Friday, December 28, 2007


I’d lived many lives. Imaginary ones from movies and books, yes, but also in real life, from the heights of Beverley Hills to the slums of New Orleans. From villages in Vietnam to villages in the Sahara desert. I didn’t know what I wanted.

When I met her late one night in the café, I told her I was a chameleon. I told her whenever I went to a foreign country my skin became the colour of the natives. My skin changed colour. When I was in the desert, my skin became a golden orange. When I was in the ocean my skin turned a hybrid of blues and greens. I told her lots of things. I may have lied.

I was lost in the French foreign legion when a letter from her arrived. A year later, I missed her by four days in El Paso. In Rio, she passed by six days before me. I still had her letter. I was a family man, somewhere, I couldn’t remember. I lost many fights, in penny arcades, bowling alleys and dime stores. I saw her once, watching, from the corner of her eye, on a cold February morning, in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Be Afraid...

No, the mystery's not why we're moving to Warminster, Wiltshire, in a week's time but a 'remarkable series of UFO sightings in 1965'.

The back of this paperback (first published 1967; republished 1976) explains:
"Warminster, a small Wiltshire town, was the focus for a remarkable series of UFO sightings in 1965. Hundreds of local people, and UFO investigators who visited the area in the years which followed, have observed and studied these astonishing phemomena.

The Warminster Mystery is a dramatic unfolding of these sightings, with eye witness accounts of strange 'things' seen by day and night; of bewildering mushrooms of smoke, crescents of fire, weird and disturbing sounds, and even accounts of conversations with those from Outer Space.

The illustrations in this book include several fully authenticated photographs of UFOs, taken in front of witnesses."

As well as UFOs the surrounding area is full of mysterious, unexplained and strange stuff such as crop circles, ley lines, burial mounds, chalk white horses on hillsides (eight of them in Wiltshire) and Silbury Hill, Europe's largest man-made hill.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Band names from other bands' songs

DEATHCAB FOR CUTIE – from the song by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
LADYTRON – From the song by Roxy Music
DEACON BLUE – From the song by Steely Dan
JUDAS PRIEST – From the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
RADIOHEAD – From the song by Talking Heads
THE ROLLING STONES – From the Howlin' Wolf song Rolling Stone
SIMPLE MINDS – Taken from a line in the David Bowie song Jean Genie
SISTERS OF MERCY – From the song by Leonard Cohen
AQUALUNG – From the album/song by Jethro Tull
SHAKESPEARES SISTER – From the song by The Smiths
STARSAILOR – From the album/song by Tim Buckley
HAPPY MONDAYS – From the New Order song Blue Monday

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pennies from Heaven

Since reading about the UK's £65m in lost one pence pieces, I have decided to revise my earlier rule of only picking up five pence pieces and above. I am now on the hunt for coppers too. This could be a get rich slow solution. This is a potential copper mine. The streets – literally – are paved with pennies.
If any readers spot any – on the pavement, behind the sofa, in the pub, anywhere – please email me the address (London only I'm afraid for the time being) and I will endeavour to come and pick them up.