Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ring a Bell?

This is my third post from an article written by Mark Wignall which appeared in the Jamaica Observer.

“The common thread in the scandals which broke ….. is the ease with which politicians use lying as their first resort in any interface with their electors, the general public.”


Trafigura: Jamaica – Outline of Story

Yesterday I posted an extract from an article in the Jamaica Observer which described one aspect of politics.  Today I use a different extract which gives an outline of the scandal surrounding a payment made by Trafigura.

“When Trafigura Beheer — a Dutch company that was contracted by the Government of Jamaica to lift Nigerian oil and sell it on the open market -- made electronic transfers of $31 million to a bank account named CCOC Association in the latter part of 2006, it opened a can of worms for the then PNP Government.

For the benefit of those who came in late, CCOC stands for Colin Campbell Our Candidate. The account was set up for the specific purpose, one would imagine, of holding funds for Campbell as he ran as a candidate in elections. That is pretty standard business.

One assumes that at the time of the Trafigura transfers, because the matter was hush-hush, Campbell -- who was general secretary of the PNP and minister of information in the Government -- decided to utilise his CCOC Association to receive the Trafigura funds and not an account named People's National Party or PNP. That's the assumption, especially if we acknowledge that government and party politics enjoy an easy congruence with the concealment of certain actions.

Funds were then removed from the CCOC Association by Colin Campbell and lodged in SW Services Limited, which is an account bearing a strange resemblance to South West as in South West St Andrew constituency.

Again, for those who came in late, in August of 2006 Trafigura President Claude Dauphin had paid a visit to then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, MP for South West St Andrew. Whatever was discussed in that courtesy call has not been made public, but when the fires were lit, Mrs Simpson Miller told the nation that Dauphin had stopped by at Jamaica House to personally congratulate her being a woman occupying the highest office in the land.

It is however quite possible that Mr Dauphin as head of Trafigura, a company then embroiled in many international breaches, simply wanted a face-to-face with the head of a Government who was in charge of allowing Trafigura to make easy money off Jamaica. We know that it would have been more than likely that Dauphin would extend best wishes to Simpson Miller in her future political endeavours.

The month after that meeting, Trafigura made its 'donation', or 'gift' as the PNP called it, while, under more pressure from the press in Jamaica and in its own country where such 'donations' are forbidden by law, Trafigura said the money was payment for a 'commercial transaction'.”

Thank you, Mark.

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Judy Collins sings a great Pete Seeger song.

Turn, Turn, Turn                  Judy Collins with Pete Seeger

Monday, 30 August 2010

Politicians - Depressingly Familiar

I came across an article which seemed as though it could have been written about the UK. 

Are politicians not held in high regard anywhere?

Do politicians deserve to be held in high regard anywhere?

Please read these few lines  - an extract - written by Mark Wignall.

“Whenever politicians are in opposition they are quite eager to bare all, especially any dirt they can pick up in the hope that the columnist will shovel it onto the ruling administration. They have all of the correct answers to the nation's ills. Then power comes and with it a radical transformation.




While in opposition it is standard that all political parties promise 'openness' should they be elected. Hogwash! Party politics and governments are fraternal orders and, by their very nature, are secretive bodies. The big question is, if they purport to represent all the people, and it is physically impossible for them to whisper individually in each person's ears, why not just be candid and express the mandate from a loud, open platform?

It seems to me that the objectives of politicians in power bear little resemblance to the treacle promised while on the campaign trail. Why is this so? To me, the best explanation can only be that politics and a large part of the operations of government surround the secret cutting of deals to benefit a select few.

Taken to its extreme, it is frightening, but it could mean that political parties are basically special interest groups with the objective of raiding the public purse through the special allocation of jobs, or more likely, handing money resources to contractors, all for the benefit of those in the group. In this shady arrangement the people and the country are secondary.”

Mark writes about Jamaica but …..


I may use another extract tomorrow.

