A New Edition Of The Parish News

I managed to record another edition of The Parish News. No biggy – it is something I do every week. This week, I recorded it in my flat with new gear. I have had a Sound Devices MixPre 6 for a number of months now but never really used it for the show – still, makes a change. I used it on the One-Hundred and Ninth Edition of The Parish News.

There is something else that is new. Brand new. I have a new mic. An Audio Technica BP4025 – it is specifically designed for Field Recording so I look forward to using it in the field. It seemed to be good for the show.

If you listen to the enclosed audio on Headphones, it sounds like my voice is just behind the centre point of your hearing. This is because it is a stereo mic (X/Y) therefore giving a lot more width to my voice. It’s reet mint!

Other than that, I have been doing a lot of work – I was interviewed by S. Watson-Power as part of her school project on music. It really was a good, wholesome feeling I got from it. If you want to read the interview, I have transcribed the interview on my Arty Site HERE. I wish her every luck in getting a good grade with her presentation – I was sent a copy of her presentation, but, I figure it is a bit too personal to give away on Sophie’s behalf. So, if she ever wants to make it public I will let you know. But it was sweet.

I will try and write ‘home’ a bit more regularly from now on. That is how I take this Blog – it is a bit like Writing Home. There is a familiarity to it, coupled with a duty – ‘I have a duty to maintain this blog’ is one way of seeing it – the whole stubborn “I’ve started so I will finish” but then there is the tenderness associated with such memories that my blog throws out there every now and then. Ijo Pona is my online Home. And it has had a fresh lick of paint.

Good Luck Karen!

My good friend Karen has a new job – she is leaving the public sector to move to the private sector and we had a bit of a get-together for her. The event it was held at was DJ Scooby’s Big Band Sunday in Major Tom’s on The Ginnel.

DJ Scooby plays a range of old-time music that has the intention  to raise much-needed funds for MSF. We are lucky to have a friend who sometimes works for MSF and he came down too.

However, the main focus today was on Karen. Or, as I call her ‘K-Lo’ (like J-Lo but one better). The great and the good of the local body were there.

So, on behalf of me and Mrs Backhouse – I would like to wish Karen the best of British in her new role – if anyone can kill it then I know she will. We are all really proud of her. Cheers!

Happy Birthday Mrs Backhouse!

Mrs Backhouse turned another year over today – she grows in beauty everyday and is a joy to be with. Gorgeous all-round life-companion, wife, friend & dog-walker she is everything to me; Kathryn, I love you.

We woke up around the same time, today – her Birthday – and she was soon out of the door to her clients (hounds). I had to get her to open her presents as she was just wanting a nice cup of tea & a sitdown. Gift Enforcement had to metered out.

I had bought Kathryn a SONOS Play:1 and she seems to love it. Obviously, it will be playing more Hardcore Punk than Dub but then it is her speaker. I had a bit of fun setting it up the other day and loved the noise of the SONOS Smart Device.

I also got Mrs Backhouse a t-shirt from Major Tom’s Social – her favourite pub. It is a design by the talented Kate, who works there – she designed the image below and it is amazing!


… it is on a grey tee and my wife looks amazing in it.

We pottered around for a few hours and then headed out to a venue that was new to us – we had not been to Starling before but it had big boots to fill in Major Tom’s stead. The temporary relocation of Funs was welcome but … just a temporary phase.

The pizzas were good – some bits better than Tom’s and some bits worse than Tom’s. The staff were pleasant but anonymous – the vibe lacked and there was an event going on every room that made the group members look at you when you burst out laughing – and boy did we laugh; me and Mrs Backhouse were joined by Simon & Scooby – and for a brief period graced by the presence of Michelle & Reef.

We managed to cover everything from Health Care to Onion Sandwiches and we had established that I have spent too long in Harrogate.

But, the most important thing is that Mrs Backhouse went away smiling. She has really looked out for me over the past year and it was nice to spoil her. This was a small group of friends who came together to catch up – we all met at Tom’s (Si & Scoob & Me) and I think that is where the majority of our future liasons will be – thanks Starling; you were awesome but not for us permanently, but a welcome break. Happy birthday Mrs Backhouse! x

Weekend 26/52 – 2018

It has been weekend 26/52 in 2018 – what did I get up to? What did those I love get up to? We are experiencing a heatwave in England at this time (very hot) and the World Cup is on – if it was not for the inhumane way people are treated then I would say “what a time to be alive.” But, Trump & May.



Friday night was spent in good company – I had the pleasure of recording Stewart up at Creao and Karen joined us. It was a good show but dogged by nagging tech issues. The show is live and has been broadcast on UK media but is in the pipeline for America. It gets broadcast on K-BOG in Oregon, one of the stations I am on. Here is the show –



A bit of good beer was drunk – ASDA has started to stock ‘Brooklyn Mix’ take-out boxes. These are selections of beers by Brooklyn Brewery. There are some really good beers in there and it is good value for money.

Saturday saw me back at Creao Studio to record The Parish News and it is a good show, for me. I have seemed to have stopped the ‘ummmming’ and ‘aaaaaahhhing’ normally associated with my show. I hung out with Dom and it was a good way to spend an afternoon – Dom has just invested in a van and plans on sleeping in it whilst seeing Scotland – sounds the idyll but he better watch out for midges. Here is the show –



Mrs Backhouse had some retail therapy when I was doing the show and got some clothes for the heatwave. Plus a handbag – always changing handbags …

Sunday was a bit of a scrabble as I had run out of my medicine that morning – thankfully the pharmacist at ASDA came to the rescue and wrote me a script for a week. Need to chase that up at some point.

We saw the sun go down from North Bar’s beer garden – taking in the Magic Rock Take-Over. There were some good beers on and it motivated me to check out an app called Untappd. Untappd is a social network for beer nerds and a few of my friends are on it – we share recommendations in cyberspace without the fuss of having to organise a meet-up, we can get on with our independent lives and still enjoy each other’s recommendations. I doubt I will log in every beer I drink on the app – that would be like watching paint dry (much like this blog) but it is a good way of keeping tabs on developments on beer trends.

Today mum and dad got Polly.


Weekend Round-Up-About 8pm

This weekend has been after a week of quite stressful work and it was good to get out and play. I have been asked to design the web store of a great shop in Town and I have been laying the groundwork for that: wireframes and colour schemes. It is a lot of fun but not something to be taken lightly.

Well, I got the contract – I went to show the proprietor of the shop the wireframe and she was delighted with it. Seems it’ll keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

The only downside to the weekend was eating a Five Guys – great. But, massive potions – it kind of turned in to a Man vs Food thing and by the end of it it had stopped being fun and I was only finishing it to make a statement.

However, I then met up with Scooby & Karen – we went to Harrogate Tap and had a few pints (Scooby paid). It was great to hang out with them. It is nice to be accepted for who I am rather than have to put on airs and graces when I am in public. We scootered off because they wanted to catch Eurovision.

I ended up in Creao Studio, after tea, to record The Parish News. It is not a strong show. I was not in the most lucid of states and I lost the thread of what I was saying most of the time and ended up repeating myself until I struck gold. Here is the show –

I was becoming more and more confused and needed a lie down.

Sunday was good though. I woke and checked my email to find that my May Day Dub Mix had charted at No.81 in the Dub Chart on Mixcloud – not something to be dismissed lightly. Then it was a jaunt down to Major Tom’s to see Big Band Sunday. Here are some photos from the afternoon.

A Rare Release

Monday saw the launch of a rare release – rare because people are buying the thing. I have put out on to the web a recording of the dawn chorus as it manifested in North Yorkshire on the Sunday beforehand. It was fun to make.



The whole thing was a bit of a mission – I had had a sleepless night the previous Saturday night / Sunday morning so I booked a taxi for 04:30. The first company I phoned, Mainline thought I was winding them up and claimed to be fully booked – well, you would if someone phoned you up at 1am asking to be taken to a nature reserve in three and a half hours.

Thankfully, AirlineTaxis came to the rescue and I was picked up by a good lad who drove me the Boroughbridge way to Stavely – however, I had a crisis of confidence.

I was Staveley bound and had no idea of what it was going to be in the daylight, let alone the pitch black.

So, by the time we got to Boroughbridge I had asked the lad to take me to the farm my dad works at. I was in the woodland for 04:50 and all set up. It proved to be an amazing experience, as you tell from the recording above – it was deafening.

To hear the above recording play out as I sat in silence, still, was really rewarding.

I had hoped for the recording to be a bit longer. However, just after an hour, a Wren perched on my mics and made all of the levels clip (noisy bugger) before trying to steal the microphone fluff to make a nest.

Given that, I packed up and went back to the farmhouse, about half a mile away. I had to phone mum to let them know I was downstairs in the kitchen – I had visions of dad’s heart giving out when he saw someone hovering half way between the biscuit barrel and the kettle – however, he was just confused as to why I had done this.

The rest of the morning was spent washing my dad’s truck and setting up bangers to keep the pigeons off the beans.

Dad later called to say he had listened to the recording after it had been released. It had gone live and the payments received from it have covered the cost of the taxi. Dad said he now saw why I did it.

Earth Day 2018

Today, the twenty-second of April is Earth Day – something I was not that aware of until I went on to Google and saw their video promoting it. Still, it is a good excuse to go tree bathing or paddling whilst raising the global consciousness through local awareness.

What did I do – well, it was written in stone – we headed out to the farm to catch up with Sarah, Mum and Dad – Hannah is at a conference and my brother needed to do some work. So, Grannie & Grandpa were asked to look after munchkin Backhouse.

I had an activity bag packed and was on minimal sleep – so was Kathryn after a rough night of Summer Cold. We went over and I made a recording and took pictures – here are the results: