First thing you notice as you leave the road and cross the bridge onto the path is the sound of the beck, the river. The rush, whoosh and roar is everywhere beneath the tree lined track as we begin our walk, slowly fading too a high background ‘ssshhhhhh’ as our route moves away from it.

When we reach more open ground, the fell sounds change. Trickles and bubbles of ghylls meeting culverts and gulleys; streams of water winding their way down the hillside; shimmering clear sheets over stones. Sparrows, blue tits and robins chirp and chirrup from the trees; A pied wagtail on a corrugated roof from the farm below, a wind chime drifts up from the kitchen garden.

Then as we go to round a corner, the sun breaks behind us over Lingmoor fell and a rainbow appears over Pavey Ark and the southern crags and pikes of Blea Rigg. We stand amazed. It’s colours visible from start to end.

The photo is not what we saw, it is never what we saw. What I recall was our wonderment as it appeared, became more vivid, fade slightly, return again. I couldn’t tell what colour the fells really were, what was rainbow and what was not and how fantastic it felt to be here. In all of this.




I’m aware that digging in to the link below could (and should) take up a fair chunk of your time. But if you’re interested in how we can make our everyday lives happier & healthier, our environment safer and cleaner and potentially help our communities and economies grow stronger, the link below is a fascinating read.   For those that don’t have the time, maybe watch one of the two videos below – I found them both incredibly enlightening.

Shopping yesterday, my progress through JD Sports
was halted as three young girls (13,14 maybe) placed
themselves in front of a large mirror for a group selfie. I watched, keenly, as each one simultaneously adopted the same facial expression…

Lightly puckered lips, slightly raised eyebrows, their noses faintly wrinkled as if they were smelling shit or holding something in disdain. They stared into the mirror. Shutter pressed, then satisfied, their expressions turned to smiles (genuine smiles, a reflex?).

Then on they marched, as if no one else were there.

It wasn’t where I had intended to go.

My map reading skills are weak. I timed myself from the station to the crossroads – 12 minutes. That gave me an hour to get up the hill and down with enough time to get back to the station before dark. 

The hill I wanted to walk up was huge in front of me. I walked up a steep path, a sign saying ‘3/4’ to the top but the path seemed to stop in someones yard – a Range Rover, a newish Astra and me feeling embarrassed and conspicuous. I walked back down the path and examined the map again. On the opposite side of the valley, an orange contour line marked ‘275’, a trail of green dots marked a path. And that’s where I went.

A sign marked ‘Public Footpath’, a sign saying ‘DANGER MINESHAFTS’. I follow 4×4 tracks in the grass, that lead me out into the middle and suddenly worked out that I’m totally off track on a very steep hillside. I scan the map and read the tightly packed contour lines. If I go as high as I can, I should see the track.

A narrow path as wide as the length of my foot juts this way and that roughly along the top of the ridge. I follow it’s course. The grazing land gives way to brambles and bushes. Jays fly out of the trees below me. Voices travel up from the trail path 200 metres or so below. A discarded sunhat stuck to a branch. I pee against a tree trunk. The pencil thin track zigzags down further still into a denser patch of trees and my path darkens under the canopy and the fading light. I must be halfway down, surely? Then I spy the path which lead me here, just as the map had told me.

I make it back to the station before dark.

I did it.

Have you done it yet? Do you like it? Is it amazing? I’m so late to the party – I haven’t done it, not sure I will do it either but want to throw in some thoughts about Apple’s iOS7 update and my feelings about it.

Why haven’t you done it yet?!?!!

I sort of knew it was imminent and had being thinking about it mainly because I own an iphone 4 and was wondering if all the whizzing and banging that would come from the new OS would impede it in someway and the internet pretty much says ‘Yes it does!’ All this for some new icons, animations and that bar thing at the bottom of the screen that all looked very Android-y. But that isn’t what has got me upset about it, this is what has…

Picture the scene – you have your £399 iPad at the ready, Apogee audio I/O ( say an Apogee Jam, like me, at £79 or maybe an Apogee One at £299 ( definitely not like me )), you’re flicking on your favourite music app ( sorry, I think pretty much all apps are reasonably priced – £40 for a full DAW is a good price ) you’re ready to go and…..whoah the darn thing’s not working!!!!



If that was me and this was the equipment i used to make my art I would be livid. Now, I only use a bit of it and I’m still livid. But why should I be surprised this happened with the 1st and 2nd generation ibooks and OSX where we were left with expensive kit that would only work properly once we hung around 3 years for USB audio to finally work! Yeah, that was me too!!

Honesty. Honestly.

When you buy into a computer system you are, in effect, buying into a volatile ecosystem dependent on the whims of it’s inventors and owners. Apple has done the most amazing marketing job and owners of it’s technology ( for the most part ) adore it, because, ( for the most part ), it’s very well made and works well ( until it doesn’t ). PC owners are kind of different in that they cling to the OS they know best ( XP!! ) and refuse to let go until they have to or until they can figure Linux out. But it’s not just Apple here – we need app developer honesty too. If you’re using that iPod touch solely for what a few apps give you creatively, then they should darn well inform you when the device your running is going to start to suffer through their OS driven up dates. If something works for you, you don’t care what platform it’s on or what the icons look like because you just want to create.

Hardware vs Software

And now to the crux of the issue for me and making music. A dedicated piece of hardware is exactly that – what it lacks in multi-functionality it should make up for in the fact that it does what it’s supposed to. I’m not naive enough to believe that’s all you need (though it could be) I’ve just been left feeling totally let down by the shift in OS and the ( the possible ) need for new equipment for it to work fully and not telling me about that first.

Which is a shame. My iPhone 4 is ace – I can take photos, make videos, record music etc etc – but how long for if I don’t subscribe to a vision of what my creative practice should be.



I found out a week after he died, a brief foray onto Facebook where someone had posted about his last words to his wife. I felt sad and tried to remember as many of his words as I could. The wonder of when they fall into place with new meanings.

A Door into the Dark was the first book of his I got hold of. I was 14 and bought it with a Christmas present book token from a book shop located by the market in the centre of Leicester (it’s not there now, it closed before the 1980’s were out, I think). Back then, bookshops seemed to have more poetry in them, but back then, summers seemed longer too so you can’t be sure. This book was full of incredible imagery and discovery, for me, that I still feel when I read them now even though my circumstances are so much different than they were then. Such is the power of words and their pull on the memory.

“All I know is a door into the dark.”


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