Sunday, December 31, 2006

A night with the relatives and some photo's from earlier

...passed off peacibly enough, I was able to take a couple of shots in black and white, and like the one of everyone playing 'deal or no deal'.

I'm always amazed at the beautiful photo's I see on the web. I need to do some research I think!

Jack, as ever playing silly beggars

A very rare moment of Jack, sitting still

I have no idea what Harry's doing here!

Dad, concentrating

Deal or no Deal?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I've been podcasting two years today!

My mate; Geoff, who has been listening almost since show no. 1 sent me a lovely message:
Hello Paul It's Geoff, long time listener and friend.

I just want to wish you well on your anniversary.
What a year mate. ... You don't exactly lead a boring life do you:You co-founded podcast user magazine at the start of the year - A magazine that is doing brilliantly and will get even better next year.

You've co-founded the UK podcasting association with Dean Whitbread.and organised and MC'd a podcasting conference.

And even with all that going on you still make the time to produce a great podcast and even start another one, the broadcasting lawyer, which I also wish you well with. Paul, You have given so much to the podcasting community - thanks alot fella
See you soon.


I'm actually not really planning to do a show tonight, I've loads of relatives around for a do we're putting on here. Sue has been frantic in the kitchen and we'll be tidying around like dervishes in a short while.
I may get the MP3 recorder out if there's anything decent to record but guess I'll be making small talk most of the evening - you know relative things... "ooh hasn't he grown?" etc. etc

On another note, I've been issued with a great new phone from work - A Vodafone V1240 / Smartphone.

I'm knocked out by the amazing portability of the device. There's a great MP4 recorder / MP3 player along with Wifi / MS Outlook and all the other great stuff you get with a Windows mobile machine.

I may well be using the video capability - now I know how to use it. Keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, December 29, 2006

podcast144 - the famous Whisky tasting bonanza with Adam

Last night, Adam and I held our annual whisky tasting evening - something we've been doing for years now, we even broke tradition and let the girls join in.
listen to the evening right here.
Incidental music from Curandero, courtesy of Magnatunes.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

PODCAST 143 28th December 2006.

podcastpaul podcast 143 early hours of 28th December 2006.
intro music - Adam Woodall Band - Runaway
Altarmotive - Blame (PMN)
Ages since I did a Podcast Paul show - look out for the Broadcasting lawyer - will have it's own feed, should be great - thanks to Steve Lacey for his comments. There definitely will be more Steve, it's a promise.
Really needed this break - wonderful to recharge the batteries. Back on 2nd - straight in - court at 10.15am. Jan already mental.
Carribean in Feb - married 20 years. That's a murder and an armed robbery here.
Paul Rose: My Life - direct from Paul Rose, thanks mate!
May have heard my comments on Adam Curry's show about some idiot who did the "Jesus Interview" - a great thread on either or
World Records -
Cockroaches eaten and bra's unhooked - I kid you not!
Rubbish world records... where do they get them from?!
Adam Woodall Band - Runaway
Shopping today - busy! Some folks got up at 5am - why? I lounged in bed 'til 10!
Great film - saw tonight: A night at the Museum; Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, some gorgeous brunette with an Italian name and perfect teeth and some other folks. I didn't even fall asleep!
German pregnancy crisis...
I've been podcasting 2 years on 30th December 2006!
A very peaceful Christmas and prosperous New Year to you all.
God Bless.
Al Stravinsky - Looking for my voice (PMN)
Send an email eh? It would be lovely to hear from you all.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A day at the Sales in Birmingham

Today was apparenty the busiest day of the year for retail shopping.

I did rather well with a lovely new suit, a couple of pairs of trousers, a bos CD set and a new camera..

Here's a couple of shots of Birmingham at its busiest.

There's something about crowds of people that fascinate me - I've no idea why.

As busy as Birmingham is, I love the place. I've no idea why. I've lived here all my life and can't think I'd ever want to live anywhere else... apart from Swaziland...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Now that's what I call percussion...

This is great, a cross between Kraftwerk and Changing rooms...

Christmas morning with the Nicholls clan

At the time I am posting this, this needs to be processed on You Tube.

Here's some footage of early christmas morning at our house... that's VERY early morning..

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Lawyer's Seasonal Greeting.

Please accept the following seasons greetings ,wishing you all :
1. an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all; and
2. a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.
3. By accepting this greeting you are bound by the following contractual terms:-
3.1 This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal;
3.2 This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration will be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged;
3.3 This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes;
3.4 This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor;
3.5 This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first;
3.6 The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor;
3.7 Any references in this greeting to "the Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Saviour", "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged;
3.9 This greeting shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sue treads the boards

I do hope this works!

Sue said she always wanted to work in theatre. Wonder why she ended up in education?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Broadcasting Lawyer, show no1.

Download the first Broadcasting Lawyer Broadcast (MP3) right here

Welcome to the very first Broadcasting Lawyer - absolutely no stuffiness here - just informatve light hearted chat and some informative banter.

Today I speak to Peter Jones, managing partner; Smith Jones about some of the funnier sides of law.

Another day.... another show!

