Albums and Writers

Rolling stone magazine compared and listed their top 100 artists of all time, ranging from “Talking Heads” at 100 all the way to number one,  who are ,rather predictably “The Beatles”

They asked stars from current rock groups to write a piece about their idols, except for Little Richard who wrote about himself.

 

For The Beatles appreciation, written by Elvis Costello, a phrase hits you in the middle of the mind. Costello says the songs of The Beatles aren’t their songs any more, but everybody”s songs. The crowd’s reaction is one of the collective unconscious.

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-artists-of-all-time-19691231/the-beatles-20110420

 

This got me thinking. Are there books like this, which aren’t the author’s anymore, but everyone’s?

I thought about “1984” by George Orwell. Or “Great Expectations” by Dickens. Or even “Hamlet” by Shakespeare. Or perhaps works like The Bible, The Qur’an or other religious works. Books which don’t belong to the author, rather to everyone.

Generally I’m not a big fan of top 100 things as Its rather subjective, except for the best in any field. Most people would agree that The Beatles were the best pop group. Best artist of all time? I’m not so sure. It almost seems to say ‘There is no point trying to do any better, because  you can’t’  but I think other people did and will do. Besides, the list forgets Classical music. It’s  rather like making a list of best painters of all time, and then just including painters since 1950.

Writers for everyone? Songs for everyone? Are we more likely to hear someone humming ‘Penny Lane’ or quoting a poem or a passage from a long lost tome. Doesn’t it all boil down to the same in the end?

‘The boy stood on the burning deck’ or ‘Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes’

What are the best books anyway?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books

lists the best selling books, but if they are the best, its debatable. And some books aren’t on the list, like The Qur’an, The Bible or even the Ikea catalog.

Well then, how about most influential books?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_Most_Influential_Books_Ever_Written

 

or the best books

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_Best_Books_of_All_Time

 

I’ve a feeling I could trawl through theses lists, and come out at the end with a list of the 100 lists.

Is it the case then?

Songs are just books to music? Or is it books that get put to music to make songs?

The best songs are also written about on Rolling Stone,

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-500-greatest-songs-of-all-time-20110407/bob-dylan-like-a-rolling-stone-20110516

along with lists of best albums, best Beatles songs etc.

In the end, you are none the wiser, and still unswayed, sticking with your opinion, and your ideas. And still quoting Larkin instead of McCartney.

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The Megalith Portals

Here is the first chapter from my book ‘The megalith Portals’

The Megalith portals
Chapter 1
The misty roads were shaped into a tunnel by the gnarled old trees, their roots like cats claws, gripping the pale mud, almost white, like knuckles gripping the wheel of a run-away car, chalked up by the crumbling bed rock, yet buried by the passage of feet.
Roads that had measured the landscape for many generations, measuring the miles, the time and the changes. Around the chalk hills were dotted markers in time, standing stones of various ages, long barrows , half eroded and half destroyed, stone circles fallen into ruin or disrepair, markers in fields of death , life, ownership and people. The winding tree lined roads, banked, as if the road had decided to settle itself into the chalk, worn down by foot and by hoof, trod by pilgrim, rutted by cart and wheel. People travelling to and from villages, towns, cities, continents. People who plied a trade, or who had a religious duty. Pilgrims or Romans, Saxons or Vikings, traders or traffickers, holy men or criminals, slaves and masters, all walking somewhere, nowhere.
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve lived near Neolithic monuments, drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Are they markers on the communication routes or pointers to something else?

I was never really sure until that afternoon in the pub.

I hadn’t been driving very long, when I got my first car, an old Renault 12. I can’t have been older than twenty. It was a simple car, not sexy. I’d driven down to the pub to see some friends.
A summers afternoon, in the pub garden, drinking shandy. We’d been told not to drink too much by everyone, as we were driving.
It was a harmless conversation in the pub, in the summer, with friends. Talk of summer sports, summer girls and love sickness, summer holidays, spent without our folks for the first time, the talk of young men. Now I think back to the meeting, there must have been a group of us, but how many I couldn’t say.
The friend that told me the story wasn’t a close friend, I can’t remember his name, but his face and the conversation are etched in my memory.
He told me of the secret and the stories. He told me of the roads.

