Still European

Published in life, notes.

Today we finally, properly leave the European Union, and I’m still sad and angry and frustrated about it.

Brexit was sold by liars to people who had no idea what they were voting for. Successive British governments failed to make the benefits of EU membership clear to the British people; instead, there was a constant false narrative of obstruction, failure and red tape.

The opposite was true. Being part of the EU helped our economy, saved us money, and removed huge mountains of red tape.

The hopeless, pointless, self-inflicted harm caused by Brexit and its supporters won’t be easy to see at first. But over the coming years, we’ll all notice it.

We’ll all know someone who’s lost work because their employer went under, unable to sell goods to Europe under the new rules.

We’ll all watch as self-important Tory politicians bullshit their way around the world, building new trade agreements that give us a fraction of what we had before.

We’ll all have to spend more time and money organising travel in Europe. Booking your holidays will be more tedious, more annoying, more bureaucratic than ever before. Each change quite small, and not a huge burden in itself; but one of dozens of changes, piled one on top of the other. A thousand paper cuts to suffer, just because you fancy a long weekend of cycling in the Netherlands.

Everyone will complain about it. The Tory newspapers will blame “EU bureaucracy” but we’ll all know who’s really to blame: fucker Farage and bumbling Boris.

Well fuck them, and fuck Brexit.

It’s madness, it’s stupid, and one day, I hope we reverse it. I’m still European, and I’ll always vote with that thought in mind.


Radio retro

Published in notes, radio.

My home recording studio setup

One of the few good things about pandemic lockdown for me was that it gave me more time to think about radio shows, and more time to practice making them.

Consequently, I spent quite a lot of time thinking about radio this year. I wrote a short piece about it.

I’ve still got much to learn, but I’m trying to listen more closely to broadcasters whose work I enjoy and admire: Gideon Coe, Don Letts, Mary Anne Hobbs, Zaph Mann, Ben Ward, Nemone, the Late Junction team, and loads more. I listen to how they say things, how often they say things, creative ideas they have for interesting things to say.

I try to remember some of those things.

Because of the pandemic, I’m recording my radio shows at home using a very amateurish and makeshift set-up (pictured above). I don’t have the skill, time or patience to edit recordings, so I record each show as if it was live, in one take. I leave the mistakes in, just as you’d hear them if I really was in the studio.

So far, I think I’ve learned these things:

  • I need to slow down a bit, I rush from one tune to the next too much
  • I need to allow more time for prep, and make sure I have written notes to refer to. I’m not too bad at improvising my between-song patter, but sometimes I forget something really basic and find myself umming and ahhing as I desperately try to recall it
  • I need to get some advice from a technical expert to improve my set-up; having some faders would be a great improvement but I don’t know what kit to buy, or how to connect it all together

Fingers crossed, later in 2021 I’ll be able to return to a studio again and do things properly.


Up and down again

Published in photo diary, walking.

K and I went for a lockdown-appropriate walk around some bits of Bath, basically repeating my mostly up and mostly down walk from a while back.

Bath Abbey is all lit up for the festive season, in a variety of bright colours, including PINK.


Unreel #17 – 2020 retrospective

Published in radio.

Broadcast date: 28 December 2020

Listen again. Spotify playlist.

  • Baby it’s you, by London Grammar
  • Hostages, by The Howl & The Hum
  • Tried to tell me something, by Wesley Gonzalez
  • Arpeggi, by Kelly Lee Owens
  • Held down, by Laura Marling
  • Final days, by Michael Kiwanuka
  • House music all night long, by JARV IS
  • Beautiful boy, by Gillian Welch
  • Paris, by Saint Saviour
  • School, by Four Tet
  • Dream distortion, by Daniel Avery
  • Articulation, by Rival Consoles
  • .-…-..—.— by ..-..-….-..
  • August, by Taylor Swift
  • Anxiety, by IDLES
  • Cat’s pyjamas, by Caro
  • Sad cowboy, by Goat Girl
  • Gum, by Hannah’s Little Sister
  • Simulation, by Roisin Murphy
  • Meet again, by LP Giobbi
  • Old enough, by Cinder Well
  • You’ve changed I’ve changed, by Ben Watt
  • I don’t know where I’m going but that’s okay, by Sarya


Tab clear-out

Published in web.

(I have a lot of time for talking dog videos)


Mainly moss

Published in photography.

Went for a walk, looking for something to photograph. Found a variety of mosses.


Twinkly lights in Bath

Published in photography.


70s singalong special

Published in radio.

70s singalong logo

Broadcast date: 24 December 2020

Listen again. Spotify playlist.

A festive one-off show I recorded because it seemed like a good idea. The mic settings were a bit off so, keep expectations low.

  • September, by Earth Wind & Fire
  • Hot stuff, by Donna Summer
  • So lonely, by The Police
  • Radio, radio by Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • Gangsters, by The Specials
  • You should be dancing, by Bee Gees
  • Making plans for Nigel, by XTC
  • It’s too late, by Carole King
  • You’re so vain, by Carly Simon
  • Jolene, by Dolly Parton
  • Escape, by Rupert Holmes
  • I’m a believer, by Neil Diamond
  • Gotta get up, Harry Nilsson
  • Changes, by David Bowie
  • Hanging on the telephone, by Blondie
  • Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, by Stevie Wonder
  • You can get it if you really want it, Jimmy Cliff
  • Let it be, by The Beatles
  • Go your own way, by Fleetwood Mac
  • Daddy cool, by Boney M
  • Are friends electric? by Tubeway Army
  • I don’t like Mondays, by Boomtown Rats
  • Crazy little thing called love, by Queen
  • Chiquitita, by Abba
  • My sweet lord, by George Harrison
  • Don’t bring me down, by Electric Light Orchestra
  • Lola, by The Kinks
  • Nobody does it better, by Carly Simon
  • I feel love, by Donna Summer

Festive decs

Published in life.

We’ve toned down our festive decorations this year. Less bling, less pizazz; mainly just greenery from the garden, some candles, and a small scattering of baubles in appropriate places.


Unreel #16 – Unfestive

Published in radio.

Text "Unfestive" over an image of a dreary supermarket car park

A seasonal special, playing the Christmas songs you hear less often.

Broadcast date: 21 December 2020

Listen again. Spotify playlist.

  • Hark the herald angels sing (live), The Fall
  • Just like Christmas, Low
  • Rill rill, Sleigh Bells
  • Taking down the tree, Tracey Thorn & Green Gartside
  • O come O come Emmanuel, Sufjan Stevens
  • Frosty the snowman, Cocteau Twins
  • Santa’s beard, They Might Be Giants
  • It doesn’t often snow at Christmas, Pet Shop Boys
  • Little drummer boy, Dandy Warhols
  • Snow girl, Haircut 100
  • I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, Ska Santas
  • Santa Claus go straight to the ghetto, James Brown
  • It’s clichéd to be cynical at Christmas, Half Man Half Biscuit
  • White winter hymnal, Fleet Foxes
  • One Christmas wish, The Priscillas
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