Sunday, 28 February 2010

Clumsy’s Art

My artistic abilities are not even skin deep: I am as unartistic (if that’s a word) as it’s possible to be but ….. I am enjoying tweaking photos with Picasa to give simplistic hyper-coloured variants.  I should say I enjoy the outcomes, there is something that appeals to me although I can’t describe what.

I put an original and the tweaked photo below:



I’m not bothered if you like neither or even hate both. 

This may say more about the original but I prefer the 2nd version.  There’s a simplicity, a brightness but yet an uncovering of detail not seen in the original.

Guess that’s what appeals.

Ashley Cole: What an Offer!

Clearly Cole wants his missus back.  There is no other explanation for the extraordinary offer he has made (allegedly) according to that extraordinary newsrag of the shitty Murdoch empire, The News of the World.

According to this phone-tapping rag populated by executives with collective amnesia,

“[Ashley] has even vowed he will not go near another woman for SIX MONTHS to prove his love for Cheryl. “

Our insider said: "It would be a sign that he is still committed to her. If there's any other girl [in those 6 months] then that will be the final nail in the coffin."

Ashley, Ashley, Ashley! 

You just don’t get it!

Sunday Morning Coffee with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Another Sunday, another show and this week we move forward about 60 years from Bessie Smith to the 1980s and 1990s and a “group” whose music I “was into” for a few years only.   Having listened to lots of their music for today I recognise my mistake now.

Let’s have some music and I can fill you in on some details later.

Southern Jukebox Music

I don’t know if one tune can really tell what Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) music is about but this is a nice place to start.


Last FM’s biography states,

“The Penguin’s sound is not easily categorized, but has elements of exuberant folk music and a minimalist aesthetic occasionally reminiscent of composers such as Philip Glass.”

I agree with the first clause but, as for the rest ….   The biography goes on,

“After becoming disillusioned with the rigid structures of classical music and the limitations of rock music, in which he also dabbled, Jeffes [CC: Simon Jeffes the creator and composer] became interested in the relative freedom in ethnic music and decided to imbue his work with the same sense of immediacy and spirit.”

Do the words give you any meaning?  No, they don’t for me and so let’s just go with the music.

Air รก Danser

Simon Jeffes is the guitarist wearing glasses.

The more I listen the more I appreciate their music.  I’m wondering if, when I heard PCO initially, I didn’t listen properly and simply enjoyed whereas now I AM listening and am loving the music.  Who knows?


PCO was never a fixed size group but rather using the players needed for any piece.  For example, I don’t think we see or hear again the trombonist from the previous song.


I find this a much more serious composition: a comment left on YouTube said, “This song makes me cry, I don't know why.”.  I can understand that.


Before we move away from the serious the sadness of the PCO is that Simon Jeffes died in 1997 from a brain tumour at the ridiculously young age of 49.  Effectively the PCO died with him.

Silver Star of Bologna

Here is, for me, the most obviously classical piece.  I’ll say no more.



I find it hard to believe that half the show is past and I’ve still got so many pieces I want to play. How to choose? I know I’ll dream about it.

Giles Farnaby’s Dream


Ah, now I know and I must leave out some pieces that I would have regarded as certainties.  That’s strange: tunes I had considered as archetypal PCO being omitted but I must go with those which appeal today.  I hope you are enjoying the show.

I forgot until now!  Have you got your coffee?  Should be well down by now.

Paul’s Dance

Here Simon and Geoffrey Richardson (the mad-looking one!) play a gorgeous duet.



Prelude and Yodel

There is no yodel but there is a strange dancer!

Such rich cello tones and did you notice the moustachioed man with the easiest musical role ever.


My final selection and I had no idea when I started what would be in this slot but, as it turned out, there was no competition.

Oscar Tango 

The cello well to the fore again but simply a magical composition.



I hope you have enjoyed the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. 

Well, that’s it for another week.  Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Calum Has His Head Back On

Previously I’ve shown a few photos of myself but in beheaded form.  Tonight I go the whole hog and reveal myself head and all ….


