Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Audrey Hepburn - Moon River

WEDNESDAY CLUB


THE RIVERS OF THE MOON

MY HUCKLEBERRY FRIEND


AUDREY HEPBURN - Moon River

GOLIGHTLY

Too good for the sham of Hollywood
she took that place by storm
her beauty, her grace and elegance
a nymph with pools for eyes
the sexiest thing that ever lived
and she didn't have to try

Oh! Holly Golightly
born of a different age
and if you want to judge her
let it be by the rivers of the moon


You played some of the biggest movies
in Hollywood's golden age
your aura and your presence
you stole almost every scene
were awarded every accolade
that was possible to win

You helped the poor starving children
the biggest part you played
you knew too well how it was
having no food on your plate
an Ambassador for UNICEF
your greatest Oscar role

Oh! Holly Golightly
born of a different age
and if you want to judge her
let it be by the rivers of the moon

Sunday, 23 April 2017

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 23-04-2017 - Luke Sital-Singh, Dan Auerbach, Sleaford Mods, Run The Jewels,

Tracks Of The Week

Instagram @alanreesb


London Scouser:-
Sleaford Mods - 'Mop Top' (2017)


I'm late getting into Sleaford Mods and I have no real excuse. My fellow TD team members have been singing their praises for a few years now. I happened upon their latest album 'English Tapas' and haven't taken it off repeat for the past few weeks. There are so many great tracks that leave me LOL'ing to myself at the clever lyrics. This track is no exception and it has a great dance beat running through it. Having watched the video I've decided that the guy who doesn't sing is my role model, I could be in a band and (appear) to do nothing, that's right up my street.

SFW:-
Luke Sital-Singh - Hunger (2017)


Check out this emotional performance by Luke Sital-Singh of his new single Hunger which features on his new album Time Is A Riddle.  If I appeared on Mastermind, singer-songwriters would be subject of choice (apart from Star Wars, but that's too geeky), I just yearn that when that time comes, Mr Sital-Singh will be as successful as Mr Sheeran or that Mr Styles and I'd be shooting answers about him like Han Solo shooting Greedo. (remember Han Shot First!).  Alas, we are still waiting for Luke to have that massive breakout hit, will this be it? Call it my New Hope. 

O.K., I'll get my coat.

Flycasual:-
Run The Jewels - 'Thieves (Screamed the Ghost' feat Tunde Adebimpe (2017)


My current weapon of choice from one of my favourite albums of the year so far, Run The Jewels 3. Tip Top production, excellent instrumentals with two MC's on top of their game. 'Thieves' also features Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio which, as the French say, adds a little 'I don't know what'. 

Old Pa:-
Dan Auerbach - Shine On Me




It's summer, it's Dan Auerback, with a little nod to the Travelling Wilburys, be happy!

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Rod Stewart - Bring It on Home to Me/You Send Me

WEDNESDAY CLUB

DON'T GO IN TO THE WOODS

A TROLL WANDERS PADST



ROD STEWART -  Bring It On Home To Me/You Send Me

When Rod Stewart was Rod Srtewart. What a fabulous video this is, featureing the great Spike Milligan and the not so great Russel Harty.

RITUALS OF THE FOREST

I don't really know where this came from but I started it and was about to  'bin it'  when I came up with the title, which I liked. The title deserved better than the rubbish that I had come up with. I was about to  'bin'  it again when I got a new lease of life with the lines  'Little Red Riding Hood, is torn alive'.  I now had to think of 4 more last lines for 4 verses. I could not wait to get revenge on  Elsa.  I could not  'Let It Go'

RITUALS OF THE FOREST

Branches and leaves
cover rotting fruit
Troll wanders past
hulking great brute
Nightstalkers wait
with deadly sting
Pixies and Fairies
dance and sing
Hornets rage
away from the hive
Little Red Riding Hood
is torn alive

these are Rituals of the Forrest

Hemlock, Nightshade
sway with delight
a red eyed Org
is looking to fight
a Lynx is skirling
for bitches in heat
Goblins search
someone to cheat
vicious Jackals
screech and bark
Hansel and Gretel
scream in the dark

these are Rituals of the Forrest

Poison Ivy, Nettles
wait for your skin
giant black Spiders
trap you in spin
Sirens and Nymphs
tantalize and tease
Vipers they strike
prey to seize
Rabid Dogs
with foaming fits
little Snow White
torn to bits

these are Rituals of the Forrest

Warlocks ,Witches
cast spells of doom
Demons and Devils
awake their tomb
Zombies prowling
their stench of death
Dragons spitting
their fiery breath
Lucifer practices
his evil art
a skipping Bambi
is ripped apart

these are Rituals of the Forrest

Insatiable Vampires
gorge human blood
ravenous rats
come like a flood
Owls hoot
their ominous call
a giant Ogre
eleven foot tall
a Bogeyman
with rotten breath
a regal Elsa
frozen to death

these are Rituals of the Forrest

Sunday, 16 April 2017

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 15-04-2017 - BNQT, Ryan Adams,The Shins, Gorillaz

Tracks Of The Week

Instagram @alanreesb

Old Pa:-
The Shins - Heartworms (2017)

 

As soon as you hear the voices here there is no doubts this is definately The Shins. If you had to describe the The Shins music this would be a good choice. It has all that is good about these lads. Melody and harnony and a good hook. That is is The Shins. No nonsence good clean bliss.! 

London Scouser:-
BNQT - 'Restart' (2017)

 

I have to admit, I do love a supergroup, and this band are definitely no exception. They consist of the lead singers from 'Midlake', 'Band of Horses', 'Franz Ferdinand', 'Travis' & 'Grandaddy'. The idea came from Eric Pulido of Midlake in 2013, and he describes them as “Like a poor man’s version of the Traveling Wilburys!” which would work for me.
This is their debut track and it struck me straight away with it's Glam-Rock sound. The album 'Volume 1' is out at the end of April and I can't wait to give it a listen or 3. I've heard the second track off of the album, called 'Unlikely Force' which is very different and has taken quite a few listens before I started to enjoy it.

SFW:-
Ryan Adams - Prisoner (2017)


When anyone talks to me about Ryan Adams, I am like a doting parent who loves everything that he does.  I cannot publicly admit that I don't like something he does - similar to the way a parent cannot admit that their child's painting looks like a monkey has drawn it (after chewing some hallucinogenic plant).  So to admit that his latest release Prisoners had me feeling a bit disappointed is a bit difficult. The songs are great, each laced with heartbreak that can explode in you with the precision of Luke Skywalkers laser shots in the Death Star trench. What don't I like? Well it's the production (said like a true knob!) but when you hear any of the songs acoustic you can see their greatness. So when this appeared on my feed I had that happy glow again. But please, remember not to say anything negative ;-).  The kids got talent!

Flycasual:-
Gorillaz - 'Andromeda' (2017)


My son and I watched BBC Star Gazing live the other week and as always pretty mind blowing, particularily when trying to explain distance in astronomical units. Kids always ask you difficult questions in the belief that, because you are a grown up, you are an oracle of endless knowledge. 'How far is a Light Year dad? Now! & 'Is there life on Saturn's moon?' were some typical questions, which took a little bit brow furring and Google searching before I could give a suitable and satisfactory answer. So it would be rude not to choose 'Andromeda' as my track of the week, not only aptly named but a great track featuring Damon Albarn and D.R.A.M., my pick of the preview tracks the Gorillaz released in anticipation of their new and fifth album, Humanz. My brain and bones hurt to think that their first album was in 2001. Oh and 1 light year is 5.9 trillion miles and there's strong evidence suggesting that life is supported on the Saturn moon of Enceladus. Mind blown again.


