Saturday, March 31, 2007

Why Blog and podcast?

It's quite an introspect question. Everyone who does it asks the question at least once or twice.

Quite simply I do it because I love doing it. I think it's a real privilege to be able to say what's on your mind and know that there's a whole world out there that can listen. I've heard many threaten not to do it, or threaten to give up. I don't think I've ever got to that navel gazing place where I threaten to hang up the earphones, but I could be wrong. I enjoy this far more than not and often feel compelled to do this. It's immensely satisfying.

I love visiting the forums and know a good number of the folks out there. In the main they're a really good bunch. We all have ego's, I'm sure, that comes with the territory.

What does irritate me, and where I feel I distance myself now is the seemingly constant desire to be talked about here, there, appear on this, in that or appear in the top 10 of something. I sometimes wonder if there's an invisible ladder that some perceive they feel they need to scale. I smile a wry smile at those folks, hopefully from the bottom of the ladder. The ladder leads to nowhere.

I probably do this more for reassurance to myself I think. I enjoy writing down that which is on my mind, and I really enjoy looking back. I'll often look back 18 months and see my thoughts as a journal more than anything else.

I couldn't really care less about the latest 'in' show or hope that so-and-so talks about me. I'm not foolish enough to write this down with the reverse psychology that I really want to be talked about, awarded or anything else - I feel there's more to me and this than shallow plaudits - they come and go. I've been constant since December 2004 and I aim to remain constant too.

What does remain and is always constant is my honest belief in what I talk about, the warmth of folks I've met through this medium and the great freedom we can enjoy.

Don't be sucked into listening to people crow about how great they are, and be retiscent about hype. Have a browse around and look and listen for yourself. There's a huge breadth of stuff out there waiting to be consumed. The BBC have some fantastic stuff - I love Today In Parliament and the Today slot, there's some really great independent stuff too.

Why do it? Well, why read this?


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who are the British?


I'm fascinated by the concept of who we think we are in the terms of our nationality / otherwise.
I'll be doing a show over the weekend and wondered if I could ask a few questions - please either answer them here or mail me at

Please try to keep your answers brief as I'd like to get in as many views as possible.

These are the questions:

1. What nationality do you say you are?
2. If British - do you consider yourself first British then English / Welsh / Irish / Scottish, the other way around or any other permeatation?
3. What does being "British" mean to you?
4. What does being English / Irish / Scottish / Welsh mean to you?
5. How do you perceive that non - Brits see the British?
6. If you're a non - brit, how do you perceive the British?
7. What traits do the British have?
8. Is Great Britain or one of the nations that make it Britain a good place to live?
9. What do you think about Europe? Does the concept of 'Europe' work or not?
10 Where does the 'United Kingdom' fit into all this?

If you could mail the answers here / mail them to me / send an audio comment I'd be really grateful, I'll be recording over tyhe weekend, so sorry there's not much notice.

Please answer as many or as little of the answers as you wish.

Thanks ever such a lot, I'm really curious about the answers!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Personal recommendation... by far the best form of advertising. I don't really care what companies tell me about their products. Everyone wants to think they're the best, so it's always sensible to find out the real truth from someone who has used a service or given product.

If I ever need a decent builder, plumber or hotel, I'll always value what other people tell me, particularly those I know and trust.

I was interested to find this article on the BBC site. Good old beeb, they always come up with the real gems.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Overt flirting

I can't believe the way that kids these days are so openly flirty with each other, it's a shame really as the whole mystique of courtship seems to have gone out of the window.

The moments you feel tongue tied, weak kneed and desperate just to catch a glimpse of your dream bird seem to have gone for a burton. What a shame.

I found a questionnaire on Christian's (my 15 year old son) myspace page. It's obviously generic, but some of the questions are a bit close to the knuckle and overtly sexual. Kids just don't seem to blink at these and think it's normal. Is it?

Anyway, I answered the questionnaire and sent it to Chris:

what would you do if I?

1. I made a move on you? I'd say stop that Chris, I'm your Dad
2. I kissed you? I'd brush my teeth as your breath stinks
3. I lived next door to you? I'd think, oh no, I've been waiting ages for him to go and now he moves next door
4. I started smoking? I'd put you out with a bucket of water
5. I asked you on a date? I'd say, ok, you're paying.
6. I was hospitalized? I'd use your room for my own use - now there's a thought.........
7. I got into a fight and you weren't there? I did, I went out hunting for the blokes
8. I asked you out? I'd say, Chris mate, I need to explain a few things to you..

