Friday 30 October 2015

OUT OF THE PRAM - and on the road

This post is combining the exploits of the clown with the song which I am presently working on - and which is no where ready to be heard unless I impatiently decide to put it out all rough and unready

As can be seen in the image - the clown has now escaped from the pram - or at least is taking the optimistic view that it is unlikely to climb back in - or even be put back in (but then who knows) And it has been joined by a pal with similar aspirations (or it could be, as with the Schizoid Travellers, merely another aspect of itself) Both are keen to cast off the constraints of past inhibitions and are on the road to who knows where

Well that is not a fair description because there is mention of a particular place in the song But for now it will remain in the song - and in my head

Also I will try to locate the Judy Garland version of the song We're a Couple of Swells for anyone who has not heard it - recently

P.S For reasons I am choosing not to share just now THROUGH THE HEDGE is being asked to move aside to give the clown room to breathe in the exquisite air which is also mentioned in the new song

THE HEDGE will reappear when it has been given a trim

The link to the song performed by Fred Astaire and Judy Garland is below

Wednesday 28 October 2015


This post is an amalgam of two recent ones which have now been deleted

The title THROUGH THE HEDGE is an alternative to the previous THE UNKNOWABLE NEXT Both titles belong with the same set of words  Although, as a reminder, the latter refers back to an earlier post and the advice from an Inuit elder - that at times of struggle it can help to sit down with a good memory from your past until you can work out what's next

The idea that the most recent batch of words might be added to the CLOWN IN A PRAM selection on Bandcamp has been abandoned

A new selection, with the provisional title THROUGH THE HEDGE, is in the process of being recorded Several of the tracks are probably more suited to being lyrics so I am uncertain just now what their eventual fate might be 

At the present time there are ten possible tracks and as these include INTO THE BIN I intend to use a photograph of a bin for the selection

Friday 23 October 2015


See! There are lots of us around And we're not all in prams Some can be found very close to home but this group*are at a convention in Mexico 

   The picture arrived here via another known clown - and The Guardian

*Collective nouns for clowns include an alley (a group of clowns working together is known as clown alley Alley is the area behind the circus stage used by the clowns as their make-up area) And I didn't make that up - I got it on line from FACTS.CO

Other nouns are a pratfall, a harlequinade and a circus

Wednesday 21 October 2015


Today on the way to a 'better' image for the three spoken word tracks CLOWN IN A PRAM I met a couple of travellers We spent much of the day together

For the purposes of this post and my amusement I am calling them SCHIZOID TRAVELLERS (2) The original version (in the singular) is a painting and it can be seen see at

The supposed 'better' image is below and below that are my companions for the day

That they were in a pram is no reason to think they were not excellent company - although I admit that they did not do much talking - a fact which may have added to the pleasure of the experience 

Tuesday 20 October 2015


Margaret Atwood: Hair is in the election-season air, but is it crucial to the question of your vote?

 |  | Last Updated: Aug 21 10:08 PM ET
More from National Post
Liberal Leader Justin Trueau speaks to the media during a federal election campaign stop at the annual gay pride parade in Montreal, Sunday, August 16, 2015.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesLiberal Leader Justin Trueau speaks to the media during a federal election campaign stop at the annual gay pride parade in Montreal, Sunday, August 16, 2015.
Hair is in the election-season air. I didn’t put it there – those attack ads on Mr. Trudeau introduced the subject, with “Nice hair, Justin” – but now that the hairball has been coughed up, so to speak, let’s consider it.
Hair is a big deal. People spend a lot of time worrying about their hair and a lot of money altering it. Some sculpt it, some dye it, some shave it off. Some hide it under scarves and hats because God, in his or her many forms, has taken a serious interest in hair – telling people to grow it, conceal it, cut it, refrain from cutting it, wear a wig in place of it, not let Delilah hack it off, and so on. Some are born with hair, some achieve hair, and some have hair thrust upon them through laws and customs. Some hair goes missing, leaving either a Mr. Clean macho look or a bowling-ball one, as with Mr. Duffy. Some hair is curly, some is straight. Luck of the draw.

