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Face your Fears .. July 3, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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63817874_jbse5me5_bird_img_1435.jpg63817874_jbse5me5_bird_img_1435.jpgThere was a dead bird in the garden yesterday. It was laying just outside the window, moist from the rain and obviously freshly delivered from the living, completely untouched by the local moggie.

I hate dead birds ..

Dead birds smell and remind me of primary school. My school had a wood attached to it and there were always dead birds festering in the summer heat with flies and maggots and manky feathers. Dead birds dribble as well .. I don’t expect they mean to, but they always seem to leave behind a form of solidified slush ..

I faced my fears, held my breath and from spade to compost bin in 20 seconds flat. I was proud.

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Apathy .. June 26, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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TrabiApathy is so close in phonetics to Anarchy and Energy that I often find myself getting them all confused .. I have however been less than energetic in updates ..

My most exciting piece of news is that I am now a ‘Property Magnate’, although that should really warrant all lower case.

We had an offer accepted on an apartment in Berlin yesterday ūüôā Oh happy days .. It is affectionately known as the Glass Palace, the previous tennant being a glazier that liked to dabble with the trade in his spare time also. It is a neat One bedroom place with all things functioning and only surface stuff to fix up, which in itself is great, but most of the surface stuff is incredibly ornate mirrors – everywhere.

It’s great though and although it is at the moment only for investment purposes, I can picture myself on the balcony now, bottle of cheap Aldi Wine and a copy of Berliner Morgenpost whilst the afternoon sun drops over Alexanderplatz in the distance .. ahhhh …

We spent the weekend visiting my Sister and her Boyfriend in Berlin, it was really nice, I get on really well with both of them and feel sad to leave each time. I think you appreciate relatives more the older you get.

We did some sight seeing, T endulged me on the a trip round East Berlin driving a Trabant 601!! It was amazing. She was hoping it would put an end to my desire to buy one, but if anything I know just want one all the more. It was great to drive, pretty smooth for a car 20 years old and thrashed by Tourists. The windscreen wipers made the most humourous effort to clear the rain but nothing could stop the perma grin on my face .. We followed that with a trip to KaDeWe and briefly watched the Gay Pride parade which was pretty impressive ..

We also paid a visit to same resturant and club combo from my last trip there, Zapata and Vicola, which translates to a hip former squat come music venue and a vibrant Tapas Bar under the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn Station .. both really great and a fantastic way to enjoy the city. I love the fact they due to the previous divisions, there are multiple City Centres, and due to that geographical split, the pressure is on each area to retain a buzz – and the all seem to cope with that tension ..

We went house hunting, unsuccesfully at first due to shifty sales types in sharp suits, and also did leisurely¬†Sunday breakfast and flea market bargain hunting. Plus a trip to the Berlin Wall Museum at Bernauer St, largely for T’s benefit, but we also visited the Church of the Reconciliation which is something i have wanted to see for a while – it was the church that happened to be ‘in’ the death strip¬†when they built the wall that was blown up in 1985. It’s a pretty moving building to stand in now that it has been rebuilt..

I have nothing else to add ..

Rebellion .. June 6, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Kids, Music, Reviews.
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index2003_r1_c4.jpgSo you think you are a punk? Well no, not really, but picture the scene ..

I am sitting at one PC watching the very entertaining American Hardcore*, grinning at the Jerry’s Kids live set and some in-depth interviews with Ian and Henry .. I even sang along with Minor Threat a little just to get into the mood ..

My youngest Son is listening to JAMES BLUNT on Bebo .. those three wise men can shove their semi’s somewhere unpleasant ..

I am sure their will be some role reversal come the teenage years, but frankly, I might need to beat this phase out of him ..

 * Great film for nostalgia, focuses a little too much on the West Coast for my liking, but a lot of grainy snippets of live footage that I could watch for weeks on end. Look forward to seeing the extras on the DVD.

Wheaten .. June 6, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids, Travel.
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A pleasant business trip to Northern Ireland last week, Hogwarts-esque plush hotel, on the coast, just up from the Border in the town of Newcastle. Sitting in the spa overlooking the sunny water, it was a world away from the smog and smoke .. I won the quiz too, impressing a few people with my knowledge of TV Theme tunes & I don’t even watch TV..

Newcastle also has a bakery that boasted the best Wheaten Breadin the whole of Ireland .. I’m not sure how they validate that, but it was pretty fine indulging nonetheless ..

It’s a rare occasion that work and leisure combine these days, I used to work located with my co-workers and miss the camaraderie of that. I think I need to change roles and¬†become a Postman and call in to see people for a cup of tea and chat .. having said that, my Postman is not the happy ‘cup of tea’ type, he is a ‘geezer’ who calls me me ‘boss’ – he would probably be more happy with a Diamond White and an ounce of Charlie ..

