King Of A Shithole – 12th December 2022

The big cheese on the housing estate
The tough guy standing guard at the gate
The geezer at the bar talking shite
Bouncers bouncing idiots into the night
All the finagling to become the king
To lay down the tune for others to sing
Here amongst the whores you sit
The king of nothing, the king of shit

‘King of a shithole’ was a line in Top Boy Summerhouse. The first line is a nod to a Half Man Half Biscuit song ‘He’s the big cheese down at the Tourist Information’.

The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing…He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths.

Carl Jung

Today I’m feeling:
Lethargic and dizzy
Today I’m grateful for:
Yet another of Thailand’s holidays giving me another day off work. I spent it restoring energy is sleeping and watching tv!
The best thing about today was:
Watching Top Boy and identifying with one of the child characters that felt lost and useless. He got manipulated because of his ignorance and it made me think how easily that could have happened to me.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Amy was a bit grumpy in the morning so we kind of avoided talking about anything much. She cheered up later when Takky, Hangy and Berm came over and they all got on the wine. I was still dizzy and tired and was grateful that I could just watch tv whilst they had a blast.
Describe your most ideal day from beginning to end.
I get up in the morning
I go to bed at night
Everything in between is a bonus.

I took this picture because it is gardener’s day again today. Always looks good after they’ve been.

Ferris Wheel – 3rd December 2022

Smooth Tim sells sofas – modular
And his voice has become so popular
Now the king of Dumbdom City
His voice has never been so pretty
Hiding confidence he found lacking
Advertising dollars are his backing
A billion books sold with nothing to say
Four hours of reading is his work today
On this wheel but no longer grinding
Empowering words are his finding
Pulled up from bootstraps and collar
Another four-hour day, another dollar

Inspired by listening to a Soaring Twenties podcast where Tim Ferriss was being dumped on, perhaps rightly, perhaps unfairly. Hot takes provide interest.

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Francis Bacon

Today I’m feeling:
Happy, and relaxed though a little tired
Today I’m grateful for:
All the people that made it possible for Amy and me to fly to Phuket today. If you think about it, there are a lot of people involved in making this happen, which we now take so much for granted.
The best thing about today was:
Swimming in Pim’s pool and looking up at the palms.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
A drunken Amy screaming in the car as I drove to the restaurant for dinner. I enjoyed it as much as I could as it makes me happy to see her happy.
List three goals for this month.

  1. Try to have some money left by the end of the month.
  2. Start using Ableton again and compose some music.
  3. Not lose my temper with my students.

4th Jan 2023 – 1. Fail 2. Fail 3. Success

I took this picture because we’re staying at Pim’s new rental house in Phuket and this is the pool which took me a few minutes after arriving to jump into. Good backstroke for my shoulders but exhausted afterwards.

The Nothing Special – 2nd December 2022

Those were the days of Terry and Bruce
Ran the airwaves without ever getting loose
It’s the holidays, it’s eight o’clock
It’s time for Nothing Special to rock
A variety of nondescript acts
A poor mans reading of ridiculous facts
There’s nothing special about Christmas this year
So Nothing Special is watched without fear
The boring boredom of the everyday
Made Nothing Special special in some way
Rolling out the favourites as if to assume
This is what people wanted to consume

There was something comforting about holiday TV in the UK in the 70s and 80s. Banal family entertainment that will never live on in memory. In those days there was not much entertainment to choose from though now I feel we suffer from having too many choices. Is this simply a function of growing old?

I’d written down ‘Nothing Special’ earlier but forgotten why and ended up thinking about TV ‘specials’ of the past instead.

We make each other alive. Does it matter if it hurts?

Ingmar Bergman

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed
Today I’m grateful for:
Thailand having yet another holiday on Monday, which I only found out about today. We had already planned to be in Phuket until Tuesday anyway but this means I only have to take one day of leave.
The best thing about today was:
Nong Fah came to class and gave me a Chupa Chup for no particular reason at all. I was pleasantly surprised and appreciative. All my students were in a reasonable mood today which made the day go well for all of us.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I realised when I went to pay for coffee this morning that an automatic payment had come out of my bank rather than Paypal and I only had 32 baht left. When Amy asked me to pick up some food I had to ask her to transfer me money and I’d also ordered some books from Bangkok that I had to apologise that I couldn’t pay for yet and hoped they hold for me. The day we get paid seems to vary from month to month. Sometimes on the first or fourth or within two or three days on either side. It’s a little annoying I don’t have money as we leave for Phuket tomorrow. I’ll be living out of Amy’s wallet for a few days.
Who do you envy?
I don’t think I envy a whole person particularly, perhaps not even envy at all. If there are specific traits that I might envy in people I’ve learned to accept my lack of ability and realise that everything is in accordance as it should be. As I envy so might others envy me.

I took this picture a long time ago. It was actually a video and I just found it again today and took a screen capture as this lightning bug’s tummy flashed on.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #59 – 9th October 2020

The stupidest rock podcast on the internet as voted by everyone, everywhere.

Highly curated, carefully selected and specifically ordered* for your listening edification by world-renowned DJtenzenmen, who has over 500 years of experience in this business.

* ie totally random.

