Saturday, 27 December 2014

Blood Swept Lands

This Christmas both my wife and I agreed we weren't buying for each other and drastically cut back generally all round due to the fact we've spent everything on the new home.

But one present we had agreed on some time back was to buy a poppy each from the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', held at the Tower of London, by artist, Paul Cummins, who produced (with the help of an small army of modellers) 888,246 individually hand-made ceramic poppies, of which no two are the same.

Friday, 26 December 2014


As I sit at the pc on my own, with no one but two extremely sleepy cats for company, I feel the strange weight of a recent acquisition around the top of my left calf. It is my new 3 hour buddy and companion: the orthofix... dun-dun-duuuuuh!

My left leg and its new companion, the Orthofix, at the start of another 3 hour session.

After a visit with the surgeon it transpires that I have what is commonly know (to them) as a 'delayed-union'; this is where a bone fracture begins to heal but then slows or stops altogether, leaving the healing process at a greatly reduced rate or a complete stop.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Today's Song

 MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL - hope you all are having, or had, a wonderful time :)

At home after eating the usual Christams lunch and feeling slightly worse for doing so - yes, I know, moderation is the key.

So Christmas day now begins its slide into evening, and crap is on television, as usual, so I've decided to post this delightful little ditty that's doing the rounds. Kudos to this young lass, Viktoria Modesta, on many levels. Loving this whole vibe she has going on. Good luck to her - 2015 will surely be all the more interesting (music-wise) with her being around.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

If Only...

I'm sure many, if not all, of us have had those 'if only...' moments in our lives when looking at beautiful images of far away places that we'll (most likely) never get to visit in person.

In my email box this morning was something from Stumbleupon containing a variety of 'stumbles' that are deemed fitting for my interest catagories. And they were not wrong. I'm a sucker, and always have been, for gorgeous photos of landscapes, so from this stumble I've selected a few that I (personally) deem to be the best, but more importantly, fall into that group of places that I'd love to visit 'if only...' I had the money. Which, to be honest, is most likely the class the majority of us fall into.

So, in no particular order, here they are ( credit is given to the photographers when the information was made available, otherwise I claim no rights over any of the following pictures, which remain the property of their respective owners ):

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Monkey Magic

Just browsing the web and I came across this snippet of a 'story' regarding the young lady in the photo on holiday and attempting to take a selfie with a local monkey. Apparently the monkey didn't approve.
Copyright ThatGuy1331/Imgur/Reddit
Later, when interviewed, the monkey, whom we now know to be called Cecil, said this, "I was just relaxing, enjoying the shade and scratching my butt, when this bimbo shoves her face next to me for a selfie!" He went on to explain the reason for his reaction, "Being a celebrity you accept recognition and adoring fans, but come on, even celebs deserve a day off. I mean, she didn't even ask permission! My agent will have a bf [bitch fit] when she hears about this!"

The woman in question was unavailable for comment. She was last reported seen running towards her hotel six miles away.

The look on the young woman's face says it all. I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I saw this. So I thought I'd share it with you lovely people, especially the animal lovers amongst you.

Personally I'm on the monkey's side - I hate having my picture taken. Part of me would like to imagine it shouting, "Get the f**k outta here!" And how ironic is the statue pose upon which the monkey is sitting. Synchronicity at its best :)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Today's Song

Oncemore, YouTube has revelaed yet another amazing group of musical artistes in the form of an A capella ensemble calling themselves ' Pentatonix ' - the link takes you to their official website.

Consisting of four male singers and one female, their vocal range and skills cover every conceivable instrument and rhythem you could imagine. They cover a plethora of songs ranging from the festive carols (Silent Night being a beautiful example) to well known and popular tunes from the likes of Daftpunk ( a medley of their hits), Gotye (Somebody I Used to Know (my personal favourite)) and Pharrell's ' Happy ', and the brilliantly beautiful ' Run to You ' (not the rock song of the same name) to name but a few.

