Friday, December 26, 2008

Nine Barrow Down

View towards Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island.

View towards Corfe Castle.

There's an overgrown stone circle in a wood at the foot of the hill by the road, which for some years has been fenced off by the landowner, Rempstone Estates, who've erected signs to warn off trespassers. It's possible that it was built by the same Bronze Age tribes who were responsible for the burial mounds / barrows, on top of the chalk ridge.

The Beast Of Ballard Down

Several possibilities as to how this deer ended up like this.
Locals think that pet dogs could be responsible.
Tourists imagine The Beast Of Ballard Down.

It's more likely that a car was involved at the start, before foxes, carrion crows and other carnivores got stuck in. Who knows, maybe Hugh Fearnley Mutton Chops had a leg for Xmas ?

There are still plenty of live ones left.

UPDATE : Reports in the media, confirmed by the police, of several incidents of poachers leaving jam sandwiches and buns in the road to attract deer, which are then wounded or killed by traffic. Metro news article

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Studland Little Sea

Fresh water lake cut off from the sea by the formation of the sand dunes as recently as 1880. A haven for birds, with several hides around the shore, but relatively poor in nutrients and supporting little aquatic life. (Not much bird life about either today)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

St Mary's, Swanage

Dusty the donkey (not pictured) made an appearance at St Mary's, Swanage, along with a couple of well behaved sheep, at the Christmas Eve children's carol service. No sign of local resident Jonathan Woss, atoning for his beastliness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

D Locked

My bicycle D Lock refused to open after I'd been shopping in town. Fortunately I hadn't locked it to anything. Unfortunately, I had to carry it two miles home, stopping along the way to wrestle with the key and get my breath back.

YouTube has lots of videos of people opening locks like these with pen tops and a friend told me they were easy to open with one tap of a hammer. I broke the end off the first key while holding it with pliars, but had two backups. I oiled the lock and barrel and twisted the key for a couple of hours, getting nowhere. I watched more clips on YouTube, exasperated as people put the end of a Bic biro into the lock, twisting for at most a few minutes before opening it. One video showed someone with an angle grinder taking a few minutes to cut through. (Where are all those noisy builders when you need them ?)

I read somewhere that it would take an hour with a hacksaw. I only had a small one with an old blade, but got comfortable on the floor and started sawing, imagining that it would take more than an hour, but having no choice. My day had been scuppered and I couldn't go anywhere without sorting it out.

Happily, it only took 20 minutes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Video - Coniston Leap (Hit The North)

After lots of pffaffing - uploaded the 2004 video of 'Hit The North' to lastfm and YouTube, featuring the soundtrack Coniston Leap, from the album Asylum Seeker. (And no, nothing to do with The Fall!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Polish Radio Sessions

I've recently remastered the 1993 Polish Radio Sessions from cassette tape. They were originally recorded on a borrowed mini disc recorder, but a friend lost the disc ! I performed three or four live sessions for Przemek Mroczek's program at Radio Koszalin between 1990-93 and for a time, the radio station had recordings on quality analogue tape. As far as i know, none of them survived.

I've uploaded six tracks to lastfm which I plan to release as an EP download in the near future.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Radish seeds

Saving a few pennies by collecting radish seeds from the dried pods.

Desert Island Eavis

Michael Eavis on Desert Island Discs. Priceless. Why doesn't the man have a knighthood ? Or would he refuse ?

Happy memories of having a chat with him in his garden at the farmhouse circa 1985. Desert Island Discs

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Still harvesting kale and chard twice a week and now the first of the leeks and rocket.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Some startling similarities between the new version of Survivors (BBC1) and the series that I followed in the mid 70s. The Volvo and the hanged 'looter' in the supermarket for starters. I was hoping that humanity might have evolved a tad in three decades and gone straight for the garden centres to stock up on seeds and fertiliser, then headed out to a farm and sorted out a horse and a cow or two. Instead, we get petrol wars and the battle for Tesco Metro.

Actually, the farms could get a bit nasty too, cows are a bit cumbersome and I'm no John Wayne. I'd probably head for the coast, or an island, like Heath Bunting and his chums, whose plans for escaping to The Isle Of Skye in such an event are documented here.