Of course, as children, our father had shown us the roads, driven down them in long forgotten and long sold cars, sailing down the hills on bright mornings. We were small children, excited, on the back seat of life.

Why not buy it here

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The Lighthouse

Here is the first chapter from my book, The Lighthouse

Inspector Partridge mysteries. The Lighthouse murders
Prologue

I was working in Essex when the call came from the chief.
‘We have a murder in Chatham for you Partridge. You’re a local man so it’s down to you.
I can tell you who the victim is, but be aware that the parents want no publicity, but in a murder case that’s impossible. You’ll have to get them to play ball, and to help them coast through the nightmare journey to come. The local press won’t play ball on the publicity front anyway, so you’ll just have to hold a press conference and tell them the detail. The families name is Green, and the father of the victim is the local Mayor.’
‘The Mayor’s family?’ but I was speaking to no-one. I thought. Now I was guessing, as the chief had rung off.

I phoned the parents on the hands free set and told them that this deal was going to be done the hard way, and publicity could be a good thing for the case, but to remain in the background and avoid giving interviews to the press unless we’d briefed them beforehand.
Who knows I thought, in murder cases, the family is often implicated.
The truth of the matter was that Tanya Green had been a candidate for the local beauty queen. I drove down to the county of Kent, back thirty years, back home. If any place could be called ‘home’ anymore.
I was born in Newcastle, and our family had tagged along with our fathers jobs, moving from Durham and then to Lincoln, Sittingbourne and finally the Medway towns. Then I’d moved to Ashford and finally left the country. Coming back had been a jolt, and finding my old stomping grounds would be another.

‘You’re too bloody good’ my lover said ‘but nobody’s irreplaceable’

I left the flat, lonely and tired. I was dog tired, and illness had taken its toll. I knew that this could be one of the last cases I took. The bags under my eyes were stinging, and the feelings inside of me were of freewheeling towards the end.

‘Nobody’s irreplaceable’ how ironic. Try telling that to Tanya Green’s parents.

Why not buy it here………

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Millenium 8

Millenium eights
Millenium eights
A critique of sport.
Millenium eights is played on a field as shown in diagram one. Millenium eights is based on the millennium and the significance of the number 8. I have endeavored to keep the cost of the game and equipment to a minimum.
The game is not complex and can be understood and played and enjoyed by all.
The sport is a non-contact sport, with emphasis on skills rather than power.
Here are the rules.
Rule 1
Players in a team.
There are 8 players in a team. To play the game you need up to 8 teams, but it can be played with just two teams.
Each team has a playing area and a referee. The referee is independent, and the decision of the referee is final.
Rule 2
Play
Play is on a pitch as shown in figures 1 and 1A. Play lasts for 80 minutes, divided into 8 ten minute sections.
There is a two minute rest period between each section of play, making the total playing time 94 minutes.
M81

M82

Colours
Each team plays in a different colour scheme to avoid confusion. Teams can decide on any single colour, but no two tone, stripes or flashes or checks are to be used.

m8
The ball
Play is with a ball corresponding to the team’s colour. A red team therefore play with a red ball.
A standard association football is used for play. Play starts at the beginning of each section of ten minutes on the line shown in figure 1

Goals
Goals are scored my throwing or kicking or launching the ball via any part of the body into the air and into the goal tube(figure 2A) M83and catching the same ball cleanly as it exits the goal tube. Each side has 2 goal tubes in its play area, one for its own colour, one for all the other colours.
Goal tubes
The goal tubes are 8 meters high on entrance and 4 meters high on exit. The tube diameter is twice the size of a standard association football. Tubes are made of netting and supported by hoops, much like basketball. They have a head board, as in basketball. See figure 2A

