Sunday Musings on The 5th of February

The shortest month is here. Even only three days fewer than January still seems to make it fly by much faster. ————————————————————————————– I am taking a break from posting Serial Fiction for a while, so you may notice less posts overall from me this month. ————————————————————— … | Continue reading | 3 hours ago

A Reblog Phenomenon

Last November, I reblogged this post. Day Brightener – “Who Is Shaking The Jar” Checking my stats sometime later in December, I was surprised to discover it had well over 1,000 views before Christmas. Since then, it has been getting around 20-40 views most days, and is usually th … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Car Woes, and Blogging.

I went to the supermarket today to pick up just a few bits, like fresh bread and some milk. Unfortunately, the gear selector of my automatic car jammed solid as I parked in the car park. I eventually had to call out the breakdown service we subscribe to, and wait 90 minutes for t … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Unseen Historical Photos

I found this short 9-minute film on You Tube, featuring a random selection of historical photographs. Despite the title ‘unseen’, I have seen three of them previously, but not the rest. It also has a warning at the beginning, but I assure you that none of the photos are too distu … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Retro Music 45

I always had a soft spot for the music of The Four Seasons. The American vocal group had a unique style, led by the signature falsetto singing of the front man, Frankie Valli. Frankie also released many solo records during his time with The Four Seasons, and in 1967, he recorded … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Mabel’s Day Out.

This is a fictional short story, in 675 words. She was all in a fluster, as she knew she would be. Why had she agreed when Elsie suggested the day trip? It was an early start, and she wasn’t that bothered about Highclere Castle, even if it was the location where they filmed Downt … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Watney Market 1973-1978: The Photos Of Tony Bock

Watney Street Market in East London was once one of London’s largest street markets. Trading since 1881, it was later redeveloped into a pedestrianised shopping precinct, and now very few market stalls remain there. Eileen Armstrong, selling fruit and vegetables. Joe The Grocer, … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

The Earliest Moving Pictures?

This is a 17-minute film of some of the earliest known moving film footage. It begins with the work of Thomas Edison in 1888, and goes on into the next century. Some of the footage is blurry, but that is to be expected with these extremely rare unrestored films. | Continue reading | 2 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twenty-Four

This is the final part of a fiction serial, in 842 words. Sitting in the small restaurant of his two-star hotel, Roger considered drowning his sorrows by ordering a bottle of Valpolicella to accompany his -probably microwaved- lasagna, then finishing off with a few large glasses … | Continue reading | 4 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twenty-Three

This is the twenty-third part of a fiction serial, in 817 words. Before Roger could say anything, or even open his briefcase to show the report, Furlong launched into him. “So, just to summarise. Your company goes to a government office with a plan, and a device to make that plan … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Retro Music 44

David Bowie started his long career in music in 1963, when he was still known by his real name of David Jones. After the name change later, he released a song in 1969 that was so different to anything we had known before, it caught the imagination of the record buying public, lea … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Retro Music 43

In 1966, Junior Walker and The all Stars had a huge hit in Britain with the .45 single ‘Road Runner’. I bought the album, and enjoyed many of the tracks. Three years later, they released a slow song that appealed to me immediately, and I bought it the same day. Another big hit fr … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twenty-Two

This is the twenty-second part of a fiction serial, in 765 words. Roger Calthorpe was really beginning to tire of looking at the back of the driver’s head. It had been a long drive from London, and various traffic problems had almost doubled the expected travelling time. Ministry … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Retro Music 42

In 1966, I heard a record on the radio that became a hit in Britain. It was called ‘Summer In The City’, by an American band The Lovin’ Spoonful. I decided to investigate more of their music, and bought the album ‘Do You Believe In Magic?’ which had been released a year earlier. … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twenty-One

This is the twenty-first part of a fiction serial, in 789 words. Martin had hardly slurped down a mouthful of his wine when Emma took the glass off him. “Come on now, Mark. Time to try again. I’m sure you can do better this time”. He looked up at the intense expression on her fac … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Retro Music 41

I wasn’t always listening to Motown and Soul records in my teens. Once I approached the age of eighteen, my tastes were becoming ever more varied, and I often liked to listen to ‘softer’songs at the time. This was one of them, released in 1970 on the album ‘Déjà vu’ from Crosby, … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

