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Yes we got Glasto tickets (though technically Neil got them as he managed to get the page open) then straight after up popped the page on my PC and away i went getting tickets for random efesters including one lot whose address had no vowels in the whole thing!

This year as we got tickets the radio was playing Boogie 2 Nite so we got up and leapt about to:

Hope ya ready?

Hope ya ready?

Hope ya ready?

Are you ready?

'cause i am

said I'm ready to party

yeah (yeh)

Grab your coat, get your keys

Cause whatever you're drinking

It's on me (It's on me)

Stand if you want to,

stare if you want to

But I gots to party, I needs me a party

Came here to get ya, but I can't wait

To grab me a partner and cut a rug up tonight

I found a place (yea)

Where we could boogie,


I found a place (yea)

Where we could boogie,

boogie tonight

glastonbury obviously!

Managed to get some sleep this year for a change, i think going to the Exeter Food and Drink thing helped on Saturday loads of local delights on offer for free - particularly like duck dogs (duck sausage hot dogs) a market at festivals surely? We bought our weekly shop there before sampling the beers:

Barum BreweryPilton -Barnstaple

Breakfast - great as usual 5

Original - nice pint tasty 4.4

Firing Squad - yesshhhh misshus! 5.3 glorious

Branscombe Brewery Branscombe - Seaton

Branoc - dissappointing 3.8

Draymans - 4.2 (really tasty)

On the Rocks didn't try this one, not enough time 4.1

Clearwater Brewery

Village Pride 3.7 (untested)

Cavalier 4 (only ever see this here very nice)

Olivers Nectar - top choice winner! lush flavours 5.2

Exe Valley Brewery Silverton exeter

Dobs 4.1 (usual suspect - form pint)

Spring Beer a bit young though 4.1 wasn't bad

Devon Glory - another favourite rather heady 4.7

Otter Brewery Luppit - Honiton

Otter Bitter - Mrs favourite what can i say on form as ever but week at 3.6

Otter ale - choice pint at Beautiful Days 4.5 and lovely as ever

Otter Bright 4.3 - my usual tipple so went untried on the day.

Green Valley CiderClyst st George

Dragon Tears - 4.7 Sparkling verging on perry a clean drink for the snobs

Farmhouse Dry - 6.5 now we're talking cider rather lovely. Also in sweet format for the kids.

St Austell BrewerySt Austell cornwall

In bottles this year and not allowed to be opened, annoyed the staff by opening it!

Tribute - winner as usual

Proper Job - mmm Rebellion re-badged surely?

Some wheat beer - wheat intollerent no thanks

Heron Valley Loddiswell - Kingsbridge WINNER!

Heron Valley mulled hot cider - a train wreck after a pint! Fantastic stuff - please sell this at Beautiful Days!!!

Heron Valley farm cider - oh god the best cider here by a way! Luverly!

also available

Bee's Organic ale in bottles lovely! -4.5 - Arkell's first organic ale - and was voted 'Organic Ale of the Year' by The Soil Association. Honied but fantastic - especially delightful when made into snakebite with Heron Valley farm cider!

another ale - also nice but too smashed to know what it's called! Moonlight i think 5 has a plane on it - made me take off or could have been the snakebite see above.

wines also available

all of the reds were horrible! I don't do white. This country is rubbish at wine, better off buying cheap foreign stuff that tastes less like paint stripper.

Did i mention the Heron Valley mulled hot cider? Bloody lush!

and then after getting tickets, i went off to the first outdoor shoot of the season at archery and shot 6 golds in one go at 40 yards - before moving up to 50 yards and the wind getting up. Excellent i can compete now at ye Grande Tourney which is the day after my birthday. Which incidentally clashes with 2 beer festivals:

Double Locks (only 23 ales) - taxi home or camp? nicer pub, may day celebs! click


Imperial (60 ales) staggering distance home, less good pub. click

Votes appreciated!

Reminds me nearly time to vote for a Grateful Dead shirt!!!!

oh and I'll put this here for easy future finding:

1. the shmangle


which is waterproof but less a poncho you wear more a sit down on blanket with a hood


2. the honcho poncho


which is more of a poncho or garment of clothing - it's more fleecy but slightly less warm - but easier to wear arms free. As worn by 5co77ie at a festival near you

both come in a bag.


Happy Vernal Equinox!

Well tonight just after midnight (seven minutes after) it's the Vernal Equinox or Ostara/Eostre/Ladys Day.


The earth awakens... new life emerges, sap rises, buds shoot and spring flowers are celebrated as gifts from nature. Spring returns and rejuvenates our own life force. Wear Green!


The equinoxes

At the times when the Sun is crossing the celestial equator day and night are of nearly equal length at all latitudes and so we call these dates the equinoxes. In March, as the Sun is moving northwards along the ecliptic, this is called the vernal equinox and in September as the Sun is moving southwards we refer to it as the autumnal equinox. The equinoxes are also the points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and equator cross and the vernal equinox is used as the zero point in measuring star co-ordinates.

Vernal comes originally from the Latin word for 'bloom' - it refers to the fact that, in the northern hemisphere, this equinox marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Stepping out from the darkness into the light.

However we soon have one of the four Quarter Days in the Legal Calendar it's called Lady Day (March 25). Midsummer Day on June 24 (each year) is the most well known of these. The other Quarter Days are Michaelmas (29 September) and Christmas Day (25 December).


The Astrological and Cultural Significance of the Vernal Equinox

Throughout the history of mankind, the Vernal Equinox has been a time of celebration for many civilisations. For some, it signified the passing of the old year and the rebirth of the new and has, for a long time, been considered the beginning of the Pagan New Year, when the Sun reaches the First Point of Aries (2,500 years ago this was at the Cardinal, Fire Sign of Aries, the Ram).

It was a celebration of the return of the Sun God from the winter underworld. The Lupercalian fertility festival also took place during the Vernal Equinox. Likewise, Easter - originating from the ancient Germanic fertility festival Ostara in honour of the goddess of spring, Eostre, but is nowadays all about fluffy bunnies and painted eggs - celebrations take place on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or following the Vernal Equinox, when the barrenness of Winter is overcome by the fertility that comes with Spring.

What's the Deal With the Egg-Balancing?Crazy Yank idea

According to legend, an egg will only balance on its end on the Vernal Equinox - hence all the people trying to stand their eggs on flat surfaces on this particular day, most of them making scrambled eggs of their effort. The origins of this legend can be traced to ancient China, where it was believed that the balancing of eggs is easily accomplished on 'Li Chun', which is considered to be the 'Beginning of Spring', and which marks the beginning of the Chinese Solar Calendar.

Note that 'Li Chun' is not the Vernal Equinox. It is the beginning of spring, and the Vernal Equinox ('Chun Fen') occurs midway between 'Li Chun' and 'Li Shia', the beginning of summer.

