Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field of Crows are now available in the Fish Shop!
Calum Malcolm was at the studio yesterday dropping off listening material for the ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ remasters. Disc 1 of the 2 titles, the original albums’ have still to be remastered but ‘Suits’ disc 2, the demos, and 3 the live versions are finished as is ‘SFTM’ disc 2 a mixture of demos and live material.
David Barras has edited the DVD for ‘SFTM’ disc 3 and I will be getting the finished version on Monday which will be going for mastering as a DVD 9 on Wednesday. It’s turned into quite a collection with a 90 minute interview, the ‘Hold Your Head Up’ promo video, ‘Solo’ with Fairport Convention from Cropredy 2015 and ‘Fearless’, Boston Tea Party’, Jeepster’, Hold Your Head Up’ and 5 years from the Vredenburg show in Utrecht in 1993.
The Dutch material is pretty rough, “bouncy” and grainy as it was shot on 2 Hi 8 cameras, one static and one “wild”, but as the only surviving footage from the main tour in Spring 93 it’s a souvenir rather than broadcast quality. David has replaced the camera soundtrack with the ‘Sushi’ versions as coincidentally it was the same show I released on the Dick Bros label in 94 as the first of the ‘official bootlegs’, now long since deleted.
The artwork is already in production and all the discs will be with the manufacturer next week.I’ve been told that we could have both finished remastered albums by mid November.
The T shirt and seat shirt designs are now with the printers and again we hope to have them in stock on the mail order service at the same time.
Rob Skarin ( who put together Steven Wilson’s web site among others) is confident we will have that up and running by the end of October and it will launch with the first section of the on stage interview I did with Steve Blacknell in Islington in September.
Steve Vantsis and Robin Boult were up last weekend and we worked on all the keys for the December set list and tinkered with new songs for ‘Weltschmerz’. There are some great ideas around but as I said before it’s highly unlikely I will have new material to play on the tour. That’s slightly disappointing but I know the wait will be worth it and the set list is pretty powerful without their inclusion.
The only downer at the moment is that my back has ‘gone wrong’ and I’m suffering from dreadful sciatica which makes walking and standing really painful.( one of the reasons I wasn’t at Hampden last night) I’m seeing my specialist again and had another MRI scan on my spine last Friday. I’m still waiting on the diagnosis but the specialist hopes I won’t need invasive surgery and if it comes down to it I will get steroid injections to get me through the 11 shows in December.I had them on the ‘Childhood’ tour and they gave me relief and mobility but it’s a short term fix and I’ll have to deal with the problem next year.
A wee piece of silver lining was that I’d noticed the last time I had an MRI scan that the machine had some interesting sounds and rhythms. The operator advised against taking my phone in to record them due to the magnets but pointed me at some clips on You Tube. I came back and told Steve and Robin and we listened to the samples which they thought could be interesting.
A couple of days later Robin came up with a wonderful riff on the acoustic guitar and I had the idea to see if the scanner samples worked as a complete juxtaposition to the feel of the riff. It was quite uncanny as not only did the underlying rhythms of the scanner match the pulse of the riff but the sounds were in exactly the same key. It was meant to be! 🙂
Steve Vantsis and I had a productive time last week when he was up but I have to admit I was pulling myself out of a creative swamp for the first 4 days and had to sit back and let him conjure some magic until I got on my feet. I have to be truthfully honest and say I have taken on a lot bigger job than I thought and we are both realising that we have been overly optimistic on timings. That’s not to say we are struggling for ideas; in fact we have too many but none of them are anywhere near ready for performance. This could result in having nothing new to play live in December. That may sound disappointing to some of you but there’s a huge ‘Yang’ in all this.
