I’m Gonna Be A Star!!!

Ok, I’m not really. Not today anyway, and definitely not with this, lol.

Last night I listened to this audio file from this dude named Pogo who does these awesome remixes of Disney movies and stuff like that. Check his stuff out, I think you’ll like some of it.

Anyway, it made me wanna share this, the one and only tune I ever made. It’s just something I knocked together in Garage Band (a Mac prog full of free samples you can monkey around with). It’s pretty basic, and a bit unfinished, but I likes it, so what the hell eh? 🙂

Enjoy.
 

 
And if you want to see something Monsieur Pogo has done check out this cute wee video/remix.
 

Eleven (SaraSinger42 Remix) from Nick Bertke on Vimeo.

 
How fun is that? 😉

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But The Worst Of It Was…

I think you’ll like this. 😉

25 years ago, in a far away land called Cumbria, a 12 year old me (at the urging of his Grandma) entered a short story competition on local radio. There was but one criteria for the story, it had to end with the line,

“But the worst of it was I was eating a chocolate eclair at the time.”

Now by the time I got my entry in the ‘competition’, such as it was, was over. But they liked the story enough to get me in to record it so that they could play it out on air. I did, they did, and said Grandma (being quite a wise and proud Grandma) recorded it on audio cassette to enjoy again and again. (NB: for the very young out there here’s a link that explain what an audio cassette is.)

Fast forward 25 years. The recording manages to make it’s way off of tape and onto CD, then from CD to MP3, finally coming into my possession via the wonders of DropBox. This is where, for me, the true magic happens.

In a space of 2 hours I found, installed, and operated, some audio editing software to cut the 25 minute bit of radio down to a more palatable (and relevant) 2:32. I then found somewhere online to host it for free, and discovered a way to embed it into this blog, all so the world can have a laugh at my expense. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!

So, without further ado, I present to you:

“But The Worst Of It Was…” by Keith Dickinson (age 12).
 

 
Man, how bad is that! ..lol.. I honestly can’t listen to the whole thing anymore, it just makes me cringe. And it’s doubly weird for me, coz the voice I hear isn’t mine but that of my twin brother. Seriously, is that what I sound like? It’s all just too confusing for me!

Still, I’m glad I got hold of the clip. A nice bit of nostalgia to start the year off with. My first foray into the business of show. 25 years on I’m still writing, and still unpublished, but the dream remains alive.

Maybe one day I’ll get on the air again. Bloody hope so anyway. I’d hate to think I’d peaked at age 12!

Some General Reflections

What a weird week it’s been.

morning reflections

Back to work after the week of meditation. That was a bit of a shock. But, they did agree in principal to a sabbatical, which is good. I just need to decide when I want it (and ergo, what I want to do) and we can sort it out (hopefully).

Then I got ill, which was/is dry as a bone. I hate being stuck indoors not being able to go do stuff. I’m watching back to back Big Bang Theory but still… BORED! Thankfully my ears are sorting themselves out slowly. I’m still a bit trippy on my feet, but at least it’s to a lesser extent than it was when it started.

I had high hopes for the coming week. I’d finally cleared my To Do list, and I fully intended on spending as much time as possible writing as I haven’t done any work on my book in ages. But now I don’t feel up to it, which sucks, so I’m just trying not to go crazy in the meantime.

And I’m not doing any meditation for the same reasons. I’m just drained, lethargic, and utterly unmotivated. The change in weather (ie: less daylight hours) doesn’t help either. Winter and me don’t get on.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve done a wee playlist for you guys to download if you fancy. It’s called Dustbowl Americana, and I think the title speaks for itself. Hope you enjoy these slightly countrified haunting melodies. Makes me dream of faraway lands where the horizon goes on for miles and there ain’t no rush to go nowhere. 🙂

Buddhafield @ the Green Man

Well, it’s been just over a week since I worked the Buddhafield Cafe at the Green Man Festival. Ample time for me to reflect and come to some conclusions. If only that’s what I’ve been doing. Truth is I’ve just been faffing about, doing some yoga, writing intermittently, watch DVDs, and suffering work (but more on that in my next post, entitled “You’re all going to die!”) 😉

Rather than have one big lump of text I’m going to divide it up into categories, a la Wikipedia, with a few sub headings here and there and the odd picture or two (taken with my phone, so my apologies for their shoddy appearance).

NB: my camera is officially muerte! Had the call today. It’d cost more to repair it than it’s worth, so it’s time for me to move on to camera’s new.

