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Monthly Archives: April 2019


Not sure if I like this best.

Or this.

Jury’s out.

bite the wave

I suspect that at some level my migraines are a form of prevarication.


I’ve had a migraine since Saturday, the worst in the last eight or nine years. It’s just kept going – lights, sickness, headache, lights, sickness, headache and repeat for five days. It’s fading now, I even went out to the beach for a half hour this afternoon, but I thought maybe it was because my head was too full of stuff.

I completed the paper edit of Jago last week, so I’ve put that away upstairs, no writing for the rest of the month, I’m not watching any news/culture/current affairs channels on youtube for the next few weeks either, and I’m doing some deep meditation. And I’m going to read.

I’m also making an effort to laugh, cry and get some exercise. All of which are necessary for staving off the dreaded lightshow.

water mark

The visual disturbances I get at the start of my migraines change over time. The classic glittering arc rarely happens now, I usually get a jagged chrome-bright mark in the upper left side of my vision, other times I get more of a coloured smear, usually in the same place. If I get a migraine in my sleep, which I often do, my ‘dream vision’ goes completely and in my dream I can’t see at all. It’s like nighttime, or like I’m blind.

The last few weeks though I’ve been getting what I can only describe as a large water-mark at about 7 o’clock on my vision. This change has coincided with a sharp increase in migraines too.

Not fun.


I’m a bit addicted to the news and commentary channels on Youtube, a huge fan of Joe Rogan, JBP and Tim Pool amongst others, but I’m also aware of the huge market share that YT has. In fact it is the market, just about.

So in the spirit of free market enterprise, and in a tiny act of resistance against the overweening influence of the tech giants, the Standard Oil of the 21st Century, I’ve broadened out my online viewing to include minds.com and bitchute.  I won’t completely shake the YT habit but I’m hoping to cut it by a half at least – I’m looking for other video-sharing sites too, so if you know any that I’ve missed, contact me and let me know.

blue note

Busking tonight:


5 hours later.

Bloody hell, Durham was cold tonight. When I lost feeling in my fingertips I gave up. Still, I played for an hour using my new old tenor. Which is really playable. It’s giving me a great sound too.

Tenor is deeper, smoother than alto. It’s just better.


Some musicians play at the front of the beat, some at the back. I’m one of those ‘at the back of the beat’ types but either is good. My pal Frankie plays square on the beat, but he’s a bass player and he needs to be right in the pocket.

Where you sit on the beat isn’t about speed though, Stevie Ray Vaughan played behind the beat but he was awesomely fast. There’s a great clip on Youtube of him doing a soundcheck, (he doesn’t start playing til about 1.25) he’s obviously still hungover but his playing is astoundingly, blindingly fast and fluid, and yet he’s still aways a shade behind the beat.

My favourite example of a ‘front of the beat’ musician is the drummer Stewart Copeland, who is always gnawing at the front edge of the beat, he’s always got more in his tank, he’s bursting with energy and he’s a brilliant musician.

Anyhow, this post was going to be how I love British Summer Time, which is ahead of the beat by a full hour, but I got sidetracked.

Jago – detailed edit

I’m preparing to begin editing the second draft of Jago. This will be a detailed paper edit – the current draft is well over 300 pages so will take some time – and I cannot rush it so I will only do one chapter at a time and if I complete that chapter I will put it down until the following day so as to not tempt myself to motor on through.

After I’ve done this, if I do it properly, I’ll do a structural edit – this is where I have to be cruel and excise things that I might love. The ending has already changed from something quite dramatic to something more thoughtful.

I need to make Jago itself a character, not just the setting, and that includes the surrounding desert and ocean. It will mean a journey of 9000 miles and two or three weeks minimum out there studying the place. In the interim I’ll watch lots of youtube videos about the place.

Mary Mary

I watched Mary Poppins Returns yesterday and loved it, spent half the movie in tears. Although I love the original, I think Emily blunt is a better Poppins than Julie Andrews; she’s a chillier, deeper, more accurate portrayal of the magical, precise and deservedly vain Miss Poppins. Lin-Manuel Miranda was great as Jack, former apprentice to Bert from the original story, an ordinary bloke with one foot in the magical world.

I won’t simply list the actors though, they were all very watchable, it was the representation of magic, and of children’s imaginations (of which Mary Poppins is either a figment or a spur) that was so lovely. And the sense of an English family meeting tragedy and carrying on regardless was timeless – it reminded me in tone of The Gibbons family in This Happy Breed.

Which of course makes me think of Celia Johnson.

So, from Mary Poppins to Laura Jesson, two of my favourite English girls.