26 June 2013


I don't do or have much in my life so I try to keep alive to the 'spark'.

Of late I've been driving around 
with Jim Potts' fine blues rocking my car stereo.

I became intrigued by hobo blues - someone even sent me a trivia piece on the meaning of hobo - but I found myself writing it for the local ferries that plough our wine-dark waters, and at the same time I latched onto Baddeley-sahib's ubiquitous bicycle and his all-too convincing cloth cap.

Stop Press 23:51hrs June 30: As the Corfu Bluesman says, this post is getting better by the day: Simon Baddeley's wonderfully poetic comment and now this definitive version of Hobo, live acoustic by John Lee Hooker at the Newport Folk Festival.

Best I've heard and I may be re-shaping my ferry-hobo lyrics to do justice to the Master.

When I first took to hoboing,
I took a ferry to be my friend,  
Those salt-sea days of hoboing,
Ventouris ferries were my friend,
Rode from Igoumenitsa,
Whoa, down to the Corfu end.
When I first took to hoboing I had a cloth cap and a bike,
My first time merry ferryin', folksy cloth cap, trusty bike,
10 gears on that baby and a natty Burberry stripe 

[by my troth!]

This bike don't do no tandem,
Can't stand that saddle bunch,
I've got no mind to tandem,
Don't like no saddle crunch, 
There's a blue light on the back wheel
Derailleur gears in front.

(Carrie gets up singin' n cryin')

Just can't quit this hobo-ing.
The Ionian dark as wine, 
Hear those props a-throbb-oing, cleaving the Odyssean brine,
All my years at sea, can't keep of time.

[wailing solo, little Jimmy on harp, sea-gull sound effects, drapèd albatross, lord have merceh]

Hoboing hoboing hoboing, took F/B Siren for my friend,
Hoboing hoboing hoboing
Pedal 'til the end, 
Can you hear that lonesome whistle
Coming round the Kavos bend.

(That ferry's so fast the hobos dont mess with that boat, they just stand on the quay with their caps in their hands.)

I love these 'sparks' when they happen: I hear the chords in my head and when I get home I know exactly which knobs to hit on the amp to get the sounds and tone I'm after.

Comment chorus - inspired by Sinbad:

Thump thump moan holler (foot keeping the beat)

Called that gal to breakfast, 'caint you see the north wind's risen?' 
Told that woman 'rise and shine, that mean mean north wind's risen,
They's servin' apr'cot jam and cawfee,
Better be there, ain't nuthin' for the missing.

[she just turned over and went back to her snoring]

There's a sparkling sea a-stir, stab of bright slab through the haze,
That sparkling sea's a-stir, touch of grey smudge to the haze,
Schooners scudding north and south,
Every which way thru the wild Otranto Straits.

22 June 2013

VALENKI DUO - flowers to music

Music for my tribute to the

The Art of Marjorie Holmes

A lot of people ask me who is that marvelous duo enhancing my mother's botanical drawings of Greece.

It is is the Valenki duo - Paul Morris and Kathy Holmes (no relation) - and I am trying to track them down to order more CDs. 

Graceless ~ Not to spoil the tone, but observe the pig-ignorant comment below from Mr Donnie Mrkacek - what a pathetic sour grapes whimper about how few eyeballs my posting has achieved.

Mrkacek is not worthy even to wipe the loam from my mother's trowel.

Whinges Mrkacek:

"Marjorie why did you rip the plants out of the ground? 

They need soil and water. Leave them alone and stop the exploitation for your own gain."

Creep. Buffoon.


Westminster Abbey

My first caption called it Westminster Cathedral but eagle-eyed Simon Baddeley of the parish of Democracy Street saved the day.

I know where I went wrong, I was thinking of this one.

No excuse because I had the programme right here and all the guff that they sent out.

Right, back to the Valenki story which a faithful follower is determined will endhappily by commenting,
"The Worcester News article you linked said they worked at the Elgar School of Music. That was in 2005. It looks like you are in luck."

