Sunday, January 24, 2010

SquidBlog On Hold

Please note that SquidBlog is currently on hold. I hope to get up and running again at some point, but am currently concentrating on various musical projects.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tempest Bosah - 0

Yet another free album for download on NoiseWeb!

This new offering is a collaboration with Bosah, and is entitled "0". This is a more drifty, electronic collection than my recent solo efforts. I've been listening to it quite a lot lately, and enjoying the results.

Bosah and I are hoping to co-operate on a more visceral, noise-based album in the near future.

In the meantime, back at Tempest Towers, Spring appears to be on it's way at last. We've planted the first vegetable seeds of the year, and the windowsills are awash with plant pots and trays awaiting germination. I'll pop some photos up when they start sprouting!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's Been a Long Time

It's been far too long since I last posted here. I've got plenty of excuses, but none of them really hold water! In the interim I've completely redesigned my website:


and put a whole new album up there for download. I'm currently working on a couple of other new music projects too. One of these is a collection of reggae numbers, another is a bunch of pretty conventional rock songs which make the most of my new SG, and a third is a new strand of vaguely ambient pieces featuring fretless bass.

As for the garden, apart from turning the compost heap I haven't done much lately! I have made the most of a load of bubble wrap which we've collected from various parcels that we have received - I've laid it over the vegetable plot with the aim of warming it up before planting some early seeds. I can't wait to get started properly.

Hopefully you won't have to wait as long before my next blog - that is of course assuming that anyone is paying attention anymore!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Morris On!

Last weekend there were a number of events in Godalming as part of the Godalming Heritage Open Days. We happened to be in town on the Saturday and saw a couple of morris sides dancing in the High Street. It looked great fun, so on returning home I did a quick online search to see what it was all about.

As it happened, I discovered that the next day there were a number of sides dancing at lunchtime outside our local pub, The Anchor.

So, Sunday at midday we dragged the Squidlings away from their computer games and down to the pub. What a great couple of hours it turned out to be! It was sunny and warm, the Anchor was bedecked with flowers, the beer was flowing, and the morris dancing was just the ticket.

A number of sides were involved including Belles and Arrows:

The Off Spring Morris:

Mayflower Morris (who were spectacular!):

and Godalming's local boys, the Cup Hill Morris:

One of the Belles and Arrows ladies came over for a chat with us during one of the breaks, and mentioned that the Cup Hill morris were in need of new dancers and musicians, so towards the end I went over for a chat with them to offer my services - I really like the idea of this most traditional of dance musics. They will be contacting me in October to let me know when they start rehearsing. Well, it'll make a difference from my recent metal excursions!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Way Out West

Finally a new blog! Sorry for the delay, but I've had a hectic summer.

For those who haven't heard, the new Black Tempest CD is available now:

You can listen to an MP3 stream, buy the CD, or download tracks from iTunes. I've also built a Black Tempest MySpace now:

Feel free to be my "friend" (I hate that usage of the word)!

Right, back to the bloggy business. Way out west? We've just returned from a splendid holiday in Cornwall, staying in a cottage near Penzance. The weather was reasonably good, which was a suprise given that it felt like winter the week before we left. We spent a lot of time on the beach - the nearby Praa Sands. I've been there before a couple of times, and it is still as lovely as ever, although the cafes could do with a coat of paint! Our other activities were mostly visiting a bunch of neolithic sites, although we did visit the Gweek Seal Sanctuary.

The first site that we visited was Boskawen Un. A short walk from the A30, this circle is an absolute beauty, with an uncanny resemblance to a sundial. Shortly before arriving, we stopped off at the nearby Blind Fiddler stone, just off the road in a field of cabbages:

Boskawen Un is a fantastic stone circle, hidden in peaceful seclusion by a hedge of gorse:

After a peaceful half hour amongst these stones, we wound down some tiny country lanes to Carn Euny ancient village:

This is an amazing place, tucked away in the middle of nowhere, with a lovely unspoilt atmosphere. You can just imagine the village as it was. It also has a fogou with huge long passages:

There is a beehive-like structure inside the fogou, which features some spectacular phosphorescent moss - it glows lime green in the darkness!

As with all the sites we visited, I would highly recommend Carn Euny.