So here is the Daftpunk compilation from Pentatonix to give you a taster. You'll find them on YouTube, Facebook and all the usual social media outlets. Enjoy.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Question Time

All logos are Copyright of
each respective company.
All rights reserved
Web browsers. Love them or hate them, we need them (unfortunately). They are described as being an essential tool to our internet habits, and I suppose I can't much disagree, though I wish I could.

So here is my question: which browser is the best to use?

I've used Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Personally I enjoyed using Opera, once you got used to its UI (user interface), but I had to change as blogger kept stating my browser was not supported and I needed to change to one that was - enter Google Chrome once more... grrr!

Google Chrome boasts to be one of the fastest. And it is. For the first 24 hours, then it starts slowing down, and down, and down. It was the reason why I dumped it last time.

(Edit) I used Firefox in the past and found it to be very good, but security (at the time) was questionable, which led me to look elsewhere.

Internet Explorer has its quirks and eventually begins to feel 'buggy'. Safari, well, it's ok on the Mac, but doesn't translate well (to my mind) for the PC.

Is there ANY browser out there that actually works properly?

EDIT: here is a link to a 'Top Ten' review of web browsers - How could I have forgotten Firefox! It's very informative, so hopefully some of you might also find it helpful.

"Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!"

Friday, 12 December 2014

Evolution of a Blog

Evolution, it would appear, is the natural progression of life. If it doesn't evolve it dies out due to mother nature's natural selection process. Only the strong survive. Adaptability on all levels being paramount combined with the use of tools to aid in the quest for resources has ensured the proliferation of many, many species.

The blog is no exception to these rules.

I say this as I have come to notice a change in my blogging habits, as may have some of you. Initially it was anecdotal and advisory regarding the subject of role playing games. Then it crawled out of the water and took its first shuddering breaths on the dry land that is home to the beast known as the 'writer'.

Short fiction, five sentence fiction, longer fiction and poems became the dominant beast, striding fearlessly across a new, lush vista and unexplored land. Dotted along the way, snuggled amongst the dark shadows and crevices of rocks, and the leafy gloom of wild vegetation, smaller thoughts and inklings developed, watching the passage of words as they strode about, unchallenged, fighting between themselves for domination.

Small glittery eyes, sparked with a cunning and intellect waited patiently, knowing something was coming. A change. A new direction and focus. A moment.

A darkness swept over the landscape of words, followed by a void. But safe in their dark sanctuary the smaller thoughts huddled and waited.

Time passed and calmness replaced the void. Light bathed the land with warmth and hope. It was time to step out from the shadows. Time to claim their moment. Smaller thoughts regarded each other with curious fascination. A new path beckoned. Inklings search for the content. Smaller thoughts grew into ideas and cooperated with the inklings, finding material for their evolution. Out of this genesis of smaller thoughts, inklings and ideas the evolution of the blog was born.

What it is, I have no clue? But what I do know is that this creature I breathed life into on 4th May 2011 is a far different creature. More lithe and supple. Reaching beyond the original parameters of its inception, and hopefully extending its longevity far into the future yet to come.

On that thought, has your blog-creature morphed and evolved in a way (or ways) that you had originally unintended? I'd be interested to hear.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Chillin' Out Ambient

Regular, and semi-regular visitors to my blog should know me well enough by now and my 'tastes' in music and if I ever find something I feel is worthy of a sharing moment, then here it'll be.

Just returned from my physio session and sitting at the pc chilling out to random music via the mighty wonder that is YouTube, and lo! Here be a wonderful ambient track by a couple of collaborators know as Miyuki & Jan Amit (the latter is one artist I was searching for when finding this).

The following link takes you to Jan Amit's stream on Soundcloud - a young and talented musical artist I think you'll agree. So, with less babble from me, and straight to the track, entitled, ' Sublime Moments '. Pin back your lug holes and prepare to be chilled. And if this doesn't do it, take a valium-thingy.

