1967- Music in My Life.

This was all spired by a funny, entertaining and effervescent Gwin over at seekthebestblog. As from a dozen other things going on over there, Gwin runs this series of her Jams from years go by; each with an episode from her past in the year in question.

Gwin convinced me to reply in kind. But I was stuck for a place to start (well, I likes a nice prevarication). Anyways Gwin has led me back to 1967. By then I was on my third year of really listening to music (best reception for me- Radio Luxembourg!). It’s gone down as The Summer of Love, and naturally there was some pretty dire opportunistic gunk being produced which unhappily reached the charts, but there was some cheerful, sunny and decent work too! So here we go…

Gwin, for you.


Windy- By The Association.

Six-piece multi-instrumental and harmony band put of California (and thereabouts). Made it in the charts with a wholesome cheerful song ‘Along Comes Mary’ (ahem; Mary=Mary Jane= Marijuana….ooops older generation missed that reference). ‘Windy’ is a bright and breezy song about a happy, cheery, friendly flower-power girl being nice to everyone as she walks down a city street. Some lively instrumental breaks and great harmonies (and never mind the British connotation for her name). It even made angst ridden 16-year-old me happy. (I was a miserable little toe-rag) 




Tramp -Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

So I attended an all-boys grammar school (that’s high school USA), as you did in the 1960s. There were those who followed ‘pop music (Uhh!). There were those (usual 15-16) who agonised so they followed Dylan, The Byrds etc. Of course there were churches of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. And there were the R&B and Blues lads who followed all things Tamala Motown, Atlantic & Stax (and had short hair),

Anyway I digress, many lads worshipped Otis Redding as simply The Best, so I used to pick up a lot by being around them.

I loved this one for the slow steady beat and the whole conversation going on between the two. Otis is being smooth, but it sounds as if Carla is just not all that convinced noway, nohow. Not a song you’d play to girls if you had ‘intentions’, but just the sort when you sat together and shared cigarettes (gosh! Horror!) and complained about parents, teachers and the lousy music played by The BBC, made you feel a bit older, a bit more savvy.




The Letter – By The Box Tops

The members of the Box Tops had been around for a few years when they bought in Alex Chilton. The driving beat and the growling voice (from an eighteen-year-old no less), was enough to grab attention. It only lasted two minutes, but well you could lift up that dinky little thingamajig which held the records in place over the turn-table and keep on playing it on repeat until elders imposed. What was there not to like? A lad has just received a letter from his girl who needs him and he’s going to get to her come hell or high water. What impressed 16 year old wouldn’t want to do the same?



Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen

Actually this is a cheat. It came out in 1963, and had it not been for Full Metal Jacket might have faded away. This is just a classic bit of early 1960s lunacy, no message really just get up and goof around! Steve Wahrer was drummer and vocalist and the TV company wanted to see him do the dance (I think it was called The Comedian or The Comic), which is why we don’t get to see the band. And you know the best thing about this, not only would it have driven my parents insane, but judging by Youtube, it annoys the hell out of some of the younger generation who go in for ‘serious’ modern music; that is so cool. I can do the song, but never dared tried the dance!


Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues

The Moody Blues had been around for two-three years with ‘Go Now’ and some other very haunting work. Then they got in the studio and not only invented The Concept Album (One day set to music) but also Prog Rock. These days sad 40 something DJs knock the Moody Blues as pretentious in the faint hope they can convince teens and 20 somethings how cool they the DJs are. And yet Nights in White Satin with its haunting lyrics of love lost, deep melodic music and heart-aching singing by Justin Heyward still sells, and that flute interlude, oh my!! Just what a 16 years old practicing on being gloomy and introspective needed




Here Comes My Baby by The Tremeloes

So who liked going to school?…..Really? No kidding. Well lucky ol’ you! But if there was one song which could get me feeling nearly cheerful upon a school morning, it was this one by Cat Stevens worked by a veteran band The Tremeloes. Hand clapping, whistling, cheering, laughing, eeeh-hawing made what was supposed to be a sad ditty about a guy looking at the girl he was never going to get, into a rip-roaring ‘Ahh, what the hell!’ classic. I love those chances of pace in the middle, one of the few bits of rhythm I can slap out on my legs.

