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A bit of twaddle that does not fit in elsewhere. Just some lines of general blurb, observations, opinion, thoughts and ideas - a bit like a social media platform without benefiting the likes of Messrs. Zuckerberg and Musk, a pair who seem to want to spend their fortunes on burning fossil fuels so that rich people can sign up for space tourism. If you feel so inclined you can file a response to anything on this page

Album sleeves for the "Midnight Cowboy" soundtrack and "Goodnight Summerland" by Helena Deland

I realise that there are only so many musical notes - twelve actually, that's seven plus five flats and equivalent sharps in between. Consequently, it should come as no surprise when the same sequence of notes emerges many years after an earlier composition. Or not so many years in the famous case of George Harrison being fined for "subconsciously plagiarising Ronnie Mack's "He's So Fine." I don't think the ghost of John Barry will come back to haunt Helena Deland, but take a listen to the opening of "Drawbridge" and you will hear the sequence that flowed from his biro in 1969. Of course, the Québécoise singer-songwriter was not born back in those analogue days. But maybe, just maybe, her grandparents had a vinyl record of "Midnight Cowboy" lurking amid their music collection. Such strange coincidences bother me not, particularly as her 2023 album "Goodnight Summerland" is a little treasure of ethereal folk and dream-pop.
Posted on January 16th, 2023.


I don't know if "Paint Your Wagon" was on the telly over Christmas. It used to be one of those movies that regularly surfaced on an afternoon over the festive season. Anyway, in researching a factory in Birmingham, I stumbled on this article which reminded me of the arrangement between Ben Rumson and Pardner ....
Posted on January 4th, 2023.

Married Life In Lancashire - Giving Away A Wife
© Extract from Manchester Courier : January 20th, 1877 Page 11.


Sint-Bernardus Christmas Ale

Stayed in last night and enjoyed some Sint-Bernardus Christmas Ale. Awesome 10.0% smooth dark beer with lots of complexity. Why stay at home on New Year's Eve I hear you ask? Well, pubs ask, in some cases beg, to support them throughout the year and then, on the one night they are guaranteed some decent trade, they make it a ticket event and want to charge us to patronise the place. Fuck that!
Posted on January 1st, 2023.


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Is CAMRA Relevant?

I just picked up a copy of "Ale & Tales," the newsletter for CAMRA in my local area. In the introduction Tim Cadwell, chair of the Stourbridge and Halesowen branch, "set out his stall" for re-election. He stated that "active support for the branch is on the decline" and that they "can't attract the enthusiastic, younger drinker of 'craft' beers." He also remarked that they are "putting off our traditional core membership base by trying to appeal to a modern audience." I would suggest that the problem for them is clear in these statements. He actually used the word 'manpower' when suggesting they have problems organising beer festivals and producing the magazine. That's a term that will immediately lose engagement with women. And as for attracting a younger audience - take a look at the front cover .... a load of middle-aged blokes involved in 'strange' activities at a beer event. My experiences of talking to such blokes is that the "cask only" creed is sacred and modern craft beer, in the form of keg and cans is evil. Some of these people fought against the keg march of the old days and are entrenched in dogma. But times have changed and so has beer. And so has the audience. It would seem to me that CAMRA has an identity crisis. This is why the organisation initiated a Revitalisation Project consultation. They are in danger of being irrelevant. Cloudwater Brew Co. co-founder, Paul Jones, described the organisation as a "force for good, but yesterday's force for good." By the way Cloudwater have a camera club - that's camra with an 'e'.
Posted on December 19th 2023.


Cop 28 : Blah, Blah, Blah

Wow! It is rare for me to applaud an item in the Daily Mail but Matt Ridley is bang-on commenting on the COP 28 summit : "As surely as night follows day, 98,000 gas-guzzling delegates, many of them arriving by private jet, would engage in a fortnight-long ordeal of hotel room service and then issue dire warnings of a breakdown. As expected, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing nations would be reluctant to commit to the phase-out of fossil fuels. Yet, after a long night of haggling, a bleary-eyed announcement of a triumph would be greeted with hyperbole by an emotional BBC reporter. For the 28th time."
Posted on December 6th 2023.


Insect Habitat amid Log Offcuts

If, like me, you are concerned about the declining number of insects in the garden, then I suggest creating a different kind of fence. I pulled out a couple of rotten panels, built a wood frame, and filled it with log cuttings. As I was building it a ladybird moved in for the winter. I was thrilled.
Posted on December 6th 2023.


War - What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing

In 1970 Charles Edwin Hatcher asked the question, the answer to which was "absolutely nothing." Sadly, few people are listening.

Note : it was actually Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong who wrote the question, the song being originally recorded by The Temptations. I thought I better mention it before a pedant gets on my case.
Posted on December 4th 2023.


Wikipedia appeal for donations

The latest round of pop-up messages from Jimmy Wales are back on my screen. I often wonder how many people actually stump up a bit of cash to keep the site free from ads. Consequently, I looked it up. Apparently, fewer than 2 per cent donate. It is billed as "a non-profit organization dedicated to making information accessible to everyone around the world." So, why wouldn't people pay? The answer is people, the majority who expect something for nothing. The same people who whinge about the NHS but vote for lower taxes. So, it you are among the tight-arsed fuckers who have never paid for something you have no doubt used zillions of times, press on the donate button - it will cost the same as a half-pint of beer.
Posted on December 4th 2023.


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