Dropping the ball
If the ball is dropped, or deemed to have been dropped by the referee, it is handed to the opposing team. If a ball leaves the playing area, any player from any opposing team may try to claim the ball, by moving on the dead ball area.
M81

Players
Any player may attempt a goal, but only the catcher can catch the ball as it exits.
There is one catcher per team. He/She wears a big C on their shirt.
It’s a mixed sex sport, teams must have both sexes to count.
Players may leave their own segment in an attempt to gain access to other team’s balls, in any ten minute section of play. They must move along the dead ball area.
Players men: Shorts, socks, underwear, trainers, T shirts.
Players equipment woman : T Shirts , skirt or shorts,, socks, trainers, underwear.
Object
The object of the game is to score as many goals as possible in the time allowed, either with your own colour ball, or with that of an opposing team’s ball. Goals can be scored with any or all available balls in play.
Goals with your own colour score 1 point, with an opposing team’s colour, goals score 8 points.
Goals are scored by throwing the ball so it enters the correct goal tube and then by catching it as it exits. A goal only counts for a clean entrance, exit and catch.

The team with the most goals after each ten minute section wins. The points are awarded thus:
Winning team 8 points
Second 7 points
Third 6 points
Fourth 5 points
Fifth 4 points
Sixth 3 points
Seventh 2 points
Eighth 1 point
Thus it’s possible to win a maximum of 64 points. Teams who win the first section of play haven’t won the match.Its the team with the most points at the end of the 8 time periods that wins.

Cost
It costs minimum 1 euro per player to play this game, with no maximum. However, all players in all teams must pay the same amount. The lowest figure suggested by any team will be the one adopted by all teams. Bids are made in sealed envelopes,(envelopes the same colour as the team) handed to the referees before play starts. This is so that the poorest can play the game.
Prizes
The entry fee is used by organizers to pay the winning team a prize. The prizes are awarded thus:

20 % goes to the games inventor.
30% goes to the winning team.
20% euros goes to the referees.
20% to second place team.
10% third place.
A season lasts 8 games. The winning team from the end of the season gets a prize of 10% of the monies allocated to the games inventor.

Sin BIN
Any player touching another player, or pushing or breaking any rules will have to sit out for 8 minutes in the sin bin. They get a yellow card. If a player gets two yellow cards, they are out for the rest of the game.

Substitutes
A substitute is allowed. They can be used whenever, noting the limit below ,and replace another team player. A team must indicate to the referee that they wish to use a substitute. The substitute can be used a maximum of 8 times (IE once per section of play) to replace any other player.

Registration
Team’s names, addresses, and members are to be logged onto the official web site. Teams must notify the website of the dates and participants and their colours for and all any matches, and make the payments so that the prizes and officials can be paid.

Blogvel. is a blog? is it a novel? An attempt at a novel through serialization .


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Ah who am I kidding? Just read it anyway. As you scroll down, try to wipe out the image of me holding out an empty, chipped tin cup for money from your mind. Its just your over-active imagination. Probably.You’d better donate just in case, huh? 
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The Megalith portals


The misty roads were shaped into a tunnel by the gnarled old trees, their roots like cats claws, gripping the pale mud, almost white, like knuckles gripping the wheel of a run-away car, chalked up by the crumbling bed rock, yet buried by the passage of feet.
Roads that had measured the landscape for many generations, measuring the miles, the time and the changes. Around the chalk hills were dotted markers in time, standing stones of various ages, long barrows, half eroded and half destroyed, stone circles fallen into ruin or disrepair, markers in fields of death ,life, ownership and people. The winding tree lined roads, banked, as if the road had decided to settle itself into the chalk, worn down by foot and by hoof, trod by pilgrim, rutted by cart and wheel. People travelling to and from villages, towns, cities, continents. People with a trade or a religious purpose. Pilgrims or Romans, Saxons or Vikings, traders or traffickers, holy men or criminals, slaves and masters, all walking somewhere, nowhere. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve lived near Neolithic monuments, drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Are they markers on the communication routes or pointers to something else?

