Author: woollypigs

Tour de yorkshire 2019

TdY 2019

I know I know, one more of these ones 🙂 But the joy of a bike race. This years Tour de Yorkshire came through town again. The sound of sirens, helicopter, bells etc just makes it a good day out.

can I kick it

Can I kick it?

The very best part of this season is the leaves kicking. I feel sad when I see others walk straight through a pile of fallen leaves. I’m so close to shouting at them – Kick it! Cause it will make you feel better and put a smile on your face.

Love London Have London

Love vs Hate

I got a love vs hate relationship with London.

Love : The crowds, the buzzing 24/7 life style, lights, nightlife, early mornings, the global cosmopolitan, the intermingled mixture cultures and ideas, the sounds, the music, the food. Was standing out side KX for 10min and heard Italian, Spanish, Russian, German, French, Cantonese, friends from all over.

Hate : The crowds, the rushing 24/7 life, that feeling that you gotta be somewhere 5min ago even if you got plenty of time, the smells, the dust and dirt, the cramp space, the pushing and shoving, the noise.

music night

Music night

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a very good friend, it’s always a pleasure to catch up with him. When we retire to his living room, he will go to his expansive record collection. Anything from Classical, R&B, Funk, Jazz, Rock’n’Roll, Hip Hip, Film Scores, Blues… you name it.

He will then put the LP on and we will start to set the world to rights, catching up on how we are and, most importantly, laugh until our sides hurt. The conversation is guiding the music, or is it the music that sets the mood? Album after album just full of tunes. Sometimes the talking and laughter give way to just sitting still, enjoying a particular track, lyric or solo.

Only to then explode into a frantic natter, trying to tell each other what that track reminded us of. Either another tune that needs to be found in his collection or a story that needs to be told, before the next song sends us down memory lane.

Stories, jokes or memories are often left untold because of all the others that come storming out while the records spin and bring up happy memories.

This last visit we started off with The Ronettes – Be Me Baby and at half way point we arrived at what you see in the photo above and who knows what the last album was played.

See you soon my friend.

a swift one down the pub

Just a swift one

I enjoyed a swift one while waiting for a friend in London. Good music, comfy chair and a nice cold one.

roskilde 1995

Exit Planet Dust

Years ago I was at Roskilde Festival in Denmark and was talking to random attendee about what I should go and see. They told me that I should watch a band called Dust Brothers, though they where listed as The Chemical Brothers.

Not really sure what to expect, I entered the DeeDay Tent, a DJ was playing somewhere above the stage. Where two guys were moving, these heavy duty boxes on wheels they use at concerts, into place and plugging wires in here and there.

Some minutes later they looked up at the DJ, gave him a nod and BOOM! And I was introduced to The Chemical Bothers. Two hours later I walked out of the tent, after having danced my *beep* off, going what the heck just happened here.

The next year I was living in London and a flat mate told me that he was going to see this new band he just heard off called The Chemical Brothers at Brixton Academy. I just had to go and manged get a spare ticket on #cough# the door #cough#.

On stage I saw the same two guys fiddling around with, this time much more, computers and equipment etc. Again the nod and BOOM! But this time with more SOUND, LIGHTS and the odd screen and again we staggered out about two hours later on danced out jelly legs.

About 5 years later I was living in Paris and this time they were playing at Zenith Paris. Got tickets nice and early, arrived and this time at the biggest crowd I have seen The Chemical Brothers at. I think we were about 50-70 people – hard to know as you could also sit outside the tent – at Roskilde, Brixton it was sold out so about 4.500 people and Zenith can take about 9000.

This time there was a DJ on a mini stage off the main stage warming us up. On the stage there was curved screen/monitor above and below the “decks” with extra lasers. Then Brothers arrived on stage with a “kid” bother, yes three of them this time, gave a nod and … well you know the story 🙂

Exit Planet Dust were their first album after the name change and it is one of my favorite CD’s. Often dig it out when I need to hit a deadline or just a cheer up, as it got some good memories attached to it.

london calling

London Calling

Can you spot the error?

