Category Archives: MUSES

Forget El Nino – it’s now La Nina


On a lighter note – here in Bournemouth, UK it’s bloody cold for the last week of April.  I guess I’m hoping it’s heralding a bright (warm) Summer ahead – but who knows?

Certainly the UK Met office doesn’t – their 30 day forecast is, em . . . about as good as I could do, without the use of their £97,000,000, 000 super-computer (no, really) .
Have a quick read – it really is a laugh –

We, as a planet are moving out of the 2015/16 El Nino ( – and they’re (Christ! there’s always a “they” isn’t there?)  talking about possibilities for a La Nina (I’m not making this up, I swear) – though surf as I might, nothing is mentioned about ramifications of an La Nina for Northern Hemisphere.

Need a more expensive computer, perhaps?

Branding, blanding

Here is a snippet from Alex Proud’s piece in The Telegraph UK newspaper.

The entire piece is <<here>> it’s a long piece (1767 words) but give it a go, if you’ve a mind to.

“However, brands are addictive, so as time went on, I spent more and more time thinking about the brand and less and less time thinking about photographers and art. People would ask, “How are things going?” and I’d say, “Great. The brand got some really good exposure this week. In Dazed, which is right where our values are.” I’m still not sure what I meant by our values. But I guarantee you conversations like this are taking place in a thousand architect-designed offices around the country right now. And the people involved will be talking in that weird super-serious tone which is only ever used by those whose jobs are totally unserious. It’s a tone you never hear doctors or structural engineers use.”

Nearing the mainstream

aldi et al - tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it
aldi et al – tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it

Such a shame.  It wasn’t long ago I really enjoyed being an Aldi or Lidl shopper.  I felt on the verge of great discoveries.  Truly kicking aside the fake-friendly, bargain-lying, pack-your-bags-for-you-sir? Utter crap that I felt constituted the UK supermarket scene.

Fast forward to 2016 and you can hardly tell them apart.  And with that the prices, once about half or a third of comparable goods in Sainsburys, or Tescos – are now edging-up as market share gains, and habits are re-set.

Witness their Social media pages, their TV adverts, music style borrowed from the established players, chatty-batty commenting, so obviously tuned to the mainstream – not a German mis-quote, or misunderstanding of a slogan in site, sight, site, either will do in this case – and all the worse for it.

It was good while it lasted.

Corruption speeds-up (or the reporting of?)

I don’t suppose it should come as a surprise.  With such riches sprinkled – neh! Ladled upon the undeserving, for running around; for kicking a ball and then being photographed with their mouths wide open whilst they shout about it (ever noticed that?)

Sportspeople are approaching the status of Singers and Comedians (themselves made truly hideously rich for, well, singing and comedianing), and now the corruption thoughts lead to the business tie-ins.

Nike this time as French prosecutors launch a fresh inquiry into the awarding of the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Nike’s hometown of Eugene – can you just IMAGINE the flood of ASPIRATIONAL TV IMAGES Nike would flood us with, on the lead-up to these events?

One of the largest truckloads of evil cynicism ever to grace a screen.


Similarly FIFA’s mess –

fifa corruption
Click for full story


Similarly cycling –

click for full story
click for full story

Morning muses . . .

migrateThis morning I saw thousands upon thousands of birds were setting off on their migration.
I saw them from the Lounge window, so high – wave upon wave of them, across a blue background, not seen for too many days.

It was the beginning of one of ‘those’ days.

I think the links, the associations we make, stay in the head or heart as long as we live.
They might sleep, just below the surface for months or years, but they remain, to be awakened – if times, systems, situations, circumstance allow.


Then it gets to late night: and you wonder if planetary systems, weather patterns, seasons, moon-state  all conspire to guide our paths, or, at least, post sign-posts along the way.

I’m a Libran, so by october 23 you might think all that might happen, has.

Yet for me, throughout my life,  November has always been power month.

I feel I could almost look up and see the stars swirling ever faster as they arrange and rearrange fate.

Given enough ‘real space’ in my head (so no job, then, temporarily) I sometimes feel I could mentally reach-up and point a finger into those swirling clouds of fate, just to witness the forces shaping-up, and to sense the colour of their determination, perhaps even their destination.

I can actually see them, sense then there as I drive, or stare out, or sleep – and my god they’re powerful.


But they move, god how they move – and one bad night closes it all down, renders any wider understanding impossible, actually not there at all, and you wait for the cycle to return, for that day, or those days when the insights return.
You can taste when they’re there – the smell of a morning, the silence of a dawn, or the behaviour of birds.


A message came through, confirming, and delighting.
Later in the day an email came through from my boss, congratulating me on something or other, I got rid of a piece of work that had been bugging me all week, and another email stated that the work “observation window” was about to start (next Tues) and last for 2-weeks – stress, then.
And don’t these ‘constructed’ concerns, these daily stresses, this muddle of real and not-real ‘jobs’ (our society has built for us, has taught us to believe in), interfere so much with any perspective we might have gained?

Certainly does for me.

Tax Credit cuts

It comes to some really serious shit when the House of Lords – let’s just re-type that: The House of LORDS, possibly the largest collection of affluence, position and social standing within one group of individuals – stands against a Government in Power – on the subject of support for low-income families.
From (you might think) a collection of the most right-wing leanings, comes the most left-wing concerns. Amazing.



One hot, genuinely steamy June night, in 1976, the early hours of the morning found me outside a take-away ‘hole in the wall’ type place, in the middle of Boscombe, Bournemouth.

My motorcycle was parked (as ever) sideways-on, back wheel to the gutter, side-stand out – and as for all of us those days, your bike was so individual – it would serve as an early marker as to your presence anywhere, inside or out.

It must have been around 2.30am, I was the only customer – no other traffic.

A single vehicle approached along the otherwise deserted Christchurch Road and as it neared the takeaway it started to slow.

The windows of the car were all down (hot night) –and as the car drew level with the takeaway the driver leaned out.

A single word rang-out across the deserted scene, echoing back and forth between the shop fronts.


The vehicle never stopped, and soon was out of sight, and out of ear-shot.

Dave Shead was on his way home, and thought he’d hurl good-natured abuse at me.