Such a nice, helful bunch, my Irregulières.

21 June 2013


Dedicated to my daughters Georgina and Anna, and my late mother. 

A favourite walk of mine as my mother was attending to her devotions round the corner in Holy Trinity church.

The music is track 7 from Raul's superb Necromantics album 

Listen to the haunting voice of Corine Hamilton, to the wailing guitar of Raul Scacchi, onlie begotter of the album

Check out the X-Lovers for further local sounds.


Brand on superb form, 'eviscerating' MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' news-lite arrogantia. Not that you have to be particularly on t'ball  to own those wankers - Willy Brand, indeed ...

  • Morning Joe page - clearly every bit as ham-handed as they came across. 
  • I hope this humiliation runs and runs and squashes those anchors' smug faces in their media faeces, if only as a lesson on how to conduct themselves in their next jobs.
Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of the show who owned up 'on camera' that she wasn't up on 'Pop Culture'. 

The smug cow had the mika well and truly extracted by Brand, proceeding to crumple down to pushing her chair away from RB and ending up goosing the Gatorade, well remarked on by her guest.

Glossy shambles of a breakfast show (Guardian)
    Youthful Brand
    • RB, genuinely baffled: "You convey news to the people of America? People of America, we're gonna to be OK. Everything's alright. These are your trusted anchors."
    • (And wonderfully), "You need to lose that ring, Mika, cause it don't mean nothing to ya.". Oh poh poh - Game, Set, and Crash
    Katty Kay

    "Is this what you all do for a living?" 

    Naming and shaming:

    Co-host Mika Brzezinski

    Brian Shactman

    Katty Kay
    [Big-girl's blouse. A right Jessie]

    Biggest Loser ~ The real ninny here is the bovine Shactman, completely out of his depth, flailing like the bogus talking head he was exposed to be. When his employers play back the tape to unravel wtf went wrong under Brand's scything, it'll be Shacters they'll spot for an early bath. God knows how he conned MSNBC into letting him loose on mainline TV but he's busted now and drained of all moral stature or authority.

    First on his shopping list should be a lesson in comportment, followed fast by a soupçon of backbone. His 'colleagues' will be distancing themselves as I type as 'infected' and a sure thing to bring down anyone foolhardy enough to get too close.

    Brzezinski and Kay may be lazy clueless bunglers but Shactman is the real thing, a de-constructed buffoon that even his employers will spot as urgently disposable. 

    Brzezinski is safe. She's made sure her networking parachute is  packed and potent at each stage.      

    Tee hee ~ I don't think there's any imminent danger of anyone talking about an 'invisible' Russell now. Wanker anchors beware ~ Extra-terrestrialise this! 

    Nice to think that the massive publicity for Messiah is already rolling thunder and all subsequent coverage will have to refer back to this 'Morning Joe' cavalcade of cock-ups.   

  • “Thank you for your casual objectification”: ComPost's Pungent punditrice Alexandra Petri nails the knackered, likening the hosts to 'a kitten pouncing on what it assumes is a dazed snake and discovering it has latched onto the tail end of a dragon. Cringe-inducing.' Well said Alexandraki. 


      Impressive. The sort of thing The Atlantic does so well.

      Amazing timelapse of a supercell ~ a rotating thunderstorm that is almost, but not quite, a tornado.

      The storm here was not just a rotating supercell," but one with insane structure and amazing movement.

      Place: Texas, near the town of Booker, in the NE-most corner of the state.

      "We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side. And when we did ... this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters."

      Note early in the first part how the rain is coming down on the right and actually being sucked back into the rotation.


      OK, that's it, best behaviour henceforth.

      Proud dad and daughter
      I have given my younger, 'Spitfire' daughter the URL keys to this blog - alors, she will be looking over my shoulder and I will have to blog 'maturely' hereon.

      Framed photo Anna gave me 
      Sorry about that: I know we were looking forward to at least another year or two of madcap bloggerie, mais c'est finis.

