Phil Collins – On a Motorbike!

When I was about 19, I had this great big 750 Suzuki motorbike, it was an R reg, so it was pretty old, a bit vintage really, but it went ok, you could go over 100mph on it easy, so I got this job doing despatch riding – what an experience! I lived in Bedford, about 50 miles from London, so most deliveries went to London, but we also got some nice jobs up north, and east and west. Anyhow, I was just thinking about one of my first trips to London, I had to deliver something to somewhere near London Wall, which is an area. I didn’t know where it was, so obvs I had to look it up on a map, cos there were no GPS or anything, so I set off for the motorway, about 15 miles of burning rubber later, I was on it – flying along in the fast lane “Hell for Leather” as they say. Most of the guys who worked there were nuts, and I was no exception. I have no idea why they passed me on my test, it was a license for insanity, like giving a murderer a presentation axe on release day!

So they told me to go down the A41 or whatever it was, I can’t remember, if you’re going west London, you go A5, and turn right at Marble Arch, after that you’re fucked! If you’re going east, its A41, then there’s the North Circular, east and west, the South Circular, and Marylebone road, or the Seven Sisters road – what about that! Cor blimey, watch out for the Old Kent Road! There’s London Bridge, (which isn’t the one you think it is, and there’s Vauxhall, (we were always going there) and the Elephant and Castle! Me old China! 

I drove past Buckingham palace loads of times, never saw the Queen, I expect she was peeping out from behind the curtains saying “Phil – look at that lunatic!”

Anyhow, I found Marylebone, its like an inner city ring road, you go past Kings Cross & St Pancras, familiar with those from train journeys, after that, you just follow the flow of traffic until your’e completely and utterly lost! Its a great job doing despatch – really interesting! Never a dull moment, what with all the taxis everywhere yelling out greetings like “Get out the bloody way” and “Bloody idiot!” 

Anyhow, I found the place eventually, I think I had to ask quite a few people cos the street had vanished, they’d built a factory on it and renamed it or something – it was quite easy getting home, because there’s signs that say A1 – M1 The North – I always loved the way when you’re in a city, it says vague things like that – its always much easier getting out, than getting in – unless you end up in a giant shopping centre car park like I did one time. When you see that sign, “The North” you think yeah! And open up the throttle!!

Anyhow, enough of all that, here’s some Phil Collins songs – I was watching something about his hits the other day, but they missed all the best ones!

Florence Holiday

Here’s some pics of my trip to Florence from 2004 or whenever it was!

Here’s the locals having a parade! (or getting ready for one)

This is Siena

And this is a church back in Florence

You go in these churches and photograph everything, and I thought I’d photographed this Michelangelo crucifix one, but I hadn’t! anyhow, I really liked it, so here it is off the net

By Wikinade – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4772756

Rather nice isn’t it? Its made of wood – quite slender – no one knows for certain who its really by, but it looks ok to me – what you reckon? Some of these old churches are lovely!

Streamlines!

I have a lot of time on my hands to think lately, due to the Covid, I spend more time at work, but not so much working, as just minding the place – so anyhow, I was just thinking back to when I was a motorbike despatch rider, this particular scene often springs to mind, one really cold day in winter, I was riding down near Maple Cross, it was a bottle neck for traffic, everyone heading west towards Heathrow had to go through Maple Cross, the M25 wasn’t even built yet – its hard to believe there was a time when there was no M25! (The M25 is a circular motorway around outer London for those who don’t know) Today its 3 or 4 lanes wide, and thousands of vehicles thunder around it at 70mph, but back then, they were just building it. The M40 motorway comes into London from Oxford or someplace – I never went on it, but I would have to go under it on the outer circular route, I’d often have to take documents to Heathrow, anyhow, cos of the roadworks for the coming M25, Maple Cross was all traffic cones and diversions, there was this thick metal plate over a hole in the road, and I’d have to ride over it – it was real slippy, and quite dangerous for a motorbike, having only 2 wheels makes it dangerous, cos if you slide in a car, you don’t necessarily come a cropper – whereas on 2 wheels, you almost certainly will fall off! So anyway, I never fell off, but that scene just stuck in my mind, I’d battle the elements to take these parcels through the wind and rain, cold snow and ice even, over that metal plate where the future world was under construction. 

Well there was no mobile phones or GPS back then, you went off on your journey with your paper map, and you had to pull over and take out that map, and figure out if you were going the right way or not – tell me more grandad! Is it really true? So thats what I was reminiscing about at work while I was waiting around, how much things have changed since that time. I looked it up, and it must have been around 1985, cos the motorway opened in 86. So I was thinking, back then, I was just some young guy making a few quid, struggling and being ripped off, putting myself at risk to do a job I loved, but really, I was helping to build the world we have today – such as it is. I was like an ant on that hill, toiling away, I think maybe they should give me a medal, or something, ok, I didn’t invent the GPS and the mobile phone, or email, back then we had to shift everything by hand, and though there was heavy traffic, now there’s got to be at least 20 times as much, travelling twice as fast on massive roads, its almost like the difference between horse and carts and modern transport. 

