Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Clash - Straight To Hell (Live)

WEDNESDAY CLUB

ROUGH SEAS

BEFORE THE STORM

THE CLASH - Straight to Hell (Live)

SPEEDBOAT HELL

We were in holiday in Phuket, Thailand  (2016)  and had arranged to spend 3 nights in one of our favorite places the beautiful Island of Phi Phi. We always go to the other side of the Island where it is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of the main central area.

This time we treated ourselves to a speed boat ride instead of the ferry. It would take us right to our hotel. We were looking forward to the experience.

To be honest it was a bit of a disappointment, it was a large speedboat which held about 20 people and with the spray we hardly saw anything. It was pretty comfortable and the trips was about an hour and a quarter.

The stay was fabulous and I will tell you about it in another day. On the return journey we were delighted to see that the speedboat was quite small and would take only about a maximum of 10 people. This was more like it.

Shellhunter was advised to sit at the back with baby Ripley and I joined her as they said it may be bumpy.

It started quite smoothly but as soon as we got out of the bay it  'started.'

We were thrown up and down and side to side and every so often the boat slammed down on a wave so hard we all jumped up from our seats. Everyone screamed and laughed nervously at first, but that soon stopped. I was terrified that myself and Shellhuntet who was holding Ripley would be shot out the back of the boat and never seen again. There was nothing to hold onto. I did manage to stretch and got hold of something that moved but was secure. I did not dare move from my position and it took me 40 minutes to have the courage to turn as my shoulder was aching. Poor Shellhunter was grey and clung to Ripley for grim death.

It was sheer hell and it just did not stop. I would describe it as the worst roller coaster ride you could imagine but it just contined going. This was just after 5 minutes. There was possibly another 1 hour and 10 minutes to go. I did not know how we were going to survive it.

Next to me on the right was a young girl with her head on her partner's lap. Her eyes were closed and she just continually sobbed. Next to her was poor Old Ma she was in an odd position just trying to hold on to a bar. She resembled a monkey clinging to branch to prevent a fall. Next to her was an Indian woman who just stared wildly in front of her. I will never forget her look of sheer anger and fear.

Opposite were two staff members who just had their eyes closed. They had probably experienced it all before. Next to them were a young couple who were all very brave at first, whooping and hollering but this soon turned to a blank stare of resignation. Next was London Scouser he just had a look of sheer terror.

Everybody eventually just knuckled down into their own world and thoughts trying to deal with it the best they could.

Could it get any worse, you bet it could?. After a particularly big bump the assistant driver shot up in the air and out of his seat to the amusement of the other staff. Just after that the staff dished out or should I say threw out waterproof jackets. I certainly could not put mine on. Not that it would have mattered anyway as I was already soaked. Suddenly a mist came down and torrential rain which was as bad as I have ever experience. This lasted for about 10 minutes and when it cleared we could see our destination.

When we eventually got our feet on  terra ferma  it was a mixture of great relief and an experience of being high and done something special. It was like some kind of adrenalin rush. If I could have, I believe I would have done a bungee jump there and then.

London Scouser was literally in tears, he had just felt powerless to help his wife and baby.

The most amazing thing of all was little Ripley fell asleep after 20 minutes and did not awake until we were on dry land . Now that is what I call believe it or not..

I don't normally complain but that night I sent a strong email of complaint. I did not want anybody else to experience what we went through. Someone could have got seriously injured or even worse. There is no way that boat should have made that journey when they were aware of the bad weather.

They did refund the costs but that was not really what I was after. I did accept it of course.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 04-12-16 - Josefin Öhrn, Busted, Felix Riebl

TRACKS OF THE WEEK


Flycasual:-
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - 'The State I'm In' (2016)


Swedish Psychadelica anyone? Of course you do! This got me instantly intrested as it sounded like the 'big sound' synonyomus of Irish DJ David Holmes, a favourite of mine, but of course with the added charm of lead singer, Josefin's sultry vocals. 'The State I'm In' is taken from her second album, Mirage, out ealrier this year.

SFW:-
Felix Riebl - 'Snowflakes' feat Emily Lubitz (2016)


If like me, you may have recently indulged in the joy of Xmas shopping chaos, Thermal pants, mulled wine and mince pies. If so, This may help lower your stress levels. Felix Riebl is a Melbourne based singer/songwriter who is also the vocalist and percussion player in 'The Cat Empire'. 'Snowflake' appears on his 2016 album, Paper Doors.