The Last Sunday Musings For January

The weather warmed up after the recent ‘big chill’. We went from -7C one night, to +4C the next day. Still cold, especially in the wind, but nowhere near as bad as the previous weeks. ————————————————————————————— On Thursday the heating engineer returned by arrangement, this tim … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Guest Post: Gavin Marriott

My thanks to Gavin for this interesting article about one of New Zealand’s ‘finest’. A Fairlie good story about Sir Bill Hamilton. I’d like to tell you about a farm boy brought up from the same locality I was, albeit 50 years earlier. Much information is in the newspaper article … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Holocaust Reminder

In 2023, there are still many deniers of the mass killing of millions of Jews and other prisoners by Germany during WW2. Even faced with overwhelming evidence and personal testimony, some still refuse to believe the events ever happened. So I am posting this short film clip to re … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Windows 11: Some Questions

I use a Hewlett-Packard PC for blogging, bought new with Windows 10 pre-installed. It seems to suit me very well, though I have only the most basic knowledge of how to use computers. I do not explore all the possibilties of computing, using it only for blogging, photo storage, em … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twenty

This is the twentieth part of a fiction serial, in 765 words. The man who liked to call himself Mark was in fact named Martin. And he wasn’t forty, he was fifty-one next birthday, in five weeks. Hard work at the local gym, and copious amounts of black hair dye, kept him looking p … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Nineteen

This is the nineteenth part of a fiction serial, in 800 words. On the fourth day of her self-imposed house arrest, Emma received a phone call from the policeman dealing with the accident. “The passenger has woken up, and her account is that the driver was her sister, and that she … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Cities Around The World In Colour: 1910-1920s

I found another one of these interesting films about everyday life over 100 years ago. This runs for less than 6 minutes, has been enhanced for video, and colourised. | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Retro Music 40

In 1965, The Walker Brothers released a cover version of a Bacharach/David song that had been a minor hit for Jerry Butler three years earlier. With the powerful lead vocal of Scott Walker, the new version became a hit around the world. I already had the original on record, but I … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Eighteen

This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 777 words. Emma was impressed by the turnout of the emergency services. Three police cars, two ambulances, and a fire engine. A smart traffic policeman spoke to her through the window of her car, to make sure she wasn’t injured. … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

Retro Music 39

1962, and a big hit for Carole King. Originally written by her and Gerry Goffin for Bobby Vee to perform, the record company preferred her version and released it as a single. (The Bobby Vee version was released almost a year later.) As the saying goes, the rest is history. | Continue reading | 10 days ago

London 1971: The Photos Of John De Prey

During 1971, John de Prey stayed for a few months with his friend Marcus in Powis Square in Notting Hill. This is the same area made famous in the 1999 film ‘Notting Hill’, but over fifty years ago, it was still a multi-cultural working class area of London. Hare Krishna devotees … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Seventeen

This is the seventeenth part of a fiction serial, in 841 words. In a quiet village due west of the town of Dorchester in Dorset, Emma Howard was looking out of her bedroom window with a puzzled look on her face. It was hundreds of yards in every direction to another house, and sh … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Photographic Firsts

I found this short video on You Tube. It is called ‘The Oldest Photographs In The World’, but is really examples of photographic firsts. The first known photos of people and buildings, the earliest photos of The Sun and The Moon, and the first underwater photographs. It comes up … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Retro Music 38

No apologies for featuring another Motown song from Holland/Dozier/Holland. This 1967 hit from the Isley Brothers was Motown magic, and it sounds as fresh to me today as it did back then. This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times Each time you break away, I fear you’ve g … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Victorian England: Moving Pictures In Colour

This is one of my favourite finds online. Film images taken in the late 1800s in places around England. Street Parades, funfairs, seaside Towns, as well as shopping districts and markets, public transport, and busy traffic. It also features the many different social classes of th … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Sixteen

This is the sixteenth part of a fiction serial, in 750 words. When Callum arrived for work early that morning, he was shocked to discover the two bodies in the front yard of the farm. He wasn’t the brightest man in the county, but he knew enough not to walk across a crime scene t … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

Retro Music 37

It was very rare for me to buy a completely instrumental record in my teens, but this 1967 release was an exception. Earl Van Dyke was the house keyboard player for Motown Records, and his organ playing on this song is great! Listening now, it sounds not unlike the theme to a con … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Fifteen

This is the fifteenth part of a fiction serial, in 771 words. When Sergeant Carlyle told Kirsty the next morning that no prosecution would go ahead, the girl closed the door in her face. Five munites later, she had looked up the phone numbers for the newspaper and TV news coverin … | Continue reading | 13 days ago


Every morning my emails from WP come through from blogs that I am following. There are all the usual challenges in there and also other bloggers’ responses to challenges. I so much would like to join in these challenges but as a newly blind person I find I do not know how to get … | Continue reading | 13 days ago

More Cities Around The World On Film: The 1890s

I found another compilation of film footage from around the world, this time shot in the 1890s. Equally as fascinating as my previous post, but this 10-minute film is not enhanced for video, or colourised. | Continue reading | 13 days ago

Retro Music 36

This song was the soundtrack to my summer in 1963. Another marvellous composition from Holland, Dozier, Holland, performed perfectly by Martha and The Vandellas. Released on the Gordy label in the USA, in Britain it was a Motown record. I cannot keep still when I hear this song, … | Continue reading | 13 days ago

Sunday Musings After A Cold Week

As the post title suggests, it has been a very cold week. When the heating failed to work on Tuesday, we tried calling a different engineer. It just so happened that he was at his mother’s house nearby, so he came round immediately. He could tell the boiler was not firing correct … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Fourteen

This is the fourteenth part of a fiction serial, in 776 words. As Kirsty was waving goodbye to the police officers, Adam Brice was drinking tea and eating bread and jam, wondering why old man Inchcape had not showed up to complain about the fencing. But Jess Inchcape was biding h … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

Retro Music 35

I am going back to 1962 with this choice. I was only 10 years old, but I knew I had to have this record as soon as I heard it on the radio. This was his only major hit, but it was a very big one. Chris Montez changed his style later and became a … Continue reading Retro Music 35 | Continue reading | 14 days ago

Berlin: Summer 1945

This 7-minute colour film has been enhanced for video to give an interesting impression of daily life in the ruined city not long after the end of WW2. | Continue reading | 15 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Thirteen

This is the thirteenth part of a fiction serial, in 780 words. Tom was released on bail, pending investigation. But by the time he got home that night after collecting his car from the school car park, there was no trace of Sarah and the kids. He eventually found a note on the pi … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Retro Music 34

1963 again, (That was a great year for music!) and another pop classic from America. Lesley Gore was just 16 years old when she recorded this song, which was produced by none other than Quincy Jones. She went on to have more hits, including the classic “You Don’t Own Me”. In late … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Retro Music 33

In 1964, the American teenage girl group The Shangri-Las had a number one hit with the song ‘Leader Of The Pack’. This was in a short-lived musical genre known as ‘Teenage Tragedy’. I didn’t buy that record, but the same year I did buy another of their records. This one. The lyri … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

A good time to be alive….

Originally posted on My Life as an Artist (2): With my two friends Patrick and Maureen in front of the then newly constructed Commonwealth Institute in Kensington London…….now The Design Museum. I posted this image on FB and Twitter this week with the added text saying ‘what a go … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

The Blue Light: Part Twelve

This the twelfth part of a fiction serial, in 749 words. At the end of the school day, Kirsty appeared in the empty classroom. Tom smiled at her, and indicated that she should sit at a desk. “Now, Kirsty. What didn’t you understand earlier?” The girl shrugged. “Well that Geometry … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

Swinging London In Photos: 1960s

During the 1960s, London was trying to become the new fashion capital of the world. It rebranded itself as ‘Swinging London’, and photographers were out on the streets taking photos of the new fashions, regularly using professional models too. This selection includes some styles … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

Retro Music 32

Also in 1963, The Ronettes hit the charts with this song. One of the earliest examples of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of sound’ technique, it was a huge hit almost everywhere. Ronnie (Veronica Greenfield) formed the group with her sister and cousin, and later married Phil Spector the mu … | Continue reading | 16 days ago