Monthly Archives: April 2015

Aidan’s pecs

Cusp of an election news. Well I have nothing to say about the election so that’s that.

Instead I will admire my world peopled as it is by loveliness. The cherry tree is blooming, the fountain is spurting and the cats are killing – what could be more spring like. Things are very good. My sister Angela has had an epic birthday which was a great occasion. The best bit was the ruby ring in the M&M’s closely followed by my nieces wonderful dog who I got to hold. In fact I ended up with a lead and no dog but failed to notice. My sister Julia has completed an epic bike ride for Amyloidosis – so epic congrats all round.

My children and my girl are doing their things in Norwich and London and Brussels. Maria and I have an empty nest but are so happy that they are happy that the empty nest doesn’t hurt at all. We met Avani’s mum which was a real delight. Meeting mum of son’s girlfriend is, to be frank something to be strongly dreaded as one is acutely aware of the potential to let said son down, but in this case all was well in seconds – so future meetings will be a breeze.

Poldark sort of gripped me. I can’t say I fancied the lead and I found his wife a much more interesting character and more interesting portrayal, he says pompously. The reaction to the lead actor (forgotten his name – Aidan something)


has been unashamedly sexist in so far as much of the commentary from women has been on his ‘pecs,’ – I feel licensed thus to share my ongoing enthusiasm for Emilia Clarke but will stop short of mentioning her ‘pecs.’


I am untroubled by this dual standard, if indeed it is one, but feel bound to at least to point out that us men whose pecs are somewhat akin to tiny full nappies are just a wee bit intimidated by Aidan’s Sunday night trunk. Still I have season 3 of Game of Thrones to redress the balance, although come to think of it there are a lot of thick trunks in that not to say pecs.

My mind is full of suburbia and shopping. My creativity has dissolved in a puddle of cosy pleasures. Shopping still tops them although I now have my own paypal account which fills up with ebay sales and empties with ebay purchases. Of course I plan to cheat like crazy but the illusion of self sufficiency is comforting and guilt allaying. I had not realised how much I had missed doing manual things. I can now fix a Ronson petrol lighter blindfold and have had some limited successes with alarm clocks – so far three all, repaired to destroyed. Gas lighters. remain a hazardous challenge. The combination of low temperature, high pressure gas and high temperature flame has resulted in a few lucky escapes – the loss of all the hair from one hand and one occasion in which I had to hurl the flaming lighter into the garden John McClean fashion. Sadly it did not explode. I currently have 15 lighters on sale on EBay happily there seem to be plenty of other saddos out there.

My dear friend Paul came to visit – it’s always a real joy particularly as he and Arthur have so much music stuff to discuss. He has stimulated to think again about my audio pieces for artificial voice. I think the main thing I am beginning to realise is that if the sound is to support the voice it must help to tell the story or directly supply the emotional content. Adding another layer of abstraction is tempting but ultimately unhelpful. I am fascinated by this challenge but have to be careful not to confuse a scientific interest in showing how a robotic voice can be improved by introducing a soundscape with an artistic desire to create something affective. I don’t know what the answer is other than to keep doing what I am doing until I figure it. I don’t believe intellectualising will help. Anyway any feedback from others would help they are on

That’s it x

Sorry to be so silent – I lost interest in my mouth for a bit.

Someone on ‘Thought for the Day’ spoke very intelligently about how we are all so fond of the sound of our own voices these days – particularly via social media, online campaigns, review sites etc. I realized I was certainly guilty of this and particularly guilty of the curse of the white male – ‘let me show you, world, how to fix things,’ consequently I lost interest in my own opinions for a bit and decided over the Easter holiday to go into the garden and fix local, rather than global things.

So with help from various sons, we have cleared the side of the house, built an outside store for Maria’s annoying bags of mud, assembled the most ridiculously complicated barbeque (not very ‘Vorsprung durch technik’ despite its German credentials) installed a new cimenea – actually made by some ‘Fred Dibnar impersonator’ from an old gas bottle –

!Brilliant, recommended! and put up a large anarchist poster to counteract the objectionable tide of blue that has flooded the neighborhood (unfortunately it is black and looks just a touch fascist).



I particularly the juxtaposition of the fountain, the new painted exterior (Dulux weathershield -Tuscan Sun or something) and an offstage Landmann barbeque with this statement of extreme disobedience – good to see I practice what I preach.

I have also fixed two radios, numerous lighters and two clocks – I have broken about as many treasured items en route to these limited successes.

I peaked work-wise after the submission of a vast European funding bid I have a part in – as it is worth half a million quid the university if we get it (it’s led heroically by Edinburgh) I was quite pleased with myself. All credit due to the other partners who are a great lot of individuals from Spain and Portugal – it would be such fun if we got it as it’s about robots that try to voice act.

I had my monthly check at the hospital and my response to the treatment was pronounced excellent. I think this means they will hold fire on doing anything more at all, which is very fine by me. I am now 12 stone 9lbs – blimey!

Re politics – I wont be voting in the next election – so feel free to throw me aside as a relative or friend or just throw me to the wolves of goodie goodies who go on about – ‘all those people who fought and died in order that you should have a vote’. The point about history is that it’s in the past and what was once heroic and intensely meaningful in now as retro and irrelevant as my collection of table lighters and a poodle toilet roll cover I am threatening to buy. By voting for any party, the establishment can claim that the emergent government has the support of the people when in fact they have achieved only obedience from the people who are seduced into thinking they have a say when they don’t – mind you most of us, including me ,only pretend to care anyway.

I am now a confirmed anarchist (after all I have a badge). I have no faith (no faith in anything) in democracy, government, unions, politics, god or any authority of any type (of course I exclude myself, my family and friends and cats and the nurses and doctors who look after me from this list – I have faith in the authority of all of those). The world is absurd. For some lucky ones its is absurdly joyful and a wee bit silly (I am one of those) for many its absurdly cruel. The government of ‘men’ has done nothing to globally rectify this imbalance and never will. Human beings are born to be free (and in my case to shop and pontificate) and that is the only criteria that matters. In the meantime we should individually fight for the rights of the most oppressed and the overthrow of the most oppressive. In our daily lives we should seek to be nice to people. This is a utopian position that takes no account of social necessities, history, practicalities or any the other tiresome obstacles to making outspoken, irrational and marginally mad statements. So be it. As Christopher Hitchens says ‘ The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.’

The sentiments of Christopher Hitchens sent to me by Arthur.


As you may have gathered I am still in a frightful muddle about the whole thing – but delightfully, I don’t care that much- so stuff it all and back to my burrow. Car boot sale tomorrow – hurrahhh!

Love and solidarity xxx – Vote Labour if you must vote at all – you can have my vote.