Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Yesterday ol' PRINCE CHARLIE went over to IRELAND and quoting an Irish news paper journalist and editor, GERRY ADAMS  who ,apparently is always on the hunt for a photo oppertunity and "would upstage the bride at her wedding"given half a chance, decided he would show up and  instigate the most famous handshake in recent history. I don't know if that was the plan all along ,or just 'happened' ...... As we all know the leader of SINN FEIN ,who as we all know had absolutly nothing at all to do with the I.R.A. during 'DE TRUBLES!!'......The horrendous years from the late 60's up until relatively recently, in fact some still think the good fight still, if not rages ,smoulders on. Adams met with CHARLES who was over to see the site where his favourite relative ,mentor and godfather ,LORD MOUNTBATTEN was blown to smithereens by an IRA bomb on his fishing boat one sunny afternoon in the late 70's. And on that same tragic day a pile of men of the parachute battalion were killed.

So the man who 'had nothing to do with any of this !'....Met the still grieving relative and he is also the colonel in cheif of the para's ,so it was a double whammy for CHARLES . So if Charles had shook Adams by the throat who'd've blamed him. 

I'm not particually a ROYALIST, but i do like and admire the ROYAL FAMILY and think we should be proud to have them. I like Charles ,he has his own mind and as he showed yesterday he has courage and strength.

I remember growing up during the 'Troubles' and the horrors that occurred on an almost daily basis. As my family are Irish i spent a lot of time over there and in as i got older and my beer intake grew with the size of my mouth got into rows and arguements with people about it. I saw a few army disposal robots blowing packages up on the streets of Liverpool, so it wasn't that far away.
Also found myself one day in an IRA rally as they took over a shop in O'CONNELL ST in central DUBLIN and i'm there with a new short haircut and an old BRITISH ARMY COMBAT JACKET!!!!....But i survived.

When the hunger striker BOBBY SANDS died i was in a village where the family hail from called COOTEHILL in the south and just slurping a pint in the sunshine (it does shine sometimes)  and i noticed two men in black ,mean looking and dropping into shops up and down the street ,they just looked odd. I later found out they were a couple of 'THE BOYS'..suggesting it might be a good idea to close up shop as a mark of respect on the day of the funeral.....It was reported how shops all over the south closed 'as a mark of respect!'....Thats as near as i wanted to get to any of 'the shit!'

Life seems to be relatively normal ,thankfully ,i can't pretend to understand all what went on and don't particually want to. People say "Give Ireland back to the Irish!?"....Seems to me they have it in the south, its up in the North where Loyalists and Republicans want totally opposite things and Britains stuck there basically, wether it likes it or not!

Monday, 18 May 2015


Over the last few years i've got quite fond of 'DA BLOOS!' music......My love of 'THE BLUES' is, alas not shared by my beloved missus ,the LOVELY LYNNE..... she can't stand it. But i have to admit to a fondness indeed from early ROBERT JOHNSON, to  MUDDY WATERS to B.B.KING (gawd bless 'im!).....To HOWLING WOLF ,to BUDDY GUY and SEASICK STEVE, etc......

I got to like it when i heard the gravel voice and gravelly chuckling of JOHN LEE HOOKER when he apeared on an album by PETE TOWNSHEND...THE IRON MAN based on the poem by TED HUGHES. So i got an album and enjoyed a few compilations ,preferring the so called 'ELECTRIC BLUES', but still like the harmonica and 'traditional' stuff. I currently am spellbound by BUDDY GUY, his blistering guitar stuff with a beautiful powerful voice which reminds me a little of TOM JONES which i mean as a compliment.

The giants of the blues crossing the old days through to modern times are possibly MUDDY WATERS  and B.B. KING, these ol fellahs showed the rock stars from the 60's on 'till now 'how it's done!'Everything from pop music to hard rock ,heavy metal and prog rock all spawned from the blues and these 'ol fellahs', who started in huts in cotton plantations in places like Mississippi ,and had a real bad time of it and armed with an old guitar played for buttons in clubs, bars, speakeasies,brothels ,etc constantly playing the soundtrack to America's 20th century, eventually getting the recognition the wholly deserved and Playing trendy places like GLASTONBURY and wowing the crowds and the cool groovy ,pain in the arse Radio 1 DJ's.