Egg Balancing (for the kids):

Every year, on one particular day in early spring, you will witness a very strange spectacle indeed: people kneeling on pavements, people at tables and desks and counters, all trying to balance an egg on its end. Perhaps, if you are lucky, you may even come across a news article or a special television broadcast featuring masses of people sweltering in the hot sun as they attempt to up-end their eggs.

This is the day of the Vernal Equinox, the day of equal darkness and light. And more importantly, the only day you can balance an egg on its end. Well, supposedly.

Core (Persphone)

Core is the original name of the maiden of the spring, who is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Zeus once promised Core to his brother, Hades, without telling her mother. After Hades kidnapped her, she was known as Persephone, Queen of the Dead. Core was enticed by a bloom of narcissus and strayed too far from her companions. In is chariot pulled by coal-black horses, Hades rose up through a chasm in the earth, grabbed her by the wrist, and sat her next to him. Her mother, Demeter, wandered the earth for a very long time looking for her daughter until she came to the sun, and he told her what happened. Demeter then went to Zeus who declared that Persephone be returned to her mother - only if she hadn't tasted the food of the dead. But she had eaten some pomegrante seeds, so she could only return to her mother for two thirds of the year and spent the other third at Hades side as his wife. Although she spent more time as Core, it was only as Persephone that she continued to be in the myths. In one story, Aphrodite asked her to care for a handsome youth named Adonis. This guy was so handsome, in fact, that Persephone refused to return him. As a result of the arguement, Zeus ruled that half the year be spent with Aphrodite and the other half with Persephone. She has a child with Zeus named Zagreus. Persephone's Roman name is Proserpine.

New Year? and Christianity

It used to be considered as the beginning of the Pagan New Year, a time of joy and celebration of the return of the Sun God from the winter underworld.

It has, of course, been incorporated into Christianity. Easter Day is the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox.

At some point before the eighth century AD, the strategians of the early Church superimposed the Resurrection of the Lord on the pre-Christian Eoster-based practice of celebrating spring around the spring equinox. This converted a pagan practice into a Christian one with a simple flick of the theological hand.

Hence the connection between rabbits, eggs and the Lord Jesus, which has puzzled a number of people through the centuries. The answer to the puzzle is disarmingly simple. They were both symbols of Eoster, goddess of rebirth and hence of spring.


"T'was at the Vernal equinox we all joined hand in hand

And we formed a great big circle and we chanted and we sang.

As there's nothing going on just now and no one has a clue

Of what it is we celebrate, but that's what pagans do."


The name of Easter in fact derives from the Teutonic and pan-European lunar goddess Eoster, or Ostara, worshipped throughout pre-Christian Europe as a goddess of the rising light, conception and rebirth.

According to myth, Eostre was a playful goddess whose reign over the earth began in the spring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, (in some religions this is drawn by a black horse and white horse) bringing the end of winter. Ostara came down to earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright colorful eggs.

Ostara's magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to dying plants and flowers by hiding the eggs in the fields.


Both the rabbit and the egg were associated with this goddess of rebirth, for obvious reasons. The rabbit or hare breeds, well, like a rabbit, and from the egg hatches the new life. Both represent the kind of cyclic immortality one finds in nature, where the life of the past year gives birth to the life of the next.

Another Christian observation with pagan roots in this period is the Lady of the Annunciation, on the 25 March, which marks the "verbal" conception of Christ by Mary and the Holy Ghost. Is it coincidence that both the conception and the resurrection of Christ are celebrated in the spring, when the pagan world celebrated birth and resurrection? I think not.

Meanwhile the goddess Eoster lives on as a manifestation of the 'Goddess' of modern pagans and followers of Wicca throughout the world. In the pagan mythology this festival marks the Goddess' conception of the sacred child she began to prepare for on Imbolc and which will be born at the Yule solstice. The festival, though celebrated differently by different groups of pagans, is generally characterised by joyful appreciation of the rebirth of life and anticipation of the coming summer.

The custom of eating hot cross buns is also said to have Pagan origins. The Saxons ate buns that were marked with a cross in honour of Eostre. The ancient Greeks also consumed these types of buns in their celebrations of Artemis, Goddess of the hunt (known as Diana to the Romans). And the Egyptians ate a similar cake in their worship of the Goddess Isis. We eat ours thinking of the circular cross as the symbol of Earth.


This is the time of a major climatic shift which can be quite hard on our bodies as it is, so it is a good time to give a boost to your immune system with natural remedies and cleansing foods.


It was traditional to drink dandelion and burdock cordials at this time as these herbs help to cleanse the blood and are a good tonic for the body after its winter hardships.

As the Vernal Equinox heralds the arrival of spring, it is a time of renewal in both nature and the home, so time for some spring-cleaning! Get your vacuums out!

This is more than just a physical activity, it also helps to remove any old or negative energies accumulated over the dark, heavy winter months preparing the way for the positive growing energy of spring and summer.

As with all the other key festivals of the year, there are both Pagan and Christian associations with the Spring Equinox.

So, as nature starts to sprout the seeds that have been gestating in her belly throughout the winter, maybe you can start to think about what you want to 'sprout' in your life now and start to take action.

new age link

Tonight: Tuesday 20th March, 2007, at 7.30pm

Spring Equinox Festival

Glastonbury Goddess Temple



The figure of a prone woman, as green as the hills, slumbers on the flat land surrounding Glastonbury. Her hip and thighs double as Tor Hill with its famous tower. Her shoulder is Wearyall Hill where Jesus’ uncle Joseph of Aramathea is said to have stuck his staff in the ground, creating the first holy thorn tree. Her belly and breasts rest on the fields.


It is the view from the artist Dorrie-Joy’s garden; the idea for it came as she was cycling really fast back towards her home. "The landscape looked just like that. It is a union between earth and sky".

This Glastonbury Tor Goddess represents peace, rest and balance, within and without. She sleeps beneath the love of the sun and the moon as they meet with equal strength of night and day.’ It is a powerful picture for the Spring Equinox (19th March), both the woman and the land she rises out of being abundant in fertility and readiness to flower.

I used to remember something about two people fighting on a bridge of wood over water with staves one in white and one in black and the white one would win - but i think now perhaps it was green not white - i forget it's been a few years. There's also stuff about Taleisin, slamon, violets, astral projection ,re-incarnation and stuff like that. I've got in my head a great picture of a Celtic chariot and a woman sowing seeds from it - from a Tarot set by Courtney Davies



Busy, busy, busy!

Biggest news is that K has got an interview Friday! Bit it's just one part of our busy week and she has more after this!

