The Saturday Shuffle – Week 5

Good Afternoon, everybody! It’s another scorching day in the Shire, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for this next instalment! ‘Will there be more sodding Beatles tracks’, you’re possibly wondering…

  1. One of the 38 – Nick Harper. No, not the character from My Family played by Kris Marshall, this is the son of sixties/seventies folk rock stalwart Roy Harper (who happened to be mates with Led Zeppelin, so you can imagine the upbringing Nick had). He’s a genius with a guitar – if you get the chance, see him live. You’ll be falling over yourselves to thank me. This is a fairly recent song, and enjoyable at that.
  2. Sexy Sadie – The Beatles. It’s the greatest band ever. Again. Allegedly written by John about the Maharishi from their time in India (it was definitely written by John, the allegedly relates to the subject matter). Rumour has it that the spiritual leader tried it on with a lady when he’s supposed to be above all that sort of thing.
  3. Song 2 – Blur. Woo Hoo! Two minutes of dirty, heavy rock from the ‘Blur’ album that was such a massive departure from what went before. Let the head banging commence!
  4. If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next – Manic Street Preachers. A long song title. If my memory serves me correctly (which it sometimes does), this was about the Spanish Civil War. Which is nice.
  5. St Louis Slim – Seasick Steve. A bit of blues to finish off this week’s shuffle. Seasick Steve shot to UK fame off the back of an appearance on Jools Holland’s show and hasn’t looked back since. This is from the ‘Best Of’ album I purchased recently, because, sometimes, you need some Seasick Steve in your life.

And so ends this week’s shuffle. See you next week!!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 4

It’s that time of week again!!

  1. Buddy – De La Soul. Ah, Buddy. Billed as De Le Soul, but featuring some ‘friends’ – Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip (if you haven’t got a clue, just Google it, or ask my brother). Not surprisingly, I have my brother to thank for this one!
  2. I Just Don’t Understand – The Beatles. Yes, I know. The Beatles again. But this is a cover from the first Live at the BBC album.
  3. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Bob Dylan. A recent winner of the Nobel Literature prize is Mr Zimmerman. Unlike him though, I probably won’t give a lecture using suspiciously familiar web content!! This is from the ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ album, which is the landmark album where he moved from the folk genre into the electric folk genre (he took plenty of stick for that). This is from the acoustic ‘Side 2’ (for those who still work in vinyl). It’s also seven and a half minutes long…
  4. Stop The Clocks – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. From the more talented Gallagher’s first solo record. If I’m honest, it’s probably one of the weaker songs he’s written. Definitely an album filler along the lines of ‘She’s Electric’ or ‘Magic Pie’.
  5. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles. Not the finished version you hear on ‘Revolver’, but the work in progress first presented on the Anthology albums (the second one, to be precise). You can hear the basic track and rudimentary loops going on in the background, and the slight distortion of John’s vocal which he apparently wanted to sound like monks singing from the top of a mountain…

And there’s your five for today. I think we’ve all learned something…

Donald Returns

Donald And The Incompetent Theresa

Poor Donald was struggling. He was being talked about as the worst ever to hold his position. He knew this because he hid around corners when his staff were chatting in corridors, in toilets, or by the coffee machine. They didn’t know this, which accounted for the freedom of their speech. Whether it was his humorous hairstyle, his remarkably small hands, or the way he wore his tie stupidly long, they really didn’t hold back.

And so, he was incredibly overjoyed when he got a call from Theresa, who was new across the pond. She had taken over the huge clusterfuck of a company last year, and was having trouble imposing her will on the folks. Donald had called her to provide advice – ‘you gotta stop new people coming in until you work out what the hell’s going on there’. He’d also sent her an email following a particularly bad savaging she’d received in the press.

