appearance.

Oh and Endorse It is fabulous! What a terrific weekend - lots of fun had a blast met all the most lovely people - they all know who they are. I love the fact there was much more going on - the festie goes from strength to strength and lovely weather too. Dreadzone for nigh on 2 hours! Wow!

So far the best festies are:

1. Endorse It.

2. WOMAD

3. Wychwood

4. Glasto (blimey - this low?)

5. IOW

6. Guilfest

7. Exeter Respect

8. Urban Lawns

With three more still to go - will there be any change at the top? All strong new entries - Beautiful Days, Shambala and Waveform.

Festies I've heard great things about:

1. Glade (still not kid friendly - so off the radar)

2. Sunrise Celebration (mmm might have to go to this.

3. Eastern Haze (space rock)

I'm thinking of knocking Glasto on the head - let the kids have/break it or themselves. But it's like christmas i just can't leave it off the calendar I've been going too long.

5co77ie

holidays are comin

Ah only 10 days until we set off on a bit of a trip of a lifetime! It's been 2 years in the planning.

We've got a fish/house sitter so no need to put our aquatic pets in a hotel anymore - and so we're ready for our big adventure.

We'd booked a hotel in Vila, which was the best we could afford until the other day I discovered the Australian equivalent of lastminute.com and we scored a luxury room in THE island resort - Irririki resort - on the island my sister was born on.

Check it out here -> http://www.iririki.com/

We never thought we'd be able to afford to stay there but it's actually £300 cheaper than the hotel we were going to stay on.

We're there for a week - i've contacted the old school my dad worked at, and got my plans of where I want to revisit that i remember from before we left there in 1978. So far we've got a schooner cruise to a turtle sanctuary, big barbecue, scuba dives, melanesian night, kava sessions, windsurfing, sailing, island tour, tribal dancing, cascades (waterfalls), and the visit to my old school, my old house, and my dad's work sorted. At the moment the weather has dropped to a cooler 34 degrees which is nice.

After a week there we fly to Auckland to pick up a motorhome and travel down north island to see the sights - rotarua, gloworm caves, mount doom, giant trees, new zealand rugby home, wellington, hobbiton etc. Then take the motorhome over on the ferry to south island for yule, and new year plus some hardcore sports including zoom jet boats, bungie, glaciers, and possibly a parachute drop.

Then back home in January - looking forward to it loads!

Right, I'm off to see Billy Bragg!

5co77ie

i don't like Mondays

It's the adjustment from the weekend and working in a sweat box. Did lots of work as I'm headed for a hugely complicated couple of weeks. Travelling to festivals, Z's birthday and a trip to High Wycombe all with hardly any days to do a mountain of work.

I'm feeling under the weather and irked by my mistakes, sometimes i wonder why i open my mouth when most of the time my factual knowledge is totally amiss. At which point i end up looking incompetent as usual. No idea why I'm feeling so low though - I've not even had any excesses i think perhaps I'm coming down from the last few festivals.

Whatever on a low ebb, but i decided to blog every day when i have access to a PC so that's what i have to do. Bought Zel's pressie tho and trying to work out how the heck i can fit in Muse!

Just remembered to re-fill the CO2 chamber and Jack and Sally the gouramis are still going strong.

What's going on with Andy van der Meyde? Seems he's been spiked in a bar in Scouseland - yeah right he had a beer too many i reckon. Shame i like players who get plastered. Hope he's okay tho - sure they'll give him some decent drugs in hospital!

The good news is there's an ISO downgrader for 2.6 for my PSP - so i can go and lots of games when I have more time. Fancy having a go on Field Commander and rthis:

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Thou I'm patiently waiting for Kingdom Hearts 2.

The possibilites are endless in science news at the moment as they've been able to reverse evolution in rats. Lympstone Marine college has been doing the same with humans for years!

reversing evolution

Oh and panda cam has been showing baby's 1st birthday - that's cheered me up. ;)

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More good local news Marcel is on the side of the Romanys and adding weight to a proper traveller site for them:

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Cllr Choules said it was time to provide land for travellers. "I received several calls from people who are understandably upset about this camp," he said. "The police have been to speak to these gipsies, but there is little they or I can do while no proper gipsy sites exist.

