Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Have Found...

A favourite animated short commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada which I have not seen in years but thankfully has been posted online for viewing...


The Cat Came Back...

Another Of The True Greats...

of Hollywood both films and a big part of music in the 40's and 50's has passed away...

Patty of the vocal group The Andrews Sisters. I could start to list who they appeared and recorded with but it would be easier to list who they did not perform with. I guess they were at their most popular during WWII.

Patty Andrews

The Andrews Sisters

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


In so many ways...

I only discovered it thanks to a Tweet...

So I link to this on my blog...

It is a new Disney short using a new animation technique and this short is up for a nomination for an Oscar in the 2013 Accadamy Awards...



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Housing Benefits...

Of course most of the UK is struggling and we all try to cut our cloth accordingly...but some things are very difficult to especially essentials like food, heating, electric and rent/council tax and now this.

You can say at least "they are trying to do something about it" but the problem lies with a lack of suitable properties available for renting...they used to say "there are not enough decent properties for families to rent at affordable prices" and a lot of private housing is even more expensive than what is called social housing run by councils or housing associations.

Now the opposite is true, there are fewer small properties so you often have to stay put and struggle or you will when this comes in approx two months time. Another option may be to take a two bedroom property but you'd still have to find money for the room that is still unused.

Even more crazy is that if you do find a property to downsize to, you do not have to pay the tax but the rent might be more expensive for the state that has to pay it. Which supposedly defeats the reason this measure was brought in if their intended reasons can be trusted.

I came across the following which I think is a reasonably fair blog post on this topic.

Jerry Hayes

Update:Many are worried about how they are going to pay/absorb the cost of their rents due to reduced help, due to new rules on how Council Tax is collected/raised and how much, many who received help will also have to find a percentage of that depending on the plan their local council decides to enforce so they may have to find even more money from income earned or the help given via welfare which has been reduced, taken away, frozen.  And if they can manage, it will probably mean cutting back on food and/or heating still further. There have been some very heartbreaking stories in the media in the last few days of how it will affect quite a number of people.

What A Change...

At the start of the year it was a Viennese classical concert,** The Happy Cats with a variety of Geordie and Celtic folk music, The Syd Lawrence Big Band concert two weekends ago, Saturday past The Grimethorpe Collery Brass Band...so I was laid in bed early yesterday evening listening to the rain lashing against the bedroom window...

The next minute I was on my way unplanned I was on my way to a tribute to Billy Fury, a popular music icon of the late 50's and early 60's from the same manager's stable of Larry Parnes who was also responsible for artists like Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. And guess who I should be seeing all being well this coming weekend...Marty Wilde(He's 74 in April)still touring and performing...

The backing band at the Billy Fury tribute originally worked with him but as the night went it on they worked with him during the 70's so not during what was probably his greatest period. And by 1977 he had retired due to ill health.

The singer fronting the show, Colin Gold originally performed as Billy Fury on the TV series "Stars In Their Eyes*" and has been working with this band for 16 years.

Yesterday was...the 30th anniversary of Fury's passing...Had he been still alive he would have been 72 years old now.

What a diverse variety of music but I am so happy to appreciate so many different genres.

*A UK series(possibly other versions are produced in other countries)where members of the public portray a famous singer and sing one of their most popular songs. TV company dresses the person in clothes and styles their hair to help complete the overal look.

Occasionally, there have been specials where professional performers have appeared as another famous person. The series has been off the air for a number of years. I have linked to some episodes to give you an idea what the series was like. I never thought much of the programme and very few were anywhere near sounding like the people that they impersonated.

**On these videos they sing their own songs, the concert that I saw the selection of songs were not self penned.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Music, Music, Music...

In the UK we have a radio show that has been on the air decades. Well there are couple and both are associated with Sunday morning for many.

One is a drama that claims to be the longest radio serial "The Archers" and the other is a kind of interview programme Desert Island Discs, where some public figure from entertainment, politics, medicine, the arts, to be honest it could be so many are asked to pick eight records that mean something to them in their lives and why.

I'm not sure that I could reduce my music down to such a small selection and would be taking one out and replacing it with another.

But I have signed up to a website where you post your favourite choices of music and share it with others and hope they like it too. I think you post one piece each week and you can also link it to another site where you can build up a playlist of all your choices...I've just started so there isn't much posted yet.

I choose my music for a variety of reasons...sometimes memories that I hold dear, sometimes the lyrics, sometimes the emotional effect it holds on me be it sad or happy, sometimes because I want to share it, sometimes I'll choose the obvious and what I see as the definitive version of a song but occasionally if I find a version I feel is different but as good as the original that may be posted too.

The site is called "This is my Jam" I hope that you enjoy my selection but you can listen to whoever you wish and can listen to so many great songs...even sign up and post your own.

Search for Gildy55 and hopefully you'll hear mine and see the selection grow in time. You'll find a lot of old and melodic music but there will be some rock and pop included eventually.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Good Or Bad Thing...

None of us know how long we have and what circumstances(health or otherwise)will cut our lives short. I never expected kidney disease and as said many years ago on my blog I have no idea if it would have happened to me anyhow or whether it was due to neglect or caused by myself overdosing/reacting to medication taking for a bad and very painful back.

I have in many ways been fortunate that deterioration seems to have been very slow and controllable but that does not mean there have not been worries along the way nor problems in the future. Or my life will not be cut short or other health conditions will not be added to the list of conditions I will experience.

Diet wise the only advice I have ever been given is "Don't eat a big red steak!" It's over working the kidneys with protein...

To be honest I don't eat loads of red meat anyhow. I can manage without. The worry is that many kidneys can be overworked. They seem happy for me to eat fish, turkey and chickenbut again I eat smaller portions and not every day. As kidney functions decrease you may be told that you cannot drink much liquid. I have discovered that some foods/drinks should be reduced or stopped. And some ingredients essential to your health can be bad for the kidneys but are needed for overall general health.

I assume cutting back on some foods may help the kidneys last longer. Potassium seems to be a bit of a problem if in too great a quantity and so bananas could be a bad choice and yet I have eaten them for years. So now I am starting to wonder if I should cut them out altogether or only eat the smallest amount possible even if I throw most of it away.

Potatoes are high and when I first took ill and was in hospital I remember a patient who did all he could to give me hope had to double boil potatoes(as an example)to drain off some of the chemicals that are in them(another way is to soak them in water for a few hours)and drain the water off. I have never been told to do that but have started to again.

