The Great walk, an epic journey

June 10th, 2008

On my days off from work, it has been decided that we must explore the vast metropolis that is London. An immense landscape, with such diversity, it boggles the mind that all of its’ corners fall under the same jurisdiction.

At any rate, day off so to the tube we took. Rumbling through the underground, a few line changes (as well as the rescue of a man who had got his arm, avec full coffee cup, jammed in a train door and couldn’t get it out, I had to pry open the doors) and we were exiting at Hampstead. Now Hampstead is a something to behold, the home turf of the rich and likely famous. Mercedes, BMW’s, Rolls Royce’s, and the ubiquitous Range Rover fill every possible parking space. Neighbourhoods full of multi-multi-million dollar homes, such an established and secure neighbourhood (the lack of any visible litter, dog dirt included) that windows are left un-curtained for all to see within. Over burdened bookcases line the walls of most of these spectacular homes.

Cafes fill the village-like streets of this calm corner, we of coarse stopped for refreshment, Americano and a cookie for my dearest.

Off through the side streets we tread, through to Hampstead Heath. Beautiful scenery, sunbathers lounging, dogs with their wagging tails, grandparents with their grandchildren, and nannies, nannies, nannies everywhere (it is a well heeled community after all).

The remarkable thing about rich neighbourhoods is that they exist cheek to cheek with poor areas. A magical invisible line divides the two and allows them to co-exist with out intermingling, least the poor should have any aspirations of upward mobility; this is the UK after all, with it’s entrenched class system. So amongst the common man (myself a member) we walked. Our goal being High Gate, the reputable grave yard, full of reputable historic figures.

High gate must surely get its name from it’s vicinity, high up towards the clouds. And so we tread, up, and up, and up, choosing to take the scenic “quiet route” as a sign declared. This route wraps itself around a body of water, people in bathing suits walking all around in all their glory. The agony of each progressive step upwards reduced only by the glorious habitat. Magnificent homes surrounded by high walls serving to keep out those without the proper pedigree. Finally we summated the top of the hill and were in the quaint village of High Gate. Pee break, followed by a jaunt to a charity shop, where I succumbed to temptation and purchased a Paul Smith jacket, my second on this short UK stay. But village hours still remain and by 5, everything was closed, so much for sight seeing. So on we tread, over vast expanses of sidewalk, at one point I noticed a sign for the M1 and knew we were in trouble!

I can’t begin to describe to sheer distance that we traveled by foot, pilgrims of the North end. Finally we boarded a bus that dropped us off in Muswell Hill, the walk was over.

They say that the best way to experience a place is to walk, and walking we do (on this notorious day we must have walked 10kms). However, perhaps it’s better to have some sort of itinery planned so as not to find oneself on a death march, my legs, my legs, my LEGS!

Muswell Hill

Terry Reid

June 9th, 2008

Given the choice to front Led Zepplin, would you? Would you take the helm at the powerhouse and light the fuse to the power keg? Or would you subtlely suggest another and go your own way? Well well my dear driends, Terry Reid, Super Lungs as he has deservedly been named, did have the choice to be the voice of rock. Instead he pointed to another, Robert Plant, and stepped aside, to follow his own path. Largely unknown to the masses, surely not as reveared as Robert Plant, alas he in an unsung rock hero. A voice akin to Plant’s, yet distinct and more honied, still to this day you can see him perform without any of the pretensions that Led Zep carry with them. There is no lottery to enter to get tickets, it’s just a matter of tracking down a venue that he’s playing out. Originally from the UK, he now resides in California, seems that the sun does a body good.

 Lucky was I that I saw him perform at the Southbank centre in London in May. Part of Mick Taylor’s (himself formerally of tons of rock bands, including the Rolling Stones) Blues Summit. A real wing ding of an evening, seems that any planned set list went out the door once they walked through it. Terry was the pillar that held everything together, bantering with the audience, and singing his heart out. The fortunate were in the audience to experience a true professional at work.

I, alike many others, have a list of performers that I must see at some point before the “end”, and Terry Ried was quite near the summit. Joyfully I listen to his music and am reminded of mere weeks ago when I saw him in the flesh.

For those that need to discover this musical genius you must listen to Seed of Memory, truly some of his greatest work.

To discover more, check out his website:

http://www.terryreid.net/

Terry Reid 1968

Jim Croce

June 9th, 2008

For the past 6 months or so, the music of Jim Croce has filled my ears. Timeless, easy to sing along to, but deep inside his lyrics rests some fairly heavy thoughts. To put some scene to the sound go to youtube, I’ve done it for you so there’s no excuse!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jim+croce&search_type=

Real hearty 70’s funky rock. For anyone with singer/songwriter aspirations, perhaps Jim is King, thoughts??

The Beginning

June 8th, 2008

Dearest friends, family, fanatics and fancy folk. This is the window into a skewed world of my own, taken with 2 keen eyes focused on everything! Philosophy on just about everything and anything, slowly but surely a focus will be found, until it does, just bare with me. Step by step, here we go!