This week there’s music from The Scapegoat, White Blacula, Funkadelic, The Move, B Team, Hamster Theatre, PFM, P-Model, The Tempos, MFQ, Hot Snakes, Angelic Upstarts, Beatles, Volcano Suns, Born Against, Feed Me Jack, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Regurgitator, Satanique Samba Trio, Rosalina Mar and Wolves.


Find us on Twitter and Facebook too. Tell us if you like it, tell us if you don’t.
Listen right here or Mixcloud, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon…..all those cool places I guess.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that today will be a quiet day with no kids around. I will miss them though. Almost a month before we see them again!

No hammer from the judge – 10th December 2019

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? What questions do you ask?

The last time I felt overwhelmed was at CRPAO. My mind could only concentrate on the injustices I felt at the way I was treated. Obviously, the questions I asked myself were not productive.

The first question I need to ask is ‘is this situation in or out of my control?’ If the situation is not in my control then all I can control is my response. This is a difficult skill that I am currently trying to cultivate. It is easy to think about but difficult to execute.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for another school holiday today. Yesterday was tough and left me in a negative state of mind and this morning I woke up not feeling well. It’s a blessing to be able to spend another day just sitting and reading!

How do I spell relief? I spell it OW! – 8th October 2019

The first weekend of the holiday brings some mental relief.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
I would start a tour organisation business for bands to play shows throughout Asia. I would use my existing contacts to have pre-planned routes through the area. I don’t know any way to monetise this but it would certainly bring me great joy to travel and work within a musical environment.

20th Jun 2022 – I was more seriously preparing to do this more frequently starting with the World’s Dirtiest Sport tour that was planned for Feb 2020 but the Covid pandemic knocked all those plans out. Things are getting more back to normal now but some new regulations that have been implemented in certain countries would make things much more difficult than before. The whole situation kinda knocked the wind out of my sails too.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for all the opportunities ahead of me because they give me a chance to explore and develop myself. The hardships I have faced and sometimes not been able to deal with well have all helped me to grow and learn.

The Week That Was – 12th August 1979

Record of the week: The Dickies – Walk Like An Egg
Highest entry: Angelic Upstarts – Teenage Warning

25th May 2022 – My ‘record’ of the week seems to be just different songs from the Dickies album. Well, it is that good, I suppose. Angelic Upstarts – fantastic youth anthem, Teenage Warning – classic. I wonder if I could play it on guitar? Definitely not the guitar solo though!

12th August 1979
Might be watching the match on Saturday vs Forest

25th May 2022 – I think this would be the first of two times I saw Ipswich play. The other was in Bristol, vs Bristol City, though I’ve no idea what mum and I were doing in Bristol. Maybe just visiting Bath?

13th August 1979
I’m writing this on Thursday and I can’t remember what happened today
2p 93p* 86p* 179p*

14th August 1979
Went to Sharon and Ken’s

25th May 2022 – Before moving to Dorset to live with my grandparents, we lived in Devon. I also don’t really know why we moved to Devon from Cumbria, though I would guess it would have something to do with my mum’s then-boyfriend committing himself to more than one girlfriend at a time. I never really saw my mum with another guy after that. Anyway, in Devon, my cousins, Sharon and Ken lived about 3 miles away from where we did. After leaving Devon at the end of 1976, Sharon and Ken moved too, also to Dorset, about 10 miles away from us. I used to enjoy Ken’s sense of humour and playfulness. Also by this time, they must have had a least one of their two children, Mungo followed by Kim. I was deemed to be close enough in age to play with them and get out of my mum’s hair for a while.

15th August 1979
Came back from Sharon and Ken’s

16th August 1979
1. Boomtown Rats
2. Cliff Richard
3. Ian Dury
4. EWF
5. Abba
6. Hersham Boys
7. Police
8. Dooleys
9. Darts
10. ELO
2p 173p*

17th August 1979
Go on holiday to East Anglia
Not Dead
2p 171p*

25th May 2022 – Hehe – I’m not sure why I wrote ‘not dead’. I suppose it was a long drive. I was excited to be in the county of my team and to be going to see them play the following day. Here, we stayed with my Auntie Eileen and Uncle Dick, after them having stayed with us last week or so.

18th August 1979
Up until now because I’ll be giving Ipswich’s scores
Ipswich 0-1 Forest – Boo
Watched the match live.
2p 169p*

25th May 2022 – In East Anglia I remember being allowed to drink Cinzano, which was Eileen and Dick’s favourite tipple.

I also managed to convince my mum to buy the Sham 69 Hersham Boys 12″ which no one else was very impressed with but didn’t stop me from playing it. Especially showing these ‘old people’ how angry and mature I was by enjoying the beeped-out swearing on the live tunes.

We also went for a walk across a heath with lots of brackens and their old dog trailing behind. But the football match that I was so excited about I don’t remember a thing, except perhaps, being disappointed at losing.

The other time I saw them, they lost too and that trend continued many a time I went to watch the Swans play in Sydney too. There was a very big difference in the atmosphere at matches between English football and Aussie Rules.

In England there was always a tension, a palpable possibility of violence, not even my mum could protect me from. In Australia, everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy watching the sport. Overzealous fans tend to be frowned upon. There is also no separation for supporters because it just isn’t necessary. Fans would poke gentle fun at each other, that was as violent as I ever saw at a game. Even opposition fans could make me laugh when one time, Collingwood scored their first point and shouted ‘You’re losing, Sydney!’