12 Songs on Shuffle

A couple of days ago I received a message from a reader of my blog, he asked me if I could list a selection of songs as my iPod shuffles, rather than just tell us what individual song is playing. I replied saying I will do this for him but I won’t do it often as it could become tedious. His response was, that hearing the mix of songs might give a deeper insight into my character, I doubt it.

So here are the first twelve songs  that shuffled on the morning of November 6 2013. I have included where possible the links to find them on YouTube.

This Wreckage – Gary Numan. I didn’t become a Numan fan until later in life as I was still hanging onto my ‘punk’ roots when the electronic scene emerged. However as the electronic scene progressed and androgyny was embraced I started to appreciate its simplistic sound, that I’m sure wasn’t simple to create.

Don’t Be Funny – Dragonette

Can’t Control Myself – The Pigeon Detectives

Endless Summer of the Damned – Bauhaus. From the disappointing (in my opinion) album Go Away White, sometimes when bands reform it just doesn’t seem to work and for me the album sounds forced and not on a par with their earlier material. This said thirty–three years since I first heard Bauhaus. they still remain my favourite band.

All Around the World – The Jam

Rose Garden – Akiko Yano. If this song was a disease there’d be an epidemic. I first heard this back in the mid eighties and despite it being in Japanese and my not having a clue what she is singing about it never fails to please me as it’s so infectious.



Hot Stuff 12” (extended mix) – Donna Summer

Oh to be in Love – Kate Bush. From her debut album, The Kick Inside. Kate is one of the most influential English singer/songwriters who’s work is respected by her peers. This song reminds me of sunny afternoons in 1978 sat in the family back garden with the windows open as the vinyl spun on the turntable, playing loud.

My Little Book of Sorrows  -Marc and the Mambas

My Heart Goes Bang (Love Machine Remix) – Dead or Alive. Love him or loathe him, Pete Burns is a formidable force and although the back catalogue is constantly being remixed and rehashed I can’t help but get my groove on to a DoA song.

The Lovers are Losing – Keane

Rebel Run – Toyah. Still touring and performing live Toyah Willcox is constantly in demand. She has a devoted fan base and is currently touring songs from her album, Love is the Law, from which the song Rebel Run was the lead single. This song was the thirteenth single to chart for Toyah the band before she went solo. The video opens with a close up of Toyah’s eyes, which are the most beautiful eyes the pop industry has ever seen, it’s not difficult to see why so many teenage boys had her picture on their bedroom wall.



Cocktails, Tattoos and Turtles

Today the October weather was glorious, the sun was shining and with just a whisper of a breeze we donned our sunglasses and headed off out for an adventure. The lovely Annie; who was having an adventure of her own, coming to Italy alone and driving a ‘wrong way ‘round car’ arrived as the iPod played The Idol (all Gods Fall) by Marc Almond. We quickly secured the mutts inside the house and clambered into my car and headed off to Roccascalegna. The journey gave the step-son a chance to see some of the terrain around these parts as all he’d seen since arriving was the motorway and our local town. The drive up to Roccascalegna is a nice one, you pass through the small town of Altino; its narrow streets giving it a stepping back in time feel, and as soon as you leave Altino you get spectacular views galore. The roads wind their way ever upwards and you can see for miles, down over olive groves and patches of wild fauna and over towards the lake at Bomba, that amid the greenery looks like a splash of mercury today.

We collect Mark and head down the other side of the town towards the lake. We stop at a small cafe that has been recommended but sadly the doors are locked and there’s no signs of life, we pose for a couple of photographs with the sun on our faces before making our way further downwards and around the lake, the surface of which, when kissed by the breeze, quivers like a plucked string. “Turn right here,” Mark says directing me the wrong way up a strada exit, luckily nothing is exiting towards us and I cut across the road. Minutes later we are entering what looks like another typical Italian bar, but this one was very different. The walls are covered with signs for Guinness and other English beers, the wood is stained dark and the pictures are similar to what would be found in a public house in the heart of England.