Bits’n’Pieces 3

A very old film today – 1928 – of Uncle John Scruggs who, according to an unsubstantiated Wikipedia entry “ …. was an American banjo player, born a slave. There exists video of him performing the folk ballad “Little Log Cabin Round the Lane” in a minstrel style. The footage was taken by the Fox Movietone News, in Powahatan, VA on November 8, 1928. Uncle John Scruggs played 5-string banjo in the traditional clawhammer style. There are no other known recordings of his music.”

Here we have that film.

Little Log Cabin the Lane                  Uncle John Scruggs

Thank you, John.

Music in the Morning - Monday

Charlie McNair stands at the bottom of your bed.

Hiawatha Rag                        Charlie McNair Skiffle Group

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee Extra – More Itzhak Perlman

If you enjoyed my main show on Perlman you may want to listen to the three videos here.

When I feature classical music I select only one movement and the ninth and last video in the main show was the second movement of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1.  This was so magnificent that I have decided to display all three movements in this Extra.  I see this as a one-off simply because Perlman made such an impression on me.

Alongside the videos are comments about the music from two sites.  Bullet points and text.  I hope they enhance the experience.

Bruch                                   Violin Concerto No 1 in G Minor

  • A concerto is usually in 3 movements (fast-slow-fast)
  • Bruch took about 3 years to complete the work taking advice on its final form from other people including Joseph Joachim, a famous Hungarian violinist.
  • The romantic concerto was all about the soloist being a star, much like today’s film stars. The composer would write difficult technical passages to display the soloist’s virtuosic skill.
  • People say this concerto is the peak of romantic music using clear lyrical melodies. Other composers, such as Wagner, had begun to be deeply influenced by politics, philosophy and psychology.
  • Bruch wrote 3 violin concertos but this is the most famous and is one of the most well known concertos for the violin.

Movement 1                               Prelude: Allegro moderato

The first movement is unusual in that it is a Vorspiel, a prelude, to the second movement and is directly linked to it. The impression it gives towards listeners is almost like a smooth army march, yet an anticipatory feeling prevails throughout. The piece starts off slowly, with the melody first taken by the flutes, and then the solo violin becomes audible with a short cadenza. This repeats again, serving as an introduction to the main portion of the movement, which contains a strong first theme and a very melodic, and generally slower, second theme. The movement ends as it began, with the two short cadenzas more virtuosic than before, and the orchestra's final tutti flows into the second movement, connected by a single low note from the first violins.

  • This concerto has 4 short cadenzas written by Bruch (two at the opening and two at the end). This was unusual and broke away from the traditional form of having one cadenza at the end of the movement, which is often improvised.
  • Notice the use of unison string writing to create drama.
  • Bruch is incredibly skilled at balancing the orchestral sound and not drowning out the soloist. One of ways he does this is with pitch – high violin cutting over low orchestra sounds.
  • The end of the movement may seem difficult to spot as it is linked to the second movement by a single note – this was a technique used previously by the German composer Mendelssohn. It may have been to stop the audience clapping and not break the mood.


Movement 2                                                                 Adagio

The slow second movement is often adored for its powerful melody, and is generally considered to be the heart of the concerto. The rich, expansive themes, presented by the violin, are underscored by a constantly moving orchestra part, keeping the movement alive and helping it flow from one part to the next.

  • This movement is the real heart of Bruch’s violin concerto.
  • It is in 3/8 which means you can count 3 beats to each bar of music.
  • Notice how the orchestra give beautiful introductions to the solo violin.
  • See if you can hear segments of the violin melody played by other sections of the orchestra.


Movement 3                            Finale: Allegro energico

The third movement, the finale, opens with an extremely intense, yet quiet, orchestral introduction that yields to the soloist's statement of the exuberant theme in brilliant double stops. It is very much like a dance that moves at a comfortably fast and energetic tempo. The second subject is a fine example of Romantic lyricism, a slower melody which cuts into the movement several times, before the dance theme returns with its fireworks. The piece ends with a huge accelerando, leading to a fiery finish that gets higher as it gets faster and louder and eventually concludes with two short, yet grand chords.

