Skip to content

Discovering yourself

I came across Suzanne Vega by accident. It was long ago, in the days of cassette tapes. I had set my Technics sound system to record the radio. Not sure who, Elvis Costello maybe. Early ’80s I guess. Anyway there she was. This wonderful voice. At the time I didn’t realise it was Suzanne. 

Yes I would have heard “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner” in passing. But this time I was engaged and curious. Stories emerged and were told. “The Queen and the Soldier” especially stood out and grabbed my attention. I needed to hear more. CDs were purchased, and eventually we managed to see her perform live. Several times now, at the City Hall, Salisbury and once at the Village Pump Festival at Farleigh Hungerford, billed as Trowbridge. Always a joy. 

We waited in anticipation. She was late. Her inbound flight to Heathrow had been delayed. Then she appeared. Straight into the set. Ever the professional. Lots of energy. Very precise. Impressive. You soon forgot about the delay. 

There is something magical about live performances, in the right venue, they can be close up and personal. We saw Kate Rusby in the Memorial Theatre, Frome when she was very young. Just her and guitar. Then at Sidmouth Festival, out in the open, under the stars. A night to remember. 

As was Robert Palmer at the Dome in Brighton, and Xavier Rudd much later, but also in Brighton. Eric Bibb on several occasions. The Wailing Jenny’s again at Village Pump and in Fareham. And then there has been Van Morrison, Beth Neilson Chapman, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, James Taylor at the BIC in Bournemouth. Listening to Juan Martin playing at The Anvil in Basingstoke moved me to tears. A stunning musician. And then we saw The Eagles play live in Birmingham. There have been many more. Jools Holland, The Waterboys, and Elvis Costello at the Royal Albert Hall. 

Music has always been a big thing in my life. Since early days in The Folk Club in Wootton, Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight Festival at Afton Down in ’70. The Nice in concert in Southampton. 

Taking our son James to see Tunng at the Bill Chill, several Larmer Tree Festivals and that night in Sidmouth. 

Listening now via iPod and iTunes brings back lots of happy times. 25,000 tracks. 


Article 50

Leaving the EU could prove more protracted than one might think.

These screenshots show a short article from The Economist.

I hope they don’t mind me reproducing here.

Little Britain

I recently joined The Labour Party in the UK, solely to register my support for Jeremy Corbyn, as its Leader. While I don’t agree with all his views and policies, I do admire his desire to bring a new kind of fair politics to Westminster, especially the way he conducts Prime Ministers Questions.

An approach that represents the views of the people, especially those on low incomes struggling to make their way in times of austerity.

In the last week 60,000 people also joined the Labour Party. I suspect that many, like me, stated their reason on the application form – to support Corbyn.

We don’t know yet whether we will have an General Election anytime soon, and it looks increasingly unnecessary, so I am not supporting Corbyn, because I see him as our next Prime Minister.

We are still part of the EU at this time, because we haven’t evoked Article 50. There are legal debates as to whether this is a decision that could be taken solely by a new Prime Minister, or whether it should be supported by a vote in the House of Commons and/or the Lords. There are majorities in both Houses for Remain.

So despite all the talk, the process is likely be slow and protracted, and just maybe we won’t drift away from Europe as far as some might like. The public would like an end to ‘free movement’ and to bring immigration under control, which is understandable. Some politicians, like Andrea Leadsom, claim that we can do this and still have access to free trade across Europe. We are getting so used to them telling us what we want to hear, that some people even believe them! This is naive.

As the Tories led us into this mess, they can lead us out of it. I hope Theresa May, supported by George Osbourne, can find a way to bring our economy back on course. Meanwhile without a Captain at the helm, we wait and drift slowly, away from Europe, towards Little Britain.

07 July update:

It looks as though Theresa will win. Well out in front with today’s vote. Let’s hope those in the Conservative Party at large choose the most experienced woman for the job. At least it won’t be Michael Gove!

Membership of the Labour Party has now reached 500,000. Not all have joined to support Jeremy Corbyn, it seems that Angela Eagle is determined to test the water. Interesting times.