Happy Birthday Mum. I cooked for her last night as she was otherwise engaged today. She loved it & we had a really nice evening, although she did take a fair while to blow out the candles & made a wish for ‘More Grandchildren’, to looks agast around the dinner table .. all parties have since recovered ..

Eldest Son is away on a school trip all week. I’m not soppy eyed, but I do really miss him. Reminds me of my school trips – setting off fire crackers in the sea wall at Dieppe and making hay on the back seat of the coach, metaphorically speaking of course .. I’m sure he is having a fine time – the joys of youth ..

This is the Modern World .. May 22, 2007

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Son #2 is only 8. He accompanied me into town last Friday night on a ‘dropping the masses off to get intoxicated’ jaunt. On the way through the Town Centre there were surly looking some bouncers outside a couple of the bars and he asked me, ‘why do they have guards outside a pub?’ ..¬†i answered in the best way I saw how and he accepted that some people cause trouble for no reason and acknowledged that when people drink, they sometimes get violent ..

This led onto quite a reasoned debate and¬†a more alarming¬†perception of a nightclub .. ‘I don’t think I ever want to go to a nightclub, because of all the guns’, he said¬†.. I explained the likelihood of anyone having a gun was remote, that’s the job of the bouncer,¬†and that the well publicised local shootingdoesn’t mean that every club is littered with gun toting drug dealers .. we had a nice chat about it and whilst I wasn’t trying to promote¬†club land,¬†I don’t want him to¬†latch on to one news item and become paranoid.

It is a shame¬†.. Children were still Children when I was his age, these days the masses of information and media mean that kids see and hear so much more at a young age. I think I would be the same. I don’t see him sitting down to watch the news, it’s more a sub-conscious absorption from Internet, TV & Playground – the Playground is especially rife with stories and opinions these days, and now all a kid has to do to find out more is type the new word into Google. What 8 year old kid isn’t inquisitive?

I don’t believe in too much censorship, but you don’t want you kids to miss out on the tooth fairy phase in order to come to terms with¬†Heroin Addiction and the poor working condition in the Town’s Red Light District..

Thankfully both my¬†Children will talk openly about things and haven’t gathered any obvious hang-ups, we all adapt, and if the media is out there, it’s a case of standing on guard to spot the news heading their way and helping out with some rational context. The joys of modern parenthood.

Sunscreen .. May 21, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.
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PandaI offer some worthwhile advice this time. If you are going to purchase (moderately) fashionable over-sized sunglasses that could have handed down from a Terminator/Roy Orbison hybrid, do not .. repeat .. do not  .. wear them in the extreme sunshine for any length of time .. especially not all day Sunday in the middle of an open field ..

‘Panda Boy Lobster Face’ is what my Son called me, amongst fits of giggles .. It’s a good job I don’t have to face the wrath of the playground today. We ate out last night and T booked two tables, one for me,one for her and the kids .. the waiter was trying to look at me as though there was nothing wrong .. it could be some hideous incurable skin complaint after all .. I think I provided sufficient entertainment for all ..

On a slightly heavier note, I headed to London today. It was all going so well, although I was obviously preparing myself for the adult equivalent of playground piss taking .. no one in my office would have let me out of the room alive, in a respectful manner .. of course .. then the train stops .. I wait, we wait .. and wait .. about an hour later we discover someone is having a worse day .. they had jumped in front of the train in front of us! What a way to start the week. It’s hard to be mad at someone for making the train too late, for you to attend a meeting that in a couple of months time you will have forgotten about – to them, the situation was somewhat more dire.

I had wasted enough time to make it worthless heading into the City, so I turned round and came back home. I had wasted my train fare &¬†was moderatly annoyed for about 30 mins and then joined the meeting by phone. My day returned to schedule with some ease. The person whose life ended at Marks Tey this morning has family members in shock, lives turned upside down, probably, it won’t be quite so smooth running for them¬†.. thoughts to them ..

Solarcaine for the Soul ..

Very Important .. May 15, 2007

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I spent a Sunday recovering, not just from excessive alcohol,but more from shock .. shock at having found myself nightclubbing, and not just any nightclub .. <shudder> Liquid no less ..

For those that dont know the Liquid chain, they are largely frequented by the types that are barely out of high school and favour wearing insufficient under garments to keep off the spring chill ..

