I heard this on the cover CD I got with an issue of the much missed Word Magazine. I think it’s one of my favourite things Lou Reed did. It is from an album called ‘Recitement’ by Stephen Emmer, a Dutch composer, with a different speaker on each track.

I thought it was maybe a poem that Reed was reciting, so I was slightly surprised when I googled some of the phrases to find that it was prose, and from a book that I had read (although nearly 20 years ago). It was from the introduction to Paul Theroux’s ‘The Great railway Bazaar’, which is a marvellous book.

This started me reading Theroux again, in some cases re-reading books of his I read years ago. My current copy of ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’ I got from the Red Cross charity shop in Aberaeron. I’ve no idea what happened to my original copy.

The Independent newspaper recently featured the whole of the first chapter in their travel supplement – read it here.


#16 – ‘The Portals’

#16 in my Song-a-day project. And it’s not, strictly speaking, a song, more like spoken-word with music. This is based on (quite closely as it happens) the weird dream I had last night – and I don’t usually have freaky Sci-Fi dreams, either. What if Alien life-forms were insubstantial, like flickering lights, how long before we noticed them. And could we stop them?

(There is possible ‘Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ influence, as that features ‘hyper-intelligent shades of the colour blue’, which sort of ties in with what happens here. Plus ‘sub-etha transmissions, that’s a HHG steal!)