My goodness, time does fly… cruelly and quickly at times.

I’ve just noticed that it’s about a month since my last posting over here at Solent Dreams.

I’ve just been so wrapped up in my podcasting, job hunting and in helping the Lady Wife with her endeavours that I’ve simply forgotten about posting here.

Anyway, I had an interview last week for a job, although i don’t hold out much hope for getting it, the the experience is worth it.

I’ve also been looking for sponsors for my podcast over at the New Forest Podcast – I’m looking for a company / business / organisation to donate a H4 Zoom field recorder in return for a permanent link over at the New Forest Podcast as well as a mention in each show for the next year.

However, it’s been the job hunting that’s been getting me down as there aren’t the opportunities here where we live compared to the opportunities before.  To say that “it’s been getting me down” is really an understatement and that’s why I’ve thrown myself into the podcasting side, as a way of directing my attention elsewhere instead of moping around.  It’s also a release for my creativity and a way of joining in the world of podcasting… which I’m still hooked on.  Remember, I used to run Podcast Junky UK after all and yes, podcasting, it still grabs me.

Anyway, Lady Wife and I went on a fabulous hike / walk along the cliff top – around 7 miles in total… and today, for me, everything between the tips of my hair to the ends of my toe nails… aches… and i really mean aches!  I wore my pedometer yesterday and I covered 17320 steps… yep… I ache.

Still, it was a beautiful day, wonderful scenery, a great pub lunch and a wonderful emotional salve that helps to soothe the sense of feeling down at not being able to get back into the work that I loved and loved to do for most of my career.

So it’s head up, chin out, try not to feel down, down, down and grit my teeth as some people seem determined to make my work life more difficult than it has to be.

Can’t lose hope.


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Mamma Mia! – Movie Review

Last night the Lady Wife and I nipped along to the Regent Centre in Christchurch to see Mamma Mia!… and what a great movie it is!

First of all, unless you’re remotely an Abba fan, then I must warn you that you may not like this movie; it’s not to everyone’s taste… we can’t all be lucky 🙂

However, if you have even a passing taste for Abba, are willing to switch off any preconceptions in your mind about this movie and are willing to indulge in the kitsch, campiness and the flavour of all that is Abba-esque, then this movie is for you.

Based very loosely on the film entitled, “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell” with Gina Lollobrigida (shown recently on TV) and adapted from the stage musical of Mamma Mia!, this movie is a smorgasbord of angel delight, pink blancmange and all manner of saccharine sweet stuff liberally sprinkled with hundreds-and-thousands of sugar strands; pure Abba fest… and I loved every minute.

Set on the Greek island of Skopelos, which acts as visual cheesecake for the eyes as a beautiful backdrop, Mamma Mia! is a heavily laden goods train chugging along at cruising speed carrying a full cargo of some of the most memorable Abba songs which can’t fail to sate the appetite of Abba fans everywhere.

From the opening strains of “I Have A Dream”, through the imaginative and dreamlike “Money, Money, Money” and more, Mamma Mia! carries you along with it at a comfortable pace and although you sometimes don’t see the next song coming, they’re all well placed within the script and there’s never a lull.

Nicely woven into an easy-to-follow fun script together with high-spirited choreography, Mamma Mia! reminds me of a pyjama party where the cast simply let themselves go, have some fun and have a “to hell with the critics” attitude.

Don’t think that Mamma Mia! has no substance to it and that it’s simply a vehicle for Abba’s music.  No, it’s not a “throwaway” film at all.  Take for example Meryl Streep’s rendition of “The Winner Takes It All”; I defy anyone not to be moved by her performance.

As for the “Does Your Mother Know?” sequence on the beach with Christine Baranski, well, I challenge anyone, even without a sense of rhythm not to at least tap their feet to this great arrangement of the track with the fabulous Über feel-good choreography.

Mamma Mia! for me is reminiscent of Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday mixed in any of Elvis’ Hawaiian travelogues, with a touch of Grease and all mixed together with the cult dress-up-for-the-movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show… and of course all wrapped in the gold wrapping paper of Abba.

When Mamma Mia! does evolve into a must-see cult movie along the lines of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (as it surely will), how will you dress up to see Mamma Mia! the movie?  As a bride, Greek waiter, beach bum, fruit picker?

How about dungarees becoming de rigeur for the ladies who see this movie?

I would however refrain from trying to jump 5 feet into the air and doing the splits in the stalls 🙂

I would also refrain from leaving the movie auditorium too quickly once the closing credits of Mamma Mia! start rolling… you have been warned… trust me, you’ll thank me for it… or blame me… whichever of the two 🙂

Lady Wife and I loved this movie and even I had “happy tears” in my eyes from “Dancing Queen” onwards.

Our feet tapped, our chuckle muscles got a good workout and we’re definitely going to see it again soon.

It’s only a matter of time before Mamma Mia! the movie becomes a popular cult classic.

I was there at the birth…

… were you?


Here are a couple of Mamma Mia! trailers to whet your appetite if you haven’t seen the movie yet… aren’t I good to you? 🙂




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Just found this interesting article here where someone has their derriere insured for $2 million… he’s a bed tester and apparently has a real sensitive derriere with which he can “literally feel the difference in materials and fillings used, simply by sitting on it.”

Now that’s a job I would love and I’ve often joked about the ideal job i would love… being a professional bed tester.

I can imagine it now…

Getting to work in the morning.

Boss says, “there you go Alex, today’s bed for you to test…

Great! I think to myself… 8 hours of sleep today during work time… heaven!

“Say”, the boss continues, “would you like some overtime today?  How about an extra couple of hours?”

“Terrific!” I reply.

So, I spend the day being paid to have a kip! 🙂

Get home that evening and say to the Lady Wife…

“Whoo… what a long day I’ve had… I’m pooped… long day… long day…

“Gonna need an early night..!” 😉

Professional bed tester… with lots of overtime…

A dream job methinks!


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A Welcome Break

I’ve been working for my current organisation for just over a year… doesn’t time fly?

Just been told that my current contract has been extended to after Christmas… so it’s back to job hunting for a permanent position, although I’m very grateful for the extension.

Anyway, in over a year I haven’t had a full week off work; I even worked through last Christmas, so it’s with a massive YIPPEE that I’ve just booked myself a week off.

Yes, a full week 🙂

With the ear problems I had recently (now feeling fine – touch wood), together with starting a new personal project of my New Forest Podcast, I’ve really needed to take some time out.

Some of you might remember a past blog I used to write entitled “Podcast Junky UK”, where I used to recommend other podcasts that I had found.  Well, sadly those Podcast Junky UK days are gone which I really miss, so now it’s time to be on the other side of the mic.

Looking forward to doing as much nothing as I can get away with next week, although I hope to be able to visit the New Forest Show as well as concentrate on my New Forest Podcast.

Also looking forward to some great beach and forest walks with the Lady Wife and Furry Son.

Anyway, here’s to my week off.


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Well, it’s done… my first podcast is up and running 🙂

Head on over to www.newforestpodcast.co.uk

Hope you like it.

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You’re right, I’ve neglected this blog lately.

With the better weather here and the opportunity to get on with jobs around the house as well as taking advange of the great weather with leisurely walks around the cliff tops and the beach, I’ve found that I’ve been switching on my computer a lot less lately.

Usually I’m on my computer every opportunity; playing with my blogs, getting my new podcast ready, playing with digital artwork and so on, but with the better weather here as well as feeling quite tired due to the vertigo and the medication I’ve been on, getting down with yet another ear infection finding the time  the energy and motivation to do all the  has been a bit tricky.

Yes, that’s right, I’m working on a new podcast.

Those of you who produce your own podcast will know about some of the things needed before you can launch your podcast; sorting out my XML feed, coming up a an easy-to-stick-to format, gathering together bumpers, intros, outros and so on.

No, the podcast won’t be related to this blog, well, not directly but I will post details here once I’ve got about 6 episodes under my belt.

If you really want to know where my podcast will be then feel free to drop me an email.


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I’ve never been a part of any support group although in various jobs I have dealt with them and so I know what they do. More importantly I know how they work.

As you know, my vertigo has come back with a vengeance and I’ve been battling the monster for about 3 months now; my last attack being 2 years ago and which lasted for about 5 months.

A chap at my workplace has the same thing – vertigo induced by labyrinthitis.

I don’t know if you’re part of any support group, but if you’ve got some sort of problem which is shared by other people, you might find it more helpful than you know discussing things in such a group.

I found simply talking with someone who actually “gets” what I’m talking about totally and refreshingly helpful and educational. I guess I learned more about vertigo and labyrinthitis from just a few minutes of chatting with a fellow spinner than I have done ever since Mr. Vertigo decided to take up residence in my inner ears.

Apparently, the medication I’m on could probably knock out a horse to sleepy land at 500 paces… no wonder I’ve been incredibly tired recently; mooching around and saying things to my Lady Wife like, “Have we had supper yet?” I thought I had aged by about 40 years prematurely.

It’s bad enough having your head spin inside around a 100 times a day and deal with that distraction as well as your meds screwing you up too. This fellow worker only takes my type of meds in an emergency. “Heck”, I said, “I take it 3 times a day!” No wonder I’ve been knocking back the strong black coffees like there’s no tomorrow. Still, whatever gets me through the working day.

As for the Epley Maneuver… don’t ask… I haven’t been a good boy when it’s come to that…

Only now do I “get” how a support network can help.

“A problem shared is a problem halved”, is a phrase that comes to mind. Try and share your problem with someone who has the same problem as yourself as opposed to dumping your problems on to other people.

Now if you excuse me, I have to get back to my Kylie Karaoke…

“…I’m, spinning around… Move out of my way… I know you’re feelin’ me ’cause you like it like this…”
… etc…
If you battle with vertigo or labyrinthitis you might be interested in the following links:



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