Anyway, enough of that…

 

The Buddhafield Cafe

I got to the Brecon Beacons on the Monday afternoon. The festival wasn’t due to start until the Thursday/Friday, but I was there to help set up. When I arrived there were a couple of domes set up and they were working on the cafe bit, so in true workman style I grabbed myself a cup of tea and a sandwich.

jammin'

Actually I got there a bit late. I had planned to arrive earlier. But still it gave me a chance to meet everyone, do a bit of work, familiarise myself with the set up, and just settle in ready for the whole experience.

The Buddhafield lot were really nice. All very friendly, very open, and I felt most welcomed by them all. I was just there for the one festival but some of these guys do it for the whole season, hence the van living (as above).

signage

This wasn’t a usual set up for them though. They have a big cafe, but it was away at another festival. The one we had was smaller, but we also had hot showers, hot tubs, and a sauna built as well; kind of a Buddhafield Spa if you like. I think it was the first time they’d done that, outside of their own festival, but it worked really well. People got into it, and I think they sold quite a few weekend passes.

come and relax

When the festival started I was on the early shift, 7am to 1pm. Man it was cold at 6:30 in the morning! Seriously, I had blankets round my sleeping bag and still I was well chilly. That made getting up difficulty, though sometimes just the thought of a warm cup of tea was motivation enough to get you up and moving about (one morning it was so cold, when I poured hot water into the mug, the mug just cracked and spilled tea everywhere! that was weird).

I did lots of little bits and bobs during my shifts, but for the most part I was on washing up duty. I liked that, because it suited my methodical mind. Stuff comes it, I scrape, scrub and scald it, and it goes out clean. Nice, easy, no brain required. Very meditative, if you do it right. 🙂

It was funny at one point on Saturday morning. The washing up station was just outside the cafe, with nothing but a wall of doubled over hessian between me and the ‘spa’. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on behind me, too busy doing the dishes, when I turned round to collect a pile of plates and just saw a sea of naked people all laying out in the sun, drying out after there sauna/shower experience. “Well,” I thought, “there’s something you don’t see every day!” And then back to the scrubbing I went.

our set-up, from a treehouse

All in all it was a very positive experience. Not only for the opportunity to practice some good karma yoga, and all the fabulous vegan food I got to eat, but for all the really lovely people I got to meet, and who I look forward to seeing again some time in the future. And it seems my efforts were appreciated, as it was suggested I might like to do the Buddhafield festival itself, maybe as site crew. It’s certainly something I’m going to think about; just depends on what I’m doing next July, and indeed which country I’m in!

 

The Green Man Festival

Green Man was a new one for me. A fairly small festival, only about 20,000 people, it’s not one I’d come across before. I volunteered for that one as there was a lot of folky bands playing. Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, Iron and Wine, I was very keen to see them all.

the green man

The festival itself was very well run, very clean, very polite, and very family friendly. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to take their kids to something like that. All the people working there (with the exception of one asshole parking attendant) were nice and helpful, as were the festival goers themselves.

As for the music, it was a great line up. Here are my quick capsule reviews of the acts I saw.

James Vincent McMorrow

Heard him before on the Morning Becomes Eclectic podcast. He was good on that but I wasn’t bowled over by him at the time. I certainly was when I saw him live. Just brilliant. Haunting melodies and excellent guitar work, I’d recommend his album to anyone (I bought it as soon as I got back).

Laura Marling

As expected, a great performance, nicely done, very pleasing to watch. I just sat there and enjoyed everything she did. Such a great singer and very smiley, which is nice. 🙂

Fleet Foxes

Oh my God, so boring! I’m sorry, but every one of their songs sounded the same. I was bored to death. I really wish I’d skipped these lot. An hour of my life I won’t get back.

Iron and Wine

As expected, brilliant. Everyone had said he’d be quite quiet and standoffish with the crowd, not much of a stage act, but not at all! He was funny, engaging, very warm and up for having a good time. The crowd loved it. So much they got him to come do an encore even though the green man was about to be set on fire. Then they messed with his head by swaying out of rhythm, but he saw the funny side of it. It was a great show, and another great album if you’re looking for one.

Holy Fuck!

Find of the festival! There’s always one band/group you stumble across by accident and they totally blow you away, so it was with Holy Fuck. Not a great show, two blokes hunched over keyboards nodding away to the music, but what a massive, all encompassing sound. It’s hard to describe, so I’ll let these two videos paint a picture for you.

 

Imagine that but louder, and bassier, and bouncier, and you’re about half way there. Me likey, and another album I bought when I got back home.