It was a dull day, icy rain was coming down in sheets, I was never sure if I was lost or not, couldn’t hardly see the roadsigns or anything, but when I get to Maple Cross, I knew I was going the right way cos all the dayglo cones and workers, the floodlighting and going under the newly built M40 bridge, and that big sheet of metal – it must have been 20 foot long, and a couple of inches thick, every car and lorry went over it with a rattle – it was covered in ice and frost, amazing I thought how strong that metal plate must be, how big it was, how was it put there? By a crane I suppose? A strange solution, why was that hole there anyhow? Couldn’t they do it safer than that? It was there for a couple of years. 

At the time, I never thought I’d look back on it and think I was doing anything other than riding about, trying to figure out how to get from A to B, and not falling off, I didn’t know that we collectively were building a metropolis, but look at us now, with our mobile phone, email, blogs, electronic media, digital this and that, and GPS! Wow! 

A Trip!

Greetings fellow bloggers – I know some of you have been struggling with the new editor, it hasn’t got me yet, as I’m just using the old online one so far, so I’m pretty much out of the loop on that one.

On Saturday, just gone, we went to London for a day trip to see the Aubrey Beardsley exhibition – a rare treat! What a drag its been, everything being closed, and no one able to go anywhere or do anything. This exhibition was due to start the day lockdown began, so it was closed after about 24hours, I thought we’d never get to see it, then they re-scheduled it, so we got tickets and went on a day trip. Here’s some photos I took. Aubrey Beardsley is an English graphic artist (1872-1898) contemporary of Oscar Wilde &co, so the art was a bit decadent at that time, Beardsley was particularly naughty with some of his stuff, considering how long ago and how prim and proper the Victorians were meant to be, they were pushing the boundaries, or perhaps being a bit secret and elitist? Perhaps its a forerunner for modernism? I mean, just kind of larking about a bit, being exclusive, and mocking the more general trends?

Anyhow, here’s one – this is really famous, “The Peacock Skirt”

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This one is about Salome – I forget the title, his designs are fantastic!

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I liked this one – amazing!

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This one is so sweet!

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Here’s a naughty one!

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He had TB, and died at only 25, so we can forgive him for drawing great big penis’s occasionally? Heh,heh,

Anyhow, after that, we went to this other exhibition, while we were in town, it was about electronic music, so there was all this history of rave and dance house culture and so on. You had to bring along your own headphones, and plug them into all the exhibits to hear the sounds that went with each thing. It was pretty good actually. They had this music thing like this, you’ll have to see it, just scroll forward, and you’ll get the idea – this is someone else’s video, saves me uploading mine 🙂

 

Here’s my copy! 🙂

Some Songs!

I heard these first 2 songs through adds on Instagram during the week – I thought they were ok – notable, but I don’t know that I’d follow up and buy,  I noted them down then looked them up later, I just thought oh, those 2 are both good! I may look into these artists again at a later date:

Make You Know Love – Don’t Need Heaven

The graphics on this video are amazing!

Katie Gately – Flow

 

After looking at those, this new song by Roisin Murphy came up o the next song on youtube, fun stuff! She’s a card!

Roisin Murphy – Murphy’s Law

 

I don’t know why I thought to look this song up, the intro part was going through my head, perhaps a TV ad reminded me of it? I never saw this video before, its so sweet!

George Harriosn. – What is Life?

Stars!

When you get to a certain age you find yourself looking back on things rather than forward too. Oh, you still look forward to things of course, like this or that adventure, but you know its not going to blow your mind or change your whole world outlook – as things did when you were younger. Likewise, you see younger people thinking oh wow, I just had this or that epiphany, and you just think, oh yeah, I did that too! Did the world really change, or was it just you and I?

The world does change, and it changes for the better, as well as for the worse – so its tricky to say exactly where we’re all heading.  I don’t want to say what younger people are going through is definitely just the same old thing we all went through, because it really is changing, as are the borders and frontlines and so on. 

Anyhow, I found this article, in the TLS, about “The problem of men writing about sex” It got me thinking about the books I read, and those I avoid really, and how different it might have been if I had studied English Literature at school when I was younger, instead of opting for just leaving school at 16, and finding my own way. 

