Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer

Last week I found myself with time to waste in a South Yorkshire City, so wandered into the centre only to see loads of kids ( after school) jumping in the fountains. As many of them had their swimming attire with them, it must be a place to go when it gets hot and you want to stay cool! Looks like a lot of fun.

SONG OF THE DAY-  Tyler James……..click here  blog 1st march 2011

Yup I was singing his praises over a year ago and now he is in the final of the Voice….

CD Baby Jingle Writing Contest

Well it seemed silly not to enter, and as I love CD baby and everything they stand for. ‘Music for the people, by the people’.  If you want to find music that is not restricted or  chained to the major record company, this is the independent place to visit.

So…… my jingle must be my song of the day.

SONG OF THE DAY 1. Write a 30-second jingle about CD Baby (jingle must include “CD Baby” to be considered) and today I am trying soundcloud for the first time…click hear to hear my jingle.cd-baby


One of the nicest things about the singing days I am invited to lead is most organise ‘lunch to share’. Now how does this work you may ask? Very well, as is happens. I always have this slight trepidation that every one will bring humous, and I have to say, I have been to workshops in the dim and distant past where yes, there has been a plethora of plastic pots of humous and mountains of french sticks on the long table clothed  trestle table. I think seasoned workshop attendees have,  over the years  realised this just won’t cut the mustard and  many people are much more adventurous with their contributions to the  lunch table. This weekend the spread at the vegetarian school ( yes there is such a thing) included home made  risottos, samosa, falafals, a multitude of colourful salads and fruit dishes,  breads and crackers of all persuasions, home made cakes of all shapes and sizes, and even a bit of humous to boot! Last weekend  in a non vegetarian village hall the lunch to share was as varied and delicious. Often people are really good about putting little labels with their dishes so people know exactly what they are letting themselves in for….fantastic!

One last story of the vegetarian school, the venue for the singing workshop got moved at the last minute, so there was a  lady  attending the workshop who was a bit miffed as she had bought all the ingredients for a mighty fine fish salad only to be told that we had moved to a vegetarian school! Ah well, her family will be well fed.

SONG OF THE DAY – JOsie ( live) -Steely Dan

I am still totally a DAN fan ….I must go and see the Nearly Dans…a tribute band. The bass man in this  live version is so on it and the backing vocals are mighty fine, they  fade out on the intro of Deacon Blues…mmmmmm

Stop Decluttering Now… ‘Just in Case’

I need some file cards for a project and yes  – you guessed it, I have thrown them away ( into the recycling of course) during my last decluttering session. They had been taking up space in my office for the last 10 years, in one of those funny little dusty file card boxes which seem a bit old fashioned now. I kept them as I thought they would be useful…one of those ‘just in case’ objects that fill up the space around me. I really felt I had kept onto them for long enough. Now I am going to have to go out and buy some more….I have a theory that there is a little blip in the old clutter clearing theory that we have not yet sorted out. I think it is a ‘cosmic universal thing’ that somehow if you let go of some things they just come back to bite you on  the bottom. Sadly I have not the time to do the research into this, but I would like to know if I am the only one who has come across this puzzling little phenomemon.

It always happens to me if I accidentally lose or put on weight. I loose a stone…keep all the big clothes just in case, then as soon I send them to the chazza shop, I put the weight back on. Same happens if I put on weight and keep the smaller clothes, you can bet your bottom dollar the moment I send them off to a better place, I lose the weight. Ring any bells?

I have another niggling thought in my mind that the file cards did not go in the recycling, I put them in a ‘safe place’, and will only find them if I buy some new ones.

It is still raining and I have the heating on, in the middle of May. Happy Days. x x

SONG OF THE DAY    KT Tunstall-Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

I was reminded of this as my mate AO has done a blindin acapella version of this song. This video live version is a great piece of live looping and cracking  singing.

Excuse me waiter, is this really maple syrup? A little rant……

So what is this all about? I have had 2 instances in the last year when I have ordered a dish in a cafe with maple syrup and I have been given some taste alternative. First time my maple syrup was  replaced with  cheap golden syrup – not the same thing, and the second time I was given a turkish grape juice thing – quite nice, but  definitely not the same . I am not sure why people think it is ok to put maple syrup on the billing, then just decided to change it with out a ‘by your leave’.

During a day out, late  last summer, ‘Porridge with Maple Syrup‘ at Browns in Canary Wharf arrived as Porridge with Some Sort of  Seriously Sugary Yellow Syrup…which is, to my taste buds a completely different thing. Maple syrup is the sap from a tree, not the sweepings of the sugar factory floor – ok it is boiled down so is mostly sugar, but it has a lovely  taste, has a few nutrients still intact unlike its golden syrup sibling  that is just too sweet and sickly for my tastes. ’Sorry’ they say when I point out the error, ‘we ran out of Maple Syrup so we are giving you a cheap alternative to it, and we did not bother telling you, because we are assuming you have no sense of taste and would not notice the difference.’ Harsh? I don’t think so when you are paying almost 4 quid for a bowl of porridge, and the difference in price between an egg cup of maple syrup and other syrup would be a pretty marked little profit.

I am now quite cynical about  the billing of maple syrup on a menu. Today, in a very nice turkish place in north London, that does a mean shish, I  felt I had better double check – asked the waiter “will it be real maple syrup with my yoghurt and pistachios?’ “yes “( all a bit mono syllabic)…the dish arrived I put my finger in the ‘maple syrup’ “Are you sure this is maple syrup?” “yes”. It soooooo obviously was not. I caught the  manager-looking-chap’s eye “can I see the bottle that this ‘maple syrup’ came from please?”, and out comes the jar of  turkish syrup made from grape juice ( the only word in english on the bottle) -it seems if you boil anything for long enough it becomes a syrup . Ok, so it tasted alright but that is really not the point…is it? well is it?… Am I being too picky? Is it ok for a cafe or restaurant to just change the ingredient ( and we are talking about dishes with only 2 or three ingredients) and just not mention it? Surely there is a law out there? Comments please……..

Rant over…

SONG OF THE DAY – Plumbline – 100 9a – From the Album  – Pin Points

Some  call this genre IDM -Intelligent Dance Music…This is not my favourite track of the album which is 555 W24, but so classy it is not on youtube. “Pin Points, Plumbline’s second full-length, continues with the theme of maps, locations, and architecture, although its focus is much more local: New York City. The buildings used had a strong visual, architectual, or emotional connection, each building then went on to represent a track on the CD. Armed with a microphone and DAT recorder the ambience of each building was recorded.” cool. I love the atmosphere of this piece. The album is  excellent to listen to on journeys. Mt chill out of choice at the moment. Thanks mr P.

2012 First Swift over London 8.50am Monday 8th May

Yikes!…I leaped out of my chair as I heared the screaming overhead….hurrah the swifts have arrived! 2 days later than last year and 10 days later than the years in the past…so summer is officially here…If you are around…look up! listen out! It is truly a wonderful thing. Here is a link to the RSPB so you know what to look for. swift link