"This is the middle of what I call gipsy season and while Devon County Council does not provide legitimate traveller sites, it will continue to happen year in year out." Those camped on the site were last night sitting around campfires and planning visits to beach resorts in the next few days.

Describing themselves as Romany gipsies, they said they would try not to intimidate park users. Peter Jones, 45, said they had been forced to set up an illegal camp. "Even though we're natives of this country, our culture and our needs are not catered for," he said. "In the Second World War our people, our fathers and grandfathers, fought for this country. We have no problems with other cultures coming into this country but they seem to be catered for while we are not.

"We teach our children old-fashioned traditions like hunting and fishing and living off the land. "Gipsy sites around the country have been shut down or are being run badly, so we are forced onto sites like this." He said they planned to stay at the riverside park for around two days. "Our dogs are tied up and we don't mean any harm to anyone coming through here," Mr Jones said.

Possibly I'll be a bit nicer to Marcel next time I see him. ;)

5co77ie

Watched the F word two things:

1. Cooking garden snails is he mad? And feeding them to his kids! Reminded me of the minister and his burger!

2. He's a chef but he's never been to a slaughter house? How as part of my 706/2 i had to go to slaughter houses and reclaiming factories. How come he'd never been to one before is he not a real chef? -Surely everyone who eats meat should go to a slaughter house to see what happens? You can't think of meat dissaccoiated from animals surely? Had to laugh at how green Ramsey went!

Got kit all ready for Endorse-It - no idea how we're gonna fit it in the new car's tiny boot! Weather's looking okay for it - bit of rain early Sunday but we're off site early then anyway. Local weather forecast for Beaut Days looks okay to - bit of mizzle that's all.

Z's pre birthday excitement is reaching near explosive level!

OOOO ooooo and guess what? Dreadzone and Alabama 3 are playing Exeter in November at the Lemmy!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5co77ie

Carnage! Total anarchy from start to finish, our daughter was alreadt tired (and so were we) from waking up at crack of dawn to see if her presents were about. Then waking us up to ask if she can open them. After a debauched weekend at Endorse-It my eyelids were still plastered shut and my brain wouldn work - so i was knackered anyway.

Present opening followed and then ensued hours of setting up her bleedin' laptop for her, and having to move the wireless router cos it wouldn't see it. Finally done and what happens one of the gouramis decides to pop her clogs and one of the neon rainbowfish has exploded on side of gills! Terrific! Quick burail of the gourami - you're not supposed to flush them down the loo as they carry tropical diseases and with our warm waters these days could spark an outbreak of some amazonian lurgey.

Next up buying decorations and a mountain of junk food, then putting up decorations. Kids have no bleedin' idea on tasteful decoration and even less about room layouts - much chaos and gnashing of teeth as balloons were put in doorways etc.

Then we collected the little darlings, got stuck in a traffic jam and arrived late for 10 pin bowling. Two games, four kids - three, THREE hours! I had a review of Endorse-It to do for chrissakes! junk food meal - and all the other kids use 4-6 sachets of tomato sauce on a plate under 4 inches across of fries! WTF! Plus constantly buy sweets! But only drink water cos it's good for them???!!! Mind you food and drinks (guinness for me) for all six of us came to £18 bargain!

Went out for a fag. The whole place is no smoking! and watched 14 year olds pissed out of their brains on cider fall over in the road or defy gravity and remain upright at dizzying angles while trying to get off with each other.

Came home, left them in living room, to eat more snacks, play games and bitch at each other. where i became a waiter pandering to their bleedin' wants for hours, until finally I miss Lost and get them to get ready for bed. Stick on Nanny McPhee and they settle down. I type like a nutter (sorry Neil or Speedyscott as it probably needs to be re-written) the Endorse It reviews, going off notes i clearly wrote while totally out of it on stuff.