The weekend was chocker for us got our last batch of fish, - a moody male dwarf gourami, some over-sexed golden barbs and a Siamese Algae Eater (at last!) so we have a full tank now and so no more fish for a year or two. 50 of the colourful little critters and over a year of getting water stats spot on!!!

We went down to see my gran who was a bit grumpy, cos her pensions been cut by £13 a week (incredible - i could have sworn the cost of living always rose, but clearly the government know something we don't)and did archery before the footie. Last practics before the indoor county championship next weekend - another personal best for me - but i doubt I'll wind owt next weekend.

Well happy with Everton's win - Europe here we come, hopefully. I'm doing well with sport at the moment - said Colchester and QPR would win and got 2 winners and four runners up at Cheltenham!

We successfully won Arctic Monkey tickets this weekend! So we'll be seeing them next month. And we've got My Chemical Romance tomorrow and Glasto band finals end of the week so we are busy, busy, busy!

As for festivals so far Endorse It looks bleedin' marvellous!

And two weeks til Glasto tickets!!!!! Argggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Nerves kickin' in!

As for the neuropathy, the cold weather has seriously done my brain/body connection - was in agony the other night - popped a batch of strong painkillers - did nothing to stop the pain! Damn, I'm not ready for my brain thinking whatever it likes and no cure!! Got a letter to say I'm in a queue for MRI (ahh well it's only been 4 months!)


Stardate 120307

I don't know if it's the neuro problems - but I feel really, badly totalled for the last few days. It could also be Plymuff's loss in the FA Cup I suppose, but i was bad before it. I've even stopped drinkin it's that bad! Maybe it's a cold looming slowly - i don't tend to get colds often.

I Saw the Blockheads on Saturday and was hugely impressed with their musicianship - i always thought they effed and blinded and were rough 'punk' but they are far more refined than that. Really good musicians - go see them they'll blow you away.

I've also improved in archery and so I'm in for the Indoor Championships in 2 weeks. Crikey! How I'm gonna fare once I have festivals on - i have no idea! Guess I'll have to find the nearest archery field each weekend.

and we're still trying to decide which festival to do next, as festie season has started with Vibraphonic - just wish we'd been able to cover more of it. Not fast out the blocks yet. Next year we'll do it more thoroughly.

So Chippenham or Urban Lawns? Hmmmm.....

and seems Beatles aren't being put on itunes - so they won't be number one for ages.


...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.



Got phoned up Tuesday out of the blue and told that today i was to go to hospital for a Neural Response Test in the neurphysiology department - so off i go - getting 'white coat syndrome' and have myself electrocuted - ahh happy days - like holding onto electric fences it were - great fun and no hint despite asking as to how the test went - though he did ask if i had problems with my little fingers - can't say as I've noticed and also the last test on my feet i couldn't feel when he put the electrickery in - so he cleaned the terminals and whacked up the dial and i could feel it a bit better.

This weekend we're off to see 'Arthur and the Invisibles' with Z and off to archery - the tournament last weekend went swimmingly til the hangover hit in 2/3 of the way through - at which point it all went a bit wobbly.

And Bloc Party to look forward to tomorrow night.


Off To Brighton

Ahhh things are never easy are they? Not only do Liverpool play Everton (3-0 last time! ;)) at midday but Z and I have an archery competition at 2pm on the Sunday!!!! So as it stands with the journey taking 3.5 hours we leave early on Saturday to get there and sunday to get back! What a pain - worsened by the factit's my mate's birthday on the Friday too! Accckk!

This fixture congestion is nothing compared to the sixth round of the FA Cup whch falls on the 17th Feb - arrrggghhhh! We have an animated Exeter - film making course in the morning, and a screening, then Plymouth to see them beat Derby, then home as K is away and then a mate's 40th. Plus I'm sure there's at least one other thing I've forgotten going on that day!

But good news if my birthday present is already sorted off to Willy Mason - yay!


Young Luvvies

Well Z has started her week of performances, and judging by here quick recap over a huried breakfast it sounds fantastic.

Seems one of the performers (they range in age from 11 to 13) got a bit worried she was tired and not up for her part enough. So she decided best to pep herself up and drank seven(!) cans of RedBull just before the start of the performance. She raced on stage delirious said her words at pace, fizzed around, did a spin and promptly collapsed. Cue curtain falls, paramedics are called - and the whole cast - bless them burst into tears. Except Z - when she asked someone, she knew didn't know the girl, why they were crying, they replied "I just want to fit in!" Cue sheepish tearful boyfriend having to explain what had happened with regards to the redbull - more tears - including some full on flapping and then the show continued.

Can't wait to see it tonight, Z has let slip the scenery is based on art from one of my 2000ADs that has gone missing!!! Review tomorrow hopefully.

....and lumy it's Brighton next weekend! ;) Time Flies!



Ollie's Green and White Barmy Army are on telly tonight - so I'm looking forward to seeing some of our new players fielded for the first time as hopefully we crush coventry live on Sky tonight. Plymouth have Barnet away in the next round of the FA Cup too. Someone they should overcome with hopefully a home (or away) draw against some Premierhip opposition awaiting us in Round5 - our table position doesn't belie our performance. Despite the scoreline against Birmingham - which was a terrific match of end to end stuff - we actually pretty much matched them - and just look what they did to Premiership opposition in the Cup a couple of weeks ago.

Everton also won at the weekend against my cousin's team 'dirty' Reading - although i was at archery struggling to sight with my new bow - the extra poundage makes it much more complicated/accurate and it was a major headdache adjusting as it was a short bow - but i did overhear a special longer recurve bow - well i am 6'3" is being commissioned - wonder who that can be for?! :(

Wycombe (my mum and uncle and cousin's team) also face Chelsea in the Cup tomorrow - here's hoping they beat them but i suspect it'll be too tough for them.

My uncle has also become highly involved with cornwall's newest up and coming football team:


Camelford with two new pitches and an injection of funding to build a stadium - with a stand to be named after my old man - Camelford's most famous referee. ;) yup you've never heard of him as he spent most of his refereeing career out in Chile. But he's also responsible for bringing football to much of Vanuatu. So he does deserve it i guess.

Z is really busy! She's doing two plays, with numerous rehearsals and has shows every night this week. she'll be shattered by Friday when the after show party is. She's also got a special speech to give on what inspires children tonight - so she's allowed out of the show to do that and then back in again straight after. all this plus saxophone and hockey and animation studies - busy, busy. I don't remember being this busy as a kid.

we also have a hole in our ceiling where water has dripped through the plasterboard and artex - i hope it's not too costly to repair.

No news from the neuro-surgeon on new blood test results or new tests. although i think if it is from a trauma or an accident I think i know when - i received a bad blow to the head when i cycled my bike off the edge of a cliff on the Yeal estuary when a dog ran out in front of me and i swerved to avoid it - i was out cold for hours - until the tide came in! and on coming around had complete amnesia unable to remember my name or any details about me - but never went to hospital about it. well i was a kid and we did that kind of thing all the time back then.