(They were once Brian Poole and the Tremeloes….Brian left for a solo career, felt he could do better. He didn’t, they did)

Well, that’s my choice from 1967.

Yep, no Rolling Stones, Beatles, Doors or suchwhich. No, you see I was practicing to be awkward and allegedly socialist & sophisticated, so things like Sergeant Pepper and Satanic Majesties were simply as far as I was concerned commercial ploys on a grand scale ; in a year’s time I could come across The Velvet Underground and my insufferable misery status was assured.

Which is why I chose some of the more upbeat and positive tracks, after all who needs dollops of angst?


The Patchwork Warriors #8

Some authors of Fantasy novels have a knack of dropping the reader, slam-bam-wham into the middle of the action and building up the world as the reader is sped along through all sorts of wonderful mayhem.

Now if I try that I get so wrapped up in all the fun that the plot and continuity tend to go flying out the window with the next deservingly slaughtered villain. So, I opt for the slow-burn build-up, gives me a chance to get familiar with the place and the folk! Thus the next two episodes have us getting to know a bit more about the way Karlyn & Meradat work and some theological discussion…




A custodian upon the road leading a horse carrying someone who was draped, gagged and bound was not a sigh an ordinary person would care to see, but by the same token they would have not been surprised. This ominous reminder of the sterner arm of The Ecclesiastes made travel easier as folk would naturally try and distance themselves from the apprehended wretch.

This wretch loudly snoring did take something away from the grimness, and Meradat was glad the road was a lonely one. Maybe rumours had spread quickly and of course no one wanted to meet a custodian; for most custodians maintained true innocence would only be found in the very, very young. He glanced back at the girl; he had not encountered anyone before who would consider their present circumstance as conducive to a sound sleep. Currently he did not think her insane, but his opinion was divided; she may have been born an incorrigible mischief or there again she could be one who was aggrieved with the world and was set to vex it as a matter of principal. As for her claim to be able to scent out transgressors through the Stommigheid this was still to be fully proven. He had hoped the exercise in discomfort would lower her guard and reveal some sort of truth; her snoring was lowering his expectations.

They turned a bend in the road; a farmer leading a horse and cart looked up in surprise, then trepidation, and made to hurry by. The horse bred for labour and not adventure was not disposed to, resulting in the poor fellow mumbling a mixture prayers and pious greetings to Meradat, much familiar with the pattern. All might have gone reasonably well save that as the man drew alongside the girl, her head suddenly jerked up. Sighting another hapless victim, she began with an unhinged leering then assailing him with muffled dire warnings and accusations

“Heretic!” swiftly boomed Meradat by way of an explanation.

The farmer gabbled something but since Karlyn had upset the horse by her sudden actions, he had other problems.

To avoid any further ill-matched interludes Meradat set his small train into a canter off of the road and into the nearest copse. As soon as they had stopped Karlyn wriggled and slithered off of the horse, and despite being bound hands and feet managed to land to a crouch. Once seated she proceeded to bite at the gag, tearing parts into her mouth and subsequently spitting them out. Upon reducing the gag to rags she set her teeth to the hand ropes.

“That will not be necessary,” Meradat said, hoping to inform her of his displeasure at such excess. However, he noted she had managed by feral glee to free her hands and so able to be attending to the leg restraints. She was obviously quite adept at such manoeuvres. Then judging by her grin, and springing to her feet with an accentuated arm stretching yawn it appeared she’d seen the whole business as another sort of jolly game.

“Ooooh I am stiff!” surrendering that much to normality she peered down the direction from which they had come, and called back in the direction of the vanished farmer “Sorry I scared you little horsey!” This courtesy applied she commenced to bounce up and down on her feet explaining she needed to get them mobile again.

Her series of peripatetic, agile and perverse displays left him wondering if she had had some training, or whether this was another of the apparent natural gift. If the former was the case, then maybe there could be some foundation to ClnMyla’s concerns over some sort of plot to discredit. At least he would know how to handle the business. If the latter were so, there were many questions. Most of which may never be answered.


