Flies. Maggots. Nasty.
Except they're not (well, sort of). Without maggots, we'd literally be neck-deep in crap. And there are many flies that are pollinators. Flies like this common greenbottle (Lucilia sericata) that was feeding off of the forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) whilst flitting about the garden today.
Not only does this fly do a good job of spreading the flower love, its offsrping have a penchant for rotting flesh and have been successfully used for treating really manky wounds.
OK, so it's literally got shit breath (as have some humans I know) but perhaps you should think twice before going to swat one in future (if you're the sort of Neandethal who does that sort of thing). A world without flies and maggots would be a far more disgusting place.
Tags: Urban Jungle
I've taken quite a few pics over time of the local flora and fauna (with the occasional not-so-local shot too), in large part thanks to the fact that the wildlife-friendly garden I've created either features or attracts 'em in. I like looking at other people's pics of such things, so I thought why not share the ones of my own that I like? No reason whatsoever, so here's the first.
This is a common whitethroat (Sylvia communis), who spent a fruitful half-hour this morning flitting around the slightly dishevelled post-winter garden (good bug-hunting territory). It's a new birdy in the garden too, so another one to add to the tick list (of course I have a tick list, I'm a bloke).
The pic isn't brilliant but, given that I had to take it through the kitchen window at maximum optical zoom, it's not too shabby either.
Tags: Urban Jungle
The evil old hag is dead. Last night we partied in the streets. Today I had the happiest hangover ever, made even more enjoyable by the arrival of Chumbawamba's long-anticipated anti-tribute to The Thatcher. If you didn't pre-order it, it's too late to get one. But don't despair, I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on the chance to dance to the Chumba's final greatest hit - grab a FLAC version here or the mp3 one here. The password for both folders is theoldpunk.
On a more sombre note, MediaFire recently killed my account after allegedly receiving a couple of DMCA takedown notices, thus also killing all the links on this site. I'm not convinced about MF's claims, as the notices involved a couple of tracks that I KNOW the copyright owners were cool with (I have a suspicion that MF are just killing any obvious music-related accounts regardless of copyright issue, expecially if they're popular). However, the effort involved in arguing the case legally is just too much fucking hassle. So, for the moment, you'll need to request a re-upload for any dead links while I consider my longer-term options.
And sorry for the quietness of late, but that's just how I roll sometimes. Rest assured I've been having fun on a regular basis.
Tags: Chumbawamba, FLAC, mp3, Thatcher
Apparently, there's some kind of event coming up that involves scoffing loads of roasted stuff. This is a simple but quite fancy sauce that should go nicely with that sort of thing. It's quick enough to knock up when needed, as long as you've got an hour or two for it to cool before serving.
Makes about a large jam jar's worth.
- 250g fresh cranberries, washed
- 100ml fresh orange juice (2-3 oranges)
- Grated zest of half an orange
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- 3 tbs port
- 150g sugar
- Small piece of cinnamon bark
Put all of the ingredients in a small pot over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring from time to time. Don't be scared by the popping cranberries!
Reduce the heat as low as possible, cover, then simmer for 15 mins. If the mixture bubbles up and out of the pan, just leave a small gap at the edge of the lid.
Remove the cinnamon stick with a clean spoon and either pour straight away into a freshly-sterilised jar, or allow to cool and put into a covered container then keep it in the fridge until needed (where it will theoretically last for several days).
Serve with all manner of savoury roasts and pies, or anything else that sounds like it would go well with it.
Tags: Cranberries, Sauces
Click for larger image
Title: Not Your Fault
Source: Vinyl 7" EP
Running time (h:m:s): 00:09:20
Size (mb): 61.7
Label: Godsend (defunct)
Cat. No: god1
A1. Not Your Fault
A2. Face Down
B3. A Woman's Place
I'll hold my hands up to the charge of intense slackness with sharing old tunes from my boxes of vinyl. Hopefully, this little gem will make amends.
I don't know too much about the band, except that they played at The Joiners in Southampton sometime in the early '90s, stayed at my house afterwards and were very pleasant chaps. This EP was a gift for giving them a floor, beans on toast and tea.