One of my favourite podcasts is Betty in the sky with a suitcase. I love that show. I have no idea why people don't tak about Bet's show more. Basically, Bet (not her real name) is an airline stewardess who takes her mp3 recorder to work and gets stories from within the industry. I'm hooked, I really am.

Bet's format is so good, it's real everday folks from within the industry talking about weird, funny, and interesting stories from within the airline industry.

I've thought about this for an age. I'm definitely going to do a show about law - a behind the scenes show. It'll develop and morph as time goes on, I'm sure.

I went into work, mp3 recorder in hand to get some law stories and happened upon Managing Partner extraordinaire; Peter Jones. Pete and I work together at the smll Warwickshire branch of SmithJones, Solicitors.

Have a listen to 'Jonesy boy' wax lyrical on a couple of stories. Something tells me he may feature quite often on "The Broadcasting Lawyer".

I've a number of great folks I plan to speak to, including a couple of Judges, a silk (that's a Queens Counsel to us peasants) and a number of other great and interesting people.

I'll be looking topically at current affairs from time to time and how the law plays it part, explaining and unravelling law in plain English - and doing the lot in a pretty tongue in cheek, informative way.

Law is a fascinating, brilliant subject and isn't beyond the reaches of ordinary folk, because ordinary everyday folk figure more and more in this wonderful profession.

If you have some questions or problems you'd like me to address, mail / comment me anonymously or by ordinary course of mail / comment.

Watch out for the first webcast (note the shift from 'podcast') shortly....

Monday, December 18, 2006

my mum would be proud....

Good old Radio Times! My mum and dad bought this when I was a kid and there were only three channels on the black and white television we owned.

Thanks to Adrian for pointing me in the direction of this - Radio Times apparently does a 'good podcast guide' and I figured alongside Sowerby & Luff and Wiggly Wigglers - both great podcasts in their own right.

The review reads:

Podcast Paul (aka Paul Nicholls) is the perfect modern British podcaster. By day he's a lawyer, but by night he's a silky voiced chat lothario and music maestro.

Every week since 2004 he's haunted the airwaves with an entertaining combo of swishy talk and easy listening unsigned rock, pop and folk. It's like Jeremy Vine left BBC Radio 2 and went solo. This week, for example, Paul unravels the life and death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, alongside an interview with and live performance by a band called Slashed Seat Affair. Where else but on the internet can you hear such contrasts?

Jeremy Vine eh? Bless 'em.
Actually, well done RT - not one of the usual daft big commercial podcasts figures there.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

what part of "No Entry" don't you understand?!

I love this!

Having driven around manchester recently, it is a VERY good idea to obey the road signs....

Podcast 142 My birhday, The exporation of Britcaster, and a whistle stop tour of 1967

- Show notes for podcastpaul podcast no. 142
- podcastpaul podcast 142
- My birthday today!
- PMN: Happy Birthday; Catalonia (PMN)
- I was born on 15th December 1967 at 8pm GMT.
- I'm 39 but I feel like I'm 18. 18 with 21 years of experience...
- Brian Jones (Stones) Guitarist escapes jail (Jagger and Richards were in court in May earlier)
- De Gaulle blocks Britain's introduction into the common market
- The Six day war in Israel
- Brian Epstein found dead, aged 32.
- Very low key affair, yet Sue had a great big bonanza.
- My wonderful present from Adrian. I wish Texan bars would come back - and the liqouirice twigs. I love space dust and lemon sherbets.
- You just have to listen to the Britcaster send off, everything that John Buckley touches is brilliant. It's great to hear such a cocophony of people I know and respect in one bumper sitting.
- Robin McKelle: Somethings Gotta Give (PMN)
- The forums continue. Check them both out. Check out particularly the ADD thread which is incredibly insightful on Tea and Podcasts. What is ADD and how does it affect folks? Is it just a trendy label, or something that really can cause problems?
- Music: I feel fine by Chew my tongue. (PMN)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to me...

I'm 39 today.

It's funny, but at this age I just can't get excited at all about birthdays, they're milestones that come and go. I know Sue wants me to ceebrate my 40th in style, and I'm sure I will, but I really can't muster up any enthusiasm at the moment as I'm so tired.

I broke up from my part time post grad uni course last night and have to say that it was not before time. Virtually everyone was flagging and desperate for the short break. Next year is packed with al manner of assignments, mocks, exams, electives and so on.

My thoughts constantly wander back to Swaziland and I'm beginning to understand why now. These folks have so little and because they have so little, life isn't that stressed in the main. Obviously for the poor and unfortunate kids who are poverty stricken and living under the shadow of AIDS, that is a sentence hanging over them - however, the joy, smiles and simple living seem such an attraction and what life is all about. I yearn to get back to Swaziland and feel a real pull in my heart to get out there and do...something.

The daily stresses of life over here regarding trivial matters are beginning to gnaw at me - even the salacious newspaper headlines and trash tv that want to draw us all in over tit bits of pointless gossip over c-list celebrities. Life is about so much more and the fog we find ourselves in hides the real joy of simple things.

As another year has crept on so insidiously, I feel I must do something about how tired I'm feeling. I have real problems with my sleep and tests conducted in the last year revealed some alarming things about my sleep apnoea. I apparently died three times in the night I was monitored! This isn't so rare, but I never get the sleep I need and am constantly restless and hence constantly tired. I used a CPAP machine to help me sleep for a week or so a few months back and the results were amazing. I'm waiting for a machine now through the local hospital, but it looks as though I may well paying for it. That needs sortig quickly.

