Tuesday, 16 June 2009


From today's Daily Telegraph.

(click on the image to see the whole thing)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Nostalgia (Turned Inside Out)

Saturday morning:

lie-in, coffee, radio

Chill DAB has been kind enough to remind me how weird my life used to feel.

I've never heard of this band, but if you listen to Chill on teh interwebs, their site is clever enough to tell you the band name and track name of what's playing. The Cat Empire is a band from Melbourne, which is the Australian town where the crazy artists come from.

Cool band name, too. I might have to listen to more of them.

I had nine lives
but I lost all of them

And I've been searching in the night
And I've been searching in the rain
I tried to find them
but they disappeared
they walked away they dressed in black
they left my side and all I say
is that I wasted time
when I looked for them
for now I know that things gone past
are never to be found again
I had nine lives
but lost all of them.

I had a plan
but never finished it
and I've been searching for the thought
and I've been searching in a haze
I try all days
to remember it
but now the blueprint in my mind has gone
my mind forgot the colour of direction
and my eyes they see the hands
that could have built
that could have constructed
the empire in my mind
the empire
I'll never find
I had a plan
but that was where it ended.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

What Are You Like?

What are you like?
You've had a right life
And taken a long ride
But oh what a cost

And all of your life
Staring at white lines
Reading the road signs
And oh what a loss

I bought this album about three or four years ago, and I've only played it twice. It's Richard Hawley's 'Coles Corner'. I know it was very well reviewed, and I must have wanted it, because I paid full price for it, but it didn't make any impact on me.

Then, this morning, I wanted some gentle waking up music, and put it in the CD. I ignored it happily for twenty minutes, then track six made me stop and listen.

Sleeping late in the afternoon
Playing your guitar

Born under a bad sign
Born under a bad sign

Sleeping late in the afternoon
Staying out till dawn
Born under a bad sign
Born under a bad sign

It seems to say something about where I was in my teenage years, and where I'm at now. When you're growing up, songs seem to describe your life perfectly - you go "Oh my god! this is me! This is me!" But nowadays, I pick and choose what I take.

"Born under a bad sign" doesn't describe me. It never did. But "What are you like?" is a question I ask myself often. I've lived an odd life, and I feel like I'm a late starter. Was it because I read too many road signs? It could be.

Of course, when I was a teenager, I knew everything, and I knew I was going to be brilliant. I didn't, and I wasn't. But I still might.

Now you're laying in the afterglow
And there's something that she wants to know
Are you going be the one to say
You belong to me, you belong to me

Born under a bad sign
Born under a bad sign

Sleeping late in the afternoon
Playing your guitar

Born under a bad sign
Born under a bad sign
You've had a right life
Born under a bad sign

Everybody knows
Everybody knows
Everybody knows
Born under a bad sign
Born under a bad sign

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Can't Buy A Thrill

I put iTunes on random play, and it served up Steely Dan. This is a wonderful album. I'm wriggling in my chair to the splintered piano playing at the start of 'Fire In The Hole'.

I decline
To walk the line
They tell me that I'm lazy

Worldly wise
I realize
That everybody's crazy

A woman's voice reminds me
To serve and not to speak:
Am I myself?
Or just another freak?


Wednesday in German is Mittwoch, which means 'midweek'. I rather like that. It means the weekend's coming. Plus, I have a cool guitar-playing friend who works a shift as a bartender on Wednesday evenings, so I like to go and hang out with him.

This week, my work schedule was shot to hell by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, so I cancelled a trip to London, and gave my conference pass (I was due to be on a conference for two days) to a friend. She called me last night to tell me what a great conference it was, and how much she appreciated it.

I stopped work at 9:00 p.m. and went to the pub. I got half way through a glass of wine, and came home and went straight to bed.

Monday, 1 June 2009

It Wasn't What I Thought

In the end, I decided it was OK for me not to write until I felt ready. In the meantime, I listened to my body and I took its advice.

My friend’s trial gave me a pain in the stomach, a griping in my guts, but it wasn't what I thought. I don't mean that quite the way it sounds. I'm talking about:


Did you know there are as many neurological transmitters in the human abdomen as there are in the human head? I found this out from Michael Gershon's 'The Second Brain'. Your head doesn't run the whole show. Your belly is responsible for an awful lot of what you are, and your gut instinct really is just that.

The last few weeks I've been letting my belly unravel and settle itself down, and when I say that it wasn't what I thought, I mean that I’ve learned a lot about how what goes on in my head hasn't really been the main event.

When I was young, and a lot less powerful than I am today, I kept myself safe. I held myself still. I was trying my best to learn how to be a man, in a setting where there was deception, cruelty, guilt and shame. I held on to my integrity. I stored my true self myself somewhere in my belly, along with all the things I knew and could not express, couldn't talk to, everything I didn't have permission to talk about. And I stored all the decodes, the passwords for unlocking it all.

My goodness: it has taken me some time to be able to unlock it. The time has come.