OK, the nursery is finished.

The baby is due any day and we're finally ready for it.

Phew. Just when I thought life wasn't going to get any busier.


TU again

A hugely inspiring post from Trey Gunn reminded me of how much fun you can have playing live. However my life changes when the baby arrives I am always going to find time to get together with friends and make some noise.

Today has been a good one. It has rained all day and I love the rain. J and I spent some time in a barn-like building looking at carpets for the nursery while the rain hammered down overhead. We got home and finally (after over a year of trying/meaning to get around to it) got the curtain rail up in the back room. It doesn't sound like much but the place is finally looking like somewhere a baby could be happy. Unless you look down of course.

Painting rooms to Abbey Road and washing up to TU have also been highlights of the day.

Ready to roll

Having got that rant out of my system I sat up and meshed together the tracks of Coffee-Housing until I was happy. Having burnt a master copy of the album and set up some possible distribution channels I am about to take my first, heady steps into selling a record of my own. I'm expecting sales as high as six or seven copies, so watch out for the blog entries from the New York penthouse.



Not a flattering shot but a recent and telling one. Me, happy as a cucumber having finally finished this year's major skip-full of paperwork. Now I'm ready for the baby!

Last night I was at a party where someone (already irritated with me, I suspect) told me that illness was entirely a mental thing and that people with illnesses (like my annoying cough no doubt) were simply weak. I was very tired and in need of some peace so I left. I know I'm going to see this person again and that they are going to remind me of my brief bad temper. How wonderful. If there is one thing that has bugged me since childhood it's people who take one small action of yours and extrapolate out of it your entire (as they see it) personality. It's lazy thinking and is part of the philosophy that anyone slightly odd, nerdy or temperamental is in need of help. [If my folks are reading please look away now] Sorry, but no. It's time for the nerds, geeks, passionately off centre and slightly unconventional amongst us to say, fuck off!

Good. I just needed to vent. Thank you very much.


Highlights and lowlights

Another busy week. Who doesn't have busy weeks though. The highlight was a fun run organised by staff and students at the college where I teach. We raised over £500 for a local hospital. The local paper showed no interest whatsoever.

The lowlight of the week was Monday morning when the baby stopped moving. We drove at speed to the hospital (at one point going above 50mph) to find that everything was alright. The following day the same thing happened to friends.

Bridge Street now has a MySpace page too.


Brian and Avril

Paperwork hell is about to begin. I have a lot of the stuff to wade through in the next two weeks and I know there are a lot of things I could be doing instead. Preparing the house for the baby, jamming with guitar playing friends, writing music, reading books, doing anything with J. Oh well.

This weekend has been one of guests. Richard Guitarist and wife Sarah came over on Friday night to deliver our pram. Sarah is due to give birth three days before J so there was some comparing of tummies while Richard and I talked about the frustrations of not gigging and the delights of buying tripods on Ebay.

Today my folks came over with sweets and savouries from the Malvern Show. Always good to see them. We exchanged conversation over cups of tea and coffee and then, out of the blue, my old friend Birindar arrived. She had moved to Spain six years ago and we only see each other rarely. We too had shared musical adventures but somehow managed to talked about everything from babies to Dr Who.

After everyone left the cat fell asleep on my lap then J and I rounded off the day by sneaking off for a very late veggy breakfast and coffee. I'm feeling heartburn and developing a cough - sure signs that I'm nervous. Not about the baby, but the paperwork - which, I believe, is where we came in.

On a positive note, I'm extremely close to getting the album mastered and I even got a message from the Redundant Rocker on my Myspace site. A reborn Bridge Street should be gigging in the not too distant future. Expect viedo and audio on a web site near you soon.


Cats in love II

Cats in love
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
I posted this picturea week or so ago, under the idea that it was funny to see a cat in love with a bird scarer in the shape of a cat. Well, now I find that our cat's friend is actually a cat scarer. Does that make it funnier? It does for me.


More fun in retail

The water in our house is pretty bad. Old, corroded pipes under the house would cost far too much to replace so we decided to get a water softener system that we could plumb in under the sink. The B&Q site showed they had 'low stock' in their Oxford shop so, to be sure, I called them up to check. "We have four of them," said the lady who answered.
J and I drove to the store (a considerable distance from our house) and found, when we got there, that there was only one, of the wrong model, in a box tied with string which, when opened, proved to be missing the instructions. A member of staff checked their computer again. Four items. Hmmm. Where were they then? A rather farcical few minutes then ensued as a member of staff walked around the store staring up at the shelves, trying to locate what was very obviously not there.
J and I went home, adding B&Q to the list of stores we won't be rushing back to.


Shadow couple

Shadow couple
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
A good day, despite some bad news from a friend. J and I drove to Great Coxwell for a walk and enjoyed the sunny day - even if it started freezing cold. So cold that when I came down this morning I found J had lit a fire. Braekfast in front of a roaring fire .... in May. Yes folks, it's summertime.



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
I went to see my photographs in the Fraingdon exhibition this evening. Luckily I got to meet some of my fellow Flickr group members. If you're in the area (Faringdon, Oxfordshire, UK) get along. There's plenty happening, including music from Chris Difford on Monday night.


"... a future as black as this."

A sad day today as I waved goodbye to my Chapman Stick. I'm selling it to a chap in Germany who I'm sure will give it a good home.

This has been a very busy week. Deadlines are approaching for my students, which means many nights ahead dedicated to marking essays. The about to be becoming baby also puts a little pressure on J and myself. The nursery isn't really fully functional yet, but we're close.

I did find the time to see Benjamin Zephaniah at the Oxford Playhouse last week. He was charming, funny and deep. While listening to him talking about his life and reciting his poems I was reminded that the most unlikely people can end up inspiring others. He, for example, had been a criminal and had been thrown out of more schools than he had stayed in. After a spell in prison and trouble with guns he moved to London and followed his poetry muse. He is now so popular he has to go to Beijing to write his novels. Possibly the greatest Rasta, vegan poet in the world.

For myself, the poems are being written but not revealed. I think you can all be happy about that. Two of my photographs are in an exhibition in Faringdon, Oxfordshire this bank holiday weekend though. You can even buy them.

The album still needs mastering but this shouldn't take long. I'm working on a decent promo and trying to write liner notes that won't embarrass me or anyone else.