More on Neuropathy


What is Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy, also known as Peripheral Nerve Disease, is one of the most common diseases most people have never heard of (15-20 million Americans have peripheral nerve disease). Caused by deterioration of the peripheral nerves, neuropathy disrupts the body’s ability to communicate with its muscles, organs and tissues. Neuropathy is like the body’s wiring system going haywire, causing unusual or unpleasant irritations including tingling, burning, itchiness, crawling sensation, dizziness, clumsiness and more. If ignored, as they too often are, these neuropathy symptoms can lead to numbness at one extreme to unremitting pain at the other. However, if diagnosed and treated early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled. The Neuropathy Association is dedicated to raising awareness of peripheral nerve disease and finding its cure.



The four major forms of nerve damage are polyneuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, mononeuropathy, and mononeuritis multiplex. The most common form is peripheral polyneuropathy, which mainly affects the feet and legs.

Often the form of neuropathy is further broken down as to cause (see below), or other type, such as small fiber peripheral neuropathy, which is idiopathic.


This is what they are now trying to determine:

Types of Neuropathy

Immune Related

Diabetic & related

Tumor related


Toxic, Drug, Nutrition Related


Traumatic & Compressive


Aside from diabetes (see Diabetic neuropathy), the common causes of neuropathy are herpes zoster infection, HIV-AIDS, toxins, alcoholism, chronic trauma (such as repetitive motion disorders) or acute trauma (including surgery), various neurotoxins and autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease, which can account for approximately 16% of small fiber neuropathy cases. Neuropathic pain is common in cancer as a direct result of the cancer on peripheral nerves (e.g., compression by a tumor), as a side effect of many chemotherapy drugs, and as a result of electrical injury. In many cases no apparent causes can be found, in this case the neuropathy is "idiopathic" meaning no cause is found.

chronic trauma (such as repetitive motion disorders) could equal head banging!


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


Grrrrr - all broken!

Well today's been terrific - not!

First off we've had to pull the plug on ATP and seeing The Dirty Three, Grinderman, Low and Nick Cave cos it's too expensive! So i am gutted.... but it gets worse...

Tomorrow the beer festival starts, however Kaz's boss and friend is leaving so the plan was to go the Impy where they let kids in and they do real ale and have a good send off. However they've moved it to a more expensive pub, with naff real ale and no kids policy. so looks like I'm home babysitting - terrific!

Then Saturday I can't do anything cos the girls are off doing stuff. Then Sunday Z can no longer attend the Frostbite so I'm there on my Jack Jones. I'm tempted to drop a few disco biscuits on Saturday and let it all wash over me - cept doubt it'll be out of my system for my neural examination!

With all this and no sleep from the house getting a battering in the wind for the last few days - my new year's resolution has gone out the window and I've just had (another) smoke!

Best laid plans laid waste! Grrrrrrr!



It's our first archery tournament on sunday the Frostbite outdoors over 80, 120 and 160 yards!!!! there will be other clubs there and we have to pick our bows up early - so i expect I'll shoot the neighbours who are pissin me off at the moment.

In my drunken haze in the last week of work last year i messed up and have repro'd a whole magazine incorrectly - but the print run was too big to re-print - so if you fancy a solving a puzzle go in your local newsagents after Thursday and check out the teen girls mags for one with all the colours are wrong - yup that's my fault - drinkin' at breakfast and lunch is never big or clever!

This weekend sees the annual winter beer festival too - at the Coevar club and Paolo Nutini in the evening! K has a Unison thing on all day and Z has swimming and a Show rehearsal! Plus the new Vue cinema has opened - and i have my neuro specialist appointment on Tuesday!

Oh and we've been accepted on a course for stop motion films as part of animated Exeter! and Arthur and the Invisibles is on that week too! At last - result - tho it has Madonna in it! Crivens!

The moonlights in the main fish tank are superb! And revealed that Earl the Flying Fox was beating the stuffing out of the gouramis at night - so he's gone and the gouramis are still alive! So we've ordered some fish - how bleedin' middle age is that? We've ordered a Siamese Algae Eater and some glowlight danios - to replace him - and i bought some sterbai corydoras - as i think i have a love of catfish!

The house is festive free and it's a long wait for summer, not helped by my dreams of not getting to Glasto - but i can't remember if it's tickets or illness that kept me away now. Usually i dream i'm there in the markets and know we will be successful - this new dream makes me edgy!

Tomorrow Battlestar Galactica and Shameless are back on Tv - result!!! Talking of results - let's forget about the FA Cup - Everton were terrible.

Although Plymouth if they win should have a good chance to get passed the fourth round too!

Oh and:


Please so there will be another one next year. shop here:

It's lesscartoony after i got the mickey taken out of me about it on TOS - as i do so many kids' mags it looked childish last year they reckoned - i countered with Childlike - so this is my attempt at being more adult!


looking forward....

Well it's less than two weeks 'til me neurones are inspected for their speed of decay and i start on the road to finding out exactly what is wrong with me... so in the meantime keeping an optimistic frame of mind we've decided which festivals we shall be hoping to attend:


Endorse It Indoors 8 April

All tomorrows Parties 27-29 April

Wychwood 1-3 June

Isle of Wight - 8-10 June

Glastonbury - 20 - 25 June

Cornbury 6-8 July

Guilfest 13-15 July

WOMAD 27-29 July

Endorse It 10 - 12 August

Beautiful Days 17 - 19 August

Shambala 24-27th August

So days off are being sorted and I'm rather looking forward to the season starting!!! We've also got the Brighton meet to look forward to as well as Bloc Party and a few other things - ahhhh i can't wait!


Bit of Luck

A new French Deli has opened on Fore Street so we went there yesterday to check it out. Downstairs is a tiny wine cellar - where i happened upon a bottle of 'Domaine de la Commanderie de St. Jean Merlot/Syrah VdP des Coteaux de Laurens' for £6.95. Drank it last night - it was truly wonderful - so i checked it's price on everywine.co.uk and it turns out it's normally £60 a bottle! Wow what a bargain! I think I'll be visiting the deli regularly! :blink:

...which was nice


Have a cool Yule

Ring out those solstice Bells – tonight is the long night.


So it’s time for a merry Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night, Solstice etc

The solstice is the time of the death of the old sun and the birth of the dark-half of the year. It was called "Alban Arthuan by the ancient Druids. It is the end of month of the Elder Tree and the start of the month of the Birch. The three days before Yule is a magical time. This is the time of the Serpent Days or transformation...The Elder and Birch stand at the entrance to Annwn or Celtic underworld where all life was formed. Like several other myths they guard the entrance to the underworld. This is the time the Sun God journey's thru the underworld to learn the secrets of death and life. And bring out those souls to be reincarnated."