      Nissaki, stiv Agathi
      I'm sad because I can't any more boast about her or tell endearing proud-dad tales.

      Anna and Georgina
      A new day dawns ...

      Good cue for a song.

      20 June 2013



      Nimrod from the Enigma variations by Elgar

      morning view from San Luca, Gouvia

      18 June 2013


      Message sent me by an ignoramus, but it's so offensively off-beam I want to keep it - verbatim - to show others.  

      "Chris your good on the strings, but to get even better, pay a close friends son to teach you more.
      Just an idea, and company for you to play music with another musician."

      09 June 2013


      I like 'normal' stories.

      They're hard to keep normal because the 'Writer' in one feels it has to kick in and jazz it up just because they're 'writers' ... the words have to dance on the page.

      Elmore Leonard once told me,

      "Anything that reads like I'm 'writing', that's it. Out it goes."
      I'd like it if someone told me this story but I'd like it better if they kept it normal.

      Zach Works ~

      I tell this often and I try to pitch it outside Amazon but people say

      "No no, keep it Amazon. We can pick up on terms like 'Lead' and stuff."

      So I tell it how it's embedded.

      Starship Decatur - I'm a lowly rep and over there is my lead, the piratical bearded Zach Works;  I'm telling you, that boy looked mean in those days. He's mellowed since then; a good woman will do that, take the outlaw out of an hombre

      I had a query - must've been a big one to disturb The Man - but even as I approached his cubicle he whipped off the cans and  totally focused on my problem. There were Leads who'd see a peon approaching and lean further into their slacking, but not Zach. I never forgot the shock of his consideration. 

      Cut to Pacmed and zworks is the other side of the world, carrying the White Man's Burden on the sub-continent. I 'borrowed' a CD by one Iris DeMent - captivated.

      Cut even further to San Antone to where Steph and I had retreated to her mom's spread and I saw Iris was appearing in that musical paradise, Austin.

      Vroom vroom off in ma-in-law's fancy Pontiac where I actually got to talk to ID. Maybe my English accent, anyway she had all the time in the world for me and midst chatting I mentioned a book being published by my old alma mater, Secker & Warburg.

      "Gee, I'd really like to get a-hold of that when it comes out Stateside."
      'Give me an address and I'll write to you when I know the American publisher and publication date.'
      When I got back to Alamo Central I emailed my former assistante who'd taken over from me as PR supremo at Secker's, asked her for info' on the American edition.

      "Why don't you just give me her address and I'll send her one of ours?"

      Now, I must have exchanged my details because out of the blue came the sweetest hand-written note thanking me for fixing the book and if I was ever blah-blah-blah to be sure to yadda-yadda.

      I keep that notelet in one of my Iris jewel cases: 

      "Good lord! Is this actually from Iris DeMent herself?"
      'Actually, it is ...  yes, Iris 'n' me ... we go way back.'

      Cut to 0130hrs, June 9th. I've had a bellyful of birra down the Navigators and I'm fired up.

      I gun up the jalopy to search out thenext bar. An Iris track kicks in - Banks of Jordan

      As I juggled the steering wheel ... who knows? Maybe the sound of Iris' voice?  Maybe the image of that wingman Zach whipping off his headphones ....

      I drove home with the clear image of those cans being whipped off with such lightning speed. Ridiculous what stays with one.
      I described it to my girls pretty much when it happened and, years later, Georgina told me
      "Dad, you remember that guy who was listening to his music and you needed something and he straightway paid attention to you? I was reading something and someone wanted to ask me something so I closed the book right away and said "Tell me."

      Bread on waters. Respect.

      * Iris ~ sounding her usual delicious ... the way she should.

      06 June 2013


       Genial stroll round the jungly garden, gone any definition to what had been paths, gone indeed many of the subtler paths themselves.

      The view enhanced or hindred by these tall colourful plants come out of nowhere.

      Proof of the power of habit and routine: as I come to certain parts along the paths or spots in the property, I often remember with complete clarity which curse or dark spell or oath I was trying to send out.