Looking into things again(not that I eat a lot of these items)there is a suggestion that you should not eat wholemeal bread, cereals and drink alcohol(I don't drink much anyhow)milk, tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks so that would only leave water!

I can't decide if they are saying I'm not too bad so carry on within reason and enjoy what you can whilst you are able because one day you won't be able to. Or you're doing ok and having a varied diet is good for you. I would hate to think what I am doing is speeding up the condition un-necessary.

Even items like chocolate and dairy products may not be such a good idea? And yet when I was ill and in hospital for the first time I was given...tea and yogurt!

When my consultant asks what I eat and general say vegetables, fruit and chicken/fish he has not told me to avoid certain items or cook them differently but I think that I will ask again next time I see him or may contact before then. It may be awful to find out bad news or see my diet become more restrictive but better to do something about it whilst it possible.

Even some herbs could be out even though you are told to use them to flavour your foods rather than use salt.

And that goes for vitamins too. Then again you can worry too much and cause un-necessary concern on something that may not happen. Perhaps I am better not to say anything at all.

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Don't Do This Often...

But this is one of the most thought provoking postsI have ever come across on the internet and it is worthy of being linked to. I am sure many of us have or will think such thoughts such as the views expressed here...I know that I have. It is talking of older people but I am sure too many of any age are going through a similar situations.

Jessica Rose - Young At Heart

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm An Old Softie...

This Twitter account has some wonderful images to see...but I came across the following that I just had to share...

Mouse and Teddy Bear

Eating Reasonably Well And Trying To Stay Cosy...

You'd think I would be able to avoid getting a cold. I feel not so bad. So my varied diet of lots of vegetables and vitamins should help. And yet I think I have a head cold but so far it is only affecting my left nostril which seems to be blocked.

I don't want to take anything un-necessarily so will hold off even though I have some Echinacea which is said to ward off colds and reduce the length of time you have them. A night's sleep will probably do me as much good.

I hope I can afford to stay on the internet. I have signed a deal and I am tied into a contract for 18 months but it freezes the monthly payment I pay now and it works out £6 cheaper than at present.

Also, instead of having 60gb allowance per month(and unlimited access between Midnight and 8am)I have 24/7 unlimited access, I still have to pay the phone line rental unfortunately but if I can pay that upfront I can save some money there too.

It will come in around £5 per week and if I change the phone package I may be able to do it for around nearer £4 per week. So anything that saves money is welcome. That means it will cost roughly the cost of one return bus fare eacn week.

They had a good deal of unlimited 24/7 access at present for 12 months which was cheaper than the deal  I have but it is due to end very soon and is likely to go up in price.  I have lost out by £1.67 a month doing it this way but equally I am saving approx £6 per month so that's ok. Especially if prices continue to rise.

I Came Across A Book In The Charity Shop...

and couldn't carry anything else. it is a kind of family medical book so had to leave it but I found a couple of lines about pneumonia and perhaps this explains more than anything I have been told or not been told about Mum and her illness.

I cannot quite remember how it was worded but it said many(or most)people who have cancer usually contract pneumonia and it is this what kills those who have cancer in the end. So I guess it was simply Mum's time...sadly.

Sugar And Salt...

I am happy to say that in general I eat very little sugar and salt. I have become used to doing without or adding them to the food that I cook and eat. Most of my meals are not processed but I reckon when something is or has an ingredient that is I get enough from what is added to bread, cereals, cakes, biscuits and ready meals etc...

The only thing I am a little naughty on when I cook my own meals is that I do like salt on potatoes, chips and tomatoes. And I like sugar in coffee but I now use sweeteners that are Cyclamate based and one tablet is the same as one teaspoon of sugar and has no calories.

They last me ages even if I use quite a few. As does salt and I use sea salt these days.

Otherwise, everything I eat is served as it is. In time I probably could cut down on making my coffee as sweet. I do make my tea and coffee very weak and milky anyhow. So even coffee and tea goes a long way.

I am quite pleased with myself that I eat as healthily and for as little as I possibly can. But as incomes reduce, remain frozen, prices for food and essentials continue to rise this will become a normal way of life for many more of us sadly.

A Case Of Self Imposed Imprisonment...

Its not very good weather wise and more snow has fallen overnight/early morning so if I can avoid going stir crazy I will spend this afternoon having a big tidy up as come Wednesday my landlord wants to check out the electrics of the property and the test could take as long as two hours.

Funnily enough, with more snow down I am warmer in the house(even without the heating on)

I have plenty of food and drink and as long as there is not a power cut I can have warm meals and drinks during the day.

I have a casserole/stew in the slow cooker which I cooked overnight and is now on the warm setting and I plan to eat that this evening(if there is any remaining, I'll put it in the fridge and have it tomorrow or the following day)Only a small amount of meat(I can't decide if it is pork or lamb)but lots of vegetables(Cauliflower, Broccoli, Leeks, Potato, Parsnip, Red Onion, Onion, Celery, Garlic, Carrot, Swede, Curley Kale, Mushrooms)and in a gravy.

Sometimes its chucky, othertimes more like shredded but that makes it easier to cook, often it is like a very hearty soup.

Later this morning I may have either cereal or porridge with some fruit(Berries and/or Banana)

Wish I had room in the freezer to get some salmon whilst it is on offer but it can't be done.

I purchased my first jar of mustard yesterday...I tried to find a really mild one but may have purchased one a little stronger(it appears you can get a mild version in the States)but here they are all quite strong so I may find I don't like it but as it only cost 49p(79c)I don't feel too bad. I went for Dijon. Whilst on I also purchased some Tartar Sauce and Mint Sauce.

Did I mention? A week or two ago I wanted to buy two thermal T-shirts at the local discount supermarket(They have special deals on Thursdays and Sundays)which are different in that these can be worn outside rather than as underwear and they had not come in when they were supposed to. They were available yesterday so I bought one in grey and one in blue. They were reasonably priced at £2.99($4.77)

It is obvious that some items come around again if you wait long emough so hopefully some things I cannot afford first time around or miss I'll buy next time...Woks are on sale again soon,.I bought some last year. It gives me time to save up.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Oh, I knew there was something I meant to mention when I was in the neighbouring town doing the cheap shops...not that I purchased much, I popped into a British Heart Foundation furniture shop(they deliver too)My chin hit the floor. Fridges/freezers, TV's, hi-fi's etc...at silly prices and the quality of furniture new and second hand(beds, tables, sofa's etc...)was so good.

Later in the year I may very well be down there buying items or replacing some of what I have...I was really amazed, even second hand items did not look as though it was.