Finish about 12.30 and decide to go to bed, downstairs the little darlings (of be-elzebub!) make a bleedin' racket all night! They stay up all bleedin' night! Making more noise than a 17 year old punk on speed and 5 gallons of cider! I can't sleep and prefer to stay awake as i know as soon as i fall asleep there would be a disaster and I'd only have to wake up. K sleeps throughout all of it! I need to buy ear plugs!

So now I have a mouintain of work to do and I'm knackered! I'm supposed to be seeing William tonight but have no idea whether he's read my message or whether I'll even make the pub! Footies on tonight too and I'm also supposed to be out for that!

anyway back to the grindstone and another small lake of coffee! But if you have kids don't let them talk you into letting them have a sleepover - not unless you go away for the night!

5co77ie

sheesh, it's all gettin' a bit tricky! I'm trying to stay positive about the whole think, but dreamt that K and Z both died last night in my dreams and woke up a gibbering mess. Feel totally inert about everything now. 'always look on the bright side' eh? Well I'm trying to, I've got my grandmother deteriorating rapidly (she is 98) my sister seems to have vanished! and so I've got to deal with that and lie through my teeth everytime gran asks if I'm ok. guess she can sense summits up but thankfully she doesn't press it. She's having giddy spells, hearing music all the time and having the 'little folk' climb out of the walls and visit her at night.

Great so here comes another impending funeral i'll have to arrange - I'm getting good at them now, trouble is I'm running out of family to practice on.

I've been fairly level headed about the whole thing, but hey what's a blog for if you can't offload, and i like to think no one's reading this anyway. That makes me feel terrible too, there's all these people dotted all over the country that i only see at festivals, cos my life's too frikin busy (supposedly) to have anytime to see them or talk to them the rest of the time and i never got into the whole text generation thing and get freaked out by phones - too much acid tripping while trying to phone people - horrendous. Anyway, and even if i am at festivals I'm usually too off my box to have any meaningful conversation.

Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost all the real people in my life, mainly due to being an unpredictable drunk half the time, that rarely decides to open up and actually show I'm anything other than shallow and actually reveal i have any depth to me. infact I'm not convinced I have much to contribute really.

Although i do have loads of memories of bizarre stuff like being interrogated at the age of nine in Iran or having to be rushed to a prison junkie hospital in Singapore after my toe was hanging off as it was the only place with the right drugs or seeing the helicopter with the film crew from Apocalypse Now catch fire or livin' wild in a jungle with a tribe of Micronesians and chasing wild boar, being 'attacked' by a basking shark or having my dad rescue me from a tiger shark by running barefoot across a coral reef. Going to loads of festivals and visiting most of the places to see on this globe. I've had quite a mental life if i think about it, just most of it by the time i was 12.

Anyone get the feeling I'm a bit laidun with regret? I spent years hardly talking to my parents cos i was too wasted to bother travelling to see them more than 4 days a year. Years bitter at my old man for leaving my mum in her condition and running off with someone else and now I see why, as he had this illness, he sent me birthday cards entitled things like 'The Wasteland' and 'Derelict'.

There was all this stuff i was gonna do, manyana, and now I'm not sure I'll ever get around to them. Talk about long dark night of the soul, last night seemed to last forever as i hung on for the dawn. I sat there thinking of the New Hebrides and how I'm the only record keeper of our years there, my sister's too young to remember it. I thought I'd write a journal of everything that I could remember, the places we went, the moments we had. But when am I gonna get around to it. Inertia again, lack of motorvation, no drive.

There's a huge 'what's the point?' hanging over me. I've tried to escape it, but it wheeled on me last night and threw me around like that storm raging outside. So I have to wait to face the results of all these tests and god they can't come soon enough now. Talk about a reversal from my viewpoint of not wanting to know. Now it consumes my waking hours and I realise I've never bothered to keep any records of my life and what I've seen. Mainly cos i felt it was bragging, but who knows when I'll get a chance to tell it all to my daughter, and if I am ill maybe one day she'll want to know. Guess i should right that journal.