If I remember correctly, it took them a few series of Survivors in the 70s to get their collective farms sorted out, but then it all petered out and nobody wanted to watch hippies arguing over crop rotation methods. Still, they didn't have the (literally) underground renaissance command centre, which we got a glimpse of the other night, (or am I mixing it up with Spooks?) showing that although humanity might not have evolved much in 30 years, governments have.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Music links

Came across a gargantuan, fully comprehensive list of music related links at mshipproductions which seems to operate out of a Dutch canal boat. It's all there; psycho acoustics, therapies, resources, software, samples, tutorials, articles - I ended up listening to David Byrne & Brian Eno chatting in a cafe about the future of music.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Big Wheel

Not to be attempted after a chocolate muffin.

I like the juxtaposition.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Broad Beans

Planted out a dozen early Aquadulce broad beans.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hydroelectric Power Station Site

This stream in Eastville Park is much too nice a spot to leave unspoiled. Toxic waste dump ? Hydroelectric power station ? Children as young as two have been spotted slyly creating dams, in what must surely be the initial consultancy phase of some heinous development, utilising the spare capacity of workshy youngsters.

Watch this space.

Whoops !

My superpowers have got me into trouble again. There I was last week, taking an innocent (OK, strictly illegal) cycle through Eastville Park, eulogising about the autumnal trees, flippantly remarking that I'd probably put the curse on them, following the debarkle with the ash tree which I photographed on the cyclepath, just days before it was unexpectedly felled, then this happens, 200 metres away.....

It all seems a bit pointless and is shoddy work too, though at least there should be enough wood for my crucifixion.

"It's happening, Reg. Something's actually happening, Reg. Can't you understand?"

Friday, November 07, 2008

Eastville Park

Now that I've been warned off campaigning to save trees by Indymedia contributors, the Easton Popular Front, the Popular Front of Easton, the Easton People's Front, the People's Front of Easton, Chris Hutt and other proper environmental campaigners much cleverer and more correct than me, I thought I'd photograph and put the curse on the trees by Eastville Park Lake, which even now, I fear, have been singled out, flagged up and surveyed by expert arboreal professors, no doubt assessing their potential threat to moorhens, seen acting nervously nearby.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bankes Arms

Parasol Mushroom

Spotted in the field opposite the Manor House Hotel.

As I took it home, passing a couple of members of staff standing by the entrance, I pointed to it, saying, "Breakfast".
"Magic !", came the reply.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sir Bill Cotton

A managing director of the BBC and son of the big band leader Billy Cotton, who lived in nearby Sandbanks at the same time as my grandfather and Marconi, Sir Bill Cotton, who lived in the last house on the hill out of Studland up to Ballard Down, known as The Glebe, died this summer and is buried here in the graveyard of St. Nicholas church. My Mum confirmed what all the obituaries had said, in that he was a jolly nice chap. She went on to explain that they have to wait for the ground to settle before placing a headstone at the grave.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Last Beetroot

There's a saying in Swedish, which when translated, means something like 'You've planted your last potato', which is as peculiar as a comparable English expression 'At the end of your tether'.

Anyway, the last beetroot came up today, undamaged by the first frosts, but not quite as large as earlier crops. I promised these to my Mum.

Friday, October 24, 2008


All those buttons, sliders and blinking lights ! Some days my poor brain gets confused.

Like the day last month, when, eager to use my new USB audio/MIDI interface, I spent a couple of hours recording my ode to man-of-the-moment, Robert Peston.

It turns out, that I hadn't recorded my dulcit vocal tones via the new box, but through the computer's built in microphone. I thought that the rather poor quality was due to my haste and low spec microphone, but in fact, to my shame, I hadn't downloaded and installed the driver !

Those of you, like me, who have spent a considerable time in darkened rooms fiddling with knobs, may either scoff or have some sympathy. Those who haven't, and the luddites, may also sympathise, not know what I'm on about, or tell me that I've only myself to blame.

Anyway - that learning curve scaled, on with the woodshedding....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kale & Raspberries

Still getting a good harvest of kale and raspberries three times a week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Street Art

Some great work around St Werburghs.

Looks so much better in situ than in a gallery or coffee-table book.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cosmos & Sweet Peas

Late flowering cosmos and sweet peas providing some autumn colour.