And here, for the ambient purists amongst you out there, here is the original track from Jan Amit that brought me to his musical talent.
An pure ambient track entitled, ' Around '. I'd be interested to read your thoughts on both tracks and whether or not you like them, or if it has turned you onto the ambient path? Enjoy.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Compilation Album Review - 'Fade to Black'

During my current recovery I've been listening to a lot of music, and having exhausted my iTunes library I decided to browse through Apple's online store to see if there were any bargains to be had.
To my delight I found this album: Fade to Black - a brilliant compilation of 23 themes taken from the very best of Nordic noir, US crime series, and thrillers such as Breaking Bad, The Killing, The Wire and Peaky Blinders. The link will take you to the UK Amazon site where you can see and listen to the complete track listing.
It features the musical talents of Mogwai, Massive Attack, Placebo, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, to name but a few. In all honesty, there are artists I'd never even heard of, let alone knowingly listened to their music, but in reading the content list I realise that many have been part of my subconscious listening due to the fact I've watched several (or more) of the listed series.
If any reading this are a fan of the music from the film, 'Inception', then you'll feel right at home as several of the tracks follow that pulsing, throbbing bass line dosed with malign intent.
This has been my 'go to' album during my redecorating of the downstairs rooms, and one of my favourite tracks is 'Pause' by Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo, so I've included it here for your listening pleasure. Enjoy.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

New home, new start

For the first time since the age of 32 I now have a place I finally consider a home, and unlike previous addresses, not just a house.
Copyright 2014 Mark Kelly
My books now line the book shelves after spending the best part of 18 years in boxes, and I also have a 'man cave' once more. But more importantly, I now have the proper tools by which to start afresh: one work, and one play - as shown below:

Copyright 2014 Mark Kelly
If any are wondering, the worktop my computers sit upon is exactly just that - a kitchen worktop bought at a DIY store and cut to length. So far this worktop has been with me in three houses, this now being the third (and hopefully) and final resting place. And it's bloody heavy, too!

The house is a 'work in progress', but it is great to have a place that gives you 'I'm home', feeling. So, with luck this will focus my mind, summon up my muse once more and start me off on my creative journey once again. Something I have sorely missed of late.

Do you have a special work/play area set aside? I think it's always interesting to see where people do their 'thing' and in what surroundings.

Discovering great music

Afternoon people. Hope you're having a restful weekend and recovering from any Halloween festivities you may have attended?

Whilst looking through YouTube during one of my 'being bored on crutches' days, I stumbled upon this Russian guitarist, Estas Tonne - admittedly, I thought I'd discovered Jesus busking in Europe, but no, just an amazingly talented guitar player.

So here, for your listening (and I suppose for some, viewing) pleasure is the brilliant Estas Tonnes playing a piece entitled: 'The Song of the Golden Dragon'.

I hope you enjoy the sheer brilliance and energy of both man and his music.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Farewell to Rik Mayall

It is with great sadness and shock that I found out today that one of Britain's foremost revolutionary comedians of the 80s and early 90s, Rik Mayall, has died.

First appearing on the British version of 'Saturday Night Live' first broadcast in 1985, Rik Mayall was one of a new wave of fresh comedic talent to appear on British tv screens in the 80s amidst Margret Thatcher's iron grip on the UK political platform, the yuppie era and the eclectic new wave in British pop/rock music.

Starring alongside the likes of Ben Elton, Ade Edmonson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, to name but a few, British comedy was to be reborn anew and the comedic bar raised for others to follow - though sadly this does not to seem to have been the case today with the demise of comedy produced for television within the UK, especially with the rise in 'popularity' in docu-soaps, pseudo reality programs and trash in the form of Big Brother, etc. British television has slumped badly and will now be all the poorer for the loss of such a brilliant comedy/writing talent.

Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson were best know (and loved) for their comedy show, 'Bottom', in which Rik played Richie, and Ade played Eddie, two out of work friends and flat mates. The show was also a great success on stage in live tours around the country. I have included a compilation clip of those live shows where they fluff their lines and lose the plot - be advised, swearing is contained within.

He will be greatly missed.

