January 2021.

1st:
I'm not going to make this into a tortuous route march for myself, like I did last year, by posting an entry every day. I'm going to dip in and add to each month's entry when I feel like it. January 2021 starts with me thinking I should be tired from last night's gig, instead of just being tired. Oh well. No point in being miserable about it. Onward and upward. I'll just have to wait the bloody virus out and then carry on with whatever is happening. We start the year with the North West mainly in Tier 4 restrictions and a full lockdown hanging over us, as infection rates are climbing seriously and it's scary. It's also scary how many people just think this is inconvenient. People are dying. That knocks your 'inconvenient' into a cocked hat, doesn't it??? Some people need to get a grip.

Current reading:   FAB an intimate boigraphy of Paul McCartney.
Current watching: The Sopranos season 3.


7th January:
Well we had the interesting scenes in the Senate in Washington and they just show the type of moral disintegration that occurs when you get a media personality squeezed into a top political job. It's utterly shameful. A number of my friends in the USA are muttering darkly about Amendment 25 which allows an incapable President to be removed from office, but apparently, the voting wouldn't work out because of the weighting of Trump yes men and dogsbodies in the Senate. I fear for what the President will try to do in his remaining time in office.


16th January:
I found out the other day that someone I that am quite close to has been in hospital with covid and was (much to my immense relief) released yesterday evening. I think we are now paying for the Christmas get togethers that so many had longed for, for so long. I know why people cracked and did it and to be honest, I don't totally blame them. The problem is that everyone thinks that if they mix with other people that everyone else is taking the same care as they may be taking. That's not always the case. I am so relieved that my friend is out of hospital. He said that he felt really terrible while he was in there. Bless our NHS staff who are dealing with all this, putting themselves at risk every day.


20th January:
So farewell then, Donald Trump. Not big enough balls to attend your leaving bash at work. Cissy.


21st January:
What is it with gas central heating boilers? Ours seems to decide to conk out every winter and today it went again, showing no gas to the boiler. The gas engineer came out and there's a supply to the boiler. I've managed to get someone quite local to come look at it this evening, but Lynda is thinking that maybe a new boiler may be the way forward.

Photos for college taken today:

Strats

Strats


24th January:
We ordered a new boiler on the 22nd and it's being fitted tomorrow. It's bloody cold right now, but we have some electric heaters to keep ourselves warm with and a kettle for hot water. It could be a lot worse. At least we could afford a new boiler.

Current watching - The Sopranos (season five)
Current reading - They just seem a little weird by Doug Brod.


25th January:
Up at the ungodly hour of 07:30am for the first time in a couple of years (without going straight back to bed). The gas engineers came and put the new boiler in and by 1pm, we had heating again. I took the opportunity to chuck myself in the bath asap. I have never been so glad to see a steamed-up bathroom in my life. I think the stress of the last few days got to Lynda a bit. She retired to bed very early with chest pains and wouldn't let me call anyone. She won't go near a hospital, as she's terrified of covid.


27th January:
A nice long walk for Tom and myself. I refer to this route as 'The Marathon'. It is too far for Oscar, who starts to put his brakes on if he feels we have walked for too long. He doesn't want his little legs worn out, but Tom will walk forever.

The marathon - walkies 27.1.21.


3rd February
What's new?

I've been working on a lot of updates and additions to the Slade discography book,THE NOIZE. Since my big-time fall-out with a couple of people in the Slade world, late last year (stemming from a private row with a single person, which was sorted out pretty soon afterwards, and which only a couple of people know the actual facts about and also - annoyingly - which an amount of utter science fiction is being generated about), I have been doing a good job of keeping off Slade related areas of social media, only popping into the odd group for the sake of an odd bit of research for the book - though some of those people really don't seem to know anything much at all and endlessly repeat ancient disproved myths - I resist the temptation to post and correct them.

Some of the utter poison that circulates in groups about what is effectively a "dead pop group" amazes me. There is a lot of mental illness and quite a few damaged people populating Slade areas of the net. One person in particular, with a bad history on Slade pages, causes stinks in other groups about old bands (I've seen him also written about on Sparks and Shelley Preston pages, as well as on Slade pages) and is getting barred from everywhere. I sank to the level of a couple of these type of people, and afterwards, I looked very hard at myself, changed a number of things and am now enjoying being away from it all.

I have even taken to avoiding Slade's music, as it acts as a trigger to mild anxiety and brings certain things back to mind. I have recently obtained various Slade and Slade-related music that is really rare or isn't actually out there (including some side-band rehearsal tapes I recently found on an unplayed cassette that I've had for years, with unreleased songs) and I can't even bring myself to listen to it for inclusion in the book, which is a bit awkward. I will have to make myself do it at some point. Talking to the band members is off the menu for me, too. Chris has taken over doing the interviews. I just don't want to be any part of that whole Slade thing at the moment.

I have another project or two on the go - one being a book of my general concert photos that will most likely appear later in the year. There's my Who book, which is looking more likely to happen. I have bought some more expensive reference materials for that, so I'd better set a date to dig in and properly get on with it.

Lynda had the covid jab administered in Bolton last Sunday and I am due to have it done this Saturday.


9th February:
The Thin Lizzy 'Rock Legends' box set turned up yesterday evening. I did a quick (and rather basic) unboxing video today. It really is quite a substantial box set. I was initially put off by the steep price tag, missed the limited number of copies signed by Scott Gorham, and when I started to think it was maybe a good idea, it had sold out everywhere. He who hesitates is lost. I was tipped off that Amazon had found some copies and that the price had dropped, so I got on with it.

The day after the covid jab, I was absolutely tired out, a bit nauseous, but it's still better than the alternative. I expected my shoulder to hurt and it still does.

I set off walking Tom today and it started snowing and it was also freezing cold - much colder than I thought when I set off and Tom didn't have a coat on - so I abandoned the walk a quarter of the way along and we returned home.

Walkies 8.2.2021

Current watching: The Sopranos season 6.


10th February:
So Trump is going to get what he deserves. There was hardly any way the Senate could let him get away with it. The demolition of him starts now.

Three shots from experiments with side lighting with the fab new gadget that Lynda got me from Amazon.

Ian

Ian

Ian


16th February:
Having a nostalgic moment... The bass I started learning to play on.

Avon EB0 bass


22nd February:
I'm getting a bit pissed off with those people who are wailing inanely that the vaccine is a government tool for social control and  who are also comparing it to Thalidomide. It insults the intelligence of the world and of all of the scientists who have created vaccines which aim to alter our receptors to fend off the virus. Stupid people. You can block them on Facebook, but not in real life.

I finished Season 6 of the Sopranos yesterday and now there's no more. Bereft.


27th February:

A long walk with Tom - We usually do this at least once a week.

Map


1st March:
My Slade forum has been playing up for a couple of weeks and I have been plaguing PlusNet to do something about it and nothing much has happened. People can't get into it. Sometimes I can't even get into it for a few days. Everyone expects me to be able to sort out what they need to do on their computers with cookies, browser history etc. I am begiining to resign myself to the fact that it's just totally borked and will never work again, so I may as well just delete it. I am actually beginning to fail to care about it. Then I decide to ring PlusNet support to ask what the fudge is going on.

I actually get someone who knows what I am talking about and she does a server refresh while I am on the line and she waits quite patiently while I try things and get onto the forum with my third admin user account and sort passwords out for the first two. I don't close the support ticket down as there are still some (less frequent) garbled text issues that need to be cleared up. In the evening I go through a number of emails from people who can't access the forum and lose out to someone on a rare pre-Slade EP from the early 1960's. If I had won it, I doubt I would have looked at it twice, never mind played it.

I took Oscar down to my mate Dave's house again and we walked our dogs around his block a couple of times. We are socialising Lily, his dog, a little and getting her used to other dogs. Oscar has exactly the right temperament. he loves everybody and everybody loves him. I bought some microphones from Dave while I was there.

Lynda goes off to bed early again. She was bitten by something the other day and her wrist swelled up and she kept feeling rather wobbly. I offered to get her a doctor, but she won't go near anyone. Not a doctor, a hospital, nobody. She isolates properly. She's felt rubbish for a few days.

I take a number of bookings for the band from July onwards and idly wonder if we will actually get to do them, or whether any relaxation will take us back into a further national lockdown that Boris says won't happen. He may have no choice. All this 'roadmap to recovery' bollocks makes me laugh. People won't behave. The British can be so loutish, ignorant and stupid when they set their minds to it. We just want to see our grandchildren again. They just want to go out and get pissed. It's pointless blaming the Government for people acting like nothing's happening. I am surrounded by people who have had covid, despite best efforts to avoid it. A couple have died. There are lots of idiots don't think anything is wrong until it happens to them. Lynda and I live like hermits.

I write this blog after midnight on March 2nd.

Current reading: Rock'n'roll sweepstakes: Ian Hunter - the authorised biography.
Current viewing: Anything that happens to be on TV. I am not currently focused enough to do box sets.


2nd March:
I wake up to my phone buzzing and texts and messages that the Slade forum is gone. Kaput. I get up, have a coffee and investigate. No sign via phone, PC or FTP program. Hmmm. PlusNet's web portal still lets me see the files, so I pinch a backup of the forum and of the relevant database. I ring PlusNet support and get someone who is totally willing to help, but again - quite understandably - has no idea that they have ever offered webspace, because they don't do that now. They promise to get the right team to contact me.

I check out alternative webhosts and now I have to decide whether I actually bother to carry on with the forum or not. Traffic is down from what it was. There are a few proper nuisances I want to avoid. It's something else to do. But I don't really have lots to do at the moment. It is a project. My ordinary website space is currently ok, but for how long?

The Who discography book really needs me to start having full days on it, but I am still daunted at how much has been released that I didn't know about (mainly world-wide, so I DO have a valid excuse) and people show off their collections on Facebook and I don't want my Who book to be a joke, because it has missed loads of stuff out. It will either start coming together properly - or it won't.


4th March:
Our college classes have been conducted via Zoom for some weeks and I've almost quit the course. We are doing next week by Zoom, and then hopefully we are back in class again.

7th March:
This is a rare photograph of me armed with a screwdriver. I do not use dangerous power tools as a rule, although I did get quite animated with a powered saw, which saw an end to our beloved old shed, on Friday and Saturday. It has now been replaced by this children's playhouse.
I am not responsible for the colour scheme. I would have painted it green.

Shedbuilding

I think I did myself some proper damage moving the old shed on Friday. it was really heavy and I dismantled it, got parts in the car and took them to the tip. I had a double hernia fixed when I was very young and it hurts in the very same place when I get up or sit down. Fingers crossed that the pain settles down.


8th March:
Up at a sensible time. Onto Yodel (I've no idea why anyone uses them, they are consistently rubbish) about a parcel they failed to deliver though we were in on Friday. We now have to wait another 4 days for it to come from Middleton to us. What a joke. We could cancel that order, re-order and get a second parcel faster.

I also got new web hosting sorted for the next year and once I had sorted my access out, I moved my websites over and tweaked them all to make them work properly on the new servers.

Tomorrow I will be having a go at restoring the Slade Forum. I will either end up with the old forum restored, with seven years of posts saved, or a new one with no posts.


11th March:
Well, I've left posting on here for a short while. The last thing I posted was that I was preparing to have a go at restoring The Slade Forum to its former glory. I spent a lot of the day on trying to rebuild it from what I had managed to download, but basically, the version of the database that I had was totally screwed, so I eventually gave up and lost all the membership records and their access and all of their posts, going back about 8 years. I stopped stressing about it, bit the bullet and restarted with a brand new forum. People are joining. Members are coming back and some are saying 'Why does my login not work?' which means I have to email them and tell them.

It looks rather empty at the moment, but I am more than certain that we can fill it up again.

The Slade Forum 2021


16th March:
We ordered a new TV from Amazon on the 10th and Hermes have got it, so it may not arrive until the 22nd. I have just spent going on for £500 and I don't expect service like that - apparently it is sat in their Liverpool depot, so I don't see why the lazy fuckers can't even be bothered to deliver it. Hermes are trying to overtake Yodel for shitness.

The Who discography book needs me to spend some more time on it.

Some recent photos for college:

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson


17th March 2021:
So the new TV we ordered on the 10th hasn't arrived. Lynda was getting really annoyed about this and started off contacting Amazon. She got some poor bloke who admitted he was in India. I ended up taking over, demanding a refund that he said he couldn't process. It turned out that after talking to his supervisor and mentioning that I had mentioned breach of promise over the original March 13th delivery date, he COULD process a refund and did so.

Now I just have to find a new TV somewhere that I can buy and take away.


18th March:
Back in college. People. Bliss.


19th March:
Happy birthday Mum. Miss you xx.

Me and my mum

I sorted out the TV shite. Same TV. Argos. Click now - collect anytime today.
Done, dusted. Setup and working before mid afternoon and I only got up at 11am.


21st March:
Annoyances: Mine wants to tell me everything he is annoyed about in SladeWorld. I don't inhabit SladeWorld and consequently do not give an ounce of a fuck about what he is bothered about - none of which involves me.


22nd March:
Three trips to the tip in two days and it's had really frightening queues to get in. Harrumph. I confirmed with Amazon that, even though the TV still hasn't arrived, that I will not be responsible for any costs of return postage... if it ever does turn up.


23rd March:
Up at 8am and straight off to the tip. I only had to queue for about 20 minutes to get in.


28th March:
Well the last few days have been interesting. College on Thursday - a portraits session. Hopefully a couple of nice shots will appear for use on this website, if I haven't broken people's cameras in the process. On Friday, I followed some helpful hints and managed to restore the entire original Slade forum, going back to 2013, intact and (touch wood) working properly. I've had a couple of migraines this week and I think I am getting sensitive to coffee again, which is a nuisance.


31st March:
I am extremely saddened to hear that former Slade guitarist Steve Makin has passed away. He was an inspiring musician who first taught Dave Hill guitar and then was invited to join the band. In his time with them, he took the remains of Slade (sans Holder and Lea) to a level of musical virtuosity that they would never ever reach again. At one point, my old band Bad Habits supported them and Steve approached me to tell me that their bassist was leaving the group and asked if I was interested in trying out for them? The money didn't add up, so I stayed in work. Steve left the band after being left out of sessions for the rather drab Slade II album. He was probably far too good for them. I'm so sad to hear that he's gone.


2nd April:
It's been nice to see my daughter and grand-daughter this week. A bit of normality at last. It's cheered Lynda up no end. We've also managed to do some parts of the long walk that I take Tom on. We've driven to the Blackleach Country Park in the car and have walked part of that, and also driven to Ashton's Fields and Amblecote Fields. That way, Oscar gets to do the parts of the walk too. With Lynda's heart condition, she can't do the whole walk now - at one time, she would have done it twice round and left me in her wake. Today, I set off to do it and had to give up about halfway around. I came over all exhausted, like I have done sometimes since my cancer operation. It was quite disturbing, as I just felt like lying down - but I had to get home. I was quite close to Walkden. From there, it is quite a walk, whichever way I come back.

Walkies 2.4.2021

I made it back, of course, but the walk was a bit like torture. I just felt like lying down. I couldn't crash out anywhere, as it's not safe - and I had Tom with me. The missing part of the walk is in red, above.


6th April:
Late night self-portrait as experiment with light and camera tethering software. I think I'm getting the hang of it at last.

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson


8th April:
I'm here in my studio room, working on some new songs for the band's set, for when we return. We are going to be rehearsing again next week, which cheers me up no end. I do worry about how well my muscle memory is going to work, but I'm sure it will all be ok. I might need the odd cheat sheet for the words to some of our old songs. Shit-getting-together time.

Ian Edmundson

Could I recite our set list if you asked me? No. But then again, I never could. And I wouldn't anyway. I never show people the set list either, as I've had the annoying know it all type read the set list before now and then proceed to shout out what was coming next...

I'm still doing a few hours writing every morining, working on the Who discography book, but this morning's sesh was quite a short writing one, as I got up a little later than usual, despite an early night last night, and I felt a bit rubbish.

It's far more disciplined an exercise than it's been and I'm quite enjoying digging into research on their releases, but also quite shocked at how the back catalogue has been reissued so many times.

Lynda's not feeling too good today - she's shivering and feels a bit sick. She was like this the other week too.

I hope it's not going to be a recurring thing for her, as she's not very good at being ill. Her heart has been playing her up as well, which is a bit worrying. She's also stressed out about a few things.

Ian Edmundson


9th April:
My son Paul's birthday and I didn't get to see him. These restrictions are so hard. And life gets in the way, anyway.

Up late again, as I felt quite bad this morning. I was up at 6.30am to see what it was that the cats had knocked over and I felt fine, so I should maybe have stayed up then.

After ignoring their pre-sale, I cracked today and booked myself a ticket for Del Amitri at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester in September. It's the most sterile venue I've been to, apart from the Royal Northern College Of Music, and I was prepared not to be able to go to see them (as we are playing when they are in Blackpool), but I HAD to. I got row 3 centre, so hopefully the atmosphere will be there.

I ordered The Who Sell Out as a 5CD / 2x7" singles / book / memorabilia type superdeluxe box-set-to-end-all-boxsets the other day. Now I have to track down a copy of the My Generation and Tommy sets.

Lynda disappeared to bed very early again. She's really not well.


 

 

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