Cliché

“I’m not being funny, but …” begins every line
My blood pressure’s rising, but really, I’m fine,
It is just as well she thought prudent to mention,
This serious matter deserves full attention.

We had an English Teacher very early on in High School, it’s funny because we all thought he was a bit of an eejit at the time, but here I am all these years later echoing what he said.

He used to say that our use of clichés was due to not being able to think quickly enough. We wish to command, or to continue commanding, the conversation, but cannot think of anything useful to say, so we come out with this meaningless little filler just to allow our brain a fraction of a second to catch up.

This guy also had a theory about swearing. Exactly the same thing. Just an inability to access the required vocabulary in the allowed time.

Just to get something out to let off the excess steam, we say “oh, fuck” because we can’t think quickly enough to be able to say “oh dear, whilst trying to bang in this nail, I just hammered my thumb instead”.

I reckon this guy was twenty years older than me, so there is every chance that he is still very much with us. If so, Thank You, Mr. Lynch.


I consider myself very fortunate to have received a good education. A very small part of that was actually me, just for having the good sense to squeeze as much as I possibly could out of the system. Today’s poem is an ode to my daughter, who had many more opportunities than I ever did, and spurned them all.

Serially Single

I was chatting with Jennifer over at Paperkutzs and we got onto the subject of failed first dates. It kinda sparked an interesting conversation about “wouldn’t it be a good idea to share some first-date nightmares?”

I must admit, I don’t have any mega-nightmares, and I think many of my relationships went quite some way past that first date – it normally took them a few months to decide how bad I was 🤣. But looking back, I became quite “planned” about first dates. In my middle twenties, I was doing quite well for myself. I mean, I never really saw myself as “a catch”, I used to see all the imperfections, it was only later that I figured out that we all have our imperfections, even supermodels.

The point was that I had some spare cash, so didn’t have any problem spending some every now and again.

In my mercenary approach, I always used to like to fix a first date in a fancy restaurant. Most of these dates turned out to be lousy – I always valued what was between somebody’s ears as opposed to how they looked – so I just used to figure “at least I’ll get a good meal out of it”.

I grew up with the overriding feeling that I would sooner be single, than in a relationship I didn’t really want to be in, and I think I always kept true to that. I kind of got used to even travelling on my own (I holidayed in Luxembourg, France and Switzerland on my own), although the world is mainly made for couples.

God knows how I ended up with my wife, but then she would probably say the same! In her defence, I did (do) at least want to be with her, at least mostly!

Tick Tock Tuesday #42 (28 July 2020)

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.


I’ve come to the end of my road of influential pieces of art. Each individual piece has been unplanned – I might have thought “this piece might go well at christmas” or something, but the pieces themselves have been unplanned. So, I thought I might share some numbers.

Of about 40 posts, around 80% have been contemporary music. I’m using the word “contempory” pretty loosely, other presentations have been about 10% classical music, and 10% film or tv. There was even one of my favourite painter, a while back.

So the first thing I am blown away with is how influential contemporary music has been on me. It’s not really surprising that you’ll often find me listening to music in the evening instead of watching TV.

Within that category of contemporary music, I have been surprised at how much my ear has favoured men over women. It is not a conscious thing, and most likely is a reflection of the state of recording industry.

It’s no real surprise that I’m very tuned in to Black music – I’ve always veered naturally toward soul and reggae, from teenage years so I will just have spent more time listening to these genres. In fact I’m listening to some old Jamaican RockSteady music (from the Fifties and Sixties, a precursor to ska and reggae) as I write this post. There was a fair amount of Irish music in there too, but again, not surprising. Plus, Liverpool always felt that it was at the heart of the world of music.


I was wondering what to do after this series is complete and I think immediately, I will take a short break. Then I had the idea that I might present some of my own photography, as that was quite a big hobby of mine a few years ago. The subject matter will be random, the common thread will be that I was the guy behind the camera. Hopefully those posts will be both nice, quick reads and an enjoyable image to brighten your day. But first, I’m going to take a few weeks.

Lastly, all the posts in this series are tagged TTT, so if you open my blog in its web site, if you particularly enjoyed any of my posts, you can get back to them. I’ve tweaked their titles a little so it should make specific artists easier to find. Or, I created a carousel below:

Anyway, since I’m done, for my very last post, I’m going to break my rule. This one doesn’t really have any connection, beyond being a song I’ve liked for years. I thought it might be appropriate for today.

Tick Tock Tuesay (21 July 2020) – Aswad/Celebrating International Readers

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.


As I said, I’m reaching the end of this series – this is pretty much my last post, but next week I’ll present a roundup. I wanted to take this opportunity to fast-forward to the present day. In just under a year of blogging on WordPress, I have been privileged to come across bloggers from all over the world, and people in every continent actually follow this crap! Unbelievable! (the locations and the following). I even hear useful snippets of people’s local news that I’d never get through our media.

So it’s Aswad again today. What can I say? I just can’t get enough of them. And, by the time I’ve finished this series, neither will you 🤣.

This track is from their most commercially-successful era. The track itself was only ever an album track, but the album was a big success. But even their commercial albums, you don’t have to scratch much beneath the surface before you hit some cracking good music.

I was going to make this my last post but I will come back next week, after I have worked out some final numbers.

Tick Tock Tuesday (14 July 2020) – France

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.


It is July 14th. Does that mean anything to you? It will, if you’re French.

Throughout this series there has been kind-of an elephant in the room. I’ve realised that anybody who reads these posts is (mostly) part of an English-language audience, and so I have deliberately steered clear of the French language, which I also like. In fact, I did consider a movie clip a few weeks ago, but the clips on YouTube were not subtitled so might be difficult to follow.

But I can’t just ignore this, so I’ll cover a couple of these things today. In fact probably my favourite film, ever, is French, called Le Bonheur est dans le Pré. The Wikipedia link translates it as Happiness is in the Field, but frankly, that’s a poor translation. The film is about an under-pressure businessman, who, by a quirk of fate, starts leading a totally different life as a farmer. The title would more aptly be something like “Contentment is discovered by getting back to nature”.

In the film is also one of my favourite actors, a guy called Michel Serrault. There’s a chance you might remember him from the original Cage aux Folles, and if you have ever heard of an ex-soccer star called Eric Cantona (who was the best player I’ve ever seen), this was his first acting role.

Another favourite film is the comedy Les Visiteurs. A knight and his servant (Jean Reno has been in several Hollywood movies too, and Christian Clavier is a big name in France) from around the millenium are zapped forward to the present day, with unpredictable results!

Musically, my favourite French artist, no doubt about it, is a guy called Tonton David (Tonton is a familiar word for uncle). Another reggae artist. Or nowadays, a retired reggae artist. I followed him from before the internet, when it was really only possible to get hold of French-language music by walking into a shop in France. Now, of course, all his material is easily available on the web.

Until last weeek, I was going to present something by Tonton David today, but I’ve presented reggae the last couple of weeks, plus this would be a foreign language song to us.

So, I have picked a song from another artist instead, he’s normally a bit too “poppy” for me, but some of his tracks are okay. He couldn’t be more different from Tonton, but I liked them both. I suppose I like this song naturally because it sounds very Irish, with his tin whistle and Irish dancing, although the artist, Jean-Jacques Goldman, is from Paris. You probably won’t have heard of him but he has written plenty of material for artists you will have heard of, including Céline Dion. And the piece is far more “music” than “lyrics”.

The song is called Et l’on n’y peut rien, which loosely translates as And there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a long clip but see how far you get. Just two more post to go in this series, so I’ll see you next week. In the meantime, have a happy Bastille Day and remember – liberty, equality, fraternity!