B.B.KING died the other day. The man used to play hundreds of gigs every year and never really left 'the road'....It was also said ,and admitted by himself that he couldn't play the guitar properly, he reckoned his skill was because he always played out of tune . I couldnt tell you ,but it sounded good to me.

The masters and true artists are diminishing as time wears on , but not to worry i'm sure the next king of the blues will be found on the X-FACTOR.


 Years and years ago in the 1970's i started KARATE training.....When you went into the school gymn we would immediatly start warming up excercises which included a variety of stretching excercises. These consisted of spreading and bending the legs and hips in a variety of cringe forming positions of a totally unatural positions and then once you'd forced yourself into this god awful ,painful position , you then started bouncing to force yourself further into the position to pull the ligaments and tendons. And to add to the fun and twanging tendons ,clicking knees and hips we would have a fun-packed time as partners would press you down into the splits leaning on your shoulders or as you lent against a wall with your leg in the air in front or to the side, they would put their shoulder under and push them further up.....Oh happy days!

I was always able to kick to head height insofar as i'm physically a short arse , with short stubby legs. Many of my fellow Karatekas were able to do the splits and the longer limbed had amazing kicking abilities, but to this day i still cannot do the splits, but could deliver a hefty boot within the limits of my god-taken limited reach.

The funny thing was before i did any training i had to do this 10-20 minute warm up, but when i walked about my hips often felt quite stiff. But the fun started with my knees. Whenever i knelt down my knees used to click horrendously.......I remember looking at the magazines in a branch of W.H.SMITHS.....I wasn't looking at the high level mags, but the comics at the bottom.....I knelt down and this 'K-K-KRACK!!!!' as my knees cracked horribly!.......Everybody in the shop went into a hyper-cringe mode, they looked at me with horror and wondered how a young fit looking teenager could be racked with arthritis and rheumatism!....I shruggled and smiled with a slight touch of embarressment and left the shop.

The funny thing is that when i went to live in India i was introduced to TAI-CHI by SENSEI SUBRAMANYAN. This introduction shaped my KARATE and changed my life as after a few years i'd learnt a lot from the slow relaxed movement of the TAI-CHI and the great MASTER KANAZAWA one of the true masters whom i had the pleasure of meeting on a couple of occassions and he'd studied TAI-CHI with his KARATE for many years and introduced me to the benefits of relaxed movement with proper breathing. A TAI-CHI sifu, MR WONG in KUALUR LUMPUR explained breathing to me and when we stretched instead of the tendon twanging ligament tugging bouncing stuff we would adopt a position and gently stretch using deep breathing.

When i came home and wasn't able to train at various clubs due to transport difficulties i started traing in my Karate moves and techniques in a slow relaxed Tai-Chi way ,concenterating on breathing . When i trained in a club i just did as i was told and would punch and kick with full power ,grunting and yelling like you'd expect. But the time by myself  i suddenly began to understand stuff i'd taken for granted for all my life, why did i have to do this or that , when i did this or that?.....But now i'm nearly 55 , i'm faster and more powerful and more supple than i've ever been ....No cracking, clicking joints.

Slower is faster....Gentler is stronger....The mystical internal energy ,CHI, if you like is all in the breathing, it all hinges on the breathing.....Just stop breathing for 10 minutes and see how you feel!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


When you think of sport you mainly think of the three sporting staples for your average
Englishman....Football!....Or "SARKER!" as our beloved cousins across the pond like to call it. They have their own FOOTBALL where the dress up like the cast of IRON MAN 3 and play ,being Americans too the micro second as measured on an atomic clock in the super stadium, so when they tackle each other and it looks looks and sounds like them massive police car pile ups from the car chases beloved by Hollywood in billions of  action films , every second is accounted for so it's possible that a score can be 'scored'(Converted/ touched down ??) in the last 0.0000235 of a second of  time. The good ol' British version of FOOTBALL, properly spelt and pronounced "SOCCER!", or as civilised fans of 'The beautiful game in the fair city of Liverpool, where we have a number of decent teams would refer to it as,"DE FOOTY!" if your watching it ,say 'On the telly'...."Going to watch de footy, down the boozer!".....Or if your a bit more serious going "DE MATCH!" and occassionally a "DE GAME!"...As in "didj'ya see de game?"