Fashion can be a cruel taskmistress, hair-wise. Many are the photos of us with odd hair from former times that we presently seek to conceal. (Ducktails? Beatles bangs? Flowing hippy locks?) My own hair can be interpreted as “Pre-Raphaelite” or “frizzy” depending on the hostility level of the interviewer. I’ve lived through those 50s smoothening adventures with a product called Dippity Do as well as the nightmare straight-hair Twiggy years of the late 60s, which involved other failed processes. After that I gave up.
Is hair the measure of a man, or woman? Is character destiny, and is hair a clue to character?
But back to the hair-strewn attack ads of the Conservatives. What’s the point? Women will recognize “Nice hair” as a pickup line, so I suppose addressing it to a political opponent is a way of girlifying him: the Conservative ad-writers would see girlification as inherently demeaning, their view of girls and women being what it is. But “Nice hair” makes them sound a bit envious, too: no one has ever accused Mr. Harper of having “nice hair.” It also makes them sound trivial. Hair, an election issue? Really?
But let’s suppose that hair is indeed crucial to the question of your vote. Is hair the measure of a man, or woman? Is character destiny, and is hair a clue to character?
Let’s try this hair quiz:
Of the three national male leaders, which one travels with a personal grooming assistant – lavishly paid for in whole or in part by you, gentle taxpayer – so that none of his hairs will ever be out of place, supposing they are indeed his and not a wig, as some have supposed? (Hint: Initials are S.H.)
Which leader, on the other hand, doesn’t need such an assistant because his hair is “nice” enough already? (Hint: initials are J.T.)
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickIn the name of all that’s decent: can’t the press at least let Stephen Harper grieve a little?
And which one wouldn’t know what a personal grooming assistant was if he fell over one? (Hint: Initials are T.M.)
Yes! You got it right! Smart you!
Next: Why should the taxpayer foot the bill, even in part, for the micromanagement of Harper’s hair? Is his hair in the public interest? Is it crucial infrastructure? A matter of national security? Or is the pampering just a matter of narcissistic vanity?
Maybe it wasn’t altogether wise for the Conservatives to bring up hair: it focused the hair spotlight. Start with one candidate’s hair and we can’t help thinking about the topside garnishments of the others – not only what they might signify, but also what they might be costing us.
Will the Conservatives now lay off on the personal-appearance attack stuff? Doubtful: they’ve got a thing for it. Jean Chr├ętien’s paralyzed face, laugh a minute! Trudeau’s hair, woo-woo! Who’s next? “Nice tits, Elizabeth?”
Don’t go there, Cons! Because then we’ll all start thinking about “hiding.” Why is he hiding his campaign events from the public? Is he running for Prime Minister of the whole population –– those whose taxes pay, in whole or in part, for him and his hair –– and if so, why isn’t he talking to all of us? Aren’t you agog to know if you’re on Harper’s hidden “enemies list”?Wait! I can see it coming! Mulcair’s beard! The Conservatives will have trouble with a straight-out character attack on Mulcair because they regarded the guy so highly they tried to hire him themselves, so they’ll have to fall back on the beard: “Thomas Mulcair. What’s he hiding behind that beard?”
Why is he hiding what he knew about the Duffy cover-up, and when he knew it?
And if he’s hiding all this, what else is he hiding?

Monday 19 October 2015


Many of my songs were made in Canada and the one I am working on at the present time belongs there

When I first landed as an immigrant in 1968 the newly elected Prime Minister was the creative and charismatic Pierre Elliot Trudeau and I wake today to discover that his son Justin will be the new Prime Minister
It is marvellous news
It makes me want to sing


One cannot help but wonder if Margaret Atwood's comments about Stephen Harper's hair played an important part in the outcome of the election
I will relocate them and post them later today And it should be noted - if you read them - that they were later removed from the newspaper which first printed them, prompting Ms Atwood to follow up by asking if she had been censored

PS Am also experiencing deep regrets about what we have in the UK - for the similarily miserable business driven self aggrandising spivs led by the spiv supremo - just call him Dave We should surely be ashamed of what we have brought upon ourselves and those we are supposed to care about


And further on round the bend: it could be that its all coming together - and about time Or it could be that it's all about to come apart  - again!

But before saying more about what the next move might be some further clearing of the tracks is required And most of the debris which has been spread around in ways that have impeded progress has come from the attempts to establish a blog to augment the main one - and with a name that depicts content but that also feels right

Had I succeeded in finding a suitable one I would not be writing this post

Those which were tried - and have now lost - were SAPSCRAPS, SAPONTHE SIDE and UNSAPPED 

There were reasons for choosing each one but as time passed their appropriateness gradually waned and the reasons for not using them increased e.g. with SAPSCRAPS some of the posts I wanted on there were not scraps 
With SAPONTHESIDE it had unpleasant connotations and I grew weary of the reminder
And with UNSAPPED - it had come from a strong desire to leave the Sap behind but, as explained on the blog (soon to be removed), the condition of being unsapped had been viewed as more aspirational than achievable  - and anyway as said elsewhere we had grown fond of each other Being unsapped was no longer desirable

Which brings me to the newly proposed supplementary blog which - wait for it - I certainly have - is to be called SAPASIDES! Nothing spectacular there then
But it could be THE ONE And if it is it will herald the beginning of a fresh approach to - well to something or other One keeps hoping

And it does arrives with the genuine hope that it will stay around for a while It also puts to bed - and do I love that phrase - any thoughts of replacing SOSAIDTHESAP in the near future - or even much further down the line

PS I do have a small song which was recalled after making recent comments about a fondness for trains It is entitled You Are the Train Driver and is about to become the first new item on 

Along with it will be any posts which are on the loose from the other redundant blogs 


Following on from yesterday's intention to bring back - not my bonnie - but the image and the words which belong with the post LIFE AND CARR'S BISCUITS 
Here they are - and let no more be said about them That is a plea to myself
First the image

And now the original words

It occurred to me several days ago that the desire to sort out my material (and all else) may have been acquired during my time of packing biscuits in a tin while working in Carr's of Carlisle 
This photograph of the factory (it can be seen behind the row of houses)is dated 1952 - the year I was probably employed there

Sunday 18 October 2015


The following comments might be of interest to those who enjoy trying to make sense of other peoples shenanigans If you are not that kind of person I would strongly advise that you avoid them

For me they are required reading! i.e apart from reminding me about what I have been doing I frequently do not know what I will be doing next until I see it written down

As fast and as briefly as possible then - and as a prelude - with a bit of luck - to something other

The black and white printed version of the Blog Book was followed by the printing of a more slender coloured version Reflecting my response to them both I may - if time and inclination coincide - produce a much better edited and formatted third version

The tortuous formatting of the Blog Book left me wondering why I had decided to make a book - other than I thought it was a nice idea - and that the site might disappear for some scary technical reason which would be upsetting - for a while anyway

The post entitled
LIFE AND CARR'S BISCUITS needs to be brought back  to the main blog where it originally belonged  The criteria for what gets included have been vague and changeable with only hints of the rational The intention is to improve on this

It was good to find I wasn't the only person who liked the words of THE BEAR, THE BIRD, LOVE AND THE RAIN For a while I thought they were the best thing I had written and - and that can be viewed as a decidedly sapless assertion  
I continue to hope more people will listen to them They can be heard on Bandcamp at 

As confessed in an earlier post I had got carried away with my liking for the title LYRICS ALL SORTS - but establishing it as a separate blog had only caused confusion for me and others However before leaving it for ever I realised I was reluctant to delete its accompanying image and along with these ramblings it has been reinstated- see below


Which brings me to the continuing need for a supplementary repository for posts which do not fit the rather nebulous criteria used for the main blog 
I am continuing to equivocate between SAPLESS at and SAPONTHESIDE at  One or both of them will indeed be needed for those posts which are (or soon will be) on the loose or in need of a home 

To conclude the ramblings: after multiple detours the new train - hopefully having off loaded some of its more sap scarred baggage on the way - should be coming round the bend soon

Wednesday 14 October 2015


The words referred to in the post CLOWN IN A PRAM have now separated out into a spoken word threesome, a possible rap entitled INTO THE BIN and the previously flagged possible song
The threesome, A LONGING GOES TO REST, FROM DEEP DOWN IN THE LOCKER and CLOWN IN A PRAM can be heard on Bandcamp at

I am holding back on the title of the possible song as - in keeping with the tune - it has not yet decided what to be

The title for this post is playing hard to get


This first of five lots of recently written words was uploaded to Bandcamp today They are perhaps a bit odd but they are also a bit honest

Of the other four - one lot is definitely on the way to being a possible song but, as yet, I cannot be sure it will get there