Old Pa:-
Busted - On What You're On (2016)


Of course I was aware of Busted when they first came out, I just labelled them with the likes of McFly and other Teen Bands and to be honest just dismissed them. (Musical snobbery)

I was watching something the other day and they played this track from their new album and by the time it had finished I said to myself this is not actually bad. When I heard it again a few days later I liked it and actually sought it out to hear it again. Well there you go that's off my chest.

It is really good, very soul funk, with hints of the Eighties. I love it. I want to be on what there're on! 

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Elvis Costello - Every Day I Write the Book

WEDNESDAY CLUB

BUY OLD PA'S BOOK NOW!

BUY OLD PA'S BOOK NOW! NOW!

 
ELVIS COSTELLO - Every Day I Write the Book

I have finally gone and done it, here is the link in AMAZON to my book, get it in time for Xmas, the perfect stocking filler for your Dad or Granny or loved one or self indulge yourself, you know you deserve it..

BUY! BUY! BUY!   PINK WEDNESDAY,  I have kept the price as low as I could. I have self published through Createspace and overheads are high. I get less than £1 per sale. 1,000,000 sales and Old Pa is a millionaire. 10 sales and I can get a couple of pints and a bag of crisps.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 27-11-2016 - Matt Woods, Sleaford Mods, Baloji

TRACKS OF THE WEEK



Sfw:-
Matt Woods - Nothing Less (2016)


Cornish singer/songwriter Matt Woods has this electronic-pop thing down to a T.  The fat synth and soul drenched vocals reminds me of Jack Garrett and would probably get me to busting some moves at the local discotheque (God forbid).  Don't let that put you off as it is rather good.

I am not a huge fan of Radio 1, but if they are not playing this every hour, then their musical controllers need a good telling to.  

Old Pa :-
Sleaford Mods - TCR (2016)

 

The lads are back with a new a new E.P. TCR. This is definately up there with their very best, 'LATERR'....'Elvus has left the fooking building' move on folks with the Sleaford Mods. Sorry got to go to the garage I'm going to get out that old Scalextrix set. Total Control Racing.

Flycasual:-
Baloji - 'Spoiler' (2016)


An absolute corker of a track! 'Spoiler' is taken from Baloji's current EP, 64 bits & Malachite, and still manages to effortlessly blend the old and the new, fusing traditional Congolese Rumba with Hip Hop and ting. The video actually contains 4 generations of Congolese musicians. I loved his 2011 album, Kinshasa Succursale and this is more of the same, infectious and innovative, audio peri peri houmous!


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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cat Power - Paths of Victory

WEDNESDAY CLUB

ANDY MURRAY
ARISE SIR ANDY


 
CAT POWER - Paths of Victory

ANDY MURRAY

Ever since I saw Andy Murray play as a 17 year old I just knew he would win Grand Slams and be a top tennis player. You could just tell by his attitude, the sheer outrageous talent and his will just not to get beat. 

Unfortunately for Andy he was part of an era of some of the best players ever to play the game, all being there at the same time. Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novac Djokovic. All legends of the sport.

Andy persevered, he trained hard and after many set backs and 4 defeats in Grand Slam finals he eventually won a Grand Slam and has gone on to win 2 others, which included Wimbledon twice. He also won the Olympic title and retained it again this year.

Since I retired I probably have not missed any of his matches and usually always find away to stream a match not televised. I have a special Andy T-shirt I always wear for finals. It is getting pretty worn theses days.

I was give a 3 pack of good malts when I retied in 2009 and I said I would only drink them when Andy won a Grand Slam. Looks like another pack of 3 beckons.

I was in Thailand a few weeks ago and was watching Andy win a Tournament and the loser Roberto Bautista Agut said,  'I knew he would win, as I could see the fire in his eyes'.  Andy at this stage was homing in to becoming the number one tennis player on the planet for the first time..

I wrote below one night when I awoke and was thinking about that quote. I managed to finish it last Sunday. Andy is number 1 for the year, after a unbelievable win against Djokovic.