As you know I have nominated ‘Weltschmerz’ as my last studio album and I have always intended this to be special. There have been fragments of elusive lyrical ideas floating in my mind for quite a while but now I am in a position to start catching and pinning them down to create frameworks that make sense. Steve has given me around 15 musical ‘doodles’ to play with and from them I think we have the seeds of about 4 songs and a number of pieces that can be added to structures that are becoming more elaborate as we enter into the writing sessions proper.
My problem is that I am writing screenplays or short stories and creating huge challenges for myself.
I’ve already been documented as saying that I don’t want ‘Weltschmerz’ to deal with the big business/ corporate/ kings and queens/ empires/ world perspective but to pull it down to focus on people dealing with the current world we live in and their struggles, trials, pain and anger. I’ve developed a few characters with their own scenarios, all different but all linked by ‘Weltschmerz’.
For example I want to write about a young woman who is self-harming because she can’t vocalise her pain and anger and other issues. I wanted to bring in an older male character that is preying on her vulnerability and in fact ‘grooming her’, disguising himself as a younger person when he contacts her online. Steve has 2 musical pieces that both fit the characters but they are very different and I was trying to find a way to work them together. I wasn’t comfortable relating the second character in first person and needed to relate both in third character in a similar way to the ‘Zoe 25’ lyric. As the 2 musical “characters” weren’t compatible I realised that this was a 3 act play and it was only today I realised what I needed to complete the triptych and provide a resolution. It has evolved into a very dark neo Gothic horror tale and it is still being added to. There’s so much scope to play around sonically with and there’s all sorts of things to be added to the mix as it develops. At the moment the only musical input has come from Steve and we are both genuinely excited at what others can bring to the feast. The working title is ‘The Cutter’ but that will definitely change. ( ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ already used it).
I’ve also not made it easier for myself as I have decided that every song on ‘Weltschmerz’ must be associated with or have a link to a flower as gardens and growing will play a symbolic role on the album.
‘Market Garden’ is another title for a lyric about an old Dutchman living in Arnhem who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and who is clinging to his memories from youth when Allied paratroopers dropped on the city during an ill-fated operation with the same name as the title.
The man is still married but can’t remember his wife who is heartbroken at “losing “him and who is now a stranger in their house. His days are spent wandering the streets always ending up at the bridge that was brutally contested in 1944 and where it was the last time he saw the body of a young Scottish paratrooper who crashed through his father’s greenhouse during the initial parachute drops. The memories for those days anchor his life and everything else, even the writing on a page is forgotten once it’s turned. The lyric has to take in his memories, the relationship between man and wife from both sides and his struggle coping with a modern world that’s been built around him and which he doesn’t recognise or relate to. The flowers related to this lyric are ‘forget me not’s’.
Again it’s a difficult and delicate subject matter to deal with in a simple song structure and lends itself to a palette of sounds and musical movements identifying the characters and timelines. I started work on this with Steve Vantsis and John Beck but we have only just scratched the surface.
‘Man with the Stick’ a lyric about aging and about how we use sticks throughout our lives ( conductor, pipe band leader, riot control, boys fishing rods etc etc), ‘Guardian of the Flowers’, inspired by a Channel 4 documentary about a gardener in Aleppo, are another 2 ideas in progress. All stories with characters and as I have said many a time in the past ( and which I should have copyrighted as so many people use it these days) I find myself writing movies for people’s ears.
There will be other musicians involved in the writing process of ‘Weltschmerz’ with John Wesley willing to contribute as well as Romain Thorel from Lazuli who wants to get involved at some point and who has already worked with me earlier in the year on an idea which as yet is untitled.
And here is the ‘Yang’ of it all. I may be struggling to get songs together for the tour but with the door now opened and the first 5 months of 2018 dedicated to writing with a wealth of material starting to bubble up and out I am now looking at signing off with a double album. I discussed this with Steve when he was up and after a few glasses of wine we are both convinced this is achievable having been only 30 minutes or so short from one with ‘Feast of Consequences’. A double album gives us space to breathe and for solos and other ingredients to be played with and extended upon. The subject matter abounds and I’m being provoked every day into new ideas and directions. It’s a big call and I am very aware that this will become a very expensive project as session musicians, studio time and producers’ commitment all increase accordingly. It’s more than just a serious consideration just now but I have an underlying confidence that I can pull this off.
