The Time for Reappraising!

These days I don’t have time to write a daily blog. However, I can almost feel the seasons begin to change around the end of August and the start of September. This year has been stinking hot until a few days ago and I am now wondering whether the Autumn is coming a little earlier this year.

We have had a busy Summer although I might have played it down a bit. We enjoyed revisiting Cornwall which I have written about and last night on TV there was a programme about the Scilly Isles which lie about 40 miles west of Land’s End. I would recommend a visit to anyone as we stayed for a fortnight on St Mary’s many years ago. There are no tourist cars on the island and we spent the time there walking around the island every day. There are boats that ferry people to the other islands and I really remember that holiday with great fondness. We flew on a small plane from Penzance to the island but the weather was bad for flying on the return journey and we had to return by boat. Having been away from traffic for two weeks even the Camborne bi-pass had seemed like a motorway.

I have a friend who is nearing the end of his days and it is with great trepidation that I am keeping in contact with his wife. It’s a call I really don’t want to make and it’s that decision that you have to face when a friend is ill or in trouble. When is the phone call intrusive? His wife has told me that my call is welcome and so I will keep calling until the end. When that time comes we will still call offering support as that will become even more important as his wife goes through the grieving process.

I am watching the TV and there are two international players who have recently been in the news for involvement in affray. One, a cricketer, has been cleared after everyone had seen a video of him thumping a person to the ground. I didn’t understand this verdict as we clearly see the punch being landed and it was offensive as opposed to defensive. I remember when I was teaching in the college and students were signing for various clubs, like our John, pictured above signing for Plymouth Argyle FC, I always reminded the students they were representing their family and their employers when they were both on and off their respective field of action. The rugby international in the news has had previous form and obviously finds it difficult to behave after he’s had a drinkypoo or two. However, if you are an international I would suggest that you need to walk away from trouble rather than confront it. The media seems to be treating these two more like heroes than villains!

UK students have just been celebrating their examination results and many people are unaware that results are often graded differently from year to year. I have just read that it is possible to get a ‘C’ grade in Maths with a score of 17%. Now unless my grasp of figures is really suspect this can be read as not passing in 83% of that particular exam. I’m sure the politicians and academics will be quick to tell me I am wrong but that is how I see this despite reading that………

For example, in the new higher tier maths paper, the grade boundary for a C was 17 per cent – down from 35 per cent the year before……………

The exams have been described as tougher although people often forget a lot of the media comments are aimed at ridiculous international academic league tables. Another possible reason why some marking is less harsh at higher levels is that some Universities need more students to enrol on their courses. In the academic world this is known as getting bums on seats and it keeps some very ineffective lecturers in their overpaid jobs!

I really enjoyed the European Games over the past few weeks and how well the UK athletes performed. I loved the Gymnastics, Swimming, Diving and Athletics and it was great to see the UK coming second overall to Russia in the medals table. There were so many fine individual performances and if the standards here can give an indication to the future of the UK then let’s hope Brexit gets sorted so the British can influence Europe in a good way and that Britain will go from strength to strength.

Finally,  I would like to remind my readers of a weekly podcast I broadcast with Don Woods. If anyone is seriously trying to get started in the music business then Don usually has something helpful to tell us as he reviews one of his songs each week at the end of the podcast.

Another Very Hot Week in Spain!

Most of the week has been spent swimming in the morning and then working in the air-conditioned studio for the greater part of the day.Here’s today’s show which can be accessed at this page in my website.

I included this picture on various websites during the week.

This reminded me of a football match I played in with the opposition including Rod Stewart. This picture shows both of us in a tussle for the ball. Rod was a very useful player and he played for Middlesex schoolboys and had a trial with Millwall. My own trial was with Tranmere Rovers who have just got back into the football league and they drew yesterday. Incidentally, this celebrity game was played at Poulton Vics Club in Wallasey on Merseyside.