  • The third movement, or Finale as it is often called, is usually exciting and fun in character. There is a calling motif played in the strings that is then heard in the clarinets and oboes. See if you can spot this motif as it gets used throughout the movement.
  • Bruch uses a technique called double stopping – more than one note played on the solo violin at the same time.
  • Some of the melodies are evocative of Hungarian folk melodies; people say this may have been a gesture of warmth to the Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim to whom the concerto is dedicated.
  • Towards the end Bruch uses all the romantic dramatic techniques available: the orchestra gets faster, higher and louder and the soloist leaps from low to high.



Thank you for sharing this music of the Gods.

Sunday Morning Coffee with Itzhak Perlman

Hello again to my Sunday morning show which almost didn’t appear.  As late as Friday morning I was resigned to making an apology:  I had no show, no artist, no theme.  I’ve found concentration difficult to come by these last few weeks and I had done nothing to build a show. 

But then everything fell into place.  Having dropped my younger child at school the thought of “doing” violin virtuosos popped in as I drove home.  Immediately I knew this would work.  As chance would have it the first virtuoso I listened to was Perlman.  I knew the name – that was all – but from the first few notes I knew, for reasons I’ll give later, that this show was his.


Ah!  The show preparation moved effortlessly on as I floated on a wave of pure musical magic.   I hope you enjoy Perlman’s music as much as I did in discovering it.

Now, after that ramble, you can take a couple of minutes to get your coffee, find a comfy chair and prepare your ears for a feast. 

I should point out that this is the longest show I’ve done – 9 videos, 64mins – and so if you want to view and listen a few tracks at a time please feel welcome.  I’ve put all the music in a playlist – Itzhak Perlman – Sunday Morning Coffee. You might want to have YouTube set to play all the videos and read my blog as the music goes on.  Whatever you do is fine by me.


Sarasate:                                                       Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs)

This was the first Perlman piece I found and I was entranced immediately by his sound but much more than that.  His music was not just the sound, beautiful as it was: the violin was of him and he was the music.  That was the point at which he became the focus for the show and at which I was captured by his brilliance.

The music starts after a 1m 50sec introduction but it is worth the wait!

I don’t think I’ll comment on each piece because I’ll simply repeat myself.


Perlman was born In Tel Aviv in August 1945.  He contracted polio when he was 4, now walks with difficulty even with crutches and plays sitting down.



Vivaldi:                                           Four Seasons – Winter  -  Movement 2  Largo

Less than 3 minutes but if heaven sounds like this then take me there now!


Perlman moved to the USA to study in 1958 and became well-known that same year by appearing on the Ed Sullivan show.  If you want much more biographical detail then please read these 3 articles:  Wikipedia, IMDb, IMG Artists.


Bazzini:                                                                  La Ronde des Lutins Opus 25

I suspect this piece is often used to show off one’s skills and Itzhak has skill in spades.  Enjoy this demonstration.

Bloody hell!



Next up we move to

Tchaikovsky:                                                                Violin Concerto in D Opus 35

One YouTube comment is,

“this man was accidentally born as a human. He was actually supposed to be a violin.”

I understand this comment.  Listen.


Gershwin: Summertime    with the Modern Jazz Quartet


Now with four tracks to go it’s time for a break, more coffee, stretch the legs, make sure you haven’t died and gone to heaven.



Next up is some Bach but Bach as I’ve never heard it before.

Bach: Partita No 3 in E for solo violin 
                                                       Menuet, Bourree, Gigue


Of this world but out of this world.


Carlos Gardel:                                                Tango from ‘Scent of a Woman’

Here Perlman plays a tango from the film, Scent of a Woman.

This has very few YouTube plays but is worthy of millions more.  I have never heard music played like this.



A paucity of words this week but they’re not needed.  Now some more Tchaikovsky.

Tchaikovsky:                                                         Serenade Melancolique Op 26

Another YouTube comment is,

“People "play" the violin. Perlman gives it life.”

I think this is what I was trying to say about him.



Last up is a piece which, apparently, is well-known.  I didn’t know it but I do now.

Bruch:                                                                          Violin Concerto No 1 – Mvt 2

The recording is slightly hissy but I would have died happily rather than omit this.

