Showing posts from September, 2012

Another meeting, another chair! Keep death off the roads!

So I went along to the meeting on Friday that I'd mentioned - it is a little way from me but one I've been to over the years, it does have cross over of some membership with my Monday meeting but also new and different faces including some old ones not seen for a while. One of those is a guy who got sober same time as me, one of the class of 2004, who used to go to the same meetings as I for a while, but work, life etc. mean our paths rarely cross, probably a year since I last saw him.  He came up gave me a huge hug and big smile.  It was worth going for that alone - truly linked to these people through mutual pain and understanding and through a love and fellowship you can't describe (I've paraphrased the quote apologies). Then another old friend is now secretary there, bizarrely we drank in the same pub for years and were nodding acquaintances there.  As I got my coffee and biscuit he said "Would you mind doing the chair?".   I had to chuckle but agreed -

Wales, wet, meetings and a year in the job...

So Son-of-Furtheron is back in the land of male voice choirs etc. - i.e. back in Wales ready for new year at uni - his last!  Yes this time next year I've every confidence he will have a flying first in his undergraduate master in Physics and Space Science...  Yes he does make his old man look like a thick old numpty...  I'm so proud.   Daughter-of-Furtheron is settling into A level studies and is looking at universities that we'll be traipsing around this time next year in preparation for her to apply to.  One finishes and another joins the fray.  Mrs F is settling in with a new year group, new teacher she is working with and two guinea pigs her class has adopted! The trip back to Wales was, almost predictably, met with weather that even Noah would have said "You expect me to go out in that!".  When I fetched S-o-F back at the end of the year we just escaped as floods hit that area - this time it was worse in land and I had to slowly edge through some road cove

Stumbling toward 50...

Saturday just gone the family held my 50th birthday bash... now it isn't my birthday yet, still a couple of weeks or so away but due to availability of sons etc. (he will be back to uni next week) it seemed sensible to hold it early.   Those who know me via this blog will no doubt not be surprised to hear me say I really am not a great party person at all. For that reason I'd wanted an "afternoon gathering" the original plan being a little do at our place through the afternoon.  However as the invitee list grew and the summer's weather wasn't great we decided to move to an alternative venue so we booked a room above a pub that my wife knew about and they provided the sarnies etc. meaning Mrs F enjoyed it far me being able to circulate around. In the end somewhere attendance was somewhere in the 30s.  Which was pleasing, all my close family was there, the extended bits to (i.e. partners and family of nephews etc.) some friends from AA and some old friends who

CD Review - Marillion, Sounds That Can't Be Made

People who know me, my family especially, and readers who've been around this blog for a while might well know that I am a bit of a Marillion fan. It may be somewhat unfashionable but what the hell do I care. Although recently Prog Rock does seem to be garnering more acceptability, there was even a short piece on the BBC news about the first ever prog rock awards event, and with bands like Rush and Asia etc. turning out great releases and touring you have to say it is still alive and well, the younger generation like Opeth and Steve Wilson also keeping the old beast alive. So Marillion then - if you have heard of them no doubt it is memories of the Fish era 25 years ago when they popped up every now and then on TOTP with a minor hit, often looking very oddly dressed and playing even odder keys and time signatures. After Fish departed they drifted away from the general consciousness, sadly in my view. Steve Hogarth (H) replaced Fish in 1989 and the band has continued to have a

The other two...

So Meesrs McKee and Gomm don't feel hard done by... and just cos simply this is music at it's very best...

Andy McKee, Jon Gomm and Preston Reed in concert

Last night was an absolute privilege to attend the first date of the Guitar Masters UK tour at The Quarterhouse in Folkestone. To see three such incredible exponents of modern acoustic guitar playing on one bill was fantastic and in a terrific intimate venue made it superb. Jon Gomm kicked off the night taking to the stage with his trusty "Wilma" his beloved Lowden which sows the signs of his playing style due to his vigorous percussive techniques the table is heavily worn across most of itself. Jon ran through a selection of material from the recent Domestic Science singles series back to early material. All played in his own style as his fingers fly across the fret board and strings picking, tapping and slapping the body etc his case feet are dancing on his effects pedals keeping the sound in check. Many of Jon's tunes are songs and he hear I great vocal delivery to accompany his phenomenal playing. All too soon he departed the stage and Preston Reed came on. Now o

Surplus to needs...

Yesterday Son-of-Furtheron and I went to the filming of Antiques Roadshow at the Chatham Dockyard.  I took a watch my Dad was awarded when he started work there in 1940.  I'll have to explain it one day when I have a bit more time.  However I suspected (knew) the watch wasn't intrinsically worth much but with a cutting from the paper, the inscription, my Dad's original apprentice indentures etc. I thought it may have local interest.  As I talked to the expert we were 20 ft from the last RN vessel built in the yard, HMS Ocelot an O boat sub, which my Dad worked on.   But the harsh reality of commercialism showed through. Since the watch is "worthless" (well up to £100) the expert wasn't keen on it featuring on the programme.  The programme their choice but there you go.  The best thing was how British it was.  1 hour in the first queue to be told the second queue to join for another hour or so and then 10 mins with the expert!!!  Thousands of people there so gi


Alex Zanardi has been a hero of mine for some time.  A great driver in his Champ car career, I'd followed him since watching him in the early 90s in F3000 battling with Damon Hill et al at the time.  He never seemed to get the right car at the right time in F1 and went back to the USA.  Sadly in one of the most horrific crashes ever in Germany in 2001 he lost both legs, instantly in a crash that frankly was a miracle he survived at all.  He showed incredible spirit returning to race again in a modified touring car even winning World Touring Car races.  That was pretty incredible. Today he one a paralympic gold medal - at ironically Brands Hatch!  He is simply an inspiration and a man for whom I do not have words to express my admiration - I wish I had just one once of his humility, tenacity and grace.  I don't like the word hero banded about as it often is these days but for Mr Zanardi I will happily use it... he is a true hero!

Is it Autumn?

When does summer stop and autumn begin?  Whatever it is September and that means, shorter days, leaves falling, kids returning to school etc., no holiday to look forward to for ages!  We are done with the summer then, Mrs F is back to work at school, Daughter-of-Furtheron is starting the 6th form/A-level adventure and Son-of-Furtheron will be back at his esteemed educational establishment for the last year for his masters course before this month is out. I think this is a time to stop freewheeling and for me to start steering and pedalling a bit more.  I've been sort of just cruising along thinking things like "well I will sort x out once we've had our holiday" or "I can't plan for that until y happens", etc.  Procrastination!  I've blogged about this before on here, remember the book I bought and then took an age to get around to reading - exactly!   If I'm honest part of the issue is prioritisation, what should I be putting my energies into? 


Or where the hell has the Furtheron clan been now!  Yes a short stay over in Edinburgh, capital of Scotland and a city I like a great deal, fantastic architecture, lots to see and do etc.  Mrs F, Daughter-of-Furtheron and I flew up there - why is it so much cheaper to fly than go by train?  We stayed in a little B&B run by some Eastern Europeans (confused!) on the Southside of the City.  One thing I have to say Edinburgh has a fantastic bus service!  I've no idea why they are digging up so much of the city to put in a tram system the buses are cheap and very frequent so I don't think they need anything else. Here are a few snaps from the trip. Yes we went to see the Pandas at the zoo - all they do is sleep, eat and poo and can only mate on two days in one year...  no wonder they are endangered!  The zoo are hopeful that they moment of love next year will be a bit more success apparently Yuang Guang (the male above) "got his geography a bit wrong" when they