The Real Deal

For KK’s Flashback Track Friday prompt. This is my “proper” response.

The stakes were high,
We all were primed,
So much to gain or lose.

From long, hot days,
In captive grip,
We heard upon a muse.

She spread from one,
To two, to ten,
Her message loud and strong,

So clear to us,
The hungry youths,
Contained within her songs

I should explain. It is 1989. We are in Cardiff, UK, and I am in my final year of university.

I worked sixteen-hour days, mostly in a windowless library. I lived like a monk, not even seeing my then girlfriend for a month.

Because of this preparation, the exams went better than I expected. I began to socialise among student friends. One record was doing the rounds, the new addition to seemingly everybody’s collections.

An artist we had never before heard of. Her debut album. Every track with a message. We were willing recipients. Many tracks were covered, none came close.

I’m searching for the right words. “Breath of Fresh Air” does not do her justice, though that was precisely what she was. I don’t know whether it is simply because of my age (I was 21), because of my impressionability, or because of the direct link to me final exams, but there was never another album, before or since, which blew me away the same.

This is Tracy Chapman. I shall choose one track, but I recommend the entire album. https://open.spotify.com/album/6hmmX5UP4rIvOpGSaPerV8?si=DsJLpYc6Sc25FRn9pDR3sQ

Warming Up

For KK’s Flashback Track Friday prompt. I’ll have to think about a proper response, but immediately thought you might like this. For UK readers, a memory – this badboy went to #1 – and for non-UK readers, an insight into what makes Brits so…

Father of the Nation

For KK’s Flashback Track Friday prompt.

Having brokered career in law,
Let it go,
I could see things were unfair,
Let if go.

When the odds against were stacked,
Let it go,
I could see I had to act,
Let it go.

Took away my liberty,
Let it go,
When you threw away the key,
Let it go.

World expected to forget,
Let it go,
But I come back stronger, yet.
Let it go.

For all those years, neglected,
Let it go,
Yet released and then elected,
Let it go.

When I gained emancipation,
Let it go,
Became the Father of the Nation,
Let it go.

The thing I liked most about Nelson Mandela was the “truth and reconciliation” aspect. That he could turn around and say “you have done all sorts of evil against me, yet I am willing to put that to one side, because I have a more critical priority of sorting out the mess you made”. I think it shows the sign of a great man, and indeed many, many people, South Africa of today, and other countries, cannot see further than the “revenge” ticket, cannot see the end game.

But to be honest I found this prompt quite difficult, because I tend to admire views, but get less hung up on people. Plus, I think we all come with flaws. My favourite politician, I thought similarly on many issues, but not on others, Musically, I was influenced a lot by Bob Marley. To me, he was sound on racial issues, but was he so sound on other inequality issues? Same goes for something like the suffragettes and their focus of gender issues.

Anyway, just to illustrate my point, I’ll include one of my favourite anti-apartheid songs. See? It’s the issue, not the person. Nelson was probably the most important individual person, but that we changed the society is a far bigger thing.

Scary Things (Fandango’s Flashback Friday)

Yay, it is Friday again, and Fandango has just published his Flashback Friday post. The idea is that he picks a post from this day in a previous year, to give newer readers a better insight into what makes him tick.

I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own reminiscence. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining along the way.

Oh, and thank you to Jennifer at Paperkutzs for allowing me to use her image.


This time last year must have been a Wednesday, because here is a Fandango’s Provocative Question that I answered, about what terrifies me. Sorry, you’ll have to follow the link to find out!

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

Fandango’s Provocative Question (15 January 2020)

In this week’s Provocative Question, Fabdango asks: What’s something you consider to be terrifying that you have come to accept as a fact of life? Actually, the question came originally from Melanie at https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/, from this week’s Share Your World post. I must admit that I prefer to share my world at my own pace, … Continue reading “Fandango’s Provocative Question (15 January 2020)”

Job Opportunities (Fandango’s Flashback Friday)

Yay, it is Friday again, and Fandango has just published his Flashback Friday post. The idea is that he picks a post from this day in a previous year, to give newer readers a better insight into what makes him tick.

I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own reminiscence. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining along the way.

Oh, and thank you to Jennifer at Paperkutzs for allowing me to use her image.


Back three years today. I was coming up for two years since the stroke and was starting to think about work again. The first step to any job hunt was just getting my cv together so that if anything did crop up, I could react.

I have a definite preference for working locally, but in two years of looking, nothing ever came up. At the same time, I have developed this parallel existence, where I originally embarked on home-based projects to make sure my skills were sharp again. That was four projects ago…

Just before Lockdown happened, I’d resigned myself to looking further afield. The cities of Southampton and Bournemouth are not too far away, and I see jobs come up there, though not really at the level I once was. And then Lockdown – I haven’t looked for anything in the last twelve months, really, although I am still working on my home-based stuff.

Job Opportunities

Happy New Year to everybody. One of my goals for 2018 is to get back into employment. I have lots of experience in IT, designing and developing multi-user systems, mainly for financial houses and mainly in central London. There’s no reason why I couldn’t do the same kind of job, or something similar, once again. … Continue reading “Job Opportunities”