~ Rik Mayall 7th March 1958 - 9th June 2014 ~

Sunday, 27 April 2014

New Home on the Horizon
Apologies for the lack of blog posts, but my scant access to the web is an ongoing issue.

Some good news (I hope): my wife and I have hopefully found our new home; we are just starting the legal side of things with solicitors and searches, etc, but so far looking good. So with luck I'll be back up and running per normal (is there ever such a thing?) by the end of May this year :0D

My lovely wife bought me a very amazing present for my 50th birthday, which was on the 13th April. Asides from a lovely weekend at a five star hotel, my wife gave me a parcel to open just after midnight leading into the 13th.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A-Z Challenge Withdrawal

Sorry to say, I am withdrawing from this year's A-Z Challenge.


After blogger naffed up I'm a day behind, and with my work schedule getting me home by 2035hrs of an evening by the time I've changed, washed/showered, eaten food and settled down it is practically time for me to hit the sack in readiness for the following day's work cycle to start over again.

I'm also lacking the 'feel' for the A-Z this year and have noted many stalwart bloggers have also skipped this year. Sorry people, it just isn't happening for me this time round. My apologies, but I have to be true to myself on this one.

Good luck to the rest of you. I shall be taking down my A-Z posts over the next few days.

Friday, 4 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: Day 4

(* Note: forgive the late posting, but for some unknown reason I could not access Blogger? *)

D is for Description noun 
1. a spoken or written account of a person, object, or event.
2. a type or class of people or things.

My sister has a dread of enclosed spaces, especially lifts. Previously I could not comprehend why, and much to my shame, would tease her about it. Now I understand. The experience on the floor below has me unnerved to the point that I'm reluctant to stop the lift at all, but you and I know that can't happen.

My gaze returns to the mummified rat; at first I was puzzled as to what a rat would be doing inside a lift, and I can't help but think, was it trying to escape from something and found dying in here more preferable? What am I thinking? I must be going mad! Next floor I need to find a way out, or better still, a phone. Maybe the building has security I could contact?

Here we go. The lift is slowing down. Prepare yourselves...

Blog Birthday

What a terrible blogfather I am! Yet again, I have missed my blog's birthday, which was on March 4th.

Hell's teeth, I now vow never to forget it ever again, and to this end, I shall place a visible notice of my blog's day of creation, lest I forget once more. Shame on me. Forgive me, my precious, precious blog?

Belated Happy 3rd Birthday! My, how they grow so quickly.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: Day 3

C is for CLICHÉ noun 
1. a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.
2. a stereotype or electrotype.

I'm really not liking this lift. The creaking and groaning of the cables suggest a lack of maintenance or use, maybe even both. Either way I am eager to get to the next floor. Still no improvement on the air quality, and judging by the sad and solitary mummified rat in one of the back corners of the lift, humidity isn't an issue. Thank God for no stench of decay.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: Day 2

B is for BELIEVABLE adjective 
1. able to be believed; credible.

So, here we are, shuddering upwards in a dingy lift (I shall us the British term for elevator hence forth, apologies to our US cousins). The air within has a dank tinge to it. I'm not sure how confident I am as to what we'll find once these doors open.
I do note, however, the interior bulb has seen better days by the look of it, and I'll go so far as to wager that it won't last the entire journey to floor Z. At least the panel lights are nice and bright, even through the film of grime, their amber enthusiasm I find uplifting - no, that wasn't intentional.

Oh. Here we go... doors opening...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: Day 1

A is for APATHY noun 
1. Lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.

Well, I sit here staring at the screen thinking, 'I'm screwed. Yep. Definitely screwed.' even though I've got this far, that is, sat in front of the PC and typing on day 1 of the A-Z, I still think I'm screwed.

Apathy. Interesting concept. I agree with all of the above descriptors, and I lay blame (without a shred of guilt I might add) at the feet of my current 'job'. finishing at 2015hrs each evening is a real deal breaker when it comes to sitting down and pounding out something creative in any format after I've driven home, changed, washed, eaten and chilled.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Today's Song is...

