Saturday, 5 December 2009

Lyrical Issue

I'm trying to write some lyrics, and I've hit upon a problem...

I wrote a line which included "different to" - of course, this is incorrect...  Anyone but a moron knows it ought to be "different from"...!  I despise this mistake - along with the other obvious issues of less/fewer, if I was/were, etc - and was horrified to see that I'd written it myself...

However, there is a reason for this...  The song I'm trying to write isn't particularly slow, so with "different from" you end up getting two "fr" sounds in quick succession...  It's harder to sing, and it sounds more clumsy, than "different to" which seems to scan much better as a lyric...  Natural, as a lyricist, I want to write verses that flow, sound pleasing and are nice to sing...  But, I couldn't bear to think I'd written a grammatical error into one of my songs, and allowed it to stay there, like an un-Bazooka-ed verruca...!

So now, there is a battle, between my inner artist, and my inner grammar pedant...  They're not just having a fight - they're actually jousting!  In my head!  Horses, lances, suits of armour - the lot...!!  And it's giving me a headache...  Maybe I should give the songwriting a break, and try and get some sleep?!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Cash Machines

Here's something which came up the other day...  When you take cash out of a bank account using an ATM, it asks you whether you want an "advice slip" with your cash...  Now, I've never said yes to this, so I wonder what advice it gives you - is it advising you on how to spend the money you've just taken out?

"Hmm, those trainers look a bit worn, so I'd start of by getting some new shoes, and then, ohh, it's nearly six o'clock, you must be getting hungry - there's a nice Thai restaurant not too far from here which is excellent value-for-money..."

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Rail Travel

Something I've not done for quite a while now, is travel any great distance by rail…  Since passing my driving test, I have relied on the comfort, convenience and familiarity of my own car - perhaps too much, but certainly no more than many other people I know…

On the face of it, this seems mad…  Rail travel over any distance is likely to be less expensive than running a car, for a start, and you can hand the responsibility for the route, the handing of the vehicle, indeed, everything, over to the rail service operator…  It sounds relaxing - the idea that you can sit back while somebody else drives you to wherever you want to go…  Without the need to concentrate on driving the thing yourself, you can sit back and read a book or magazine, write a song, listen to music, or just to sleep…  I'm surprised that there are any cars left on the roads at all!

However, when one actually experiences a long-distance rail journey, it is not difficult to see why I, and many others, prefer traveling by road…!  To begin with, the relaxed, carefree picture of rail travel painted in the previous paragraphs only holds true if everything runs smoothly…  It only takes one small thing to go wrong, and the picture is hanging skew-wiff, the colours are running, and the artist himself is found dead in an alleyway with stab-wounds in his side and his money and passport stolen…

And there are many things that can delay or disrupt a rail journey - from a swan on the line, to the engine breaking down…!

But the worst bit of it all, is that you, as a mere passenger, are powerless to do anything about it!  As you sit frustrated in Coach D, Seat 30(A) listening to crackling announcements in what sounds like a foreign tongue over the speakers - "we apologise for this inconvenience" - you get later and later for whatever it is you're traveling for, and you realise that, had you been traveling in your own car, you could at least have tried to do something to help yourself…

Delays on the road are irritating, of course, but at least each driver is the master of his own destiny, the captain of his fate…  On the train, we are in the hands of others, and it never feels so bad as when you're waiting for news, and no news arrives, and nobody on the staff seems to know what's going on, and the unexplained delay drags on for hours, with no respite, no chance to get off and stretch your legs, and only the questionable fare of the "buffet car" to sustain yourself…

Furthermore, another large problem with traveling by rail is the vehicles themselves…  Hot, cramped, and poorly equipped, the trains of today are a far cry from the glamourous mode of transport those living in the golden age of steam came to know and love…  Perhaps it is my fault, for picking a career that doesn't (yet) seem to pay well enough for me to afford a First Class ticket, but I firmly believe that even Standard Class could be greatly improved from the unnerving experience it currently is…

Passengers - sorry, "customers" - are packed into the railway carriages as tightly as possible, and the result is a distinct lack of comfort, privacy, and individual discretion…  Everyone in the carriage can hear your telephone conversations, see what book you're reading, hear the spill from your iPod headphones, read what you're writing over your shoulder - you have no choice but to share these details of your life with whoever happens to be in the same train as you, for the duration of the journey…

And the rail companies don't exactly make life easy for you either...!

