Finding my first cassette recorder

When I was about 11 or maybe 12 I really desperately wanted a tape recorder, and for Christmas I got one. It was a fergusson and it looked like this.

I found it again at a very weird museum a few weeks ago. It took me right back. I used to use it for recording myself and later on it was very handy for use with a ZX81 and then with a ZX Spectrum.

Remembering Shackleton and the Endurance

Shackleton stamps
Shackleton stamps

I really enjoyed the dramatisation with Kenneth Brannagh some years ago. I think I’ve watched it a couple of times now and the story is one that I find quite inspiring. So it was nice to see these commemorative stamps. At some point I’d like to find out a bit more about him and his other expeditions. One day I’ll do that.

I will be posting pictures that make me happy

I was looking at old photos as one does at the beginning of a new year, and I thought it might be nice to post some of these every now and then, possibly daily. Pictures that remind me of good times. Pictures that make me smile, make me happy. Stuff I think will be good to share and might make you smile too. So expect pictures regularly, or occasionally. It’ll depend you know.

WOMAD memories 3: The Portico Quartet

The first time I saw The Portico Quartet was at WOMAD a few years ago. They were amazing and made a really big impression. Of course, now they’re no longer the Portico Quartet, and they’re just Portico, which is fine. Their music is quite different now, but I still like it. However, for me I think it lacks the impact of the first time I saw them live at WOMAD. That was amazing.

Now here’s the real sound of Christmas … Tijuana Christmas (Sound of Brass)

Something from my childhood that I remember from every Christmas. Decorating the tree to the sound of Tijuana Christmas. My Grandfather used to love it too, and in many ways that sound reminds me of him, which is no bad thing at all.

It was awesome, and now I’ve found out that it’s on iTunes I can go grab it for myself and relive all of those memories!

Solidarity Museum Ticket


The museum itself was brilliant. In some ways overwhelming and very moving, but the entry ticket I had overlooked until it turned up in my wallet. It’s actually made to look like a ration card, which is very appropriate.

Revisiting Nine Horses

I had a 40 minute drive to do (each way) today and realised that my iPod was completely out of charge, so I had no choice but to take a couple of CDs with me for the journey. One of these was Nine Horses ‘Snow Bourne Sorrow’, which, in hindsight, as it’s been a snowy day, perhaps wasn’t such a good idea.

Anyway, I listened to Snow Bourne Sorrow on the way home, and I was so pleased that I did. It has amazing songs, but most of all I was impressed with the quality and poignancy of the lyrical content. I’d forgotten these songs, and they deserve a listen quite regularly. So I think a Nine Horses re-listen is on the way for me very soon.

Snow Borne Sorrow - Nine Horses

Goodbye Mary

So sad to hear this morning that Mary Tamm has died aged 62. I don’t really have the right words for this sort of thing, it’s probably best to just say that I think I need to watch the entire Key to Time story again now.

Alan Turing exhibition at the Science Museum

I didn’t even know that this exhibition was on at the Science museum, and I was only really there for Music day, so it was a real bonus to see it. Some nice exhibits and a lot of information packed into a very small space. I think I’ll need to see it again at least once if not more times.

Listening to Shriekback

I hadn’t listened to this band in a long time and decided to play their last few albums on Spotify. I’d forgotten just how good their lyrics were. It was a great listen and brought back a load of memories too.

If you haven’t heard any shriekback then I’d suggest you give them a listen as they were a great band with a great sound.