9. Personality: well, nice and sometimes weird.
10. Eyes: young eyes
11. Hair: hairy
12. Body: young boy

13. Be my friend? a friendly way, yeeeees
14. Keep a secret if I told you one? yes, go on
15. Hold my hand? noooo... you're 15 Chris
16. Go on a date with me? errr, didn't you ask me that above?
17. Keep in touch? yes
18. Try and solve my problems? yes
19. Love me? as your Dad, yes
20. Date me? Again? Second thoughts, no. That would be incest


21. Lied to make me feel better? probably, I have to break it to you now, but you know Father Christmas, right?
22. Wanted to kiss me? I did when you were a baby
23. Wanted to kill me? constantly.......
24. Broke my heart? no
25. Kept something important from me? probably
26. Wanted to do me? err, what?!?


27. Who are you? (In Darth Vader voice) I am your father Luke
28. Are we friends? hope so
29. When and how did we meet? you were coming out of a pretty horrible place in your mum at the time at hospital....
30. Describe me in one word: son
31. What was your first impression? uuurgh blood...
32. Do you still think that way about me now? yes
33. What reminds you of me? blood
34. If you could give me anything what would it be? sense of humour like me
35. How well do you know me? better than you know
36. When's the last time you saw me? this morning
37. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't? probably
38. Are you gonna put this on yours to see what I say about you? on my what?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Positive Racism...

I answered an email to my university today. Political correctness is something that really gets my goat, that and beaurocracy gone mad.

this was the mail that came through - I've had loads of these previously:

Are You an Ethnic Minority Student?

If so, then Xperience Works@XXXXXXX could change your life or at least your career choices

A series of workshops designed to help you prepare for, find and apply for SUCCESSFUL work experience placements.

Attend the ® Required Workshops and we’ll arrange a Mock-Interview with your DREAM Organisation Starting TUESDAY April 24th Employer Services Team—Careers Service 1st Floor XXXX Building Student Services Meeting Room XXXXX Campus 5:00 pm to 6:00 24 April

Workshop Registration

® 01 May Take A Look @ Yourself
® 08 May What Do Employers Want
® 15 May Research Prospective Employers
® 22 May Organise Your Winning Network
® 29 May Prepare a Winning CV
® 05 June Navigate & Practice Interview Q&As
® 12 June The Interview & Follow Up

19 June Reach Your Full Career Potential To register and reserve a place you MUST Contact XXXX XXXX Employer Services Team—Careers Service E-mail:
XXXXXXXX Ethnic Minority Schemes Co-ordinator
XXXXX Student Services

I got a bit fed up with getting lots of these sort of emails and decided to write back, I even checked with one of my good friends and classmates, a black female lawyer who said she got fed up with the emails too! We talked about the fact that the mail could even read: not white? Never mind, lets see if we can help you out.....

Anyway, I wrote back:

Is there an equal opportunity available for some of my white student friends? I'm not being provocative, I am however really cheesed off with seeing so much on offer for people simply because of race, colour and creed.

What is the University's thinking behind offering such overt 'positive' racism? Why should some of my classmates be denied the opportunities afforded to their equally able friends simply because of a difference in skin colour?

As mentioned previously, I never ever see colour in my classmates and colleagues, but I do on these email messages and on the noticeboards. I looked with interest the other week to see if there were any Christian meetings - there aren't. I am pretty sure I could attend a meeting and publicise it if I were a zen buddhist, muslim, practising Jew or Jedi Knight, yet there is nothing for Christians, Black, Asian, White or otherwise. Here there seems to be a positive discrimination on religious grounds, irrespective, ironically of race.

If there is somewhere where my query could be forwarded, I'd very much like to be heard on both issues. I seriously believe that the political correctness should be addressed practically and properly.

I feel quite strongly about this and will be very happy to attend any meeting offered.

I'm delighted with XXXXXX, but I'm left bewildered about the inequalities through over the top policies that very clearly leave some sections of the campus out in the cold.

The only time I ever think about differences in race, creed and religion is at the University, because the differences are thrust upon us there by messages like the one I'm replying too. I believe that the University could well be presenting a very damaging message to people, some are very young and impressionable.

When replying, peraps you might address what mix of students is an ethnic minority expressed as a percentage of the campus, including the part time students. I think you may well find there is parity, or even an ethnic majority, which seems to further add weight to my bewilderment. If you found, for instance that less white folks attended XXXX than those described as 'minority' students, would the emails be sent out to white students instead of our non-white colleagues? I don't think so, and I wouldn't want that to happen either, as I would be concerned that I'd be receiving a benefit not open to all.

The very diverse mix of students and folks attending the University is wonderful and should be celebrated, not marginalised. I've made some friends at XXXX that I believe will be lifelong; asian, black, white and other heritages.

I am certain that right thinking people must think the same as me, you may even find that some non-white students feel the same way. Most probably pass off the ott pc with a roll of the eyes and shrug of the shoulders. I'd like this properly addressed though please, as I'm beginning to find these matters tiresome and disconcerting.

I look forward to hearing from you and would be grateul if you could confirm to whom my mail will be directed.


Paul Nicholls

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

podcast 154. Mugging, weird weekend and Shane Lynch.

Download podcast 154 direct from here in MP3

Split lips, weird weekends and Shane Lynch. What on earth have I been up to?

Podcast 154 frompaul Nicholls; right here....

music from

Olwen Ringrose

All from PMN, and all from the UK!

send a mail with your feedback to:


Monday, March 19, 2007

A strange weekend

Well, it really has been a mixed weekend.

My 15 year old son and his two friends were beaten up quite badly and robbed on Friday evening. Christian and his mates are three good, quiet kids who are into their music, girls and not even in their last year at school.

On Friday evening, three low-life scum in their twenties, set about punching Chris's mate in the face - then proceeding to kick him to the face and head while unconcious. The more sickening element to the story is that Chris's mate is a young, small, thin lad who barely looks thirteen.

Chris went in to stop the lads from killing his mate only to be turned on himself.

I've been hunting these vermin for the past few days, and in one respect I'm glad I haven't found them. Chris tells me that while the violent attack happened, people were looking out of their windows. No-one came to help. What a sad indictment on our society.

Then, last night, by way of complete contrast, Shane Lynch (formerly Boyzone) came to my Church. I was really taken back by this bloke. Outwardly, he looks like a right menance, tattooed up and down his arms and neck, shaved head - but inwardly, a really sound, humble guy. He didn't want to sit at the front. In fact, he sat at the back until his 'spot'.

Afterwards, Shane stopped around for a good half an hour, chatting to all the kids, having photo's taken, signing autographs and even chatting to a small crowd of women from the Boyzone fan club. When I say women, I don't mean girls, I really do mean, women - women in their thirties, that made me snigger a bit to be honest.

What did make me laugh was this photo of Jack and the wording on his T-Shirt. I know Boyzone split up ages ago, but this seemed to be rubbing salt into the wounds...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Nose Day

Here in the UK we have a day of comedy on BBC and raise a lot of cash for kids. 60% goes to Africa, 40% goes to kids in the UK.

Tonight, I've been seriously moved by the plight of kids across the world, and the dreadful lives that some of our own kids have here in the UK.

It really just isn't fair is it? It really is a lottery as to where kids are born, even here in the UK. The plight of Malaria, AIDS and poverty touches young lives on a daily basis. Poverty, disablement and other problems affect our kids here in the UK.

Thank God that you, me, our kids aren't subject to the terrible problems that so many kids experience. It's so easy to get on with our busy lives, and this itself isn't a bad thing, it's just good to pause sometimes and take stock.

In Africa, for instance, a child does every 30 seconds from malaria. Even more shocking is the fact that the disease is curable. A simple net can protect a child for £2.50 (about $5).

Please, give up a bottle of wine, or a takeaway that you might order over the weekend and give the money to help this absolutely awesome, amazing and brilliant cause.

Red nose day

.......and thanks for reading this.

