Ain’t blue no more

strictly personal album cover

Blues music

Do you think blues music cheered people up. All those songs about cheating, lying, being hungry and broke? I hope so.

Music seems to have the power to bring me out of my moods. And it is not always the upbeat music that does that. Often, for me, it is the darker songs that do it.  Now I know that it isn’t the music that causes my change in mood. Moods change of their own accord, tied to thinking of course.

Your musical medicine

I have loved Captain Beefheart ever since I first heard him. For me his much maligned album Strictly Personal is my go to when I am feeling down. The first track Ah feel like ahcid includes the line:

I ain’t got no blues no more I said

Then, if I listen to the whole album, the final lyrics are:

I ain’t blue no more
Wooo it’s like heaven I said I said


hot stuff

hot peppers

Serotonin is the feel good chemical that our brains release – well when we feel good. And apparently eating chilies is known to trigger this. It certainly does for me. I’m not one of those people who eats raw chilies in competitions but I do like some spice in my food.

I have eaten raw chilies in the past. One memorable occasion was when traveling around India. We were eating cauliflower curry in a little restaurant in Northern India. The kind of place that the locals eat, where food is good and they come around with chapatis and a plate of green chilies. We were the only non-Indians in there and it felt like the whole place waited to see my reaction when I bit into the hot pepper. It was very hot but my pride and macho stupidity prevented me from showing it. Good times.


Mark Twain“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

― Mark Twain



Time is too slow for those who wait,

Too swift for those who fear,

Too long for those who grieve,

Too short for those who rejoice,

But for those who love, time is Eternity.

Henry van Dyke (1852-1933)

hat tip

Hat tip

What is it about hats? Men’s hats, I mean. There was a time when just about every man wore a hat. I don’t know if I’d like those days to return. Imagine if they did.

Just imagine

We’d need to learn a whole new etiquette. Tipping our hat to ladies. When and where to take the hat off. How to wear it. Straight, tilted back or forward, or at a jaunty angle.

Would men wear their hats indoors? If not we might see the return of the hat and coat check. Or hat stands?

Personally I don’t like seeing men wearing their hats in restaurants. Mostly they’re baseball hats. And if you’re past your teens there’s no excuse for wearing a baseball hat. [Perhaps if you are playing baseball, I’d allow that.]

Cars might need more headroom too. [Is that why cowboys drive big trucks, so as to have room for their stetsons?]


I was leaning across the table so I could hear properly. The usual cacophony of noise from the street was doing its best to defeat me. Car horns competed with street vendors and it wasn’t clear who was winning.

Tamsin was complaining about her numb bum, that I could tell. We’d all come off the same train at Jaipur and those uncomfortable seats were a recent memory. Her bloke, Tim, was laughing. I didn’t think Tamsin thought any of this was funny.

Inevitably, like all travelers in India, we got onto the state of the toilets. The Canadian, Brett, started it by asking if any of us had been to the washroom at the cafe. Tim said, you’d hardly call them wash rooms.

Brett didn’t laugh. We were all Brits except him so I expect he thought we were mocking him. Or he just didn’t get British humour.

Tamsin started an exaggerated story about her first visit to an Indian style loo. It was a rite of passage that we’d all gone through. I for one was looking forward to telling a version of this story to horrify my parents when I got home.

“What’s the tap and the cup for, I thought! That’s why I carry this around.”

And she got a loo roll out of her bag and plonked it on the table. Brett was the only one not to laugh. He just grabbed it and ran to the back of the cafe.

I’m ashamed to say we all laughed.