The band hailed from the Nottingham area and their singer, Si Feirn, went on to become part of twisted post-hardcore outfit Bob Tilton. This EP is more straight-up old-school style, full of that intense, tight, slightly gritty hardcore sound topped with a voice that literally screams its outrage at the injustice in the world. The band aren't just a one-trick pony though and there are some really nice mid-paced riffs and breaks, as well as a final track that's as much rooted in Discharge as it is Discord.
Download artwork (high resolution, sized for CD)
Tags: Downfall, FLAC, Hardcore
Here's another entry in my occasional series of crude political propaganda. This one has a space for you to add a relevent rebellious website address. Rad.
Click for larger printable version
The people behind the classic vegan punk cookbook 'Soy, Not Oi!'* have got back together to produce a second part in honour of their friend and original SNO! contributor Joel, who sadly died earlier this year.
They're looking for contributions to the new book - anecdotes about the original SNO!, stories about Joel, special features on vegan living, and original recipe contributions from anyone who'd like to send them one to test out.
I've submitted a handful of dishes already. Two have been accepted (devilled chickpeas and coconut, lime and ginger cheezecake), and two are on the 'to taste' list (spicy potato balls and cider-battered onion rings). There may be more to come if inspiration strikes.
More info over at the Soy Not Oi! website, with regular updates via their FB page.
*UK folks can get the original from Active Distribution, US peeps should try AK Press.
Tags: Soy Not Oi!, Veganism
Apparently, there's a bit of an internets fuss going on about a privileged, Eton-educated, little rich kid 'musician' called Frank Turner, who's been 'outed' as a scummy right-wing libertarian who thinks that the BNP are hard left and socialism is dangerous.
I came across him a while back after he appeared to be matey with musicians on 'the left' who I've got a lot of time for. I didn't particularly rate what I heard, thought his lyrics were weak and his background decidedly dodgy. Then I read a couple of things he'd said which confirmed that the bloke is, indeed, a dick.
What really concerns me though, is that he's so wrong about the BNP it would almost be laughable if it wasn't so dangerous. This fool has a pretty large following by all accounts and, if his fans take him at his word, then that's a massive problem. The BNP are a far-right fascist party, no ifs, no buts. To claim otherwise displays either a profound misunderstanding of politics or, more worryingly, a calculated attempt to tarnish the good work of 'the left' (you know, things like fighting for equality, safe working conditions, decent wages, free healthcare etc.) with the taint of fascism.
Today, he's tried back-peddling furiously with a 'poor little misunderstood me' piece on his website. Boo fucking hoo. Keep digging son, we'll be happy to fill in the hole behind you.
He's right about one thing though. Socialism is dangerous if you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
Tags: Class War, Frank Turner
Don’t be put off by the title, for this book is about much, much more than football (which, incidentally, is now just one of three sports currently played by the various club teams). The Cowfolk, as they are collectively known, are a community-based sports and social club from the heart of inner-city Bristol, who have helped redefine what’s possible when you get a group of amateur sportspeople, professional drunks, activists, misfits and ne’er-do-wells (alongside a few ordinary, decent, everyday folk such as your humble author) together.
The book charts the first 20 years of the club’s history from 1992 to the present day, warts and all. There are tales of dodging army check points in Chiapas during a visit to play teams in the Zapatista communities, taking part in cricket matches in Compton LA against ex-gangsters, heading to the West Bank and literally leaving their mark on the Israeli apartheid wall, and organising Alternative World Cups attended by people from as close as Bedminster to as far away as São Paulo (via Lithuania and the South African township of Diepkloof). There have been a few sad losses during the journey (and quite a few happy additions too), the occasional harsh word, partings of ways, fallouts, fall-ins, love affairs, babies and hangovers. But mostly, it’s about being a part of something that exemplifies everything that is good in human nature.
The book is 229 pages, nicely supplemented with plenty of images (many previously unseen) and extra info, with an additional 32 pages of colour pics (including a couple of that Banksy fellow hanging out with the Cowfolk in Chiapas and doing some rare hand-painted pieces in the villages).
I could be accused of a certain bias with this review, for this book is about my adopted family. And it's true that the friendships and love I've found among this loopy bunch have enriched my life enormously. But I think these tales can be enjoyed, and and the ideals embraced, by anyone who believes that life can be different if we dare to be free.
Iron Column Records have a few copies for sale at cover price (£9.99), including FREE postage in the UK, with all proceeds going to anti-fascist causes.
Tags: Easton Cowboys & Cowgirls, Iron Column Records, Sport