A man who looks shocked to see us there appears behind the bar and we order beer and panini, which when they arrive are huge slabs of bread filled with cheese and meat. The five of us grapple with our surf-board sized sandwiches and share the two bottles of beer between ourselves before I pay the man and we make our way towards Villa Santa Maria, the home of the great Italian chefs. The very first professional culinary school was founded here in the 16th century by Prince Ferrante Caracciolo of Naples. Just before  Villa S. Maria is a town with a name that appears longer than its main street. We stop here in Pietraferrazzana and head off towards our intended destination, a relatively new bar on Corso Giuseppe Mazzini. The reason we’re here is cocktails. The bar is renowned for its selection of drinks made up of multiple beverages. The waitress comes to take our order and I spot an intricate tattoo on the underside of a forearm, I’m about to tell her it’s a nice tattoo and my brain shuffles and the only Italian word I can recall is tartaruga, and even I’m not stupid enough to say to her, “You have a nice turtle.”  I’m drinking my blue drink that looks like shower gel but tastes delicious when the correct word for tattoo; tatuaggio, makes itself known to the inner workings of my brain.


As we chat a handsome man arrives with a guitar and starts to play, Mark asks him if he knows any English songs, he responds in broken English, “No, I know not any English songs.” Stefano, as we discover his name to be, then plays and sings, Save the Last Dance for Me, which sounds very English to our ears. Later the barmaid brings us all another drink telling us they are from Stefano, we thank him and afterwards just before we leave Mark gets an impromptu lesson in Italian pronunciation from the barmaid and she shows me her tattoo in detail, telling me I need to have the tattoo on my wrist changed as it’s too small. “Maybe I’ll have a turtle added to it,” she looks at me perplexed, “personal joke,” I respond and somewhat more confused she then goes back to giving Mark more pointers on his pronunciation, which in jest he deliberately gets wrong.

Little Jackie Paper–What a Bastard

Today started so well, a storm in the night has brought some cooler air and I managed to complete the first draft of chapter 33, of my novel, ‘52’. Actually, that I could even concentrate today is a miracle. Our builder arrived and set to digging a hole to house the box and earth wire for the house’s electrics. He then set too levelling the kitchen floor, measuring blocks of cement. I am working downstairs and hear him make a telephone call. He then comes down to say the architect, Enzo, (the one that resembles a 1970’s porn star) has called him to say he’s coming over. Odd, I never heard his phone ring.


52, because each week matters. http://barrylillie.wordpress.com/category/my-novel-52/

I’m cracking on with my chapter, trying to imagine I’m in the Potteries, attending a summer fayre held at the local church. With my iPod shuffling away and my imagination running amok, all is well with the world. Enzo arrives and I hear him converse with the builder, they then move away out of earshot and have a conversation. Next thing I know my workspace is invaded and they come in and look at the ceiling and with voices in overdrive that gabble away incoherently. Turns out the kitchen floor that was originally a problem, then no longer a problem after removing weight from the roof, is now a problem again. “You must remove it,” Enzo says. “You must be joking,” I reply.

The architect cannot comprehend why I am unhappy with his decision, he doesn’t think it’s a problem that removal of the floor now will damage the bathroom, the tiled walls, the bedroom below and also not to mention the newly plastered ceiling. He doesn’t see why my telling him I am unhappy, because all the work and materials we’ve paid for will have been for nothing. Our builder just stands in the background shaking his head and trying to look as if he’s a neutral party to the discussion. I tell Enzo, “Okay stop work, no floor, no job.” he looks shocked so I change tack, and add I don’t have the money to remove the floor, so I’ll go back to England. Consternation crosses our builders face and, Enzo mumbles something about floors collapsing when asleep, and I without a hint of a mumble tell him to, go away but less politely. He leaves with our builder and the two converse at the top of the lane.

Our builder returns and we tell him to pack up and go. He says, “Enzo crazy,” and continues with the new floor. I say, “You can’t do this Enzo said, no cement.” the reply is, “it’s okay, I only use a small amount of cement.” – makes you wonder, doesn’t it, as the work is almost coming to an end?

Just to get away for a few minutes, I drive to the shop and the iPod shuffles and the classic children’s song Puff the Magic Dragon, plays and when it gets to the part where Peter, Paul and Mary sing, ‘A dragon lives forever but not so little boys. Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys. One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more’,’ I said to myself, “I bet he became an architect, bastard.”