      Very soon after the Theft (let's Capitalise out of respect), I realised from the copies of the photos of my jewelry used in my Will that most of the Chinese designs on the cufflinks were of signs - good health, wealth, happiness, spiritual harmony, physical safety, family power. So the obvious retaliation and self-medicatory thoughts and wishes should be visualising the opposite taking place.

      Nothing. Not even a sodding stubbed toe-nail reported from either end, but it was a distraction from the shrieking oaths that went on inside my head as I stumbled around the stonking garden.

      I can't remember precisely which bit of jewelry I'd been focusing on that day or which positive symbol I'd been beseeching the heavens to reverse and rain down hideous retribution, but I do recall quitting my farcical antics au jardin and heading up for a  lunchtime drink and meeting my mother and reeling back amazed at her normal appearance, rather than the flesh-peeling thief-thrashing retribution I'd been visualising for the previous three hours.

      The same happened another time when one of the cuff-links prompted a marvelous and promising scenario of  picturesque Fast-n-Furious Vin Diesel-style motorway carnage. I gave my imagination free rein - I think my mother had said that her co-thief-cum-Fence was on the road.

      I'd got so caught up in images of loose threads from cuff-link'd sleeves snagging at the crucial moment some juggernaut comes trundling round ... I felt an almost ghostly shock at the phone call that reported safe arrival.

      SIGNAGE  ~ As I stumbled around with Sam at my heels, I came to the aggressive offensive signs pinned up by the neighbours Pali and it occurred to me that these paper messages were no more than milder Greek versions of what had been going on inside my own head during my 5 years 8 months' squandary of time in 'caregivery'. I think I'll tell my lawyer to just leave everything from now, that enough is enough.      

      05 June 2013

      MALCOLM BRABANT - powerful new book

      Action stations, Corfucian Irregulières. Pocket books out and run-don't-walk to buy our hero Malcolm Brabant's Bernardian-titled Malcolm Is a Little Unwell - a "brutally honest – and often darkly funny – account of his illness, and his battle for compensation." 

      In a typically brave and modest email, Malcolm writes:

      "Please excuse the slightly impersonal pitch. 
      I'm hoping to persuade you to buy my e-book, 'Malcolm is a Little Unwell' which has just been published on Amazon's websites to critical acclaim.
      The book describes my descent into insanity after I received a routine yellow fever vaccine. 
      It also documents my attempts to get justice from the Big Pharma company whose inoculation poisoned me. There are no hard copies of the book. You can only download it on to a Kindle, or another smart device with a free downloadable Kindle app."
      It is also on sale at Smashwords.com and here.
      • facebook ~ Brabant v Sanofi Pasteur - Truth Now 

      We all know Malcolm Brabant, ffs - the familiar face and voice to us all via his sharp BBC reports.

      Many of my posts passim have been improved if not inspired by Malcom's despatches from the firing line.

      Try here.

      Get out there and buy this book.

      STAMARIL ~ The reason, MB believes, for the catastrophic events that overtook him, was a dose of Stamaril, a yellow fever vaccine, which he had received on April 15 2011. 

      Since then he and his wife Trine have sought answers for his terrible terrible descent into a series of psychotic episodes after a routine jab. 

      MILU is described as 'a brutally honest – and often darkly funny – account of his breakdown' and I believe it. It rings of our Mr Brabant.
      • ekathimerini“He was unrecognizable,” his wife Trine Villemann says. Brabant explains he told her he was the Messiah, he tried to use his “powers” to make his Kindle fly and even wrote to his employers at the BBC telling them that he was ready to forgive them their sins."
      "'What have I learned from this?' he tells EnetEnglish. 'That there is a very thin dividing line between being sane and crazy... Being successful one minute and homeless the next'"

          Buy. Read. Mobilise.


          Stewart en forme.

          I ended up up watching the whole darned thing. So clever - where did MARS start? But of course, on an NBC backboard, leaping to a necklace on the anchor. 