The reason I made the effort to travel to an extra town was I reckoned by buying a day bus ticket I spent £7.30 but I could've spent that(probably more)on the return ticket to the theatre last night and that brought both journeys down to £1.80 each way. Even that journey normally costs £4.60(return)if I'd had the time I could have used the ticket even more and got more value from it. Its still too expensive but it is better value overall

I've been thinking of getting a pressure cooker but they are all so expensive and there is only me...its small and can only be used in the microwave it will probably be ok for me and it only cost £2.99.

My other few items were some vitamins(not available on my town)no dedicated health shop here. Some cheap cereal, biscuits, a Fray Bentos Chicken Pie, tinned mackerel and crisps. The crisps were lovely, a flavour I've not seen before in any local shop Cheddar Cheese and Bacon. When I got home I found a meatloaf half price(Pork, Beef and wrapped in Bacon)Peas Pudding to have with the ham I have in the house, some small bananas, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.

I bought a small amount of chocolate last night before going into the theatre 4 bars of Cadbury's for £1(normally £1.75)which I will eat as a rare treat now and again.

All things that I can stretch and make quite a few meals out of so though initially I spent a bit when spread out it will come in at around £1-£2 a day for meals but I should still be able to eat well.

Update:The only thing I have been done on this weekend is the Ginger capsules I purchased but they will last 100 days so that's only 4p per day but no more of them I have a jar of ground ginger in a local supermarket for 49p. It would not be worth going back for a refund or to change them adding on bus fares etc...You always can learn something.

I can get all that I need on the town between at a fraction of the price except for one item. I'm going to very careful as some of my new vitamins have the effect of thinning the blood and could cause slow blood clotting but they have other benefits for the immune system and arthritis etc...but even garlic will help the blood and immune system too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Just back from a concert by Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra(Big Band)Only sixteen in the band If you include Chris who MC'd the show, sang, played trombone and conducted too. There was the addition of a female vocalist.

You just don't want nights like this to come to an end. I could not fault one song/tune and the selection chosen. I can't remember everything but I'll have a jolly good try...

With A Song In My Heart, American Patrol, Little Brown Jug, In The Mood, Moonlight Serenade, String Of Pearls, Girl Talk, Sing Sing Sing, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, The Deadwood Stage, Love Me Or Leave Me, Begin The Beguine, It's Magic, Night And Day, Around The World, Get Me To The Church On Time, All Of Me, Tangerine, Bye Bye Blues, Truly(Lionel Ritchie's song)so newer songs can be adapted...I think that I have done well to remember that many.

I noticed on a few occasions that realising that I was enjoying the show Chris gave me a smile.

Chris was heading home in this horrible icy snowy weather all the way from Durham to Portsmouth approx three hundred and twenty six miles and that's around five and a half hours. I must admit I would not relish that journey myself. Well, not on a night like this...

If I knew that I had the money and also was free in June they are doing three days at some kind of holiday resort(Holiday Camp seems a wrong description)and on the third day they are adding strings to the orchestra and are going to play a Hollywood Prom night.

It started to snow as I came out of the theatre but not that much, there was more snow in my town when I got back...

Nice to be safe in my home, I don't like walking the streets late at night alone...

Friday, January 18, 2013

One Day...

Just as happened with television we will lose the continuity announcer. You know the men and women you see between the programmes. It has all but happened on radio, I cannot think of a commercial station that still has announcers telling you which station you are listening to, telling you the time, trailing forthcoming programmes and there when things go wrong to hold it together.

You do get to know them and just as you perhaps become attached to a particular presenter/DJ on a music show, the same is true at BBC Radio 4. Of course people leave but they do give the personality and sound to such a station.

Well, due to making savings as much as anything the BBC has let some of these go...or in some cases asked for voluntary redundancies.

So in these past few weeks we have lost Alice Arnold, Peter Donaldson and Charlotte Green. Others to follow...

Radio seems to evoke more memories than any other form of media. But with so many stations now and so many sounding so similar in time perhaps this will become less so. Especially, as many stations are either DJ free or to be honest they have no personality and are quite bland. The most popular presenters are in the age range of 55-90 and they can still teach many of the youngsters a trick or two.

It's Amazing How Quickly You...

can use up your daily calories. I don't stick strictly to a diet nor a certain amount of calories, if hungry...I eat. Same with alcohol or soft drinks.

But I have just had a pork pie, some salad, tomato, yogurt, a cup a soup, small packet of reduced fat crisps and two wholemeal rolls and that little lot came in at 1,033 and if I stick to my supposed allowed daily intake I only have 357 remaining to play with. The only good thing is that veg is low in calories so you can eat quite a lot and feel full as it is low in calories.

You can see however how easy it is to survive on a small amount and avoid over eating, all you need is a good varied diet and to make certain you hit all the food groups meat, vegetables and fruit(and treat yourself to something naughty if allowed)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's Off!

I took the beard off last night before going to the concert.

Kept the moustache but today decided the whole lot should go...I feel better and to be honest though I look nothing like my photos these days and the hair has all but disappeared I think that I look better and younger.

Mum preferred me clean shaven and I think that she was right. Mothers know best!

Just Because I Like To Learn About The World...

The Mystery Hour On LBC. There are podcasts but a lot of information to be read on the website.

A Great Show From The Happy Cats...

But for the size of venue too loud to be honest and I was glad that I had my earplugs. So without them I suspect my ears would be ringing...

What accomplished musicians the Happy Cats are for a trio and what a varied choice of music...popular songs, unknown songs, Irish and British Folk songs, newer songs and older songs...

What to  say to illustrate their range? Difficult. The main singer/musician was a member of the popular "Pop" group Lindisfarne which had a big following especially in the North East of England and often had a series of concerts annually around Christmas time.

Coincidence? Probably but if you do believe in divine intervention...Is someone special watching over me and saying everything will be fine?

I have mentioned  two songs that I associate with my dear Mum in previous posts and have linked to them in the past.

The Happy Cats included one of them in their set...*"Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and the previous night at the live music event on my own town The John Ritson Band performed a very faithful version of a song Joe Brown has made popular in recent years of a song from the 1920's **"I'll See You In My Dreams"

I have relinked to the songs in this post with different versions to previous ones.