But then there's all the other books i was gonna write, to escape the grind, the unfinished painting. Ironic really if i have this illness, i can't just run off to the sun, oh no I'll have to work 'til the end of my days - Maybe getting six months off at the end. None of these projects have been more than roughly started and none are likely to really, I'm caught now in the wait. The long wait - to find out what's wrong with me.

Ahh that was catharthic and depressing, i feel it's rid me of my worries enough to get on with the day. Infact i feel much better. Maybe I'll just type in a few memories down in this 'ere blog when i have moments to spare. it's more likely than finding time to write them in a book.

5co77ie

What the hell is happening to men? The other day i was at the pub went for a slash there was a bloke there moving a strand of hair about on his head then moving it to another point on his head and looking at himself in the mirror constantly tweaking his hair - with that CTC (Cooper Temple Clause) Pete Docherty type crap hair that really doesn't look any different if you move bits of it about. and better if you dragged a comb through it.

Anyway half an hour later i returned to the loo and he was still there and two more blokes had turned up also shifting clumps of hair about in front of the mirror. I had a slash and left and they were still there, my mate went to the loo 10 minutes later and reported they were still there! WTF is happening to the human race - more interested in lumps of hair than beer or girls? OMG - We used to be men not girlie hairdressers!

5co77ie

...been a while...

Ah forgot all about this for a while, you know, this blogging malarky, but then i got a letter yesterday saying - we've been told by your doc you need 2 MRI's one for head and pine and one for cervix and spine - and that was it - no dates or nothing. Terrific!

Well ticket stress has kicked in with Shambala, Beautiful Days, IOW and on Wednesday WOMAD tickets all being bought. Arrrrggghhhh just typing in details into those ticket buying sites is stressful these days - as my mind goes into panic - waiting for time outs, sorry tickets unavailable and other bad news screens - but so far it's all gone well.

Didn't bother i notice putting anything down for Imbolc (February 1) on my pagan guide to the year - but then not really do anything for that.

Work is a bundle of stress at the moment.

Plymouth Argyle are playing Sunday night at 6pm on the telly (BBC1) so if you fancy watching - enjoy it, hopefully get Premiership opposition in the semi finals. Which i last went to with Plymouth when we played Watford (spooky) 23 years ago and John Barnes broke me heart at Villa Park by scoring the winner. Hopefully on the 11th March Plymouth will put that memory behind them.

Z has become an animation buff - well it's Animated Exeter at the moment - so we've been doing stop motion photography and have set it up at home for her - using Stop Motion Pro and the old Sony DV camcorder - she's been making little cartoons all through half term and progressed to plasticine (from silhouettes) yesterday. Both Exeter College and the University of Western England (Plymouth Poly) are now courting her for their courses.

She also won another award, well actually 4 awards - from the school for her year - services to the school, top pupil in science, top pupil in art and top pupil in music

anyone got any ideas for a career path with those? No, nor me.

One week til Final Fantasy X11 arrives so I'm waiting for that one.

And this weekend we are off to Quicks to equip ourselves with archery stuff, Z has won her white Archery badge award already and we've both got our handicaps - I'm F and she is H. Not that you know what that means and nor do i to be honest.

fish are fine.

Delighted that FLC are playing Wychwood.

5co77ie

Wavefore excels

Considering the last 'beep beep' festival I went to was overloaded with chavs and zombied trancers and Ket heads and seemed to involve wall to wall advertising, I've tended to shy away from them since the glory days of the late Eighties and early nineties and yet here is Waveform to re-affirm my faith in dance festivals - well done Family Gathering youknow how to do your festivals. Okay so the line up boasted some great old school names Banco De Gaia, Eat Static, System 7 and the real Ozrics (Dream Machine).