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Thursday, 13 April 2017

TOM JONES - I'll Never Fall In Love Again

WEDNESDAY CLUB 

WELSH SUNSET



TOM JONES -  I'll Never Fall In Love Again

SFW had a picture of a sunset taken from his house in Wales, I liked the reference to the sunset and the orange cedars.

It had to be war and coming home. Google provided the great Welsh girl's name 'Dwynwen'. If I marry a Welsh girl our first girl will be called 'Dwynwen', I have decided. I just filled in the blanks and here we have 'Orange of the Cedars'.

And to compliment it we have my favourite Tom Jones song. 

ORANGE OF THE CEDARS  (Saint Florence Sunset)

I never wanted to go to war
they forced me to go and fight
I wanted to stay with you Dwynwen
be with you as we work the land
and be in your arms at night

I don't like this foreign land
it's not my wild and windy hills
I wanted to stay with you Dwynwen
walking along the sandy beach
sunsets holding our dreams

Waiting for that whistle blow
the Hun's bullets I will face
thoughts of only you my Dwynwen
and all of these golden sunsets
the orange cedars of home

as I lay on this stretcher
bandages cover my shot up eyes
I have visions of you Dwynwen
and the sunset and the orange of the cedars
waiting for me back home
in Saint Florence

I never wanted to go to war
they forced me to go and fight
I wanted to stay with you Dwynwen
be with you as we work the land
and be in your arms at night

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fionn Regan - Cormorant Bird

TUESDAY BLUES

Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!



Fionn Regan - Cormorant Bird (2017)


I am really looking forward to hearing Fionn Regan's latest release, The Meetings of the Waters, which is out on Friday (April 14th). The album is released through Fionn's own label 常に愛TSUNENI AI / Abbey Records.  The album was co-produced by Regan, Philip Tennant and Dave Granshaw at Chale Abbey Studios on the Isle of Wight. It was mixed by Tom Elmhurst at Electric Lady Studios in New York and by Tchad Blake at Mongrel Studios in Wales.  He even released an App so that the eager beavers can have a listen, get exclusives etc.

Due to the sheer number of releases these days, I usually will wait for the Spotify release, but in the case of this I HAD TO GET IT!  i.e. order it on Vinyl, but probably end up streaming it more through the house.

OK. I can admit it. I am a weirdo.

By Sfw

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 09-04-2017 - James Blake, Woods, Jim James, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever,

Tracks Of The Week

Instagram @alanreesb

Flycasual:-
Jim James - 'World's Smiling Now' (2016)


With 'First World' problems shelved for the weekend, I was treated to a visit from Sfw. The sun was shining, the kids were playing nicely and our respective wives even allowed us to go for a middle aged skate down the local skate park where Sfw got rad and shredded the mini ramp, whilst I nursed my knee back to health. The world was indeed smiling. Cue the Jim James slinky, soulful treatment then, I've been really enjoying last year's release, Eternally Even with the World's Smiling Now my clear stand out. Really worth checking out the album the next time sun makes an appearance!

Old Pa:-
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - French Press (2017)


 


I heard this by default, I was trying to listen to something else. I loved it and had to play it over and over. It is suitably jangly if you know what I mean. This is an Aussie Band and althought the name is maybe a little too pretentious, who cares this is just brill and I can't wait to hear their album. This is a contender.

London Scouser:-
Woods - 'Love Is Love' (2017)



I was really into 'Woods' back in 2014 with their album 'With Light And With  Love' getting many a play via my headphones. I missed their 2016 release 'City Sun Eater In The River Of Light' as I wasn't listening to that much music last year. This song is from their 6 track mini album of the same name to be released later this year and is just what I needed to rekindle my interest in the band. I've read that it has some Ethiopian Jazz influences which I can imagine will be right up Flycasual's street. There's a verse towards the end that reminds me of 'Land Of Confusion' by Genesis which featured on the classic 'Now 9' album

SFW:-
James Blake - 'My Willing Heart' (2017)


I have to admit that the first reason I watched this was due to it featuring Natalie Portman, but hey, that's as good a reason right?  Well after a couple of listens it is actually a cracking track. It features on James Blake's 2016 album The Colour In Everything and the just released video was directed by Anna Rose Holmer.  It's as stylish as a Tom Ford movie and has the glorious Portman swimming in a pool and posing intimate shots in a bedroom. The video was shot right before Portman gave birth to her daughter in February.  

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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Teardrop Explodes - Bouncing Babies

WEDNESDAY CLUB

SEE YOO!
SORRY JOHNNY!



THE TEARDROP EXPLODES - Bouncing Babies

WEE JOHNNY

Wee Johnny was about maybe 5 foot 4 or 5. I met him when I played football in Jeddah for a few years. He wasn't very good., he was the guy who was always picked last when the teams were being chosen. The skins  (bare back) and the shirts  (the ones who were not bare back).  He usually always ended up in goal just like the weak kid in glasses in school who everyone picked on. But you would not pick on wee Johnny, he came from Glasgow, Maryhill and he was as hard as  girders  .wee Johnny called a spade a spade and a shovel was a shovel. You did not mess with
Wee Johnny

The football was all about the social with wee Johnny he love the  apres footy..as they say in France. Every Monday we took turns in hosting all the guys round to your bar for drinks which you had homemade and built up your stocks for the occasion. Usually there was something to eat like sandwiches or Spag bowl. When it was my turn I prepared some  stovies  It usually lasted about a couple of hours when the sensible lads returned to their families. There were always the bachelors and hard core drinkers left and always wee Johnny. How did I know?. Work it out. Wee Johnny was always the last to go. He was great company and had a good dry Glasgow sense
of humour. He talked exactly how you would imagine a Glasgow guy to talk
.
'see yooo Jimmy, al stick ma heed in ya, just get me a pint a heavy for fook sake.'

I must tell you this little story about the time wee Johnny and a few mates went Athens for a long week-end. They arrive from the dry Saudia flight and after checking into their Hotel went of course out to have a good bevy. They passed this club and were welcomed in by a pretty bar girl and were let to a table. Immediately bottles of champagne were brought to the table. They were having a great old time, some other bar girls had joined them and the champagne was flowing. Suddenly one of the guys said,  'wait a minute, how much is this costing'.  Well they got the bill and it was about £1000, allot of money in those days. They were discussing what to do when one of the guys nipped of to the loo he was accosted by two big ape like guys with white shirts and bow ties. One held him while the other gave him a couple of good punches in the guts. He returned in stress and told the other guys. The two apes and another two gorillas appeared and stood arms folded menacingly close. Wee Johnny made the decision that he was going to fight his way out.  Al have the Bastards  He was persuaded to just pay up and learn from the experience..

Anyway they paid up and the final indignity a Bar girl came with a complimentary bottle of champagne for their good custom. If you are reading this I hope you learn and always ask the cost of a drink in a strange bar or club and if possible pay after each round. Do the same with Taxies always ask the price. Good memories wee Johnny.  See Yooo!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Congos - Fisherman

WEDNESDAY CLUB

KING RAT LA LOTTE




 
THE CONGOS - Fisherman

KING RAT LA LOTTE

This started with the name, I first came with the line  'He sent all his Monkey men'  but don't think that was appropriate, if you know what I mean?. It was a choice between . 'Gangsta men or Obea men'..Obea won. It was more dangerous, more Vodoo.  Think a strong old school reggae beat and you are under the spell.
 
