On speaking truth to funny looking people

February 10, 2016

I completely defend free speech. It’s an essential component of right thinking democracy. It’s what allows people to identify and express amusement at the unfortunate fact that I resemble Peter Griffin.

I’m usually not that bothered. Maybe if it’s someone who knows me, with whom I’ve gigged and shared conversation over a couple of beers. But tonight, when three lads walking home from the pub feel it’s OK to call me Peter Griffin in the street and call me Fat Man and laugh at me, I feel desperately sad.

Here begins the rant… Read the rest of this entry »


A song for Walsall? Fog on the Tame…

February 2, 2016

it’s all mines, it’s all mines.

Or, “We built this city on rock and holes“…

This is a very brief post to say I saw a diagram this morning of some exclusion zones in the Black Country where we know there are mine workings so close to the surface it’s dangerous to develop the land for any purpose, including storage. That is, presuming you want to find whatever you store there when you come back for it.

Even as a car park, it wouldn’t really work. (picture below taken from BBC news article here)

_605038_carwide

Astonishing.


Happy Haggis Day

January 25, 2016

Burns’ Night.

It’s a celebration of poetry written in an accent and dialect which is mostly inaccessible to the average English speaker, and a foodstuff which I really don’t find that attractive. And whisky.

Ah, now here’s a topic I can stand, the fineries of Scots highlands, and using words like dram and peat in conversation short and sweet, over a whisky. (poetry be me, in a hurry, copyright 2016)

Haggis_scoticus

Happy hunting, haggis lovers.


Why should the Presbyterians have all the good music?

January 24, 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian music, but something this morning really made me pause and think.

Horatio Spafford is known for a few things, principally as a chum of great evangelist Dwight Moody and the writer of “It is well with my Soul” – a hymn inspired by the tragic loss of his four daughters in a shipwreck when crossing the Atlantic to holiday in England. The hymn, published by Sankey to a tune by Philip Bliss, is a standard in traditional protestant Christian churches, an inspiring message that whatever the world throws at a person God’s love and grace are sufficient to meet the challenge. It’s a hymn strong on key Christian themes, and recognised and sung across the English-speaking world.

Which is why I’m rather disappointed that Matt Redman nicked the chorus to shore up one of his recent compositions. Read the rest of this entry »


Writing about Games, Writing Games to Write About

January 23, 2016

I’m a massive fan of the Metrozone (Petrovitch) series by Simon Morden, and have read a number of his other books. He’s been a speaker at Greenbelt, which was fun to listen to. On the side column of this blog, you can even see the Freezone flag. Click it to find out more.

So, I was delighted to read recently that he’s invented a new game too. Read the rest of this entry »


True Gritters

January 17, 2016

Last year, Walsall Council advertised for Snow Champions. People to clear sections of pavement and salt them after snow, for the benefit of the community. I signed up, because I like being useful and it came with a snazzy orange hi-viz vest.

Today at last I was able to put my skills into action, sweep the pathetically small amount of snow off my pavement and lay down some de-icing salt they provided. It’s not as though it took very long, although it was hard work, but it felt like I’d been useful. Read the rest of this entry »


Apprenticeship wages, and the missing million

January 10, 2016

I usually refrain from this kind of thing, so if you want to pass it by, feel free. [tl:dr injustice is unjust] Read the rest of this entry »


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