Dear Charlotte Ansell, please publish more poetry

Today I finished reading one of my favourite books of poetry, ‘Deluge’ by Charlotte Ansell. I think I’ve read this book about three times now, and each time I love it even more. My only complaint is that I would really like Charlotte Ansell to publish some more. I just can’t keep reading this book over and over.

Deluge by Charlotte Ansell
Deluge by Charlotte Ansell

For the time being I will satisfy myself by reading ‘After Rain’, which I think I have only read once so far.

So, please Charlotte, publish some more, I’m waiting.

Goodbye Mr Takahashi

I only learnt today that Yukihiro Takahashi passed away earlier this month. He was 70 years old. I have been a fan of his work for some decades and I still enjoy his music a great deal. I have to say that it actually hit me quite hard.

I first listened to his album “What? Me Worry”. An album made with Bill Nelson, another favourite artist of mine. I listened to that album over and over as a teenager. I loved it so much then, and I still do.

My first reaction to hearing this news was to find the albums of his that I don’t own as yet. There are a few. He had a prolific output. I expect that over the coming weeks and months I will be listening to a lot of his music again.

I’ve been looking for a long time

Back in the 80s I used to listen to John Peel’s show. It is where many of my musical tastes were formed and a lot of the artists I first heard on his show are people I still listen to now. But there are still one or two things that I have never found. One thing I have never found was a session on one of his shows. I can’t remember the name of the artist or the names of any of the tracks. You can see why this is a problem right?

All I know is that the session, if indeed it was a session, was all about a utopian world. It was futuristic kind of science fiction music. I recorded it, but on reel to reel, which is what I used to use back then. Of course now I no longer have access to that machine although I may still have the reels. But the reels might be solidified by now anyway.

I doubt that I will ever rediscover this music. Which is a shame. But every now and then I have a look for it. To date, always in vain.

The best news for a Friday, there is more Space 1999 coming

I got an email today from Big Finish saying that there is going to be a new set of Space 1999 stories coming in May this year. Which is excellent news. I have really enjoyed the previous Space 1999 stories they made. I was a big fan of the original series and I’ve watched it many times over.

When it came back to audio with Big Finish I was so pleased that there would be new stories, and they’ve been really good too. My only complaint is that there haven’t been enough stories for my liking. At least there’s more coming and not too long to wait.

Shriekback – Bowlahoola

I am a big Shriekback fan. I have liked their music for a long time now. Their latest album, Bowlahoola was released recently and I got my copy in the post.

One of the things I like the most about Shriekback is their lyrics. They are clever, intelligent, witty. Sometimes their songs even make me laugh, but they are always interesting and well put together. This album is no exception at all.

You might think that after all this time they would have lost their touch, but no, this album is just as fresh as ever, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

Laurie Anderson has to be one of the most original people of all time

Over the last day or so I have been listening to Laurie Anderson’s ‘Life of a Dog’. I have listened to it before, but this time around I was struck by it’s deep poetry. I found it incredibly moving. I’m not sure that I had quite appreciated just how powerful it was.

I have been listening to Laurie Anderson’s music for longer than I have not been listening to her. Which is saying something. I have also seen her perform live on more occasions that I can remember and saw her give a Q&A session at a screening of her film ‘heart of a dog’. Whilst I have never met her, she comes across as a very sincere and honest person who cares about what she does.

What she does, she does in the most original and unique way. I think that sometimes it is easy to overlook just how amazing she is as an artist and an individual, and I wanted to say that.

Peladon

As you might know if you’ve been to this site before, I do like Doctor Who. Although that is probably a bit of an understatement. I’m a huge fan of the output of Big Finish.

This set of stories was very appealing for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the cast, with David Troughton reprising his role from the original third doctor story, which is excellent. There are two Doctors and plenty of other great actors too.

In terms of story it is excellent. I won’t spoil it for you, just in case you do buy it. However, what I can tell you is that this set of stories was one of the most interesting I’ve heard from Big Finish in a while, and I like the stuff that they produce a lot. The story unfolds over decades, and has political and social dimensions in keeping with the original Peladon stories, which made a good deal of reference at the time to the political happenings in the UK. I’m glad that they echoed that in this collection.

I won’t say more about the story, just in case you decide to listen to it. If you do, it’s good, it’s really good.

Stargate SG-1

I have watched every episode of Stargate SG-1. If that is of no interest to you then you probably want to stop reading now and do something else. If I still have your attention, feel free to read on.

I’m now watching them all again, and I’m about halfway through. This time around, one thing I’m noticing is just how good the writers are in picking up stories and themes in the series and continuing them. Unlike many similar series they didn’t just take the approach of having lots of individual stories with occasional two or three part stories.

Even when the issues they tackle are fairly obviously related to modern day goings on the stories don’t feel like they’re preaching. Not something I can say for other productions.

Watching Stargate again makes me realise how much I enjoy well written science fiction with longevity.

Why are smart bands not more of a thing?

When Pebble was a going concern there were a couple of smart bands that appeared to add functionality to the Pebble watch. I liked the idea of these although I’m not sure that they were particularly successful.

The Apple Watch has had a couple of similar add ons with bands that add video capability and one that adds gestural control. I looked at both and decided that, whilst they were both interesting, they were both bulky and I knew that in the end I wouldn’t use them and they’d end up on eBay.

Now I wonder why these haven’t become more mainstream? It would seem like an obvious place to put more functionality and controls, but no one seems to be doing that. I do wonder if a future Apple Watch will bring that kind of functionality. One thing is for sure though. They’ll have looked at it, or they are looking at it.

Buses with USB ports

Yesterday I got a bus to work, or at least part of the way to work anyway. Normally I would get a train to work, but the rail strike meant that I had to find other means. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the strikes. Quite the opposite in fact. The rail network in this country has been decimated through privatisation and a constant lack of investment. The workers should be striking for pay and conditions.

Anyway, I don’t often get the bus, although I’m not averse to public transport by any means. But this bus was a bit different. Like many trains it had USB ports for charging your devices on the go. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a bus before. I was quite impressed.