Saturday, 28 March 2015

rhetorical architecture

a building designed to look like ships

a ship designed to look like a warehouse

 Sometimes I just want to get away

could have sworn that I left my furniture there

 something on your mind

ice well, butter house

the architecture of cities reflects the architecture of the wilderness

Theo Agassiz (1892 - 1916)

 Theo's great granddad

 remember Olive Candy
she would have wanted you to
remember you only live once

Thursday, 26 March 2015

swan lake

Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg

the swan, by the dull world, is ill understood

and I know, yes I said: I know
So don't treat me like this

you cain't turn it off an' on

you left the water running

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Sweet inspirations

Don't let me lose this good thing

Oh what a fool I've been

 Why am I treated so bad?

So blue

God bless the day I found you
(please let it be me)

 Reach out for me

Knock on wood

Here I am

 Blues stay away from me

don't fight it

song titles from the Sweet Inspirations' eponymous 1967 album
photos from here and there

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

England's oldest and most perfect almshouse

The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty is a medieval almshouse in Winchester, Hampshire, founded between 1133 and 1136. It is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom

When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.

The founder was Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester, grandson of William the Conqueror,  younger brother to King Stephen of England

It must be, I thought, one of the race's most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that "it can't happen here" -- that one's own time and place is beyond cataclysm.

Not only is it the oldest but is also the largest medieval almshouse in Britain; it is built on the scale of an Oxford or Cambridge college, but is older than any of the colleges at the universities. 

And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.

It has been described as "England's oldest and most perfect almshouse"

Until then I had always thought of loneliness as something negative—an absence of company, and, of course, something temporary... That day I had learned that it was much more. It was something which could press and oppress, could distort the ordinary and play tricks with the mind. Something which lurked inimically all around, stretching the nerves and twanging them with alarms, never letting one forget that there was no one to help, no one to care. It showed one as an atom adrift in vastness, and it waited all the time its chance to frighten and frighten horribly—that was what loneliness was really trying to do; and that was what one must never let it do...

Anybody who has had a great treasure has always led a precarious existence

Children have a different convention of the fearful until they have been taught the proper things to be shocked at.

Most people prefer to be coaxed or wheedled, or even driven. That way they never make a mistake: if there is one, it's always due to something or somebody else.

The clock is the most sacred thing in a hospital

It seemed to me an odd view to take - rather as if one should protest that one didn't LIKE the idea of dying or being born. I preferred the notion of finding out first how it would be, and then doing what one could about the parts of it one disliked most.

Everyone starts by knowing nothing about anything, but God gives him brains to find out with. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Artful Dodger, Fratton Park, Portsmouth

I had the idea to set up a #Twitter account with the name @eMojiDick. I would use it to translate Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick into emoticons.  The whole book, line by line.  Great idea, huh.  

I soon realised it would be too hard so I didn't bother.  But it would have been good, right?

Instead enjoy this short video.

Friday, 13 March 2015

What do you call that noise?

this is poppy

Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy) - The Four Aces

Berkshire Poppies - Traffic

Black Poppy Wine - The Star Killers

Blood For Poppies - Garbage

Blues for Poppy - James Hogan

California Poppy - Troll

Dance of the Red Poppies - Makana

The Red Poppy - Gliere

Dance of the Poppies - Davey Williams

Fields of Poppies - Blackgrass

Holly Up On Poppy - XTC.

Man Poppy Show - Hawkeye

Nine Black Poppies - The Mountain Goats

Pickin' Poppies - Gene Vincent

Poppies - Patti Smith /Nina Simone

Poppies In Heaven - Neal Storme

Poppies Lane Memory - Slank

Poppy - Beautiful South

Poppy and Pohutakawa - The New Zealand Army Band

Poppy Day - Stereophonics /Siouxsie And The Banshees

Poppy Girls - Diana Ross
Poppy Fields - Mia Doi Todd / Joe Creamer
Poppy Rock - Hippie Tendencies
Poppy's Grits - Poppy's Grits 
Poppy's Groove - Urban Jazz Coalition

Poppy's Sweetheart Caroline - JJ Calicott
Poppy's To Be Picked - The Orange Groove
Pretty Poppies - Red Wire

Red Poppy - Vaselines
Tall Poppy - Hannah Rosa
Veteran's Day Poppy - Captain Beefheart
Wandering Thru the Poppies - David Young

We Hate Poppies - Silver Riot
When The Poppies Bloom Again - Dorothy Squires

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Dear Mr. Le Bon

There's a new Kickstarter campaign in town called "Dear Mr. Le Bon - A Pensioner Writes."  Who is this Mr. Le Bon?  Well gather round children, let me tell you a story.  Many years ago, three decades ago, we had a couple of kayaks to sell.  No Ebay or Gumtree back then so we put an advert in the window of Hedge End Post Office.  I had a phone call from a chap named Skip, a sailing man, who wanted the kayaks for the crew of his yacht to play on.  