FIRE IN HIS EYES (To Andy Murray)
You can see the fire
the fire in his eyes
you can see the fire in his eyes

nothing is going to stop him now
he's going all the way
this time he's going to make it
this time he'll see it through

you can see the fire in his eyes

he's tasted bitter loss before
never has he crossed that line
he'll do it for the folks back home
they've suffered far too long for this

you can see the fire in his eyes

soon he will touch the sun
higher than he's ever been
he waited all his life for this
it's taken all his hopes and dreams
you can see the fire in his eyes

this time he will make it
this time he will make it through
you can see the fire
the fire in his eyes

you can see the fire in his eyes

this time he's going to make
this time he'll see it through
he's give everything he's got
everything and more

Andy Murray is number 1
he gave us all his heart
       

Sunday, 13 November 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 13/11/2016 - Lambchop, Kevin Morby, A Tribe Called Quest

TRACKS OF THE WEEK



Flycasual:-
A Tribe Called Quest - 'We The People' (2016)


A new release from A Tribe Called Quest is a big deal. A really big deal considering their last album, The Love Movement, was released 16 years ago. But also bittersweet too as this album is essentially a farewell and most definitely their last, following the untimely death of Phife Dawg earlier this year from complications relating to diabetes. It's all here however, all the ATCQ's trademarks which have made them Hip Hop royalty, big basslines, the beats, the clever samples and of course the clever & unique interplay between Phife and Q-Tip. Single, 'We The People', is also a track which is on the pulse, highlighting the fear and divisions in the US, especially poignant with everything that has happened following the presidential campaign and election. A timely comeback!

A Tribe Called Quest's website

Sfw:-
Kevin Morby - Beautiful Strangers (2016)


This Dylan-esq masterpiece by Kevin Morby has had me grooving like a serial killer in a Tarantino Movie (please say that you can imagine it!) which is a bit ironic because the song is actually a protest song, with all its proceeds being donated to Everytown for Gun Safety. I'm an idiot. I know. But this is sooooo good!

Old Pa :-
Lambchop - In Care of 8675309 (2016)


Here is a track from the new Lambchop album Flotus. I could not find the album version but this will do fine. Brilliant is the only word I can find right now. I think Kurt is just fabulous and I can't wait to devote my time to the rest of this album. This is a contender.




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Friday, 11 November 2016

Leonard Cohen - R.I.P.

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen
The Sisters of Mercy


 
LEONARD COHEN - Take This Longing
It was a great shock for me this morning to wake up to the news that Leonard Cohen had passed away. I have been a great fan ever since I heard The Sisters of Mercy in the sixties. It made the same impression on me as did the hearing of Dylan for the first time. His first few albums were nothing short of brilliant and he became a 'Beautiful Obsession' to these old ears.  He was truly one of the real greats. He had just released a new album a few months ago too. Here is my personal tribute to Mr Cohen, it is a poem I did for a post a few years back. It is a true story.

I have chosen my personal favorite track to accompany this. As you will see LC. means a lot to me .

THE BLACK TRENCH COAT

This is pretty much a true story, well the first verse is. In fact I only added the next 2 verses as an afterthought. If you have ever been crossed in love you will know exactly how I felt. Pass me that bottle of Scotch please. A Special thanks to Leonard Cohen, for helping me get through that first day. In fact Mr Cohen has helped me get through many other days. Top Man.

THE BLACK TRENCH COAT

She wanted to spread her wings
(her thighs)
it was January, it was winter, it was cold
I was alone in my dungeon
the single bar heater gave little warmth
Songs of Love and Hate  arrived today
it was on repeat
a bottle was on the table
two fingers of comfort were left
the words  'Jane came by with a lock of your hair'
stung, they stung in my grieving ears
the cigarette smoke froze in the cold
the bottle stood empty
the room slowed down

I needed a drink
I slipped on my 'famous' Black Trench coat
I headed for the door, the night, the biting rain
searching for a bar, searching for anywhere
wanting her

She wanted to have her freedom
(sleep with men)
the bar was warm it was bright
I stood alone at the bar
I asked for a beer and a whiskey to chase
the juke box was busy and playing loud
it was country tunes
my empty glasses
needed a quick refresh
the words  ‘I won’t come in while he’s there
stung, they stung in my grieving ears
the light mixed with the smoke
people had no faces
voices were a drone

I needed a drink
I slipped on my 'famous' Black Trench coat
I headed for the door, the night, the biting rain
searching for a bar, searching for anywhere
wanting her

She wanted to move on
(be with him)
I entered to the sounds of life
bright lights and pounding noise
I ordered a cocktail
a Manhattan and a beer assist
White Russian, a High Ball helper
it was disco music
my empty glasses
they cried out for more
the words  ‘I give you all a boy could give
ripped, they ripped through my grieving ears
flashing lights screamed
puppets were dancing
where was oblivion?