*Katherine McPhee and Andrea Bocelli
**Cliff Edwards "Ukulele Ike"

It was a cold one last night even with all my attempts to stay warm(thermals, scarves, hat, gloves, thick socks)jumper, shirt and big coat. The cold still got through to me. And coming home a kind of icy fog had come down. So it was an effort to attend the concert but well worth it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nothing Exciting Planned For Today...

just hoping no bad news drops on the mat regarding my financial future and situation. I mean it will change anyhow when Mum's small savings come through and then I will have to reapply for help. But this concern is due to all the changes that are starting to take effect via the Government and yesterday they introduced their plans and ideas to change the way and how much the State Pension will be in the future.

They are talking of it being in place by 2017. Many from the scant details announced that managed to grasp what is going on are both angry, worried and scared going by the reaction in the media.

We'll just have to see, I cannot do much about it anyhow...too old and not enough time to save even if I wanted to. Its a fair bet anyone born now will not see such a thing as a state pension and many working now will have to work longer and pay more into the system which is difficult when all the basic but essentials keep rising(rents, food prices, utility bills, council tax and new charges keep being introduced)but wages remain frozen or are low, many jobs are temporary and often part time and are fewer so many more are chasing what is available.

And help for the unemployed, ill/disabled and those care for others see their help being reduces/taken away.

TBH I see it getting worse.

Anyhow...plans for today...have a nice meal(Liver and Bacon)with added vegetables(garlic, onion, leek, swede, potato, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, parsnip)

Washing day so may change bedsheets and wash some underwear,socks, thermals and shirts...

There is lots of talk about how quickly meals can be done in a pressure cooker to save on time and cost of energy. I think my slow cooker takes some beating but being able to cook items quickly on a hob could be handy and there is so much talk of how good pressure cookers are, I may pop out and buy one(they are on offer at present)so now might be the time to have one...

Then I have all I will ever need for my cooking of meals. They will probably outlive me or my being placed into care...of course some items I own have not been used yet, some are for when something breaks to save the cost of replacing as money will become tighter for many. Some items are not used, not because I don't want to use them but because the food is too expensive. I have a smoothie maker and a juicer but to get a decent amount of liquid out of either I'd have to buy so much fruit and veg, it is easier and probably cheaper to buy a carton in the supermarket.

I do own though...a food processor, two spare electric kettles, a kettle that works on a gas or electric hob, a juicer, smoothie maker, mini chopper(electric)an other that is hand operated, a spare toaster, A toastie sandwich maker, a hotplate, a grill, a small deep fat fryer, an iron, a steam cleaner, a spare small slow cooker, a larger one, a halogen oven, a steamer, an ordinary microwave and a microwave combi, a slow cooker, a cooker/oven and as I say I am thinking of getting that pressure cooker.

They don't all match but I have enough plates, dishes, bowls, cups, mugs and cutlery(more than enough)and three or four saucepans not forgetting some spare frying pans. sauce pans and woks.

I think I have covered all baises.

Entertainment wise though I have to watch how much energy I use I have my old second hand PC's(always worried they'll need repairing)this laptop(ditto)and though I still have to use them I have a spare PC monitor and a main TV. Oh and two DAB radio's.

I hope my fridge/freezer, washer and tumble drier last a good few years yet without the need for repair. I only have approx three years left on the guarantee.

So if I can at some point in the future afford to decorate, replace some carpets, get new beds and possibly a new sofa, curtains. I have the materialistic things. Just not the money to stay as warm as I like and buy food without wondering if I can afford it. OK I have a lot of items there but many were purchased over many years and also as an investment for the future when income gets even tighter. Also many items were on offer and are not top of the range or designer branded.

That was also why I bought plenty of trousers and had them altered so my wardrobe will last. Why I buy most of my clothes at the charity shop. Why I purchased quite a few sets of thermals and plenty of socks, gloves, scarves, hats,gloves and coats. Hot water bottles and electric blankets...all with the future in mind...and though I am not great at it I can sew a little so keep repairing the odd hole that appears, I am very much a make and mend kind of guy. What I own will be used as long as is possible.

Those Famous Last Words...

Of course it snowed...well for perhaps 90 minutes, then stopped. By early evening yesterday much it had cleared but we were left with wet roads and paths that will have frozen overnight and will take time to thaw out.

I had my calorific value of food yesterday and yet still never got around to having my Liver and Bacon meal...now I may just decide to try and get myself in gear and eat it for lunch. It has to be used and has gone passed its date but I don't throw food out and as I may have said I ate some fish on Sunday night, probably passed its date and certainly had defrosted and been in the fridge for a few days...

But I cooked it well so it was piping hot, got rid of the breaded coating(OK it was burned)but I wanted to be sure the fish was cooked, haddock or cod, I have no idea. I had a wholemeal bap and some tomato ketchup with the fish(two pieces)it was fine...nothing wasted.

I cannot always go by smell(as that is one sense I have trouble with)but I go by common sense, how something looks and feels. Best before dates I tend to ignore. I was eating porridge the other day probably a year passed its best...it was fine. The other day I ate cereal six months passed its date, again it was fine. Sell by dates are usually only for rotation of stock in a supermarket and the so the only one that you need to be a little more careful  with are use by dates but even then a day or so over won't harm and again if it is something that is going to be cooked. But you can refreeze or put many foods back into the fridge if you have cooked something and followed directions which will buy you some extra time...

My house is so cold that the carton of milk I opened has been out of the fridge in a bedroom next to the kettle to make teas and coffees for days...It has not turned sour. And when I think about it many homes in years gone by did not have a fridge or a freezer.

They are relatively new inventions and follow on from the delivery of ice by an ice man which was placed in an ice box...and some homes(only the wealthy)because of movies and America being seen as more advanced gadget wise I tend to associate this with that country. But in the the UK there were some who had a kind of building that was used as a kind building for the storing of ice. I saw a programme on tv perhaps six months ago and yes they were called Ice Houses.

In my early childhood we did not have a fridge. Here it was only cupboards and a pantry with a heavy stone slab shelf.

But in very recent years(why it took so long for the penny to drop, I have no idea)it gets that cold in winter and with a concrete path running alongside the house which really never ever warms up at all as it rarely sees sunlight, there have been times where you can put items there to keep the temperature low if you run out of space indoors...

And I have all my cupboards and pantry filled with plenty of tinned/boxed items plus booze, bottled water and softdrinks. The fridge/freezer with plenty of fresh and/or good quality food(fish/meat)that has been reduced and my food store in the dining room with lots of goods/toiletries(soap, shaving cream, razors, toilet/kitchen rolls and house hold cleaning items all with long dates on them to keep me going. To try and free up money for paying the utility bills and new bedroom tax etc...coming in or in case my income reduces still further or stops.

Then I can shop less often...