Hint: time, so how did I managed to do that then? Ideas on a postcard erm a comment below.

rain on van

A wash out

The day before I enjoyed this view of Dumyat (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Mhèad) Hill, and I wanted to walk up it. I checked out the weather forecast and it looked like more clouds, but the rain would at least hold back to until lunch time. Therefore I decided to get up early so that I could hike up while the sun rose. Woke up at 5am and it was dark and wet, so I snuggled back up into the sleeping bag. Woke up before 7am and took this photo and had my breakfast, at about eight it had cleared and the mutt managed to do a dry walk.

The sound you hear is the rain coming down hard with drops from the nearby trees blown on to the roof of the van.



Had a walk around Castle Campbell in Scotland and enjoyed the sound of the waterfalls in the forest below and around the castle. The river Dollar Glen is fed by the streams Burn of Sorrow and
Burn of Care. I recorded this from a small waterfall of the Burn of Sorrow, not that I feel any sorrows by listening to this.

driving to mum

Driving to mum

Every time we go over to MiL, aka Tilley’s favourite person. At about half a mile away from the door we go thru a roundabout. Which is the starting point, for this little serenade.


Summer storms

It has been playing around for the last 48 hours, trying to get started but failed. Then finally it broke the heat wave that have been around for the last few weeks and gave us a good old summers thunder-storm. Not only does the plants need a drop of a water, we too could use a drop in temperature so that we can sleep at night again.



Necessary evils that is shopping. Yes I can go online and get it delivered. But sometimes you do need it now. My main pet hate with supermarkets is that they change their layout or move products around. So have to go up and down the aisles or worse ask for directions!

chimes for sale


Got a bit of a love hate relationship with these things. While I really do like walking through town or market while these chime away. I just can’t have them in a neighbors garden. Funny thing is that I can fall asleep anywhere that got a noisy background, but these things …

Peoples Vote March 2018

Peoples Vote March

Sadly I couldn’t go this time. There was nearly 500.000 by some accounts.

Here’s two 360 clips from that day, thanks to my friend. (remember to click and drag around or spin your mobile around)

1: 4k version – 360 camera #PeoplesVoteMarch Brexit demonstration London, 12:30pm 23rd June 2018
2: #PeoplesVote #PeoplesVoteMarch 4K 360 walking footage, People’s Vote March, London 23rd June 2018



While driving in Scotland, the music player played a track at random. I got tonnes of tracks, of random best off and mixes etc, that I often never listen too and/or remember I got.

Then a track tickled my grey cells and and after some digging about on youtube today, I found a track that I have spent a good 20 years trying to find. Now and again a bit of the song popped up in my head as an ear worm, going around and around. I knew nothing about other than the word “Scot”. Back in the mid 80’s I remember, I was a school trip and we sang that a bit from it as we went to the store to get candy, as it gave a good echo in the valley.

Now that I found it, it is not anything near what I remember, I was sure it was a bit more like Status Quo/ELO. But it is Italian disco/pop instead, call Scotch (I was close but no cigar)

It is just the first bit (the lalala bit) that used to go around my head for a day or two to only then bugger off and only come back some month or years later.


Are you up?

Was moaning a bit when our dog woke me up at 4:40am for a nature call. Couldn’t really get angry with her, as I got to hear and see this, even though my bed was calling.

Tour de Yorkshire, Barden Moor, 2018

Tour de Yorkshire

We are so lucky that this amazing race is on our door step. The atmosphere, the smiles and of-course bike p0rn. We have both seen races in France and elsewhere. This is not the same as seeing the pro riding the same roads you pootle on. Tour of Yorkshire has become a spring classic for me, right up there with Paris – Roubeix aka “Hell of the North”, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and Amstel Gold Race.

More snaps here.

A sound story

A sound story

Today I heard three noises from outside, in a row that made a story. Yes, it is wild, crazy and utterly random, so bear with me. The idea is to write a story, as random as it can be, with the sound of the last three things you hear in your surroundings. On the radio, someone talking to you, a person shouting outside, neighbour closing a door, plane flying over etc.

Timescale: well three in a row and don’t skip one just because it don’t fit and there is one after that sound better or is easier to write in. The story below happen within 30sec. but it can be longer between the sounds, since it is so quiet around here.

The bumble bee flying from flower to flower in the back garden (buzzing). Set the man, walking his dog in the back street, allergies off (sneeze). Which was so loud, that the police (sirens) were called to investigate.

frozen canal

Frozen Canal

We had a spot of frost and the canal had about an inch thick “crust” on it. A narrow boat sailed along as icebreaker and crated this wonderful sound.