My mother’s family name is Birch and when we lived on the other side of the globe, we’d travel back from glorious sunshine to cold winters in High Wycombe where we’d always go to the Golden Ball church and have a traditional Christmas at my uncle’s house.

Usually K and I go out into the nearby woodland and collect armfuls of holly and mistletoe to cover the ceiling as well as collect pine cones which we paint silver – this year however we’re going for a more traditional Xmas too and there will be no dressing up in green or black and fighting with staves down at Double Locks this year.

The girls of the house instead are making mince pie parcels – in filo bundles and making Stollen cake.

To the ancients, it appeared as if the Sun and Moon stopped in their flight across the sky—this is the longest night of the year and was a time of both anticipation and rejoicing at the Sun's rebirth out of the Goddess.

The Sun's representation as the male divinity, or celestial ruler, predates Christianity. As with other rituals and celebrations, the Church felt that by assimilating this holiday into the Christian beliefs, it would help convert those who still followed the Olde Way.

Funnily enough the BBC site marks this day with this news story:


'Virgin births' for giant lizards - There have been two reported cases of Komodo dragon "virgin births"

Ahh now for friends of Finn this could prove interesting if you believe the world is run by lizards :blink:

Symbolism of the Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice marks a crucial part of the natural cycle. In a real sense, the sun begins anew its journey toward longer days, times of new growth and renewal of the world once again. In a spiritual sense, it is a reminder that in order for a new path to begin, the old one must end and that spring will come again.

Well yeah and me I’m more and more disillusioned with my current job so I guess it’s time for me to find another one, somehow and of course next month sees a resolution of my diagnosis for neurological damage. Winters also a time of depression and elevated expectations are often accompanied by deeper disappointments. Even amidst the packaging, loneliness and alienation are harder to hide during the holiday season. So it’s often hard to remain optimistic – and children certainly help as does doing less hardcore drugs in the summer – however it always baffles me why my grandfather jumped to his death at this time – when he was wealthy and with a young family.

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year and is said to be when the Goddess gives birth to the God. From here on in the year, the days will become longer as the god grows into his full strength.

It’s also when our Christmas tree gives birth to presents. Often trees are decorated with bright ornaments, a tradition going back to ancient Germanic peoples, who held the oak and the fir tree as sacred. The Christmas tree with decorations, an angel at its top, which Celtic lore purports to represent a goddess, the various representations of Father Christmas, the Holly King, the Yule Log and evergreens. Our tree is covered in decoration that span five generations and every year of the twenty K and I have been together – plus some made by a growing Z each year.

Fire and candles are important to many pagan holidays, but especially so for the winter solstice, as the God of most modern pagan traditions is associated with the sun. Well we’ve gone all modern now and fire and candles are in the main replaced with lights and the house is full of them this year – having bought loads cheap last January. But I’m not keen on lighting the outside of the house – I prefer it to be a visual treat once you set foot indoors rather than a beacon for all to see.The winter solstice is a time of feasting and celebration. So we have loads of local produce arriving from ownonline tomorrow. The mulled cider and wine are ready to go too. Plus of course we journey to the beer festival tonight for local Xmas ales –a possible report coming tomorrow.

Burning the Yule Log

The term Yule stems from the Anglo-Saxon "yula" or "wheel" of the year. In ancient pagan ritual, the Yule Log was lit on the eve of Winter Solstice and burned for twelve hours. Later, the Log was replaced by the Yule Tree, but instead of being burned, it was adorned with burning candles. And here it’s replaced with a 12 hour candle.

Relationship to Christmas

Both Christmas and the Winter Solstice celebrate the birth of gods. The selection of December 25th as a Christian holiday was first recorded in scholarly texts dating to 325 A.D., although the actual practice was first decreed in 274 A.D. by the Emperor Aurelian. Since the non-Christians viewed this time as the rebirth of the sun, it made sense for the Church to also mark this period as the celebration of the nativity of Christ. Curiously, the selection of the day appears arbitrary although mankind had long known how to calculate the solstices. One can only guess that, rather than shift the celebration each year, a regularly scheduled event was preferable—the old Roman desire for order never quite left the new faith.

Additionally, many of the pagan traditions have been adopted to celebrate Christmas. Burning a Yule log, hanging mistletoe, lighting Advent candles and decorating trees are all now part of modern Christmas celebrations.

Definition of Solstice

Solstice derives from an ancient Latin word meaning "stop," or "to stand still." According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, it refers to one of two points when the sun is furthest from the celestial equator.

K and Z are going to Glastonbury today for Solstice celebrations at the Chalice Well I hope they have a fantastic time – that there is no trouble this time around after the Christian embarrassed themselves at Beltaine - and I’m quite envious of their visit, next year I will have finished work by Solstice and will be attending too. :huh:

Arthurian Legend

In the late 1100's, a French poet by the name of Chretien de Troyes set a story to paper. Part legend, parts fairy-tale and romance, it chronicles the quest for a mystical wonder object, much like the Philosophers Stone, that can heal a king and his kingdom that has been laid to waste. The story was called Perceval, the Story of the Grail.

Chretien adapted his poem from a document given to him by his patron Philip, Count of Flanders – and the story goes the document came originally from Wales or Cornwall where Perceval was but one of Arthur’s knights of the roundtable. Chretien passed away before finishing his text and numerous adaptations of the story were written in the years following, including Parzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach. Chretian himself stated the Grail legend was the "best of tales," told at court. The poem is a Christianised narrative with influences that include Celtic and Welsh mythology, Eastern symbolism and ritual as well as archaic vegetative cult practices.

Much like a Celtic sojourn into the Otherworld, the Grail legend tells of adventure, peril and opportunity missed. It has the quality of a dream about it. Characters and oddities come to the fore and recede. Quizzical apparitions appear to beg recognition and are disclaimed. At the heart of it is the challenge to Perceval, a knight of "conspicuous excellence," to ask a particular question when he meets the Grail king.

Perceval is sun-consciousness, the bright masculine spirit that quests. He witnesses the painful situation before him and asks what ails the Grail king (who is frozen immobile and cold and married as Celt Kings always are to a land – in this case lifeless and barren - winter). The flame of his compassion (the grail) heals the wound and renders the king (Father Time) whole.

The maimed king is once again vital and springs up healed and the landscape is green once again. The king's spirit is revived and reunion with the landscape is possible. Perceval's empathetic question to discover what ails the king - returns vigour to the wintry wasteland, sun consciousness brings rebirth - at the same moment that the winter solstice renews the promise of the coming spring.

