Going Off Safari

I think I've solved my website problems. Yes, you can all breath again, the crown jewels of online blogging have been returned to the Tower and all is well once more within the online kingdom.

Which means, I've switched from Safari to Chrome. You see Chrome doesn't drop like Safari and lose my blogging pearls of wisdom. And I can watch my Amazon Prime easier.

Win: win.

Utilising my new freedom from the oppression of lost marvels, I'll be updating more frequently. 

Plenty to talk about, loads to comment on, axes to grind and rock to roll.


A la recherché du temps perdu



Happenings ten years time ago // Situations we really know // But the knowing is in the mind // Sinking deep into the well of time

In historical terms, the day before yesterday is always the strangest and most remote.

What was it like to live in the 70’s? It wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things and yet I picture the decade in sepia - populated by horse drawn carts climbing cobbled streets passing old men in bowler hats scowling back as though the image would capture their souls. The tricks of memory.

I grew up in the 1970’s. Despite the strikes, the oil crises and IRA terrorism, I remember it as a happy decade. Tim was ever to be found playing out on the street - no worries about cars or peodos in those days - endless games of football, cricket, making dens, short trousers, street parties, church parades; egg and chips.

One abiding memory is that every August my parents would take my sister and I out into the countryside around Rochdale to pick blackberries. We would go armed with huge empty margarine tubs and come back with pounds of fruit – just waiting to be boiled up and made into soon-to-be neglected pots of jam. The weather was always sunny (I’m probably picturing 1976), the blackberries always plentiful, the thorns always benign.

In honour of my upbringing, I take my kids blackberry picking. I’m lucky enough to live near the Sussex Downs and Ditchling Common. At this time of year, the bushes on the common are weighed down by juicy blackberries. My girls and I went on our bikes yesterday, Tupperware in my backpack, to grab some of nature’s high-summer bounty.

The blackberry picking has become part of the ebb and flow of seasons in my reduced family; it’s what we do and my kids look forward to it. Probably the idea more than the reality, but that is often the way. Even now though – whilst this is actually happening - I can see that my girls’ nostalgia gene is awakening – as we bike to the Common we pass new housing developments that have laid waste to what were, ever-so-recently, green fields. The world is ever churning and nothing but memory stays the same. 

But creating those memories is at the core of our humanity. The remembrance and recreation of childhood memories – sights, tastes, rituals – is something that subconsciously draws us like an alcoholic to the bottle, the moth to the late night lamp, the sinner to the pew. With artists - and I include myself loosely in this group – it is one of the central drivers of creativity. The negation of childhood memories, to veer wildly away from familiar paths, works the same way.

The quotation that starts this post is Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, a rare Yardbirds single from 1966 when the group – so briefly - boasted the duel lead guitar attack of Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

And the blackberries became a rather lovely homemade ice cream.

Cheers ears,



Word of the day : Bloviate

I came across this lovely word today in Peter Hitchens' blog in The Sunday Express. To quote:

On the day that mass immigration reached levels not seen since the Blair era, the Prime Minister appeared amid a clearly staged ‘raid’ by immigration officials, bloviating about a ‘crackdown’ that will of course never take place.
— Peter Hitchens Blog, 25 May 2015

Now agree or not with Hitchens - I'm a fan as I like someone who will speak truth even if it is unpopular (so rare these days) - I love the use of the word which, to my shame, I'd never heard before. Bloviate. To bloviate. It's kind of a semi intellectual version of 'to bullshit'. Checking my Wikipedia, I notice that it comes from Ohio politics of the late 19th and early 20th century and means empty or vapid political speeches that essentially say nothing of substance.

How very apt in these shallow days! I shall endeavour to use this marvellous word from now on and if you think this is another example of Robson bloviation, then re-read my sentence!