2018. Great.

When you’re a parent all you do is babble about being a parent a lot. Which I do. I’m very proud of my daughter and every day she does a proper decent human being thing. So when she does that I allow myself a pat on the back that we’re bringing her up properly. (she’s 8 now)

But when you’re a parent you sometimes lose a bit of you which disappears for a while. Or maybe it’s just me. So many friends kept doing what they did when they had kids while I looked on enviously. Going to a gig and then dealing with the following day (and the overnight which would probably involve broken sleep). Repeat to fade… dealing with each day was hard enough let alone anything extra.

Then there’s the issue of having no family nearby, or any babysitter we could call on (or afford!) – these things don’t come cheap. So things have fallen by the wayside.

However, I’m getting out to gigs again, almost always work gigs (as they’re free tickets and we can afford a babysitter) and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out. Now I wish all these bands would do lower-volume afternoon gigs for the next generation of music lovers.

Given the majority of this site is old-school html and I don’t have Dreamweaver any more, I’d love to add my photos of Lush, The Breeders, Queens of the Stone Age, Absolute Bowie and more to the photo section. However, it’s not that easy.

Then again, in the days when this site would be somewhere great old photos live, vs now when it’s on YouTube or Instagram within seconds, maybe that’s just how it’s meant to be.

I’ll get around to it. Probably in the next year or so.

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Still Here.

Today I received an email offering me an apprenticeship in setting up a blog. To the address on this site.

Which was quite sweet of them and all that, targeting this poor little old blog which probably dates back to around 2003 even though I’d deleted most of the old posts.

It’s not really for me though. Maybe if I was starting out… but still.

I also currently have about seven blogs, though not all active. Heck, my life is active enough without trying to juggle more things.

So yes, still here. Must dash though, we’ve got Rainbows in a minute… got to keep the Girl Guiding thing going, right?

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Beautiful Noise

So.. five of my photos from this site have made it on to the excellent documentary ‘Beautiful Noise’ – I bought it on DVD and we got around to watching it last night. It’s great, a good snapshot of the time, and is up to date enough it’s covering bands reforming – a most enjoyable evening anyway!

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The Shame

2013, and I’ve barely updated in a year. Sorry blog. I have nothing to report that isn’t elsewhere, being a parent uses up a lot of time, and having ‘me’ time is a rare thing these days. Honest.

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no posts since February? Poor. Poor.

Have a photo.

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This didn’t fit onto my other blog, but will do just fine here. A Story Of Five Mugs… Kate Takes 5 does listography every week, and this weeks theme was mugs. I have mugs, I have many many mugs; some come, some go, but these ones stick around.

Mug #1. PPL.PPL Mug
I was very heavily pregnant and going for meetings at PPL near Covent Garden in my last few weeks of work, taking the tube and having a good gush at how lovely their mugs were. Actually, this happened the once. I saw the mug, and whispered (quietly, I thought, though it was probably quite loud, but so what, I was pregnant and that’s all that mattered) “I want you to steal me one of those” to one of the managers I dealt with. Most excellently, he did just that, we stuck the mug into several bags to protect it disguise my evil deed, and out of the building I went, never to return with the mug. Interestingly, I went back a few weeks later and there were NONE of these mugs left. They’d all mysteriously “disappeared”… that or PPL had known I was coming back. I love the guitar logo, and how it’s kind of embossed into the mug. Apparently there’s something wrong with it, but oh, I love it. I’ve never stolen a mug since.

Mug #2. Duran Duran.Duran Duran 2000's tour mug
Duran Duran were my second true love, my first proper one being Hazel O’Connor (in a musical sense, you understand). They were my first gig back in 1983 at Leeds Queens Hall on the ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’ tour, and afterwards my dad bought me a silk scarf, and a bootleg t-shirt (which frayed and shrunk) from the dodgy vendors outside. Fast forward to some year in the 2000’s when the original lineup reformed (Andy Taylor was still on guitar), and they played Wembley Arena. I parted with my hard earned cash, and to make up for not buying any official merch, bought this mug (and a wooly scarf, I think? Oh and a proper t-shirt). It still goes down extremely well with all my female friends when they pop in for a cuppa. I’m a John girl, myself. They really are like a box of Quality Street, right?