If I make it to the live music show on the town tonight(and the band does weather allowing)they are celebrating someone's birthday and putting on a bit of a buffet so free food is available and that will save me some money and make my own food go that little bit further.

I don't know why but it always seems colder during the day indoors than through the night...so a mug of coffee and the thought of my meal later will help warm me up a bit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Concert By A New Town Choir...

Its a cold one today but I am determined not to put the heating on and try to stay warm using all my household tips of layering up on clothes, hot water bottles and warm drinks...

Its a bit misty but so far the promised snow has held off(famous last words)it did try its damned hardest to for part of last evening but just could not lay nor did it manage to turn into flakes.

I know because I dragged myself out to my church to see the first concert by a Town Choir recently formed. It was a free performance which I would estimate to have attracted an audience of around sixty people.

Their choice of works were demanding. To be honest though I knew they may be because of the titles of the works announced...Karl Jenkins' "Armed Man" and Gabriel Faure's "Requiem"

The works can be heard by clicking on the links but for such a small choir they were good and they were only accompanied by a small church organ. So we did not have the advantage of an orchestra as featured in the video's.

I am unsure if the work by Jenkin's had been cut short as it is longer here but that could be because the arrangement had been simplified...

If I am honest it was a bit heavy for me but the titles should have given me a clue what to expect.

There was a donation collection at the end which was to be split between the food bank that is run by my church and another that was started by the footballer Alan Shearer - An Academy Scholarship to help young people realise their football careers.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I once rescued a white collared dove from a hawk, got it well, it grew its feathers back and was released back into the world where I hope it had a long life(however long such a bird lives)

So the following video is ironic and once you click the link, the title gives away what happens.


I Have Had To Install...

the verification step for the few of you who leave comments on my musings...I don't like it but I have found rubbish spams coming through on both my e-mail address which I deleted and it appeared they were not appearing on the blog...Wrong!

I spent quite some time removing similar rubbish from there to so with a heavy heart I have had to put a monitoring procedure on the blog once more.

I hope that it stops. I hope that I have caught them all.

If they made sense I might care less but its just total rubbish.

Oh well...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yesterdays Plans Went Awry...

I planned to have more food so started with a double portion of porridge with apple and raisins(I added some blackcurrant pieces too)and semi skimmed milk.

Later I planned to have a shave again(It's not me)but it is still there...at least it can easily be removed anytime. If you are going to have a beard I guess during the cold Winter months is the best time.

Then I was going to pop into the discount supermarket and buy two thermal t-shirts suitable for wearing over clothes whereas all my other thermals are for wearing under clothes. I was going to see if anything had been reduced in the other supermarket hoping I had hit lucky but the weather was not very nice and I fell asleep.

There is talk of snow over the weekend. It feels colder in the house so perhaps some bad weather is coming.

I found that I could not be bothered to go out. I cannot say that I had a troubled day or was feeling depressed, I slept well and peacefully so that means more to me...it must have been what my body and mind needed. I'll make more of an effort today...

So will do all of the above and start the day with perhaps cereal today. If I am eating that is a good sign.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Bit Of A Shock...

I have had a bill from my energy supplier and I don't see how I can cut back any further. As you know many of my meals are cold and if I do heat a meal it is nearly always in a microwave. Usually only one.

The washer is used perhaps three times in a month. I use the heating but often only for an hour and many days not at all. I heat the kettle using as little water as possible.

One energy saving lightbulb at night for safety and comfort, perhaps one DAB radio and a desktop PC. Again often turned off...

Yet they predict that by the end of the year allowing for VAT and changes in prices(and I am on a duel deal until October)that I will have spent £1,396($2,212). I seem to use such a small amount now...how can I cut back any further?

And yet this bill dated for December is approx £31 which I assume will have been paid by direct debit in the early part of January so I am starting afresh. I hope.

If that bill is a guide, that would suggest that I am spending between £30-£50($48.17-$80.28)per month and that would come in around £360-£600($578.02-$963.36)annually. I'll just have to watch how things pan out and hope for no nasty surprises. They are suppose to give me a refund at the end of the year too.

Its going to get even tighter I fear...

Just Because It Is There...

The classic single from The Phil Spector Wall Of Sound The Ronettes - Baby I Love You (Isolated Vocals)50 years old this year...

Thinking Of Food Again...And Why Not!

For now...even though I am quite good at budgeting on food(I hope that I am)the next few days it is mainly ready meals but I may add extra vegetables to bulk them out.

I got three for £6($9.61. A saving of 90p($1.44)so that is around £2($3.20)daily but the rest of the week will be cheaper...

I have a chicken casserole with dumpling and gravy, liver and bacon(may add some more bacon and onion)and a chicken, bacon and leek pie(they say pie but its topped with mash potato)I can't remember if it has gravy or a creamy sauce of some kind. For quickness they can be cooked in the microwave. I'll get back to doing my own again and to be honest even if I do my own I can see no reason why I should not still be able to use the microwave if I use the timings on ready meals as my guide.

This may free so money up for treats so there is something to look forward to or could allow me to afford a bus somewhere or an extra couple of hours of heat.

If I can create some space in the freezer, I can get some Bird's Eye chicken and veg pies(4)whilst they are on offer for £2 and adding some extra veg etc...its a fairly good meal for around £1. I doubt that I could make them any cheaper. Anyone remember the Fray Bentos Pies?

I think they used to be very popular in years gone by...the local supermarket sells them at £2(there's enough for two meals if you are single)but they have them on offer of two for £3. And yet if you have access to the shops that sell items for £1, they have them in stock for that price for one so that is a better buy.

I think I could become a fan of them in the future...

As a friend of mine said said it is more important to be warm than worrying about food. Well after all you can go for quite some time without food and to some extent drink. But if you get cold there is the worry of hypothermia or becoming unconscious and even strokes.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

It Won't Be Good...

It will cost me money but how much more?

My landlord is visiting to tell me how much extra I will have to find to keep a roof over my head and I already suspect I will have to find at least and extra £25 per week(add the water rates)that will be approx £35 per week and of course this depends on whether the income I currently receive continues as it is. It will be tight but I could probably absorb the extra cost. Just have to do less than I do now. I am not looking forward to the visit.

Watch how much I spend on food, how much I eat and avoid using the heating too much, which is probably easier in the Summer time(if the weather is good)though I already use as little as possible in the Winter so that is unlikely to improve.

If I can ride out the next few years(and the Government does not pull the rug from under my feet)at some point the new ideas that are coming in and will cause harm too many(and most who claim help are working)will no longer apply to me but I have to be approx another 6 years or older. And there is nothing to stop them putting retirement age and other figures back still further.