Well that's not strictly true.  It wasn't his yacht.  He was skipper but he was a hired hand.  The owners were a bona fide Pop Star from the New Romantic band Duran Duran named Simon le Bon and his managers, the Berrows Brothers.  Simon said - so Skip bought the boats.  Fifty quid each.

During that summer Drum was based at Moody's on the Hamble River.  One fine, sunny Wednesday I had canoed up the Upper Hamble with a bunch of people and had stopped to have lunch on the river bank.  The way you do (the way I did thirty years ago anyway).  As we were sitting there we saw a couple of kayaks coming upstream. Oh look, says I, there's those two kayaks we sold.  As they got closer we realised that it was none other than Simon le Bon himself (and his brother Jonny).  In our scabby old kayaks.  Not something you see everyday.

In August 1985 Drum took part in the Fastnet Race.  During the race the boat's keel fell off, causing Drum to capsize resulting in much chuckling from the old sea dogs in The Old Ship at Lower Swanwick, not to mention a fair amount of "OiToldYerSo" from the salty dogs in the Bugle, Victory, King & Queen and Rising Sun.

None of which has anything to do with "Dear Mr Le Bon".

"Dear Mr Le Bon" is the title of a book being kickstarted down the coast from Hamble, in Bournemouth.  It is the work of one Derek Philpott and his good friend Wilf Turnbull.  Neither of these gentlemen have ever sold a kayak to Simon Le Bon.  What Messrs Philpott and Turnbull have done is to spend seven years taking Pop Stars to task for their questionable lyrics.  You can read the best of them here:

Over to Derek:

Wilf Turnbull & Derek Philpott

Correcting Pop Stars Since 2008 ™

In 2008 a wedding DJ played Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like a Wolf’. That DJ had no idea his choice of song would lead to the birth of a pop culture phenomenon…  

On hearing the chorus of the lupine-themed eighties hit, septuagenarian Wilf Turnbull turned to his friend Derek Philpott and asked

“Derek, old chum - why are the New Romantics only interested in wolves’ appetite pangs? Don’t they know that penguins can get peckish?” Derek agreed, declaring that “ravens get ravenous and ferrets famished!” The next choice of song from the DJ was even more troubling to the pair. As ‘'Living in a Box’' filled the room, and between visits to the buffet, Wilf and Derek wondered why a pop star would possibly choose to ‘live in a box’ rather than a house or a flat, given they were probably quite well paid. The friends decided there was only one course of action available to them; they would take these pop stars to task, by letter.

As the Bournemouth based gentlemen’s journey through decades of pop and rock began, they discovered more and more dubious lyrical claims and declarations that they felt needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Polite yet firm letters were written to The Eurythmics, Paul Heaton, The Christians, Marillion, Billy Bragg, The Stranglers, Howard Jones and Nik Kershaw. And then something quite unexpected happened. The pop stars began to reply. With the help of younger family members, a website was built and links to the hilarious letters and their sporting replies were shared on social networks. As a consequence, Wilf and Derek have become very popular on Facebook where they enjoy making friends of all ages, all over the world. Their army of fans have been instrumental in putting them in touch with an ever-growing number of musicians, and their letter writing is nothing short of prolific with over one hundred and fifty written so far.

That was written a while ago.  Things have moved on since then.  Now Derek is working on getting the book published, featuring some of the best letters and their replies.  You can help Derek's Kickstarter campaign by clicking here.  You really should.  It's your chance to be a part of literary history.

Monday, 9 March 2015


I've got a bike

You can ride it if you like

It's got a basket, a bell
that rings
and things
to make it look good

I'd give it to you if I could

but I borrowed it

you're the kind of girl that fits into my world

I'll give you anything
everything if you want

words: Bike by Syd Barrett
images: My Journey mural by Kristian Jeffery, Kara Strachan, Stewart Smalle, Cher Reynolds and the people of Southampton

Saturday, 7 March 2015

our lips are sealed

My Dog Sighs has a new gallery show, opened this evening in Turin.  It's at the Galo Art Gallery and features some top notch MDS pieces.  Inspired by Fun Boy Three's Our Lips Are Sealed here's a sample:                                                               

All for sale, contact - get in there quick - they will sell out.

you've come a long long way baby