I have never – and I really mean this -  encountered such beauty.  A man, a genius, at one with the universe.  Thank you Max and Itzhak.


Every week I rave about an artist or a performance but never in my life have I heard a violin sound like this nor heard music of this quality.  As I listened today with my eyes closed I could feel every emotion, see the entire world.  If ever I discover this again I shall be a lucky lucky man.

Itzhak Perlman, your gift is God-given but thank you for sharing its fruit with me.



Thank you for listening and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


The rains have failed to fall on Chez Carr, the grass is dusty, brown and bone-dry.  A few spots only will refresh the ground and spur fresh green growth but until these drops arrive the grass remains in limbo.

Other than music my blog too is arid.

The rains will come!

Music in the Morning - Saturday

It’s April today.

April Come She Will    Art Garfunkel

Friday, 27 August 2010

Music in the Morning - Friday

Tony Rice and friends with high-class picking.

Nine Pound Hammer                      Tony Rice All Star Jam

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Trafigura: Still Asking after 4 Months

I sent this email to Trafigura’s media office:

Dear Sirs

More than four months ago you were kind enough to send me a copy of the Summary Report of an environmental audit  produced by WSP.   Unfortunately this contained little detail and little new information and so I asked that you send me copies of the three constituent reports.

-   Works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Volume 1 – Exploratory Investigation Report, referenced 12024964-001 and dated April 2009;
-   Works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Volume 2 – A Contextual Assessment, referenced 12024964-002 and dated April 2009; and,
-   Works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Volume 3 – Follow-up Investigation, referenced 12024964-003 and dated July 2009

That you have not done so baffles me.  Clearly, these reports contain information supportive of your stance and there can be no reason for them not to be made public.  Once again I ask that you forward these three reports to me at this address so that I can put them into the public domain.  You might want to take the different option of making them available on your website.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards


I am holding my breath until they reply!

Interestingly I received an instant Out-of-Office auto-reply from a Bell-Pottinger employee although the message was sent only to Trafigura.

Also of interest is that I sent two more test emails to Trafigura but got no auto-reply from Bell-Pottinger.  Is there so little in my life that I have the time to play these little games?

Bits’n’Pieces 2

Andy M Stewart  - quite a bit older than the days when I saw him in Silly Wizard – sings of the dangers of trying to give up the single life.

The Errant Apprentice                               Andy M Stewart

Not all coupling experiences end in this way but I think he is right to highlight some of the dangers.

Has anyone had an experience like this one?

Music in the Morning - Thursday

Sabicas and his guitar await you.

Malaguena                                                                   Sabicas

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Old Jokes Not Always the Best

With David Cameron saying that their newborn daughter will have a Cornish middle name may I suggest “Pastie”?

Music in the Morning - Wednesday

What can be better to find in the morning than

Schubert:  Ave Maria                                               Unknown

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Trafigura: Jamaica - “Trafigura haunts PNP”

An article in today’s Jamaica Observer states,

“THE ghost of the 2006 Trafigura scandal yesterday returned to haunt the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) and, in particular, former information minister Colin Campbell as the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has recommended that he be charged for obstructing and hindering the contractor general’s probe of the affair.”

I have selected relevant portions of the article

Trafigura came to the attention of Jamaicans in 2006 when the then Opposition Jamaica Labour Party revealed that the firm, which traded oil for Jamaica on the international market, had donated $31 million to an account operated by Campbell, who at the time was also the PNP’s general secretary.

The money was transferred to the account just prior to the PNP’s annual conference that year.

Trafigura Beheer said the money was part of a commercial agreement, while the PNP maintained that it was a donation to the party.

“They made the offer. They said that they know elections are imminent in Jamaica and they are intending to make a contribution,” Campbell told journalists at a news conference in October 2006 at the PNP headquarters.


“The ensuing scandal from the transaction damaged the PNP, and Campbell resigned as PNP general secretary and from the Cabinet. A few days later, PNP president and then prime minister Portia Simpson Miller ordered the money sent back.”

The article then reports allegations the truth of which is unknown to me.  I report but make no allegations myself.