I needed a drink
I slipped on my 'famous' Black Trench coat
I headed for the door, the night, the biting rain
searching for a bar, searching for anywhere
wanting her

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Aidan Knight - Altar Boys

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!




Aidan Knight - Altar Boys (2010)


Aidan Knight is a songwriter that I have been following for a few years.  He first came to my attention with 2012's Dream Team and I have been dabbling with him ever since - actually that sounds a bit sordid.  The other day this appeared on a random playlist (like The Matrix, the algorithm knows what I like) and I had to share it.  Are we in a computer? It certainly feels like it.

Altar Boys appears on his 2010 release Versicolour. 


By Sfw

The Dubliners - The Fields of Athenry/ Clancy Brother - Carrickfegus

WEDNESDAY CLUB

IRISH VILLAGE DUBAI

PADDY ON IRISH DRUM


 
THE DUBLINERS - The Fields of Athenry

We arrived in Dubai and were staying there foe a couple of nights before heading for Thailand. On the way back we would  'do Dubai'. Vist The Burj Khalifa, The Burj Al Arab and the Palms in the sea etc etc.

Shellhunter took us to her favorite watering hole The Irish Village which had just been voted the best Irish pub in the world. We sat outside in the shade and I was impressed with the statues of 3 Irish guys playing their instruments. I just had to join them and raise my glass. Here is what I wrote, it just had to be done.  I hope you are sitting down but the cost of a pint there was about £7. I nearly fell of my beer.

Over the next few weeks I will tell you about my adventures in Thailand, back to Dubai and finally to the amazing city of Barcelona. 


IRISH VILLAGE

The Irish village
oasis in the hot dessert sun
brick a brac, gifts, souvenirs
Molly Mcguire's knitting shop
I join the boys on the green
their stoney faces
will never change
the sounds of the Dubliners
Clancys, Planxty and all
are swirling round my head 

Father John with his music box
Donny boy played his banjo
with Paddy on Irish drum

The Irish Village
oasis in the hot dessert sun
a smile a pint of Guinness
it very near broke my bank
I'm with the boys on the green
their stony faces
will never change
Fields of Athenry, Carrifergus
Forty shades of green
are swirling round my head

Father John with his music box
Donny boy played his banjo
with Paddy on Irish drum

The Irish Village
laughter and craic was good
much of the black stuff flowing
little Ripley was jigging too
I joined a chorus with the boys
I'm sure I received
a sly little wink
the sounds of the Chieftains
Wolftones and Poges
are swirling round my head

Father John with his music box
Donny boy played his banjo
with Paddy on Irish drum

THE CLANCY BROTHERS - Carrickfergus

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Peter Gabriel - Don't Give Up

WEDNESDAY CLUB

NEVER GIVE UP
7 up


 
PERTER GABRIEL - Dont Give Up Ft Katr Bush

I'm on Holidays in Thailand and Dubai and Barcelona on the way back. Se ya all soon in November!.

This is the final part (I hope) of a trilogy about Shellhunter in in Dubai.  The Tower, Don't X-Ray Biscuits and now The Turn.  As they say 'Things can only get better'.

THE TURN

It's was not your fault
the dice was loaded
loaded from the very start
you gambled all on the turn of the di
but that dice was loaded
loaded from the very start

There is no use girl
sitting in your darkened room
there is no use girl
sitting moping around
looking into your glass of wine
you've got to get up girl
get up and get back in the game
put a little make up on
walk through theses doors girl
hold your head up high
and stand your ground
grab that dice girl
think of her as you throw
they are in the air girl
time goes to motion slow
they've hit the deck girl
they spin and turn and roll
and finally come to a stop
you keep your cool girl
but scream inside
6 and 1 is 7s up
and you know the thought of her
was the thought
that changed your luck