Charlie Hedbo

Je Suis Charlie



2013 in review prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

This blog was viewed about 930 times in 2013.  The busiest day of the year was November 20th with 50 views. The most popular post that day was Axafrica.

Click here to see the complete report.

And this is for a largely “inactive” blog. Maybe I will revive some content during 2014.

An update on HiFi / DAC / iDocks / Cables and Connectors.

And an update to AxAfrica – with new photos…….

And pay $30 for No Ads. I good deal, if start to use this Blog more actively.

Gun Control: today America – tomorrow the World

I know that I have posted several blogs about Gun Control of late, but that is because there are excellent articles in The Guardian,  The Economist and The New York Times, which I endorse. I look forward to your comments.

This extract from an article in The Guardian highlights how the domestic ‘love for guns’ in the USA helps to feed the supply of weapons worldwide. To read the article in full, follow the link below.

“Mr Obama’s initiative is important not just to Americans. It affects the rest of the world too. It is often forgotten that America is not just the world’s biggest consumer of weapons. It is also the world’s biggest exporter of guns. Last year the Obama administration authorised US diplomats to take part in negotiations about a proposed UN arms trade treaty. Such a treaty would need to pass the US Senate before it could come into force. This week’s fighting in Mali and the bloody siege in Algeria are another set of warnings of the dangers of an unregulated weapons trade. But they are also a reminder that the new political mood on guns in America has implications for us all.”

Please take away my right to a Gun

nytlogo379x64By WENDY BUTTON       Published: January 18, 2013

the following below is an extract from:-

“I had gone as far as to dial the number of the Metropolitan Police Department’s firearms registration division and begin the process. Then I stopped and put my BlackBerry down.

I remembered who I am.

I am one of the millions of people in this country who live with depression. I knew that in the gun registration form there would be a version of this question: Have you ever voluntarily or involuntarily been committed to a hospital? The answer is yes — voluntarily. But because my hospitalization was years earlier and I wasn’t in treatment at the time, I could have gotten a gun.

My depression appeared for the first time in the late ’90s, right before I began writing for politicians. It comes and goes like fog. Medicine can help. I have my tricks to manage and get through it. Sometimes it sticks around for a day or a week, and sometimes it stays away for a couple of years. But it never leads me to sleep all day, cry and wear sweat pants like the people in the commercials. You’d look at me and never know that sometimes my fight against the urge to die is so tough the only way I get through it is second by second; I live by the second hand.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38,364 Americans lost that fight in 2010 and committed suicide; 19,392 used a gun. No one ever attempted to break down my door in the early morning again, but I had an episode when my depression did come back in full force in the early winter of 2009, after I made a career-ending decision and isolated myself too much; on a January night in 2010; and again in May 2012, after testifying in the federal criminal trial of John Edwards, my former boss. If I had purchased that gun and it had been in my possession, I’m not sure I would have been able to resist and would be here typing these words.”

posted on tumblr by kateoplis:

Now is the time for Americans to decide.

It is time for their country to mature and set an example to the world at large. To lay down their guns and stop assassinating people abroad with remote controlled drones.

The right to bear arms is a selfish desire.


Gun Control: could Obama do more with the support of Americans?


Balfour Declaration

Balfour Declaration 1917
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour

OK, this was a long time ago, but the agreement should still hold. Why do the Jews in Israel think they have sole right to “their country”?

Drones are fools gold: they prolong wars we cant win | Simon Jenkins

DronesDrones are fools gold: they prolong wars we cant win | Simon Jenkins.

It would seem that lessons have not been learnt from the attack on the Twin Towers. The USA continues to use its military might to remotely attack civilians in a vain attempt to improve “the security of Americans”. These numerous attacks, personally authorised by Barack Obama, are not justified and will continue to cause hatred and unrest in the countries they ‘manage remotely’ by these airstrikes.

Barack Obama has a huge challenge ahead, and one that needs support from all Americans. You cannot win hearts and minds with violence. And that applies also to domestic policy on guns in classrooms.

%d bloggers like this: