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The Jam Sheet

15th March, 2018. 1:21 am. A Joyful Noise

“After John Coltrane came noise.” – This quote is attributed to Philip Larkin.

Yes, that is Philip Larkin as in the Poet Philip Larkin who wrote “they f**k you up, your mum and dad.”

Larkin was a big Jazz fan since the age of 12 and his first record was the Tiger Rag by the Ray Noble Orchestra and the track pretty much tells you exactly what end of the Jazz spectrum Larkin was looking at. It is no secret that Larkin was no fan of modern Jazz and had no time for Miles, Monk (describing him as a funny hat man), Mingus or Trane so his alcohol fuelled jazz record nights would be filled with the Jazz of the 1920s to late 1940s. Eddie Condon, Billy Banks, Bix, Satchmo and the like would be on the record player. In 2010 Proper Records released a 4 cd box called Larkin’s Jazz which featured the tracks he would frequently listen to. Tellingly the most recent track in the collection is a 1959 recording by Jimmy Witherspoon and the most modern-style artist in the set is Dave Brubeck, a man whose music never really challenged the status quo in the same way his contemporaries did. Not that I am dissing Dave Brubeck his music is very good and he was in the fight for civil rights, but it cannot be said they are aurally challenging in the way Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and the late 60s/early 70s out put of Miles Davis.

What we have is some fine Jazz of his preferred sub-genre although I must confess that Billy Banks doesn’t really do it for me despite having Fats Waller on the old Joanna.

Now what would the Sandman’s Jazz set comprise of? Well considering I like a wide spectrum of Jazz I imagine it would be a less consistent set and tone then Larkin’s. But here we go anyway. I would probably set it up into three sub genre discs and a disc which I would call “my introduction”.

So no doubt disc 1 track one would be The Ray Ellington Quartet with Pink Champagne. This may sound like an odd choice but the Ray Ellington Quartet was pretty much the first Jazz Band I really got familiar with thanks to a coach tour of Italy. While on the coach I was listening to episodes of the Goon Show on my Walkman and each show there would be a musical interlude with the Quartet. I selected Pink Champagne because it always makes me smile and featured not only in a show but was chosen as the track to represent the band in the retrospective documentary “At Last the Go On Show.” My next choice would be Blue Train by John Coltrane, the track really blew me away when my 17 year old ears heard it for the first time. After that I think I would go for my first tracks of various artists such as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, George Melly, Miles, Monk and Tubby Hayes.

Daily Prompt: Noise

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12th March, 2018. 4:52 pm. Share Your World 12th June 2018

If a distant uncle dies and you were always his favourite and leaves you $50,000 (any currency) in his will, what would you do?

See the source image

I think that is a slight misquote- but you get the point.

Well initially I would be very surprised as I don’t have a particularly big  extended family. But what would I do with £50,000 ? In honesty I would probably put into my pension pot or in an ISA rather than anything exotic or indulgent,

What sound or sounds do you love?

Does the sound of John Coltrane playing his horn or weeping Tenor of Ben Webster count?

I think one of the my favourite sounds is the sounds of the dogs getting all excited when I come home from work  have been out.

What’s your middle name?  Why?

Nick Edward Llewellyn de Vere…. why? Perhaps my family were indecisive I have no idea really. Save for Edward, Edward is/was my Grandfather’s first name .

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I guess it was the post Mother’s Day Shift do. My new gaffer bought in a large Thai Food take away and ran us a drinks tab as a thank you to us for working a long shift on which is probably the busiest food day in the year. It was especially good for me as I have only been there just over  a week and haven’t as of yet had chance really to get to know my feel members of staff with our metaphorical hair down. I couldn’t stay too long or have a lot to drink as I had to drive home and I do live the furthest out.


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11th March, 2018. 10:51 am. For my fellow Brits

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9th March, 2018. 5:55 pm. The Wonder Years

No, sorry to disappoint you- or possibly relieve you, this is not going to be a retrospective look back on childhood memories of annoyingly twee coming of age series The Wonder Years.

No what I call the Wonder Years are the moments which, I am sure we all do at some point, is when you wonder what might have been.

There are times where we have to make a decision and as a result there is going to be a what if....

What if I hadn't broken up with Mary-Moo when I did.... well my then job might have been a little more tolerable having someone to go home to. However, and I am sure Mary would say differently, that there'd be an issue when the lovely Amy stayed for a weekend. Now I am not saying Mary is the jealous type, but I do think she'd probably not be very far from me. The obvious solution would be to bring Mary with us when we went out places... but I have a nagging feeling that there would be a lot of text messages sent upon return home. Now bare in mind that when Amy did stay, Mary and I had split,  but she did take it upon herself to join us uninvited while we had a quick pre-evening drink before tea.... Later she decided that I had dumped her because Amy was coming to visit, the irony of this was that one of the reasons Amy was too talk to Mary in regards to some of our relationship issues.  While I wonder what would have happened, I do believe that the split would have happened later..... and probably just after Amy's visit.

What if I had taken the job offer by Shelley at Restaurant 7? Well I wouldn't have had the worry of redundancy for a start, but I doubt I would have stayed long term there as it wasn't really my sort of set up.

I suppose there is always curiosity about what might have happened, but it is probably best not to dwell on it.

Daily Prompt: Wonder

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9th March, 2018. 1:16 pm. What advice would you give to younger kids about primary or secondary school? (Blog Prompt).

Always fight your your corner if there is something you are treated unjustly about it.  Make the most of the time you have with your friends, you'll not realise how precious it is, especially once you approach the final years in both respective schools.

....and on mufti days, always make sure you trouser cords are tight enough so you don't get kegged.

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8th March, 2018. 9:55 am. Radio Times


Back in my University Days one of my subjects while studying my degree was Radio Documentaries and as part of the course for my final project I had to pitch three documentary ideas. The three which I pitched were The Nat Gonella Story, which as the name suggests would have been a documentary on the first gentleman of British Jazz Trumpet. Being circa 2003 I had missed the opportunity to interview the great man by 5 years, but at the time Humphrey Lyttelton and Diz Disley were still alive and they were both fans of the man and had the good fortune of working with him, as had Digby Fairweather so for a 15 piece I would have had contributers for the documentary and with a bit of research I could have tracked down Ron Brown who wrote his Biography. In fact a few years later an updated memoir was released. However for reasons I cannot recall, I opted out of this set up… Possibly due to difficulty tracking down and booking people to interview.


My next pitch, which was the one I did, was a piece on George Gershwin’s operatic lullaby “Summertime” and how it has become one of, if not the definitive Jazz Standards. I interviewed a local semi-professional Jazz musician who was the pianist for John Burnett’s Jazz Bandits (later Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends) to discuss it.

My final, and perhaps most interesting and off-key, was a about exploring the Facts behind local folklore and myths. Most places have a story or two to tell and I thought it could be a good mix of ghost story and fact presented in a way not to take the fun out of the stories. My first port of call would have been the ghost of Wilderhope Manor.


Wilderhope Manor is an interesting place and I know it as Schools used for little get aways to do outdoor activities such as Orienteering, studying the local ecology in the various ponds and much more.

The story is that the place is haunted by the ghost of a Roundhead solider who died falling  off his horse and down an embankment. A good local story for me to begin with, but my fellow students weren’t keen and were enthusiastic that all folklore tales were long dismissed. It is worth noting that many of them were from cities or the hearts of towns and that may have been a contributing factor for their skepticism. The title I pitched for the series was “The Fact of Fiction”, a title possibly borrowed from a recurring feature in Doctor Who Magazine.

Daily Prompt: Fact

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7th March, 2018. 12:52 pm. Who can I turn to...?

A question LTD postulates without words through music, although obviously the song has been performed many times by many artists with the haunting lyrics whether it be Sammy Davis Jr, Matt Monroe or Tony Bennett. However these are times when I beg the question who can I turn to? At the end of the last year things seemed to be on the up for me. I had a set steady job and romance was blossoming upon the world of the Sandman, it seemed like it was a case that Mr Sandman had been given a dream instead of handing them out. For all my talks with people in relationships and helping them fix it or move on, it felt very much like the favour was being returned.

I refer of course to the lovely Rachael, whom over the best part of November and December we’d talk at least twice a day on Skype. Had two very successful and touchy feely dates. She nicknamed me Nicky-roo in response to me christening her Rachy-Roo. She always seemed a little insecure that I wasn’t really into her (even though after our first date I’d changed my phone wallpaper from Sian, who probably is who most recently passed as a girlfriend, to the more neutral image of Jazz musician Kamsai Washington) and I spent a lot of time reassuring her. Anyway, as long term readers will know Sian has been through a very tough patch at home and being the kindly gent I am I kept in touch with her over Xmas. It then occurred to me that Rachael might read this the wrong way if she clocked incoming messages on my phone, so I told her I’d still been talking to Sian due to concerns about her situation. However Rachael didn’t exactly react the way I thought she would… Actually she did and I wanted to reassure her that my intentions with Sian were nothing more than a friendly chap concerned about a friend. My attempt to persuade Rachael didn’t got well and I picked up on a comment she’d made about me being potential marriage material and I, in a very poor choice of phrasing, declared that I too thought she was marriage material. The following day she admitted that had unnerved her a little but I told her I just wanted to reassure her that I was only interested in her romance wise. Perhaps I should have simply said that I only had eyes for you. We chatted as normal and then she was quiet over NYE and New Year’s Day. I didn’t read too much into that as I knew she had family and football things to attend. It was when it got to Wednesday I realized things were adrift. And ever since it has been silence. Not even a breakup talk or message. At least Philippa had the decency to message me that it was over, even if Facebook messenger is a tad impersonal.

Any way it is the silence of the whole thing which has really grated with me, all I want to do is talk to her and try and patch things up.

In the past in a situation like this I’d turn to my best friend Amy Cherry and talk about the subject and she might even have attempted to act as a go between. But thanks to a tipsy night after Karaoke in late 2015 in which we both made a pass at one another (she insists it didn’t happen that way, but it did), the delightful Amy Cherry has not been a part of my life. God I don’t half miss her. She was the friend for emotional support, but who can I turn to now she’s turned away.

Young Kerry has too deserted me, with motherhood and a new man taking over her life, but after giving her emotional support after two years of her trials and tribulations upon various romantic liaisons, some of which were of dubious morality, one would think she’d at least partially return the favour.

Of course 2018’s start just got better, what with being made redundant and desperately searching for new employment (successfully thankfully), it hasn’t been a great personal time for me.

What I very much would like to do is talk to Rachael again and try to salvage something. Or perhaps I need Amy back to act as safe guard for me once again, she was a tower of support in my relationship with Mary.

Blue and Sentimental? Very possibly, but without a doubt I definitely need to have a proper goodbye at the very least with the lovely Rachael. So on the unlikely occurrence that you are reading this Roo, or that a friend of hers is, please talk to me.

Current mood: Kind of Blue.

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7th March, 2018. 10:27 am. A Survey (thanks to Howling Wolf 66)

) Are your parents married or divorced?

Married 40 years+ as dad says "40 years, I'd have got less if I'd murdered her."

2) Are you a vegetarian?
Nopes, but have often will opt for Vegetarian options in chain pubs as they tend to be less ding-dinners.

3) Do you believe in Heaven?

I'd like to but no, that at be a little bit of my Jewish family rubbing off on me.

4) Have you ever come close to dying?

No not really, unless you count driving the car through a hedge.

5) What jewellery do you wear daily?

I don't, working front of house in a food based establishment it is a big no-no with only really a wedding ring allowed for men, and since I am not married... However since I do cellar work I wouldn't wear a wedding ring at work anyway for the same reason labourers don't.

6) Do you eat the stems of broccoli?

Yes. I often have Tenderstem with my Sunday Roast.

7) Who is your hair stylist?

Just a barbershop I visit in Oakengates, couldn't tell you the name of the place but the lady who sometimes trims my hair I used to go to school with.

8) Ever have any surgery? If so, what?

No, not medical surgery, though I did have some teeth taken out by the dentist when I was about 8.

9) Do you colour your hair?


10) What do you wear to bed?

Usually a pair of checked Pyjamas or an old T-shirt and an old pair of shorts.

11) Have you ever done anything illegal?

Drank and went to nightclubs when I was underage, aged around 16.

12) Can you roll your tongue?

Never tried, hold on... ... yes.

13) Electric razor or blade?

Electric for trimming and keeping my beard in shape, manual blade if shaving completely.

14) What kind of shoes usually?

Loafers for work, sturdy shoes for best and normally plimsolls for casual.

15) Do you talk in your sleep?

I've don't know, I'm asleep.

16) What is your natural hair colour (do you even remember?

Brown with a few bits of blonde.

17) Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

A bit of both, curl so much then cut it.

18) Future child’s name?!

Well if things had gone that way with Sian I'd be pushing for Reynolds for a boy (after Captain Malcolm Reynolds played by Nathan Fillion in the series Firefly and Serenity for a girl... for similar reasons).
But being in a more sensible mood I would probably favour for a girl either Ella (after Ella Fitzgerald), Amy or Felicity. For a boy Thelonious (as in Monk), Sebastian- just because or Algernon. Potential mothers, hope we have girls!

19) Do you snore?

I don't know I am asleep at the time

20) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?


21) Do you sleep with stuffed animals?


22) If you won the lottery, what would you do first?

Pay off my debts and bills.

23) Gold or platinum/white gold?!

Gold I guess....not really sure what this question is alluding to.

24) Hamburger or hot dog?


25) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken Breast with Bacon in a blue cheese sauce, sweet potato fries and salald. Haven't relly thought too much about it.

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5th March, 2018. 3:43 pm. Share Your World 5th March 2018

What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents?

I particularly liked having the space to spread myself as it were. I didn’t particularly like having a busy main road right on my doorstep with Juggernauts driving by at all hours. Oh and the sodding peacocks!  Noisy bastards they were…. and messy, my morning routine involved cleaning Peacock poo off my car.

What is your most favourite smell/scent?

In Nature, the smell and rain and soil after a thunderstorm.

Outside of nature, the warm greeting smell of a roast being cooked.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

I think I would prefer mildly snowy winters, providing the area is properly prepared to cope with them. But since snowy winters aren’t that common in England, as the recent snow spells have proved, councils and people aren’t prepared for snow bound winters. Not to mention everyone gets their knickers in a twist at the slightest dusting of snow. I have a small front wheel-drive car and while it was a bit hairy at a few moments, I still managed to get to work. Half of the road chaos could easily have been avoided if people learnt how to drive in snow!

Those were taken just before Christmas when it snowed.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Getting back into the rat race and being back in work again. A new start and a new beginning, plus there may be something else on the horizon… but recent experience with Rachy-Roo tells me to play things more cautiously.


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27th February, 2018. 1:46 pm. What Are Your Best Sleep Over Memories (Blog Prompt)

I guess it was the times Shaggy used to stay over on a weekend. These were quite frequent between ages 10-14, especially in the last year of Primary School and first year of Secondary School. I think we must have watched the first series of Red Dwarf nearly every week and could probably quote it word for word at the time. Other occasions we'd try and sneak down to watch the mucky movies on the German Channels on Sky... only to discover that Shaggy's mum had anticipated this and blocked the channels.
We didn't have Sky or Cable at my house until I was 17, so going to Shaggy's was always fun as I could watch things yet to come to regular TV or indulge watching UK Gold.

I think the biggest sleepover was probably at the end of the summer holidays in 1997. I went to Butlins in Minehead and because it was a chalet for 5 Shaggy was allowed to come along. It was a fun extended weekend but got marred by two unfortunate events. A bout of illness struck a number of the family which resulted in me chundering on Minehead beach... and of course a very significant event in the UK. The death of Princess Diana, we were listening to the radio at the time at the music was interrupted by breaking news announcement, a rarity in Britain back then, informing the nation of the news. I won't say that the news knocked the spirit out of the day at the Camp, but there was a certainly something lurking in the background.

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