It is destiny that the old king, the aged solar year steps aside. The young sun hero Perceval steps up to take his place as the guardian of the Grail. But in some pure Celtic versions of the Grail legend, there is one task remaining for Perceval.

Perceval has a half-brother, Feirefiz, who is strangely coloured black and white. Before Perceval (in green) may take up the kingship of the waxing year he must fight the heathen Feirefiz. Feirefiz's colouring of black and white marks this as a dual of the dark half of the year with the light half.

And indeed Perceval, the ascending Oak King, victors over Feirefiz, the Holly King, ruler of the dark waning year. But Perceval does not subjugate his brother, he establishes a relationship with him. Thus, opposites are held in a fruitful relationship, their energies fuelling the turning of the year's wheel. The old ying and yang duality are unified in one cycle.


Woah two staff Christmas dos mine and K's a winter beer festival at Wetherspoons and Xmas shopping and a few ales = Sunday and I'm still plastered!

Anyway here's me review from Thursday:

Dan Donnelly – Exeter University 14th December 2006

The Belfast born New York living singer, songwriter is Seth Lakeman’s first support act of the evening and is having a few technical difficulties, which eat into the time available for his set. He opens with ‘Love Will Save The Day’ playing to more of a huddle than a crowd and strumming over hi9s trademark loops created by tapping the body of the guitar.

His music seems more full of space than the last time I heard him where he sounded hurried and taught, now he seems more at ease and the tunes have more room to breathe. It’s as though he’s been sober for too long or here practising for ages, the music seems to hold more heartache tonight. As if by way of an explanation he tells us about the next track, ‘Spare Change’ a song about being bored out of your tiny mind.

Next up his rather enjoyable song about a woman smoking, now I still don’t know it’s name but I did know some of the words from having seen Dan four times now. The crowd has filled out to about half full as he asks us if we’d like to her a quiet song, there’s a few muted replies, Dan shrugs at the silent audience, grins and says he’ll play it anyway and if we don’t like it, we can go to the loo.

The song ‘Brooklyn’ is fragile and hushed and suits the quiet auditorium it also attracts many of the drinkers from the downstairs’ bar and come the next song ‘The Beach’ the crowd has doubled and Dan’s playing to a good sized audience. This seems to fill the emptiness in his music and as the last hushed repeated chant of “There is a light the never goes out.” Melts into thunderous applause.

The Irishman seems pleased with both his playing and the crowd’s approval and offers us a new song, we reply now with a fuller voice and ‘Lying in Road’ is presented for us, with ascending scales and a cross between blues and flamenco, Dan’s fingers blur before contracting to a rhythm of a slow moving steam train thundering over the plains replete with Woo Woo noises.

Dan tells us the next song is his last and thanks us for coming, telling us he’ll be flogging stuff in the lobby and hoping we’ll enjoy Seth’s set. It’s now the second time he’s supported him and then comes his best tune ‘Shine’ before a break into Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ to much applause, he leaves us with the words “Folk is the new rock ‘n’ roll” and telling us he’ll be flogging his stuff in the foyer, shortly.

A competent set, but it seemed to take him a while to get up to speed. He seemed more introverted than I’ve seen him previously and the music is more complex and emotional for it. He’s done well as a support act though and the crowd clap along to his final song and are abuzz waiting for the next act. I was certainly surprised to see the bar so deserted after his performance, with everyone having gone upstairs to see him.

Steve Knightly

I’m actually still in the bar waiting for Seth to start when I realise that there’s someone else on stage. I’d assumed the solo guitarist was sound checking but in fact, a rarity for the Great Hall, there is another support act, local artist and one half of West Country favourites Show of Hands.

‘Country Life’ gets a huge reception and he’s playing what looks like a cross between a guitar and a lute. He changes to a proper guitar for the next tune about the local river Dart, called ‘Cool River’ the song is gentle and bubbling and has the whole crowd caught in its currents.

There’s an impressive crowd in the Great Hall now for a new song called ‘Poppy Day’ about the plant which not only brings so much pain but also so much relief and talks of the heroin fields of Afghanistan and the soldiers fighting the Taliban and the poppy farmers, it’s a powerful anti-war and drugs song and ends with an ovation from us.

Steve swaps to a South American Quatro guitar made he quips in nearby Whipton Town for a song about Tom Cobbley, Widdicombe Fair turned into a murder ballad directed by Tarantino. It’s a great tune although I didn’t know its name. Between his songs Steve tunes up and the crowd are hushed, there’s not even a hubbub of chatter, incredible considering such a wide ranging age group including both young trendy people and bearded old folksters.

To break the silence Steve tells us that a year ago he came along to see Seth support The Levellers and now he says looking out at the sea of faces, he’s filling the venue on his own. ‘Roots’ is a great traditional song which name checks nearly every busking track a guitarist has in his repertoire before heading for classic folk guitar and Levellers’-esque pace.

With harmonica donned we get a folk version of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’ with local haunts in Exeter given a name check, the crowd are warmed up nicely for Seth and everything is indeed very alright. Steve’s a fantastic musician and a great warm up act, a terrific surprise and a special treat for the crowd awaiting Seth.

Seth Lakeman – Exeter University 14th December 2006

You could say this is Seth’s biggest local gig, as he returns to Exeter not as a support act but as the main event for tonight in the largest venue in Exeter, it’s a kind of homecoming for the indie-folk singer/fiddler/tenor guitarist and his band.

Cormac Byrne the usual rhythm player is absent and instead there’s a lady called Lucy, I believe, who provides the rhythm on an improvised drum, and does a great job of it too. Seth’s brother Sean is a flourish on guitar and really layering up the sound around Seth tonight and big Ben Nicholls has his double bass set up loud and it really works to have the bass booming above all the instruments, but the sound on the left side of the hall is patchy between songs.

I strain to catch what Seth is saying as he explains the stories behind tonight’s songs but fortunately his singing voice is far more robust than his quieter voice between songs. His guitar and violin playing are extraordinary as usual and the whole band are clearly happy to be here as headliners. Huge grins are plastered on their faces.

Wearing dark jeans and a black Tee, Seth and the band unleash an amazing first track of ‘Riflemen of War’ that gets a hearty response and it’s a celebrated homecoming tonight. Seth promises to play most of his third album Freedom Fields and Ben swaps his bass for a banjo and we get a storming version of ‘Blood Upon Copper’ the band have no nerves playing such a big venue and seem to relish it, there seems to be a lot of friends in the crowd tonight.

The intro to ‘Lady of the Sea’ has me moving location to better hear the acoustics and Lucy and Seth play the song unaccompanied by the rest of the band. What a fantastic song and Seth plays it wildly his body straining and in full voice.