…. but you couldn’t have expected me to play fair!

I am, as you can see, a highly-colourful character but who is virtually faceless.

Am I like that?

Friday, 26 February 2010

Trafigura: Public Papers and Next Steps

Last Friday I posted about Trafigura’s refusal (or reluctance if we are giving them any benefit of doubt) to send me two documents which they stated were available on request.  Nothing has changed in a week despite my sending them another email.

Well!  Something has changed: as I was typing the paragraph above I found an email in my Inbox which contained some interesting public papers about Trafigura but not the ones I have requested directly from Trafigura.

Wow!  What a pleasant surprise!

I’ll spend the next few days reading over these new papers but my main aim, at the moment, remains the two documents which Trafigura has refused to send me.  I’ll work out my next steps in the next few days.

I’ll also check to find out if there are any restrictions which would prevent my publishing the documents, newly arrived in my Inbox, to the web.

Give me a few days.

Mystery Home 5


This one really is too easy but highlight to right of the arrow for answer ==> Queen Elizabeth I of Scotland

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Mystery Home 4

What home is this?

This one should be really easy.


Answer: highlight to the right of arrow ==> Edinburgh Castle

Acker’s Got it Right ….

…. if you take away “on the Shore

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Mystery Home 3

What home is this?


Should be easy.

Highlight to the right ==> Starship Enterprise

Blogging Tip

I have learned many lessons since I started blogging in 2007 but I can’t remember any of them now but there is one basic rule, with 2 variants, which even I have still to learn.

If you have nothing to say, say nothing.

If you have nothing worthwhile to say, say nothing.

I flout this rule every day at the moment.  I do!

I have nothing at all to say but I say something (or nothing)in a huge number of words or pictures or videos. 

To what end? 


You’re at it again.

Will I never learn this lesson?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Crappy Posts

Apologies to all for the poor posting recently.  Nothing of substance, just a little bit of nonsense but it’s me at the moment.  I don’t mind having some of this in my blog but   …. not all of my blog!

I have a Trafigura post to come and was hoping to have it ready this week but haven’t started reading the base articles.  Unlikely but we’ll see.

Time and brainpower are low and, therefore, at a premium and clear to all is how little time and brainpower has gone into my posts.

Now I’m not angling for a positive comment just pointing out the reality of the situation.

I’ll keep going as I am in the hope that with time my post profile will change.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Mystery Home 2

Whose home is this?


Highlight to the right ==> members of parliament

When the Gas Man Came to Call ….

…. this did NOT happen in chez Carr.

nor this either

Much too civilised for us!!

Hero: Gas Man Sorteth

Our hero-to-be arrived in his old and small van but was still a hero for a’ that.

For a’ that, an’ a’ that
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

Central heating working; gas fire decided to work before our hero could investigate.

What did our hero charge?

£35 an’ nae mair than a’ that

Gas Man Cometh

Our hero will arrive not on a charger but in his old and small van but still a hero – we hope -  for all that.

A couple of days ago our central heating failed: pilot light wouldn’t stay lit but, at least, we had a gas fire and some heaters.

We have become so used to warm houses.  A coal fire in one room was the norm for me as I grew up.  Every other room bitter; no electric blankets but the normal rubber hot water bottles and before that ceramic hot water bottles (pigs). 

Ach we were tough in the old days unlike the softies we breed today!

“Dad, my room’s freezing” means that the temperature has dipped below 20deg C.  Poor wee souls.  “Put on a jersey” is derided as inappropriate.

Today our gas fire decided to play hard to get and make lighting very iffy but still the house is warm enough … for me, at least.  For the the rest – bloody cold.

Will we survive until our hero arrives?   Yes!

Will there be moaning before he arrives?  Yes!

Did our hero succeed in putting our lives back together again?

I’ll let you know.

Is he hero or villain?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Mystery Home

Who lives here?   I have disguised his home a fair wee bit.


I thought this was too easy but, apparently, it may not be. 

Does this better photo – still tweaked though – help?


For the answer

Highlight to the right of this sentence.  The man in the Moon

If you’re still struggling then have a look at the original home by clicking on this link.

UPDATE: The 2nd photo added on 22 Feb @20.07

UPDATE 2: External link added on 23 Feb @15.05

Imagination in Candlewax



Sunday, 21 February 2010

Struggling a Bit

Nothing to worry about at all and, so, please don’t be concerned.  I know it has come through in some of my recent posts.

I’ll try to keep posting …. but ….. likely to be reduced …. but …. who knows?  I certainly don’t.

Hopefully, in a few days or so I’ll be through this stage and back to my more recent phase which I had taken as being normal.  Clearly wasn’t though.

Nothing to do with golf, sorry Andrew.

Long Way to Golf’s Big Match

My first steps to golf’s big match – with Andrew -  were taken this afternoon!

My golf-bag and clubs saw the light of day for the first time in more than a decade. After a mini-protest and a short time “acclimatising” to the winter’s sun they were fine.

They looked exactly as they did when last I saw them: old, no rust and no dry rot.  This is much more than could be said about me!  Enough said.

The bigger body and extra years did not prevent my completing successfully my first  - few - golf swings since my shoulder injuries.

A step. A small step. 

I will be ready – sometime – this year for my certain defeat.

Day’s End, Day’s Start

Why is there never a gap between one day’s ending and the next’s beginning?  Don’t say it’s sleep because I’m here not asleep. 

A little break of a few minutes, a few hours, 23 hours or even, sometimes, 24 hours would be marvellous.

A break from everything around. A break just to be …. whatever we needed in that moment or, more accurately, to be …. whatever I needed in that moment.

A pause button on life.  Not a rewind nor a fast forward but simply a pause.  God, I could do with one of these.

It’s not to be though. 

The only pause is the long one that comes right at the end of life and I’m not quite ready for that.

Sunday Morning Coffee with Bessie Smith

We go way back in time this morning to find “The Empress of the Blues”; the most popular blues singer of the 1920s and 30s according to Wikipedia

Bessie SmithAnother site describes her as, “….. a rough, crude, violent woman. She was also the greatest of the classic Blues singer of the 1920s.”   All I know is the woman could sing!

Born in 1894 and gone in 1937 after a car crash, Bessie left behind a rich collection of songs for us but beware!  If you were to act out the lyrics you might have a hugely enjoyable and tiring morning but relaxing it wouldn’t be.

After You’ve Gone

The lyrics are here.

A great way to start – hope you enjoyed this.


I must admit that I rarely listen to Bessie.  I came across her – I’m not sure where.  It may have been through Stirling Folk Club …. again.  Not that Bessie ever performed there but a blues singer did, I bought his album and probably she was mentioned in the sleeve notes. 

The next track I first heard on Eric Clapton’s Unplugged CD.

Nobody Knows You when You’re Down and Out

What was true 80 years ago is true today!

Again, lyrics



Wild about That Thing

This is the time to listen and relax: do not listen and do!


I hoped you survived that and didn’t spill too much coffee.  There wasn’t much subtlety there.


St Louis Blues

Here is the only film of Bessie in this collection.  In fact this may be the only remaining film of Bessie.


I think it makes a big difference actually seeing as well as hearing her.

This is history!


Yellowdog Blues

Some of the songs in this show are new to me and this is one but well worth its inclusion.


Sometimes I wonder what on earth a song is about but then my baser instincts take over and I realise.



Empty Bed Blues

There are two parts to this song and each is as blatant as the other but the woman can ….. sing.


Any coffee left in the mug?


Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair

Not many ask for this but she did “'Cause I done cut my good man's throat”.


I guess you deserved it but thanks for the song.


Gimme a Pigfoot

Already we’ve come to the last song and this is the most recent in the show although 77 years old!

I don’t know what “pigfoot” refers to here although given the references to sex I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the correct interpretation were that in the Urban Dictionary.  Who knows?  Who cares?

Just enjoy Bessie Smith with Jack Teagarden on trombone, Benny Goodman on clarinet, Chu Berry on sax, Bobby Johnson on guitar.


I …. just  …. love …. this.


Another show over.  Each week I wonder if I’ll enjoy putting the show together and each week the answer is “YES!”.

We’ll come more up-to-date next Sunday although whom I’ll choose I don’t know.

Well, that’s it for another week.  Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Helicopter Rescue in Edinburgh

A few days ago I was lucky (unlucky) enough to witness the rescue by helicopter of an Edinburgh car driver!

I had never expected to see such a scene but ….. Och just get on with the story.

I was in town and heard an incredible roaring – turned out to be a helicopter hovering; the winch-man was lowered, the driver attached somehow, the two lifted and then the driver lowered to safety on the nearby pavement.

Was it an exercise?


Click here to see my amazing photo!

It’s Saturday at 5 …..

….. and so despair must be in the air!

Another defeat.  Not that I was there.  Lost the habit more than 20 years ago after 30+ years as a regular but the team is still very dear to me.

My team is known but is irrelevant here.  Thousands are in the same position.  The heart – well certainly not the head  - rules here. 

Decades without real success  - more than 40 years - although I was around then but still we hope.  If we can just win all our games to the end of the season then …. NO!  Life is not like this. 

Dream no more! 

So obvious but yet …. we dream on. 

Week in, week out, season in ….. but apart from the odd wee hiccup of mini-success we remain struggling.

Each week as the scores come through…. victory and then keep it going and the dream is on but loss and then despair for a while …. but the hope is never extinguished.


Never will be!

Next Saturday and the next and the next; the same play; the same dream; the same ending.

There is no escape.

We don’t want to escape.

We’re in love!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Sunset Tonight

Below are photos taken just 25 min ago from our bedroom window.  I’ve posted them all in the order in which they were taken and with no enhancement other than cropping.

P1020902 P1020903 P1020904 P1020905 P1020906 P1020907 P1020908 P1020909 P1020910 P1020911


I prefer the first: the others are too close.  Which, if any, are yours?

Just a Little Bit, Tiger

Reports of Tiger Woods’ first public statement are starting to come out and I have lifted just two sentences from The Daily Telegraph.

Woods said,

"Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to know restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught."

Just a little bit, Tiger!  Just a little!

Bottom of the Barrel

Dredging the bottom of my digital pics today for two photos which show …. Well you decide which qualities they have, if any.




Trafigura: The Gnat Might Bite!

I must be strange!  Imagine wanting Trafigura – a mere commodities trader albeit a bloody big one – to speak to me but I do.  Not that I’m in love with them – HA!  - but there’s little worse than being ignored and they are ignoring me. 

Not only did they not engage in dialogue about two documents I had asked them to forward to me (Here is a good place to start) but so far they have not replied nor even acknowledged a message on a separate issue.

I’m planning to write another post next week based around ……  Och, just read this extract from my email to them and to Bell-Pottinger their PR agency.

“Next week (w/b 21 February) I will publish a blog post here which is based entirely on the content and conclusions in 5 articles ......

All 5 articles have been available online for sometime and, so, I imagine that Trafigura is unconcerned about my repeating statements made within these articles.  Can you confirm that this is so?  Also do you have any comments to make on the content of any or all of these articles which you want me consider including in my post?

Should you not get back in touch with me before I post I will assume that you have no concerns about my repeating any statement in these articles and that Trafigura has no comment of its own to make.”

Clearly I don’t want to feel the might of their, or anyone else’s,  legal fist crashing down on me hence my precautions but if they ignore me there is little else I can do but post.

Come on, Trafigura!  I know I’m an insignificant gnat in terms of the mighty deals you do, your mighty revenues and the lovely profits you make.  I might even be an insignificant gnat in terms of … well …  anything …… but each of us is worthy of respect.

Come on, Trafigura, stop ignoring me!

Come on, Trafigura, start speaking with me!

Come on, Trafigura, just press a few letters on your keyboard.  That’s not too much to ask, is it?  

Come on, Trafigura, speak!

I know you must speak to lots of people.

Why not me, Trafigura?

Trafigura, this insignificant gnat, or some other insignificant gnat, might just land lucky and bite you on the bum.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Darkness Shines?

The tracks of darkness shine so bright
Yes bright is darkness' way
So easy, too easy to follow on
This light's so dark today

Confusion reigns where darkness shines
Who knows what's light, what's right?
I'm lost among the light so bright
Dark days? Light nights? Oh shite!

David Cameron: Irish or Scottish?

Last December I posted about Cameron’s hidden Scottish background.  You don’t need to go back because I've appended the post below.

Why do this now?

There are claims that he is Irish as evidenced in this video.

Whilst the video and song are amusing and catchy the premise is wrong.  David Cameron is Scottish and my evidence is here in my open letter to him.

Open Letter to David Cameron

Dear Davie,

You will have been expecting this letter, possibly dreading would be better, given the advice I gave Gordon a few days ago but you can rest easy.  You are a much harder target to hit, a bit like Teflon Tony used to be, but I’ll have a few shots along the way.  My hope is not so much to damage you, although that would be a bonus, as to help you make the right decisions for the country.

I must admit that I’m disappointed in you in several ways.  Firstly, you have been too successful: you have made your party electable – damn! – but this is a selfish view on my part.  Many, I know, will be delighted to see a Conservative government. Other than the rich who are greedy enough to always support you the rest are poor souls deluded by your vague promises.  Here’s my first bit advice, Davie, tell us in more detail what you plan to do, should you win.  I know the spin is that you’ll do this after the New Year but ….. we’ll see.

You’re a politician, that’s my next disappointment.  When you became Leader and faced Blair you said that the country needed a move away from Yah Boo politics.  You unsettled Blair by asking serious questions seriously at PMQs.  Perhaps you were going to follow through on your promise but ….. no!   As soon as you had Brown on the back foot you switched into attack mode again and again and again.   There was no desire on your part to be serious about politics, was there?  it was strategy: one for Blair whom you couldn’t cope with and another for Brown whom you could.  What was best for the county didn’t matter it was what was best for you.  This could be your undoing – I pray – but I am honest enough to tell you so that you can change.  Did I really say that?

My major disappointment regards your disowning your Scottish background.  Yes, we know about your monied Scottish background but that’s a deception, isn’t it, Davie or should I say “Jimmie”.  Yes, your a Tory blue now but you come from Glasgow, don’t you, the blue half.  Your father was responsible for assaulting Scotland with this, wasn’t he?

Your father is really the alleged comedian and bluenose - Glasgow Rangers diehard, Andy Cameron, isn’t he?

Here look at these pics:

I’m sure you’ll agree there is a major likeness.

You were brought up by a bluenose who made enough money to send you to Eton.  When you said you were a bluenose everyone assumed you meant you were a Tory but you weren’t.  You didn’t know what a Tory was but, rather than show your ignorance, you went along with the sham and, in time and with your father’s help, you became a good stage performer.  You became a Tory because you couldn’t own up to who you really were.

You’re from funny stock, aren’t you?  Well, not really funny stock.  Not even this, it’s rather embarrassingly unfunny stock but your roots are your roots.  No point in hiding them.

Of course, it’s understandable that you should do so.  Being a Scottish comedian’s son wouldn’t have garnered you too many votes in England and so you ditched this. You hid your natural accent.  None would know you were from Glasgow.   Big mistake, Davie, always be yourself.  That’s my advice.  Truth will out …. always.

I heard a rumour, probably nothing in it, that you have your election music chosen.  You’re returning to your father’s career to use your Dad’s one hit -  which we’ve all just heard.  You’ll change the words, of course.

The chorus will be, I believe, as follows.  Oh, by the way I’ve anglicised the words just for your followers who won’t, unlike you, understand.

We're on the march with David's Army,
He’ll be going to see the Queen,
And he’s shaken Labour up,
The election's all wrapped up
Because David leads the rich and toffs' team

Can you imagine this blaring out at your pre-election triumphal gatherings?

Don’t do it, Davie!  Return to your roots, please.  You’ll lose the election for sure if you do but you’ll be happy being among your ain folk.

