Blue Monday-But Not For Long!!!!

Shake it off, shake it off, find the light….enjoy the steam from the cuppa.

Its a new day, its a new dawn, blah blah..bit tired, world weary?

Weekend just not long enough? Need another day, just to re-group before getting back to  rejoining the human race? Arrgh…not ready?

I know how you feel. I need to hear a few more jokes this week and need a bit of sofa, friends and me time ( am not going to get it, but will …soon) and some belly laughs..even a few titters will do.

So my song of the day is gonna start us on a trail blazing quest for the bright side of I for one, need to be reminded today.  Have a great day. x x x


Concrete v. Countryside

So one moment,  walking around London, making my way from here to there and back again, surrounded by eight million other bodies, pushing and pulling and generally getting on just fine, usually accepting each others amazing differences and eccentricities, everyone watching their backs.. maybe just a little, or  maybe quite alot..

it is a miracle we all  usually get on so well, seeing as we are so all bunched together, in each others faces…literally. The city’s transport treats us as equals – it is oblivious to our stature, beliefs, creed, culture, similarities or diversities. When you are on the tube, or the buses, we are all the same, first one in gets the seat. I often feel like I have been starved  of space in so many areas of my life, especially when I get out of the City and suddenly feel, smell, hear and see it all. I  sometimes wonder how I have lived in a City for all of my adult life. Its all about roots, that seem to embed themselves just where you are, even if the soil is not quite suitable -so be careful if you stay still too long..uprooting can be perilous.

Then, as if by magic I am transported by a train to another world, where I walk to the sound of birds singing. So, surrounded by nature  with a bunch of glorious teenagers who are learning my acapella arrangements so fast, I can just about keep up! At lunch time, I race up the hill from the place we are staying to see the world. It is an amazing day. Blue sky, crisp, incredible light. Just for a day and then back to the concrete and the underground. I need to escape more.


Mercy Street -Peter Gabriel -Live in Milan

I Am Only Taking One CD to My Desert Island!

A quesion posed by the brilliant ‘blog-a-day’ mentors. So much music, so many genres, so little time. There is one album that I listen to most when I need  to get connected, and again, here comes a little French link..The group are called Deep Forest, and the album is called Boheme . I first heard ‘Deep Forest’ and the album of the same name in a shop in the mid 90’s and it was one of the first of those hybrid mixes of ethnomusicological ( wow-did I spell that first time?)  vocal sound-bytes from Africa and wonderful synthesized beats and harmonies. I wore this one out. When Boheme came out I listened a bit, but as the years went by, the tracks continued to get under my skin. The first track, “Boheme’ has an intro that to this day has me in tears before the vocal even comes in..I don’t know why.

Its funny as there is what seems like a lot of programmed stuff in it, which I like on a purely physical level – some people call the style ‘ethno-introspective ambient world music’- obviously have a lot of time on their hands -but perhaps the linking of the electro, rhythmic and the most amazing set of real vocals…well, I love it, and more than anything, I keep coming back to it for solace. So that is my one album -like a fine wine. A compilation album of 10 tracks…now there’s another story for another day. have a good day.x x x. x x x

Farewell to the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway

Oh deep shame. Their ideals were wonderful – and they were real ideals that they put  into practice.

To get on a train at any time, and always pay the same fare, around £44 return. Brilliant! So now if I want to step on a train with no notice  at 8am  in the morning , a SINGLE from London to Shrewsbury is £118,  and that is not even direct. The Wrexham and Shropshire had lovely  wide old seats that did not make you feel like a sheep

in a lorry pen (possibly why they are called Pendolinos?).

The loveliest staff. I for one think  it is a deep shame and another sign of the crumblingness that is the end of the civilized world as we know it. I hear things that amaze me everyday. So  much is being cut from education funding  that a huge swathe of us are now so uneducated that modern technology is just a complete waste of time, as are books and poetry and art. The World Service is being cut, 650 jobs going for the saving of a quarter of a Jackson Pollock painting…crazy world…people starving…massive proportions of the food we produce just goes in the bin.  Woops…started on a mini rant there, when  I was supposed to be wishing the Wrexham and Shropshire  a peaceful demise and I for one will miss their courage and independent spirit in this cut throat world.


PROUD – dedicated to the railway workers everywhere(even Virgin) I would be no-where with out you (apart from here) I know it is ‘con lacto’ cheesy, and  am not a big fan of the tense soft palette, rolled back tongue  vocal sound of dearest Heather Small, but I have heard 2000 kids sing  from Camden this at the Albert Hall, full voice with fire in their hearts and it was  uplifting. Great sentiment .

Round -Like a Circle in a Spiral.

Today it is all about circles. I just took pictures of a few circles I encountered in one day of my being in London, and thought about the song WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND which interestingly in French is called les moulins de mon coeur which even with my pigeon french means THE WINDMILLS OF MY HEART… I wonder if only the title was written in French or if it was first written with French lyrics…I have not had time to do enough research.It is a wonderful song and harks back to my love of  many things French.