Mark Wilkinson is excited as he too has been developing ideas and is totally inspired by the subject matter bouncing around. He is confident he can put together a phantasmagorical collection of images and present them in a package that is fitting for my last call.
I may have to look at crowd funding to finance this as the commitment will be a huge drain on finances but I want to bow out with a big statement. With the lyrical content blossoming into near film scripts and bona fide stories you could perhaps call this a crossover album.
copyright Derek Dick 2017
On Monday Simone and I went up on the train to the city where I was taking part in a BBC Radio Scotland quiz show ‘Stop the Press’ with big fellow Hibby and presenter Grant Stott as compere at the ‘Monkey Barrel’ comedy club..
My ‘captain’ was comedienne Jo Caulfield, who I’d last met on ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, while our opposing team was led by journalists Gary Robertson and Fiona Shepherd.It was a lot of fun and comedic rather than competitive. It’s being broadcast on Friday at 13.30 and will be repeated Saturday at 11.30. If you miss it you can catch it on the BBC i player.
It could be worth it just to hear my ‘Brazilian’ tour story
The link is below but sorry to say it’s UK only
After much consultation with fans on the FB pages Mark Wilkinson and I have come up with the new designs for the T’s and sweat shirt for the ‘Clutching at Straws’ tour shirts. There was a lot of to’ing and fro’ing and gnashing of teeth so much so that Mark eventually sent me this on the last late night of design frenzy.
I felt it was important to get input from fans as to what you want rather than plough ahead with something we both liked as I’ve come unstuck in the past and been left with a wardrobe of shirts I loved but which didn’t go down as well as I’d hoped with the majority of people at the shows.Obviously the ‘Weltschmerz’ artwork is in formative stages and although an element of it has been hinted at on the tour poster with the frame of flowers there wasn’t anything substantial to bring into play. We therefore decided to concentrate on the ‘Clutching at Straws’ images.
The ‘cocktail glass’ was my initial idea for the ‘CAS’ album front cover but was rejected by the band at the time. I decided to resurrect it on this tour and Mark gave it a twist as befits a martini with the ‘fish’ logo on the umbrella and a ‘tear’ of blood as used on the ‘Warm Wet Circles’ single artwork. It actually seems more relevant than before and ties in to the ‘Weltschmerz’ idea in an abstract way. We tried using the ‘flower border’ on the design but the detail didn’t come over as we had hoped so reverted to a clean image for the front of the shirt. The lettering was settled on when Mark suggested we use the original album title font style.We went for a blue shirt rather than a’ traditional’ black as it just made the image more vibrant. I had originally intended to go without a backprint as it’s only 11 shows and many a time I’ve been caught out with overstocks that become dated after the tour. The fans decided otherwise and I bowed down to wishes and we created a simple design for the back of the shirt that ties in with the front and provides a souvenir from the first of the shows on the ‘Clutching at Straws’ anniversary tour.
The idea for the second shirt was a polo with an embroidered martini glass but after consultation with our printers, ‘Razamatazz’ we discovered we couldn’t capture the detail in the needlework we wanted. It was Mark who suggested a second T using the artwork he’d supplied to ‘Prog’ magazine for their front cover a few months ago when they ran a feature on ‘CAS’. Neither Mark or I were happy with the original album cover and his retake where he populated the original bar scenario I thought was genius. Again I went for an alternative to black and we agreed a grey background gave it a bit more class. The backprint of tour dates and the “still drowning” quote was again added by popular demand.