You’re a sham politician.  You’re not who you say you are.  Be honest to us, to yourself, Davie.  Return to Glasgow and leave the biggest stages to others.  Your father never reached the heights and neither will you, Davie.

Return to your ain bluenose folk!


I’m sure you’ll agree that the case for his being Scottish is overwhelming.  Now if only he’ll follow my advice.


Truth and Fantasy: Dog and …..

I may have shown this pic before – I don’t know - but, regardless, here it is.

Calum, if Calum it be, is quite a bit shorter than today but the overall shape is still the same and he doesn’t have the excuse now of a nappy bulking out his frame.

Dog and .....

The dog, clearly long long gone by now, was Barney an Irish setter.

Calum is still an unknown quantity to me, the writer behind the name.  I never know what adventures he’ll meet until I’ve written them.

Truth and fantasy but where is the boundary?

Flanders and Swann: The Gas Man Cometh

Last night in a comment to this post I mentioned that the stories which Andrew and I were building had the makings of the Flanders and Swann song, “Twas on a Monday morning that the gasman came to call”.

For your delectation here they are and here it is.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Watch the Fingers Move

I was YouTubing earlier this evening and I stumbled across a video I saw first a few month ago.  The tunes in the video aren’t among the best Scottish tunes but the musicianship is of absolutely the highest order.

Enjoy the late Johnny Cunningham (fiddle) and his younger brother Phil on the box.  I’m sure Phil Cunningham will make my Sunday Morning Coffee show but for tonight sit back and try to follow the fingers.



My returning blog honeymoon is over. 

No more a plethora of posts arriving easily.

Stray letters tumble but form not a word.

A post, a post is all I ask.

Might as well ask for a friend.

Not happening at mo.

Not happening at all.

Familiar territory for me and long–suffering readers.

Somewhere, sometime a change but where ….

Trafigura will keep me going

But …..

Perhaps tomorrow …..

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Empty Head Blues

Today is yesterday
Today's tomorrow too
Today is free from any thought
Today is full of nought

My head is empty today
My head is empty now
My head is free from gray cells
My head no message tells

The blues sweep over me
The blues a blizzard are
The blues spill from an empty head
The blues force me to bed

Musical Rubbish

After the possible confusion over the pronunciation of “refuse” in one of my Trafigura posts I got thinking about rubbish.  There was only one song to play here.

I had intended to show just this one “song” but I had to include one more:

I imagine that you too have been thinking “rubbish”.

Trafigura: For the Avoidance of Doubt

I realised late yesterday (Monday 15 February) that the title of my last Trafigura post “Trafigura Refuse” could be mis-pronounced and, therefore, the incorrect meaning be taken.  The correct meaning should have become obvious from the post itself but, for the avoidance of doubt, I issue a clarification.

The word “refuse” clearly has two meanings: one a noun and the other a verb [see the freedictionary here).

The noun is defined as:

“ref·use 2 (rfys)


Items or material discarded or rejected as useless or worthless; trash or rubbish.

I did NOT mean to state, suggest or imply this of Trafigura.


The verb is defined as:

“re·fuse 1  (r-fyz)
v. re·fused, re·fus·ing, re·fus·es
a. To indicate unwillingness to do, accept, give, or allow: She was refused admittance. He refused treatment.
b. To indicate unwillingness (to do something): refused to leave.
2. To decline to jump (an obstacle). Used of a horse.
To decline to do, accept, give, or allow something.”

I meant that Trafigura declined to give something i.e. the two documents to me.



I apologise to Trafigura for any offence which may have been caused.  I have also updated the original post.

Monday, 15 February 2010


A few lines from nigh on twenty years ago.  Other than inserting my “stage” name this is exactly as I wrote this.


Sleep Calum
Like a child
Sleep with me
I love you

Sleep Calum
Safe and deep
Sleep with me
I am you

and I must admit the words were wonderfully comforting.

Trafigura Refuse

UPDATE 16 Feb@-06.24: I mean the 2nd word in the title to be pronounced (r-fyz) and not (rfys).  See here for more information.


