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Trashcan Sinatras – Weightlifting

This is an all-time favourite of mine. Trashcan Sinatras with the magnificent title track from their 2004 album Weightlifting.

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Van Morrison – Days Like This

I saw Van around the time he released this. Live he is very much hit or miss but at the Royal Concert Hall Glasgow in February 1997 (or was it 96?) he was simply magnificent. The contrasting vocal harmonies with Brian Kennedy (who always looks as if he's just been retrieved from a very dirty hedge) always sound good. Listen to this, your day will be better for it.

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Guising at Halloween

As a child I used to love Halloween. In this farflung corner of the planet the tradition was to go out 'guising'. This meant that children dressed up in a disguise (usually a costume in to which some effort had been put by the child's parents.These were often fairly imaginative) and go out round the houses in their neighborhood and sing a song or tell some jokes in return for sweets,nuts,fruit or (preferably) money. Being reasonably proficient on the harmonica I used to do pretty well and was gallus enough to ask if anyone had any requests (no, no one ever told me to stick it where the sun don't shine)

Sadly that tradition has evolved in to the more American 'Trick or Treat'. What basically happens now is that four or more non communicative kids in their early teens, dressed in some ghoulish get up their parents have picked up at Asda, stand on your doorstep and wait for you to produce some kind of protection payment in return for which they won't let down your tyres or otherwise damage your property. To be fair although we had a few of these groups calling last night, most were younger kids who did at least tell a joke.

My elder daughter had been invited to a Halloween party last night but my younger one (7) went out round the doors. She wanted to be dressed as "a dead Hannah Montana" but when we pointed out that most of the neighbours would not realize the significance or relevance of her costume, she eventually settled for a (dead) bat. I insisted that she learn some jokes (apparently kids just don't do songs now) and to be fair she did. My favourite was "What do you call a man who sits on the doorstep?" "Matt!"

Where we live is a relatively new build estate where most people have young children and the place being reasonably self contained there is a kind of community/pioneer spirit that perhaps isn't common these days. The kids enjoyed it and I suppose in my grumpy old way I did too.

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Completely Mad!

Did you ever wonder what happened to the wee guy in Mad magazine?

Thanks Martin.


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