          Our FOOTY is different to the Yanks Football as the nearest we have to their very odd idea of a game which is only played by them even though they think it's a globally loved game ,even though nobody on the planet has a clue what the fascination is with it and it is globally resented that the Americans call their big championship games things like 'THE WORLD SERIES????'.....We have a wonderful game called RUGBY where rough tough battered looking fellahs basically fill the pitch and amongst the mass of broken bodies is an oval ball which has to be retrieved by the opposing sides so the can run away to the far end of the pitch to score a try by putting the ball on the floor ,sounds simple ,but as is always the case theres about  between 14-16 big mean hefty looking monsters who dont agree with your intentions and want to stop you in the most painful bone shuddering ways they can. For a game that when you look at it is remarkably stupid in so far its a way of scoring points while keeping your skeletal system in roughly one piece, often unsuccessfully, the players are generally highly intelligent fellahs, admittedly the faces :scars, beaten eye brows ,broken noses and cauliflower ears may give them a slightly Prehistoric caveman look, but most have careers and basically are smart!....They say "Rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen?"

               The 'Footy!' was once a 'mans game', the stuff of comic book heroes in 'TheVICTOR,the HOTSPUR, characters like 'ROY OF THE ROVERS!' decent proud and could hoof an old style leather caseball the length of the pitch and still burst the net at the other end!......In real life we had our 1966 world cup squad with BOBBY MOORES; GEOFF HURSTS; BOBBY CHARLTONS, ROGER HUNTS(One of Liverpools all time greats!)....They played in old leather boots ,in thick mud and went "They dun their foot in!" in a vicious tackle, which were allowed in them days all the had to get them up was an old trainer in a wooly bob-hat and a rusty bucket of freezing cold water with a freezing sponge to slap on the injury....Even broken legs didn't stop our heroes leaping to their feet rather than face the dreaded cold sponge. Nowadays the ball is plastic ,almost ballon like so when given a good whack with the new trendy pink or silver boots worn and promoted by all our new foreign players pushing 'Their ranges ' of clothing, scents and sporting goods, occassionally!...The ball goes sailing up into the stratoshere, so they have to side foot the ball, none of your 30 yard Bobby Charlton blasts with the instep , back in the days when games used to have scores of 6,7 or8 goals in a game when it was slower, but enabled superb talents to dribble in the box, No GEORGE BESTS, KEVIN KEEGANS, ROGER HUNTS, ETC, ETC now as the game is too fast, and its against the rules to tackle!!???....Players do their own stunts and dives and fall and fall flat if they get a dirty look , Nobody "oes their foot in!",anymore ,they all amage tarsals n' meta tarsels,  Groins get a lot of grief, but thats probably nothing to do with the 'Footy' or training ,its out spending their £5000000000/week wages in the best places , you wont see 'the advertising hoardings who are our childrens heroes down the local 'boozer!'.....I hate it now ,i really do!, the say about the 'Footy'...."It's a game for gentlemen played by hooligans!"

                 I was never a fan of cricket and was terriffied on the few occassions i played ,once i got the ball in the face and once on my knee ,i've never felt pain like it i was sure i'd busted my leg. The game was the most vicious of the three as the idea was for the bowler to 'get the batsman out!' any way he could only armed with a rock hard cricket ball that he's trained for years to throw at amazing speeds with a variety of sneaky ,tricky spins and turns to make it impossible for the batsman to defend himself....The bowler gets the batsman in his sights and has a run up to add to his power and it is nothing more or less than to kill the target!......Than if he doesn't manage to do that , they go through it all again and so it goes on for days and weeks. When i lived in India i got interested in the Cricket as it's an obsession over there, the kids don't play 'Footy!' ,they play cricket on patches of wasteland ,or wherever they can.  I always wonder how some of the crowd dont get killed or seriously hurt ,when the batsman whacks the killer projectile out of the ground ,for a six!...A bit of cricketing parlance for you there....But the ball sails high into the crowd and it must ,on occassions smash into somebodies gob as they watch the game in fascination and go "OOOOOhhhhhh!" at the cracker of a shot thats "Jus' gotts be a 6!"....Leaving their teeth behind in the stadium, if it's not severe concussion.