One of my photos

Best TV of the 21st Century?

October 2nd, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life

The Guardian has been running a series about the so-called best culture of the 21st Century. One of the articles is about the 100 best TV shows of the 21st Century. Now I am no expert in TV and I know this sort of list is designed to stir up controversy, but even so I am completely baffled by it. [Read more →]

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Holiday post mortem

September 29th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Technology

This week we returned from a 10-day visit to Crete. It was the most boring holiday Jayne and I have ever had, but that is not a bad thing. In the past we have rented a car or quad and gone out around the island, visiting the many and varied archaeological sites, but this time we deliberately opted to just stay at the hotel and do nothing, as part of my slow recovery from that big get-rid-of-the-cancer operation. It was so tempting to just get a pair of scooters and hit the road and it took a lot of willpower to not do that. [Read more →]

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Some selected quotes

September 28th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Politics

I just had a look at the ‘My Clippings’ section on my Kindle and seen all the bits of text that I have highlighted over the years. Some of them are quite random, but a few are worth dwelling on. [Read more →]

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A sign of the times

September 12th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Technology

I saw one of these in a car the other day…

On the one hand its a clever way to mount a phone in your car, using the now-redundant CD slot to hold it. on the other hand it just makes me feel old. It only seems like yesterday that CDs were the future and getting a car that had a CD player instead of a cassette player was cutting edge.

It is a cruel irony that the CD slot is now being used to hold the thing that has largely made them redundant. [Read more →]

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Desert Island Stuff

August 11th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life

I have spent an inappropriate amount of time thinking about this. The more trivial something is, the more thought I give it for some reason. I have bought houses and cars almost on a whim, but spent months comparing specs before buying my first DVD player and MP3 player. In the old days I could walk into a record shop with a fiver and spend an hour deciding what to spend it on. [Read more →]

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New Age Steppers

August 1st, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

I was dead chuffed yesterday when I stumbled across New Age Steppers on Spotify.

I used to have a 12″ single of theirs back in 1981. It got played a lot, but I never really knew anything about them. I just liked the single, which I only bought unheard because it was going cheap. My vinyl collection has long since gone, so it was a real treat to hear the two tracks I already knew, plus a few albums’ worth of other tracks.

Back in 1981 I knew very little about reggae, except that I liked a lot of what I heard. I certainly didn’t have much knowledge of the different types of reggae. I’m still no expert, but I do know a bit more now and can understand why the record appealed to me back then.

The track My Love was a bit of an obsession for a while back then. Listening to it now I can hear the clash of upbeat lovers rock and dub reggae, which shouldn’t work but somehow does. I’m still not sure who exactly was singing on it. I now know that Neneh Cherry was involved, but it could have been Ari Up or Viv Albertine, who were also part of the collective. Regardless of who is singing it is a marvellous and epic bit of British reggae

The B-side was Love Forever, which didn’t get played as much, and usually at the wrong speed because, for some reason, it was 33 1/3 rpm while the A-side was 45 rpm. It has the same lovers rock + dub vibe but is less upbeat.

Generally I have few regrets about getting rid of my vinyl, but this was one of them and now I know I can hear it whenever I want I am happier.

Come to think of it, most of the vinyl I regret letting go relates to singles and EPs. For example, the Girls At Our Best EP, the Kraftwerk Showroom Dummies 12″ single, the Genesis Spot the Pigeon EP, to name a few. The biggest single regret now is the 12″ EP of four Ian Dury & the Blockheads tracks remixed by Paul Hardcastle, which I don’t think made it to CD, and is not available to stream, although there are some uploads to YouTube.

Anyway, I have enjoyed wallowing in the nostalgia of it all, and played the New Age Steppers’ Action Battlefield album through the car stereo on my drive back from Guildford hospital today.

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The Final Countdown

July 21st, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Technology

This evening, for no particular reason, I watched the film The Final Countdown on Amazon. I had seen it before, probably more than once, but fancied an unchallenging film to pass the time. Its a bit like the Philadelphia Experiment, with a modern warship going back in time. In this case its the aircrat carrier USS Nimitz. [Read more →]

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2018 – Get Your Shirt

July 9th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

As far as music was concerned 2018 was many things: it was even better than 2017, it was a year for female artists and it was a year for comebacks. [Read more →]

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All Killer – Juju (1981)

July 6th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

Juju by Siouxsie & the Banshees is one of the few albums that I can remember buying on the day of release. I can even remember where I bought it – the WH Smiths at London Bridge station on the way home from work. To be fair though, I only realised afterwards that it was the release dy. It isn’t as if I queued up for it or anything, but it is such a brilliant album that it would have been worth queueing up for. [Read more →]

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2017 – Miami

July 5th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music

When I decided to write about one track from every year of my life I don’t think I realised how bloody old I am – it turned out to be a bit of an epic chore, but the end is in sight now. By that I mean that I am nearly caught up, not that it is all over; despite cancer’s best efforts it appears that I should have a good few years left now. Anyway, 2017, what a year! [Read more →]

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