“Can I be a Gervalon all the time?” she asked over a very functional and cold supper of bread and diluted wine, and not seeming to worry too much that he would not allow any fire for secrecy’s sake.

“No. They are serious and intense about their obstinate and heretical beliefs. They are not given to pulling faces or making odd noises. The guise would not bear examination,”

“Pity. It’s fun to scare people,” She pondered “So can I be an apprentice Custodian?” not appearing to be unsettled by Meradat scornful disapproval she continued “I could say I was learning to torture people,”

“There are no apprentices! The post is supposed to be obtained after many years of trustworthy and diligent service as a translator, seen to be willing to face danger in the Lord God’s name,”

“Well don’t you have assistants to do horrible things to hairy-tiks?”

“Her-ra-tics! And having assistants of such employ is not relevant or conducive to this commission. As I explained before we left that wretched town, it is hoped you are tasked by the Lord God to use your abilities to seek out this miscreant of the Jordisk,”

Karlyn examined the remains of the chunk of bread giving the appearance of thus seeking a certain insight into the nature of things.

“Why can’t the Lord God, do it himself? He’s got all sorts of powers. Stands to reason he could-“

“It is not for us to question!” Meradat intoned with a practiced ease of many years of responding to the heretical, ill-informed or down right ridiculous. However, she might have to be placed under a new category.

Karlyn responded with a shrug and an accompanying face.

“Suits me. Don’t see why he should have all the fun anyhow,”

“It is not fun Karlyn Nahtinee! Our world, The Lord God’s Jewel, is bastion against realms of malice, whose wretched inhabitants are but slaves to the natures of those realms. We must ever guard against the subtle tydes and atmospheres which seep in due to the vanities of the Jordisk and the machinations of those dabblers in blasphemies. All can be prey unless vigilant,”

“If it being so, shouldn’t I be smelling all sorts of things all sorts of times?”

          Meradat detected some degree of scepticism in her question.

“I said they were subtle and they do seep,”

“Sometimes I smell nice things. Those tides-“

“Tydes- there is a difference!”

“ TY- dez! I think they may waft along and sometimes bring good folk together. Not much, but sometimes,”

Having thus said her outrage she rose, brushing off crumbs and rural detritus, sniffing the air as she did, eyes growing wide, then as she turned slowly from, one direction to another, her attention set on some far distance.

“S’far away, but it’s there. Definitely there. S’ a smell of clean oil on a sharp blade,” she moved away, soft footed towards the tree setting one foot and both hands on the trunk “You do what you got to do Custodian, then get some sleep. I’ll be awake, up here,” she began to clamber “Talking to the shiny stars and waiting for whatever the breezes bring me,”

He correctly concluded there was little to be gained in trying to have a theological or even liturgical discussion with someone who was at the top of a tall tree.

The Patchwork Warriors # 1

The Patchwork Warriors #2

The Patchwork Warriors#3

The Patchwork Warriors # 4

The Patchwork Warriors # 5

The Patchwork Warriors #6

The Patchwork Warriors # 7




‘Being Awake – Being Free – Being One’ by Tiffany Belle Harper (plus video …)

Read and hold these words close for the next time some ‘well-known’ person makes a crass remark which hurts you

Tiffany Belle Harper

A person of ‘primarily’ ego once said, ‘people who reveal their lives like an open wound want to be famous.’

This is such a cruel and ignorant remark. There are folk all around the world that feel isolated some ‘literally’ incarceration.

If we did not share our true ‘self’ with words, art, imagery etc, what would we have?

That’s what I love about the blogging community. It’s a place to find support, confidence and even new friendships. Life here is very short, we should never fear hiding our inhibitions, dreams, fears and goals. ‘We are one’ and I believe it’s a brave move to open our hearts and contribute our fears, thoughts, hopes and aspirations. During these uncertain times – it’s not about ‘faking’ the reality of how tough life can be with a conceited smugness and bravado.

