Absolute Beginner: The Adventures of a Middle-Aged U.K. Newbie

[Blogger’s note: I was born and raised in America, moved to Canada for love in the early Aughts, and recently relocated again, in my 50s, with my British-born spouse to the southern coast of his homeland. This is an occasional series about learning new tricks in Merry Old England.]

Rage Against the Machine: Battling Britain’s Perversely Popular Combo Washer-Dryer… and Losing

cofIt’s a question this exasperated expat has asked. This blogger’s vexed U.S.-born partner has asked it. Heck, I’m going all in, every American living in Britain who has used a combo washer-dryer to do laundry has asked it at one time or another. Why do these contraptions exist? And, as a follow-up question, how do we defeat and destroy them?

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The Half-Year in Music: 2017’s Five Best Albums… So Far

IMG_20170710_115146Here we are, halfway through 2017 already—okay, okay, halfway plus two weeks; I’ve been busy, all right? — and so far this year, my earbuds seem to be partial to past favourites. Three of the acts listed here have graced my annual top 10 lists in recent years, while a fourth put out one of my go-to albums of the decade a while back. And my number one pick? I’ve been listening to him off and on for decades. Damn, that must mean we’re both old! I’m hoping some fresher sounds will catch my attention in the remaining months of 2017, but for now, here’s a tried-and-tested top five. Continue reading

Vinyl Find of the Week

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My favourite Bowie album, by a smidge over “Scary Monsters” and “Station to Station.” Picked up this copy at the monthly pop-up shop by Nothing Ventured Vinyl at Portsmouth’s coolest java joint, Hunter Gatherer. A 1983 reissue from Spain, it’s a real find for this North American expat as I rarely spotted European pressings in the U.S. and Canada during my many and far-flung record shop digs. I snagged a soulful ’70s platter by Gwen McCrae at Nothing Ventured’s pop-up last month. What treasures will I unearth at the next one?