The final item on the merch stall will be a black sweatshirt rather than a ‘hoodie’ as it lends itself more to a front design. With these never as popular as T’s on the road I decided to omit the back print and keep it simple and ageless as a stock item.Hoodies may be popular with some but as we still have stock from the ‘Feast of Consequences’ tour I opted for a return to a traditional sweat shirt and sated the demand for a black item. I personally think it looks stunning.As with the T shirts the seat shirt will be produced in large sizes and I’m waiting to find out from ‘Razamatazz’ just how big we can go with the designs. I’m not going with ‘girlie’ sizes as in all honesty we don’t sell enough to qualify print runs but we should be able to cater for most other sizes.
All these items will be available on the mail order shop on the website in November together with the ‘Suits’ and Songs From the Mirror’ remasters and all will be for sale on the UK tour on the merchandise stall. Some have asked if the mail order service caters for outside Europe and the UK and the answer is yes. We send items worldwide
With the web site being completely redesigned by Rob Skarin, who has done an amazing piece of work with Steven Wilson’s site and others, it’s a perfect way to launch the newly designed mail order pages.
I’ll know more about pricing and the date for the new website relaunch in the next week or so and this post will be followed up later with news on ‘Weltschmerz’ and the new ideas which quite honestly I think you will be very excited to hear about.
Mark Wilkinson has finished the artwork for both ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ and I think they are the best yet. The sleevenotes are immense and the ‘Suits’ booklet runs to 60 pages with 15000 words and photos. ‘SFTM’ runs in at 12000 words and is a 48 page booklet. Between the 2 the entire period of 92-95 is covered and takes in my first steps as an independent artist and all the trials and tribulations involved.Even I was amazed at just how much happened in such a relatively short space of time.
The audio is now with Calum Malcolm for mastering and I’m waiting to see the first edit on the DVD from ‘SFTM’. It’s all on line and I should have finished copies by the end of November.I’m glad these remasters are now finished and I can now fully concentrate on writing and building up to the tour.It’s not all completely stress free but then that’s the way I like it.Nothing like a bit of pressure to fuel the creative juices!
With ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ now virtually completed apart from the mastering I can switch my sights onto the last 2 albums in the remaster schedule, ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ and ‘Internal Exile’. I don’t plan to get into these compilations until early next year but I’ll be collecting material as I go along. I already have a whole suite of demos from ‘Vigil’ and ‘Exile’ that have been transferred from old Akai 12 track recordings and I’m looking forward to hearing what we have to play with.There’s a lot of material available for both titles that has to be sifted through and I still have to determine how it will all be packaged.It’ll provide a nice break in the ‘Weltschmerz’ writing sessions as I have allocated the first 6 months of next year to the new album. Interesting times.
The word ‘overwhelming’ springs to mind as the satellites feed us seemingly never ending images and soundbites from all over the planet’s surface.
Someone sent me my own video clip to ‘Blind to the Beautiful’ and I was reminded that although the song was written in 2012 the relevance hasn’t diminished and it seems even more ‘current’ than back then.
With hurricane ‘Jose’ following up along the destructive path of ‘Irma’, typhoons raging across Asia, devastating flooding in India and wildfires lighting up the skies in America, Europe and everywhere else I think even the most skeptical of us have to admit ‘The times they are a changing’. This isn’t the place nor the time to examine that argument because it sure won’t help those citizens of the world out there that are just trying survive and recover at the moment.
This weekend I’ll be’ soul brother’ linked in to my former guitarist and great buddy John Wesley who lives in Brandon on the west coast of Florida. I called him last night to see how he and the family were coping and what their arrangements were for the oncoming storm. He was pretty chirpy as I’d expect and when I called he had the power tools out boarding up his daughter’s house. It kind of threw things in a diamond edged perspective as did this e mail from him this afternoon.