“Dear Theresa, (it read) I saw what they writ about you the other dayy. No matter how bad the press covfefe-”

His small hands had mistyped and he had sneezed at the wrong moment, causing his finger to accidentally click the mouse button, sending the incomplete and unchecked message to Theresa, and somehow, everyone in his email contacts. He quickly received a reply from his secretary, Michaela (it was Mike really, but Donald was incredibly sexist and refused to entertain the idea that a man could be a secretary) admonishing him for sending an email without being proofread first. He also got a reply from Theresa asking what the actual fuck a ‘covfefe’ was. He decided to front it out and so ignored both emails. Instead he went to the drinks cabinet and poured himself a chocolate milk.

The next day, he heard a couple of the women talking about his email in the toilet. It was difficult to make out exactly what they were saying because the toilet flushed and caused the wiretap to overload. He really needed to speak to his security guys about the placement of wiretaps in bathrooms. They had already made a hash of the peep-holes, making them too big. He had somehow managed to explain it away to Mike and Donald Junior in such a way they laughed it off. His other conversation with security was going to be about putting the spy-holes in the ladies bathroom. The talk was not good, anyway, so Donald decided to do something about it. He asked Mike/Michaela to place a call to Theresa.

“Donald,” came the voice at the other end. “Hello,”

“Hey Theresa,” Donald said. “Wow, your voice is quite different on the phone. Almost masculine.”

“Actually, it’s Mike, your Secretary.” Came the reply. “I’m just patching you through now.”

“I knew that, just kidding,” Donald blustered. Mike sighed, and the he heard the sound of a phone being put down.

“Donald, hello,” said a definitely female voice.

“Hey Theresa,” Donald greeted her.

“Ah, no. I’m her Private Secretary.” A brief pause. “I’m afraid she is in a meeting that has overrun slightly.”

“Right, no problem,” Donald laughed. “I can hold.”

“Are you sure? It might be a while,” came the reply.

“I’m sure,” Donald assured her. “I have nothing else to do,” he explained, looking straight past the huge pile of papers stacked in his ‘In Tray’ and the countless unopened emails on his computer screen.

“Alright then,” the Secretary told him, and then his ear was filled with the sound of some godawful classical music that could have been played by a three year old.

He was on hold for what felt like hours, but what was in fact two days. He was getting pretty mad by this point – he’d missed two rounds of golf and a massage with the hot Russian babe at the spa. Finally, as Donald was nodding off, the music stopped and he heard a female voice speak.

“Donald, I’m so sorry,”

“You fricking well should be you prissy little madam!” Donald yelled. “I’ve been on hold for two fricking days waiting for some dumb broad to patch me through to her boss.” There was a silence at the other end. “You giving me the silent treatment now, huh?”

“Certainly not. I will pass your feedback on to my Secretary once we have finished our conversation. I’m sorry about the delay, but we had a minor emergency in the office and in our hastiness to evacuate the building, Amber totally forgot about you.”

“Huh?” Donald was confused (which wasn’t difficult).

“This is Theresa. To whom you have been waiting to speak.”

“Umm” Donald fumbled and stumbled over his words.

“If you’re finished?” Theresa sounded pretty pissed off.

“Hey, no. I just called to let you know you have my support.” Donald said, yawning.

“That’s most kind,” Theresa thanked him, a slight softening of her tone. “I could certainly do with some support.”

“How come?” Donald asked.

“Well, I made a bit of booboo the other day. I was concerned that the board weren’t fully behind me, so I called for a vote of confidence.” Theresa sighed. “I lost.”

“That’s a shitter,” Donald commiserated. “When I hold board meetings, I go round the table and let everyone tell me how great I am.”

“You do?” Theresa sounded surprised.

“Yeah, they love me. And if they don’t,” he paused, “I fire their sorry asses!”

“An interesting approach.” Theresa said. Donald thought he could hear the sound of pencil on paper.

“Yeah, so anyway, I gotta go,” Donald said. “I’m meeting a couple of the guys at the golf club for a quick round before I meet the Head of Security.”

