A very Happy New Year to one and all, and thanks for the encouragement and kind comments that have come from, well, if not all quarters, at least more quarters than I expected. I'm back at school and everything is going surprisingly smoothly at present. Normal service will be resumed presently.
In the meantime it seems I have been 'tagged' by my good friend and inspiration Patrick Finch, who (having been tagged himself) has given us 5 Things We Didn't Know About Him on his blog Peregrinations(see link on right until one of you HTML-savvy types tells me how to embed a link here in the text) - Pad, you phoney, I knew 4 of those facts, and I seem to remember discussing the merits of vanilla Martinis in Harry's Bar not too long ago. Of course Patrick knows that until I met him (1985?) I knew nothing whatsoever about pretty much any kind of music, and that he insisted that I be known as Jimi rather than James and spell it so, but does he know that:
1. Like my hero the late great Johnny Cash, I once worked unsuccessfully as a vacuum cleaner salesman.
2. I was first published (aged 8) in the short-lived Nutty comic, with a letter to Bananaman I copied word for word from the Beano.
3. I own the first three Spice Girls singles on vinyl.
4. A a child I took piano lessons for 2 years. I was not put forward for my first grade exam.
5. Richard Dawkins and his (presumably) well-reasoned arguments aside, I believe in some kind of all-pervading benign presence, and that, ultimately, everything will be Alright. I haven't worked out the details yet.
I'd like to pass the tag on to Ken Grady at Gradygroove (again, see right). I would also like to take this opportunity to recommend that you check out his mercilessly incisive observations of life from a transplanted Georgian (that's Georgia in the good old southern US) living in rural Cheshire and working in Liverpool. WARNING There is banjo content WARNING