As I mentioned above, we visited the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, where they do some marvellous work looking after sick and injured seals who would not survive in the wild. It was sad to note how many of the seals had been blinded by polution or hurt by fishing equipment. Here is a resident sea lion:

On the way to visit the Merry Maidens stone circle, we stopped off to see the Boleigh fogou. This is in the grounds of Lamorna Cottage, where they do B&B. They like you to phone in advance if you want to visit the fogou. The entrance is dark and a little forboding in amongst all the greenery and foliage:

Sue and Will in the main passage of Boleigh fogou:

I had a weird experience here. After we had explored the dank and rather muddy interior for a while, Sue and Will went out to find the other entrance, which was blocked off from the inside by a wooden barrier. Matthew climbed out, and he nipped ahead to find them. I stayed awhile to get a feel for the place. It has an interesting little creep, with a narrow entrance. The creep winds around to the left, almost going back on itself. Once I had seen all I wanted, I climbed out too. Matthew had been waiting, but darted ahead of me through the bushes. I followed, but within two seconds realised that I was lost! I couldn't work out which direction the others had gone, or even which direction I had come from! This is particularly odd for me, as I usually have an unerring sense of direction. I called out, and soon found the others, but could not shake the sensation of disorientation until some time after we had driven away to head onwards for the Merry Maidens stone circle.

On the way there we saw the two Pipers - nearby megaliths visible over the tops of hedges. The Merry Maidens is a wonderfully circular circle. Unfortunately, due to the easy access and visibility from the road, it gets lots and lots of visitors. It is difficult to sit here quietly and soak up the atmosphere. I found it interesting that in the middle of the circle lies a worn patch where people imagine the centre to be, but by inspection of the layout of the circle, and it's alignment with the Gun Rith menhir visible in a nearby field, the actual centre would appear to be a metre or so adrift from the worn patch! You can just make out Gun Rith in this picture:

Here are the Squidlings with the Gun Rith menhir, which I believe has been recently re-erected.

Here is a merry maiden by Gun Rith scoffing blackberries, with the Merry Maidens in the distance:

Also nearby to the Merry Maidens is the Tregiffian long barrow, sadly half destroyed by the road, which runs right through it. Whoever thought that was a good idea? Spot the Squidling hiding!

We spent many happy hours on the wonderful sandy beach at Praa Sands. Sadly, it wasn't until the last day that we discovered that the small cafe there did more vegetarian options than all the other eateries in the vicinity! Following in a beach tradition started last year, here is Pebblewen Un:

The Squidlings discovered the joys of skim boarding this year. I'd never come across it before, but it seems a very entertaining pursuit, provided you don't mind a few bumps and bruises! Within a couple of days, the boys had got pretty efficient at skimming across the shallow surf with the best of them. I did have a go myself, and did OK until I hurt a toe!

Finally, here is a picture of me on a neolithic surf board!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Still Raining, Still Dreaming

June, and it feels like April! After such a long break from blogging, we've gone from a hotter-than-July April to a cold, wet, windy June.

Apologies for the delay between blogs, but I have been really really busy on my mysterious music project. The project is pretty much ready to go now, thank goodness, and I hope it will be worth the wait. I've put so much effort into it now, and I'll be overjoyed to see it reach fruition. Hopefully by my next blog I'll be able to reveal all!

In the meantime, all the sun and rain have had a dramatic effect on the garden, as you can see by comparing this picture of the vegetable patch with the one from the last blog:

We've been harvesting a courgette a day, eaten lots of spinach (it has bolted now), plenty of lettuce, and one cherry tomato! There are plenty of tomatoes on the way, but they haven't ripened yet. I've particularly enjoyed watching the cucumber growing - it was gaining a foot a week at one point! The cucumbers went from these teeny little things:

to these corkers:

I'm off work today as I was taking delivery of a new toy - a rather lovely 5 string fretless bass. I'm very excited about this, as it adds another colour to my sound pallette, one I've been wanting for years. As such, I hope you'll understand if I keep this short and sweet, and head off to play with it. Then I'm having home-grown salad for lunch!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Brightness Falls

April, and it feels like June. As a consequence, the garden has been calling, and it has been hard to shut myself inside to continue with the mysterious Project X. Nonetheless, I have spent the darker hours of the weekend working on a new piece for the project.

The hot weather has meant more outdoor pursuits for the Squidlings - including eating ice cream...

The garden is taking a bit more shape now, although it will be a few years yet before it really gets going. The border we dug last year is looking pretty good for the time of year, with clouds of Forget-Me-Nots and big blazes of wallflowers. Must get those fences fixed sometime...

The vegetable raised bed seems to be working. Most of the seeds we planted have now germinated, and some are reaching a decent size. Thinning out will soon be required.

We've potted out 3 trays of dahlias and one of nicotiana, but the rudbeckia and antirrhinums still need doing.

We've also potted up three tomato plants and a chilli (Apache) for the greenhouse, and a cucumber which is going to grow in the mini-greenhouse near the house. I'm looking forward to the first harvest!