After I typed this I just sat and cuddled Harry until he slept.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

podcast no 153

Podcast Paul podcast 153

- Quiet Brothers - half past, they remind me of Scritti Politti!
- I'm sure they're mental, but they're great! Phil Murray and The Boys from Bury - Shurrup me dads in bed
- The Jam crossed with the pogues and Alexi Sayle?
- Czeduce - Smashed
The troubles in Zimbabwe and the current political climate, Morgan Tsvangirai
Great Big Sea - widow in the window

all music from PMN
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Monday, March 12, 2007


Last night I went to the Barfly in the centre of Birmingham to watch Christian's band play: 'The Day We Caught The Train'. Yes, I know, it's a dreadful name.

I've four lads and none of them have been particularly sporty. I haven't had cause to stand around watching a rugby or football match in the driving rain in the hope of catching one of my lads kicking a ball or involved in general play. It's something I really feel that I've missed out on, but my lads just aren't really that interested in sport. I can't blame them, I'm not either particularly. I watch England play Rugby with vigour, but that's about the extent. I can't be bothered to watch golf, cricket or football - in fact I can't think of anything more tedious.

So, stood in the middle of a real dive in the centre of Birmingham, watching my lad and his band play in the Irish quarter of Birmingham was a real treat.

Getting to the gig was a little arduous. The roads had been closed for some time for early St Patrick's day celebrations. As a pedestrian, I negotiated the crowd of partying Brummies that were singing the words to songs I'd long forgotten. Girls in their late teens sung about 'Sweet Molly Molone'. These girls were so young, they would consider the Spice Girls as classic rock. It was like me sniggering at the '90's Club Classics' advertised liberally on the television as 'Old Skool'. These girls obviously didn't know the words, and seeing these youngsters singing the old classic was grating and somehow wrong. It was about as right as seeing the Queen with a mohican headbanging to Motorhead's Ace of Spades with Prince Philip hugging the Armitage Shanks.

What on earth was this all about?. Why St Patrick's a week early? I'm sure I am more Latvian / Fijian than some of the drunkards were Irish. The place was awash with Green shirts and Guiness top hats.

I've long thought that we here in the UK are suckers for trendy calendar events. Why do we celebrate Halloween for goodness sake? Why is Valentine's day such a big thing? We'll be celebrating 'Thanksgiving' whatever that is next. Oh well.

Back to the matter in hand, I hoped to goodness that the wheels would remain on my car, parked in a long line of illegally parked vehicles on the faded double yellow lines, probably from long historical illegal parking.

I held my nose in a vain attempt to staunch the smoky acidic smell of urine that was freshly staining the yellowing wall just ahead of me. One of the Urinors nodded a shaky hello at me as I stepped over someone not so cogniscent or vertical, lying as horizontally as a prone man can, on the pavement.

Inside the gig venue was little better, sticky floors & broken glass. But there was a really great atmosphere, and my lad was playing with his mates at a proper gig venue, and I have to say, they were playing really, really well. I was ever so proud of Christian. The sticky floors and over priced drinks were a pretty good trade for driving rain, cold fingers and my watching a muddy, tedious game of footie.

So this is what it's like having sporty kids eh?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

podcastpaul podcast152

Download MP3 here
Podcast Paul podcast 152
Warning! All the music featured in today's show will have you smiling, tapping your feet and rummaging around in your loft.
All music from PMN
Fire Apes
Buck Brothers
Beau Hall

Sunday, March 04, 2007

podcast151 three blokes called Paul, one tandem and four great tracks

Podcast 151, three blokes called Paul, a tandem and fout great tracks.
Paul chews the fat with Paul O & Paul H about MND.
Four great tracks from:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

podcastpaul podcast 150

podcast150 download the MP3 direct from here

Footloose - the musical
Dancing - men are generally terrible - women are great
For a drummer I am a terrible dancer!
Walk around slowly and clinging dance & Dad dancing
Hate family parties when they dance - embarassed
Poor dancing makes by bum go funny - know what I mean?
Great dancing is the province of the young and beautfiul, or graceful
Big Tax Bill
TV - 24 / Heroes
Listening habits
Amstertandem at
Paul Hopkins and Paul Obrey raising money for MND
Really getting bored with the internet - and tech stuff generally
No real substitute for pen and paper / phone with outlook is a great asset though
Finding music up to the grade scarce these days
Paul Rose: The Coil