A bit of road and a bit of mud – cycling in mid-sussex


Last weekend I forsook the lure of the South Downs – I was recoving from a lurgy – and pootled along some roads and muddy bridlepaths in the middle area of Sussex.  Not as challenging as the hills but the ground was plently wet enough.  Not half a mile from my start I cycled across a playing field and almost all I could hear was the water squelching under my tyres.

The  fields all the way were awash with water from the heavy rain of the previous week. needless to say the traction in the mud was varaible – I reckon my rear wheel did considerably more revolutions than my front.

It had been some time since I had ridden these paths and was caught out by the amount of new housing on the southern side of Haywards Heath –  “Little Boxes” sprung to mind – houses just crammed in far too close and cars parked all over the place – the price of a growing poulation and high land cost (maybe greed by some).  But once out in the open – bliss!




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Dodging the rain clouds


I know it is some months since my last post – and much has happened –  I have written many posts in my head – maybe some will come out..

Anyway the day before yesterday my doc told me  I had a hernia – nothing compared to many’s ailments but still enough for me to stop and take stock.

After not much this morning I was feeling frustrated and thought sod it - I still need to exercise – my head was however telling me not to do something stupid – just take it easy – and luckily the seafront is perfect for that – flat and calming - where you can take a gentle 20 mile round trip from Shoerham Harbour to Saltdean with only a few miles shared with traffic – and there is no mud so my bike, legs and *** stayed  reasonably clean.

I have added a few photo’s – it was  a lovely warm November afternoon between the showers – darkness had decended before the end – so it was lucky I had packed my lights.





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How They Heard It – Blue Note Records and the Transition from Mono to Stereo

A very informative and intersting article posted on a blog to follow if you like Jazz.

How They Heard It – Blue Note Records and the Transition from Mono to Stereo.

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Resolving a resolved prblem with e-Bay – aaarrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh

or the occasional pitfall of buying secondhand records on e-Bay.

Is it me or is e-Bay’s contact system designed to put you off if things are not straightforward?

It started with someone sending a scratched record when they said it wasn’t. Eventually I went to the resolution centre and “won”.  I thought this is good.  However the refund didn’t happen.

Tried PayPal and they pointed to e-Bay.

Tried e-Bay Live Chat  twice but both were truncated at the e-Bay end without explanation.

Last week one loooooooonnggggggg phone call being passed between people until they found the  department I “needed” and it was was closed.

Yes they would phone back – did they? NO they didn’t.

I eventally found an e-mail facility – but am unsure if it sent as I haven’t recieved a reply.

So tonight I phoned again. That started over an hour ago.

Dealt with three different departments this evening and currently they are liaising with a 4th.

At least this time I might be getting somewhere – but at this rate the refund equates to less than the minimum wage for all the effort.

Ah ha after 70 minutes on the  phone  I have been promised the refund with 7 days.

Fingers crossed!

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Stinging Nettle Alley


Arundel Castle

10 06 2014

An off-road circuit around the lovely town of Arundel


Down by the seaside – a canal entering the natural harbour

10 06 2014-2

A leisurely afternoon ride south of Chichester after the mornings more challenging route

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Stylus Care – The Vinyl Revival

Following on from my earlier posts about record cleaning and the Vinyl Passion Dust Buster I hope you realise that I like my records clean!  So imagine my surprise when the other night I found a bush growing on my stylus – arrgghhhhhhhhhhhh.


You can see the bush where the stylus should be (close up photography is not one of my strong points)

And would it come off???      No, not easily.  Stylus brush, zilch. A 30 year old Goldring ultrasonic cleaner, zilch. Stylus cleaning fluid, zilch . Blu-tak, zilch.  In the end it was coaxing with a modelling knife an old paint brush (artist type, not emulsion wall paint type) and a wiggly bit of blu-tack – mmmm my heart was in my mouth at times – I still haven’t worked out what it was or how it got there – but my first thought that it was a spider accident was proved not to be the case.


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Sam Baker – a late shining diamond from Texas – live in Lewes


Sam Baker with guitar in the All Saints Centre, Lewes

For those who appreciate the quieter Texicana, Americana this guy is an absolute treasure. A songwriter of rare quality and up there and beyond with Guy Clark.

Luckily for the those of us in UK he makes what seems like an annual visit to these shores, playing small friendly venues.  I suspect this is as a result of Bob Harris championing him early on and building a small fan-base.

If you haven’t heard him, you can always check him out on his web site – easy peasy to find. His 4th cd “say grace” was issued last year – and it has been picking up some well deserved recognition – in the Top 5, Rolling Stone  Country Lp’s of 2013!

Anyway back to last night – Mr Baker could be found entertaining a good crowd in a lovely converted church in the historic Sussex town of Lewes.  It was a new venue on me – and one I would be only too happy to visit again – similar but nicer than St George’s in Brighton.  I belive Nic & Jo Jones are lined for All Saints later in the year.

Sam played two sets that, added up, must have been over two hours. He was in a chatty and relaxed mood, playing requests.  I can’t think of one song of his 4 CD’s that I don’t like – yes there are favourites but…

It was also an educational night – at one point the stage conversation meandered  on to Virginia Woolf – who lived close to Lewes. At the height of a bout of depression she filled the pockets of her coat with stones, walked into the River Ouse and drowned – if you feel so inclined the words of her farewell can be found on the net and are astounding  reading.

Back to Sam – his songs give snapshots of life. Yet they have space to let your imagination breath – no polished po songs here.  They often portray the sader side of life and I feel they sit closely with say Guy Clark’s Old No.1 songs and in some way remind me of the departed Warren Zevon (not sure why – but they do).  Last night Sam opened up his soul further than I have heard him before on his experience of being blasted by a Train Bomb in Peru which killed the three travellers he was sitting next to – you cannot help but be moved – and it is a stark reminder of the madness of some of the human race who are just nasty pices of work (of which too many are hitting the headlines these days) and the damage they do.  So yes it is Real modern Country Blues!




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