Mug #3. Park Avenue
Park Avenue Mug Oracle Page 126Park Avenue Mug Oracle Page 126

Ohh please tell me you remember Park Avenue? It was Oracle’s soap opera – yes, Oracle – the ITV version of Teletext, if I’m remembering correctly. My friend was going out with Jon Homer who wrote the reviews for Channel 4 (and made up a band and did fictional reviews of theirs too, I wish I could remember their name), so I bossed him into giving me a Park Avenue mug (mainly as I didn’t believe they didn’t exist, and mainly so that in years to come (approx 20?) I could show it off on my blog and have many gushing admirers saying “errr, what?”). Park Avenue! A daily text soap opera! I only remember one character was called Jocasta, and may have had a magenta font for her words, and how quickly you had to read it before the page changed. Ahh, the days before the internet. Our kids would laugh at us…

Mug #4. Glenn Hoddle.Glenn Hoddle Spurs Legend mug
I have NO shame. I love Glenn Hoddle. One time we saw Tottenham play and he came out onto the pitch for an interview – my HERO, I’ve never run that quickly to get to my seat, ever. He’s misunderstood, you see. I could go on about it, but I wont. I have ‘Diamond Lights’ five times, and ‘It’s Goodbye’ (the follow up) twice. Glenn is my hero, and I have a mug to commemorate this. I also have a signed picture of him when he was Chelsea manager which is hidden away somewhere, as it’s them, and not us.
Mug #5 – Marmite.Marmite Mug
I love love love my Marmite mug. Shaun and H bought me one as a birthday or Christmas present, and then Naomi at work gave me a spare one. In fact, everyone gives me Marmite things, the cookbook, the toast rack, the lunchbox, the chocolate (the one Marmite product I can’t bear). I have a Marmite archive in the cupboard, one jar of each type sitting there waiting to be eaten when the time is right. I have Marmite bagels in the freezer “for emergencies”. Shaun is Australian, and so therefore takes the exact opposite in all this, going the way of the Vegemite. Having been to Australia several times, I can safely proclaim that Marmite has by far the best marketing campaign and song (I claim ‘My Mate, Marmite’ over the ‘Vegemite Song’) and so wins hands down. Mmmm, Marmite.


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My Best Ever Holiday

Salzburg from Festung HohensalzburgIn 2004 one of my childhood dreams came true; we went to Salzburg.

For many, Salzburg has a rich history of all things Mozart, including most of the Salzburgers, but for me all I wanted were things Von Trapp. My favourite film of all time is The Sound Of Music – I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen the film or the play, so having the opportunity to visit and see a lot of areas featured in the film wasn’t going to be something I’d pass on.

On arriving in Salzburg you’re surrounded by mountains – the magical Alps, a quick bus ride and we made it to our hotel. Salzburg is beautiful, a city which has small passageways with shops to discover, chocolates (Mozart, of course), gardens, and so much more.

Oh, and of course The Sound Of Music tours! Starting and ending in the Mirabell Gardens, the centrepiece for most of ‘Do-Re-Mi’ in the film, I was living out my inner Julie, running down vineyards and jumping up steps. Fortunately, my husband joined in! Unfortunately we didn’t get to Julie’s hill, and we didn’t get inside the Rock Riding School (where the music competition is held at the end), but we still got to see a lot of the sights. The coach tours take you right out of Salzburg to the two different houses used in the film (which are miles apart), as well as the gazebo used in ‘Sixteen Going On Seventeen’ – giving all potential Liesl’s and Rolf’s the chance to pose in front of it. As well as this you get right out to Salzburg’s Lake District – the beautiful St. Gilgen and Mondsee and more.re-living TSOM Liesl and Rolf Gazebo

Salzburg itself has some lovely shops – as well as your more modern regulars – I had to take a photo of  the McDonalds sign, if only because it was *so* Salzburg. It’s somewhere that’s easy to walk on foot and get around – and getting out of the city is also very straightforward by bus.

McSalzburgWe took a bus to St. Leonhard, and from there a cable car up the largest mountain nearby, Untersberg. Unfortunately the day we went wasn’t the best… but the views going up were worth it.

Placed around Salzburg were cows – several of them, all painted differently. I’m not entirely sure what they were commemorating, but it was fun to spot them.