Major Tom

Major Tom

I was never the biggest fan of David Bowie. I did have a best off that got played now and again, which I enjoyed. Over the years I heard more of his music via friends who where bigger fans than I ever was. So his music was part of my youth growing up, but I wasn’t really paying much attention to it.

So today when I heard of his passing, I was really shocked how hard the news hit me. The various news stations played his music and this really showed that David’s music meant more to me than I thought it did.

A few tunes were played, a tear or two shed while a drop of whisky was drunk.

Thank you David

fast car

Fast car

Years ago I was living in a house share, eight of us, living on the top floor above offices. Plenty of room, never a problem with loud music or coming in at any hour of the day from our neighbours.

A nice random gathering of people whose paths crossed, you know like:

– one of the cohabitants we never saw – were they alive, is there really someone living in there, sure I heard something the other day, was it them?

– one that were much older than the rest us, a bit weird too, heck it would not be a house share if there wasn’t the weird one.

– one that was constantly stoned and studied something, never really figure out what or where, man.

– one that partied hard and did some odd job here and there, didn’t they work in X? No, that was last week.

– one that never cleaned up and nicked your food.

There was always the room that changed owner every month, either because they just needed it as a stop-gap or they just didn’t get one with us “lifers”.

And so you could go on and I’m not telling you which one of the “house share personalities” I was 🙂

The girl who lived right next to me, who were also a lifer, used to have the same ritual when she got ready to go out on the town. You just knew that tonight was the night and she would be in a great mood. Spend many fun hours chatting with her, enjoying a warm-up drink or two while she got ready in her room, running to and from the bathroom, doing her makeup, finding the right top to go with I don’t know…

I never figured out why she chose that album for this ritual. It is a very good one, I truly enjoy it and play it often. Though, now I can’t stop thinking about my neighbour – faffing, hair drying, dancing about, singing out loud to this – when it is on.

Because, it is not really the “get into the mood” album, I think.

I’m talking about the fantastic 1988 album by Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman. You know that one were “Fast Car” is on.


The groove with SomaFM

Today’s Wednesday Morning Playlist is – GrooveSalad.

Years ago, well still now, GrooveSalad on SomaFM was/is used as background music while working.

I was freelancing and one company, let me use their offices to do my work, since most of the work I did was for them. We were about six in the office, with pretty much the same music style, but often would like to listen to something else. So we hunted around through our CD’s and various radio stations both on and off line.

Our CD library quickly got worn thin, commercial radio stations quickly got dismissed, because of the advertising that drove you madder than a Hatter and the repeated play list on never ending loops.

I can’t remember who found SomaFM first, I think that I had a play at home – because of the funny name – and told the others in the office to give it ago. This was back in “hay day” of winamp* and SHOUTcast streaming radio, hundreds of random radio stations – from commercial streams to some random Joe playing his favourite tracks from home. Heck, I even had a go with a “radio station” 🙂

Yes, there are ads on SomaFM, but they are not on repeat every 2-3 tracks and is only about SomaFM. The music playing on GrooveSalad – as SomaFM describes it – “A nicely chilled plate of ambient/downtempo beats and grooves”. Fitted our work flow, when we just need to get the job done and some music that didn’t disturb you when you tried to concentrate or were on the phone.

Sometimes we ventured into the other stations on SomaFM like:

Illinois Street Lounge: Classic bachelor pad, playful exotica and vintage music of tomorrow. Secret Agent: The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and PIs too! Suburbs of Goa: Desi-influenced Asian world beats and beyond.

But it was always GrooveSalad we returned to, of the many radio stations, 25 I think, on SomaFM – There is literately any style you fancy.

*winamp – still haven’t found a music player that is as good as you were.

the good ship

Sly & The Family Stone vs Pixies

Today’s Wednesday Morning Playlist is – Sly & The Family Stone vs Pixies

Years ago I was helping a friend getting his pub ready for the grand opening. He had got this old shell of a night club, that needed a bit of a clean behind the ears before he could open the doors.

We all suffered bravely at first, not because of the colour scheme, dust or the amount of cleaning that had to be done to before it would be ready use. It was the lack of music while we worked that held us back.