Dream Machine were amazing, finally I got to see them and anyone who says the band who still carry the name Ozrics sound like those tunes of yester-year are wrong - here is the incarnation of that sound and god it so works with flute. Whoever said they could never hear it need to see this lot and then tell me they could never hear it. Like the old days it was, mental stuff! Ozrics without flute really isn't the same - these boys were fantastic! and with Paul Didge too it were proper great. Then most of them stayed on stage for Zub Zub which had me dancing in the sun while throwing giant frisbee about - lovely.

The organisers of this the first eco-sustainable dance festival organised by the Global Undergound and the people who do Sunrise and the Glasto Greenfields. clearly really know what they are doing and god they're good at putting on a festival. They planned everything out we'd want for the weekend, seven main stages offering a selection of dance styles, I'm too old to know my trance from my psy - if i like it i listen, that's it. Although Feed Your Head sounds were there in abundance. Then there were lots of other little domes offering more choice, fantastic food, great visuals and lasers and shit loads of good drugs floating about. Loads of happy hippies and psy trancers, crusty jugglers, a high dreadlock count and Sunrise real ale and cold cider. Chai wallahs for all nighters and a wonderful vibe - really great - mental salve for the mind it were.

Eat Static on the Saturday were awesome and followed by some crazy hippy stuff which had me in stitches and was well received by those into their shakras etc - "switch off your mind and open your heart.... you are a wave....form!" It had me smiling and was the worst rhyming in some time - hippies ehh gotta love them. Crystal skulls and Stonehenge and all that - world peace started that night with 350 or so countries also joining in the synchronised dance - personally I'd have had Eat Static do the whole thing.

Told the Eco Rangers to target the No2zers who were leaving the metal pellet things and their balloons all over what was an otherwise clean site. Christ they annoy me almost as much as Ket heads with their total lack of keeping the place clean at a festival which underlines a leave no trace policy.

Managed to get up after minimum sleep on Sunday morning to catch Eat Static but have to say I was drawn to the all night partying of the Ninja Hippies were better.

But what a terrific weekend end to the festival. Lovely time camped with Clive, Lucy and Chocky and demolished our cider allocation around the fire at night and of course the lovely Midnight was there too - helpfully filling in my poor knowledge of recent developments in the underground dance scene and informing me of line up changes etc. Met some lovely new random people around our fire. Discovered some great music to listen to - like Sub Source and Sunfish (sun theme there?) - and really got into the hi energy of Ninja Hippies.

Loads of festie characters and familiar festie faces, even a cat, happy kids and a great music programme from full on Friday to chilled Sunday - They really knew what would go with what and after some probs at the start and a late kick off they really got it organised. Sounds like it'll be even better next year.

Mirror System - Steve Hillage were awesome in Eartheart and at the time i had no idea it was hime! Thanks to Midnight I discovered it was. and talking of that wasn't System 7 excellent too. Shame it was so badly attended by efesters - as it's an awesome location, fantastically planned and executed. Best way to end a festival and lovely weather too - bliss! Bit cold at night - good job i brought the fire. The best in old skool dance parties has been brought bang up to date in a lovely setting by the river. We have another festival we can be proud of right on our front door.

To be honest I enjoyed it more than Beautiful Days, not just because of the lack of mud but also the audience - okay the music was a far less wide spectrum but the green credentials brought with it the mellower more chilled and colourful festival goers, resulting in a better vibe than this year's BDays. A local version of Sunrise, Glade and Eastern Haze - I'm told - no longer do I miss going to them.

For me though it lacked the wide spectrum of events offered by Shhhhhh, which has a similar crowd, but it was just as much a party as Endorse-It which had music I'm more accustomed to.

So the festival season falls like this:

Bestest: Shhhhhhh

Gotta go back for the party: Endorse It, Waveform, Beautiful Days.

Loveliest festival over a widest spectrum: Glastonbury, WOMAD, Wychwood.

Nice local footprint and new music: Respect, Ex-folk, Urban Lawns

By comparison rather mainstream, but having the big names: IOW and Guilfest and half of Glastonbury.