And finally an honorable mention to Noah and the Whale. Nice tunes, but more importantly nice suits fellas. I’m loving the look. We need more sartorial excellence in music these days

If anyone’s interested I’ve done a wee playlist download which you can get by clicking here. Just a few tunes from some of the bands mentioned, as well as some tunes from bands that could have been playing if they’d been playing (if you know what I mean). Anyway, enjoy! 🙂

And finally, a public service announcement:

If you climb on your boyfriend’s shoulders in the middle of a gig and wave your arms in the air shouting ‘Woo!’ blocking the view of the people behind you, be in no doubt, you are a twat. Go and get twat tattooed on your forehead so that everyone you meet will know you are a twat. Then try and convince everyone that you did it ironically, and that really twat tattoos are cool. Because that’s the sort of thing you’d do. Because you are a twat.
(twat: see Morrissey)

 

Words I learnt

I added three new words to the old lexicon from my week in the Brecon Beacons. They are as follows:

Brash; a pile of chopped logs found in a forest.

Tatting; going through the stuff people have left behind to see what you can find.

Nesh; what I’ve become after living darn sarf for so long, apparently.

 

Quote of the week

When asked what kind of girl he went for Steve replied

“I dunno. She’d have to be pretty deformed for me not to go for her, if I’m honest.”

Brilliant! 😉

 

Conclusions

In short, meditate more, do more, live more, love more, and life’s too short to work in an office.

Utterly Fucking Ridiculous…

Play Me!

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I earn over £30,000 a year and I live in a tiny little studio with barely enough room to swing a cat, peeling paintwork, silverfish in the kitchen, and now a fridge that sounds like a coffee percolator and keeps me awake at night.

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I go to a job I hate, that is beneath me, that does not inspire me whatsoever nor add anything of value to the world.

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I am single. I’m a nice guy, good looking, kind and considerate, what the fuck am I doing spend my nights alone?

But! Worst of all…

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that, not only have I allowed this situation to come about, but that I allow it to perpetuate. That is the greatest crime of all.

It is about time I lived up to my own potential, and stopped wallowing in this pointless ‘survival’. I want it all; nice house, a family, a decent sized kitchen, the freedom to choose my own appliances. I want to write – films, books, anything – and I can do it too. I have the skills, the abilities, to have whatever I want. I just need to go out and do it.

Phlegmatic, that is how I would have described myself yesterday. Today? Today I’m just fucking pissed!

Words To Live by:

Had these in my head for a while now. A few truisms that I’ve hung on to as I went through life.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.

Maybe it’s time to add a few more…

.

Wish in one hand, shit in the other one, see which one fills up first.

.

.

In this shit life, we must chuck some things.

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Think that says it all really.

Life & Stuff & Things Like That

Bon Iver’s got a new album out!! To celebrate I’m peppering this post with a few of his tunes for you to enjoy whilst you read. Lord knows how long they’ll last, so get ’em while they’re hot! 🙂

Y’know, I considered deleting my post of yesterday, it being full of talk and no action; and what’s the point of that? But then I thought sod it, you can’t delete the past. You’ve just got to learn from your mistakes and move on. So, no more wishy-washy wishful thinking. From now on it’s do, or do not; there is no try. 😉

So, with that in mind, check out my doings yesterday. Spent the day performing some karma yoga at the Sivananda Centre. I was involved in setting up the rooms ready for each day, helping people find where they had to be, cleaning, cooking, carrying, stuff like that.

tranquil bench

It was a very full day, with a yoga session at the end and a trip to the osteopath in the middle, and I was pretty pooped by the end of it. But I didn’t mind, as spending the day with lovely people doing something worthwhile together is well worth the effort. We need more of that in life.

Speaking of yoga, check me out: I managed to do the scorpion for the first time last night. Wasn’t easy mind! What with my achey shoulders and the day of work I did I was well shaky. But still I gave it a go and I didn’t land on my face, which works for me, lol. 🙂

Obviously that’s not me, though if I’d known that’s what I’d be doing last night I’d have definitely got the camera out, lol. It’s amazing to think how far I’ve come in the past 8 months. From not being able to touch my toes to doing, well, that! Heck of a change, let me tell you.

Apart from all that I haven’t been doing a lot recently. I have a habit of writing big ‘to do’ lists, and then moving things from one list to another, never actually doing any of them. So I put all that aside for a while and just did whatever came naturally, which seemed to be ‘snooze’ apparently.

But I also got quite a bit of writing done. I’m about one third through the book I’ve been working on, and if I just keep plugging away I’ll have it done by the end of the summer.

And I’ve taken a few more recipe card pictures. Check out one of the out-takes.

recipe card out-take

Just got two more to do then I’ll have a set of six. Right now it’s just a question of weather. Need strong sunlight to make them come out nice, and we keep getting lots of rain in the UK at the moment. But everything comes with time, and if I don’t have them done in the next few weeks I’ll be surprised.

Right, think that’s everything. Got a few hours to do some writing before I have to go to work. Hope you enjoyed the tunes. Buy/download/rip any one of his albums (or his other project The Volcano Choir) you won’t be disappointed. 🙂