Earlier today I posted that Trafigura had not sent me the two requested documents which they themselves said were available on request.

I have posted several times in the past few weeks about my attempts to get Trafigura to send me copies of two documents, each of which Trafigura says is available on request. 

The documents are the WSP environmental audit report carried out in and around Abidjan and the Trafigura Reply in the BBC Libel case.  The Reply is available through the High Court but that is 400 miles away from my base in Edinburgh.

These documents might be available to some but not to me.

Trafigura has refused to release these documents not that they have said as much: they have said nothing other than,

“Dear Mr Carr,
Thank you for your enquiries, we will provide a response in due course.
Trafigura Press Office”

which was their email reply sent on 29 January @ 07.39.

Since then nothing despite my sending them four more emails the last two of which stated that, should they not respond positively by midday today (Monday 15 February), I would conclude that they had refused and I would state publicly that they had refused to release the documents.


Through their inaction Trafigura has refused.

Clearly Trafigura is unconcerned that I would say,

“Trafigura has refused to send me copies of two documents:

-  the WSP environmental audit report carried out in and around Abidjan
-  the Trafigura Reply in the BBC Libel case

each of which they state is available on request”

Had the documents been ones which might embarrass Trafigura I could understand their not releasing them although I would not have agreed with the decision. These documents cannot embarrass Trafigura:  they must support their public position because, if Trafigura had any concerns, they would never have said that the documents were available, surely.


Why, therefore, has Trafigura acted as it has?

I have no idea but I can hazard a few guesses but the truth can only come from Trafigura.

Guess 1  Trafigura had no intention of releasing the documents to anyone but this makes no sense.  Why state, and continue to state, that they are available?  I have seen no mention of anyone having read and written about the WSP report or the Trafigura Reply but perhaps I have missed this.

Guess 2  There is material which could embarrass Trafigura but this makes no sense either.  Why state, and continue to state, that they are available?

Guess 3  The material is available to some but not to me.  This doesn’t make much sense but perhaps I’m too small or seen as too negative towards them.

Guess 4  Trafigura is lacking the appropriate management skills, as alleged by Kieran Looney, but this makes no sense. My request is so simple that very little skill of any sort is required to comply with my wishes.  Trafigura’s public relations company, Bell-Pottinger is aware of my requests but yet their advice is either not to release or is being ignored.  I guess it is possible that Bell-Pottinger had no advice.

Nothing makes sense!  Only Trafigura knows.


I haven’t said yet why I wanted to read these two papers.

My reasoning is explained in one of my early emails to Trafigura,

‘I note from your company's Probo Koala Update, dated 19 September 2009, "Trafigura commissioned WSP, a leading international environmental consultancy, to undertake an independent environmental audit around the Abidjan area. WSP’s report (copies of which are available on request) ......."  I would appreciate your sending me an electronic copy of the report to the email address herein.

I have recently taken a interest in the various Trafigura stories in the media and I blogged recently "In a case as serious as the Abidjan “incident” I believe it important to read as much on both sides of the argument.  It is far too easy to be intellectually lazy and read, and therefore agree with, only the one side.’

My email continues,

“I would hope that you look favourably on my request but that, should be unable to accede, you will let me know.

Separately I have spoken to Neil Cameron at Bell-Pottinger about getting a copy of Trafigura's Reply in the recent BBC libel case.  I am aware that this public document is available through the High Court but for those of us who live several hundred miles away this route is expensive in terms of both time and money.  I hope also that you can accede to my request for this document too.”


I still want to read these two documents. 

I hope Trafigura changes its decision but ….

I have contacted other journalists who have written about Trafigura asking if they or their papers have either or both but this is, I believe, a forlorn hope.  Had these newspapers had access to the documents they would either have written about them or made them available or both.

Perhaps a visitor to this blog has the documents or knows someone who has.  If so, please let me know.

I am considering my next steps but, almost certainly, I will be asking for your support in some form.  If you have any suggestions about how to continue my quest please email me at:


I will post again once I have decided what are my next steps.

