Category Archives: regular

The Night Before Friday


A farewell drive to London
Between hedgerow and bluebell,
Butcher and baker shutting up shop,
Tables unfolding on village greens
Against the show-reel of the setting sun.

This is Blighty.
Brass bands and bunting,
Bright white, red and blue,
Flags and photographs,
Horse steps, pomp and practice
Rehearsed over and over in the midst of a young bride's mind.

With teacups in front of televisions,
With banners behind the barricades,
With front pages, special editions and eight page colour spreads,
We wait.

What is in the waiting?
One night and the rest of our lives,
Forget the routine we knew,
Celebrate a love so familiar,
A love so unknown.

The mystery unravelling into history,
Archives to be replayed,
A glimpse, a kiss and a wave from a balcony,
above a melee of calm and wonder,
hands gripped at the palace gate.

(Photo by


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(DOUBLE RAINBOW!!! at Horombo Camp)

I got back from 10 days traipsing up Mt. Kilimanjaro this morning and while the jetlag is wearing off and the feeling is slowly returning to my legs I have been trying to think about what made this holiday different to the others I’ve been on and I guess it’s three things that spring to mind that all help each other to make it special in different ways…

1. It’s fucking hard: No not all the time but no matter what anyone else tells you I don’t think anybody can be completely prepared for how difficult the summit climb is (this includes watching the Comic Relief video…on YouTube several times…Sadly Gary Barlow makes it look easy) both the steepness of the climb and mainly the lack of oxygen really make it an experience unlike any other which for better or worse is really rather difficult…This brings me on to the second point…

2. You miss people:  Because parts of it are so hard and because I was putting myself in a situation like no other I’d experienced I missed the people that matter most to me more than ever…this was made all the more apparent by the fact that I had lots of time (walking, lying in tents, sitting on African long drops…) to think properly about things which is something I realise I need to give myself more of.  However while you miss the people you love…

3. You also rely completely on complete strangers: The guides that took us up the mountain were genuinely some of the kindest, trustworthy and most brave people I have ever met and am likely to meet.  I relied on them and their expertise completely to get me up the mountain.  Through This I got to know them, their life stories and I’m sure by the end of it they were sick of hearing of my life stories.  The point is that coming from a society where we’re constantly reminded not to trust strangers or god forbid talk to somebody on a tube or train, the fact  that I was able to put my complete faith in people whom I’d never met was a refreshing change and made points 1 and 2 much easier deal with…

So in short…

Has it been life changing? No.  

Have I come back a different person? No.

Have I ‘found myself’? No…although I have found pains in my legs and back I didnt know existed…

But it was a special holiday and I have been so lucky to have had the opportunity to do it particularly with such a great travel buddy…for now I’m off for a haircut before the sea level oxygen kicks in and the world starts all over again tomorrow….

If you want to see more photos of the trip I’ve posted them on Facebook.

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The Shoestring 50 (10 -1)

In the end picking my favourite song wasn’t very difficult but picking the Top 10 proved much harder.

In truth, what this exercise revealed, is that there is no other song I have listened to more or means so much to me as the one that came top of this list.  

I hope anyone reading this will enjoy listening to the playlist as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.

10. ELO – Mr Blue Sky

9. David Bowie – Quicksand

8. Ryan Adams – Starlite Diner

(There is no version of this song online that does it justice so you’ll just have to listen to it on Spotify)

7. Jeff Buckley – Lover You Should Have Come Over

6. The Beatles – In My Life

(Sorry but only Johnny Cash’s version is available on Spotify – not a bad substitute)

5. Cat Power – Colors & The Kids

4. Beck – Lost Cause

3. Bright Eyes – Lua

2. gUiLLeMoTs – Over The Stairs

(Again, there is no version of this song online so you’ll just have to listen to it on Spotify )

1. Bob Dylan – Simple Twist Of Fate

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The Shoestring 50 (20-11)

Several hours and many rehashed pieces of paper down I’m now into the final 20.  I would recommend anyone to go through the process of trying to put their 50 together.  I’ve found it so interesting, revealing, sometimes difficult but so much fun.  Peeking into old memories and not always pleased but at least being honest about what you’re hearing back.

The updated 50 Spotify playlist can be found here (minus Bob Dylan tracks which Spotify needs to get it’s hands on…) and the final 10 will be up tomorrow.

20. George Michael – Praying For Time

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The Shoestring 50 (30-21)

Note: Apologies for the two posts in one day but have to get this done before I go away on Saturday – not obsessing over it…honest!

At this point it started to get very difficult…here’s the list from 30 down to 21…in a very particular order…

The updated Spotify playlist can be found here

30. The Walkmen – The Rat

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The Shoestring 50 (40-31)

Having gone from 50 to 41 yesterday, here goes the next 10…(list of  my favourite songs if you’re struggling work out quite what this is…)

a Spotify playlist of the songs from 50-31 can be found here…

40. Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues
Delta Spirit -Bushwick Blues by Alexandre Diogo

39. The Bees – Sky Holds The Sun
Sky Holds the Sun – The Bees by piassyncandbrand

38. The Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses
The Maccabees ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by meganm_89

37. Arcade Fire – Wake Up

36. Laura Marling – Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)

35. Badly Drawn Boy – Epitaph

34. Prince – Purple Rain
Prince – Purple Rain by dorielle

33. Beach Boys – Do It Again

32. Eddie Vedder – Society
Society – Eddie Vedder by guccis2000

31. Ryan Adams – Hotel Chelsea Nights
Ryan adams – hotel chelsea nights by TheOldJoey

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The Shoestring 50 (50-41)

Christmas is generally at time when I have plentiful amounts of two things: Food and spare time.

Having made the most of the first thing many times over during the Christmas period, I was inspired to make more of the second having read Vikki Chowney’s list of her favourite songs of all time I thought I might have a go at doing the same.

So here is my list, starting from 50 going down to 41.  I’ve tried to include soundclouds or YouTube videos where possible, otherwise you’ll just have to have a look on the playlist I’ll be building over the next week.


50. Spinto Band – Mandy 

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