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Showing posts from 2023

Hey kids, here are the secrets adults aren't telling you

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash I'm in my fifties now and all my children are grown up. I think it's time to tell you kids what the adults (particularly parents) aren't telling you. I don't expect many kids will come across this, so if you don't have young kids of your own you could share it with them. You don't have to go to school (This applies to the UK, and probably many other countries.) When our kids said, "we don't want to go to school", we would say, "the law says you have to be educated". Notice we didn't mention school. That's because you could get your parents to home educate you. So you could suggest home education to them and see what they say. Or, depending on what your parents are like, it may be a worse thought than school, in which case, yes, you're going to have to go to school. Elbows on the table isn't so bad In some cultures it's OK to put your elbows on the table. So you could point that out th

Book review: Menewood by Nicola Griffith

Hild  by Nicola Griffith  was my favourite book of recent years, so I was very pleased to hear there was a sequel - Menewood - and then very pleased to get an eARC of it a couple of months ago. Hild was about the early years of the girl who would become St Hilda, up to age 18, and this book covers the next few years of her life. She is cousin to a king, and influences the world around her in many different ways. Menewood is a wooded valley that she owns, and it's the place in this book that she goes back to. She has a certain amount of power because of her family connections, but also has a lot of other skills which she brings to bear to affect what's going on around her. Reading it is like travelling back in time to the seventh century. It's really immersive - sights and smells are so well described. There's no Tardis to translate for you, but there's a glossary at the back as there are a few words that have no modern equivalent. What is now England was a number o

Two songs with a voice blending into an instrument

When I was a teenager I heard a song where a sung note seamlessly blended into a saxophone, and then into a saxophone solo. That was The Gunner's Dream by Pink Floyd on album The Final Cut. Around the same time I heard another song that did a similar thing, into a violin, but I didn't remember what it was. Recently I heard that second song again on Pick of the Pops on Radio 2, and thanks to the magic of Shazam I was able to identify it as Music by John Miles. If you just want to hear that blend, go to 2:40. The Gunner's Dream was my favourite Pink Floyd song for a while, I would play it over and over again and picture what the video would look like. Until I'd found that video to embed it above I'd never seen the actual video. It's different to my headvideo. Today I've just come across Roger Water's Lockdown Sessions version of it. I won't comment on on his recent remarks in interviews, but this is an interesting version, with no saxophone solo, but

ELO's Time album - with AI pictures

 I've written previously about ELO's Time album in Desert Island Disks II . When it came out in 1981 it sounded so futuristic. Now it sounds retro-futuristic. As I listen to it, it evokes pictures in my mind. Rather than try and get them out on paper I turned to Dall-E to see what it came up with given some prompts from the lyrics . I couldn't get suitable pictures for all tracks. Prologue a man walking down a large hall with the end wall looking out into stars in a retro-futuristic style Twilight a man standing in a desert as the sun goes down with a woman with wings flying down to see him retro-futuristic style   Ticket to the moon a man on a spacestation looking out of the window at a rocket retro futuristic style The way life's meant to be a man standing in the middle of the road while other people walk around him retro futuristic style Rain is falling a town square full of adults and children sheltering from a thunderstorm in a retrofuturistic style Here is the ne

My 2022 awards

It's award seasons again, and here's my contribution. Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash Best food A couple of times last year we ordered a "ready meal" from Cook. If Carlsburg did ready meals they would be like these. They are cooked to order and very tasty. The best part of the meals though was this cheesecake . It's light and fruity and the best food I ate all year. Best music biography Running up that Hill - 50 visions of Kate Bush  isn't a sequential biography, but has 50 chapters on different aspects of her life and music. It's bang up to date, so includes the Stranger Things use of the title song. There are some great stories, like when Lenny Henry came into the studio to record backing vocals for Why Should I Love You? , and remarked, "that sounds like Prince on the guitar". It was, and Kate asked Lenny if he wanted to meet him. Best TV programme The Secret Genius of Modern Life  from the BBC looks into modern gadgets that we rely on,