          04 June 2013


          Something I've long wondered about - what really happens when I click 'Like'.

          “Someone creates a page and starts posting photos, inspirational quotes or other innocent content.
          You like the page and it now shows up regularly in your news feed. Anytime you interact with a post, that activity shows up in your friends news feeds.The more likes the page gets, the more it shows up.
          The more comments each picture gets, the more power the page gets in the Facebook news feed algorithm. And that makes it more and more visible.”

          02 June 2013



          ENGLISH AS SHE IS PERNOUNCED - only hard-core need apply

          • Subtle taxing little divertissement
          • To have even put it together to make sense would have required expert familiarity.
          • I like these.


          The gang had a heavy night last night - karaoke, which Im not into, so I indulged the rare pleasure of leaving them to their torpor and drove in to tidy Mum's plot - see that her grave is kept clean, like.

          Jennie's eyes always glow when I leave early and i remember that Saki short story where 2 men are competing for some fragrant heiress and one of them with a job leaves and Munro quips that there is nothing more attractive than a man who leaves to do battle. 

          When Steph joined Secker's, it took us a week to meet because I was always busy and when I got down to the Star & Garter, she was gone.

          There'd been a connection from when she was shown round and I waved from my desk, on the phone as usual. We both admitted later that we yearned to meet: "I only joined them in the hope you'd arrive, then I had to catch my Hove train. I told Dad and he said 'so what's he like?' (she was engaged at the time). I said I dont know, he's always working.

          And Dad wagged a finger at me, 'You watch that man. He's got his priorities right.'

          "But i know there's a connection!"

          "Watch him even more - he has his priorities right."

          Ah, those days ....

          Went down to the Cemetery (there's a first line there) and knelt down and scraped and troweled and weeded and tourists came by and of course there's the gravestone with Dad's title and his decor and they fall silent and then ask in hushed whisper if that was my dad and I look solemn and tell them that i'm actually tidying my mother's grave, just that we havent added her to the stone yet. 

          "Went down to the Cemetery, down on mah knees, weed and trowel,
          Whoahh, went down to the Cemetery, lord have mercy,
          On my knees, weeded and troweled,
          (What u think about that, Sonny?)
          Was a bright sunny day but the tear ducts opened,
          Just rocked back n forth, and mighty howled.
          I'm just a motherless child ~ nobody now to care for me,
          Whoo, just a motherless chile
          Who in this world ... care for me?
          I go down to Lidl, i can buy coffee, I can buy tea.
          Grubbing at the gravestone, tourists silent with respe't
          Turning the sod over mama, strangers silent in respect,
          'That your pappy you be honoring?'
          "Mama, too, just not got round to adding her
          Just yet."

          They moved on, singin' n cryin'.

          Hi, Mum, how's it going? Up there in your Heavenly groove?
          Well I'm here and trying, crying,
          Fix some flowers like you'd want me to,
          Played the church fair yesterday, got myself on Youtube"

          whoooo - play it Sonny.



          This has just ruined my morning.
          I am still fooling with the website.


          LEGS ON THAT WOMAN - song for Caroline

          Caroline has shoved me onto Youtube - first ever for me.

          I sound appallingly feebler than I thought I did yesterday, what with Rob's cool amp gear.

          But it's all cool because it has Denise wafting around.

          I'm croaking my churchy composition, "View of the Cross", which I wrote with C in mind and had hoped to sing at last year's fair.

          I liked the idea of standing up on God's acre before the Faithful and cheekily lauding Caroline's jambes jolies in full hearing of Him in his Heaven (not to mention Carolina's slightly more terrestrial boyfriend who was also there. Oh man, I do love to live dangerously. But I digress)

          Disclaimer - I did worry about Mon Bon Dieu taking it the wrong way but I'm sure He knows about them dauber pins - prolly sneaked a peek when the cherubimbos weren't watching.