Why then was I there … well .. a quiet drink out, turned into a rather heavy session. Amongst the quiet gathering was local business man of the year and all round nice bloke, who suggested a trip to the VIP loungeat said establishment, gratis, as though it was the most natural place to finish off the evening .. I had a feeling of trepidation, but you can’t slate a place when you haven’t the evidence to slate .. so research, that was what was needed .. I didn’t even know they had such a thing as a VIP lounge – are there really VIPs in a sleepy Suffolk Town .. maybe Bill Whyman and John Peel’s Wife Sheila .. surely they wouldn’t be there full time??

Ushered past the hoardes like a minor celebrity I expected to be sharing the lounge with overpaid footballers with Cocaine habits*, but it was quite a nice crowd, the drinks were free (if Carlsberg made nightclubs?!) and the people watching was pretty fine.. So, all in all, I gathered sufficient evidence to confirm I don’t want to return, but it was a blast, there was lots of drinking and giggling¬†and despite the hangover, I can stand up, be counted and state that I had a good night out at Liquid ..<splutter> ..

* Unnecessary stereotype based on no real solid evidence ..

Digging .. May 10, 2007

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I have never been interested in gardening, even when the fad of TV make-over programmes had Ms Dimmock pendulating across our screens .. I also find it curious that a lot women find Alan Titchmarsh a heart-throb .. however ..

After way too many years of staring out over a sea of weed like super structures, I have eventually got round to improving the view. It is a fantastic feeling. So happy me sits smugly gazing out into the new found urban, well subarban, wilderness ..

The thing that struck me though, was my new found love of digging .. I spent the best part of a whole day digging compost from my local refuse tip and loading into the car .. it was sunny, dirty and macho* & I loved it .. It gave me a (largely false) feeling of achievement and self worth, as if I was in tune with nature, despite having ripped out 30m2 of perfectly good worm habitat and replacing it with shingle :$

I now get the urge to ‘get out in the garden’ and dig at the most surprising times .. I think it is largely hormonal, and will probably pass once I have bought an open topped sports car and suffered depression, but until that happens, I’m spade in hand and smiling ..

* It’s all relative, but it is more macho than hand cream, that’s for sure ..

Too Much, Too Young .. May 1, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, My Girlfriend.
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There was a time when MySpace, meant My Space & not some social intraction portal¬†.. but it is with a giddy step that¬†I announce to the world* that¬†‘my space’ is soon to become ‘our space’ .. it might catch on you know .. I asked T to move in & she said .. yes

I have that happy nervousness about me, albeit without the nervousness .. I have lived with anyone for 6 years & although the overwhelming emotion is excitement, I am equally curious about all¬†the potentially pointless debates about nothing, that mean lots to one and little to another .. i.e. why can’t we sell all your guitars? <gulp> …

What happens when my ‘stuff’ gets relegated to the garage, what about the Barbie collection .. is that negotiable in today’s society?? Actually, should I admit to having a barbie collection in the first place????

As I momentarily skip through corn fields¬†in my mind, it seems to be the easiest decision .. she is¬†the best thing ever¬†and soooooo easy to get on with .. so as I look forward to unpacking boxes full of things pink, fluffy and bow like, someone remind me in a couple of years time that debates about selling guitars are pointless … please please remind me …

* well, maybe not the whole world, but¬†‘modest readership’ sounded paltry in such context ..

Isopropyl .. April 26, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids, Music, My Girlfriend.
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Say hello, wave goodbye ..

150px-isopropanol-3d-vdw.pngIt is the end of an era .. in¬†days of old, when ships set sail to restore England’s pride, I bought a smoky brown glass jar of Isopropyl Alcohol from Boots Chemist for ¬£3.69 (I know cos the label is still on it) on recommendation of the geeky looking guy in the hi-fi shop .. I was a mere¬†teenager and audio cassettes were the de rigour .. I used to record loads of trite off the radio and had just started getting into four track home recording on my Tascam Porta 1 .. ahh those were the days ..

To clean the cassette heads you used to have to get a cotton bud, dip it in the alcohol and rub all the dirt and grime away before you made your masterpiece .. the smell is instant and recognisable, like a mix of pencil smells & clinical institutions ..

Anyway .. I’ve kept that self same bottle of Alcohol on the shelf for all those years, it saw me through leaving home, came with me to college, my first real home, having kids (I think that’s when it went to the high shelf) through to today .. but needs must .. I was clearing space out for girls stuff ‘well where am I going to put my stuff?’, said T, with what I have to admit was a reasonable degree of concern and empathy* .. the junk had to go .. I had ditched the audio cassettes some 3 or 4 years ago, but the Isopropyl stood for so much more ..

It is now no longer. Where the bottle once stood, now stands girls stuff .. disposable stuff that will probably be out of favour in a few months and replaced by the seasons’ hot trends .. tee hee .. so long big brown bottle, you have been good to me ..

* It’s because she is worth it ..