Unfortunately our holiday was only a few days, so we didn’t get to explore as much as we’d like – the good thing about Salzburg is you can do a lot of walking, but there’s still so much to do. The Festung Hohensalzburg has amazing views, St. Peter’s Monastery dates back to 696 – and is one of the oldest parts of the city.

With my rusty German language skills we got by – a lot of bars and restaurants had english menus, and quite a lot of people spoke English. Salzburg is definitely somewhere I hope to go back to one day.


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Yes Yes

Happy Christmas, Happy New Year and so on. Ours was a nice quiet one, no travel to York, no travel to Australia – we stayed at home and did nothing. It was LOVELY.

My back still hurts several months on, but not as badly – it’ll just take a long time to heal, whatever it is I did to it. I’ve been told one side has more tense muscles than the other which is nice to know but would be nicer if there was something which would fix it. Pilates classes have helped.

So yes, 2012. Speak to me again this time next year, and let’s hope it’s a good one…

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Lots to say, little time to say it.

so for now, I’m going to see if this works.

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Back Troubles

I’ve had on-off back troubles which usually resolve themself after a day or two with a lot of rest – but over the last few weeks, particularly at work I’ve found my chair and work area to be so uncomfortable that while the pain has gone on the way home in the car, and resolved itself, it suddenly didn’t. This happened last Monday, and by Tuesday at 5pm I was left laid on the floor of our living room asking H to pass me the remote controls so I could put the tv on to distract her, as 1. she’d have jumped on me, she likes jumping on people lying on the floor and 2. I couldn’t lift my head to see where they were anyway.

Fortunately she did, and an hour later Shaun arrived home, and I headed straight to bed. The following day I was unable to move – at all. It actually got to the point where the out of hours doctor wouldn’t see me, my GP wouldn’t do a home visit as she had nothing she could administer anyway, so it was suggested I rang 999.

I’m no timewaster and it felt like I was, but that was my only option offered by the professionals, so I did… and after being told by the people on the line I’d get a car with someone with an injection to help loosen up my back so I could move (as by now it was about 4pm and I’d been in a similar spot in bed for a lonnnng long time and was needing the loo, let alone anything else), and I’d get a follow up call. Not long after that there was a knock on the door… and they’ve only gone and sent an ambulance. Lordy.

Gas and air were my very best friend when giving birth to H, and they became my very best friend again, I went into a high kind of happy chatty life is lovely kind of mode, the paramedics eventually were able to sit me up and walk me out (but oh it hurt), and off we went to hospital. I’d like to say that being in an ambulance was a bit exciting, although last year when Rachel went into labour early I went in hers with her, but it’s just Not Like Casualty.

Got to hospital to wait and wait and wait until I was pushed into a cubicle, transferred to a bed (with more gas and air) and seen by a really nice nurse who took my blood pressure and pulse and all that stuff. Who also told me women aren’t meant to carry anything above 8kg! (Just a guess, maybe she’s not a mum? How on earth do you get around that?!) By then the gas and air had gone, a doctor came, sent me home and told me to get out of my bed – all well and good but I couldn’t actually move – and I was on my own as Shaun had to stay at home with H.

The nurse/sister in charge wasn’t the most sympathetic – I got it though, they thought I was wasting their time. I was only acting on what the professionals had decided, it was out of my control! She wouldn’t help me out of the bed, couldn’t get why I couldn’t sit up and swing my legs over (err because my lower back was where the pain was?!) and pushed up the back of the bed to help (when I suggested it) so jerkily it was just pain, pain, pain.

Eventually Shaun arrived and we got out with me yelping in pain (not letting H see, who was in her buggy which made a good prop for me to walk with as I don’t know how I’d have done it otherwise), nice nurse ran off and found me a nice strong painkiller which was enough for me to get myself in the car, sat down and we headed off home.

What a pain though. If only my GP had been able to do that I’d have probably saved a LOT of people’s time. Apparently GP’s don’t carry these as they’re likely to get mugged, so refer you higher up. Why I didn’t get someone in a car who could administer it rather than an ambulance I’m not entirely sure either.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful that I was dealt with, I just think it was done badly. I’m not sure whose fault it is, all I know is I’m now signed off work for two weeks and it’s giving me a lot of time to think about it all..

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