Another thing that needs sorting is my weight. I looked at some photos from podcastcon and couldn't believe it was me staring back. Listen out for a podcast about this over the weekend (or even tonight) about this.

And... Adrian Pegg. Bless him. What a darling. Adrian sent me a parcel through the post of the most amazing stuff. A company by the name of " A quarter of..." send out sweets (candy) from our past. I opened a parcel to reveal a big box of masses of old fshioned sweets. Lemon sherbets, balck jacks, Gob-stoppers, milk teeth - you name it, they're all in there.
Thanks Adrian for really making me smile, and for being so thoughtful.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A miserable bloke called Les?

I seem to be a regular theatre buff at the minute. I went to see Les Miserables in London yesterday.

I have to say that I was huffing and panting about going as I didn't want to see the production. I really thought this was going to me a prentetious load of twaddle that was a bit up it's own bum.

How wrong was I? I was spellbound. The story and plot was intelligent and moving, the music amazing and the sonogs ( a couple of which I knew enough to hum along too) were exceptional.

Vive La Les Miserable! I could really become accustomed to this Theatre lark... now wouldn't it be great to hear a podcast behind the scenes at something like this? Is there such a podcast available I wonder?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

podcastpaul podcast 141 Paul and Sue's Big weekend way in London

Listen to the MP3 direct from here

PodcastPaul 141 5th December 2006

Grown up music and chat from grown up independent producer; Paul Nicholls in South West Brmingham,

music from pmn

Paul and Sue's big adventure in London... some podcast chat and finally putting things into perspective.
So Easy - Laurence Elder
Firefly - Kevin Burdick
Going Home - Laurence Elder
My little boy is 6 tomorrow. Thinking of Swaziland..... The politics in British podcasting is boring and needs putting into perspective. The various podcast groups are good - but we can allow them to be divisive if we're not careful. I'm probably the worst offender
Thanks to you listeners... you're the ones that REALLY matter. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to have a voice - and to listen as much as you do.
Please send mail and audio feedback to

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Community spirit and an open letter

I have been away for the weekend in London and just twenty minutes ago switched on my laptop to a staggering array of emails, messages and suchlike.

I'm priviliged to say that I was one of the very first podcasters in the UK, right back in the heady days when the code had just been formulated, there were no real aggregators, no Itunes and just lots of excitement at a new medium that was set to dominate.

Then there was the idea to set up a community - I'd been talking about that for ages, I purchased but was plased to hear that a new forum was being set up - Britcaster was born and what a great place that was / still is. Still is for the next two weeks that is. I learnt less than half an hour ago that this is to evaporate birthday. I feel really sad - it's a place I've visted near daily for the last two years. I've met some great people on there and made some great friends.

Why? I'm grateful for the hard work of Jen and Neil Dixon, but have to ask why the forum is going? What possible purpose other than lack of time to moderate is the reason? If this is the reason - we can find moderators. I think I'm perhaps well placed to ask the quesion as I've invested so much time and effort there over the last two years. I think I've earnt the dubious mantle of having the most posts.

Rather than allow a wonderful community to die - I ask in an open letter here for Jen and Neil to allow the forums to remain open, I'm happy to pay the continuing subs for the domain name. I don't care who 'owns' it - Neil and Jen, why not retain ownership? Problem solved.

It's often been said that Britcaster was never a commercial venture and I'm pleased about that, it would be a tragedy to see something that was and is such a great community benefit to be anything else than that, and we've had the reassurance it's not anyway.

It's great that there are a couple of other forums already, but, I'd ask folks just to sit tight and wait so that we can see if we can keep the original name that most of us know and love in situ. There's no hidden agenda, no side-swipe. I'm just saddened at the fact that a whole community could fragment in two weeks. The celebration of the community was Podcastcon 2006 - and yes, I'm definitely going to continue this. I think it's important that the conference should be organised independently at grass roots level.

Back in the day when this whole thing started, there were no networks, names, clubs or badges. Things evolve and as well as I understand this, I would urge people to stay in community and not to run in disparate groups. UKPA was an idea to forge community and some have embraced it, some not, I can't understand those who haven't embraced it, but I respect their point of view. Similarly, Podshow have some folks, some not. If you're not a UKPA member, no worry, respect those who are. If you're not a podshow artist, again, respect those who aren't, and if you aren't, respect those who are. The truth is that both UKPA and Podshow have some great podcasts - and some naff ones too. There are no kite marks of quality: your meat may be my poison and vice versa.

Whatever network, group, or club you're in, if you are involved in this wonderful media, please, continue to talk to each other and remember we're still all in this together.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

podcast140 podcastpaul - grown up music for a grown up audience from independent producer Paul Nicholls

Download MP3 here podcastpaul podcast140

PodcastPaul 140 26th November 2006

Grown up music from grown up independent producer; Paul Nicholls in South West Brmingham, England.

Today I really wanted to pull the stops out and play some great tunes.

