Tuesday, 19 December 2017

I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker

In my job I get to travel around most of Wales, and it's not unusual for me to be on the motorway at 0500 hours in a bid to outrun the commuter rush up the M4 or M5. As pretty as headlights and taillights queued up for miles seem to appear when viewed from a footbridge, it's a totally different story when you're sat smack-bang in the middle of it. 

On these journeys I like to drag along a selection of CDs to break the monotony of radio stations filled with more advertising than music. On one of these compilation CDs - a 3 CD set entitled: BBC Radio 2 Presents The Playlist - is the following song by Sandi Thom: I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair).  I just love the lyrics, which always put a wistful smile on my face, because they ring so true. For those of a certain age range and generation will understand, whilst others won't have a clue.

I hope you enjoy :)

Monday, 18 December 2017

José González

I'd totally forgotten about this song and the wonderful video - the first time I saw this was as an advert in a cinema leading up to the main feature. Makes me grin to see this once again, and makes me wonder, what did they do with all those balls after filming?

Friday, 15 December 2017

Guild Wars - A Memory Revisited

It was April 25th, 2005 when the original (and to my mind, the best) Guild Wars game opened its doors to the virtual world of Tyria to the real world. For me, it couldn't have happened quick enough.

Up until then, my only multi-player gaming experiences had been Unreal Tournament played with my gaming buddy and great friend, Cat - he of 'Tarl & Grudge' fame from past posts relating to the pencil & paper rpg, 'Dragon Warriors'. We would have a blast playing on maps I'd create with the Unreal Editor, then emailed to him, to be installed and played that very same evening. That was back in the day of 56k dial-up. I digress.

I had played on several beta weekends for Guild Wars, each beta was run on the first weekend of each consecutive month before final release.

Beta Weekend, Guild Wars 2005 - Happy times.
Copyright ©2005-2021 M. Kelly. 
All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 17 November 2017

World of Warcraft - The Return

Out of sheer frustration and the lack of games available for an iMac computer I found myself installing World of Warcraft, being pleasantly surprised that it could, and would run on a Mac.

*Advisory Note: if anyone should tell you the Mac is a great gaming platform, you are covered by the laws of bullshittery to give them a good, hard slap. Very hard. Obviously they need waking up and bringing back into the real world.*

The last time I had properly logged into the WoW game must be at least 6 years or more?
Back then the server/realm or choice for me and my guildies was Darkmoon Faire. This was classed as a 'role playing' realm, where role play gamers could act out their wildest fantasies and not be mocked for doing so. That last bit didn't exactly hold true; there were some amazingly hilarious, funny, sad (in an embarrassing way) and on occasion, disturbing moments of 'role playing' being acted out - mainly in a locale outside of Stormwind known as Goldshire, or as some of us would refer to it as: 'Cybershire'. The rest I shall leave to your imaginations.

The dreaded Wetlands - Copyright M.Kelly 2017.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Vök - Chilled Beats

Vök is a dream-pop indie/electronica band formed in Reykjavik, Iceland back in 2013. Influence-wise they consider Portishead, Air and Massive Attack to be foremost.

So, for a chilled, laid-back tune, I present to you, 'Waterfall'. Enjoy, as I do  :)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Wednesday is upon us, and as it slowly shuffles its feet, glancing sidelong at us in the vain hope that no one has noticed it's preparing to do a runner and disappear into the night, we welcome the coming end of another working week. Sneaky Wednesday.

Anyway, as is my want, I'm posting to leave you with some more music, but moreover, a link to a site I find incredibly useful, entertaining and often educational. Curious? I can tell by the arch of your brow. Interested? I hope so. It is Stumbleupon, introduced to me a while back by a writer friend of mine, and it's been in my top 10 favourite websites ever since.

Click on HERE to visit the Stumbleupon main page if you wish to know more and become a member - which is free. We like free stuff. Really, we do.

Now for some music. Here is one of my favourite tracks, ' RUN ' by Awolnation - an American alternative rock band I discovered whilst trawling through YouTube. Absolutely love them. Click on the band name to visit their official website.

Enjoy the music video  :)

Monday, 23 October 2017

Training Beats

For any of you folks out there who are looking for something, music-wise, to add to your training beats allow me to direct you to Twenty One Pilots, who are currently are my 'go to' choice of music for beasting myself during a good training session, and the track 'Heavydirtysoul' is one of my favourites.

I hope you enjoy ;o)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Passing of Eve

Watching a beloved pet fall ill and go through a painful process of recovery is never a nice thing to experience - even worse when it becomes clear they are not going to pull through and recover.

So it is with great sadness and utter devastation that we said farewell to our darling cat Eve at 1130 hours this morning as the vet administered the injection that put her to sleep.  It was a gut-wrenching decision, but her illness was eating away at her, and as much as we fought for her, and as much as Eve fought her own insurmountable battle to stay with us, her illness won out eventually.

Copyright 2017 - Mark Kelly

Our beautiful Eve had become a former shadow of herself - muscle wasted away, her ability to eat diminished to barely a nibble, the sparkle of mischief and life in her gorgeous eyes reduced to a distant memory. We had the occasional spark of the old Eve once in a while, as we did yesterday afternoon as we all sat in the garden and Eve noticed a butterfly, and for the briefest of moments she was full of rapt attention and stalking, but the butterfly flew away and so did the glimmer of Eve.

People reading this who dislike cats, or have no empathy with pets will think this sentimental garbage, but those of you for whom, like us, regard our pets as our friends, and moreover, as our family, will understand.

Eve was a loving cat, kind of spirit and gentle in nature, always looking for a hand to stroke her face or a pair of arms to be cuddled by. Eve and our dog, Darcy, hit it off from the moment they first met, never a cross word between them, and often would share a bed together.

Copyright 2017 - Mark Kelly

It is said that when cats show affection, it is genuine and because they want to. Eve gave much in the way of affection, and the void left by her passing will be evident for a long time to come.

My wife and I were with Eve to her very last breath, and the memory of how her limp body felt in our hands as we wrapped her in her favourite blanket in preparation for her cremation will stay with us for a very, very long time. Eve's dignity, stoicism, strength of character and constant patience and calm through her entire illness and especially her treatment was, and always will be, a very humbling experience for me.

I believe that when you lose someone, be they family, friend or a beloved animal companion, a small part of you dies with them. That part may be no bigger than a grain of sand, but when taken from your heart and soul you feel that loss as if replaced by something greater and far heavier. That passes with time, and the part of you that went with them is their keepsake, for them to remember you by and take comfort from, and who knows, maybe creates a bond that allows them to visit us from time-to-time?

I hope so.

The music I have attached will always remind me of Eve, as it was only last week I held her over my shoulder, feeling that soft, contented purring as I danced gently with her in our kitchen, as we looked out at her beloved garden together to this very song - bitter-sweet though it is.
We're heartbroken and already miss her terribly.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

My Dream - Z900

The last time I owned a motorcycle was back in the late 80s and the damn thing was stolen, never to be seen again. That day I vowed never to bother with motorbikes again.

Fast foward to the present day and the motorcycle bug has bitten me - HARD. So I'm sharing the official Kawasaki video of the bike I intend to get. Not to everyone's taste, granted, but I just love Kawasaki bikes and the Z900 calls to my biking soul. Hopefully I'll be able to update on this in June  ;)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Bill Paxton

Terribly sad news about the passing of one of my favourite actors, Bill Paxton, probably best known for his iconic role as Hudson in 'Aliens '. He is going to be greatly missed, and my heart-felt sympathy goes out to his family and close friends.

I'll leave this post with a fitting video tribute I came across on YouTube of Bill Paxton as the brilliantly eloquent Hudson, combined with the hauntingly beautiful, yet sad main theme from the computer game, 'Dead Island '.

I'm not ashamed to say this, but I wept whilst watching it. Goodbye, Mr Paxton.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Majorly Knullet

Technology is fantastic. When it works. It is less so when it fucks up. And this is about one of those moments.

Friday, 20 January 2017


The theme tune from the excellent 'Vikings' series. Hope you enjoy it.  :)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

In Memory

Copyright ©2017 Hongkiat.com
Today I found myself thinking of an old pal of mine who I lost touch with and some years ago discovered that he had passed away. Every now and then I think of Alun and the fun times we shared together and with our group of friends. Our training as squad mates in the Cardiff Swimming Club, the summer days spent at Southerndown Beach, and the crazy bike rides we'd go on every day during the summer holidays before our 2 hour training sessions at the National Sports Centre and Empire pool.

I miss him and often wonder what his life would have been like if it hadn't gone all so wrong for him and I had been a better friend and hadn't lost touch.

So, this is dedicated to those whom we have loved and have since passed over to a better place, be they family, friends and even those beloved pets who became our closest companions.

Let this be a positive meditation in memory of them, recalling everything positive, everything happy and, if you are of the mindset that has a belief in the afterlife, to that day when we shall all meet again.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Scam Phone Calls Are Back

Copyright ©2017 Mark Kelly.
So, we are heading towards the end of January and breaking in the boots of the New Year that is 2017, and I thought, having changed internet providers and requesting a 'new' phone number, that past incidents of scamming phone calls from India would be a thing of the past.

How wrong could I be.

I receive the third 'WITHHELD' phone call this week at 0830 am this morning. I know instantly what's coming as soon as I see the caller display showing the 'withheld' notification.

Sometimes the person on the other end is polite, and to the uninitiated, can be quite convincing. Other times they are just lacking that bit of polish and confidence, and then there are the plain, outright rude and bullish types - always male. This morning's call was from the latter type of scammer.

Friday, 13 January 2017

1983 - What a Year

Copyright ©2017 Upstream of Consciousness
Whilst training today I had Absolute Radio playing via my iPad through a bluetooth speaker. There's no denying it, I'm definitely an 80s music fan without a doubt.

In between sets of squats this track by Paul Young came on, 'Come Back and Stay' from 1983. That lovely sliding bass line instantly transported me back to when I was 19 and living in a cold and damp flat in Roath, Cardiff. It had been my first shared home outside of my family house, and I lived there with my first fiancée, until we agreed to split.

When this record was out I had the album it came from, 'No Parlez' and would play it continuously on my record player, usually when getting ready for work - at this period of my life I was employed working the door of a nightclub called 'Bananas' in the heart of Cardiff's city centre, and my best childhood friend, Chris, was the DJ. The night club scene then was amazing, as everyone knew each other and the atmosphere was one of a party and never one of trepidation or a fear of violence.

I even had this song - along with the complete album - on my cassette deck in my old Ford Capri. Boy, did I love that car, a tatty looking thing with suspension that made it roll worse than a fishing vessel in a storm, but it was mine, and at 19 years of age, I was oblivious. Every day was an adventure. I could go without sleep for 48  hours (and did more often than I should have) without problem, train without aches or getting sore, would wake up of a morning full of energy and ready to take on the world, and all my clothes were off the peg. Plus I was now single, but still very naive, and I suppose, still very innocent. But 1983 was a fantastic time.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Ceri Update

Copyright ©2017 Mark Kelly.
As some of you may recall, back in April 2012, on Wednesday 11th, my wife and I, and our dog Darcy, said farewell to Ceri, the guide dog we fostered during the last months of her training.

It was a heart-wrenching moment permanently etched into our hearts and minds. We've often talked about Ceri and what she must be doing now, and where she must be living.

As it transpires, my wife - a chiropractor by profession - was treating a patient who knew the lady who had received Ceri as her guide dog, and so the conversation went on regarding Ceri's training, time spent living with us and so on.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Circle

  "I drew a perfect circle!"
  "Yes. I see."
  "I think it's possibly the most perfect circle I've ever drawn. What do you think?"
There was a pause. Silence between the two of them, teacher and pupil both staring at the ground and the circle inscribed there and the figure it contained within.
  "I would have to agree, it is indeed your best work to date. No sign of hesitation. I am impressed, Adept."
The Adept beamed with pride at the Guardian's praise.
  "But," added the Guardian.
The Adept's smile vanished, her three glittering globes blinking rapidly.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Remember Who You Are


If your mind is a vortex
Losing its context
You're wondering what's next?
Stop. Listen to your heart
That steady beat 
Keeping you alive
Feel it
Appreciate it
Treat it with the respect it deserves
Silence your doubts
Calm your mind
The swirling thoughts within you
Will only ever confuse you
Stand firm and resolute
Silence your doubts
Focus on peace and energy
Find your centre
Find your place
That tiny trace of who you were
When times were happy
Be the you that you deserve
Be the you with the genuine smile
Be the you that you remember
Distance yourself from the toxic
Leave the shadows behind
You are unique there is no denying
Shed no tears and stop the crying
Lift your face
Stand proud and defiant
Strength is within you
Let it shine like a light
No more hiding in the night
Your mind is a vortex
Take command and control it
You are your destiny
The past your foundation
The future your path
Tread with conviction
Purpose and direction

You are in control.

Copyright ©2017 Mark Kelly

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Welcome to January 2017. I hope this post finds you, the reader, in good spirits and hope filling your soul as we stride forward in to the new year before us.

Connecting with people can be a surprising event, made all the better when the connection is unexpected, unplanned and out of the blue. When serendipity deigns to bring about such an occurrence our reactions can be surprising to say the least, and when you see something reflected back at you in that moment it can be as if a gentle dawn has begun to bathe you in a warmth that makes you smile both inward and outward. Conversation is uncluttered and absorbing wrapped in a feeling of familiarity that does not breed contempt, but the complete reverse.
It can be like two old friends reuniting across immeasurable distances, where time does not factor, for them there is only the now. The laughter is easy and not forced, the energy is positive and palpable, the friendship unspoken. Initially the connection might be unclear and even elusive, but eventually it makes itself apparent.