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Monthly Archives: May 2015

My Huckleberry Friend

I returned again today to one of the great unanswerable questions: which is better – the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or the movie version based on the book?

Despite having the same characters and much the same story, the two versions are completely different in feel and in their respective endings.

Some say that the movie version sanitises Holly Golightly, who’s basically a working girl, damaged and unfathomable. And whereas by the end of the movie, Holly surrenders to love, in the novel she moves on, leaving the unnamed narrator searching for faint clues as to her whereabouts.

But both versions work for me.  One Holly leaves, and the other Holly stays.

And both of them break my heart.

if the devil is six

Someone pointed me in the direction of Tim Ferriss, who is a sort of do-things-efficiently guru, so I watched one of his videos on youtube. Interesting, I thought; it’s always worth watching people who are good at what they do.

Then I watched another one of his videos, a presentation, in which he quoted Mark Twain: “whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

And I looked at the crowd watching Tim Ferriss, rapt and attentive, eager to learn, as he gave his
talk and I thought, aah, right, got it.

I paused, reflected for a moment or two, then stopped the Tim Ferris film and switched to a Pixies video instead.

This monkey’s gone to heaven.

and find you there

Was listening to Tom Waits’ album Blue Valentine, in particular Somewhere, which always makes me cry, and I realised it’s best part of forty years old.


But my favourite Tom Waits song is Shore Leave, just for the break into the chorus, when you realise it’s basically a twelve-bar, and it’s a blues, but it’s not a ‘twelve bar blues’ and you think, “What has he just done there?”

Surprising, and beautiful too. Which is what all art should be.

Here it is.

walk until it’s light outside

I should explain about why I hate the medication I take for the otherwise-daily migraines. From age sixteen to twenty I was addicted to barbiturates. Horrible, creepy, soft-centred, smiling and welcoming drugs, barbiturates. Nasty. They suck away the top layer of your soul, they dull the sharp edge of perception. A treacherous and abusive friend that I hung out with for four years or more.

But then I stopped. Which was interesting.

The medication I take now has a very similar effect on me to what the barbs did, and I hate it. Really hate it. Oh yes, it feels lovely, it does, and it stops the migraines pretty much, but its like my brain suddenly got short-sighted.

Good news is though, the very fact I’m saying this means I’m aware of it, so…



Stuck between the migraines and the medication: one makes me ill, the other makes me drowsy. Not sleepy exactly, just unfocused on anything other than a functioning day-to-day level.It’s either vague numbness or hot wires flickering in my eyes and my head. Anyhow, I’ve decided to push through these meds and start writing again.

And I have people to email.

Lots to do.

in Bb

Still my favourite website of all time:In Bb

Still my favourite key, too.


Sitting looking at the various shades of green leaves in the trees next to where I live I realised there are no blue leaves.When I was at school I was taught that there are three primary colours: red, blue, yellow. All other colours come from a mix of these, plus black and white, which are not colours.

So for there to be leaves that are green (green is a mix of blue and yellow) there should probably be yellow leaves and blue leaves too.

There are yellow leaves. But there are no blue leaves. So perhaps the old ‘primary colour’ rule is wrong. Perhaps green is not a mixture of blue and yellow after all.

A possibility that I find bracing.


Just got back from a two-day walk from Whitby, northwards up the coast. Whitby was crowded. but you turned left out of the town and there were just miles of sandy beaches, with steep sided paths in between. Some lovely little seaside villages on the way too, and lots of cliffs.

Stopped over in Loftus – £20 for a room above a pub, complete with band playing ’80s rock covers downstairs, police cars whizzing by on the road outside and a general ambience of mild threat coming from the customers. The room came with no lightbulb, no remote for the TV, no towels and no breakfast, but the bed was comfortable. I was very tired though, so maybe I’m over-praising it.

I once wrote a story called Whitby, which you can read here:

post script: 24 hours later and the aches are starting to kick in. My writing is about to kick in too. Need a couple of weeks to prep it, then it starts.


Saturdays, I like to go and busk on the green outside the minster near where I live. It’s not the best place to earn money, there aren’t enough passers-by, but on a sunny day, like today, it’s a lovely gig. I was using my old tenor; it’s a lowly base model yamaha, competent, but that’s all. The mouthpiece however, is exceptional. It’s an SR Tech model that I had widened a little, with a gorgeous tone, all throaty and dark.

After the busking I met J and the Old Man for a pot of tea and the vicar, a young guy with long hair and a mountain bike, complimented my playing, asked if I’d play when the wedding that was about to take place came back out of the church. Sadly I didn’t have time to wait ’til the end of the wedding ceremony.

Maybe next time.

I can’t write at the moment. It’s brewing but it’s not quite there. When I do start again it’ll be on an industrial scale; I’ll write until I’m done.

But until then the busking will have to be my creative outlet.

horse stance

Setting aside all that maudlin daddy nonsense, I’m sitting here watching Bulletproof Monk. Becasue I too am going to learn kick-ass kung-fu, from movies.

But only the twirly-swirly stuff, with lots of open hands and horse-stance sticky-out thumb postures.

And sticks.

I wanna black belt in kung fu bullshit, awarded to me by Chow Yun Fat.