One for the ages - Patrick Hall
I'm so Happy - Bombskare
Invisible Boy - Jake Hook
Europa and the pirate twins Thomas Dolby
Mike's audio - Fishbowl Acoustic
Forget you - Slashed Seat Affair
SSA interview
Treat me right - Scotty Meyer Band

music from the podsafe music network, save SSA courtesy of SSA and Acoustic Fishbowl.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

...and the most amazing podsafe guitar solo video goes to....

....Paul Rose.

Thanks for directing me to the link mate - this is brilliant!

If you like great guitar music, I can heartily reccomend Paul. Look out for his music on the podsafe music network. Paul's albums are terrific and incredibly varied too. One of the great unsung and unsigned indie artsts in the UK today.

Love your stuff mate.

Monday, November 20, 2006

podcast139 roundup of podcastcon 2006

Download MP3 podcastpaul podcast 139 here

Roundup of podcastcon 2006, with featured music from:

Slashed Seat Affair (Ellie Myles)
Jimmy Golding
The Shakes

all music from podsafe music network.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

stealth disco at the podcast conference...

from the podcast conference - brilliant!

podcastcon 2006

this very unflattering pic of me has been nicked from Neil Ford.

I was having a bash on Tim's drums from the Shakes. What a cracking band - as were Slashed Seat Affair and Jimmy Golding.

The folks who attended were wonderful - thanks to the panels of folks - especially CC Chapman, what a top fella, our sponsors, and stall holders.

Loads to talk about, and even more pics on the web to follow.


phew...I need a lie down now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

podcast138 Final instalment from Swaziland - The way forward

Download the link (MP3) direct from here

The last instalment from Swaziland - how the project really is making a life changing difference

My attempts at bartering African style!

This show was so easy to put together. The wonderful people of Swaziland do it so well, in this episode you'll hear Mosu at Emafini, Pindela Dlamini in the market place and Kevin Ward, Director of Teen Challenge and Hawane Farm AIDS orphanage project.

Squeaky clean, but good tough challenging stuff from Kevin too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

it's very, very soon...

Podcastcon is just days away

Looks to be a great event, hope to see you there.


Friday, November 03, 2006

podcastpaul podcast 137 from Swaziland

Download the MP3 - podcastpaul 137 direct from here

My first podcast from this visit to Swaziland - clcick the link above to listen.


The cultural village
Don & David (Mongolesu)
The Swazi singers.
some amazing sound seeing stuff... keep your ears peeled for more possibly tomorrow / Saturday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

swaziland - the culture and the children

Here's a picture of the Swazi dancers at the Cultural centre - you'll hear their amazing singing in a podcast tomorrow.

The culture here is so different to the west. You'll hear much more about this tomorrow, in the meantime - while the storms hold out from kicking the internet connection, I'll give you as many pictures as I can muster.

These are typical traditional 'homesteads' made from wattle daub / sticks and cowpat floors. These are lived in at the cultural centre and can be seen dotted around Swaziland, they're certainly still in use, particularly around the more rural areas.

There's a whole system of sleeping arrangements, the grandmoher is the matriachal leader whils the grandfather takes a leadership role. The girls sleep in one hut, the boys in another.

Men have no say and are considered children until they marry. The boys all sleep in one hut and this will include the unmarried men who are still considered children until they marry. These men have no say in the life of the homestead. Boys are considered to young to move to the boys hut until they are six - determined by whether they can touch their right ear with their right arm curled around the top of the head! Until they are six they sleep with mum and dad.

The fathers can take as many wives as he wishes, the cost is 17 cows.

The grandmother takes a huge role in decision making and acts as the one to resolve disputes. It seems unflattering to say, but the grandmother is known as 'The great elephant' essentially demonstrating her power in family life. There is a huge matriarchal society that still remains in Swaziland - the Queen mother is particularly important in governmental affairs and will guide the king, certainly until his 40th birthday, still retaining a key role in state affairs thereafter. It's easy to wonder how this society works if you don't understand it, but trust me, it does. Kids respect their elders, and their king.

The shanty that you see here is perhaps the more typical home you'll see in Swaziland, this will co-exist alongside the homesteads above and more modern buildings that are acually quite palacial. I can't undertsnad the way that abject poverty can live so closely with wealth, but it does.

I've seen so many kids without shoes, I'm already hardened to that, while others drive around in 4 x 4's. Transport here is very costly, people tend to walk everywhere as a result, and, as a result, there seems to be little obesity. A real lesson for our own kids.

Sue spent the day with 77 pre-school kids, many of these orphans or living with aging relatives from all over the place. The children speak little English, speaking the native Siswati tongue. Kids flock here because provision like this is so rare. This work desperately needs supporting, the resources are incredibly limited and Hawane Farm do this for no cost at all but simply act out of passion. It chokes me that these folks have so little yet offer so much. They desperately need support, not patronising.

We would have no idea how to work long term with the Swazi kids, we don't know or understand the culture, they do. They have limited room and even more limited resource. Look at this for resources:

This is the box of toys for the pre-schoolers. I'm sure more will come in, and possibly bought in. Please understand, I'm absolutely not patronising - Hawane is actually here, it's doing things, but provision is finite. Other projects are taking resources - such as the hospice, medication, education. No funding exists apart from the generosity of folks and the incredible self funding work the farm invests in. This place seems to be an amazing success, but they need help to run it.

