WO No.22

In the land of Douro


There is a dog barking.

There is a generator nearby.

There is a beautiful wild ocean with waves much too big for me, it’s a place for surfers.

I love Portuguese food.

I’ve always really liked Portugal.

Up here the sea is colder than it is in England, but then it is an Atlantic coast.

Today we are moving in land along the river Douro, still not far from old Porto.

This blog sounds like a travel guide. 

(Oh my God I said I would never do anything like David Byrne’s cycling blog of New York!)

There is a wooden walkway that runs over the dunes down to the beach. There is a man pulling down his shorts behind a rock. Time to leave!


Now overlooking the Douro - What a panorama. 

An enormous wide river today dressed in aquamarine. 

And no mosquitos… Result!

From my bedroom window I am lucky to have a grand view of the river and hilltops beyond.

The river cruisers meander by, colourful floating juke boxes bulging people.

There is a forester on the opposite bank, with a whining circular saw, cutting up huge tree trunks. 

A small child is also whining down the hallway.

I can smell grilled fish.

Maybe holidays are not so bad after all.


WO No.19

Do Prime Ministers in waiting remember Guy Fawkes?!

There may well be a challenge to Parliamentary democracy before the EU Brexit deadline of the 31st October. Dominic Rabb and a number of other would-be Tory leaders will have to overthrow parliament in order to achieve their aim of a No Deal Brexit. I believe the punishment for such treachery should still be execution by being hung, drawn and quartered!

I’m not a Conservative voter, but anyone Interested in the short and mid-term future of the UK should take notice of the Tory leadership elections. The Brexit vote enabled the Tory right wing popularists to  raise their ugly heads and be heard In the mainstream.

I’ve just seen an interview with a Tory minister with a heart. In the light of the recent Parliamentary apocalypse, Rory Stewart is certainly a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that the 120,000 Tory party members will elect anyone except the Johnson buffoon. They are desperate to find anybody with a high enough public profile to stand up to Nigel Farage and his burgeoning far-Right Brexit Party.

There is such a lack of humanity and honesty in contemporary politics. Rory Stewart is the only candidate in the race for the Tory leadership who emphasises these core values. As the new leader automatically becomes prime minister they have to have statesmanlike qualities.

Rory Stewart could adequately lead a Tory government or indeed a liberal democrat one

But then again maybe we also need a comedian to lead our government...

Back to Boris then?!

WO No.15

The Wisdom of the Panda.

I was walking along the beach the other day when I came upon this mass of wobbling foam. It seemed to me to be quite a good metaphor for the current state of international politics. All froth and no substance, some distance from the real waves and the deeper water.

I went on to think about the new breed of unstatesmanlike leaders that have been popping up recently in many parts of the world and that led me on to think about which were the most important qualities us human beings should aspire to.

When I arrived home from my walk I switched on the television and received wisdom and an answer from a most unlikely source. I had tuned in to a short Kung Fu Panda cartoon. He was giving a lesson to a large group of young novice rabbit would-be Kung Fu Fighters, who wanted to punch and kick and scream.

Kung Fu Panda explained to them to become truly great at the art of Kung Fu it was necessary to possess the following qualities: patience, courage, confidence, self discipline and compassion. It occurred to me that any human being exhibiting all these traits would make a very good leader, politician, parent. 

Maybe if we all aspired to developing these important characteristics then the world would become a less wobbly place!

(The alternative surely is to put Kung Fu Panda in charge of the world...)

WO No.13

I’m sitting in the back room one of my favourite cafés making my way through a substantial breakfast. Don’t worry, I’m not going to send you a picture of it! Today could be one of the most significant days in Great Britain’s political history, but you would never know it from observing people worshipping the spring in the Brighton streets this morning

I have shared this room with a variety of different groups of people over the last few years; from the expected groups of ladies who do cake, to Rentokill exterminators, political conference delegates, estate agents and Middle Eastern gangsters! Today it’s quiet here, just as well because I’m writing 100 words on the future of art. 

This week I will be mixing the old and the new, doing some final tweaking to the new album and also listening to Word Salad to see which of the songs I need to learn for the tour. It’s all going on over here - album tweaking, filmmaking, tour preparing and possibly the end of British democracy as we know it! 

Here are my 100 words about art. 


‘We are all sensory washing machines that wash and rinse and dry our perceptions. Artists often air their dirty linen as well as their freshly pressed ideas. For them it’s about the medium as well as the message. The present is full of people trying to find meaning in an online universe. The future of art rests upon shoulders of those who throw light on universal emotions through a prism of their own making, with a unique insightful view of the world communicated in such a way that it moves the many. This is what art is about; past present and future.’