They have already put retirement back from 65 to 67 and now they are talking of not paying the State pension until you reach the age of 70 so they are basically saying they expect you to work until you reach that age but without officially increasing retuirement age again.

Many pensioners are having to work to afford to live because the State pension is not enough so do you ever really retire?

And with jobs being less abundant people might say that this helps make it harder for those who are young and middle aged to find work.

The public has been led to believe that most of the welfare bill is taken by the unemployed but the real figure is around 3% and fraud is something like 00.3%.

Most of the welfare costs are due to the paying of pensions and looking after older members of society.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Never say never...I may eat them again as they are but a few cooks on tv are now showing recipes where they take a sausage, take the skin away and slice or roll the sausagemeat and fry or bake them so they are like meatballs.

The more I think about it...why not? It is no different to using any meat and adapting it in any meal.

I have been surprised at just how much meat is in a sausage, often much more than at first appears.

It even makes you wonder why it has taken until now to realise this little trick but why should it not work. You can buy sausage meat for use in a variety of ways...always learning...


I've grown my beard again. It wasn't planned. It just happened so we'll see if I shave it or let it continue a little while longer...

Funny how simple things can be enjoyable...

Around 4am I had a minestrone cup a soup...and even hours later as I lay in bed I still felt a lovely warm and comfort feeling.

TBH I was putting a meal together in the slow cooker for later, it is the usual fare. A small portion of belly pork that I had stripped most of the fat away. Some sausage meat, apple and sage balls. Both of these I browned off in a frying pan in a small amount of olive oil. Then I added into a kind of gravy a selection of vegetables(celery, potato, curly kale, broccoli, leek, cauliflower, carrot, red onion, onion, parsnip, mushrooms)

Another time I must throw in some peas and/or sweetcorn, its been quite some time since I had those.

Often it is prepared(it saves money and time)but I have repaired my mini chopper(the fuse had blown)and the other is a kind of hand operated chopper. The first is quick but chops everything finely, sometimes too fine. The other allows more control and so you make food more chunky. But again even that is quite quick.

There is enough for a couple of meals too.smiley cooking emoticon

Tell you the truth I saw a programme on TV yesterday and quite like the look of mutton but it's difficult to find. The best I can do is a lamb and mutton mince combination in a local supermarket.

I Love Facts So A Favourite TV Show...

of mine is one that I find hard to believe has been around for 10 years. It is simply known as QI(You can if you live outside the UK see many on You Tube)

QI also has its own website.

In the UK it runs on the BBC but various countries have their own versions...it appears that there is a Twitter account where many of those involved in the programme and do the research post facts, proverbs, quotes and the meaning of words on a regular bases, so it is worth a look.

The QI Elves

The Daily Telegraph has a great feature connected to QI too.

I Am Getting Back To Normal...

When I talk about foodwidely grinning smiley

It has been said by some of the big supermarkets to expect the cost of food to increase over the next two years...not on luxury goods. Basic foods like vegetables.

All I'll have to do is continue to eat smaller portions, move ingredients around and stretch what I have.

I went to the new(supposedly cheaper supermarket on town today)Still managed to spend approx £13($21.13)Is this a good buy and value for money. Am I expecting too much for my money, it doesn't look much when you pack it away when you get home.

Tomatoes(six)but quite small(89p)
Salad mix(89p)
Semi Skilled Milk(4 pints)(£1)
Cheap loaf of bread(47p)
Wholemeal Buns(6)(49p)
Cup a soup(4 sachets)(54p)
Cheap packet of Jaffa Cakes(12)(39p)
Mixed diced veg for soups/stews(89p)
Closed Cup Mushrooms(89p)
A Butter Spread(99p)
A Ham Joint(£2.99)
Crisps Healthier Ones(6 packets)(89p)

On this occasion no fruit or fish...no sweets...no alcohol.

Not having sweets won't do me any harm but when you are on a limited budget, I look at a bar of chocolate but think for that price I might be able to do a couple of meals and have a full stomach whereas the chocolate will not fill me. But I suppose we all need a treat now and again.

Considering that I eat mainly vegetables and vegetables are quite low on calorific value. I should be reasonably healthy. I do try to suppliment by adding small(and I mean small)portions of meat or fish for added protein but in reality, we only need a small amount and probably eat too much meat anyhow...we over work our bodies when we sit down to a big steak that covers half the plate.

I remember my Father often saying it was better to leave the table feeling you could eat a little more than be overfed.

Once again there has been a story suggesting that our Government should impose a kind of tax(increase the price)of food high in salt and sugar like some cereals etc or by forcing manufacurers to limit certain ingredients that a product contains but what you buy should be your choice. And sometimes it comes down to the money you have or rather don't have.

If I have a bowl of cereal and I prefer something that tastes more appetising than say plain Shreaded Wheat why shouldn't I have it? What matters is how often you have it and how big the portion is. And you can make your Breakfast different every day if you want to.

And if I have something slightly unhealthy later in the day, by adding vegetables or other items you have in your food store, you can offset the bad stuff.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

I'm Not Happy...

Don't you love banks?

The insurance arm of mine has admitted it is their fault that I have been charged an amount of money even though I cancelled an insurance policy virtually straight away and though the policy was cancelled by them in good time,  it could take two weeks but would arrive by cheque. Then it would have to clear through my bank account. Then I would have to withdraw the money, pay it off my card and then still be charged a transaction charge. So I would be at least £3 out of pocket.

In the meantime whilst the wrong transaction is on the card, I still have to make a payment even though it is not my fault and the Insurance arm of the bank admits it.

If I do it through the credit card company as a disputed payment. they could still take two-three months to sort it out and in the meantime I am expected to pay at least £5 each month or it may go against me. The card and insurance section belong to the same bank.

What a carry on...

Update:Whilst able I booked some cheap shows on the card for January, February and March and if I pay off so much each month that will mean I am paying enough to keep the card company happy but in the meantime they can sort out the disputed charge. And soon the card will be cleared. And what I have purchased won't show on the credit card statement until the end of February anyhow.

I had a feeling I would be charged for the calls but I have checked and I was not so if this is all sorted to my satisfaction I will not be out of pocket.

Otis Redding...

There are many many artists I realise I know very little about. Perhaps if I survive long enough and can afford to access the internet I will be able to learn much more and hear much more of their music as I will never be able to afford to buy it, have the time to hear it all(I'd like to defy the laws of time)but it can't be done(and I know if I end up in a home)

I haven't enough to keep a computer going, let alone pay the connection fee and repair bills(they only give you pocket money)something like £25 per week(if that)so that will be fun having nothing to do all day...