“Just over a year later, in November 2007, Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliament that the Dutch police believed Trafigura Beheer had bribed Jamaican public officials in 2006.”


[Contractor General, Greg] “Christie said that the failure of the Dutch police and Campbell to provide him with the information he needed resulted in him being unable to ascertain the reasons for the payments and whether they had any bearing on the oil lifting contracts.”

Bits’n’Pieces 1

Welcome to a new, but irregular, musical feature. On Bits’n’Pieces I’ll post, unsurprisingly, bits and pieces which don’t fit into “Music in the Morning” or “Sunday Morning Coffee”.

I hope you’ll enjoy this series too.

Today I start with two songs with virtually identical titles but born of very different ages.

First up is:

On the Sunny Side of the Street
                             Benny Goodman Sextet and Peggy Lee

There were lots of versions to choose from but I hadn’t played Goodman before plus I loved this slightly hissy version.


Now we go into something very different but still brilliant.

The Sunny Side of the Street                           The Pogues

Shane McGowan is a brilliant songwriter but his diction is not and so I’ve appended the lyrics below the video.

Seen the carnival at Rome
Had the women I had the booze
All I can remember now
Is little kids without no shoes
So I saw that train
And I got on it
With a heart full of hate
And a lust for vomit
Now I'm walking on the sunnyside of the street

Stepped over bodies in Bombay
Tried to make it to the USA
Ended up in Nepal
Up on the roof with nothing at all
And I knew that day
I was going to stay
Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street

Been in a palace, been in a jail
I just don't want to be reborn a snail
Just want to spend eternity
Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street

As my mother wept it was then I swore
To take my life as I would a whore
I know I'm better than before
I will not be reconstructed
Just wanna stay right here
On the sunnyside of the street

Absolutely brilliant.  I hadn’t heard this before but I will soon.  In fact it’s going on again … now.

Music in the Morning – Tuesday Again

For this extra video, having posted Tuesday’s music yesterday, say hello to Ray Charles.

Hit the Road, Jack                                                Ray Charles

Monday, 23 August 2010

So Nearly a Blog Death

Yesterday I said that I would describe the changes I was making to this blog.

There are none.

But this blog came incredibly close to being shut down; not mothballed as I have done before but ended …. for ever.

Why, then, is the blog still here?

Because I’m not strong enough to do so.  This unreal world of blogs is a haven away from life as it is, should be.  I can make little, or no, progress in real life whilst the unreal is so powerful.

Closure would have been a powerful statement of my intent to move forward in my life  - or so I would like to think.  More likely, though, is that it was a message from the overbearing power of depression that nothing has value.

I write not for sympathy nor for disdain but to describe how and where I am.

In case any are worried, death of this blog is the only death under consideration.

Underneath my weakness is a strength that has seen me stumble through years of difficulties.  I am not about to stop stumbling now.

The blog’s survival is still very much in the balance and I cannot know what will happen in other todays.

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Apologies: somehow I got this appearing a day early.

Music to make you move.  The theme song from The Old Grey Whistle Test featuring Charlie McCoy on harmonica.

Stone Fox Chase                                           Area Code 615

Music in the Morning - Monday

Fran├žois Couperin is your composer of this good morning’s music.

Couperin: Suite No. 2 for viola da gamba and basso continuo in A major  4th Mov - La Chemise blanche

[Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Ton Koopman, harpsichord continuo; Ariane Maurette, viola da gamba continuo]

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Thinking Done

A few days ago I said that I needed time to think about my life and much much lower down my blog.

A tiny part of my thinking is done and tomorrow I will reveal how my blog will change.

What Animal ….



…. does this resemble?

Sunday Morning Coffee with The Old Grey Whistle Test

Another Sunday, another show and today I feature not an artist or group but a TV show – The BBC’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” – from the 70’s and 80’s.  This show wasn’t on the horizon until Thursday afternoon when I heard (Whispering) Bob Harris on the radio celebrating 40 years since he first broadcast on BBC. 

The Old Grey Whistle Test, which I loved, was the only way of hearing and seeing great live music being played by great, or soon to be great, artists.  Bob Harris was the host of this ground-breaking show.

