The Song that Got Away (6)

Last time out I featured a song from the movie The Big Easy. That whole soundtrack is full of songs that are not even titled with English words, let alone something that’ll ever fit SLS. This one is a bacd called Beausoleil singing Zydeco Gris Gris. See what I mean?

One Word Challenge (30 April 2020)

We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere… can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.

Elon Musk

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), experiment.

Fandango’s Provocative Question (29 April 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. This week, he asks:

As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?

I’ve addressed this one a few times. Straight away, I have observed the purpose has changed over time.

I started the blog maybe a year after I had a stroke. In the first instance, it was just the easiest way of keeping a diary. Nobody else would have been interested (in fact, I’m surprised they are now, but that’s another story 🙂), but the important thing for me is that I could record something, physical or emotional, and it would be created with that little timestamp in the corner. So, it was a case of, last month I walked 10 yards, now I can walk 15, and so on.

The bottom line is because recovery progress is sufficiently slow, if you just look day-upon-day, you never see anything. Seriously, my first piece of advice to any survivor was keep a diary.

But frankly, if you look at what I write about now, you’d never know I’d had a stroke if it weren’t for the name I chose. (And, one day I will probably change that too, but I’ll wait until I’m fed up with it.) But this has got to be a good thing, hasn’t it? Because once upon a time, my interest was my health, fairly and squarely, and now it is much more general. I’ve often compared the stroke to a ball with no air in it. That was my world. And as the air is pumped in again, it all gradually re-flates. That has been my experience.

In fact, that brings me to the present day. Read one or two of my recent posts – and the stroke is nowhere to be seen. I blog now just because I enjoy the interaction with people. It isn’t just WP, although I do like it here, because I did use Facebook previously. And it isn’t writing, per se, because I’ve found that 90% of this community is reading. In fact I’m trying to impose a rule on myself which is basically that I’m not going to answer a prompt unless I am also prepared to read other people’s responses to that prompt. I’m doing okay with FOWC and SLS, but it is still a case of trying to get into the habit. So, where better to carry on than with FPQ?


for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), drone.

I found this fantastic page of images to fit today’s theme, including this image. Click on the image for the page in full.

(This, apparently, is Dubai. I loved the lion and the train, too!)

Things I Probably Won’t Be Doing Next Month

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), preview.

Tick Tock Tuesday (28 April 2020) – Paul Simon

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.

Last week I mentioned U2 almost entirely because of the video of them. This week, I’d like to stay on the subject of videos. I am a child of the Eighties, I just about remember the birth of the pop video, and this week I’d like to introduce my favourite video. As it happens the song itself is also one of my favourites, and I’m sure that helps.

If somebody said Chevvy Chase to me, I’d have this in an instant. Would you?

If not, here’s another clue. Paul Simon?

It helps that my growing up was to a Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, I guess. I love Art’s voice and have a few solo albums of his. But more prolific was Paul Simon, so inevitably I have accumulated many of his CDs.

One album, however, that I remember well was Graceland, and I still listen to it. It was also an introduction to South African music, and don’t forget, this was a good five years before apartheid fell. In fact there was a lot of merit in what Simon did – by giving these artists a stage he quite successfully undermined the regime.

My choice today was a big single from the album, and you will doubtless remember it. I’ll bet it still comes on your radio from time to time.

What I’m Missing

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), squad.

Way back in the Nineties I played a couple of these shoot ’em ups. Looks like they have come on some!

Share Your World (27 April 2020)

I’ve kinda noticed that I am starting to pick up some pre-virus activities again, so might have to ease myself out of some of the prompts I’ve recently taken part in. Plus, when WordPress tells me that I have posted for 48 days straight, this is meant to be some badge of honour but I’m afraid the only emotion I feel is scary. I don’t want this blog to become one of those blogs where I post for the sake of posting something, and I have published a few posts like that recently.

Having said that, Share Your World, by Melanie B. Cee over at, is one of the posts I have come to enjoy each week, so I will try to keep it up. This week, Melanie asks us the following questions:

Do guns protect people or kill people?  Or both?

Hmmmm… gun control. I’ve posted on this a few times, so will not go into detail in this answer. If you want more, you can find it here and here, amongst others. My views tend not to change substantially, and have not in this case.

I would make three points:

  • People kill people. In this much, the NRA are right, but that’s not the end of the argument.
  • There are people, the world over, who would go out and kill somebody, provided they had the means to do so. The USA has no monopoly on pissed-off citizens.
  • But the USA is the only country which gives people the means to destroy other people. At least, to do so, so easily.

Having accepted the need for gun control, I see two problems:

  1. how do you stop new guns getting out onto the streets?
  2. how do you bring in existing guns?

For the first, they need a move by politicians. Which means the politicians must be free to act on their conscience, not governed by their campaign funding. Which means that they need to change their political funding system to make groups like the NRA impotent. Which means they need to change their constitution. You thought gun control was a big issue? We didn’t even get started yet!

On the guns that are out there already, I specifically reject buyback schemes, because the people who are dangerous will be unlikely to sell their weapons to the government for a few bucks. In this area, I must admit that this is why I think that, fundamentally, the USA is screwed. The best thing I can think of is to ban consumables such as bullets, to ban them immediately, and hope that in maybe ten or twenty years people might have the desire, but no longer have the means, to shoot weapons at other people. But even this approach offers no guarantees.

One of the things that fascinates me in this debate is that guns have been around a few hundred years, but mass shootings have only been reported since the end of WWII. I wonder why that is? Journalism just got better? It’d be nice to know.

Is it more important to be respected or liked?

80:20 respected. If you are respected, then by implication you will be liked a little. Similarly, if people hate your guts, you’re unlikely to command their respect. So I think you need a mix of both, but in relative proportions.

Is having a big ego a negative or  positive trait?  (yeah I know.  Duh. But there ought to be one “gimme’ in the pile)

Negative. Just do it. When you’ve done it, get on and do the next thing. No time for an ego.

Depending on your point of view, is death a new beginning? 

You might as well just ask whether people have religion or not. After all, isn’t this the only real point of religion? To convince ourselves that something will happen afterwards?

It’s tough right now to count the blessings we have.   Being grateful for being confined to our homes and having reality skewed out of kilter for some is depressing.   So if there is something positive or uplifting or something you’re grateful for that you’d like to share (pictures, memes, images, thoughts) please!  Do share!  Thanks!   🙂

I’m grateful sometimes that I don’t need to go out, that I can sit on the sofa in my dressing gown, my slippers, and scratching my balls all day, and still be productive. I’m remembering that staying away from other people does not necessarily mean staying home. I’m grateful that we had sunny, warm weather last week, and that each day my wife and I enjoyed a scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream in the garden. I’m grateful that for the most part I have gotten away with being so lazy these last few weeks. There’s lots to be grateful for.

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