The remaining three will probably be recorded before joining the clown

About the clown's face: I decided to rearrange the face from a self portrait and play around with it until the problem of giving it a workable mouth got me down - well down a bit - but not overwhelmingly so  But there were other things needing attention and I chose - although also not an easy task - to leave the mouth behind 

I might upload some of the early attempts to achieve a workable mouth (i.e. one which was not too sad or smiling too much - but then again I may not

Meanwhile below is the image which is or was on Bandcamp last time I looked - and below the image is a link to the spoken words

Thursday 8 October 2015


Although exhausted from leaping between Word and PDF documents and attempting to circumvent unfamiliar formats on the way to achieving a reasonably acceptable outcome I will - nevertheless - soon have two copies of the blog book

The first - a black and white version (which I will add to the copies of other books I've made) helped me to get to the second which is perhaps a more interesting product. Much reduced in content (that was an improvement) it also has coloured images. 
Was it worth the effort? The answer is I don't know

But the deed is done and while the books might get dusted in future - depending on where they are stored - they will definitely not be receiving any further editing. 

There have been some gains as previously suggested. I rarely read what I have written on the blogs so the process of re formatting the content has forced me to read some of the posts. And therein lies a story for the telling elsewhere - if at all. 

Monday 5 October 2015


As my ideas about getting heard, showing off, performing for others have, over many years, been overlaid with all sorts of influences - it is hard to be straight and clear about why I continue to do it in one form or another

And particularly when it seems - having decided to make a book of what I have posted so far - I have arrived at a place where I could stop and seriously reconsider what I have been doing 

This natural break could be providing, for example, an opportunity to escape - and on two fronts - from the material which goes into the posts and from the posting of it

In favour of continuing however are the following observations
The blog serves me very well  It helps me to sort out my thoughts and some of my ideas and is a reminder (because I frequently forget) of what I have been doing And I am also undoubtedly delighted when I discover that others have found WHAT I WANT AND NEED TO DO to be of interest to them

The same can be said about the songs and other things I make

Also as I work on the book I am continually reminded of the songs and words which are still around in a state of disarray. In particular are songs which I would like to re- record (and may even be worthy of further attention) and loads of words that may or may not be worthy of anything 

So perhaps taking time out to work on the book will bring about a major change in what I intend to do in future or perhaps it will only allow for a valuable rethink before setting off again

Sunday 4 October 2015


Heard the whistle blowing couldn't see the train BUT

The desire to leave the sap behind did not materialise It refused to leave and we have since grown fonder of each other Not getting left undoubtedly played a part

One might also say that once a sap always a sap - to some degree or other - and I am choosing to go with that

There will be therefore (after all the ramblings have ceased) a plain PART TWO of the SO SAID THE SAP blog 

Its considered (but rejected) replacement - a sapless blog entitled UNSAPPED at - will continue to exist although its exact purpose has yet to be divined There is a pleasing post on there for starters 

The site (which was a replacement for both SAPSCRAPS and LYRICSALLSORTS) - will continue to take on the overflow and other stuff not considered suitable for the main blog 

Several transfers between the existing sites have been made The hope is that no more will be indicated or required

Two other blogs are also still in existence - with no thoughts about removing them now or in future They have not been involved in recent considerations
One is song related and is at
The other which is associated with my other work is at

About the book of the blog. I now have a black and white copy and have decided to put it aside as a record of before proceeding to make radical changes to the PDF of the content. The intention is to produce a much smaller book of the blog - this time with coloured images


The decision to make a book of the blog and begin a PART TWO brought with it a strong desire to rid myself of the sap epithet and to modify the tone of my comments - particularly in relation to how I presented my songs and other material

There were two main threads then to the desired changes - the essentially practical and the more personal

And over recent days, in preparation for continuing with the blog as a PART TWO, I have been rummaging around in search of a satisfying arrangement in both respects

During that process I stopped off for a while in several different stations but - to stay with a train analogy (and there is no special reason for choosing this except a liking for trains) - I never felt that I had reached the desired destination 

This post is meant to herald a possible remedy for the situation - this will involve extracting the essentials of what was discovered at each of those stopovers and coalescing them into a coherent plan of action

The ramblings from those recent stopovers may be combined in one rambling post and be made available to anyone interested in  . . . . .ramblings