In the interim, anyone interested in my exchanges with Bell-Pottinger and Trafigura can read copies of all emails and my notes of telephone conversations here.

I have never tried to make a file available on the web so please let me know if there is any problem with this link.

I am confused! 

But am I am not defeated.

Trafigura: No Documents Received

Trafigura has not sent me either of the documents I requested despite their stating that each was available on request.

The only reply Trafigura has sent me was on 29 January which said that they would get back to me in due course.  Despite several emails from me since then they have chosen not to make contact.

I had expected a couple of pdf files would wing their way to me within a few hours of my request but the path between Trafigura and me was decidedly asymmetric: I sent emails; they made no reply (other than once).

I find to hard to believe that a company would not readily release documents which support their position or actions but the decision to release or not is theirs to make.

I will have more to say about this during today and  tomorrow.


For the record the two documents I asked for were:

- WSP environmental audit in and around Abidjan
- Trafigura Reply in BBC libel case

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee with My Early 60’s Music

This morning I make no concessions to those in love nor do I even tell the truth in the title.  Every track bar one was from my brother’s collection.

These aren’t my all-time favourites from the era but they are all on my Spotify Oldies playlist (ca 300 tracks).  Most were released in the UK on the London label, one on EMI and one on MGM.  I’m uncertain about two only.

Our first record player was a Bush multi-changer and our first record, bought by our parents, was “Little Donkey” by Nina and Frederick.  Don’t worry I’m not going to play this.  Frederick was a Danish baron who, after separating from Nina, became involved with and, in all probability, was killed by organised crime.

Come on, Calum!  We want music!

OK!  First up is Connie Francis.  Please feel free to skip about – the vids not dance -  but then if you wish please do this too.

Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool  -   Connie Francis

Every video is incredibly dated as is Miss Francis. Please ignore the first 18secs and the last 25: the uploader went crazy! 

In late January I played another of her songs, “Lipstick on Your Collar” as advice for John Terry.

Connie released on the MGM label and I’m sure the 45 cover was bright yellow with some sort of design.


You’re Sixteen  -   Johnny Burnette

Embarrassingly, I must admit I that I have always liked this.  The video sounds much better than Johnny Burnette looks.

God, this music is 50 years old.  I must be 51 then.

Runaway  -   Del Shannon

Del was great! And I love this too!?  Am I giving too much away here?


Hello Mary Lou  -    Rick(y) Nelson

I think in later years he dropped the “y”.

The “B” side of this  - “Travellin’ Man”  - was also a favourite.


Peggy Sue  -  Buddy Holly

This we didn’t have as a single but was on an LP.  Elvis wasn’t the King, Buddy was!

This video, from 1957, is a must if only to see the introduction!  Wild!

We can only go down after this but my coffee isn’t finished yet.


Let’s Twist Again – Chubby Checker

I bought this one!  I had poor taste then unlike now!  If my ageing memory serves me this was released on the EMI label.

Twist it, Chubby!

I remember this being played at a primary school party and, even in these days, I was far too self-conscious to dance.  Some things never change.


Take Good Care of My Baby  -  Bobby Vee

No original film of this.

I’d forgotten how ingrained these songs are.  All the notes, if I could sing, all the words known instantly.

My short walk down a long memory lane is almost over: just two more tracks.


Sealed With a Kiss  - Brian Hyland

Enjoy, don’t laugh at, the dancing.


I was far too young to have anything sealed with a kiss …. except that time behind the ……  Calum, too much!


Poetry in Motion  -  Johnny Tillotson

There is no old video with this song which shouldn’t really be in this list because we never had this but my cousins did and so I’m counting it anyway.

You’ll note that Johnny has his own way of pronouncing some words.

Motion = mo – shuunn

Ocean = o – shuunn

See how many you can find.


That’s it.  Another show finished.  Next week we’ll get back, I think, to a single performer.  I hope you have enjoyed my walk backwards in time.  I did but then each song had its own memories.

Well, that’s it for another week.  Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.