House of Secrets 92

published 50 years ago and was on the newsstands in April 1971. Means that Swamp Thing is half a century old. Happy birthday, Alec.

Today’s Fall… Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never)

1980. Live album. The sleeve tantalises “in Doncaster! Bradford! Preston! Prestwich! 79 Oct-Feb 80”.


This morning: Dragnet. 1979. “like being nutted by reality” according to Allan Jones in Melody Maker when it was released. It’s actually fantastic!

The Fall Weekend

Hereby it is a weekend of listening to The Fall. Commencing with Live at the Witch Trials. 1979.

Farewell, Super League

Up super-early for no other reason that having labyrinthine dreams and a headache… so listened to latest New Statesman podcast where Stephen Bush and Ailbhe Rea discussed the role football plays in public discourse. I tend to avoid thinking about football but, as the podcast points out it plays a major role in culture, identity and masculinity. Rea particularly makes some interesting comments about how football creates normative behaviours that exclude certainly women but also those of us who aren’t interested. She gives the anecdote of a political reporter taking up running as a sport so she had a mechanism for talking with MPs. Bush presents football “talk” as a working class equivalent of the old-boys network. Football gives men genuine pleasure – my brother for instance, who loves the sport more than I ever realised when we were younger.

The Patriarchs

Daily Mail comments section gives feedback to Simon Armitage’s elegy to Prince Phillip this morning. In the comments section the most recent from Tiggybeans exclaims: “A lovely tribute, full of meaning.” Winning2020 instead thinks that “The poem is as cold as the weather outside.” Most of the others – as expected – proclaim their dislike of poetry.

Think Tanks Ate My Brain!

Just looking at another educational think tank’s web site. What I can’t see is how the organisation gets funded. Doing even a cursory web search on some of the think tank’s members seems to indicate their members are more partisan than it claims. Lobbying for personal gain is one thing but there are a LOT of educational think tanks lobbying and influencing policymakers in Westminster. As far as I can see they all have more or less the same sorts of agendas. Wouldn’t be surprised if these educational think tanks work from 55 Tufton Street.


And… randomly Autechre’s _Bike_ just started playing. Suddenly uplifted!

Black Helicopters

I’m finding Kiernan’s *Black Helicopters* a pretty challenging read. Have read it through once and now listening to audiobook plus reading along. It’s mesmerising and wonderful. But tough going!

Drafts to Blog

Hooray! After a bit of tinkering with Drafts actions, I managed to get it set up to directly post my microblog posts feed. I tried to do this a few years ago and gave up in frustration. It just makes quick microposts so much easier.

Utter Failure!

Utter failure in what I thought was going to be a quick solo game of The Midnight Masks! Didn’t even manage to capture a single cultist!

Howard’s Conan

Still working my way through the Conan stories and it’s (sadly) clear that the better Conan stories so far are indeed the ones by Robert E. Howard. I’ve always been wary of the dismissal of de Camp’s and Carter’s stories as merely pastiche, but it does seem that there’s something qualitatively different about a Howard story. (It could be that Howard often breaks his stories up into different narrative perspectives, rather than following Conan exclusively. A little like early Hollywood movies.)

Night of the Zealot, Solo

Dug out Arkham Horror LCG and considering playing it properly over Easter hols. Played the first scenario, The Gathering, from Night of the Zealot true solo. Just one investigtor. It was HARD and took ages. Took damage. But survived!


My car broke down in the car park at work and I waited 5 hours for the RAC to arrive. In that time I finished a whole Conan book and nearly half of Children of Blood and Bone. Five hours though!


Went to bed last night early after the dull headache I’d been sporting turned into a sickening migraine when I got home. It’s rare I get headaches like these and know the best thing is to sleep it off. It meant that I woke up early and have been up since before dawn listening to music (another thing I’ve learned is not to read after a day of headaches). Listening to Autechre’s second album, Amber, which is now – blimey! – nearly 30 years old. It’s beautiful.

Greed and Public Health

Worth monitoring how this very public linking of capitalism and public health develops. By promoting greed as a mechanism for better health it’s inevitable that the drooling vampires will be stalking the NHS more aggressively.

RAT Test

Noticed that the new COVID-19 self testing kit is now labelled with Rapid Antigen Test on the box… RAT test!

Stargate One

Found an advert for Stargate One in an old magazine. For a time when I was 12 or 13 I visited Stargate One almost every day. Have very fond memories of the bookshop. It was incredibly formative in shaping my reading at the time.


Not sure why I’ve not ever thought of doing this before: installing RPiPlay on the Pi and using it as a surrogate airplay screen. Works brilliantly.

It gets me thinking that this is a very cheap way of getting airplay to work in a classroom which I’d find super useful. That’s if we ever get to going back to having our own classrooms any more in schools!

Final Head Lopper

Head Lopper issue 7 arrived today from the Netherlands and completes the run (so far…). I’ve been after this issue for ages. Such a good comic!