When I think of what my kids have / have had I feel so priviliged and blessed. These beautiful kids deserve

the same.

Here are some of the children eating their porridge by the sandpit - you can see the gift shop logo just in the top right. Every part of the structure is used - the gift shop sells the most amazing curios, ceramics, paintings and suchlike - every rand raised to further the work. This is such an amazing cottage industry and is just an inspiration to see.

So why blog this? Why bother coming out here, what;s the point?

There's a huge point actually. The internet is an awesome source of citizen journalism. I'm literally teary eyed as I'm typing this. WE CAN make a difference. This isn't rhetoric. These kids aren't commodities, they're kids. They're just as precious as our kids back home, in fact, probably moreso, some of these poor mites have no mom, dad, or family - many of these tiny lives have been ravished by the blight of AIDS. They need feeding, stimulating, and most of all, love. The amazing thing is that they're getting it. Right here.

This picture is so precious to me - it represents the trip out last year and the £7,500 raised to build a kids home - 16 more kids can be moved in and cared for as soon as the home is finished. That's why this is so important. What an immediate, incredible and immotive difference the project is doing - hampered only by funds. I feel as though I need to shout this from every roof top as I feel so passionate about it, and, thank God, I can through the use of blogging and podcasting. You have to see this work to believe it, i's so humbling and lifechanging to see this. You really see things in perspective when you're here.

Yet another building - the hospice has just been finished and will sadly be in use - Emma, a nurse from Weston Super-Mare works here full time and is presently away on respite, due back within the next week.

I've so much to say, but I need to rest up - please pass this link to anyone and everyone you can think of. My homepage carries a paypal account with a donate button for Swaziland. Absolutely every single penny raised will go out to Kevin and the team here. Please revisit the site and watch out for more blogs / podcasts over the next week.

God Bless


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Finding my feet in Swaziland.

I've been at Hawane Farm today - the wonderful place that houses so many of the AIDS orphans.

I was shocked at the expansion of the work here since I last visited the project just 12 months ago. A gift shop now occupies the front of the orphanage with the most incredible sculptures, ceramics and artwork for sale, all to bring in much needed revenue to keep the work going, a cultural village has been built, again to attract guests to ensure that this vital work keeps afloat. The sums are low, but much needed.

It was both surreal and overwhelming to see the half constructed home that will house 16 youngsters - the money raised from our last trip paid for that. Just £7,500 for a home. The maths are ridiculous: £468.75 to save the life of a youngster. It's shameful isn't it? I spend more than that in a quarter on clothes, music and ancillary rubbish.

The work that Kevin and the team put into this project is something I honestly cannot convey in words, audio or pictures. These folks give their entire time - and I mean it, their entire time to look after kids that otherwise, quite honestly would just have nothing, and would most certainly die. These folks live in the place and it courses through their veins. They absolutely love the precious kids that range from as little as 2 up to 17 and would do anything for them.

I mentioned previously that Kevin turned down the offer of his father's luxurious hotel business as he felt he needed to do the work with the kids. Do you know anyone like that? I don't. I'm in awe of the man who is just a year or so older than me.

To see kids who would have nothing - no home, food, shoes, hope is something that is a tonic to the soul. I started to listen to some podcasts today and had to stop. The topics that seem so important to us in the west, are, largely superfluous. There is nothing more important than life. This may seem so melodramatic but things really come into perspective in a place like this. Sadly I know I'll readjust again when I'm back...but not quite. Something of Swaziland goes home with you. I absolutely adore this place and the people.

The electricity and iternet connection seem to be a source of ongoing nuisance, I cannot load pictures at the moment as it seems to crash the tempremental WIFI. I should complain - some of the houses I've seen are made from mud, sicks and stones, and the size of a tiny garage with something that constitutes a window and door with a floor made from cowpats. Like I say, you really get perspective. You listen to something western and it just sounds so trite - last year I remember having the AIDS stricken kids on my mind, switching on the tv. and having some made up, overpaid model shaking her hair in slow motion whispering that she was "worth it". That really affected me.

Back to reality: the storms here have been amazing, the sounds, smells, scenes, are all incredible and I hope to share them all with you over the coming days.

See you all soon.

Thanks so much for taking the time out to read the blog. Do come back tomorrow and I'll most likely have another entry and/or a podcast for you.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back In Swaziland.

How I love Swaziland. As soon as the plane landed in Johannesburg, I knew it wouldn't be that many hours before I would cross the borders into the serene and gorgeous place that is Swaziland.

A two hour drive to London, a few hours wait around and a near 12 hour flight to South Africa was wearing enough - now the 3 1/2 hour or so drive into the North Eastern quadrant of South Africa, virtually to the borders of Mozambique. To say I was tired was an understatement, I'd had just 20 minutes or so sleep on the plane. My mind was buzzing so much I'd watched four films back to back as I couldn't sleep, but I felt so weary. I just yearned for a bed, a razor and a shower.

On the way in through South Africa, I was the customary workmen sitting in the back of an open 4X4, that was commonplace. It made me smile to see these chaps in an open 4X4 clinging for dear life to the rivets on the back windscreen!

Just being on the road reminds you of the immense gap in wealth between folks in the west and elsewhere.