KING RAT LA LOTTE

We don't have da freedom
for all that we fought
there no place safe now
everywhere we caught
we scared of dat man
he send his Obea men
to come for da money
something we no got
we all scared of da man
King Rat la Lotte

King Rat La Lotte
he come take everything
King Rat La Lotte
he takes all we got
King Rat la Lotte
he come for da children
an leave em out to rot

We have ta rise up again
dis trouble gotta stop
they gotta learn respect
like old mama taught
we find a vodoo spell
inflict them Obea men
no scared of dat man
nothing that hes got
he gonna catch a bullet
King Rat La Lotte

King Rat La Lotte
he come take everything
King Rat La Lotte
he takes all we got
King Rat la Lotte
he come for da children
an leave em out to rot

Monday, 27 March 2017

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 26/03/2017 - Feist, Alt-J, Aimee Mann, Kasabian,

Tracks Of The Week

Instagram @alanreesb


Sfw:-
Feist - 'Pleasure' (2017)



It's an absolute pleasure to share this track (sorry!!) by the lovely Miss Feist. I've been patiently waiting for new material from her since her 2011 album 'Metals' (It's in my top 10 of all time!) and I popped (not pooped) with excitement when this appeared in my post box last week. It's the title track from her new album, that is out on the 28th April. There's something about her voice that makes me all gooey (no not like that, that's disgusting) and I could listen to her all night and day.  What a pleasure!

Flycasual:-
Alt-J - '3WW' (2017)


Weird is good! Dennis Hopper Blue Velvet weird! With a bit of Folk, a bit of Dub, a bit of Massive Attack and a bit of ELO, Alt-J definitely have a knack for doing things a little bit abstract and this one is most definitely up there. Not conforming to the classic verse, chorus, verse, '3WW' is like having several different songs in one and one of the most original tracks I've heard in some time. Alt-J's third album, Relaxer, from which this is the lead single is out on June 9th.

Old Pa:-
Aimee Mann - 'Patient Zero' (2017)



This is a great track from Aimee Mann. I have always liked her and seemed to have lost track of her over the past few years. She has a new album out shortly and if this is anything to go by it is gonna be good. I for one will be listening to it.

London Scouser:-
Kasabian - 'You're In Love With A Psycho' (2017)



Ever since I first heard 'LSF' I've been huge fan's of Leicester's (not Armenia's) Kasabian. This is quite mellow in comparison to some of their more recent releases. And Shellhunter please don't think it's aimed at you !!! I wonder if the rest of the album 'For Crying Out Loud' will be like this or more like the rockier stuff for which they've become known for. Either way I'm gonna listen and no doubt enjoy




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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down

WEDNESDAY CLUB

A GOOD ONE
I CHECKED MY HAT



A GOOD ONE

Suddenly lying in bed I thought of the line  'put down your roots and anchor down'  and I liked it. The little story developed pretty quickly, I got up switched on the PC, got it down before I forgot. It was really just the one take with a few small amendments. I am not sure if Hank meant Honky Tonking to mean what's in the story, but I just know he would approve.

A GOOD ONE

It's a long drive from Austin Texas
heading down for the coast
so I stopped for some refreshment
I checked my hat
and headed into a bar
it was dark coming from the sun light
the juke box was playing
some sad old country tune
I asked the barman for some whiskey
and a half beer to chase it down
out of the corner of my eye
next to me was an old guy
staring deep into his beer
he turned to me and said

if your luck finds a bad one
put on your boots and move on out
but if your luck finds a good one
put down your roots and anchor down

hey old man what's your story?
and this is what he said to me
I was married 30 years to Joney
and Joney was a good one
the best thing that ever happened to me
one day I went Honky Tonking
and she found out my cheating ways
she kicked me out from our home
and never wanted to see me again
so I hit the bottle and hit the bars
I'll tell you my friend
it's a long way down

I turned to get my drinks refreshed
and when I looked the old man was gone
was he a vision or my imagination
I know it's hard to believe this tale
but I never forgot his words of wisdom
and if I ever was near to Honky Tonking
I remembered his story well
and it stopped me crossing that fiery line

so if your luck finds you a good one
put down your roots and anchor down

and if you ever want to go Honky Tonking
make sure you cover all your tracks
make sure she doesn't find you cheating
or it won't be long before you're in a bar
staring in to your beer
and telling some other stranger
your sad and desperate tale

so if your luck finds you a good one
put down your roots and anchor down

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Merival - Calendar

TUESDAY BLUES

Do you like Singer/Songwriters/Alt-Country/Americana or Indie-Folk, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!


