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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

The Wolfmen

November 14th, 2007 by sunflowers

My friend Jenni invited me along on a press pass to see the debut live performance at an industry gig of Wolfmen. So I decided to try and write a review.

WolfmenWolfmen are Marco Pirroni lead guitarist for Siouxsie and the Banshees and then song writer for Adam and the Ants along with Chris Constantinou another proliferate writer in the post punk area.

Wolfmen have made the genius move of teaming up with Daler Mehndi who is apparently one of India’s biggest musicians to produce a bhangra-rock crossover ‘Two Eyes’ which has hit number one on the BBC Asian Network chart.

Their follow up single ‘Cecilie’ is also a worth while listen along with ‘Needle in the Camels Eye’ but the rest of the set was nothing spectacular. In particular ‘Love my Dog’ unless of course you are still stuck in the late seventies, early eighties like the groupies standing behind us at the gig were. myspace.com/thewolfmen.

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Wipe Out on Wet Leaves

November 11th, 2007 by sunflowers

MassageMassageBicycling to the massage class on Sunday in the rain I came out onto the sidewalk from the estate I live in and my front tyre totally skidded out sideways and I wiped out in front of the people waiting at the bus stop. When I got to class the instructor kindly gave me some antiseptic to clean the graze and a couple of bandaids. It was a pity I hadn’t done the secondary care of my first aid course as I don’t think much of the bandaging that I got.

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Massage Class

November 10th, 2007 by sunflowers

MassageCity LitOn the Saturday I started a two day course in holistic massage at City Lit a community college in the city that does part time courses. Holistic massage just means all over and is pretty much a Swedish message as it uses oils. I learnt about effleurage (starting and ending strokes), petrissage (kneading and squeezing deeper muscles and tissues) and friction. It was a bit strange going with my flatmate but at least we were able to give each other frank opinions about what felt good and what wasn’t so good. It doesn’t really contribute towards getting prepared for my trip but I have wanted to learn how to do proper massaging for a while. And if I do find someone to travel with they might appreciate it.

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Emergency Responder

November 7th, 2007 by sunflowers

Emergency ResponderEmergency ResponderHi, my name is Annette. I am an emergency responder. May I help you? That is the official line you are suppose to give when you come across an injured person. Tonight I did the primary care practical section of my first aid course. I learnt to use a defibrillator, give CPR and role played scenarios of coming across people who had been hurt. It is weird as even though I was only acting it out my heart was still racing.

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A Song A Post

November 6th, 2007 by sunflowers

I found this cool little pub not far away from where I live called North 19 and they had someone singing and playing guitar until midnight (England still has the remnants of this archaic law put in place during World War I that pubs should close at 9:30pm which was then relaxed to 11pm. In November 2005 the licensing act came into force which allowed pubs to apply for longer hours but most still close at 11pm).

Each song the musician played reminded me of some part of my life which gave me the drunken idea that I should put an appropriate song with each post. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he sent me the link to a site that actually does this www.headphoneson.com.

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Guy Fawkes Day

November 5th, 2007 by sunflowers

Guy FawkesOn 5th November the British public celebrate the foiling of Roman Catholic conspirators (including Mr. Guy Fawkes) attempt to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in 1605. They do this by building a bonfire and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes and setting off fireworks.

I think that this is less of a show of the British love of democracy and more of their love of the macabre ever since I found out that the word ‘gala’ which now commonly means festivity originally came from ‘gallows day’ which was a family day out to see the hanging of criminals at locations like Tyburn (which is now Marble Arch, home of Speakers Corner in London where anybody can go to have their say regardless of how ridiculous and commonly do).

I didn’t celebrate instead I skipped my evening class in Spanish as for the last few months I haven’t felt like doing anything after work as my days are so draining that all I want to do is go home. I did try and read Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie as I am trying to up my reading sophistication, while listening to the constant sounds of explosions.

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Parking Parries

November 4th, 2007 by sunflowers

Autumn at Beech HilliAutumn at Beech HilliOn Sunday I met up with Jack one of the observers from my bike group to see if I was up to taking my advanced test. We had a lovely ride through the Essex countryside. There was a stretch of road through Epping Forest where all the trees on either side of the road were a riot of reds and oranges. I have always said that the UK did spring better than any other country I have been in but I must say that when you get out of the city it does a pretty good autumn as well.

I was having a read through Jack’s London atlas and it gave a few parking tips. You are legally able to drive off while a parking attendant is issuing the ticket as it isn’t valid until placed on the car and that if the parking attendant isn’t properly uniformed (including hat) with their identification badge showing that the ticket is invalid.

We finished the bike ride at Beech Hill where I tried to get a couple of shots of the autumn trees but the light was against me. I also need to do more work on my overtaking before sitting my advanced riding test. Apparently I don’t need miles of clear road on the other side to overtake with a motorbike 😉

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GPS and Gallions Reach

November 3rd, 2007 by sunflowers

A couple of Sunday’s ago I attended one of the Machine Control days that my bike club runs. They are really suppose to be for people who are currently going through their advanced riding training (which I have been through twice now) but as I hadn’t done one on my Kawasaki I decided to turn up.

We spent the morning practising slow speed riding in a straight line, circles and figure eights. And then emergency stops and some counter steering in the early afternoon. At the end of the session some of the observers asked me if I wanted to go for a fun run but as I hadn’t gotten that much sleep the night before and I had been concentrating hard all morning I knew I wasn’t probably up to any more riding. After having my accident on the M25 I am learning that riding a motorbike requires good concentration and I am learning my limits.

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Krav Maga (Contact Combat)

November 2nd, 2007 by sunflowers

Tonight I am off to try Krav Maga, a self-defence, military, hand-to-hand, no quarter, combat system developed by the Israeli Security Forces and used by military and paramilitary forces around the world including Sky Marshals (undercover law enforcers on commercial airlines), FBI and the Finnish Paratroopers.

After doing a taster session in women’s self defence at last years Horizons Unlimited meeting led by Tiffany Coates I think that it would be a good idea if I learnt how to defend myself if I am setting off to travel the length of the Americas by myself.

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Keane's Kids

November 1st, 2007 by sunflowers

Duke of YorkI have been musing about how I am going to fund raise for the children’s charities. My flatmate works for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament so I asked him if he had any good fund raising ideas and he suggested holding a gig to raise money.

It turns out that Keane had beaten me to it so I attended their concert at the Brixton Academy which was held to raise money for War Child. It was an excellent night as they had appearances from Magic Numbers, Lilly Allen and the Pet Shop Boys. If you are in the UK you can donate £1.50 by texting “child” to 88818.

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