I know the current state of animal abuse and acts of hatred…

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The Potent Word

Read and contemplate on folks

The PBS Blog

Can I spit poison into your life just by speaking words into your skin? Or can I speak life into your life by cultivating peace into your heart? Words. So important and potent, life threatening and life creating. We must never forget the power of words, their motives and intentions, their power and potency. I marvel at how easily we curse one another. Every day there is someone trying to clean up the blood they spilled by gossiping behind someone’s back, or begging for wishful deaths to go back to its chamber of meaning. Never tell someone you wish they’d leave this earth, or that you hate their guts. You may indeed be charged with murder before the words escape your mouth. I often wonder why I have taken on the task of this kind of bravery, to become a professor of words. To become part of a community where…

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I Am Calling THEM Out!!

I don’t know how it is where you live or come from, but the land of my birth, preachers (pregethwr in welsh- sometimes pronounced in South Wales as ‘pre-geth-ar’)  particularly in the Methodists or Baptist churches had a pretty formidable reputation for letting rip upon Injustice and attendant Sins

There are times when you just have to let rip….

2 Dead in Fort Meyers

3 Dead in Baton Rogue

94 Dead in Nice

9 Dead in Munich Bavaria

17 Injured in Ansbach, Bavaria

1 killed 3 Injured in Retulingen, Bavaria

1 priest killed at Mass in Rouen

In Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan they are dying in scores every week.

Hate crime rose in the UK after the EU referendum

Losers arrested in the UK for death and racist threats against MPs

Hate is stalking the lands and in words of an old Credence Clearwater Revival song ‘The Devil is on the Loose’

Well the perpetrators are mostly dead or are being hunted down, and the evidence is that most of them were not stone-cold killers but disturbed and warped by Hate-Mongers. (Oh yeh the losers are moping into court wishing their mummy was with them)

Yes, The Hate-Mongers, those who rage and live off of the hate vibes they can generate from others.

ISIS is beyond redemption; it is locked into its fanatical blinkered view and would only be satisfied when all have bowed to its ideology. It has bought into the War Logic, and the War Logic will consume it, for that is The Logic of War, you start one and it will finish you.

So this is not directed to ISIS or the others who peddle the fanatical ideologies of the nihilistic totalitarians. Maybe higher powers beyond mortals will open their eyes before they are consumed.

No, I’m calling out others, who sit in the democratic arena and fulminate, insulating themselves in a sanctimonious little bubble of self-righteous hypocrisy, who would be outraged at the plain simple assertions you are either forging hate or you are appeasing its smiths.

I am calling out the UK Labour Party:

You have failed to rein in the prejudiced and the blinkered who have been allowed to nurture anti-Semitic views under the fashionable guise of apparently being concerned about Palestinians, as if a jolly little protest march, a holier-than-thou petition or expressions of outrage on Facebook is going to help anyone. You have allowed this to fester. You have failed to control your more fanatical ground soldiers who see any view that is not in line with the current leadership as being targets for abuse. You have allowed the right-wing media to have a field day and reduce the public view of the Labour Party to rabble status. You have let hate loose. Get your troops under control. It’s not the thousands of followers you have to convince, it’s the millions. And MPs, you don’t get off lightly either, you have failed to foster an atmosphere where it is not US vs Them, you’ve played your part inthe regular Labour Party civil war. As a socialist I will tell you this You are on the track of condemning the British people to a perpetual Tory way of doing things and no system in perpetuity is a good system; that’s where stagnation sets in.

I am calling out you Republican Party Chiefs.

Your rabble rousing pseudo-charge sheets against Hilary Clinton might have been sweet music to the incensed and the disaffected, but you have failed to think this through. You are professional politicians; you should know particularly in this year that feelings are a way-beyond fever pitch. Sure Mrs Clinton was irresponsible for using a private server for official business. So why did you not just argue in a simple, calm and sober way, questioning her judgement? Planting seeds of doubt is fair enough tactic. AND please stop going about business deals, like any of you have clean hands? Getting folk wired and burning, is pouring out gasoline into a very hot environment. And how do you think the Clinton supporters might react? Has it occurred to you that there is someone out there tooling up? I tell you you’d better pray no one takes a shot at either Don or Hilary, because I will be holding you as one factor. And don’t try hiding behind Trump, you know he is the amateur, you know he’s the chief barker and you’ve reckoned he has a shot at the White House. If it goes wrong, you are just as culpable. BY all means speak for millions of folk who feel disaffected and let down but harness that in a dignified fashion, take the heat out.

