Tuesday, March 20, 2007

PAME! reaches 1000 hits...!

Blimey, didn't expect that to happen ... ever.

My online "short story", PAME! about my first journey to Greece back in 1975, has recorded its 1000th visitor!!!

I wanted to put it on the web as a blog/short story and see how many hits it got without doing any canvassing ... and the answer is ... not many!

I am not sure if the web is the place for something like that - I mean who has time to read 10 chapters of a (highly entertaining and amusing) story? Probably takes an hour or so ...

Anyway, if you want to have a look and be one of the second 1000 visitors - so that you can say in a year or two, when PAME! turns into a bloggybestseller, I was there at the start, then here's a link ... PAME!

If you have an hour to spare ...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Erm ... Excuse Me ...

I seem to have been neglecting my blog this week ... that's because I have been in Canada.

Well, it feels as if I was in Canada. I have been hacking away at a translation of a book about Canada and I have to admit it's the first time in ages that I have had a long translation to do and not ended up hating everything to do with the subject ...

One bit tickled me in particular ...

The Quebec people have been talking about separatism for ages and in the 1990s there was a referendum about breaking away from the Canadian Federation ... so lots of discussions ... the French-Canadians saying, "we were here before the British, we explored the country, reclaimed the land, founded settlements ..." - je me souviens was the motto ...

But then all of a sudden, a voice piped up in the background ... one of the First Nations people, "...erm ... excuse me ..." I imagine him saying in a sort of Mr Bean voice, "... but we actually never surrendered our rights to the region ..." - it seems the First Nation natives still have the rights to 80% of the region, including all the natural resources, and they were now threatening to leave Quebec, if Quebec should leave the Canadian Federation ..!

Whoops ...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Happy 20th, Bid

At 13:06 this afternoon Biddy will be 20!

She feels ok about reaching this landmark although everyone around her is trying not to mention it in case it gets her down! Everyone, that is, except her brother who said, "...just imagine, it's half way to forty!"

I was living in
Greece when I celebrated my 20th. We went out for a meal and when we got back there was a tremendous thunderstorm. I remember standing on the balcony of my room and watching the lightning crackle over the mountains opposite and thinking, "20! At last" and feeling really grown up.

Well, Bid, you have all the best bits before you and knowing you, you will make the most of it!

Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!
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Monday, March 05, 2007

The Funeral

We went out into the forest today to bury Sniffy (the rabbit; see below). It was a beautiful day, we found a little copse full of shade and sunlight and pine trees and the smell of the woods, dug a hole and put her in. We stood there for a while afterwards with the sun was beating down on our backs surrounded by the gentle rustle of branches as the trees swayed in the fresh, biting breeze.

And I had a feeling similar to that which I used to have when I left the nursing home after visiting my mother. A feeling I had to come to terms with because it always seemed so selfish and heartless but which welled up spontaneously from a part of my psyche which obviously has its own egotistic agenda. The feeling said, "thank the heavens and whoever else you want to thank that I can still leave this place..."

The feeling today arrived also quite out of the blue and was similarly selfish, "poor little Sniffy had to be put to sleep and can scamper round no more, but as for us ... we are still alive and can enjoy this glorious day".

I think that would be something I'd like to have said at my own funeral ... "I've had my go, you're all still having your go ... so make sure you bloody well enjoy it!"

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Go Ye Out And Behold...

There is going to be an eclipse of the moon tonight...should be great. And we even have clear skies here in deepest Bavaria.

Go out and have a look if you can - it starts at 20.18 GMT and the totality is between 22.44 and 23.58. I am playing somewhere tonight but I will try and get outside during a break!

It's a fantastic spectacle - and it's free!

(Later next morning - 2.20 - coming in from gig...
...and I missed it!)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Random Coincidence...

Life is full of them ... some stranger than others.

Yesterday I woke up with a vague memory of dreaming gruesome dreams and with the phrase going round in my head like a mantra on an old broken record;

"Life is just this: you go to sleep, you wake up; you go to sleep you, wake up; you go to sleep, you wake up ... and then one day you just go to sleep. Life is just this: you go to sleep, you wake up ..." etc, etc.

On this same yesterday we had to take my younger son's first pet, Sniffy the rabbit, to the vet to be put to sleep. She had been ailing for some time but yesterday T-M found an enormous abscess in her mouth and the vet said there was nothing more to be done.

My younger son had already gone off to his school for a dress rehearsal of his first school play, Puss in Boots. So he knew that Sniffy was ill but not how seriously.

In Puss in Boots he plays the part of a royal servant in the court of the king. In one scene Puss in Boots brings a dead rabbit to the king ... the king passes this rabbit to the royal servant to be taken away and disposed of.

After the play, which was amazingly well performed, we came home and I had to tell him the news. He was heartbroken, really distraught ... he said he'd been thinking of Sniffy all through the scene above.

The play is being performed again tonight.

If these kind of coincidences are not random and these events in out world are governed by some sort of spirit, then it must be a real malevolent swine.