It's was not your fault
the dice was loaded
loaded from the very start
you gambled all on the turn of the di
but that dice was loaded
loaded from the very start

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 18/10/2016 - Hiss Golden Messenger. Wovenhand, Loyle Carner

TRACKS OF THE WEEK


Flycasual:-
Loyle Carner - 'No CD' Feat Rebel Kleff (2016)


A friend of mine recently bought Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'arby CD for 50p and spent the afternoon listening to it with his daughter. The beauty of music, playing old songs which meant so much to you growing up, to your children (whether they like it or not is another thing). But it's also the joy of browsing music stores to find those lost gems, something I sadly rarely ever do, choosing the convenience of streaming instead. Which is why Loyle Carner's 'No CD' struck a nerve, going back to a time when I used to spaff my money on CDs. I first heard Loyle Carner when he was listed as one of the BBC's Sound of 2016, releasing a number of soulful, quality Hip Hop throughout the year. With a debut album imminent, 'No CD' not only cements his 'exciting prospect' tag but perhaps the future of UK Hip Hop.

Sfw:-
Hiss Golden Messenger - Tell Her I'm Just Dancing (2016)


Hiss Golden Messenger's 'Saturday Song' was a summer favourite back in 2014. Its upbeat groove had me tapping my feet like a jackhammer breaking up a pavement. "Tell Her I'm Just Dancing" is his 2016 version. The slow-building track explodes into life like Roy Orbisons "Pretty Woman" or a Phil Spector track with its stomping beat. Add some keys as a splash of saxophone and you'll be dancing like a Strictly contestant on a Saturday night.

Old Pa :-
Wovenhand - 'All Your Waves' (2016)

 

This is from the album Star Treatment just out and I have listened to it and it is worth listening to. When this track starts you immediately think Riders of the Storm. Well I did! This is really nice track and is strait on to my holiday playlist....I should be sipping Singha beer while you listen to this. I will think of you all?

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Bob Dylan - It's Alright Ma

WEDNESDAY CLUB

MIRAGE

MIRAGE

 
BOB DYLAN - It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)



I'm on Holidays in Thailand and Dubai and Barcelona on the way back. Se ya all soon in November!.

Shellhunter in Dubai (see The Tower). There were broken promises.

DON'T X-RAY BISCUITS

Pilipino girls come over as maids
promised a future
it's for this they prayed
money to send to family back home
soon they are sad desperate alone
Master comes to claim his rights
comes to her bed almost every night

all you want all you crave
is to get back home
away from the mirage
and stop being a slave

All cheap labour here from the east
promised a future
and a good job at least
living in places you could not sell
ten to the room in a living hell
given a job sweeping the street
no days off in the screaming heat

Girl from the west her ego caressed
promised a future
and told she's the best
shopping malls towers in the sky
can't hide the facts all the lies
it's all been a mirage that you see
now you know where you want to be

all you want all you crave
is to get back home
away from the mirage
and stop being a slave

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Clarence 'Frogman' Hendry - You Only Hurt The You Love/I Don't Know Why I Love You But I Do

WEDNEDSAY CLUB

POP SONG



CLARENCE 'FROGMAN' HENRY - (I Don't Know Why) But I Do

I'm on Holidays in Thailand and Dubai and Barcelona on the way back. Se ya all soon in November!.

I was watching the X-Factor and I wondered if I could write a hit song for a Boy band or a Girl Band. It would of course have to be about love and make me pots and pots of money. . It would also have to be quite simple and catchy. Here goes :

MY WINDOW

Its easy to live in sadness
and always feeling blue
its easy to live in darkness
not let the sun come thru
its easy to cry myself to sleep
its easy to think of you

if I could look through my window
and see you smile at me
if I could look through my window
and see you take my hand

then I would believe in miracles
and believe in you my love

Its easy to be very lonely
there's nothing I can do
its easy to say I'm alright
but I know that its untrue
its easy to lie awake at night
its easy to think of you

if I could look through my window
and see you in my arms
if I could look through my window
and feel all of your love

then I would believe in miracles
and believe in you my love

I will wait forever for you Julianne (Julian)
I will wait forever my Julianne
 
CLARENCE 'FROGMAN' HENRY - You Always Hurt The One You Love

Sunday, 9 October 2016

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 09-10-16 - The Veils, The Frightnrs, Faris, Vanishing Life,