Emasculated

On second thoughts, I think it might be better to steer away from literature that tries to be too clever! (a great article though)

Check out this by Simply Red – Stars – he’s bonkers! His music is really dreadful, I never liked this sort of thing, I always liked Mick Hucknall’s voice! Amazing!  And anyhow, I’d quite like to fall from the stars straight into your arms, sounds ok to me! Hope you comprehend! 😀 😀 

 

I’m on a roll – here’s another song! Fiction Factory – Feels like Heaven! 😀 😀

 

Hope everyones ok BTW – had a terrible few days, really down & depressed, got 3 pairs of jeans today, retail therapy! Feel so much better! Weird! 😀

Motorbike ride Trent riverside

I went for a motorbike ride last Thursday alongside the Trent river – you don’t see much of it in the video, as its all quite industrialised after centuries of development, but it turned out to be quite nice to ride along the little road there between one crossing at Gainsborough, and back across at Althorpe near Scunthorpe. I used the roads on the west side of the river the other week, and that was nice too, more populated than the east – some guy has a huge gun parked in his garden in the video! I crossed both bridges many times before, its my stomping ground over there on the east side of Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, I go there a lot.

I did my own music on this video, (3 instrumental songs) which is 10 mins long, its a bit strange, I just throw something together for fun really, but I sort of enjoy it, my music is really just messing about, its quirky!

REM

R.E.M. stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which is what your eye does when you’re in deep sleep. I knew that after someone told me at some point or other, and I knew about the group REM from quite a few years before they were popular, but I didn’t really actually know anything about them, just that they existed from quite a way back in the 80s.

Well these guys moved into my flat, using the room next door for sleeping, there were three of them, when they first came and knocked on the door there were 2, I’d only expected one, since there was only one bed, but 2 turned up. There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess.

SO anyhow, they moved in, and this other guy just showed up at some point after that, so there were 3 in there, when they were home, which wasn’t that often. They were getting through an awful lot of ganja these guys, so much of it, I was higher than I’d been for a while just by knowing them – I guess they kept me sweet that way. So of course I was curious as to what made them tick, I liked music, and got chatting to one of the guys about that, he liked REM, he told me it stood for Rapid Eye Movement, and about how he liked these songs they do. So we got like really stoned, and he told me about how he’d been in this car accident, the car had rolled on this road I know quite well, and how he’d had to have a false heel done in an operation, around which point I just fell asleep for a bit, it was probably 4 am or something, those guys used to come into the flat at way past 2, and doss down – 3 of them in a room meant for one, so I’m meeting my neighbors, and I’m trying to stay awake, and when I wake up he’s showing me his foot, he’s got his sock off and his heel is like white, cos its some sort of plastic insert, pretty freaky, – then I wake up again, and I’m like fuck this I got to go to bed, and he’s like “you want it don’t you?” I’m thinking WTAF? Its another misunderstanding, I completely forgot whatever the subject was. He said well that’s where I want to be – I liked him, he knew where he wanted to be. Maybe this song was in my mind? I have no idea, I was totally confused! Don’t Go Back to Rockville,

I really can’t remember – they all thought I hated them for a while, and I did off and on, cos of course you do when you live with someone, there was another couple of guys living in the flat at the time, quite a few people came and went, it would have been more fun if they’d paid the bills and contributed to the running of things a bit more, know what I mean?

I quite like this one about Wild Heaven

Fucking beatniks! LOL I do remember this one – Pop Song 89


Could be from years later for all I’d know, I don’t really remember that much from that time, things got a bit frustrating, there were some other guys sleeping in the front room, this guy had such cheesy feet, I have no idea where he came from, but he drove me nearly insane – I don’t need some guy with stinky feet in my kitchen every morning for weeks on end, it don’t matter how high one is, that just doesn’t work for me – no way!

Looking at the dates, I’m talking about the 80s, but I’m thinking more like the mid to late 90s, so maybe I got it all wrong, could have easily been a throwback. I remember this one – Radio Song

I’m just wondering what REM songs I knew at that time when I told that guy I quite liked REM? I have no real idea what was going on at that time, I’d lost my mind in an incident involving magic mushrooms a year or 2 before, anyway, I liked this guy, he knew what he wanted, or where he wanted to be or whatever. Anyhow, they all moved out, in a bit of a hurry to do with cops and the law or whatever. Love this song, it definitley wasn’t out at that time, cos I remember hearing it later – (I think) – such a classic! What’s the Frequency Kenneth!

There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess. SO anyhow, they moved in . . .

 

[Edit] – I just want to add, R.E.M. are such an amazing band! I went into my collection and found so many good songs on this various collection I’d got. Its just got me floored how good they were – I added a few tracks, check it out,

reml

I only really play them from time to time, its not really my thing, and yet when I do, I go nuts! Its brilliant!! I’m only really interested in the hits, but there’s so many, writing this blog reminded me of the missing songs I needed – its just refreshed my admiration all over again! 😀

Mood Music:

Well they played this George Michael song on the radio the other day, and I always thought it was one of his best. A bit morbid perhaps? Maybe his mindset was a bit unusual, or maybe it was just the essence of pop at that time, everyone trying to write something meaningful and worthwhile? Well, I think he succeeded with this one. I think its subliminal while its on!

I don’t know if its because I’d heard that song on the radio I started thinking about this one? Its a similar sort of moody thing, its by Psyaviah. Its got this haunting sound to it, as well as a pretty down sort of theme, and yet its quite satisfyingly honest I guess: