Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blood Is Thicker Than Walter

Hi Roger and Jilly, glad to hear you are re-untited! Love is a wonderful thing - I have had a revelatory experiance not unlike finding jesus in the cupboard under the stairs! I blame this rotten flu bug that has been plaguing us for the last threee weeeks! Poor Hazel looks exhasuted after dragging herself round Berlin and me fretting over her. Now she is back I have had a relapse and had to go to the docs. I pooured my heart out to him and he looked as if I was going MAD! He has passed me onto a bereavement councellor ( sometime in the future?) to talk about my Mum and Dad. Their deaths over five years ago really shook me but I didnt know it at the time. Hazel thought I handled it quite well but obviously not! I have been having yo-yo ing emotions - from gloom to elation to sobbing wreck! Poor Hazel sent me to docs and he listened to my chest through his periscope and sent me for a bloood test 00er! which I had this morning- didn't get a badge saying "YOU GAVE BLOOD - BRAVE BOY!" though the nurse was amused by the one of an earwig I was wearing. It's to cheer people up I said. ha ha - we all laughed. It took our minds off the blood being drained out of me. Hazel drove me home and I had a nap after a small breakfast. I woke up with dizzy smells and headachey still and feeling about 109 ! Cripes! I've never felt like this before. So there you have it in a nutcase. No worries about the al-bum cover. Keeep it and use as frisbee! We can do a joint one but when I am all better!

Hazel has gone for a nap now. poor thing. She's worn to a frazzle!

Archie has beeen given lots of treats as we both feel guilty for being ill. We got him the latest "Kaiser Chiefs" LP which is really good the bits I heard- better than there first. He's put it on his i-pot.

Just phoned the n u rse at surgery and shes made appointment for Friday and blood pressure, which I haven't had done for ages. A small woman from the co-op will do it apparently as they are short staffed.

I am taking anti-biotics which look like mexican jumping beings and Hazel is on chinese mushroom spore pills! O how we laugh! O how we cry! Boo hoo!

Lots of love , Michael Hazel and Archie. XXX

p.s. we have a big long parcel in the hall - for the neighbour. We keep lifting it up to guess what is inside. Its very light. Hazel thinks its a sponge on a stick! Whats your guess?

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This is one of the funniest clips from a wonderful film that we stupidly missed when it was at the Regal. It got very little exposure at the time I seem to remember which is a shame as it's brilliant! Go and borrow or buy the DVD now. We treated ourselves and hugely surprised at how inventive and funny it was. I nearly choked laughing at this mad goat with the interchangable horns. The music is fab too. I'd love to find the soundtrack if only for this one song! Looking forward to seeing the directors commentary at some point. Also, it was done on a shoe-string budget apparently with just 5 thousand dollars and two computers!

We popped into town yesterday and bought a few things( incuding this DVD ) - Hazel got some old kitchen weighing scales from the Hewlp The Aged - they have a set of weights with it. Not sure where they will go? I bought a nice old copy of Dover 1800 woodcuts and a japanese writing pad from the same place. Later we had a take-away curry as I didnt feel much like cooking. Still coughing like an old 50 Capstan a day man! Hazel bought me some evil cough mixture that tastes like creosote - if it doesn't work it will be good for re-painting the garden fence!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

House of Bamboo

Apparently some drunk got up and sang this in Berlin and Hazel was convinced I would have it in my vast collection of Bamboo Songs. I did track it down to You Tube and fine version here by some guy in a grass skirt. The camerawork is a bit wayward but you get the idea. I wonder who did it first?

So this is for Hazel.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Presents From Berlin

I went into town this morning to get some flowers for Hazel to celebrate her home-coming. She eventually arrived earlier than expected and got a lift with Tony & Penny which was nice. So didnt have to go via Manchester which would have added two hours or so to her journey which would have been silly. Sounded like a fun filled three days. Seemed more like a month to me! Some presents including this warped single which I havent listened to yet. Postcards, Bit of Berlin wall. Sweets. German lucky bag. A Russian hat for Archie ( with ear flaps ) made of synthetic bear. A big crusty seedy pretzel that Archie ate straight away - greedy boy! Looked through all the photos and felt like I'd almost been there. I made a spinach bake - just in time. Catching up with Coronation Street now she is. They dont have it in Berlin for some reason.

Alarming tales of falling scaffolding and cars screeching to a halt. Four days eh? The Natural History Museum sounds like a barrel of fun - laughing at the fossils! The most interesting exhibit was a flea on a fly on a pin? It sounds like an Ivor Cutler poem.I think Hazel will sleep for two days now!