A tune I have discovered by Nightcall featuring Dreamhour. Something different, I hope you enjoy it. See you in the A-Z Blogfest, peeps  :)

Saturday, 8 March 2014


I'm sorry for the dull stretch of silence that has befallen my blog, but in between searching for a new home, work, and various trips to the local hospital to visit my mother (she recently underwent a total knee replacement), I'm taking a breather during the calm before the storm that will be this year's A-Z Challenge.

Somehow I still think I've chosen the wrong topic? First I chose 'Games', then though, 'Nah!', and then I chose 'Writing', but now once more I'm thinking, 'Nah!'. Bollocks!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Today's Song ~ Gnarls Barkley

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, I present to you Gnarls Barkley and ' Smiley Faces ', from the excellent album, St Elsewhere.
Enjoy :)

A-Z Challenge 2014

It's that time of year again, and as it approaches I find myself gradually getting both excited and trepidatious at what lies ahead.

But what I'm looking forward to the most is getting re-acquainted with my blogofs (Blogoverse Friend/s) and finding new blog friends through the A-Z event - not to mention the wealth of new blogs to be discovered, and the influx of new visitors to the open hearth.

I had selected 'Gaming' initially as my subject matter for the A-Z, but upon reflection, I'm going to go with 'Writing' instead.

No prep started, as yet, but have any of you started yours already?
If so, what have you done so far and via what approach?

Looking forward to seeing what everyone is going to be doing this April, so bring it on like King Kong in Donkey Kong!

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Elder Scrolls Cinematic Trailer - WOW!

This is yet another amazing cinematic trailer for this April's upcoming MMORPG, 'The Elder Scrolls Online' - this time it deals with the arrival of darker, demonic forces seeking to overthrow the land of mortals.

Watch and enjoy - I only wish they'd filmed 'The Hobbit' in this fashion.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Brain Wave App - Sleep Has Never Been Better!
Some time ago I downloaded an app for my iPad in order to help me relax at night and get to sleep far more effectively. The app in question was Brain Wave - the link I have provided is for the iTunes site for those with iPhones and iPads, but you can get it for other devices.

This application, in brief, covers 30 binaural wave tones ranging from meditative to lucid dreaming. You have volume control, time setting, and an option to either use the in-built tunes to accompany the binaural wave, or select your own personal tune from your music collection.

Personally, I use one of Brain Wave's in-built tunes turned down to a minimum volume, and have the binaural turned up to full max, which is still reasonably quiet (my wife sleeps happily through it without complaint).

In my own use I have found getting to sleep much faster and my dreaming has shot through the roof - which I personally enjoy, but then I either use the Lucid dreaming setting or the standard Dream setting, but I have used the Power Nap setting on several occasions when feeling the need to rest during an afternoon off work.

I've also discovered an online site that allows you to customise your own settings whilst at the pc, so you can 'tune in' your brain pattern to your desired purpose; it's called 'The Ultimate Binaural Beat Machine' - I'll be giving it a go later today after work.

Hope these two selections can help those amongst you for whom sleep evades or just struggling with concentrating whilst at the pc ;)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Censored Disney's 'Frozen'

I watched this and had to laugh, so I decided to share. Enjoy :)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Blubeats Gravity & Rokono Bass+ - A Product Review

In the run-up to Christmas, my wife and I had our usual, pre-Christmas chat regarding what we would not be buying for each other. So, we narrowed it down to a single item present each. Fair enough, I thought. But then, what do I buy?

The answer wasn't too far in coming forward: a portable speaker for my wife's Mac Airbook. Vanessa (my wife) had admired a small Rokono Bass+ portable speaker I had bought for use in the garage when I trained (*sob* oh, how I miss that beloved garage now *sob!*), having it plugged into my iPad.

The Rokono is a little gem, and ideal for mobile phones, iPods, Macs & PCs and any gaming device with a 3.5mm audio jack socket.

But as my wife is a little deaf, I wanted to get her something with more 'Oomph!' And I found it in the form of Blubeats Gravity.

* please note, all prices/offers on both items were correct at time of writing *

So I've found both review videos I watched before making my final purchase decisions on each product for you to watch and listen to. At the end of each I'll post my 'pros' and 'cons' on each item.

The Truth About 1Direction's Singing Ability

This really got me chuckling, and I like to believe this is what they sound like without auto tune.

As a side note to any 1D fans reading this (though, to be honest I doubt any will, as I'm almost certain none of them are either intelligent enough to read or are of reading age) - stop feeding the Simon Cowell money machine - get therapy instead.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Film Promotion ~ ' Frenchy's World '

Copyright © Alexander De Senger 2014

Every now and then there comes along someone in your life for whom you can't help but have admiration for their grit and determination. Alexander De Senger is, for me, one such person.

Through the medium of Skype I've grown to like Alex's personality and zest for life. From our gaming days together I've found his approach to life is quite driven, yet tempered with a 'come what may' attitude. And he has a great sense of humour and warmth about him. So when he shared news about his getting involved with some Norwegian independent film makers and scriptwriters I was genuinely thrilled and excited for Alex, having done some TV work as an extra myself, I know how fun and exciting it can be, and if you network with the right people, it can become more than a mere temp thing. And this is what seems to have happened with Alex.

I've watched Alex's budding acting career with interest, and to be honest, I think he has got some true potential and talent. So, before I move you on to Alex's debut in this future mini-series concerning an up-and-coming small town gangster, I'll leave you with a synopsis in Alex's own words.

Thank you for reading (and watching) and please, spread the word about this indie production by 2 Apor Production Company - they really, REALLY need as much exposure and support as possible.

Over to Alex:

" The story evolves around Frenchy, a small-time gangster in a small Norwegian town. His guardian, 'The Greek', took Frenchy away from Marsielles when he was a kid, moving to Norway. The Greek is a 'retired' old-school gangster with connections to various syndicates. As a retirement bonus the Greek was allowed to settle down in Norway and run a small town.

When Greek found Frenchy the kid was in bad shape, living rough and homeless in Marseilles, but he impressed Greek with his toughness - the main reason Greek took him under his wing. Frenchy's mother had been killed under mysterious circumstances, something which has always haunted him, leaving him with a deep-rooted urge to find those responsible.

There are several other characters involved: Linda, the girl Frenchy loves but doesn't get - she reminds him of his mother and the purer side of life. His step-sister Liz, the daughter of Greek, and there are also various other members form different street gangs.

The story shows the day-to-day activities to get money for the gang, including collecting from other gangs. Frenchy has a tendency to mess things up, and they always seem to go wrong - some of the activities do have a comical feel about them.

It's basically a gangster comedy with some drama where you get to see the darker sides of Frenchy, and the pain his mother's death has left him with. "

Frenchy's World Intro... enjoy.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Year, New Discovery

Hopefully by now, those of you who drop in on a semi-regular basis will know I have a love of things fantasy/sci-fi, especially concept artwork. This morning whilst browsing my resurrected FaceBook page I discovered a lady sculptor by the name of Nicole West. She creates absolutely stunning figures from clay. The detail is amazing and beautiful, almost to the point of being jaw-dropping (but that could just be my own personal reaction).

To whet your appetite, the image below is of one of her pieces from the her gallery site, the link to which I will include below this picture. this piece is entitled Carnivale Courtesan. I hope you'll agree on my thoughts regarding the beautiful detail and workmanship of Nicole West's work.

Copyright © Nicole West ~
If you wish to view more of these amazing sculptures pop along to the gallery HERE, and you can look her up on FaceBook under 'Nicole West Fantasy Art'. Enjoy :)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Street Fighter Made Me Cry

To celebrate the start of a new, fresh year, here is a video that will have you laughing, especially if you were, or are, a lover of the Street Fighter games.

Me? I was crying with laughter - enjoy courtesy of my Dutch gaming pal, Nibbster - thanks buddy :)