The band rejoin them for a Dartmoor tale the wonderful ‘White Hare’ and there’s a few of us swaying in the audience and the front few rows of mainly female admirers are enrapt. The band doesn’t need clever light shows or video backdrops for the music carries us with its infectious rhythms and the subdued lighting and plain sheet mean there are no distractions from the music.

The band really let rip on ‘Colliers’ and Seth dedicates ‘King and Country’ to his Grandparents and it really is a terrific song. ‘Final Lot’ is full of energy and Seth says we’re about to get ‘Solomon Brown’ giving it a big introduction only for him to swap his tenor guitar for his fiddle and the band play ‘Fight for Favour’. No idea why Solomon was axed from the set, but Seth makes up for it by introducing a song from around these parts, the vibrant ‘Setting Sun’.

The power of the music is shimmering from the stage and everyone is captivated for ‘Take No Rogues’ surely the song of the night and by the time Seth introduces ‘The Storm’ there isn’t a single person unimpressed in the house, the applause is nearly as impressive as the music. A drinking song with a jig feel to it ‘How Much?’ has me dancing but not much of the crowd are joining me, I do hope album four has Seth returning to the more lively tracks from this his debut album Punch Bowl..

The band leave Seth alone again for ‘Kitty Jay’ from his Mercury nominated second album of the same name but it sounds a bit terrible, instead of a live rhythm section, it’s being fed from the soundstage. Clearly Cormic’s replacement doesn’t know the drum rhythm and it looks as though the mixing desk has a feed from a Mac for the beats, it’s a bit of a shame!

‘Ye Mariners All’ has Ben’s bass turned up incredibly loud and both songs have me dancing away happily to, possibly because of the beefed up rhythm. The Punch Bowl song is traditionally Seth’s closing number and sure enough the band leave the stage before Seth returns for the gentle tune ‘Send Yourself Away’ at which point I grab a quick drink as the hall is very warm and return in time to catch some lively reels ‘the Scrumpy Song’ for some Christmas cheer.

And cheer we do after the reels close, and we’ve had a good dance. The crowd wildly applaud. I have to say I wish Seth would throw in a few more lively tunes like this and get the crowd up and dancing. Perhaps drop a couple of ballads and add a bit more oomph. It’s still thumpingly feel good music and a mesmerising homecoming. As Seth said, "It's amazing playing this place. I have seen so many artists play here but I never thought I would be up here. Thank you for supporting me." It was an amazing homecoming and Seth and his band are a prodigious talent, as everyone keeps saying he’s bringing the folk back home.

Set list:

Riflemen of War

Blood Upon Copper

Lady of the Sea

White Hare


King and Country

Final Lot

Fight for Favour

Setting Sun

Take No Rouges

The Storm

How Much

Kitty Jay

Ye Mariners All

Send Yourself Away

Reels (the Scrumpy Song)


Up to my eyeballs in Valentine magazines and the Christmas mags seem a long time ago now - so the festive spirit has drained away. We've got Seth Lakeman and Daniel Donnelly and a chat to a few of the people behind the Beautiful Days festival to lift our spirits on Thursday.

But it just doesn't feel xmasy at the moment and the bad light and cold weather is wearing the old batteries down. All this not helped by having to scatter the old man's ashes up on the cliffs last weekend - my sister and step mum's relationship has dissolved to nothing. But the moment was a fine one - just the kind of weather he loved.

His mum seemed a bit more perky too which was nice - she is 98 you know!

It's our twentieth anniversary next year - and our first date was U2 at Wembley stadium so we're thinking of going back for the Diana thing - looks fairly different and can hone my review skills for the summer. We're still deciding which festivals to do - but with the speculation of The Cure and Nick Cave at Beautiful Days next year - we're definitely back for that one. Will see if the festie organisers illicit anything but they keep it close to their chests.

Razorlight are playing the giant barn that is Westpoint soon, but we both decided to give it a miss - and now Z is throwing a strop cos she wanted to go! Will have to concider whether to go to that then.

Three quarters of the Xmas pressies are bought and the winter schedule finalised - more bombing around the country this year! And we were going for a quiet one.

The bad news is one of the gouramis is poorly - his swim bladder is stuffed - no idea what the cause is - we've been nursing him for the last 24 hours but it's not lookin' good. Looks like we'll have to go to Bow Aquatics and buy a few new community fish - I'm fancying the corydora juliis and some glowlight danios K wants more gouramis!!! Will let you know who wins that one.

Thought I'd watch Girls Aloud getting the willies tonight.

Xmas decorations up tomorrow and hopefully the festive spirit will enter with it.

Oh and it's our works do xmas party on Friday. Oh god! :blink:



Sorry about the last blog, was feeling a bit down! anyway in the words of Culture Shock (i think) Onwards and Upwards! A couple of days ago Z brought home her saxophone and already the sound has gone from sounding like a foghorn to sounding a bit like 'in The Mood' This is fantastic and I'll tell you for why! She'll want to go and see Nick Turner now (and less excitingly The Zutons) which is great news - can't wait til she learns silver machine - it'll be a proud dad moment that day!

Z also appeared back page of the local newspaper a few days ago as a future star of Devon hockey. great taking after me, I was only ever good at Hockey and Cross Country and used to do Street Hockey and Roller Hockey waaaaay back in the 80s when people sniggered and made reference to Zanadu! Heh, how times have changed.

I've been given some fantastic inside info on some of the line up to Wychwood possibly, and OMFG it's fantastic! I think with the exception of the Big G it'll be the festival of the summer for us!

I've also discovered i need a new watch and was looking at Seiko's as usual when i discovered Astbury & Co Automatic Tonneau watches - made in the UK in Cheshire and quirky and delightful - so sod global I'm going local and buying one!

I can't find many sites about them but here's a similar one:


And here's their homepage:


ACW200-mosaic.jpg although it also comes with a metal strap - which i prefer to leather.

Still not bought any xmas presents but considering getting these:


or this:


the latter i really like, but would someone else be happy or dissappointed, he's a BBQ lover and festie goer!


Briquette Maker

Don't throw away free energy! Charcoal and logs can be expensive if you often enjoy a barbecue or open fire, but this ingenious Briquette Maker is a cheap, natural and very effective alternative. All you need is a store of old newspapers and in a matter of minutes you can make your own briquettes. They burn easily so you shouldn't need firelighters or barbecue fuel - they're completely non toxic, burn steadily for up to two hours and leave a minimum of ash.

And Z has a list as long as my arm!!! enjoy shopping for gifts - should have mine all done by sunday! Yup, online shopping again as usual, despite the postal strike caused by a social worker infiltration into exeter Postie Union - i kid you not!


Damn this wait!

The waiting's doing my head in now - still months before they re-evaluate my nervous system and then give me any drugs to combat the thing. My feeling is intermittent in my legs - it's mainly numbness or slight pins and needles but today my ankles and the tops of my metatarsals are giving me jyp!