The shanty towns and shacks you see are all for real, it still makes me wonder at how folks with so little seem to live life to the full without a care in the world. We really could learn a huge lesson from them. When I hear folks whinging back home, their 'plight' is so hollow when you see just how little some of these people have.

It wasn't too long before we got to the borders. Immigration in Swaziland was a laid back, low key affair, smiles from the officials on the desks and the promise of a bed at the end of it. The weather was incredibly oppresive - somewhere near 100 degrees farenheit (about 38 C) I would think. Some of the locals were walking around with foil topped umbrellas to shield the heat.

The electricity continually crashes, as does the internet connection, so I'll keep ths brief.

Keep your eye on he blog page, I promise I'll keep it updated.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

podcastpaul podcast136

Download the MP3 direct from here

PodcastPaul podcast 136
Hi from Paul
Hello from Paul in Birmingham -
Upside Down - Bob Gentry - this guy has a great voice!
We really are all over the place - cases all over the shop
Rand purchased - flying to Johannesburg on Monday
Gunn - A night in Milan.
Stocking the Ipod with bits and pieces - and taking the lap top
Send your audio comments please, would be great to hear from you
Must see film - The Guardian absolutely fantastic!
Ashton Kutcher
Melissa Sagemiller - bit of a minger.
Can't wait to see the new Bond movie - Casino Royale
Howard Jones - Building Our Own Future.
I loved Howard Jones! Like to get to know you well, what is love, New song etc...
What happened to Jed?
I was in the HJ fan club, I really wanted to get a jacket like his - wrote into his fan club.
Touring with ABC - a hugely underrated band of their time. Lexicon of love has to be one of the defining albums of the 80's, along with Dare (Human League) and Faith (George Michael). Beauty stab was a brilliant album but dived. When Smokey sings was an incredible song. Martin Fry still a great singer.
Jeremy Carr - just one night
what should we expect in Swaziland?
PLEASE keep your eye on the blog and your ear to the podcasts - I'll be recording as much as I can for you.
Hoping to see some of the faces from last year
Muttley - 6 going on 16...
maybe some BBC coverage.
Not on the radio - Geoff Smith.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I am so excited, I really am. The sight of half packed suitcases brings home to me the reality of the fact that I reeally am going to Swaziland.

I've never been to a place like it before or since I've been desperate to get back there and I'm just so anxious to get back to Hawane farm in Mbabane to see some of the faces that have burnt such a long lasting memory in my mind.

Swaziland is such a place of paradox. Amongst the immense mountainous beauty of the tiny kingdom there is the ravage of AIDS. Swaziland has the highest rate of AIDS in the world. There are all sorts of facts and figures, but those really in the know believe the rate to be to the order of 50%.

I wouldn't blame you for not knowing where Swaziland is. It's virtually in the bottom right hand corner of Africa. Swaziland is a tiny kingdom of just over a million people nestled between Mozambique and South Africa.

The red dot in the picture opposite shows you precisely where Sue and I will be going next week. he journey is a bit of a pig - a few hours drive down to London, an 11 1/2 flight to Johannesburg and a 3 hour drive into the most beautiful place I've ever been.

Those of you who've lisened to me before will know why I'm going - I'm visiting an AIDS orphanage and project. I belong to a church that supports the work there. I'm absolutely delighted and incredibly proud, relieved - I don't really know the word - to say that the folks at the church raised £7,500 in one week to build a children's home - that means that 10 kids lives have been saved.

I will be avidly recording audio and photo's to capture as much as I possibly can for you.

If you've not heard them - please check out podcasts 86 - 90 - you can get them from the right hand side of my page by scrolling down. The podcasts are a real experience - there's some amazing sounds, incredible interviews with folks. I can honestly say that the best ones are those that don't feature much of me. The people I met are amazing - and that's what makes the podcasts stand up on their own.

I can't wait, I really can't!

Speak to you all REALLY soon!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

podcast135 - with Monte Silver, my caravan and loads more..

Download the MP3 of podcast 135 direct from here
- show notes: PodcastPaul podcast 135
- Hi from Paul
- Mr Lovely - Beth Thornley
- Cracking film for recommendation - The departed. Leonardo Di Caprio is usally a bit wet, he's - cracking in this Martin Scorsesi movie. Matt Damon has one expression and has a forehead like a tin of Spam.
- Ray Winstone has a ridiculous accent. Actually spoils the film a little.
- The James Bond film looks great; Casino Royale. I still can't see anyone else as James Bond apart from Sean Connery.
- One for Clinton Gallie in Wellington; New Zealand
- I am not afraid Majek Fashek
- Mobipod - what is it?
- segment - Monte Silver.
I love gadgets and things I really do - my PDA is on the blink though and I've broken my MP3 recorder - though I've got it working in a Heathkit manner as you can hear.
Where are things going?
The mobile phone really will be the one mobile device - the internet the main home centre.
podcastconupdate loads happening - email box pinging constantly
fantastic keynote speaker
some news even as I'm producing the show seems to be an excellent event
Bill De Rome - The Sundial
I bought a caravan!
Ten things we didn't know last week.
Please send in your mail - and look at the blog.
Last Hurrah - Blame Amy, courtesy of Piggyback Records
- all music from PMN apart from Last Hurrah
- send a mail to see you!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Have you seen this?!!

download video here


The shakes just get better and better - look at this. One of the best music vids I've seen in a long time.

What amazing production quality too.

Well done boys! See you at podcastcon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Podcastcon has a Keynote...

..... I hate being a tease, but I'm so dead chuffed.

Alex, bless his cotton socks has just mailed me with news of the Keynote speaker.

It has to be kept under wraps at the min, but...... YAY!!!!!!

Seriously, keep your eye on the podcastcon site

I'll blog it as soon as there's a green light to go.

No, not who you're thinking either, you lot!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Net Talk - your input welcomed.

The guys at Net Talk have offered me a weekly slot on streaming net radio - cheers boys!

Ross tells me that they can get half a million or so listeners so that sounds excellent news eh?

Net Talk will be aroud at Podcastcon - streaming some bits and pieces (broadband willing) so hopefully many more of you can attend virtually for some bits and pieces.

I'll be doing an hour long talk- related show as well as the podcasts and this made me really think.

I'd love to get your mp3 and email comments on stuff - wherever you're from. You can mail your audio or even use he 'Mychingo' icon on my page at

I'm collating some bits and pieces on some topics I want to explore, and I'd love your comments, (no matter how diverse) on the subjects.

I want to look at the below comments - so if you've got some comment, please send ASAP to me either as above, or by mail at

topics for discussion:

1. Gadgets - we all have em, when will it all stop? Where will we be in, say 5 years?

2. TV - what is the future? (one for you Adrian). We're lucky here in the UK with the BBC (or are we?) Are the present models sustainable?

3. Travel. Here in the UK, the roads are heaving, congested and incredibly expensive. Tax is on the increase and the only alternative is public transport. How do you get to and from work? Are you satisfied with the costs?

4. Podsafe music. Is it all it's cracked up to be really? Have you purchased something on the back of lisening to a podcast? Do you listen to all podsafe music / mainstream / oldies / mixture?

If you send audio - please aim for about 2 mins max per subject. Comment on one or more of the subjects if you wish. Don't feel as though you need to keep within the perameters of the dsicussion as set out above.

Please do comment - I'd love the show to be as interactive as possible. I'd ideally love a world perspective on stuff too, so, grab a mike, or tap those keys!



Sunday, October 15, 2006

podcast 134 History Boys, Sex Pistols and bag loads more...

Download the MP3 direct from here



Delphinium Blue - Beautiful

Human league vibe with a very Scritti Politti and Frankie Goes to Hollywood feel.
Funny how fashions and vogues come around. Mike, Chris and Jack have Pogues, Ramones and Kiss Tshirts. They've never even heard of them!

Great film for review: The History Boys, screen version of an Alan Bennett play. very 'Dead Poets Society'

Fantastic film set in the early 80's in Sheffield, working classes attaining to Oxford status - reminds me of a much better Billy Elliot. very sexual undertones but nevertheless a great, gritty film - very classy in a working class way.

God Save The Queen

from Wisconsin - I'm apparently the first show to play them - Oasis, Beck, Genesis, Led Zep and the Beatles. Great earthy sound - love the groove. Great tight sounds - beautiful choppy gutsy guitar. Only downside for me is the one bit of profanity - shame as that may well exclude it from a lot of playlists. It's a good idea to do a radio edit - or "squeaky clean version" - shame if a song gets excluded.

God Save The Queen - by the Sex Pistols. I STILL don't get them. They were rubbish. pawns of their time - no doubt about the fact that they were a massive influence from a desperate time.

Watching the X Factor tonight - irritates me. So much seems to be about the look and the presentation. What a load of old pony. Listen to Ruby Turner's voice - then look at a picture of her. Look at Reg Dwight, aka Elton John.

I wish they'd have an X factor for amazing musicians - check out Tony Royster Jr. An absolutely amazing drummer.. Kids need more than boy bands now. I'm introducing Christian to Alex Acuna, John Bonham, Buddy Rich and Jeff Porcaro

The Shakes & Lady A - Liberty Jones.

Great version - but the original is fantastic. Looking forward to meeting the boys at Podcastcon - 18th November - London.

I'd be ever so interested to know what your first record was. Mine was.... well have a listen to the show. I remember buying it from Woolworths for 50p. I also seem to remember buying Abba - Super Trouper too... Do you remember your first record? I remember buying Magnum II on Jet Records 1979 and playing it until it wore out. I also remember sitting and listening to every drum riff by Kex Gorin and religiously trying to copy 'em.

Next to Mine - Folio

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

I love drums..

.. I really do, I've been playing them for nearly 30 years. I consider I'm a good player, probably better than average.

Then I hear about Tony Royston Jr. This young bloke is amazing.

Then I see a video of him playing aged 12....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blog entries on the PDA....

Handy things, these PDA's, here's an entry I made a few nights ago:

I'm back on the PDA and in bed at the moment whilst penning this.

I'm multi-tasking, listening to my mate; Paul Parkinson on the Ipod with his show; The Flashing 12.

Harry has just come into the bedroom, having had a nightmare, so now I've relocated to his room so we can both get some sleep.

Paul recently returned from the Podcast Media Expo, which by all accounts was a great success. I'm dead excited about the forthcoming Podcastconference in London.