“That sounds like you have a busy day.”

“Yeah,” Donald agreed. “But I always play golf before I fire someone!” He laughed himself silly and put the phone down without the usual farewell etiquette was observed.

He got up from his desk, straightened his tie and strode out of his office, past Mike’s desk (where he was struggling under the sheer weight of work that Donald had ignored for the past two weeks) and out to the lift.

300 Days of Beer – Day 297

Day 297 – 11th June 2016

300beersSunday evening. The weekend is over, and thoughts turn to the working week ahead. But before that, let me share with you some momentous news! In the football world, there was quite a shock as England won the World Cup. England are World Champions. Admittedly it was at Under 20 level, but a win is a win. Something the full squad haven’t done for 51 years. Speaking of whom, they only managed to sneak a 2-2 draw against Scotland. And on the subject of Scotland, that is the origin of tonight’s beer! From the Belhaven Brewery in East Lothian, ‘Twisted Grapefruit’ is an IPA with a definite grapefruit taste as the name suggests. I mean ‘definite’. It’s almost like you’re drinking grapefruit juice, except you have that golden IPA colouring in your glass. Feel free to visit the brewery’s website at https://www.belhaven.co.uk

Day 297 - Twisted Grapefruit

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 3

Another Saturday afternoon comes round again. Which means more musical randomness and waffling from yours truly! On with the show…

  1. I’ll Be Back – The Beatles. The Beatles. Again. A nice song from the Hard Day’s Night album that wasn’t in the film.
  2. I Feel Fine – The Beatles. Is this shuffle thing working?!! It seems it is. The first mainstream pop/rock track to feature feedback. Some say it was an accident, others suggest it was deliberate. I don’t care, because it’s the Beatles and it’s brilliant.
  3. My Ever Changing Moods – Paul Weller. Ok, so it’s actually a Style Council song, but it was on a Paul Weller compilation that featured his Jam and solo hits too. Quite appropriate for me these days as I can change in the blink of an eye.
  4. Watching The Wheels – John Lennon. A song obviously written about his five year break from the limelight, where he gave up music and being famous to bring up Sean. He was quite happy to do so, and I guess others were confused by it. I sometimes wish I could take a break from being me.
  5. Cry For Love – Iggy Pop. I downloaded the best of Iggy Pop after watching the second Trainspotting film (who doesn’t love ‘Lust For Life’?) and this is on the album. I obviously copied the whole album to my phone without listening to the songs first because I don’t remember hearing this song before! It’s not bad though, if you ask me.

And there it is for another week. Maybe there’ll be no Beatles songs next time, who really knows?!

300 Days of Beer – Day 296

Day 296 – 9th June 2017

300beersI was going to drink this beer yesterday evening while watching the Election results come in, but I thought better of it – I figured I was going to be depressed when I woke up this morning, there was no need to add alcohol and tiredness into the mix! As it happens, I woke up fairly happy with the result, seeing as it was a slap in the face for Theresa May and her ‘strong and stable’ nonsense. Instead, it’s Friday night, and I can enjoy it properly! The beer in question is another from the Black Sheep Brewery, this particular one is called ‘Velo’, in honour of the brewery’s Yorkshire roots, the humble bicycle and the Grand Depart of the Tour De France which set off from Yorkshire back in 2014. I have to say, this is a beautiful pale ale worth getting your hands on. To see more, why not see their website https://www.blacksheepbrewery.com

Day 296 - Velo

300 Days of Beer – Day 295

Day 295 – 6th June 2017 

300beersA busy day at the office. It could be seen as a good thing, or a bad thing! Either way, I was glad to come home and make my way through tonight’s beer selection. Speaking of which, said beer is from the Marston’s brewery, and it’s called ’61 Deep’. So called because the well at the brewery is 61 metres deep. Simple as that!! For more, why not visit their website at http://www.marstons.co.uk/beers

Day 295 - 61 Deep