Blind to the Beautiful
The stars are fading, ashes to ashes and dust to dust,
The bread we have broken, the wine we drank from tarnished cups,
And I stopped believing in miracles a long long time ago,
I lost my faith and I sacrificed my soul,
I worshipped fallen idols, chased false prophets to an end,
To where I just can’t see the beautiful anymore
The ice retreating, mountains exposed in the sun,
The earth is baking, raindrops precede the floods
And hurricanes with children’s names write our history
Signatures tracked by satellites on high,
We should have talked about the weather a bit more seriously,
More than stocks and shares and corporate wares,
We were blinded by the skeptics and their greed
I just can’t see the beautiful anymore; I just can’t see the beautiful anymore
I howled and I cried when the melody died, the song was finally over, There was nothing to say, words stole away, their meaning lost in the ether, What there was left stopped making sense, a broken up alphabet, language dispersed
I just can’t hear the beautiful anymore
The oceans are rising, islands in time disappear,
The canyons burning, forests consumed by the flames,
Wildfires rage across the plains to be starved by barren soil,
Deserted farms where seeds refuse to grow,
I close my eyes to cloudless skies I dream of what we had before,
I just can’t see the beautiful anymore
I just can’t see the beautiful anymore I want to see the beautiful once more copyright DDICK 2013
as a big PS : maybe I completely misunderstand how it all works but I hope the corporates, companies and individuals that use some of the Caribbean islands and benefit hugely from them as tax havens will be contributing way over a fair share to help the islanders recover. It’s only fair but does fairness really still exist?
Just back from a tiring but fun London trip.Sas rehearsals in Putney went well after a long train ride that nearly never happened after I misjudged the time and ended up breaking the Studio to Longniddry station record in my Dad’s old Corsa.
The 4 hours or so on the train chilled me out then it was a slog on the underground to Putney and a long walk to the studio from the station.I hadn’t realised how rusty my voice was as I hadn’t sung down a microphone since May 2016.
It was great to see all the guys and gals again and catching up at lunch was more like being in a doctor’s surgery as we all went through our various ailments 🙂
Getting my head round singing again was a challenge and I felt a bit awkward for the first hour as I had to really concentrate on the songs.All went well in the end and although I could have done with another run through my voice needs to rest up before I do some needed warm ups over the weekend.I’m glad I have these SAS gigs as I would have had problems at our own rehearsals in November if I’d been going straight in.It’ll be fine come Monday night.
Back over the water and north to Kings Cross where I checked in the hotel, showered and got suited and booted for the evening’s on stage interview at the Islington.
Wonderful to catch up with Steve Blacknell who was celebrating his 65th birthday. The Peter Pan of interviewers we managed to get a good chin wag and open the story boxes over a couple of ciders pre show. We were joined by none other than Aylesbury legend and good mate , John Otway, who I hadn’t seen for over 10 years.He was as always in fine and fun spirits and that smile never wavers.Coincidentally the last time Steve , John and I were together was on the set for the ‘Heart of Lothian’ video shoot.
I had another lovely surprise when Judy Totten my former press officer showed up as she is working with John and came along for the gathering. Again great catching up with lost time and stories a go go played out.
As well as personal friends there were a lot of faces I recognised from over the years in the audience and the night was so informal it was easy to pose for selfies and sign items as well as have one on one conversations over pints outside before and after the event.
The evening was a great success and I intend to repeat it in other venues in more towns and cities next year when I release ‘Weltschmerz’. Steve as expected only asked about 4 questions as I bounced and circled stories and anecdotes as well as explaining the state of affairs with the new album. We did a quick hour and then a 20 minute break before the next 40 minute session. I could have gone on but Steve pulled it in and called it a night. I hung around talking to people for another hour before heading back to the hotel with very sore back and legs from a full days engagement across the city.
I had an interview the next morning before I headed back on the train. Steve Rothery was supposed to be there as it was an interview with Swedish writers who are putting together a book on Hansa studios. Sadly Steve was tied up with ‘Marillion’ rehearsals and had to call off so I was left on my own to reminisce about Berlin back in 1985 until I diddly bopped over to Kings Cross station for the long trek back home.