There's mainly a great buzz and excitement about the conference,but the odd whinger asking why they have to pay the meagre sum of £41.50 for a ticket to an event in central London. The mind boggles, it really does. I'm attending a half dy conference in provincial Manchester at a ridiculous cost of £250!

The whole thing is non profit making and there's no other reason apart from the fact that the three of us setting this up love podcasting. No-one else is doing this over here and if we don't do it, there's no other function.

It never ceases me how, and/or why people moan. If the event isn't a success, there's a four figure liability for three of us. Why do people complain?

Anyway, you get the picture and I'll stop moaning now. I'm too excited to dwell on it!

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's another great piece of podcast news....

..... I confirmed earlier today that The Shakes are appearing at podcastcon in London on 18th November - a fantastic band from London who really seem to know where their roots are. Other artists are of course playing - not least Ellie Myles, a band I've played here many times.

The Shakes seem to be blasting through the world in all manner of podcasts and most likely about to break into the mainstream too - they've had some BBC airtime and possibly Radio 1 in the next week.

Keep your eye on next month's PUM - there could well be an interview in there... as well as one on this site too.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

podcast133 intelligent music and chat - not for the great unwashed

Download the mp3 from here

Hi from Paul!
Delphinium Blue - Joy
Nostalgic feel with the music tonight.
Reminds me of the Equaliser - all the music from that series was by Stuart Copeland - exceptional drummer with Police
Many of the old 80's tv I miss - Cheers, Hill Street Blues, LA Law, Only Fools & Horses.
Misplaced - Warmbodies - very Radiohead.
Much made about Jack Straw - were his comments misplaced?
Crossing into the boundties of 'muslim discussion' again...groan.. Incredible to see how diplomatic folks are with their comments about this
My uncle had a cross ripped from his neck in Saudi Arabia and was threatened to be killed.
Long live diplomacy eh?
Where do you go - Sigmon
Ask Adrian Pegg - I had a text from him saying "Snake Charmers rock!"
His web says he's in Udapair - where? Apparently India. What IS he up to?
prepping for the show with Charlotte Church - gorgeous girl with a mouth like a sewer
Watched "Extras" - absolutely superb, if in the UK watch it - Thursdays BBC2
Be there or be square!
Podcastusermagazine - 9th edition out now, check it out, looks great.
Flooded by Twinego

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

podcastcon looming...

I am SO looking forward to the podcastconference in London on 18th November.

If last year was anything to go by, this year looks absolutely fantastic.

Visit the site to have a look. CC Chapman has just confirmed his attendance, I'm looking forward to meeting up with him, and seeing Mark Hunter again. Are you coming along? I'd love to meet up with you if you are, 'specially if you're a listener / reader.

Just 7 weeks or so to go!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


podcast 132 download here.

For some odd reason, the feed didn't work last week, I'll send podcast 132 out again.

Hope you're all ok, I'm just back from uni, tired, but happy. I seem to be ever so busy, more than ever before, but I'm strangely upbeat. What's the converse? I'd hate to have nothing to do, simply sat night after night in front of the TV.
The only thing I seem to watch on the tv presently is 'lost' - and that's just ended. Apart from catching the news headlines I just don't watch the thing at all.

I find I do my best thinking in the car. I wondered if I could do without the TV. I really believe that I could, you know. I love BBC Radio 4 news in the morning - Lost, I'm sure I really could do without.

The net is absolutely something I could NOT do without. I use the net for podcasts mainly and that's my leisure time - saying that, I've not listened to a podcast now in a week. I'm just too busy, and enjoying the kids, work and study.

Speak to you all soon


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

listen to the MP3 right here: podcastpaul 132

Hi from Paul!
Brand New Heavies - I don't know why (I Love you)
thanks to BBNH for permission to play a few songs from their album: Get Used to it
thanks to Dean Whitbread for the heads up on it too.
Blame Amy - Flawgic, courtesy of Piggyback records.
Skyoe with Adrian in Chartres - France - and Peru..and Mexico ..and...
Podcastcon looking to really shape up - CC Chapman / Mark Hunter / Martin / Phil from Bit Jobs. Loads of other folks, coming along too. Looking to be a great programme. Central London, 18th November 2006.
Confirming some great podsafe artists - very likely The Shakes / Ellie Myles - wow! - please feel free to come along - sign up for tickets before they go.
Forget the Girl - one of my all time ever classic podsafe songs. Kenny Little and co are geniuses.
Getting ready for Swaziland - really looking forward to going back. Please support them.
Swaziland Teen Challenge - Siyabonga Baba
Support Swaziland TC by the Paypal badge at the top of
in the news:
Real stir in the legal field Brazilian Roselane Driza was convicted of a charge of blackmail relating to 60-year-old Judge Mohammed Ilyas Khan.
Driza, 37, had been employed as a cleaner by both the immigration tribunal judges who were former lovers.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs said it was now considering an investigation into the judges' conduct.
Apple are looking at the word "podcast" - ludicrous. No proprietary right in the word at all as far as I am concerned.
Right on Brand New Heavies.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

my set up

I'm very often asked about the kit I use when I record.

Well, see for yourself - rather messy and clutered, but here you go!