After some digging around we managed to get the sound system up and running. The only two CD’s that there were left on site from the previous owners were:

Sly & The Family Stone : Dance to the Music and Pixies : Doolittle

An odd mix but it worked we got the pub opened on time and it have just celebrated its 11th year in business.

I had never heard about Sly family but I enjoyed it. Pixies I had heard a few tunes off, but never really paid attentions to them. But working to these tracks got me shopping and I now got a few albums of both.

Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

Over the last year or so, I have texted a very good friend on Wednesdays* with a “Morning Play List”, since we both like and need music in our lives. So I was thinking why not do it here too.

Today’s play list is Talking Heads best of – Sand in The Vaseline – and then I just have to play Stop Making Sense after, even if Sand in The Vaseline got most of the tracks on it.

My big brother came home many years ago and put on Stop Making Sense on the record player, remember them? I wasn’t sure what I would make out of this rather somewhat bizarre music. A few days later he cranked it up to 11 on our parents Hi Fi, yes they weren’t home, and I was digging it big time.

Stop Make Sense, became my very first CD and probably most played album ever, I now have about 12 of their albums, best of and special editions and rare mixes.

Might finish off today morning play list with They Might be Giants – Flood.

Tilley playing with Ruby

Play fighting

Our mutt playing with Ruby the rescue dog, yes that is them making these sounds, went on for hours. Tilley is the one making the high pitch squeal, that is just what she does when excited. I have to tell other dog owners that it is ok. When she is playing, no contact, no biting – nothing – and she squeals like someone stepped on her.

sweet dreams


I have never had a dog that dreams as much at Tilley does. Each evening at least 2-3 times and in the night I often get woken up either by her barking or running paws. She often does this rolling sound, wonder what she is dreaming to make this sound.

queen charlotte track NZ

Noisy wake up call

We were cycling the Queen Charlotte trail in NZ. Every morning we got woken up to this. Kicked off at about 3:30am and by 4:15am it was at a fever pitch, with no chance of falling back asleep. Some of them sounded like a mobile phone’s ring tone. At about 6am the raucous erm dawn chorus died down and we could have a bit of snooze, until it was our turn to get up.

The sharp eared ones among you, will hear the “tell tell” sound of Hilleberg vs Exped, at the end of this clip 🙂


Bat out of hell

<WARNING> This soundscape does have a loud, sharp, piercing sound in it, so please turn your volume down before playing.

This was a bit of surreal experience. This random showground, where we were allowed to camp, cheaply, on any bit of grass we could find among parking lots and exhibitions halls. While we were pitching our tent and cooking our dinner, a graduations come prom party started in one of the halls. Us tired, dirty and in our cycling gear with camp stove going vs them dressed to the hilt in their better than Sunday best. We crawled into bed and just about heard the revelers leave – as we dosed off in to dreamyland – not a late one as they all got driven there by their parents.

We then were woken up by this sound in the dark.

A bat flying around and I guess a bird taking part in the fun. As I was waking up I did thing is this the Blair Witch 🙂

tent after the rain new zealand


One of the best things in life. Is to lay in your tent, all snugged up in your sleeping bag, reading a book or having a little snooze. With the sound of gentle rain on the tent. Feels great knowing you are in the elements but you are not getting wet.

Knife making

Making a knife

I got to make a knife from scratch. Fire, iron, hammer, filing and loads of polishing. I ended up with a knife that I really like.

Casa Critica Buenos Aires Argentina

Masa Critica

Joined the biggest Critical Mass – Casa Critica, Buenos Aires, Argentina – we have ever been on, live bands, food vendors and soap bubbles. More than a few thousands on bikes or roller-blades.

last tango

Last Tango

Every Sunday night in Buenos Aires you can go and dance tango on this square.

Mount Cook

Mount Cook

Had a fantastic flight, in a helicopter, up and over Mont Cook in New Zealand, stunning views!

Brooks saddles factory tour

Brooks Saddles

I do have a weak spot for old industrial craftsmanship, ok CNC, robots are great but each has its place. The Brooks factory is any one’s dream to go and see, you can get right up and close to see, smell and hear how it is done and the craftsmen are happy to answer your questions. The noise and smell from these machines is a joy to experience.