May 20, 2013

A hill without a name
Veiled in the morning mist.

(Matsuo Basho 1644-1694)



December books

January 14, 2013

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Really great writing on an eclectic and sometimes challenging range of subjects. Essays include his brothers accidental electroction; Bunny Wailer interviewed in Jamaica; living in the residence of an ancient man of Southern letters and Axl Rose.

Boneland by Alan Garner. A blend of the theme of Thursbitch and the characters of the Wyrdstone stories brings an adult finish and flourish to the series of children’s books from the 70’s. I have to say I preferred Thursbitch and The Stone Quartet but this is a great book nevertheless and clearly an itch the author needed to scratch.

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson. A perfect novella that deserves five stars or more. An history of the American 20th century told through the eyes and story of one man. One of the best books of 2012.

KLF: Chaos, Magic, Music, Money by J M R Higgs. Interesting and entertaining ebook that’s more about discordianism, dada, chaos and Robert Anton Wilson than it is about Jimmy Cauty and the KLF. Good if this stuff is of interest.

Museums without Walls by Jonathon Meades. Meades! in writing! all the essays! essential…

Heavy Duty People by Iain Parke. Novel based upon the Northern biker wars a few years back. Noir’ish and interesting for the subject matter. The author clearly got further inside of a closed culture than Hunter S Thompson ever did.

Sharon Olds – Stags Leap. I’ve been to the winery and have a bottle of the Cabernet that the poet named this anthology after in my limited wine collection. It was the favourite wine of Old’s and her husband until their separation which this collection describes in excruciating and moving details. Kind of, erm relevant…..

Underneath the Arches

July 17, 2011

Arch#1 New Mills Viaduct – Sheltered from the driving rain, trying to remember how to climb by crabbing back and forth along the chalky traverse. It’s damp and a little unnerving with big drips threatening to knock out my contact lenses when leaning back, straight armed to shake out the pump from my out-of-condition forearms. Enthusiasm and the psyche is low for rock climbing. The weather is awful and the grim outdoor gyms of Raven Tor and The Cornice the only venues available. I’m not in the mood for dangling around trying moves on other peoples warmups.


Arch#2 MOSI, Manchester. Bjork. The stage is surrounded with Heath Robinson-esque musical contraptions. Bouncing along to a bassline generated by a Tesla coil; strange oriental strings on ginourmous pendulums; a beautiful Icelandic girls choir. Bjork the entertainer in a huge red Afro wig. Tremendous.

Arch#3 the San Siro Italy, uncomfortably watching Robbie Williams having a what appears to be a bi-polar breakdown in front of 75000 people.

Listening to: EMA, Off!, James Blake, Tek 9, Gatto Fritto.
Reading: Hitch22, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in Cheshire/Scouse by S Armitage), Phil Baker’s Bio of AOS, Dan John.