This new blogger account is such a pain to get onto- i wish I'd never changed. It takes twice as long as before!

"Near the house of the art in Berlin people(persons) stand in wet suits snake(queue). Letting drip and impatiently they wait to throw their(her) sailboard in Eisbach which flows here into the English garden and rears, besides, in a stone step to a halbmeterhohen wave. The professionals jump gekonnt on their(her) board(shelf), the more careful paddle only kneeling in the movement and get up on the foot of the wave. Forwards bent, they balance by the trough, let themselves drive(do) a small piece in the direction of waves parting. Who finds his(its) balance, tries to circle possibly rapidly in the waves slope entlangzugleiten and possibly elegantly by the foam. But not later than after a few turns the movement throws him up to the crest – then only the choice(election) remains between header and R├╝ckenklatscher."

It seems surfing and Hawaiian music are big in Germany which doesn't surprise me as I have heard the Die Waikikis before- infact I may have bought a record by them in the past by mistake thinkig it was something more exotic. The feeling is rather like the Mike Sammes Singers wearing leather shorts and the plaintive strains of the South Seas wafting in the background. The germans love skiffle and rock and roll and I have discovered many German's love world music so it seems they are fans of the slack key guitar and the ukulele too. Echos of it can be found in this quaint record that Hazel found- sadly warped by a fire- hence the clicking nature of the two tracks. The other two tracks jumped a mile!

Die Waikikis - Fern am Strande von Samoa

Die Waikikis - Goldner Mond von Hawai

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Still feeling a bit under-the-weather due to bugs and virals of last 10 days or so. I don't remember having a cold that lasted so long or affected me so much. Hope I can shake it off by the time Hazel gets back from Berlin. She's gone with a college trip - flying off from Liverpool's John Lennon airport today. I didnt think she'd be well enough but thankfully she is despite a lingering cough. Hopefully she'll have a nice couple of days and it won't be too tiring for her. She's been before so knows her way around though lots of rebuilding work has beeen going on I hear. So Archie and I will fend for ourselves until Friday.
I ventured out yesterday for the first time in ages. Foolihsly walked all the way into twon and back. I would have got a bus but didnt see any. My legs turned to jelly half way home and I just made it! I feel like some old geriatric!
I got a few bargains including a nice old book about the Music Hall and the Postcards From The Boys they were selling off cheap in Booksale. Its full of pstcards sent to Ringo by the other three Beatles. I gave it to Hazel as a belated Valentines present to get my own back for the Book of Roundabouts she gave me! It least it has hearts on the cover.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


For the last three days have been full of the nasty germs and bugs that Hazel had/has. It is a particularly rotten strain of viral infection that turns you into a zombie ( not again!) and all you are capable of doing is watching day time TV from 9 until 12 and then a break to chew on a dry crust and eat copious ammounts of paracetamol based cold cures! Also sucking throat sweets and gulping cough syrup by the spoon load. Nothing seems to work really but you feel comfort for a little while that they might do.

Hopefully Hazel will feel well enough to go back to college soon. Archie hasn't succumbed yet thankfully so his half term holiday is only spoilt by his sickly parents groaning and sniffling!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stale Bread and Toadstools

Just back from a nice walk around the woods and lake at Marbury. Fed the ducks our usual supply of stale and mouldy bread. Archie gave some to a little lad who had no bread. We explored a new path cut along the bank of the stream that feeds the mere. Took some photos of toadstools and other brightly coloured and sticky looking funghi. You can see them at my Flickr stream.
Very crowded in the woods today- twitchers and groups of ramblers and families with bouncy dogs and barking children. Heard some woodpeckers in the distance and saw them flying high up in the branches as we got closer. Some twitchers stopped by us too to remark upon it and confirm what we had suspected. We had left the binoculars at home so didn't get a closer view.

Hazel almost didnt leave the house as she is full of cold and headache again. Shes gone back to bed now. Its not long since her last bout of sniffles and sore throat despite all the lime juice and orange she drinks.

Archie is doing his homework after cleaning out the rabbit and the hamster quarters.
Almost time to go and make the dinner. I think it might be nut roast again as we have a half of cabbage to eat up and I found three packs of onion rings in the freezer! Who knows what else is lurking at the back?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow't About

No snow either though plenty about it seems. I walked into town - trying out my new boots. I managed to get there and back without too much trouble. I had two pairs of socks on though just incase. I got some bread and brazil nuts. I might make a nut roast tonight as weve had a cabbage in the fridge for ages and can never think of a suitable meal for it to go with. It doesnt really go with lasagne or macaroni! We had a nice thick veg stew last night with dumplings. Just the job for these cold winter evenings.

