Clap your hands

Reading time: 3 mins
I walked home from work the other day. It takes about an hour at a reasonable pace, but that day I was in no rush at all. The sun was darting in and out between fluffy clouds and there was a gentle breeze in the air. There were flowers everywhere, vibrant green hues in the branches overhead, and the recent rains had swollen the river enough to give it a pleasing burble as it meandered its way downstream. There is something very soothing about walking with no real purpose, letting your body find its own pace, feeling the connection your foot makes with the ground and how your body reacts to that. A simple way to stay, literally, grounded and …

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Derren Brown

Reading time: 2 mins
I’m writing this a few days after the event, just in case there were any lingering effects. I fear my mind may never quite recover… Note: NO SPOILERS INCLUDED. I’ve seen most, if not all, of Derren Brown’s TV shows. From the one off specials to the early series that were broadcast in a late evening slot on Ch4. He is not without controversy and I’ll happily admit to, still, remaining sceptical about how he does what he does; is it magic, is it manipulation, are there stooges involved, is it all fake? Or perhaps it’s a little bit of everything? He is first and foremost as he readily admits, a showman, he is trying to entertain using methods and …

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My Ever Shrinking World

Reading time: 9 mins
Say yes more than no (it can lead to amazing things). Whilst not quite a mantra, this is definitely something I’ve been trying to be better at in an effort to be more spontaneous and social. Sometimes it can be a battle to get out of the door at all, but I find if I have plans with other people I’m more likely to make the effort to get my lazy arse up off the sofa as I don’t like letting people down (which I realise is heading into the ‘I JUST WANT TO BE LOVED, LOVE ME!!!!’ territory but that, as ever, is for an entirely other post or, you know, the entire subtext of this blog. Whatever.) Here’s …

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Fire walk with me

Reading time: 2 mins
“Say yes more often than no” Life is short, far far too short for some and so when something pops up and you have the chance to do something you’ve never done before, AND it’s for a good cause, well, it’s even harder to say no. And so I find myself signed up to become part of some weird human barbeque experiment?? … I’m sure that’s not how it works but essentially that is what it seems to be, although obviously they aren’t calling it that. Nope, instead they are using the rather dramatic and imminently more marketable term… cue big dramatic voiceover voice A FIREWALK!! What an act of bravado, I hear you cry! He is going to be …

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Six by Nico: Wonka

Reading time: 4 mins
This past Easter found me watching a movie I’ve loved since I was a child. It is a strange story of a strange man by the name of Willy Wonka. I have to wonder if Nico was watching too… As ever I’d been perusing the menu ahead of our visit and wondered how some of the dishes would be prepared and presented – I’m not a fan of liquorice, popcorn, or olives – but as their website says, “remember – a little nonsense now and then is relished by even the wisest of men….” so regardless of my own personal tastes, I was still excited to try this latest menu. CHEESE BOARD – Gorgonzola Royale / Fizzy Grapes / Celery …

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Master of Suspense

Reading time: 5 mins
Vertigo is acknowledged by many to be not only Alfred Hitchcock’s best work but one of the greatest movies of all time. It is, and has been since I first viewed it, in my top 5 (usually in first or second place). The sense of creepy weirdness, the growing tension as Scotty pursues a vision of a woman he once knew, coupled with the now legendary reverse zoom shot to impart the very sense of Vertigo that ties the whole slightly unsettling movie together, I have seen it far too many times yet it never feels old. Both lead actors, as many did back then, tread the line of ham acting at times but if you look past that (and …

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Vinyl is dead, long live vinyl

Reading time: 7 mins
How do you pronounce it? Vahyn-l? Vīnĭl? The living room in my childhood home had a big wide bay window. Standing on either side of the windows were two tall white bookcases my Dad built. They had a deeper base section to house the record player and my parents combined record collection; my Mum was a screaming Beatles fan in her youth, my Dad tended towards folk, but both met in the middle ground of singer songwriters and rock bands. My parents are both musical, Mum played the piano, Dad the guitar and banjo, both sang in choirs and my Dad still performs at the Royal Concert Hall. Music was a constant part of my upbringing and their record collection …

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Time for me

Reading time: 5 mins
The house I grew up wasn’t far from a large roundabout, you could see it from where I sat at my desk in front of the bedroom window. I used to sit there in the evenings and watch the cars driving up and down the hill, round and round that roundabout. Of course I wasn’t sitting there with the express purpose of watching cars; I was supposed to be there to do my homework or study for exams but I think it was an important time for me to properly learn the art of procrastination, and I would like to point out just how well that particular skill has served me over the years! Evening after evening I’d sit there …

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Finding the glimmers

Reading time: 2 mins
As a child of the 70s our future was bright, so bright we had to wear shades. It was full of rockets and space exploration as the buzz of the moon landing continued to pervade my childhood years, spurned on by Star Wars and the promise of galaxies far far away… It’s easy to question where our jetpacks are, why I’m not eating meals in pill form, and what ever became of space elevators anyway? We had dreams and hopes and aspirations all of which were to be manifest in many wonderous objects that would impact our daily lives. It makes me wonder though, what do the youth of today aspire to? What do they dream for their future? Is …

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No such thing as over sharing

Reading time: 5 mins
I’ve only ever taken one shower with my clothes on. I was alone at the time and can still remember the sensations as my t-shirt started clinging to me, my jeans growing heavy and cold on my legs. I was drunk, had just thrown up then crawled into the bath and turned the shower tap on. I lay there as the water fell on me and I cried. My wife had (rightly) just left me and gone back to Scotland, I was alone and in the early grips of the darkest days of my depression. I’m not sure why I turned the shower on, perhaps a memory from a movie scene was my inspiration, yet looking back it all seems …

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