The sun is in my eyes...

Merival - 'Calendar' (2016)


This great track appeared from nowhere on my Spotify feed (The genius of Algorithm's).  It's by Canadian Singer/Songwriter Merival (Anna Horvarth) and is a rather lovely and appears on her 'Lovers' EP (Available via Bandcamp).   Her bandcamp page states "his album is a collection of songs written about people I loved before the age of 20. the songs were the best way I could find to process my heartbreak and confusion. I hope they can make you feel some feelings."

It is good, good stuff. Like a nice Rioja. Actually, listening to this whilst drinking a Rioja sounds like a good idea. I'm off.

By Sfw

Sunday, 19 March 2017

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 19-03-2017 - The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Proper Ornaments, Elliott Smith, Little Dragon

Tracks of the Week

Instagram @alanreesb


Flycasual:-
Little Dragon - 'High' (2017)


One of my favourite bands of recent times, Little Dragon, have a new album due out on April 14th called Season High. I just love lead singer, Yukimi Nagano's voice along with the band's low-fi, dreamy sound. Quite a contrast to the band name, so called because of Yukimi's fiery temperament.....I don't believe it. Something for me to look forward to this Spring.

Old Pa:-
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Amputation



This has been out for sometime but it is the first time I have heard it this week. Great to see the boys from East Kilbride back and running (I stayed there in the late 70's for 1 year) So I have always had a soft spot. This is pretty good with a what sounds like a familiar riff but who cares I love it.

London Scouser:-
The Proper Ornaments - 'Memories' (2016)


I'm all over this band and their 60's inspired tunes. It sounds like it could have been a hidden Beatles track from their archives. It makes me want to just relax, shut my eyes on a sun lounger and listen on repeat. The band's second album 'Foxhole' was released earlier this year and it is a must-listen-to. The song 'Cremated (Blown Away)' reminds me of 'Love' and is just as good as this track.

Sfw:-
Elliott Smith - I Don't Think I'm Ever Gonna Figure It Out


It is now the 20th anniversary of Smith's final solo album 'Either/Or' and a remastered "extended" version is now available which includes this "never released" track. I have spent the last few weeks listening through his work and 'Either/Or' is definitly (for me), his magical best and would not sound out of place if it was released yesterday. Sadly it was only in 2004, that I first started listening to him, which was only a few months before his tragic death.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Ulrika Spacek - 'Beta Male'

GIVE ME A GUITAR

Tunes that make you wanna nut your neighbour's nana



When I first saw the name Ulrika Spacek I have to admit that I was a bit put off as I thought it sounded gimmicky. But I decided to give them a try and I'm so bloody glad I did. 
The song that brought them to my attention was 'There's A Little Passing Cloud In You'. On first hearing I was mightily impressed so I checked out their 'The Album Paranoia' which was released in February 2016 and it's a corker. They sound like a 90's Grunge band and one of the heavier ones at that.


For this post I decided to choose the song 'Beta Male' which has an amazing 2 and a half minutes intro with some of the best riffage I've heard in a long time. And a close second was 'NK' 
After a spot of googling I discovered that they are a British band and hail from Reading. They've had a few incarnations (The Enigma Project & Tripwires) which I'll try and find to have a listen to. Their second album 'Modern English Decoration'  is due out this summer and I'm gonna be on it like white on rice.

Ulrika Spacek rawk... You heard it here (probably not) first




Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Eddie Cochran - Summer Time Blues

WEDNESDAY CLUB

NEVER TWO

The Hotel near the Burj Al Arab
 
EDDIE COCHRAN - Summertime Blues

NEVER TWO WITHOUT

The following 3 incidents happened in the last two weeks beginning 21st Feb 2017.