I arrived aching at the Studio around 7 and spent the night catching up with e mails and news. I put a call into my big buddy John Wesley to check up on how he was doing to find him boarding up his daughters house in preparation for the arrival of hurricane Irma. As expected he was staying and hunkering down with his family and I’ll be thinking of him in the coming days.
Today is a day on the PC dealing with work demands and this weekend I’ll be practicing my vocal exercises and learning lyrics for Monday and Tuesday’s SAS shows. This is the last few days I have to clear the desks and prepare for the next writing sessions when Steve arrives the following week. There’s a lot to do and time is my enemy just now.
One major project is the launch of the new web site which is being created by Rob Skarin. His brother Miles filmed the event at the Islington and we hope to have the entire night’s ‘interview’ up on the web site as it’s a pretty good overview on where things are at just now and I think there were some pretty funny and entertaining moments that will make you chuckle.
And boy in the middle of all this ‘Weltschmerz’ do we need a chuckle just now.
The photo was taken by Stuart James and features 2 of the music business’s great optimists and survivors.
I’m sorry to say that I received some really sad news last week. Thomas Stiehler who was sound engineer on ‘Misplaced Childhood’ and on ‘Internal Exile’ died in Leipzig. He had suffered a serious heart attack that left him in a coma and from which he never recovered.
I had been incredibly fortunate to have spent some time with him recently in Berlin when Steve Rothery , Chris Kimsey and I went over to film the documentary at Hansa studios for Sky Arts.Thomas had joined us in a bar later in the afternoon and we continued on to dinner and an entertaining night round the ‘story box’.
Thomas was one of Life’s great eccentrics and even turned up to the Berlin meeting wearing Harris Tweed plus 4’s! He was a fabulous character and a great sound engineer who contributed greatly to the 2 albums I worked with him on. I have fond and riotously wild memories of our days together both in Berlin and here at the Farm when he was the first engineer to use the new studio in the summer of 1991 .He hadn’t changed a bit when I last saw him and he seemed really happy with his lot in life. He still had the crazy glint in his eye and remained a highly intelligent man with great ideas and a beautiful focus.
He could be insanely serious and humorous both at the same time none more so when he was convinced there were ghosts in the studio. He wouldn’t go into the main room at night to switch the lights off and hated being alone in the control room where equipment would malfunction for no known reason.
During the recording of ‘Exile’ he took a short holiday to Italy where he bumped into a medium. He related the story of the studio ghosts and was told to waft some sage smoke in the rooms that concerned him. When he came back he set about his task with typical fervor after explaining to us in immense details what was wrong. Lo and behold all the mysterious technical problems we had disappeared and the vibe changed.
The weird thing was that the old building that was virtually torn apart during the studio construction was used to house German and Italian prisoners of war who worked on the farm. It was thought that all the energies and spirits of the area were disrupted and they were making their dissatisfaction known.
The sage smoke was attributed to calming them down and we haven’t had a major problem since Thomas’s intervention.
There’s a part of him that will always be here in the studio and anytime I ever smell burning sage I’ll know he is there.
Thomas, despite always having been a city boy loved the ocean and on September 16th his ashes, as he’d wished for, are being scattered from a boat in the North Sea .I’m not able to get to the funeral in North Germany but I’ll be raising a glass on the day on the beach where Chris and he went on long drunken walks on days off from recording.
Slainthe Thomas thanks for all your contributions to my career and for all the laughter that went with it.
He’ll be missed by many and my heart goes out to family and friends who are all shocked and saddened by his loss.
Thomas Stiehler RIP
Photo of Fish, Thomas and Chris Kimsey taken by Steven Rothery in Berlin 19th April 2017 thanks for that Steve x
Apologies for being out of touch recently but my typing finger has been rather overworked as I concentrated on finishing the sleeve notes for ‘Songs From the Mirror’ and ‘Suits’. I’ve collected all the various slides and photos and they are now in possession of Mark Wilkinson who is now scanning like a madman converting all the images to digital for the artwork design.