Bob Harris

I haven’t selected music on the basis of my favourites from all these years ago but by doing what I always do: listening to lots and lots of music on YouTube and whittling down the selections on the simple basis of what appeals to me today.  This was difficult but I’ve got my normal 10 videos for you today plus a 33 sec clip of the intro music.

Now go get your coffee, find a comfy seat and prepare to be transported back to your younger days, if you’re my age or thereabouts, or to your parents’ younger days if you’re much younger than I.   Very few of you will be older than I.


We start with the intro music and any who watched the programme will be transported back immediately

Old Grey Whistle Test Theme

This intro is taken from “Stone Fox Chase” by Area Code 615 and you can hear the entire track one morning this week.

I’ve heard this so often in the last few days and each time I expect the programme to start.



The Year of the Cat                                              Al Stewart

What a piano intro!

What lyrics!

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat.



We move on with a group I never chose to listen to …. but perhaps I should have.

A Message to Rudy                                            The Specials

Brilliant.   I’ll need to make up for lost time.



Next up is another great – Sir Bob – but not of the Geldof variety.  Go on, Bob, stir it up!

Stir It Up                                                                The Wailers

In this clip you see the bare studio which was the hallmark of the programme.

Ah! Great!



The programme got it’s name from an Old Tin Pan Alley phrase.  Back in the 40’s and 50’s the music industry had office-blocks full of songwriters.  At the end of each week songs would be played and if the “Old Greys” as the support staff  - cleaners, elevator men - were called could remember the hook of a tune enough to hum or whistle it afterwards then that tune had passed “the old grey whistle test”.



Fourth up is a band I never listened to.  I knew this tune but had no idea who were the performers – sorry.

Reelin’ in the Years                                               Steely Dan

Another bit of catching up for me to do.

One commenter on YouTube said,

“Very hard to play the solos in this song (I believe). I was told that by someone who is in the know.  Pub bands won't touch Steely Dan stuff because it so hard to play.”



We reach the halfway point with a short track.

Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone                Bill Withers

Short but still worth playing.

Guess all of us have felt this.



We’ll have short break for you to top up your coffee, come back briefly to the present before returning to the past.



Right.  Here we go back with a late maestro.

Out on the Western Plain                            Rory Gallagher

A great Leadbelly song and a great rendition from the great Irishman.

A master!  Sadly missed!



My! How limited my outlook was until late last year when I started this show.  Next up is another I missed and whose music is now on my playlist.

Keep On Keepin’ On                                     Curtis Mayfield

Sadly the track is cut short.

Such an apparently simple song but one which moved me greatly.  Thank you, Curtis.



Three songs left and, at last, I’ve got one song I knew well from the past.

A Heart Needs a Home       Richard and Linda Thompson

Unfortunately the audio quality is poor – very hissy – but this can’t hide the quality from this erstwhile married couple.

A gorgeous song with a gorgeous voice leading the vocals.

I agree wholeheartedly with this comment,

“Most underrated guitar player ever....plus he writes some good songs He's a genius and his ex missus isn’t bad either.”

Richard moved on to largely unknown greatness but Linda simply disappeared …. from my horizons at least.



More music now from a future wife and husband team  - how strange it seems to transpose that phrase.  Shouldn’t but it does.

Help Me Make It Through the Night 
                                   Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson

This recording is from 1972, they married in 1973 but their love is there for all to see.  I don’t know if Kris wrote this for Rita.


Absolutely lovely.



No!  Another show comes to its close and in a way I could never foreseen.

Root Beer Rag                                                         Billy Joel


Absolutely fabulous.


Thank you for sharing this wander back with me.  I’ve had a great time putting the show together.  I did wonder on Thursday how the show would turn out but I should have trusted my intuition: no problems at all. Just sheer magic from beginning to end.


Thanks for listening and making my work so enjoyable.   I’d love to see you pop by next week..

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Music in the Morning - Saturday

Ziggy Marley and The Chieftains with a great version of Daddy’s song.

