As most will know, I keep a few aquariums in the house. My large tank has African Cichlids in it. Quite a few of them go through the routine of the mating dance, but nothing happens. I have giraffe cichlids in there and the male had gone from brown to a lovely electric blue with a yellow stripe on his dorsal fin. He has mated twice with one female who unfortunately died after laying eggs (she keeps them in her mouth until hatched) due to a swim bladder problem, however, one baby survived being eaten by the other fish and is getting quite big, he was from her first clutch. The other female mated with him and for the last 30 days she has not eaten and I know that she had the eggs/fry in her mouth. Two days ago she seemed to look like she was listing to one side, so I put her in the breeding net to watch her. This afternoon I check in on her and saw that the breeding net was full of baby fry. Most in the bottom away from her, not that she would eat them. I quickly get her out and into the main tank and fed her as she needed sustenance. She and the male keep looking in on their fry, but all seems well with her and the babies.
I took a quick video of the fry in their temporary home and thought I would share them with you all. I am amazed at how many fry there are, I estimate about 60, although she could have had as many as 100+. For a sense of scale, they are about 2mm long and the video is taken through the side of the tank, but as they get bigger I will record from above.
I thought I would make J a baby blanket for his new baby. I seem to make all their family new borns blankets. It was nothing out of this world just a Rico Pompon blanket. Originally I had bought two balls of yarn as that is all I used on the last one, but the band said I would need three. I presumed that the yarn was shorter, so sent for another one, but in the end, only used two. I now have a ball spare, but I am sure it will come in handy one day. I popped into my local yarn shop as she sells material among other crafting items and found a lovely blue ribbon with “It’s A Boy” on it, which I feel has finished it nicely as a gift.
We made it, we are here at the end of the line, do we still have all aboard for the final Magical Mystery Tour of music from Liverpool/Merseyside. An abundance of Scousers from what is known as Liverpool: “The Pool of Talent”
I thought you may all like to see part of the Wall of Fame which is in Mathew Street with bricks inscribed with bands who have played the famous Cavern.
Today’s final musical offering is from something that is dear to my heart and I have been to see them more times than I can remember. I have wandered their building and listened to not just them, but other bands from all around the world. Who are they? The RLPO, which is The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The RLPO has been gong for 180 years, and the only orchestra in the UK that has its own hall, and the oldest orchestra in the U. The original hall was opened on 27 August 1849 but burned down on 5 July 1933. The hall was rebuilt in Art Deco style and opened its doors on 20 June 1939. Incorporated in the hall is an organ built by Rushworth and Dreaper, which most of my uncles worked for and began their life long work with pipe organs. The pipework is hidden behind decorative grilles either side of the orchestra platform. The organ console rises from beneath and was originally built on a turntable, allowing the organist to face the audience and conductor, or the choir. The console is now fitted with wheels and can be played anywhere on the platform. A Walturdaw rising cinema screen is also housed under the platform, the last such screen in the world still in working order and is used quite a lot through the year showing films where the orchestra plays accompanying music. M and I have spent many many nights in the hall and have been privileged to see all the “staff only” side of the hall. Every year there is an international music festival and many musicians play there, my favourite was a Hindustani band who played the sitar and tabla, and before playing they explained that they have no written music and there is a pattern to what and how they play, all musicians joining in playing along making it up as they go, but to a prescribed pattern. It was amazing to listen to, and I spent a few hours just sitting on the floor listening. It is a place of happiness.
I had always intended to finish with the RLPO when I started my month of music, and what better than Sibelius’s Finlandia.
I hope you have all enjoyed this trip as much as I have enjoyed posting it for you all.
Today M and I have been married for 12 years (together 21 years this year), so to celebrate, we went for a nice walk and bought lots of lovely snacks and treats. Due to the way the world is at the moment we did not want to go to a restaurant or pub for a meal. We were not too sure where to go as we tend to drive for hours to go somewhere different, but again due to COVID there are so many places in Yorkshire and Lancashire that are said to be hotspots, so that was out too, and I love to walk on the moors in the footsteps of the Brontes as it is rugged and wild.