Yesterday we went to B & Q to get some floor paint but think weve bought the wrong one. I tried to paint the bathroom floor just now and it just ran off the glossy paint thats on it now. Its more of a wash. There was an accident just outside B & Q and we got there just as the road was being blocked by a police car. Nobody badly hurt but lots of broken glass over the road. Someone had to go to hospital for stitches. The roads must be still icy in places despite the gritting lorries doing their best.
I had a look in Currys for a CD Recorder as mine is playing up ( it is 5 or 6 years old after all ) and keeps stopping when you least expect it. Seems they dont sell them anymore. Neither do Argos. No call for them, the man said- all being done on the computer now. The salesman at Comet suggested I use a DVD recorder instead! What an idiot!

Also in town I bought some cheap videos for 25p including the wonderful "Night On Earth" by Jim Jarmusch with music by Tom Waits.

I have been listening to lots of 60's music lately including Tomorrow featuring Keith West. Steve Howe of Yes fame was also in the band at the time. Here's a couple of tracks on here for a change -

Tomorrow - The Incredible Journey Of Timothy Chase

Tomorrow - Three Jolly Little Dwarfs

Ah the hippy dippy days of 1967 !
The above collage is of a CD sleeve I did for Roger & Jilly to accompany the compilation of psychedelia I made for them. Roger is in the process of making a CD of his own songs he wrote with a freind back then. I imagine he was listening to things like this at the time which may have influenced him.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


A circle of feathers left by a bird of prey in our garden. Hazel just saw a blurred shape and it was gone. Looks like a pigeon was too slow to get out of the way. It must have been a large bird to carry a pigeon off? Hazel took this photo.
Friday I went into town a again for a walk and look around the charity shops. That makes a change I hear you cry!
I got a few bargains including some DVD's by Italian director Dario Argento- a boxed set of three of his early films of mystery and horror. I can't remember what they are now. "Bird With Golden Plumage"? that was one I think. Only two quid for three!Also two videos in sale - 25p each - of Sci-Fi series on TV which name escapes me too for the moment. Red Dwarf - which Archie likes.

Yesterday I stayed in to do some collaging and watched a bit of Jacque Tati's classic comedy"Mr Hulot's Holiday" as I transferred it to DVD.

Today we a quiet morning doing nothing much and in the afternoon went to feed the ducks at Shackerley. The early morning fog had cleared and it had turned intoo quite nice day. The animals have been fed and watered and Archie & Hazel cleaned them out. Pew! They needed it!
On the way to Shackerley spotted a large bird of prey flying off from a bush. It looked like a buzzard but couldnt be sure. Maybe the one that killed the pigeon in our garden.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Auction Fever!

Hazel has been bidding for a few items at the online auction for the Regal bits and bobs. The signs saying "Seats Can Trap Tiny Fingers" and "No Smoking In Regal 1" etc. went like hot cakes much to our surprise. Everything seemed very cheap a few days ago but there was flurry of last minute bidding that pushed the prices up beyond what we thought was a bargain. Hazel might have a solid oak door to cart home. No sure how! She wanted that most of all so she got her wish. She's going to put it in the workshop to replace the flimsy one that's in there.
We went to the Mid Cheshire College the other evening for a look round the Media studios. They had lots of equipment but not much creative use of them sadly. Archie has the option of going there for two hours a week but we decided it would be wasted messing around with Photshop and Illustrator. He does that at home anyway. They mention "moving images" in the hand out but it was a lie - the woman in charge looked perplexed when we asked what sort of moving images they used. "We don't" she said. So it's a lie then?

Went to Chester on the train yesterday for a wander. I dont find much. A CD of Charlie Chester which is pretty awful. Also a cold cheese pastie and Mojo magazine to read on the journey home. It had a free CD with it of unknown bands playing versions of the songs on Sgnt,Pepper's Lovely Hump Club Badge. The bits I listened to were pretty awful. I must admit I havent listened to the original in ages as I heard it so much in 1967 that I started to hate it. I always though Revolver was the masterpiece if I have to choose one.
Chester was very crowded so I was glad to get back on the train again. They have put up some electronic barriers at Chester now so it takes ages to get onto the platform, especially with a coachload of kids being ushered through by some officious looking teachers and flustered railway staff!