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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

Soundtrack To My Life - Alex

soundtrack to my life
Alex has been hinting about taking his turn on Soundtrack To My Life so much that he posted up "The Ones That Didn't Make It..." on his own blog last week. By his own admission, he used to be a bit rubbish at blogging but seems to have improved over the years.  I'll link to his credentials at the end of the post but, for now, over to Alex...


Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence

I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel because my dad was massively into the New Folk Revival (but not Bob Dylan oddly) but their songs, of which this is my favourite, took on a new resonance when we had the boy. In his early days he suffered from silent acid reflux and was often up all night in distress. Once it was diagnosed, he'd got into a routine of not sleeping so we started putting a CD on in his room to soothe him off to sleep. Where we live is so quiet, it's often difficult to sleep because you can hear every conversation that happens. We alternated between Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens but I still think of him as a tiny baby whenever I play any Simon & Garfunkel.


Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond parts I-V  

I didn't have a great first term at university. I went from being a big fish in a little pond to a big fish in a massive pond and I didn't like it. I think I lost about 4 stone, as well as my self confidence in that 10 week period. What I did find though was Pink Floyd. I'd had the Wall for a few years but never really gave it a listen. Once I did, I was hooked. That lead me on to Dark Side of the Moon and eventually to Wish You Were Here, which I put off buying because fifteen quid for an album with 5 songs on seemed a con. How wrong was I?

20 years on, it's still an album I listen to regularly, and the opening near instrumental is probably my favourite track on the album. It's haunting but still very relaxing. When I've had a hectic or stressful day, it's a great way of relaxing. I used to crank my stereo up to 11 and lie on my bed in a darkened room listening to it when I was at uni. It helped a lot.


Dave Matthews Band - Two Step  

I'm not a huge fan of the Dave Matthews Band and I can even leave the rest of the songs on the album Crash but Two Step has a great introduction and doesn't outstay its welcome. I choose to interpret the song as a song about love and being with someone you care about very much (although I am aware there are other interpretations). To that end whenever I listen to it I always think of the great things I've done with my fabulous wife, which makes it all the more brilliant.


Dream Theater - Space Dye Vest  

Dream Theater are a extremely proficient prog-metal band from America. Space Dye Vest is one of the few songs that their erstwhile keyboard player Kevin Moore wrote. It's not a cheerful song but it is a great song. I don't know why a lot of the songs I like have a melancholy tone to them, perhaps it's my subconscious balancing things out against my usual cheery disposition. This reminds me of commuting by car up the A10 to Cambridge every day (usually in the pissing rain) for a year. It was a round trip of 70 miles and most of it was on the edge of two radio transmitters, so I usually relied on a trusty C90 tape for my car journey.


Terrorvision - Alice, What's The Matter?  

Now I'm stuck. I've got Beta Band, Guns N Roses, Megadeth, Jack Johnson, Dire Straits, Transvision Vamp, Jefferson Airplane, The Beach Boys, Deep Purple and dozens of others vying for the final spot. But you know what? I'm going for Alice Whats The Matter? by Terrorvision.

Music really clicked with me when I was at university and Terrorvision were at the height of their powers back then. Alice.. reminds me of doing the pub quiz at the Bowerham Hotel, getting chips and gravy and walking a 7 mile round trip to campus because a return bus ticket was the same as a pint at one of the student bars. The landlady at one of the pubs on campus always used to hit her skip button when my mate put Achilles Last stand by Led Zeppelin on but Alice Whats The Matter is about a fifth of the length, so that always got through.



soundtrack to my life
Alex blogs as Daddacool and just as comfortable in front of the camera too - see here on YouTube.  You can also catch him on Twitter as @daddacool and on G+ as... yes, you've got it - +Daddacool (or +Alex Walsh).

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