Anyhow I digress...

At least the internet has radio stations and sites that play music often neglected by licensed broadcasters.

The following article was tweeted by a legend of the radio business in the UK Bob Harris. And it is kind of interesting as it gives the background to a song that is considered one of the greats "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" released approx 45 years ago only 29 days after Otis had been killed in a plane accident.

It is an interesting piece giving the background to how the song was conceived, the thoughts of those who were involved at the time.

Then I Watch 'Em Roll Away Again

I'm Going To Say It!

My views may be different next week...next year...whenever!

Life goes on...it has to...


I can't see the point to it all.

I can appreciate the joy in a child's laugh. The beauty of a flower. The night sky with the moon and stars. The touch, the hug and kiss of a loved one. A piece of music that excites or moves you to tears...

I guess you can make a very long list and we all have our own examples but whatever is special we are all filling in time and everything has to be left behind. So whatever we experience will eventually mean absolutely nothing.

What makes me who I am will be lost.

I hate the thought of going and yet had I not been born I would be none the wiser that the world exists. It is strange to think that we will probably return to the same state.

Unless we really have a soul that is able to continue somewhere else and yet when you see what we are made of as clever as it is we are told that we are mainly a mixture of chemical that interact and tell us when to eat, drink, sleep. Depending on how everything works it determines how long we live, what illnesses we get etc...

They can even tell us where our emotions are and suggest where our consciousness is but what is it?

None of us know.

I don't think my views to be weird or strange and I think many at some point will ask or think such thoughts and probably even more the older we become.

Perhaps I feel as I do because today would have been my Father's Birthday. Had he lived bless him he would have been eighty nine. And within approx 4 weeks it will be twenty nine years since I was last able to see or talk to him. I'm going to play this for my Dad. Rainbow's End by Lou Busch

That tune has a childhood connection to my Dad and annual holidays at southern coastal restort called Bournemouth.

I wish that I could remember more than I do or had asked more of Mum whilst she was here about her life and what she did and thought. Same with Dad for that matter.

Mum told me when she was a child she had thought all the things that I do such as will and had worried if her Mum would be around next year.

At that time her own Mum would've been young in reality(I've never checked but I am guessing around the age of thirty "ish" and I seem to remember(I could be wrong)Mum had noticed on this particular occasion it had been very cold and windy outside and she had found herself thinking of the lonely and those who had passed on, she had been upset and I think my Gran had managed to give comfort and find the right words to make everything well again. Thirty plus probably seemed old in those days, perhaps to a child it still does.

Here's an extra little insight, church was very important in people's lives and she used to attend the Pentecostal church in her town but what we called Pentecostal then is probably very different to today.

There was a time when some people visted who talked about their missionary work...and Mum went through a period(not sure how old she was or how long she felt this way)but she wanted to become a missionary too.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Political Again...

Often I'll criticise or praise all parties and put both sides of an argument and try to be fair but yes occasionally I give my personal opinion.

To be honest all the major political parties are similar and almost sing from the same hymn sheet. I dislike the spin and often misinformation that is put out in the media and a lot of what is said is not questioned and often ignored.

And during these austere times many will be hurting but certain people have been singled out often wrongly but if said often enough some people start to believe what they are told. I think the following two articles are worth linking to and giving them greater publicity.

Facts And Fiction On Welfare

Support For Benefit Cuts Dependent On Ignorance

Considering that this appeared in a newspaper with the reputation of not being kind to those who struggle and are in need of state help and portray many as scroungers this story is quite interesting.

Voters Think Dole Payments Are Too Low

Another Passing...Well, Two Actually...

Charles Chilton and Daphne Oxenford.


Well in the golden days of British Radio he was a producer at the BBC but much more...

After what for many in a similar situation would have been a very difficult time he managed to enter the BBC working in the gramophone library and worked his way up through the ranks.

He produced and wrote programmes with and for many of the BBC's most well known voices.

He wrote many dramas that thrilled many a young boy(and probably his dad)especially his series' of space stories "Journey Into Space!"

In fact only a few years ago he was responsible or involved some new productions that took the story a bit further.

He was ninety five.

Charles Chilton

Another of British radio's greats Daphne Oxenford, I guess is best known to me for two things...her opening line to "Listen With Mother" which always began with the opening dialogue of "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." But I honestly cannot remember if I listened as a child. To be honest I am surprised when reading of the radio programme that it was still on air upto 1971. It could be that it seems so familiar to me because it has been mentioned so often over the years. Click on the link and at the end of the article you can hear Daphne say the immortal lines herself.

The other was Daphne's appearences in the radio comedy series "Listen To Les" with comedian Les Dawson playing a variety of characters including a singing duo and part of a strange family who were very depressed but had more than a passing resemblance to the Addams Family.

Though a few weeks ago I was watching a popular ITV sitcom from the 1970's "Man About The House"(In the States they made their own version "Three's Company")and she appeared occasionally as the Mother of one of the main characters.

She was Ninety Three.

Daphne Oxenford

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Don't Wash Your Dirty Laundry In Public...

Some time ago I said that how often I wash clothes and bedding. I'm always clean but I try to build up a decent wash load to save on the cost of energy especially as gas and electric is so expensive these days. So though I change regularly I can wait a while.

I appreciate that if you have a family, perhaps work in a manual profession or you need to be ultra clean as in a hospital or a care home etc...and because there are more members in a household you need to do this more frequently.

Every week on BBC Radio 5 during the early hours there is a weekly feature where listeners can ask questions of a kind of guest based in Australia, who has a wide knowledge of topics of a scientific nature. He is well known appearing on various tv and radio shows. He also has a variety of published books. Many of his radio shows are online or can be downloaded as podcasts. The breadth of his knowledge is impressive.

Dr Karl Kruselnicki

Radio 5 Dr Karl/Naked Scientists Podcasts

Dr Karl On TripleJ

But a question can still surprise me as a listener and to some extent even Dr Karl even though similar questions can be asked over weeks and months.

So this morning someone asked what do the Astronauts on the International Space Station who are there for months and years do regarding the washing of their clothes etc...

It was something I have never thought of I have to admit. After all there is a limit on the space available. So where could you store clothes? How do you clean clothes?

I forget the answer Dr Karl came up with but I searched the net and found an answer on NASA's official website site. As this was written sometime ago the information may have changed slightly...