You are asked not to leave any luggage unattended "at any time", but nobody is on hand to explain how those traveling alone can visit the toilet, or buy a coffee, without dragging heavy suitcases and handbags everywhere with them…!

You are instructed to "familiarise yourself with the safety notices displayed around the train" which, on inspection, are rude and unhelpful…  (Much like some of the station staff one encounters on these journeys!)

"Please do not put feet on the seats" requests a sign displayed next to every group of four seats around a table - I am always tempted to write "I wouldn't need to, if you provided adequate leg-room!" underneath it…  (The tables themselves are small, and if more than one of the four passengers grouped around them wishes to read a newspaper, or work on a laptop computer, it presents a taxing logistical problem…)

A man in the corner, in a tie-dye shirt and leather skull-cap, picks his nose as he describes, in detail, his recently sexual exploits to whichever luckless individual is on the other end of the 'phone line…  Normally, I would run a mile from him - on the train, I can go about two inches in any direction, before colliding with something, or someone…  I can only sit in my seat, squirming with discomfort, turning up the volume on my iPod and hoping against hope that he dies within the next five minutes - or at least gets off at the next stop…  Disappointingly, he clings onto life, and not only stays on the train, but stays on the 'phone, for the next hour and a half…!

So, surrounded, at close proximity, by strangers, many of whom are very strange indeed, too hot with a jacket on, but too draughty without it, hemmed in, not just by people, but by absurd safety regulation, and with barely enough room for oneself, let alone one's things, the attractions of traveling in one's own car dangle temptingly before one's eyes…

The ability to make stops whenever, and wherever, you choose…  The ability to put in an extra piece of luggage, which you may or may not need, just in case…  The freedom to choose the temperature, the speed, the route, the radio station, the refreshments, and so on…  And not have a hundred other fraught travellers virtually sitting on your lap as you do it!

Saturday, 14 November 2009


It's raining today... It was raining yesterday... I will, most likely, be raining tomorrow... So here's a (possibly) interesting thought about rain...

For a while, I've wondered whether or not rain feels softer when you're higher up... After all, if you drop a penny from 6 feet above the ground, it doesn't do any damage (except maybe to your self-esteem when you realise you've been reduced to dropping pennies from different heights) but if you drop a penny from the top of the Empire State Building it can actually bury itself in a person's skull, or so I'm reliably informed... This is, I think, because from a greater height the penny has more opportunity to increase its velocity...

So, when rain falls from the clouds, if you're on the top of the Empire State Building (which somehow gets itself dragged into all kinds of conversations along similar lines as this) it's fallen a far shorter distance to reach you than when you get rained on at ground level... Does this mean that it feels softer?

I don't know, and I'm unlikely to find out right now, so I thought I'd ask you, my bored and undernourished readers who may or may not exist, to email me at with an answer, if you know the answer, that is... If not, feel free to email me anyway!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Regular Meals

For some time now, I've had a theory about the way people eat... The standard way to organise one's daily food intake is in three meals a day - breakfast in the morning, lunch at midday, and then an evening meal... But this leaves a gap - all through the night, your body is getting none of its essential nutrients!

It seems that "normal" people will eat three meals over a (roughly) twelve-hour period, and then eat nothing for the next twelve hours... Now, to me, this looks a bit unbalanced!

There are twenty-four hours in a day, of course - so, if one is going to eat three meals each day, they ought really to be spread even across those twenty-four hours, to ensure regular sustenance... That would result in one meal every eight hours... If one plans to eat every six hours, one should eat four meals in a day... And if one eats meals every four hours, those meals should number no fewer than six! This, of course, maintains the regularity of nutritional intake...

Naturally, the portion sizes are tailored to suit how often one is eating - whether it be two large meals each day, one every twelve hours, or twelve smaller snack-like meals each day, spread two hours apart... But the most important thing is that it be even and regular...

I am the architect of a healthier, happier society... No need to thank me!

Monday, 9 November 2009

It's November

And it's suddenly all cold, which means a chance to drag out the scarves and coats which have been so neglected over the summer... Soon, it will be Christmas, no doubt...


The "Christmas Creep" (the process of Christmas "starting" just a few days earlier every year) has so annoyed me that this year, my goat is well and truly got! I have taken to boycotting any products which associated themselves with Christmas until at least the beginning of December... Only a few days ago I didn't buy a drink which I normally would've bought, because there was an image of Santa on the can... Yes, that is how bad it's got!

Usually, I don't "do" protesting, boycotting, or generally freaking-out about anything... But this Christmas thing is getting ridiculous, and I have been moved to act... Sure, it won't make any difference - there are enough Christmas gluttons, who need to have their fill, and would start hanging tinsel in July if they thought they could get away with it, to outweigh the few who, like me, feels it's all going a little bit too far... But in my own little world, I feel better for having made my useless (and largely unnoticed) gesture, and be damned to the grinning maniacs who spread their Christmas Cheer earlier and earlier by the year!

Saturday, 31 October 2009


I haven't "blogged" much over the past week... Well, not at all, in fact... I've been in France, with Witchers, and internet has been something of a luxury... Plus, we've been busy playing gigs, moving tons of equipment around endlessly, or sleeping - in other words, I haven't had enough time to think of the right kind of drivel for a blog like that!

It was a great week away, though... And, I should like to take this opportunity to thank the French public - if any of you are reading this - for such a wonderful response, and for making us feel really welcome everywhere we played...!

I'm now back in the UK, although not back in Norfolk yet... (So it still feels kinda foreign!) Tomorrow, I have a gig in Sheffield, and then on Monday I'm back in Norwich - teaching in the evening, as usual... It's busy, at the moment, but that's not really a bad thing, is it?

Anyway, this has been very factual... Normal silliness will resume in due course...!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Today, & the surrounding area

Well, today has been good... I sorted out my car insurance, so that we we get off the ferry on Calais on Monday, we can actually drive to our Paris destinations legally... I installed the new Sibelius 6 on my new Apple MacBook, and gloated in the smug newness of it all... And then I had an excellent Cardiem rehearsal, and wrote new material, ready for the live shows... (Incidentally, the studio tracks from the new EP are now available to hear on the Cardiem MySpace - if you'd like to have a listen, and then give us your feedback, we'd be very grateful!)

On the down-side, I haven't had much to eat today - two croissants and two Crunchie bars, to be precise - and my hair looks dreadful... Plus, I still can't find a valid alternative to Dreamweaver for web design - I'm still using open-source web software called NVu, and I don't like using it at all... Apple's iLife suite came bundled with the new MacBook, so I thought I'd try using iWeb, but that's even worse - a truly diabolical program, if ever there was one! I really want to go back to Dreamweaver, but I certainly can't afford to spend that much on the Adobe Creative Suite! How irritating... For now, I shall have to make do with NVu, but if anyone reads this, and knows of a better (preferably free!) alternative to Dreamweaver, please, please, do let me know!

That's enough, for now... There's stuff I should be doing - packing for Paris, tuning drums for Paris, ironing clothes for Paris... Why can't Paris do her own chores?! Still, I'd better go off and by useful now, so I shall bid you farewelll...! :)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Great Idea 1

There should be a tax on sex... We could call it SID - Sexual Intercourse Duty...
Just as income tax is paid by those who earn a lot of money in order that the state might provide essential services to those who can't afford to buy them privately, people who get a lot of sex should pay more SID so that the state can provide free prostitutes for ugly folk...
Good, eh?

Friday, 16 October 2009

Ed Baines

Ed Baines, get off the TV, until you've learned to talk properly... Your Philadelphia advert should be suspended until you've been taught the correct pronunciation of "tagliatelle"...! I'm surprised you don't enunciate each "p" in "Philadelphia" too!!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Recent News/Thoughts

Well, I've been at The Mill Recording Studio in Diss over the weekend, recording the first EP with Cardiem... We had a great time, of course, and got a lot done as well - five and a half (last track still has no vocals) tracks recorded over two days, and the unmixed/unmastered CD that I've been listening to is sounding good... We'll be back at The Mill on Friday this week, for mixing and mastering, and then the songs will be up on the Cardiem MySpace... I'm really looking forward to getting this material on the road!

Before that, though, the Witchers tour is coming up soon... I've been checking things, going over gear, getting a decent stock of spare heads, sticks and snare wires in, and generally making sure everything's ready... I've also got to get my car ready to transport three people, their stuff, a drumkit, two or three guitars, and an effects board the size of the moon! Still, really looking forward to it all...

As I sit here and type this oh-so-exciting journal of my life, I've got "Today's 4Music Top Ten" on the TV... I find myself wondering - this world depicted in modern pop music videos, does it actually exist, or is it only real in the minds of some drugs-fuelled production team in middle America? It it does exist, somewhere, then it's very well hidden!