TRACKS OF THE WEEK


London Scouser:
The Veils - 'Low Lays The Devil' (2016)


Considering they have been around since 2001, I didn't think I had heard of The Veils before. After a spot of Googling I discovered I had heard and very much liked one of their tracks from back in 2003 'Lavinia'. However this new track taken from the album 'Total Depravity' is different but equally enjoyable. For a start it's more upbeat and sounds to me like it could have been made back in the 70's. The album has been part produced by El-P of Run the Jewels who was mentioned a couple of weeks back by Flycasual. But my favourite bit of related trivia is that lead singer Finn Andrews has been cast in the new series of probably my favourite ever TV show, Twin Peaks.

Flycasual:-
Faris - Oulhawen Win Tidit (2016)



Desert wind in my face, sand in my eyes, after a long while, my love affair with the Desert Blues is back....it wasn't you it was me. I came across this gem of a track and haven't looked back since, catching up with a glut of tracks from a number of artists. Faris Amine, is a Touareg musician who has played with the likes of Tinariwen, Terakaft and more recently Ben Harper and Calexico. With that kind of CV, I checked out his debut album, Mississippi To Sahara, and wasn't to be disappointed with the atmospheric, striped down Blues on offer. It's well worth your time.

Caravan over to Faris' website here.... 

Sfw:-
Vanishing Life - Exile (2016)


Vanishing Life are a Punk Supergroup with members of Rival Schools/Rise Against/..And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. It's a riproaring, three and a half minutes of rock swagger that hits you like a double espresso at breakfast. I love the riffs and the 'lazyness' of the vocals - it sounds effortless.

Their first LP, 'Surveillance', is out November 11 on Dine Alone Records.

This came out on Record Store Day back in April and I have my buddy Stu to thank for it - he also produced it! I'm just gutted that it took months to listen to it! 

Vocals/guitars – Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools) 
Guitars – Zach Blair (Rise Against) 
Bass – Autry Fulbright (…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) 
Drums – Jamie Miller (Bad Religion, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead)


Old Pa :-
The Frightnrs - All My Tears (2016)

 

The Frightnrs' debut album, Nothing More To Say, is out now! Not normally thing but I kind of like this and there is a niche in the market for this 'quality' soft reggae. Worth checking out.

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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Nine Inch Nails - Hurt

WEDNESDAY CLUB

CAUGHT BY PIRATES
A VARAN

NINE INCH NAILS - Hurt

SRI LANKA 2

We had not been on holiday for a few years as we were doing our house up in the U.K.  We managed to secure a cheap flight on Sri Lanka Airlines and we booked a room in Bentota Beach where we had stayed previously.

We arrive very early and got to the hotel and it was too soon to get into our room. We decided to take a walk on the beach. A guy came up to us and said he worked for the hotel and was the  'Mahout.'  who looked after Monique the elephant. We met Monique on a previous trip and Shellhunter became friends with her. The guy said he would take us to meet her and we were of course delighted.

We walked quite a long way and were soon away from civilization with no people around. I said this is too far and we would like to go back. The guy said it was just round the next bend. Sure enough there was Monique. She was tied to a tree next to the river and the mangroves. It was great to see her and I am sure she recognisesd us. After all they never forget, do they? There was a boat there with 3 men in the boat. Our guide said he will take us to place in the mangroves where there is a large Varan  (Large Monitor Lizard).  They were all smiling and we got into the boat.

After a few minutes I started to feel a bit uneasy. What on earth were we thinking?. The 4 men suddenly looked a bit menacing and I noticed that their eyes were blood shot, a sure sign they were high on  'Toddy'  the local strong drink.

I could see Old Ma was also beginning to feel uneasy. I said to her I am going to tell them to turn and go back. If there is any problem and things turn nasty, I will take the three men and you will have to deal with the original guy. If it comes to it we will try and jump over board and swim for shore.

I said we want to go back and they were not happy. I asked again in my strongest voice without trying to provoke. They reluctantly turned the boat and headed back. We got out very quickly and they demanded money for the trip. I had only the equivalent of about £5 pounds so I handed it to them and we quickly almost ran our way back to the Hotel. It was a terrifying experience.

We were  'supposedly experienced'  travelers. How could we have been so stupid. Another lesson learned.