I spent days combing through old fanzines and documents piecing the elaborate history of 1992- 1995 together and to be honest I had to leave out so much, especially from the ‘Suits’ era, as there wasn’t the space.
James Cassidy sent me up his ‘memoirs’ from the period which amounted to around 7000 words. These had to be whittled down and spread between the album sleeve notes as they were an important addition and another great perspective.
In total ‘Mirror’ comes in at around 12 000 words and ‘Suits’ is a particularly hefty 15 000! Basically in the last fortnight I have written a novel!
I’ve sent them out to the usual suspects for review and they got glowing reports. The photos I found really compliment them and I found some fascinating long forgotten images some of which had to be shredded. 🙂
I wouldn’t have believed that so much could have happened during that period and that so many stories were generated.
The documentary for ‘Mirror’ is now being edited by David Barras and Scott MacKay and they are going through reams of footage from my personal video collection and from my friend Henk Tempelman in Holland who filmed a lot of shows over the years.We have, thanks to Henk, a full show from the 1993 Vredenberg Utrecht show that was recorded for the ‘Sushi’ album and we will be incorporating the relevant songs into the documentary. The DVD will take the longest to complete as all the songs for the CDs are now with Steve Vantsis for compilation before going to Calum Malcolm for mastering in early October. Both titles are on line and will be ready for the first week of December.
The T shirt I’m wearing in the photo I had forgotten about till the other day. This was the design given to me by ‘Viz’ magazine after they included me in a ‘Billy the Fish’ strip in one edition. After having already published a photo of me walking naked and carrying a bottle of Jack Daniels outside a venue where the band and crew buses were parked together . It had been sent to them by my ex sound engineer ‘Privet’ Hedge after a particularly drunken night in France playing ‘strip jack’ ‘Trivial Pursuit’ with a couple of local ladies who couldn’t speak English. Needless to say they lost heavily and I decided to strip off in sympathy before heading over to the other bus to get more alcohol.Young, foolish and too drunk to care at the time I hadn’t envisaged the future ‘betrayal’. For the record the young ladies got home safe and unharmed. The band and crew however were badly damaged! 🙂
It was really cool of the ‘Viz’ guys to let me use the image on the shirt and it’s still a favourite.
Mark Wilkinson and Sandy Fearful are working on the t shirt designs for the December tour. I’m keeping this simple and we most probably will have an ivory grey T with the ‘glass with flowers’ image and a black polo with a ‘glass’ embroidery design.
I’m back into clearing the decks again and with the SAS shows in the coming weeks I really need to prepare for some serious ‘Weltschmerz’ application once they are out the way. It’s been an extraordinary busy period this last month and my “heid has been birling” on occasion as there have been some heavy demands from outside the normal day to day circle of routine problems. Dealing with them and keeping focused on the ‘day job’ has been difficult but I’m getting rebalanced again.With the remasters moving into assembly and production 2 massive logs in the jam have been sent off downstream and I have a huge sense of relief.
My young niece Ellie Gibbs is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a couple of weeks to raise money for cancer research. She decided on this journey shortly after my father died last year from cancer related illness.
My dad served with the REME and was attached to the Kings Rifles in Tanzania during his national service in the 50’s. He was stationed for a while close to the mountain and once made an attempt on the slopes making it half way up till he and his friends were turned back by bad weather. It was a dream of his to climb the mountain.
I’m giving Ellie his masonic ring to place on the summit in his memory so we will always know there’s a token from his life that made the top of the mountain and that every time we see an image of Kilimanjaro we can think of him.
Ellie, the family and I would be sincerely grateful if you could donate a small amount to Cancer research UK and support her climb for this admirable cause.Your help on this is greatly appreciated.
take care, stay alive