My hands have good or bad days - yesterday i had feeling in them for the first times in months - mostly they feel as though i've been pummelling sand and they're numb and not completely mine.

Had a crazy night in the storm last night - dark shadows visited me and told me "Your family is f**ked now!" so i shouted back - but K says i must have dreamt the whole thing as i didn't wake her. Nice dreams huh? So anyway i lay awake from about 4am going over my life and how i took the wrong turns years ago etc - ahhh nothing like a long night of the soul to make you firstly paranoid and then slowly happy for the dawn chorus and the crack of light of a new day. Bizarrely my watch keeps stopping the moment I fall asleep which is all adding to a great feeling of unreality. I keep expecting to wake up back in 1995 clutching a bong - going "Wow! what a trip!"

Think i need to get out of the house and wander about on the coast or in some woods for a while but my weekends are too full this side of Christmas and it seems to be dark whenever I've got what i need to do done. I hate this time of year. it's a real mental rollercoaster ride downwards into a tunnel of depression until we hit the shortest day. Some years have been far worse for me than this - especially when i was on acid or shrooms - so at least it's less of a mess in my head.

Archery was terrible too last night - i couldn't stop my limbs randomly shaking - long enough to fire the arrows. So from top archer last week to worst on the mound this weekend - but i blame a lack of sleep. As the pains in my muscles have been keeping me awake.

Plus it's last week of training next week then i become a fully numbered member of the GNAS - and can shoot anywhere in the country.

If we can sort buying a tipi for festivals next year then i might take my bow too (leave it in the car obviously) - most festivals seem to be near to GNAS field sites - so a bit of a shoot first thing in the morning would be nice. :blink: Which has made me think possibly we'll take the tipi off somewhere end of festie season and I could try for a few rabbits or pheasent - enjoy the simple life for a weekend. I think William's idea of a nice long walk for a paper in the morning is a good idea.

I'll blog again when my mind's on bigger issues.


Guideponies! WTF!

A continuing saga of bizarre animal facts! So currently the feature I'm doing is on miniature horses and these creatures:


Now i'm not sure whether to put this in jokes. Is it real? Or has someone made this whole site about them as a joke?

guidehorses click

The picture of a horse in trainers looks fake!

and the pictures on here:

click had me in stitches

faves include:




Their feature on ponies in the movies click had me convinced it was joke! So i checked IMDB for the Blindman one starring Ringo Starr!!!! :(:blink::huh: and guess ehat it's listed!

"Blindman" has everything a Spaghetti Western fan might desire: shootouts, slimy outlaws, an idiosyncratic hero, beautiful women, and Ringo Starr! That's right, the ex-Beatle himself is prominently featured as a villain in "Blindman". The film follows our blind hero, played by Tony Anthony, in his quest to recover a group of fifty women he was contracted out to deliver to miners in Texas. What ensues is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining piece of Western cinema. Ferdinando Baldi directed the film with an even hand and Riccardo Pallottini lavishly photographed the desert scenery to great effect. Stelvio Cipriani's unique score rounds out the engaging atmosphere of "Blindman". Tony Anthony invites the viewer to come along with his character on his daunting tasks by being immediately sympathetic.

While the film may not be suited for everyone's tastes, those viewers who appreciate a film with a decidedly quirky attitude should enjoy "Blindman" quite a bit. Think of Zatoichi in the Old West by way of Italy and you have a good idea of what to expect from this film. Unabashedly politically incorrect, the film may offend some more sensitive viewers, namely militant feminists, but to this reviewer that is one more reason to seek this unique film out! And seek you will need to do, as "Blindman" is extremely rare even amongst collector's circles. If this film sounds like your cup of tea, it was later remade in an altered form in 3-D as "Comin' At Ya!" and is currently available from Rhino in DVD format and in 3-D to boot. "Blindman" is a film that cries out to be digitally remastered and released on DVD. Hopefully this will happen soon so that more Spaghetti Western fans can witness the awesome spectacle that is "Blindman". Possibly, the ultimate Spaghetti Western!

But even I know IMDB can be faked! So your thought, is this for real? If so it's brilliant! Now i know Americans are supposed to be bigger than us but where will it all end? :(


Weird illness

Z is ill temperature running at 100+ and her tonsils infested - she came down with it on Sunday after the fireworks. So K took her to the docs today - and so an amazing coincidence was discovered. Every year on the 9th of November Z goes to the docs with tonsillitis!

What? Yup at the same time every year she gets it! How is this possible? We've jokingly said next year we'll have to tell the school - she will be ill on the 9th and get homework prepared for it!

Even so a very weird thing indeed!!!

How is it the body can get ill on the same week every year? Are illnesses cyclic? Has an event caused this to occur? Clearly are bodies work in time with the year too - or is it she has some allergy to fireworks displays?

Very strange!


The bad news is our cursed luck with gigs continues as we will have to stay home tomorrow and miss Alabama 3! Gutted! Will we get to ANY gigs this year? So far only Stiff Little Fingers have escaped the curse!

Oh and the boss has ramped up surf control today - so i couldn't get on here. Seems it's been pretty quiet tho - guess winter is setting in. I'm gonna try using cloak and try to get around it. Worse even than no efests was being told at 3pm the whole issue of Girl had to change to a Christmas issue - git! No pint of Black Prince for me tonight!


Hoping Z is well for Sunday as we are visiting my 98 year old gran and sorting out my dad's estate, legally, and I have a bizarre answerphone message to listen to - where someone who knows me (possibly from school) has left a message calling my dad's death ENIGMATIC - the rest of the message is garbled - so i have to give it a listen and see if i recognise the voice or can learn me about the fast talker whose accent is too hard to understand. More when I've had a listen.


Oh and i came second in the frostbite archery - a natural oh and Z has been named Head Girl for her year. Clearly her brains come from me.


Lantern fun tonight!

A busy weekend approaches with the footie tomorrow - Plymouth playing host to Birmingham and then I've got to back in time for a birthday party happening that evening.

sunday is the weekly shop, plus archery and then a fireworks display and outdoor hot picnic (currently just an idea) no idea what I do there - but we thought a hot picnic was a good idea a few days ago.

I also have to give some thought for our forthcoming title 'Rock Chick!' our new girl teen title - being put together by yours truly. Like I haven't got enough to do with 'Girl!' and 'Star Girl' already!

All this plus hopefully a visit to the fish shop to buy some Corydora Julliiis.

Oh and tonight I'm also helping set off loads of Chinese Fire Lanterns from the Flowerpot Playing Fields. Should drift over Exeter City Centre at around 9.30pm tonight.

Plus the eFestivals calendar has been printed so I'm expecting to get a butchers of it soon!

Have a great weekend you all! :ph34r: