Sunday, November 27, 2005

Awww Cheers CDogg - and CC - and Lynn Parsons, Steve Lacey..and ... phew!

Bless - thanks CDogg for playing Hollow Horse on - and what a great show too! Cheers too to CC Chapman, Steve Lacey and Lynn Parsons - thanks all.

So, welcome folks, if you're here through either CDogg, CC, Lynn, Steve Lacey - or whoever!

Love One Another can be downloaded on the right ------------->

You'll see there's a suggested donation of £2 - that goes directly to support the Hawane Farm AIDS Orphanage in Hawane, Swaziland.

Thanks again folks who played the promo - you're ace!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A picture of the new podcast set up.

It's getting too cold for the conservatory - as much as I love it - so, here for the moment is the new "studio".

I will be adding to it over the next week or so, and I'll ensure that I post some photo's.

A real mans game...

I have just sat through England v Samoa - what a hard, slogging and someimes frustrating game. Samoa tackled like dogs, seeing a number of players carded and sin-binned. Charlie Hodgson and Harry Ellis both gave great performances.

The game ended 40 - 3 to England after an almighty punch up, seeing Lewis Moody sent off with what looked like a broken nose after an absolute pounding following an intervention on yet another illegal tackle by Samoa. The tackles were bone - crunching, gut wrenching and painful....but strangely compelling to watch.

Not the best England performance, but, the lads played really well - with real courage, heart and fabulous team spirit.

Our national game here in the UK is Football. These namby-pamby delicates pirouette into a triple somersault and whine at every available opportunity. Te last game of Rugby I played saw me with a fractured and dislocated jaw, and a crush injury to my neck and lower back. I put my jaw back in on the pitch - and carried on. You just do. You don't follow the line of the footballers. They just sicken me. I hate the fact tha soccer is our national sport, and I hate the yob culture that goes with it. The whole social aspect of rugby is so much more calm and family orientated. What an irony!

In rugby, you get seven bells kncked out of you - and you just carry on. You just do it. In football you fall at every occasion and cheat your way through the game - at least that's the way it's going.

Rugger is a superb sport and playing it is like nothing else - a real adrenalin rush that you just can't find anywhere else. I've heard American football is the hards man game. Really? Why wear crash helmets, padding and duvets then? Try the hardest game with no silly illogical breaks in time - it really is like nothing else.

I always remember an American firend of mine watching England v Wales with me some years ago in a real gritty grudge match, I remember smiling to myself as he winced and said "Is this really legal?"

Is there any other game where the ref can say to a player - "If he hits you again mate, you're off..."

I LOVE Rugby, and I love England!

Friday, November 25, 2005

podcast 89

Listen to the podcast at this link right here

Fantastic music specially selected (and all passing the quality control test!) from :

Fluid (via Magnatunes)
Paul Rose
The Swaziland Teen Challenge Choir
3 Blind Mice (from the podcast music network)
Hollow Horse
Rob Hughes

Usual banter from yours truly!

In this podcast I come back to the traditional music and banter mix - I'm dead chuffed with the cracking selection of stuff - judge for yourself.

I'm really quite concerned about the increase in yob culture with extended drinking hours - what on earth are the government thinking? What an utter, utter nonsense.

Crackpot thinking from the archbishop of Canterbury and lunatic pc tosh from a Headteacher who really needs to get with it.

You can't miss it... no really, you can't!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BBC National Radio 5 Live interview

On Monday evening I attended the swanky new BBC studio in Birmingham City Centre and sat in a remote studio with a direct feed to the BBC National Radio 5 'Up All Night' team in London / Chris Vallance in California.

I have to give all credit to Chris again - he's such a good bloke and a great professional, he knows the right questions to ask and is very careful not to edit out audio so as to detract from, or compromise the original message. The MP3 link can be downloaded here

I'm realy pleased to tell you that the donations are starting to come in - over £200 (about $350) - that will make a great difference alone, but, I'm sure we'll do even better before the end of the year.

Hollow Horse got a mention in the interview - Ken is still really supportive and generous in all he does.

...and the generosity of folks who continue to donate blows me away - THANK YOU EVEYONE.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thanks !

Many thanks to those of you who have already started to contribute to Swazi Pod - every single contribution will make a real difference, thank you so much!

I'll aim to get some more pictures up on site soon to show the ongoing work at Hawane Farm.

On a different note - well done England RFU! While the lads lost 23 - 19 to the All Blacks, the Lions played with real heart and spirit. One of the best and most competitive games I've seen in a long time.

My thanks especially to Marilyn Madsen for sending in a 20 pound contribution (sorry I've lost the 'pound sterling' sign on my keyboard!) Very generous of you Marilyn, and thanks to those others who have contributed too.

Hopefully we'll see the anthemic 'Love one another' on loads of podcasts, please keep on spreading the word!

I think it's high time to get some more podcasts out - have listen over the weekend!

Speak to you all soonest!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Swaziland Aids Appeal - Swazipod - something for nothing...much

We all want something for nothing, that's just human nature - we certainly don't want nothing for something.

Please navigate to my page; (unless of course you're already here) and purchase the incredible 'Love One Another' from Hollow Horse for just two pounds - the whole sum will go to the amazing Hawane Farm Swaziland Aids Orphanage project - I've christened the project 'Swazipod'. My eternal thanks to Kenny from Hollow Horse for donating the song to the project - what a star!

You can listen to the appeal by downloading the MP3 right here - if you're a podcaster please:

1. download and listen to the appeal - and promote it on your podcast
2. purchase the track and play it - you have permission!
3. Listen to podcast no.88 at, you'll hear more of the work that this appeal supports.

Be sure to visit the Hollow Horse site at - Beggarstown is an amazing album full of real 'podsafe' gems.

More of the appeal: Just 7,500 pounds purchases a building that can house 8 - 10 children that are in dire need - literally a life and death situation. The orphanage saves those children in worst need.

You really, honestly can help, and, in the bargain, you get a cracking mp3.

1000 pounds can cover essential medical supplies for three months for the children in the home, the costs are so minimal it's ludicrous, yet these children benefit tremendously.

PLEASE PLEASE pass this link on to your friends and family. Thanks so much for your support.

A Storming idea for Swaziland.

Not wanting to do things by halves.... I've come up with a cunning plan to raise a good amount of revenue for Swaziland over the Christmas period.

Watch this space.. hopefully things should be up and running by tomorrow.

The little lad in the photo contracted AIDS after his father died and he was left to care for his dying mother - the cross infections, lack of hygiene, open sores are a problem for the most vigilant clinician. How awful to think that a child should have to care for a dying parent without resource, training or equipment. What a dreadful reward in return for care.

We really need to do something.

There are scores of children in life threatening conditions in Swaziland, the lucky ones can be cared for at the Hawane project. The cost of building a childrens home to house 8 - 10 children? £7,500. That's £750 for a child's life. It's impossible to see this and not break down. It's incredible to see children plucked from that situation, loved, cared for and happy. We really can help. PLEASE re-visit and pass this link onto as many folks as you can.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


This is the 'hut' that I stayed in for the first part of the week I was in Swaziland. It really was an experience. I remember, bleary eyed at 4.30am wondering if any more 'party size' bugs would drop on my head. My colleauges hadn't been bothered with the small army of many legged and sometimes winged creatures that appeared to be very sociable.

I was chatting a little earlier on Skype to Chris Vallance and vocalised to him quite an important point I'd not really appreciated until now. Podcasting is a wonderful tool, it's a great laugh, great fun.... but... oddly, in this setting something was very different. I felt a huge weight on wanting to convey the touch, smell, feel, texture and downright seriousness of Swaziland. I felt a real burden upon me to really do the interviews justice - I was so fired up and enthused by the hope that simply shone out from what appeared to be such a desperate situation - I wanted to convey that emotion without exaggeration, editing or being in any way patronising. One listener commented on the fact he felt that there was so much to listen to he could appreciate where I was coming from and didn't feel as though my interviewees had been edited (actually he's dead right - they hadn't).

I think podcasting conveys an honesty - a real grass roots journalism that you don't get in the world of polished sound byte radio presentation - sure, you don't get the professional quality all the time, hopefully however you get the spirit and the heart of it. I would hate to convey Swaziland in 2.5 minutes, how do you do that? What about the stories of the children? What about Don, Emma and Kevin? These people are heroes, they should not suffer from the editors knife, we want to hear them! (podcast 88 if you haven't heard it)

The feedback that I've had from the podcasts have been amazing - including a Mbabane expat who now lives in Australia. The message seems to have hit home - and for that reason I can honestly say that the entire trip was worth it...however... more to come on the results of the trip over the coming months.

So, podcasting - a great hobby, a wonderful pastime and a seriously amazing citizen journal tool. What an awesome responsibility this thing is with the right message....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bonus Skype Chat Podcast with Chris Vallance at Podcast Expo

Hi there! I managed to get a quick Skype call in with Chris Vallance (Pocket Planet Radio and BBC Radio 5)

The Skype chat can be heard here (MP3) - all very enlightening!

Back home and British musicians.

Well, I am coming back down to earth now and still very much thinking about the wonderful folks in Swaziland. You'll hear very much more about Swaziland and some plans to really help the foks out there.

I played a couple of great tracks from a wonderful sax player; Rob Hughes - his link is here and listened to a mind blowing guitarist; Paul Rose - you can catch his podcasts at his site - link here - Both are VERY worthwhile sites to look at, I urge you to check 'em out. Support British music and British unsigned music - keep music LIVE !

As ever, if you like these guys ( I love 'em - they're superb ) send them a mail and tell 'em you appreciate them. Lots of hard work and effort go into creating the great music, as well as blood, sweat, tears, and money. Wel done boys - you're both great ambassadors for the UK music scene. Great to know you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

BBC Radio 5 to broadcast the Swazi podcasts.

My heartfelt thanks to Chris Vallance and the Radio 5 Live team for promoting the Swaziland podcasts. I'm ever so touched about the fact that these guys have eked out a spot to promote the news about Swaziland and the wonderful work that is going on there. You chaps really are stars, thank you so very much.

You can hear / download the Radio 5 slot played nationally on "up all night" today at this link here

back home

I am sorry to be home and desperately missing the folks I met at Mbabane in Swaziland. An awesome and incredible trip that I will not forget until the day I die.

I quite literally am sitting here with tears in my eyes listening again to podcast 88. The kids are in a desperate state and there are so many of them. Those lucky ones helped by the Hawane Farm project are the most loving kids you could meet - one lad in particular just caught my heart, he has full blown AIDS but cycles arouond the farm without a care in the world knowing he's loved and cared for. I pretended to pull a small coin from his ear and he spent the next five minutes working out how it had happened - rubbing behind his ear though as to produce more Elamangeni (local currency).

It was great to just sit and smile with the kids and just awesome to walk around the project with Kevin Ward - himself a Swazi national - and listen to yet another innovative idea from Kevin to fund the project.

I still cannot get away from the fact that this guy and his family are driven by a deep love for the kids and the work, clearly shunning a lifestyle were they could be at the top of their tree: Helen is a dentist and Kevin, a VERY switched on guy with tremendous business acumen who has turned his back on a secure inheritance from his father in running the family hotel business.

Integrity is the whole vein that runs through the project - and Kevin, his family and workers. It was an incredible privilege to spend time with these people and I feel people need to know about this project.

More can be seen at thoug the site just doesn't do them justice at all. There is a Paypal button for donations if you feel so inclined too.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

podcast 88 - Despair that turns to hope in Swaziland.

Workers at the Orphanage preparing the roof on one of the huts.

I'm really pleased to put up this show as I am anxious for as many people to hear this as possible. PLEASE pass the web address to your family and friends so as many people as possible can get to hear about this tremendous work. In a world that is so uncaring and unfeeling, this really does give you hope and restore your values in human kindness.

To listen to the show please download the MP3 direct from here. If the show does not play within a matter of seconds, simply download by pressing the right click of your mouse and selecting the option "save target as..". This will enable you to save the file and listen later, at your leisure.

Friday, November 04, 2005

podcast 87 - chilling in Swaziland.

It's very late and I am finding this trip both exhilirating and mentally exhausting, so I needed to chill.

I'll get more detailed notes up here in a week or so, when I'm back in the UK, but please sit back, relax, chill and enjoy this - Colskee, you'll love some of this stuff as will you Geoff, Ken, Adrian and Troy... ;-)

Featuring music from Paul Rose and Rob Hughes, including Adrina Thorpe, courtesy of PMN and introducing The Clintons.

You can download the MP3 file here

Apologies for the audio quality at the start of the cast - just grab a cup of tea / glass of wine, grab the headphones and listen, chill and enjoy.


BTW, this finishes a bit suddenly, sorry - the laptop was getting anxious and hot!

second chance for podcast 86 from Swaziland on a decent server

The view outside my hotel window virtually!

My apologies people, you may not have been able to download the last podcast - well here it is, you can also directly download the MP3 file here.

Another to come very shortly... in the next hour or so if I can upload in time


podcast no 86 from Swaziland

Hello and welcome to my podcast from Swaziland. I've been very busy and have already recorded podcast 87 - I'll try and get that uploaded tomorrow - I have had a series of interviews with folks ( absolutely compelling - you cannot miss them - really) and hopefully by Sunday night that should be concluded too.

I was staying in a mud hut - a 'homestead' which was a circular mud hut for want of a better word, with a straw roof - there were no mod cons, just a simple shower, a basin, a bed and a mirror. I have to say it was luxury - apart from worrying what had fallen through the roof ont me during the evening. The bugs here are copious, varied and huge. I don't even want to think what manner of creatures had bitten me.

Everything you see about Africa seems to be here - poverty, wealth, death, ladies with baskets on their heads.

I'm now at the Mountain Inn, Swaziland - it has wifi, TV's all the western trappings, a pool and such like. You'll hear from the podcast that the guy who runs the orphanage; 'Hawane Farm' was destined to own this from hotel from his father - he gave up the lot to care for the poor and needy children. What an awesome bloke. So selfless, compassionate and such a tremendous heart.

Kevin sat and had a cup of tea at this wifi spot and pointed out to the phenomenal view of the vast mountains ahead. Kevin pointed out to "Sheba's breasts" - a double mountain peak near 'Piggs Peak'. Both figure heavily in the classic "Kinng Solomon's Mines" by H Rider Haggard, a book I enjoyed trremendously as a lad, if you like the classic that was the forerunner to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and all the Indiana Jones movies that followed. Kevin mentioned that H Rider Haggard had penned the story not 500 yards from where I was sitting. Wow!

The folks here seem to smile all the time, one boy who I thought was just 6 or 7 but is actually 15 - I call him "Muttley" but his real name is something like "Mucli" never seems to stop smiling. Muttley is one of the children who lost his parents to AIDS - I was stunned to hear that he lost his mum a few years ago and had been providing all her palliative care. He had no experience, no medicines, no idea how to assist and at a tender age contracted AIDS from caring from his mum. Such is the way of Swazi life. People just seem to muck in, do anything they can, and, when the worst of things occur, just buckle down and get on with it even more. No state assistance seems to be available, just folks like Kevin with a heart.

The centre now houses 16 children in all states of HIV / AIDS and has 30 or so full time folks, many Swazi or South African Christian folks who are tirelessly dedicated. I smiled to myself as I spoke to a 27 year old Nurse...from Weston SuperMare (about 70 miles from me back home) who is giving a year of her time to help, a group of Irish lads had been busy building a house to expand the centre for two weeks and would be returning home tomorrow.

The centre plans to take nearly 100 children eventually, with plans for expansion, even a hospice so the poor children who become so ill here can at least die in peace - with friends and their adpoted family - Kevin & Co. This has just opened my eyes to just how selfless people can be.... and sadly just how selfish we can all be.

Am I enjoying Swaziland? 'Enjoy' just seems to be the entirely wrong word. I feel priviliged to be in the company of such awesome people, and such an awesome nation.

Keep listening...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hello from Swaziland!!!

Well hello there from Swaziland! 11 hours and 30 minutes of flight into Johannesburg and 4 hours of driving into the most breathtaking and beautiful country I have ever seen.

I'm busy recording and have some astonishing audio - unfortunately the camera I ordered from the net hadn't arrived by the time I'd departed, but I am begging and borrowing digital cameras from all ove the shop.

It's a humbling experience - the people here are phenomenal. The children I met at the orphanage were just the loveliest kids I've met. Sadly each and every one of them has a tragic story behind them.

At the moment, I'm simply using an internet cafe - I don't have long so can't tell you too much - but, hopefully, I will have internet access on Saturday - wifi apparently!

The podcast info I have is just mind blowing - seriously, don't miss it.

By the way, I'm staying in a traditional homestead - i.e. a circular mud hut - it does have running water and electricity though: luxury!

Speak to you all ever so soon!