29th April

We went to return something I had bought last week today. We jumped into the car  and headed off to the shop. On the way the car started to lose power so I drove it slowly towards the slip road that we needed to come off at anyway. As we pulled onto the slip road I looked in my rear view mirror and there was what appeared to be a cloud of smoke pouring out of the back.

I stopped as soon as I could and Sarah and Ben got out and went to a safe place. I got my phone and my RAC membership card out of my wallet and called them. While I was waiting in a queue I decided to move the car a few metres to where Sarah was standing. When I started the engine it seemed fine and it drove ok up to the point where I planned to stop. I suggested to Sarah that I try to drive it to the car park outside the shops and phone the RAC there as that would be better than waiting for them on the slip road.

She said her and Ben would walk over so I set off gingerly but after going all the way round the roundabout as I forgot where I was I got into the car park and drove around for 5 minutes looking for a space. The car seemed fine so I set off to find Sarah. We looked round the shops and then we decided to drive the car home and see how it went. It seemed fine but there were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure if it was going to do it again. We also went the other way through the town so it was difficult to give it a good run. We decided we’d call out the RAC anyway as it would be better to have them come out tonight than have to wait for them on the hard shoulder tomorrow morning on the way to work!

So they turned up about 8:15 tonight and he fitted his computer onto the car and it came up with 4 faults. However when he checked again it showed no fault found and he checked the things that had come up as a fault and none of them showed a fault. He suggested that maybe it was the engine management system having a wobble – possibly due to the heavy rain last night – and it had now righted itself, either when I turned the ignition off when I stopped the first time or when he did the checks on the system. I drove the car round the block and it seemed fine so fingers crossed for tomorrow morning!

27th April

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Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself
You’ve never learned to read or write
There’s no books upon your shelf
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark

I’m wearing the Beatles t-shirt that my mother-in-law bought me in Australia a few years ago. As I was putting it on this morning I got to thinking about three stories that my Dad told me, which sadly I will now never know if they’re true or not.

The first concerned the Beatles and how he had been in the Police Station in Sunderland the night they played at the Empire. The Police Station in those days was just behind the theatre and the story was that after they’d finished they ran through the Police Station to escape the screaming fans outside the stage door.

The second story was about Gene Vincent – my Dad claimed that he was on duty when Mr Vincent appeared at the Rink in Sunderland. Gene was just about to go on stage when he realised he’d left his trademark black leather gloves behind. My Dad ended up lending him his Police gloves which he never saw again!

The final story involved Jimi Hendrix. My Dad claimed that the Police had been given a load of tickets for the show at the Empire and he had gone along but left after 10 minutes because it was so loud! I’m more suspicious of this one because he did tell me it while I was watching a program about Hendrix on TV and when i was really into him. However he did add that they had turned up with a removal van full of equipment which he said was unusual for the time so it may well be true as well!

Finally it is with great sadness that I am following the news of the demolition of the Mayfair in Sunderland where I spent many happy nights during my youth. I wasn’t old enough to have seen Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who or even Free (who recorded a live album) there but it was an important part of my youth. I did see ian Gillan, Wishbone Ash and the Tom Robinson band, along with a host of local groups though. My friend send me a picture of the demolition in progress.

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This made me chuckle earlier – two consecutive posts on Facebook

26th April

Today has gone much faster! I’ve had something to do! Damn this Easter lull it’s a pain in the arse. Thankfully it’ll be getting busy again soon! Also I downloaded a recording of the Dark Star Orchestra’s show from the Garage last month and that has kept me company today!

The picture at the top was posted before the following conversation:

Project manager: When will the files from the videos be ready?

Me: Probably tomorrow morning

PM: But I promised the clients the files by 5pm

Me: but I didn’t get the tapes till one o’clock and they’re 5 hours long?

25th April

It’s a shame that the weather hasn’t improved in the same way as my mood! Unfortunately it’s gone the opposite way – I woke up feeling down still but have slowly picked up as the day has gone along. The weather, on the other hand, has just gone from bad to worse as the day has progressed. Still at least I didn’t have to go out in it like the missus!

I decided to start something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. I’ve been mulling over doing something with the myriad of tickets, programmes, photographs and other memorabilia that I have collected over almost 35 years of concert going. So on Sunday I set up a new blog on my server so I could add stuff when I get the chance. This was inspired by another blog I visited recently where someone who went to some of the same gigs as me is adding posts about various shows he went to.

I haven’t written anything yet but I did put together some headers for the blog. I thought I’d create a number of images that could appear randomly when a page is loaded. I did ones for Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and Gong:

There was an odd story on Radio 4’s Today program this morning about Testcard music. They had an interview with a guy from the band St. Etienne who was raving about how the music that was played with the testcard influenced a whole generation of musicians! The reason was that there is an event at the ICA in London called A Girl, A Clown, A Blackboard: Trade Test Transmissions which discusses the development of the testcard. The story also informed me about the existence of a society called the Test Card Circle who are dedicated to test cards and the music that accompanies them – which apparently you can buy CD’s of – should you so wish!