Redemption Song             Ziggy Marley and The Chieftains

Friday, 20 August 2010


I didn’t realise at the time that I had captured this breaking wavelet.

Breaking Wavelet

This pic is the result of severe cropping.

Sea Level ….

…. well almost.

One more pic from Argyll. 

Sea Level

This was the best I could do without getting wet!

Music in the Morning - Friday

A morning duet: Imogen Heap and technology.

Just for Now                                                     Imogen Heap

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fat and Me

Earlier this month James at Nourishing Obscurity posted on “Obesity is Gross”.  I left a comment which I believe is worthy of its own post because it gives some of my thoughts on my obesity.

Also I would like to extend  - at some later date – these thoughts to other issues.  With my record, however, these posts are unlikely to see the light.

James’ post started thus.


As one who some time back looked not unlike the shape of the second from the left above but currently looks halfway between N3 and N4, I feel qualified to have a go at obesity.

Someone said the other day that it is a consequence of a lazy brain and low self-esteem and thus exhorting the obese to eat better and to exercise is a forlorn hope, especially as they’ve rationalized it to themselves for so long now.  It’s really, really difficult to get into those eating choices and lifestyle choices and to keep at it.”


My full reply was.

I feel qualified to speak on obesity given that I am fat but then I am qualified to speak for no-one but me.

I don’t want to be fat. I don’t like being fat.

I didn’t choose to be fat despite the fact that I ate the “food” which has made me fat.

I didn’t choose to eat the food which made me fat.

Well, I did choose but I was choosing from a selection of one.

I was depressed, am depressed to some degree, I am overwhelmed by life. I do what I can but choosing good food is beyond me. I can try. I can change for a period but …. life overwhelms again and I revert to what is easy.

I’ve had a GP who exhorted me: “Only you can do it.” Of course, I knew this but I couldn’t do it. That was beyond me.

I am not “in a place” where I can just decide to change and do it. I need support but then I need support in so many areas.

Some may say that I am shirking my responsibility but I am doing all I can every day.

I am fat and unhappy about it.


So many in authority exhort others to do something, or to stop doing something, so that their lives or their children’s lives will be improved.

Then those in authority blame these others and accuse them of being irresponsible for not doing this something as though this were always a deliberate choice.

I suspect many of these others are like me: unable to make any other choice however much they want to change.

Of course, some (or many) may blame me and accuse me of being irresponsible.

Beware because,

There, but for the Grace of God, go you

Pink and Blue Paps

My camera saw little action during my week in Argyll: I’ve posted a few pics and today sees one more.

This is a view I’ve caught and displayed before but not in this colour variation.

Pink and Blue Paps [Paps of Jura in cloud and setting sunlight – 8.20pm on 13 August 2010]

This pic is completely “as-is” other than a little bit of cropping.

Music in the Morning - Thursday

A duet with some advice.

Thunder Road      Bruce Springsteen & Melissa Etheridge

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Time to Think

Now that the summer holidays are over (almost) I need time to think about my life, what’s important and how to achieve.

This is of crucial importance.

Lower, much lower, is the time I need to think about my blog: I’m not stopping. 

Music will retain its important place and I plan no changes.

Fun will be around.

Pics will stay too.

Poetry (mine) will appear.

But I must consider how I’m going to report on Trafigura, what I’m aiming for, and how best to achieve these aims.

And I need to decide what role politics and current affairs take.

And I need to organise my time so that my blog can reach my aims without taking over my life.

A bit of thinking which will probably take me until the next holidays!

Rhapsody in Dew


Rhapsody in Dew 2

Rhapsody in Dew1


Some times
Often times
School soon

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue 1

Rhapsody in Blue  2

Music in the Morning - Wednesday

Ricky Skaggs and other wonderful musicians fill your room.

Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms                  Ricky Skaggs

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Music in the Morning - Tuesday

Lisa lights up your morning.

I Don’t Know                                                   Lisa Hannigan

Monday, 16 August 2010


Smack (No!)
Unpack (not yet)

Nothing changed in a week!

Music in the Morning - Monday

Waken with the angels.

Angel                                                            Sarah McLachlan