And, this just in, courtesy of the same "4Music" programme - JLS have more than one song! It seems strange to hear their digitally polished voices singing a different set of lyrics...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A Twitter Thought

You know when you've "made it" on Twitter - when you've become an online big guy, when you've hit the cyber big time, etc...

All the celebrities on Twitter are the people who have more people following them than they themselves follow...

"People who follow Parasite Luncheon - 12,884 / People Parasite Luncheon is following - 63"

Parasite Luncheon is my fictitious heavy metal band, and yep, they're definitely huge stars... They have a pretty impressive Follower-to-Followee Ratio!

On the other hand...
"People who follow Dan von Schtickfellau - 18 / People Dan von Schtickfellau is following - 278"

Sorry, but I'm afraid Dan is a nobody! His Follower-to-Followee Ratio sucks, and he probably has very little of interest to say...

Shameless plug -
Fancy helping my Ratio? Follow me at

See y'around!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Tellyrant Two

Something that's very irritating about commercial television is the type of advert which tries to make out that the product it's advertising is more exciting than it actually is...

You know the type... But because I'm supposed to fill up this space with my "thoughts" I'll give some examples anyway...!

Sensodyne Iso-Active, with that annoying woman talking, going on and on and on and on and on... Her over-enthusiasm is so obviously fake, and the kind of things she says make me want to try the product even less! "I'm excited about trying new things" - yeah, so are lots of people, but I doubt they mean toothpastes when they say that! Like anyone's going to leave the theatre early saying "I'm sorry, but I really want to get home - I'm so psyched about trying this exciting new toothpaste!" or anything like that...?! And then she says "it's like, where is the product going wrong? Nowhere!" Well, they certainly went wrong when they commissioned that advert...!

OK, another example... Perhaps it's the obvious one, but the whole Kellogg's Crunchy Nut series of ads aren't even bordering on the ridiculous - they've sped right through the ridiculous and across the border on the other side without even stopping for Customs, and are now in some Land of Truly Unbelievable Stupidity... According to the advert, it's "Ludicrously Tasty" - such shoddy work, whoever came up with that must've been ludicrously hasty! [groan] In a hurry to rush home from work, perhaps, to have a lovely supper of cereal and milk...? Only to get up in the middle of the night to snack on more cereal and milk, this time straight out of the garishly branded box? Yeah right! Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is that crazy about a BREAKFAST FREAKIN' CEREAL! Another product I avoid...

I think that's enough ranting for now... Tellyrants will continue, of course, as there are many more forms of irritating adverts out there, just waiting to be slandered on a small-time blogular in the middle of Cybershire... Fab-yew-lous!


Ah, hello again... Been rather slack with this the past few days, so sorry about that... "Normal" service will resume...

Played a fantastic gig with Witchers tonight, at Norwich Arts Centre, supporting a band from Liverpool called Sound of Guns... They were great, and the whole evening was rather enjoyable...

Next, looking forward recording with Cardiem, this weekend and next weekend, and then the France tour with Witchers at the end of October... Should be good!

Anyway, that's all rather factual - it's nice to know, I suppose, but doesn't stir the soul... So, here's a quick opinion piece...

The price of cheese is too high! Cheese a staple (not to mention a paperclip) of our diet, and it's, frankly, disgusting that shops charge such a high premium for what is, essentially, solidified milk... There are too many people these days who are being forced to cut cheese out of their diets, because of the cost, and it's not exactly doing wonders for their complexion... And there are still more people who have had to downgrade their usual cheese intake to that nasty American plastic cheese that comes read-sliced and shrink-wrapped - these people have also got bad complexions, and also greasy, slightly yellow hair with a "fake" feel to it... Please, supermarkets, save these people from their dull, cheeseless existence! LOWER THE PRICE OF CHEESE!!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A short tellyrant...

"We've got bikinis, we've got tunes - oh yes, this is definitely what being single is all about!" says the guy in the trailer for "Hollyoaks, Later" on E4...

I hate that guy... I've never seen the programme, and I don't know anything him, but I know that I hate him!

So here's the pretentious twonk bit... He gives a totally false impression of modern youth culture, in my opinion... Not just him, of course - but many of the "young people" TV shows which are on at the moment seem to want to say that life is just an endless round of parties, dates, sex, drinking and shopping... Is it really? Well, to go back to the "Hollyoaks, Later" guy, I've never that that's "definitely what being single is all about!" It's normally more about lonely days and nights, anger and self-doubt, questions, but no answers... Does that sound like I'm wallowing in self-pity, sounding all depressed, or fishing for sympathy? (Don't actually answer that!) I dunno - I'm just a bit annoyed that media like this portrays this easy-peasy lifestyle, which, more often that not, is far, far from the truth...

Enough, for now, I think... :)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Regular blogging?

I think the idea is that I post here every day, or just about... Of course, something worth blogging about doesn't happen every day, but most of the time I can normally find something mundane to woffle on about...

Yesterday, I had planned to go to the National Drum Fair in Birmingham, but decided not to at the last minute, because I didn't feel like traveling all that way, or spending loads of money... So I spent the day giving my website a facelift... You've probably seen the results of that already - if not, have a look here and let me know what you think! It's not hugely different - just a slightly cleaner look, in my opinion - but those few small changes took hours to implement! Yes, literally hours...

So, apart from that, I played the piano for a while, and watched the Singapore Grand Prix, and that was Sunday...

Today? Well, who knows what's going to happen, eh?! It's only just gone half-past ten, we've hours of time ahead of us... I know that, at some point, I'll be teaching drumkit in the evening... Other than that, probably more practice, looking after the dog, watching TV, having lunch, and other reasonably normal but unexciting things like that!

Hopefully tomorrow, or the next day, I'll be able to write about something more worth reading about... (If that made any sense?!)

See ya later! ;)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Apple Store, Norwich

I was up early today for all the full frontal geekery of queuing for an hour to get into the new Apple Store in Chapelfield, Norwich, and claim my free t-shirt as one of the first thousand people through the doors at the "Grand Opening"...

The whole affair was an orgy of corporate-based partying... Before the opening itself, all the Apple Store employees ran down the enormous queue "high-fiving" the anxiously waiting Apple fans, and as the huge glass doors slid open, there was clapping, cheering, screaming, chants of "Apple! Apple! Apple!" and - the reason we were all there - the giving out of free t-shirts! (All "large" size, unfortunately...)

Inside the shop itself, there were untold expensive wonders... I was tempted by a nice new leather case for my iPod Classic - until I saw the price was £75! Anyone hoping for a plethora of Opening Day Discounts (as I had been) would've been disappointed... But, anyone hoping for a great range of Apple products and accessories on display, available to try, with friendly, helpful staff on hand to offer explanations or answer questions (as I had also been) would've got their wish...

Apple had really tried hard to create a "carnival" atmosphere for the whole thing - the music, the whooping, the high-fives, the smiles, the cheers - and in general it felt slightly mad, very nerdy, and great fun!

Friday, 25 September 2009

First post...

Well, how many blogs start off like this? Quite a few, I should imagine...
Something along the lines of - "hi, I'm Kit, this is my blog; it gives you my narrow and distorted viewpoint on a seemingly unfeeling world, plus all you need to know about my pizza topping preferences and favourite minor celebrities, hope you enjoy it!"

Well, that's all well and good, but how's this for a change?
Something like - "hi, I'm Kit, this is my manifesto for world leader; it tells you all about how I plan to improve your life with handy time-saving initiatives like just-don't-bother and do-it-later and how the trees and plants may look pretty, but they're actually all part of an evil conspiracy planning to end human dominance of Planet Earth for good by the year 2020!"

(All nonsense, of course... But if you stick with this blog, that's what you can come to expect!)

So, I should probably tell you a bit about myself... If you've navigated here from my website ( as is likely, you probably know as much as anybody needs or wants to about me... But just in case you happened to miss it, or have ended up here by accident, I'm a professional musician - principally a drummer and percussionist, although I also play the piano - and I live in near Norwich, in Norfolk... I like red onions, and cheesecakes (although never at the same time!) and I drink far too much coffee... I shout at the TV screen when the adverts come on, because they're all so, so very annoying, and I use too many commas when I write, apparently!

Anyhow, I'm rambling now (a dreadful, yet unshakable, habit) so I'll let you go about your daily business, which, I dare say, is far more important than mine... Check back here every so often, to find out what I'm thinking, have a laugh, pass the time, or annoy your friends, family or colleagues with some of the most dull "reading aloud" material possible! See y'around...! ;)