I quote.."Packing enough underwear for three members of an ISS Expedition crew to have a clean pair for every day of a 6-month stay would mean launching at least 540 pairs of underwear into orbit. Picture how big your dresser would have to be to hold all that. There's just no room for it on the Station. Plus, when it costs between $5,000 and $10,000 per pound to launch it into space, that becomes some very expensive underwear."

"ISS Expedition Six Science Officer Don Pettit wrote that he changes his underwear once every 3 or 4 days. That's not quite as bad as it sounds, since clothes don't get dirty as quickly on the Space Station as they do on Earth. Astronauts on the Station are living in a controlled environment, so the temperature stays at a constant, comfortable level. And when everything around you is virtually weightless, you don't have to exert yourself physically the same way you do in the gravity on Earth's surface."

"To make sure that the ISS crew has enough food, water, and other necessities for their stay in space, the Russian Space Agency launches unmanned Progress ships to carry supplies to the Station. The Progress is a nonreusable spacecraft, good for a one-way trip to the Space Station. Once it is there and the Station crew has unloaded the supplies, the Progress is then loaded up with trash, including dirty laundry.

Since only a limited number of Progress crafts are sent to ISS each year, the dirty clothes can sit around on the Station for a while before they can be disposed of. The Progress is then undocked from the Station and "de-orbited," placed on a course that causes it to burn up in Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean."

More information is on the website. It makes you think.

Patti Page...

Another great has left us. I can remember in recent times when Mum was unwell and enjoyed listening to the music I put on an mp3 for her that The Tennessee Waltz was mentioned and Mum would say what a sad song it was and sometimes sing it.

And here we are again...another of a time gone by has passed away. The trouble is for all the people that are in the entertainment business I feel that I have less in common or a connection with them. I can see the time when there will be fewer people that I will want to watch on tv, in a film, on the stage or listen to on the radio. In a way I will become more locked in a time warp with those that I grew up with. Until it is my turn. Sad but true.

Because you grow up with these performers you don't see them growing older nor does it hit home that you too are getting older.

No matter who I seem to think of all my favourites with very few exceptions are all aged between 60+ to 90 year old. And I'm creeping into that age group myself. I say creeping, it is coming around all too quickly.

Patti Page Have another song...Old Cape Cod(later in her career but still great)

Ironically, The 55th Grammy Awards take place in February and Patti expected to attend and accept a Lifetime Achievement Award. I assume it will be given posthumously.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I Don't Do Movies...

but found myself watching the animated film "Up" now I don't know whether I am vunerable because of the situation I have experienced and the characters are not real of course they are not but the story touched that sensitive side of my nature, especially how the two main characters meet as children, marry, have their dreams but then real life gets in the way and eventually they are parted.

Even if the main character fulfils his dream on behalf of his dearly departed wife...TBH I lost interest a bit.

I found myself tearing up at times. Just as I do with that song The Folks Who Live On The Hill especially by Peggy Lee

The Most Richest Songs...

It is difficult to work out which songs have made the most money especially as a lot of information is guarded by the industry itself but the BBC ran a TV documentary over the festive season and their research suggests the following are the top ten songs to date taking into account the royalties from sales, downloads and radio plays...

Some have an advantage in that they have been around longer than others and some have been lucky to be featured in perhaps a movie or advertising campaign so could actually be more popular on a later outing. Though in brackets I have put the version most likely to be popular where possible.

10.  The Christmas Song(Nat King Cole/Mel Tormé)1946
09.  Pretty Woman(Roy Orbison)1964
08.  Every Breath You Take(Police)1984
07.  Stand By Me(Ben E King)1961
06.  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town1934
05.  Unchained Melody(The Righteous Brothers)1955
04.  Yesterday(Paul McCartney/The Beatles)1965
03.  You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'(The Righteous Brothers)1964
02.  White Christmas(Bing Crosby)1940
01.  Happy Birthday(Originally called Good Morning To You)1893

For some fun here's a new version of White Christmas where with some technical magic Michael Bublé sings with Bing Crosby.

It would appear at this minute a song that is played on the national BBC Radio 1 network pulls in approx £16 a minute in royalties.  It also appears that usually in the States royalties are split between the writer and publishing company 50/50 but over here various deals are done and in many cases a song is published by the writer of the song so that way they get the whole lot...

You'll notice we have four Christmas songs and the traditional Happy Birthday song in the list. None of the featured songs could be called really modern. I guess the newest of them is Every Breath You Take(and that was released in 1984)

The years I have highlighted are when the song was released not necessarily the year a particular artist recorded the song as in the case of Unchained Melody as the song was out in 1955 and associated with a film called Unchained but The Righteous Brothers version came out in 1965. Seems virtually impossible to find any video of them together singing that song too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Have Another View Of London

courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Helicopter taken earlier today when London got back to normal after the night before. Well, as normal as it can be especially as it is New Years Day so is probably quite quiet.

Corned Beef Hash...

A bit adventurous today...thinking of having something cheap and cheerful for my evening meal. Not necessarily as this recipe suggests but thought I may dice a potato, an onion, cube what remains of some corned beef. Possibly adding a fried egg.

A change to having sandwiches...and yes, I may follow with a small dessert of some kind.

Then I plan to listen to the following...you can listen live too or for the next seven days.

60 years of the charts and a tribute to Ken Dodd.

I Couldn't Really Get Into The New Year Celebrations...

To be honest we haven't for many years and looking around here no one was bothered. All the houses were in darkness and the streets quiet. Apart from me the only other light I could see was a TV flickering in a bedroom where a neighbour was on his PC.
I have mixed feelings during these austere times and I see so much money being wasted. Then again, if you don't have some treats how depressing is life going to be. As I write this I don't feel down as such* 
All day across the world various countries have seen the New Year in with a variety firework displays but when you hear that Australia spent $4Million on their display, that's a lot of money.

When we eventually got around to our own display it lasted around 12 minutes but I have no idea what our display cost. Numbers seemed to be down this year. The estimate was originally that 250,000 would attend but the BBC estimated it to be nearer 100,000.

The Mayor of London(and no doubt it pleases the Government)still found a way to go on about the Olympics which has really been milked as a promotional tool to try and make the world think that all is well. And what hurts is not so much that times are tough but how they try and fool the population.

Anyhow even I have to say the display was pretty spectacular(even though I gave up)but thanks to the Metropolitan Police Helicopter, they tweeted the above images which I thought deserved being shared. Its even more impressive if you click on the images with your cursor...

*As you'll see in the comments that follow I did have a bit of wobble in the early hours.