- Never a dull moment with writer extraordinaire Mat Coward, my old radical gardening comrade from Kentish Town Library days.
- Another good crime writer – John Baker – whose site is full of fine things, not least plenty of examples of his writing, a great set of links and a nice collection of quotations; look at his Menu page to find all the goodies.
- And another crime writer with a weighty web presence, full of good stuff, is Martin Edwards.
- And here’s one it had crossed my mind to develop even in pre-web days but never quite got round to – a database of fictional books mentioned or even at the centre of other works of fiction: The Invisible Library. Let’s hear it for Kilgore Trout! Shame that it didn’t appear to have been updated for years. The good news is that the baton has been picked up (October 2006) at the Malibu Lake Branch
- The Fantastic fiction site is invaluable for collecting all a writer’s works together in series or sequence order, not to mention loads of links, pseudonyms etc.
- There’s only one Kinks site worth mentioning here because – economy of effort – Dave Emlen’s fine old institution, now at a new home and called Kinda Kinks after his IT department found out what he’d been doing, lists all the others
- Jackie Leven, Celtic soul troubadour, is as good as it gets in the UK these days. Great voice, great songs, exceptional guitar, his live shows a unique and moving experience. Tells a fine tale and joke too. Much to digest here, not least his blog, the highly entertaining The deep pool.
- Not your average music site: Cheezeball – “your alt.country angioplasty” is worth a visit for many reasons, not least the downloads, but especially for the astute and very funny Manifesto. Be sure to read it before you make that first album. Enter the Bad album covers gallery only if you have plenty of time to spare.
- Stumbled across Blues for peace, an Israeli blues site, while searching for the origins of ‘I’m sittin’ on top of the world’. Actually it didn’t help, but it’s one of those indulgent (in the best sense of the word) websites from unlikely places that it’s a joy to find with heart and head in a good place or thereabouts and which also definitely has its uses. “And they shall beat their swords into Guitars …” it says (with a link to the guitar section). Some good stuff on the Beats too. Sweeps with a broad broom musically.
If you’re reading this between the months of September and April you’re too late to visit Victoria’s Way this season in the flesh but you can whet your appetites – spiritual, artistic, intellectual – with the link here and see why, if you’re in County Wicklow in Ireland late spring and summer it would be a mistake not to go; it could even be a reason to go. Give yourself plenty of time at this extraordinary place. Lovely setting, some wonderful sculptures, sights and experiences. You might be lucky enough to meet the owner.
Harrie Verstappen’s The Looniverse (“the site for sore eyes”) is a wonderfully eclectic collection of many things … P.G.Wodehouse, stuff on movies from Kurasawa to Tom & Jerry, cartoonists and not least his own photographs, including some great earlyshots of The Kinks from 1966.
The older I get the more militant an atheist I feel. (And the more I appreciate and take genuine pleasure from religious music and churches; I can live with that, see no necessary contradiction.) There is much fun in knocking fundamentalism & indeed its milder brothers and sisters in ‘Hundreds of proofs of God’s existence‘ . After you’ve enjoyed that – the reasons get ‘better’ the further in you get – follow the links on that page to a veritable cornucopia of atheist material collected by ‘Atheists of Silicon Valley’.
We’ve had good times at The Heights in Castlerigg, near Keswick, in the Lake District. The bar’s not as wide as the photo appears to suggest on the website but the Jennings local ales are good. Fully vegetarian, which is not a problem for me. We’ll be going again, I’ve no doubt.
Oh, and should you ever need an ocean-going yacht delivered, John Kitchen is your man. Not that I’m ever likely to … I just mention it, he’s a good man. And keeping with the nepotism, should you ever need tourism and recreation planning solutions, particularly in Ireland, tell James I sent you; some lovely Irish landscapes to see on his site.