ONE

Old Ma and I were visiting Shellhunter in Dubai she was about to leave after one year, it just did not work out for her there. (broken promises) We were there to help her out packing etc and at the same time we were going to do Dubai. We just had to get to the top of the Burj Kalifa the highest building in the world. and should be considered as one of the wonders of the modern world. It is just awe inspiring and is a fabulous building. We also did the usual bus tour taking in all the famous landmarks, the Palm Island, the Burj Al Arab, the only 7 star hotel in the world. (I bet the Butler wipes your bum with Egyptian cotton hankies before spraying you botty with expensive sandalwood perfume).

One of the things we wanted to do was experience one of the famous Friday Brunches. We choose one of the most expensive at a 5 star Hotel (slumming it) The cost was about £120 per head and included all drinks except Champagne. That was another £100 pound. The sell was that it takes 40 Chefs 3 days to prepare the buffet. It was out of this world, I have never in my life experienced anything like it. Foods from all over the world superbly prepared with finesse.

We all decided to treat it like Tapas and just take small plates at a time and keep away from potatoes, rice and pasta. It was hard to get past the sushi counter, it was just to die for. On arrival you were given cava, good quality too. I then went on to white wine but had always two glasses on the table and they were always full. One the cava and the other the white wine. I did have a beautifully prepared Gin and tonic at the Gin station. The whole experience lasted about 4 hours and it was just great for people watching. All Dubai's expat finest were there in all their makeup and finery, high heels and all and that was just the guys.

This brings me to the conclusion, I remember leaving the venue and the next thing I remember was wakening in bed at 02:30 in the morning and it finished at 16:30. I had no recollection what happened as did Shellhunter (she got stuck in too) Old Ma was furious saying we were both a disgrace swaying about and I tried to kiss the waiter, a very agreeable young American lad. She has got the photo to prove it. (help). Later when I checked my wallet I was 500 dirams light. (about £100) I must have give the taxi driver 500 instead of a 100 note. (don't get pissed in Dubai)

TWO

We travelled back from Dubai and arrived in Barcelona just after 20:00 and were going to stay in an Airport Hotel for one night and catch the short flight to Alicante the next day. It was quite a long walk to the pickup point and it was not exactly clear if we were in the correct place. To cut a long story short we missed the bus and I was trying to phone the Hotel to find out the next pick up time. I suppose I was a little stressed. After the call I noticed my travel bag gone. There were two guys that I felt were suspicious and they obviously took their chance. Old Ma was in a right state I thought she was going to have a heart attack. I take these situations with a more relaxed resigned approach.

Anyway she was off on a mission to find the police and I just followed on with the cases. My travel bag had the lot, passports, flight tickets, 100 euros which I just cashed plus a lot more personal stuff. We eventually found the police station and were giving the lowdown (luckily Old Ma speaks a little Spanish) when the officer said they had found a bag and they will bring it asap. It arrived and only the 100 euros was taken and everything else was intact. Result I thought.

It was a very welcome couple of beers in the Hotel bar believe me. I have now devised a chain with two clips that can be clipped to your bag and a a trolley or almost anything. Maybe it's a case of after the horse has bolted, but you have to learn, even at my age.

THREE

Shellhunter is coming with our Grand Daughter Ripley in a couple of weeks to stay for 3/4 weeks. I have a mission to get books, toys, high chair, and car baby chair. I advertised in a local forum and got a few responses. I picked up some toys and books and was on my way down a dual carriage way to see a car baby seat. when I was stopped by the Police. It was the first time in 14 years I had been stopped. I knew they were having purges because you now had to have a Spanish driving licence. I pride myself in always having my car papers up today just for such an occasion. The Officer went through my papers with a fine comb and eventually asked me to sign his hand held computer and in broken English said you are being fined for speeding. I just smiled and said Gracias, there was no point mentioning the cars that overtook me on the outside lane. I looked at the paper the fine was 100 euros.

I carried on and met a very nice old couple and chatted to them for about an hour and bought their baby car seat for 25 euros. Well 125 euros I suppose.