I am calling out France’s National Front.

France is hurting and France is bleeding. And your solution is to turn on 15% of the national population? What you going to do then with 9,000,000 people? Do you really think you can box them in, pack them up and shuffle them off in who knows where? What happens if, say 0.005% decide they will not go quietly (that’s 45,000 by the way), are you ready for that kind of urban war. Have you not seen enough blood and slaughter yet? Are you willing for one more child to lie on a street, dead? By all means say you want a France which is safe, and with a stronger security system and law & order policy; fine I’m with you (Dear reader you don’t want to know about my ideas), but it has to be equal, it has to protect all and deal with all law breakers. Get your thugs under control and sell-out those affiliated groups you know about whose only idea is to go around in mobs and with odds on 10 to 1 in their favour attack women and children.

I am calling out…..

Do I really need to go on?

If you’ve not been mentioned, don’t think I’ve missed you out. I have my list and it is sadly a very long one. Quite frankly I don’t care what is your skin colour, your national affiliation, your social grouping, your orientation, your belief system, your political views, if you have been subscribing to hating any other group, then you had better get ready for The Hells now, because they will come knocking on your door and drag you down!!

Has everyone got the message?





OK, I’ve had my say

A True History of The Isles Part 5 -Romans (Part II)

The Roman Conquest of Bits of The Isles,


I must apologise for the delay in producing this most important part of the series, however as I am now writing about an era which is replete with many classic (roman that is) commentaries, histories and other journals, it was necessary to make sure all dates were reasonably accurate. The romans being ones to ensure dates were entered in the accounts to make sure everyone knew how organised the romans were.

The Invasion and Conquest

Anyway as alluded to in the previous essay, Cesare Claudius invaded Britain on the basis that every elderly emperor should have a hobby. He thoughtfully invaded at a time which would be recorded as 43 AD this would make things very easy for later generations of history students as 43 is a prime number and not easily confused, unless you don’t know much about prime numbers.

Having access to the accounts of the Great Julius (Cesare that is), the romans were ready for the celts, their chariots and heroes. There were several notable battles, which the romans were careful to record, since they won them. The conquest was neatly divided into the following episodes:

AD 43- 60– During which the south and the west was conquered by force of arms, unless the next king in line got the message and at once surrendered (his heroes being disposed of to avoid any unnecessary delay in the process)

AD 60– (Ooops). Naturally during any period of invasion and colonisation the said instigators fail to understand local feelings which results in a massive miscalculation and bloodshed. This arose when one Prastugas, thinking he was doing right by leaving part of his kingdom to Rome and the other bit to his wife, thoughtfully died. Naturally there was a dispute over the true meaning of the will but in an attempt to save money on legal fees the roman administration simply treated his widow and daughters horribly and took all the land for themselves. As the widow was named Boudicca she was not one to take any latin excuses (probably a junior roman civil,servant) of Ipso Facto or Quod Erat Demonstrandum and don’t try any of that fortis attachiamentum, validior praesumptionem stuff either! (two classy quotes and one bonus free!). Anyway having gathered an army, sacked cities and heroically slaughtered civilians, Boudicca’s army was then treacherously slaughtered by a professional roman army, which was a typical roman trick. She then died. Regrettably for romantics there is no specific evidence that this was in battle against innumerable foes. She was, however re-discovered by England when England was being a world power and Rome was just a city where Popes lived, which gave English writers the write to make up all sort of tales.

AD 60-78– With this delay over with the roman forces then marched north, just to make sure all the kings in that direction had got the message. Most of them did.

AD 78 – 84– What was vexing to the romans was that some of the kings were so lacking in education that they had not read the documents of surrender properly and thought they could do as they just pleased as in the old days. So during this era the romans were obliged to wander all over the lands reminding these kings of the rules of Pax Romanica; essentially being that the romans made the rules otherwise you’d end up in pieces.

AD 84- 96– At this stage the romans decided they needed to press on even more northwards. This proved to be an error. The tribes in the far north were the Picts and Scots. They had cunningly convinced tribes in north east Ireland that if they all sailed back and forth and migrated here and there, then no one would know whether they were natives or visitors. This confused the romans so much and horrified at the thought as to what these accents could do to Latin, that one industrious roman Hadrian built a very big wall to keep these peoples out of the way of civilised folk.

During these episodes and in subsequent decades several romans wrote about Ireland and the possibility of invading it. But all this came to naught, and as neither the romans or the greeks had any concept of 0 the romans didn’t realise they had got where they had and so did not go to Ireland.

The Colonisations and Romanisation of A Big Bit of The Isles

Obviously the Celtic way of doing things was not going to suit the romans, so they set changing fundamental aspects of Celtic Culture and Society:

Kings– Any who still hadn’t got the message  were given the choice. They could either see things the roman way and be allowed to rule in a roman(ish) way, or be heroically captured, taken in chains to Rome, be allowed to make a defiant but noble speech (which since it wasn’t it Latin would lose some of its impact) and then be put to a notable death. Unsurprisingly the former was a popular choice.

Heroes – Charging in singular fashion at a long line of roman legionaries backed up by other lines of the same only profited the bards and any light fingered legionary (see Celtic gold and ornaments). Thus there was no need of the expenses of chains, transport, etc

Druids – Romans could normally put up with other folk worshipping their own gods, but when they found out that the druids were also practitioners of law, that caused much concern. It would not do for locals to turn up pointing out that whatever the local pro-consul had in mind was illegal. The romans approached this problem in two ways; (a) Massacre (b) Discrediting. In the case of the latter various commentators were brought in to deliberately misunderstand druidic practices, such as suggesting they built big baskets and put folk in these to set alight. Druids who pointed out that this was the most dam’d silly idea they’d ever heard of, were forced into big wicker baskets, when the big wicker baskets subsequently fell over, the druid escaped, but since druids had nobly refused to learn Latin they could not write up hilarious accounts of the event. Some commentators wrote that since the druids had the hearts, ears and minds of the people, then they must indulge in sacrifices. All these accounts were written out on tablets and were thus the forerunners of The Tabloid Press.

Young Nobles– The romans dealt with these in a cunning way. They convinced young men that a roman education was just the thing a forward looking celt needed. Thus when they returned from a strong dose of education any ideas their fathers had of having strong sons start rebellions the father could not be blamed for were dashed; the sons being inclined simply to talk at great length about republics. Attempts to arrange marriages with other noble families foundered when the lads went on about platonic relationships. And any complaints about Rome would only be met by a stoic response.

Artisans – Since the roman men liked to buy something for the ‘little woman’ gold and silversmiths did very well. Also as the romans were bringing in roads, baths, running water and sewers as well as villas there was no shortage of business opportunities and soon local craftsmen were doing very nicely. So much so that they were soon employing latin when explaining the rise in costs or the delays in completing the work, citing the saying of the legendary roman builder Various Excuses.

All this went on reasonably well until Rome began to decline and fall (see previous paragraph). The effects of which we shall discuss in the next seminar…..

A True History of The Isles Part 6 (Romans III- the last part…honest!)

A True History of The Isles Part 4- The Romans (Part I)

A True History of the Isles Part 3 – Celtic Culture

A True History of These Isles Part 2 The Celtic Colonisation

A True History of These Isles-Introduction and Part 1

Calling All Authors

Here we are folks, Tracee’s the lady to contact!

Tracee Ford

If you have news you want to share, teasers, trailers, or just give readers a chance to get to know you, please submit an article! I’m lining up guest posts for Tuesdays throughout the Fall and Winter. So, drop me a line at traceeford@rocketmail.com and tell me who you are and what you’d like me to share. There are folks I’ve featured before that I’d love to spotlight again!

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