So here it is. I only found out today that the opening two melodic sentences were adopted from Mozart’s second movement from his Sinfonia Concertante for Violon Violan and Orchestra , so I should be gushing about my love of all things Austrian.. and today following the fine example of some of my fine fellow blogger djbaroque I am listing the words- as they are great.Does anyone knows if it the lyrics were written in French first? I would love to know.

today is compare and contrast the original versus the lovely Dusty

Round, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel,
Like a snowball down a mountain or a carnival balloon,
Like a carousel that’s turning, running rings around the moon,
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face,
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space,
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind,
Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own,
Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone,
Like a door that keeps revolving in a half-forgotten dream,
Or the ripples from a pebble someone tosses in a stream,
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face,
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind, 

Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head,
Why did summer go so quickly? Was it something that you said?
Lovers walk along a shore and leave their footprints in the sand,
Is the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway or the fragment of a song,
Half-remembered names and faces but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware,
That the autumn leaves were turning to the colour of her hair,


A circle in a spiral, a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning, on an ever-spinning reel,
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find,
In the windmills of your mind

The drum machine & the vocal transformer – the best and worst things!

“We writers dream of a future where actors are mostly computer generated and their performances can be adjusted, by us, on a laptop, alone.” ~Tina Fey

Interesting quote and I sort of know what she means…when the drum machine became a viable and fashionable instrument I was so excited that I would never have to wait for another drummer to arrive late, play too loud, not be able to follow instructions (  I have several friends who are drummers, so friends they  usually continue to be)

When I found the vocal transformer on Logic and was able to take my voice down an octave it was brilliant! I could now sing Bass. I was my own self contained Acapella Choir…alone!

But it is just not the same – alone is good…’all one’- but the first time I take my self-penned 4 part vocal arrangments to choir and hear them sung by a mixed group of real live singers I always get a shiver- it is one of the most heavenly moments in my small existence when I feel really in touch with God ( the one with no name -apart from God, but the name could be creation, oneness, Julie  -what ever rocks your boat)

There is something about the sound of lots of different voices all together that I can never create when I sing with myself and the same is true of all the manufactured instruments in my palette. Great for sketching…marvellous for dance music and reflective stuff, but some how, if you want to hit the old heart and soul, the people have to be there-breathing, strumming, banging, not quite hitting the note or hitting it good! Thanks to all the musicians and singers I have had the pleasure to collaborate with. I like my ‘all one, al-one,alone time’, but my life is so much richer  being with you.


Heaven or Las Vegas -The Cocteau Twins

Someone very thoughtfully  put a translation of the words of the song on this youtube link -cos I can’t understand much of what this beautiful singer is saying-

‘Elizabeth Fraser’s distinctive vocals received the most attention in the band. At times barely decipherable, Fraser seemed to veer into glossolalia and mouth music. Reviewer Ned Ragett wrote that “part of her appeal is how she can make hard-to-interpret lyrics so emotionally gripping.”(ripped from Wiki)

The ol’man is having a whole shoe-gaze renaissance- I missed the Cocteau Twins the first time round  as i was so busy writing my own decipherable lyrics, but have to say they have ripened and mellowed like a fine wine.

This song is dedicated to all my friends past, present and future!

I wrote my ‘song of the day’. It is titled  –Friends. I happened to watch a touching and apt  movie last night called My Best the topic of the day is…I kid you not..  friends.

I love French Cinema for many reasons, one is I  usually don’t have to put up with any idiot soundtracks – ‘oh pizzicato strings…it must be a funny bit’…check out how many ‘blockbusters’ use this nonsense use of music.. I love France and wish my French was up to it, as I would be there like a shot, living i in some beaten up apartment above a bakery or cottage somewhere. Sadly being a bit dyslexic, I find I have remembered every word I  learned in my O’level days, but my short term memory and ability to take in anything new is, and always has been….pants.. There is also a depth and poignancy  in French film you do not get in so much other cinema. The French definately resonate from their hearts and it seems to come through in so much of their cinema. The Prophet …best film I saw last year, gritty and so well observed.


So My Best Friend is the perfect film for anyone  who is spending their time musing over one of the post-a-day ideas for a blog title.  I will not spoil it for you,  but recommend it. It asks all the right questions about ‘what and who is a friend’.It also has a great little plot, as well as a lot of beautifully sensitive  and funny moments. Daniel Auteil is one of my favourite actors. Don’t be put off by bumf on the poster ‘popularity contest’  nonsense . It is quality.

So friends ha!  very complicated and the discussion could go on and on. So I shall just ask the following questions …

who might  you call at 3am in the morning?( and I am not meaning a cab or the 24hr pizza parlour )

who is not going to mind if you cancel?

who is going to tell you that they mind if you do?

who do you want to take with you when you decide to emigrate?

who is a constant, even if you don’t see them for weeks, years, their place in your heart is somehow permanently tattooed?

who makes you laugh at yourself?

who knows you and understands you, and makes you feel like you are an easy person to get on with, and not a messed up, complicated hard to understand type of being?

is that all too much to ask?

No I do not think so, but friends like flowers, need to be nurtured and cultivated ( not over watered though and in this day and age, the busy busy lifestyle makes it very easy for many of  us to forget to keep in touch – my hand  is up first…guilty as charged. So here I am reminding myself, as does my song to thank the Lord ( which ever one/thing you want to thank..) for these friends of mine. Thanks.

SONG OF THE DAY ( there are 2 )

FRIENDS written  and performed by Gitika and Mickey B. Goode on album ‘bittersweet by gitika’  its available to buy on itunes and amazon -it earned me $20 last year ( the whole album that is…..not alot)  -just guitar and voice buy it here

and click on the title-friends to listen to it all the way through……

‘you took the time to listen to me moan , bout the trouble in my head, let me sit and cry, worries now have all run dry, it;s so good that the problem’s shared’ and PLACE IN MY HEART written by me and Andrew McCrorie-Shand in 2017 listen by clicking HERE