Best for kids: Shambala, Beautiful Days, Wychwood - we don't take Z to Glasto.

Festie List 2007:

Endorse It Indoors - April - Sunny scorchio

Exfolk - May - Sunny

Urban Lawns - May - Gale force rain

Wychwood - May - Sunny

Isle of Wight - June - Scorchio

Glasto - June - Big Mud

Respect - July - Sunny/Cloudy

Guilfest - July - Sunny til Sunday

WOMAD - July - Wo-mud more like but late night rain

Endorse It - Aug - Lovely

Beautiful Days - Aug - mud, wind and rain

Shambala - Aug - Sunny Scorchio

Waveform - Sept - Sunny

5co77ie

time wasting NHS idjuts

I've had a battery of tests today - I keep thinking this is like some Duracell test - where they will press my head and feet and a giant glowing indicator will light up my side to show how much charge i have left!

Well my appointment was for 10.45 at 11.45 the first doctor sees me - turns out the consultant isn't available (why not just cancel at this point? - I have work to do, and my spinal tap isn't until the afternoon) but he goes through the same proceedure as my own GP did - then I go to have the audio tests done - they can't do it today! - So I wait around a bit more. Then they can't book in a new appointment - although I'm stood with a nurse because the doctor needs to write a request. So the nurse says she'll get him to write one, and they'll put a letter in the post to let me know.

Next up get changed into a gown - very' 28 Days Later' and sit around in my pants in a crowded waiting room. Eventually i get a room, for no apparent reason - probably to build up my fear of hospitals - there's signs everywhere warning of vomiting and diarrhoea - nice! Then I'm led back out to another waiting room - why not just put me straight here?

Then I get sent in for the spinal tap - I'm trying to think of the band to take my mind off it - as I'm asked to put my head between my knees. The anaesthetist nurse - takes for ever to stab me with the local anaesthetic - repeatedly asking me, who hates needles, to relax. Then they wait around for a bit - I'm starting to feel like i have the vomit/diarrhoea bug when it's on to stage two - my head's still between my legs. They stab me with another bigger needle - this hurts even though it shouldn't I'm braced to stop the reflex movement - trying not to move as I feel this scraping in my spine. Then it's done - it's now about 2.15pm

so for nearly four hours I've had about half an hour of medical work - all billed back to my GP I presume. Nice! I'm supposed to be remaining flat - but it's too uncomfortable, So I'm sitting down.

No results, just a case of more waiting now.

5co77ie

Said goodbye to the old Fiat this morning - it's only a piece of metal right. But I've got feelings for the thing! I mean it's got 3 Glasto parking stickers on it. It's got those dents in it. It's got character! The new car looks all new and errrr new. It's not got that personalised look to it. Gonna miss the bleedin' thing and I don't even drive!

In other news need to remember to book tickets on megatrain for the footie - Plymouth v QPR (seems there's loads of us going now). Need to join the Everton DC supporters club from Vina Del Mar - where i was born!

And Stuey 22 has only got his new G/f who is 16 pregnant! We won't be ribbing him about it oh no, the flavour of the language might be a novelty tho! :rolleyes:

Off to some pub in the wilds of Dartmoor tonight - it's not the same when it's not cold and snowy!

Fish still alive! Just!

5co77ie

Mmmmm get your downloads on one of these!

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Buffalo TeraStation Terabyte 1.0TB Network Attached Storage

that's 1000 Gigabytes!

tempting at £600

Compatibility with Buffalo's LinkTheater Wireless HD Media Player allows wired or wireless streaming of your multimedia files to your television or stereo in almost any audio or video format. With its sleek, aesthetic design and ultra-silent operation, the Buffalo TeraStation Terabyte Network Attached Storage offers powerful storage, server and multimedia solutions for both the SMB and consumer markets. Combining advanced fault tolerant data solutions, robust file security, and Gigabit Ethernet networking,

Think of all the HD space that'd free up - three PCs worth of MP3s and MPEG4s. :rolleyes:



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