I played for the BBC and we played the Jimmy Hill’s Goal-diggers. Jimmy Hill was a major celebrity in the football world and he had people like Rod and Elton John helping the football team in many ways. Here’s a link to a few memories from these golden years when I played in many celebrity football games.

I then did a little bit more research and found a very rare Elton John song that he composed for this football team. I have created a page on my website with this in mind. Here’s the link.

This is a celebrity game which included some very famous names. Kneeling front right is Freddie Starr who was a brilliant cabaret star in the UK.

I also check Facebook to see what’s going through and it really is full of bullies trying to intimidate others or other trivial pieces of information. Every now and then you can spot a barrack-room lawyer who wants to convince us his/her view of the world is more important than how everyone else sees it.

I did feel enraged by one bully shown punching a young girl in the face and another where three or four  brave young men picked on a little old lady in a park. This really does annoy me as I’ve always hated bullies and things seem to be getting worse. My choice is to do nothing or to try and make a difference by writing a comment that might show support for the poor victims. However, part of me just wants to stay away from these foul postings.

I just hope Facebook are working with the police to find these sick minds and get them in jail. If they were real men they would join a martial arts or boxing club and test how good they are against real men. They won’t do this because deep down they are just cowards.

Until we meet again…..


Back to the Future!

I love working. I love being busy and I know others think this is crazy. However, I returned to study later in my life and have a very different philosophy on the relevance of work in the context of Leisure.

It was at the age of 36 that I felt the need to return to studying. I had been a radio disc-jockey, a cabaret entertainer and a business manager amongst other things and I wanted to study where my experience fitted in with my life.

The reality was that a major fire had helped formulate my plans as we often live the consequences of unforeseen events which take us in directions we’d never even dreamt about. My life had been dominated mainly by my love of music and my love of listening to radio disc-jockeys. You can read all about the detail in my book. Click on the link.

As a young lad we didn’t have the mind-blowing and mind-controlling technology we have today. The nearest we came to technology was a radio set which took ages to warm up and tune in. However, we were treated to many disc jockeys who often used their imagination to entertain us.

I particularly enjoyed Gene Weed who recorded on the American Forces Network. Sadly, there’s not a lot written about this guy but he had an influence on me. Here is a link to his memory. I also have linked the American Forces Network page.

Other stations having an influence on my early life were Radio Luxembourg-your station of the stars. I found the story of Radio Luxembourg on YouTube. 

From these early influences I went on to work with Emperor Rosko on BBC Radio albeit in a very junior role as the guest DJ for the gig at the Top Rank in Doncaster. I contacted Rosko and made a podcast with him a few years ago.

Another influence from the same page on my website was DJ Tony Prince -your royal regal rocking ruler and I think he then went to Radio Caroline, which was based out to sea and I listened avidly to this station’s output picking up ideas and influences on the way… I was learning about the music, promoting the music and how to entertain the listeners. There were no manuals, no training plans, no schools where we could learn…..we just listened and learned.

I’ll be back with more when I have the time! In the meantime you can hear my shows by following this link


A Wonderful Weekend!

It was always going to be a wonderful day as I was going to Keira’s christening at the Russian Orthodox Church in Altea.  This church seems to appear from nowhere as you approach Altea from Calpe on the N322. It really is the most fantastic structure and it is set with the most amazing backdrop mixing houses and imperious mountains. If I’ve whet your  appetite to see this amazing religious addition to the Costa Blanca then click on the picture for more details.

I’d never been to a service of this faith but I was impressed by the thoroughness of the baptism ceremony. It was a very hot day and the service was quite challenging to all the parents and Godparents. We were with the Russian branch of our family and I was very impressed with their reverence and feeling for the occasion.

We went down to the waterfront for the traditional meal and if you want to know more about Altea then click the next picture for a greater insight to this bustling Spànish coastal  town with its famous Catholic church which stands out from the mountains when looking from the shoreline. Again, the work has already been done by others so click on the picture to add the flavour of the town.

Our weather has become a little more sultry and the Spanish TV shows the rain and stormy weather coming down from the mountains to the north of Cataluña and beyond. In fact it would seem that the Basque Country has some very difficult weather right now.

We got back from our meal ready to relax and watch a bit of TV and I worked on my computer trying to improve my guitar playing via a really good instructional video series on the internet. I feel I must refer any readers who play guitar to this series. This guy is really good.

Sunday is my broadcasting day at Cool FM Benidorm and I will finish by adding the link to my pòdcasts which I create for my listeners. Here is my tweet for the day.

Podcasts from #CoolFM #Benidorm and the #coolmusic club looking at the hits of 22nd July down the years and featuring #usa #charts #1983……….

Until next time stay cool!


Revisiting Beautiful Cornwall

We hadn’t been back to Cornwall for 16 years after sailing for Santander and a new life in Spain in 2002. Now we are quite seasoned travellers and flying back to England would be interesting from many different perspectives.

We flew by Ryanair from Alicante Airport.  This airport has changed immensely since the days when we first arrived in Spain. From a rather small airport it has expanded year on year and after we had travelled one year from a rather small Alicante airport we had returned from America to a huge improvement in both size and quality. This facility has now improved almost every year that we’ve lived here.

Our cat, Tinker, had to go to his little hotel in Finistrat where Sheildag do a great job looking after our pets for us whilst we’re away. Next, we need to thank Ricardo at ACL Parking whose staff meet the cars and then look after them for a very reasonable price returning them at an appointed hour nicely cleaned. We thoroughly recommend this company.

After a flight duration of 2 hours and 15 minutes, we had flown over France, crossed the Channel and were flying over the Eden Project and the English China Clay landscape towards Newquay Airport.

Eden Project+

I used to meet our students at Newquay when we had been working with Mercator Language School in St Austell with our friend Dr. Mercedes Proctor. Now we have been  helping our sons who have Kings Language Academy in Valencia.

Our sons Richard and John take groups of Spanish children from Valencia to stay with host families in Cornwall and they have built a repùtation for running memorable trips and thereby  helping to consolidate on the fine teaching in their academy. We provide extra pairs of hands when needed!

Having ensured our young students had met with their designated families we were off to renew acquaintances with our hosts Carl and Karen in the lovely village of Cubert

We had been to a christening in the parish church around 25 years ago and the first thing we had wanted to visit was this really nice church. The next important item on the agenda was the village pub, The Anvil,  where the patrons run a pretty mean pub quiz on a Friday evening.

Once we were installed in our lodgings and had enjoyed a good night’s rest we visited the church and walked about the village. The ocean is not too far away but we were glad we had hired a car as we set off to renew friendships in Perranporth where we had lived for some 15 years.

It really is one of the best places to live and we loved our time in the village. We watched England playing Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup at the Watering Hole which was packed solid. The atmosphere was amazing. We had advertised the Watering Hole on the back page of our Truro News and Trader magazine when it was in the early days. Since those days many top names have performed there and recently Tom Jones flew in to perform at this wonderful venue!

Later in the trip I looked up my old friend Freddy Zapp from BBC Radio Cornwall. Just click on his picture for more details of Freddy’s work with the Beeb.

We spent some quality time reminiscing before it was time for Freddy to drive us to Redruth to meet another great friend, Gary Kenton, who had always looked after my gear in Cornwall.

I was able to catch up with Gary singing at Sandy Lodge in Newquay on a very hot night with a large crowd enjoying his singing. We had to leave quite early as I was going over to another old venue of both Fr Ignashus and Rockin’ Rupert called Priory Lodge to meet up with owners Fiona and Jill plus Freddy who was entertaining there. We had quite a few stories to tell and many laughs to share.

To finish this blog I’ve made a podcast which should give you an idea of how Anne and myself enjoyed the visit. Click the picture and you’re good to go.

Sample Page

This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:

Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my website. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)

…or something like this:

The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.

As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!