I was never really sure until that afternoon in the pub.

I hadn’t been driving very long, when I got my first car, an old Renault 12. I can’t have been older than twenty. It was a simple car, not sexy. I’d driven down to the pub to see some friends.
A summers afternoon, in the pub garden, drinking shandy. We’d been told not to drink too much by everyone, as we were driving.
It was a harmless conversation in the pub, in the summer, with friends. Talk of summer sports, summer girls and love sickness, summer holidays, spent without our folks for the first time, the talk of young men. Now I think back to the meeting, there must have been a group of us, but how many I couldn’t say.
The friend that told me the story wasn’t a close friend, I can’t remember his name, but his face and the conversation are etched in my memory.
He told me of the secret and the stories. He told me of the roads.

Of course, as children, our father had shown us the roads, driven down them in long forgotten and long sold cars, sailing down the hills on bright mornings. We were small children, excited, on the back seat of life. 



Industrial heritage of Western France

Not so very long ago, Western France was a hotbed of Industry and had large factories employing vast numbers of workers.
Lets have a look at some famous examples and try to colour them .

Angers is today a small town , with small and medium firms making products as varied as disc brakes and card printers, as well as Cointreau and Giffard who make the famous liquors. But not so long ago there was an enormous factory, Bessoneau, who employed 10,000 workers in 1920 and which was spread over 25 hectares on one site and 59 for the total  produced 80 tonnes of finished product per week. The factory had its own train station!



The tour à plomb  and mills at Angers. Carte postale, Arch. mun. Angers, 4 Fi 773.The next Angers industry I’d like to look at is the Lead production tower, The first factory was , unbelievably, in the Saint-Aubin, tower, now a classified monument in Angers. From  1822 to 1904, lead was melted and formed here. However,there were other lead towers in the town.One at the end of  Bout-du-Monde, next to the castle, where there is a long drop, and the second  at la Roche-de-Mûrs. Making lead shot requires a great height, to drop the molten lead down into a big cooling pool at the bottom. So workers would have had to carry the lead up some 30 meters, melt it and then ladle it into the containers which then dripped it down to make the lead shots….you needed arms of steel and legs of iron, as well as a head for heights. .

At the beginning, business was good, and other companies came . A match factory, a quick lime kiln, and even a canal was created and this zone became  a port, called  Port Ayrault   .
However, the Saint-Aubin tower was then classed as a monument, so the owners built a new tower.



La tour à plomb, huile sur toile, Alexis Mérodack-Jeaneau. Coll. part.
People will tell you that the tower was 45 meters high, but the architects drawing say 38 meters !
From the Courrier d’ Ouest newspaper and from the municipal web site from where the photos on this blog are taken,,(in French here) I can say the following: Work began at 4.30, by making a huge fire under a cauldron, in which  were placed lead ignots of 50KG each. Then the temperature would climb to 300 °C The lead was white hot, blue hot. Antimony and arsenic and graphite were added, for hardness, and shine . then using ladels, lead was placed into huge strainers, 12 meters in diameter.Six tons of lead per day, by hand, using ladels.
.
The laboratory  Philippe Cayla, 1984.
Lead was toxic, and of course it was a dangerous, hot, hard sweaty job. Lead production waned, and stopped in 1972
The tower was demolished in 24th July 1984. Today, in France you can see a similar tower, in Couëron.(here, in French)
also here in French.

One last factory to talk about is the LU  factory.
Another town in a town, with thousands of employees and thousands of square meters, and still producing today, all be it it more modern and cleaner location.
Unlike Bessoneau, where pay and conditions were bad, conditions and pay here were not so bad.However, Bessaneau had an infirmary, and so did Lu, so not all bad.
Lu now belongs to Kraft foods!