We finally set on Lydiate where I grew up and walked along the old railway lines from where Lydiate station used to be back in Victorian Times. (1884 to 1952) and headed south along the lines, then on to the canal bank back to the car. All told we walked 6km. The dogs loved it and are currently sleeping. Mazikeen must have run (as she does not walk anywhere) about 20km, back and forth.
I took a few photos along the way which are below, including some yarn bombing along the way.
Today’s penultimate pick is from The Boo Radleys. Wake up Boo! was a hit all over the world, and when I first heard it all those years ago, I thought the lead singer was a woman, quite wrong as it was Simon Rowbottom (Sice). The band split in 1999 and Simon decided to write a book set in Victorian Liverpool call “Thimblerigger”. The name Boo Radley was taken from Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird which is a favourite of mine, hence calling my dog Harper-Lee.
This is one of my favourite songs from A Flock of Seagulls, “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)”. I love the ’80s especially new wave/synth pop. Nothing more to say about this track apart from ENJOY!
Today’s artist used to live in one of the roads I happened to live (20 years ago now), just 5 miles up the road from where we are now. Marc Almond OBE is mostly known to those outside the UK as the lead singer of Soft Cell. One of the most notable songs was Tainted Love, originally performed by Gloria Jones, and in all honesty, you cannot beat her performance. Marc had a good career with Soft Cell, but his solo career gave him more hits, this track, a cover of “The Days of Pearly Spencer” got to No 4 in the UK charts. The original was done in 1967 by David McWilliams who came from Belfast
Wow, day 27 and I still have so many more local talent to share.
My father and his family are all from Liverpool, mainly from a suburb called Huyton, which is where today’s singer Carol Decker is also from. Some may know her name, some may not, but I am sure that everyone knows her band, T’Pau. They had many hits with their ballads/power ballads. Not my cup of tea, but as most know I am a heavy metal and goth boy. I give you Heart And Soul by T’Pau.
When I was 17 I had my face smashed in as I was attacked by a thug, for want of a better word. He came up behind me spun me around and punched me with the heal of his hand, smashing my nose and breaking other bones in my face and fracturing my eye socket along with other injuries to the face. It turned out that it was mistaken identity, he was sorry, but the police were there and he was handed over to them, but he also got a good slapping from one of my neighbours who was a tough lad and thought the thug needed it, which I agree.
Now 33 years later I am still having problems with my face. I have had many operations to fix, rebuild and correct problems, but like the Martians in the musical War of the Worlds, but still, they come. My latest problem started three weeks ago with a severe nose bleed. Now, I get nose bleeds all the time due to the damaged anatomy of my face and I never think too much about it. However, this one was different insomuch as when it finished my nose whistled. Comical indeed, but after some time it became weary and yes, bloody annoying, yes pun intended. This now adds to the problem I have with my sinuses because nothing is really right, or in the right place. My septum has deviated, and even though the tube on the right side was replaced, it is still not easy to breathe out of my nose.
Yesterday I went to the doctors to see if my septum was perforated which is a common reason for whistling noses. He had a good look with the basic equipment available at the surgery, and could not give a definitive answer apart from telling me the anatomy was all a little messed up and the maxillofacial team would need to take a look with all their cameras to decide what to do next. He could not find much information about the previous operations apart from me being admitted to the plastics unit at one of the top hospitals. I explained all that had happened and what operations I had had along with my last operation in 2005 when my tonsils, adenoids and uvular were removed and I had laser surgery on the back of my throat. Do I snore? he asked and yes I do, quite bad these days because I cannot breathe through my nose. He thought that maybe the back of the chambers had collapsed hence little airflow and could also be the reason for the whistling.
Due to COVID, the wait for a hospital appointment could be some time, so who knows when that will happen, so until then I will have to be part of a squeaky toy or take up the nickname of Wheezy from Toy Story. I must point out I had no idea who Wheezy was until a colleague told me.
One band from the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s was The Beautiful South. Jacqui Abbot the and Paul Heaton are the main vocalist of the group. Both come from Merseyside, which was a surprise to me many years ago as I knew that The Housemartins Paul’s previous band was from Hull, as was the basis of The Beautiful South.
The song I picked today has two versions, the official version that could be played on the radio, and an explicit version, so I thought I would put both versions on for you all, first one clean, the second naughty. Take ya pick!