          Lost My View of the Cross

          Too many pulpits, not enough priests
          Too many injuns, too many chiefs,
          Too much taking for granted my Father's forbearance
          With all my moaning and grief -
          Something tells me i've lost my view of the cross.

          Mister Moneychanger with your coats and your ties
          To the bright lights no stranger where the women writhe,
          You sent your boy to the best schools, your friends all got him jobs,
          My Father sent his only Son to the Cross.

          chorus: Dont block my view of the cross, mister,
          Let your faith shine thru, 
          It's the only view i've got, sister,
          How Jesus died for me and you

          Come on down, babe, won't you sit by me,
          I'm just a lonely sinner, hoping for the Lord's mercy
          I thought i was the bee's knees, thought i'd won the toss,
          I shoulda read the small print on the cross 

          Walking in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the cool of the day,
          No hicksters no tricksters no enemies, or that's what the Good Book says
          But they pinned him to the nearest tree so He could end his day
          With a view, you get a good view from the cross

          verse: Did you hear the cock crow, thrice on the dot?
          Did you know the Galilean? of course you did not,
          Peter's face in the firelight, talk about guilty and lost,
          There's a man needs a good view of the cross

          chorus - Dont block my view of the cross, mister,
          Theres a green hill far away,
          Jesus said to love one another, 
          Or look pretty foolish come Judgment Day

          Lean against me, girl, say you love me too,
          You dont have to mean it, coz im so crazy 'bout you:
          A woman like you at a good man's side,
          Gates of Heaven open wide, 
          Gabriel blow his trumpet and in you glide,
          A one-woman view of the Cross.

          Morning has broken, harsh words been spoken,
          New sermons smokin' all over town,
          I love her style, I crave her smile, I fear her good Greek wife frown ~
          And the legs on that woman make a preacher lay the Good Book down. 

          LINKED IN - Church Summer Fayre, June 1


          Wonderful merry Christian gathering at the church this Saturday June 1.

          Baubles and bangles and jams and yams and sweetmeats and marmalades.

          I won a ton of booze on the Tombola.

          Appallingly ill-attended, an absolute disgrace - where were the 'faithful' who troop in each Sunday and genuflect a good knee and wave and clap with the best? Where were the huggers and muggers and slobbery kissers?

          I bought the usual food and faffery - what I did not cough up for (but photographed from every angle with loud explanations for everyone within hearing) was a dinky gift-box of bad-taste tie and cheap cufflinks - almost as cheap as my mother accused my own 40-year collection of being after I'd confronted her over her filch and removal of my most precious possessions to Villa Thefti.

          My stolen treasures (posts passim) are in my Will of January 2003, itemised for my two daughters. I had agreed to 'busk' at the Fayre and when I came to the line in Island in the Sun about being 'willed by my father's hand' I thought of my gals and cast a silent but fervent curse from God's garden out to the thieves.      

          I liked the idea of even a naff church stall having on offer what I myself no longer possessed, thanks to their purloinment by a very Pillar of the Church in whose garden I was strumming.

          Sincere Venom ~ I have a theory about casting ones prayers of spite on the waters. I know Le Bon Dieu is meant to be all about Love and Forgiveness and the rest of it and I'm sure the Tablets had some smallprint about not doing Evil and not asking for bad stuff to happen to people etc etc.

          But when you think of all wishy-washy stuff that ascends on high each Sunday from the faithful, the anaemic requests that He has to sit thru each Sabbath, I bet a manly swinging dick of a curse, something with balls, is given just as fair a hearing. He might re-direct it to the Evil One below, but at least He will have considered it and I bet He has a sneaking admiration for anyone who sticks to his guns.

          A merry gathering, as I say, and Rob valiantly kept the music going and was generous with his loan and advice of his tip-top gear - professional mic that wraps round the back of the head and clings close to the bouche  like all the top performers. The Echo went wildly out of tune but it was a wonderfully amped tunelessness.

           A dicey moment when a cool ginslinger turned up with Raybans and a decent Squier and proceeded to grope at the strings, but he lost interest after a while and shunted off.