Tiny Moments 2022 #13

Ever since the ‘main’ road through to Marsh Green was closed for resurfacing a few months back, I’ve taken to riding up to the Quartermile crossroads via Silver Lane. It’s a quiet route dotted with just a few cottages and farmyards where the mud has thankfully now mostly dried to dust. Today, just out of Rockbeare, I pass a young man walking into the village. He is oblivious to me or to anything else, his ears not only plugged with headphones but also eyes fixed imperviously to whatever is happening on the screen that he holds up close to his face. I can understand the impulses of young people to escape from the ravages of the everyday world into whatever electronic realms might be available to them, but it still feels like such a sadness to willingly cut oneself off from the environment in this way. As I negotiate the bend at Little Silver, guiding my wheels between the potholes and gravel, a little cluster of marigolds cheer me from the bank and a blackbird darts ahead of me before quickly slipping back over the hedgerow.

Unpop 213

Download disc 1

Architecture And Morality – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (from ‘Architecture And Morality’ LP YouTube)
The Architect – Jane Weaver (from ‘Modern Kosmology‘ LP)
The Kindness of Others (Concretism Remix) – Dohnav├╣r (from ‘The Flow Across Borders – The Remixes‘ LP)
Familiarity – D’Arcangelo (from ‘Arium‘ EP)
Wave Coming In – Montel Palmer (from ‘Catastropheland‘ LP)
So Annoyed – Silent Cure (from ‘An Electronic Jazz Punk Passage Through Dreams‘ LP)
Signal Echoes – Heat and White (digital single)
what is keeping you alive makes me want to kill them for – kathryn joseph (from ‘you who are wronged‘ LP)
Endless Time – The Weather Station (from ‘How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars‘ LP)
Indigo Highway – Dana Gavanski (from ‘When It Comes‘ LP)
Build – Modern Nature (from ‘Island of Nature‘ LP)
Choice Blanket – The Sea and Cake (from ‘The Sea and Cake‘ LP)
Mood Swing – Luscious Jackson (from ‘Fever In Fever Out’ LP YouTube)
A Slice Of The Top – Makaya McCraven (from ‘Deciphering The Message‘ LP)
Book of Slim – Gene Harris & The Three Sounds (from ‘Elegant Soul’ LP YouTube)
Train Above The City – Felt (from ‘Train Above The City’ LP)
Early Bloom – Cate Brooks (from ‘Chalk Sketches‘ LP)
Arcadian – Sepiasound (from ‘Under the Bridge‘ LP)
Red Clouds – Library Tapes (digital single)

Download disc 2

Carbide Fizz – Kinbrae & Clare Archibald (from ‘Birl of Unmap‘ LP)
Trees and Flowers – Sulis Noctis (digital single)
Spanish Song (Don’t Go) – Strawberry Switchblade (from ‘1982 4-piece demo‘)
Second Time – The Ballet Rework (feat. Mary Wyer) – Red Sleeping Beauty (from digital single)
Life Is a Rollercoaster – Wet Leg (from Apple Music Home Session)
Blurred View – Big Thief (from ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You‘ LP)
Pierced Arrows – Hurray For The Riff Raff (from ‘Life On Earth‘ LP)
Parade – Frontperson (from ‘Parade‘ LP)
Make Hay While The Sun Shines – Squeek (from ‘Can The Glam‘ 4CD boxset)
The Circling Of The Seasons – Lightning In A Twilight Hour (7″ and digital single)
Pinky In The Daylight – Tindersticks (from ‘Past Imperfect – the best of Tindersticks ’92 – ’21‘ LP)
Jurassic Lapse – The Melting Ice Caps (from ‘Voices Off‘ LP)
I Want My Jacket Back – Papercuts (from ‘Past Life Regressions‘ LP)
In a Long Time – Love, Burns (from ‘It Should Have Been Tomorrow‘ LP)
The Carousel – Those Pretty Wrongs (from ‘Those Pretty Wrongs / Zed for Lulu‘ reissue LPs)
Sheets of Grey – Ducks Ltd. (digital single)
Goodbye Spaceman – Hectorine (from ‘Tears‘ LP)
The Voice Came Out Of The Box and Dropped Into The Ocean – Movietone (from ‘Peel Sessions 1994 – 1997′)
Constant Connection – Erasers (from ‘Constant Connection‘ LP)
Heatpipe – Ben Phillipson (from ‘Moonrider‘ LP)

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Tiny Moments 2022 #12

I have ridden up or down the old Talaton Road more times than I care to remember. In recent years I have watched the ‘Sunny View’ farm house slide slowly into a state of decay, its once bright facade sinking into darkness behind the encroaching tendrils of nature. I’ve come to wonder recently if it is even still inhabited, and whilst once, some six months ago, I noted its gate (with barely legible name plate) open, this might only have been for access to the myriad of collapsing barns clustered in the grounds. Today, however, entry is very definitely blocked, as the tree that once flanked the entrance has fallen almost perfectly across the driveway. How many more years can this strange gem of deterioration hang on for before it is either redeveloped as a quaint holiday retreat for the wealthy or reclaimed entirely by the landscape around it?

Tiny Moments 2022 #11

The past two and a half weeks have had as much impact on my fitness as they have on the landscape. As I struggle to haul my wheezing body up every tiny incline, the countryside shows the ravages of three Atlantic storms in the shape of innumerable felled trees in the fields and the gutters of the lanes. Nowhere is it more apparent than outside West Hill, where a fallen tree must clearly have closed the entire road. To the south lies its massive lower trunk, resting on saplings crushed in its descent. To the north sit the remnants of its upper branches, detached like a severed hand with its fingers picked clean to the bone reaching forlornly to the void.

Tiny Moments 2022 #10

With the road into Marsh Green still closed, I once again ride along Silver Lane and as a light aircraft passes close overhead, for the first time I realise just how close I am to the eastern end of the runway at Exeter airport. Over the barren hedgerow a string of green lights shine like gaudy baubles as the airplane lands gently before immediately accelerating and lifting once more into the air. Watching its training exercise of circles and bumps takes me back in time and space to a Prestwick of my childhood and an almost certainly false memory of when the Monkton Road still crossed between similar landing lights at the western end of the runway and traffic was held up by a level crossing as the aircraft lumbered in and out.

Tiny Moments 2022 #9

After a week away in Scotland and the recurrence of Back Issues, I approach my first ride in two weeks with a degree of trepidation. Fortunately the weather is unseasonably mild and the north westerly breeze as barely noticeable as the small amount of pain that emanates from my right side. It may be only psychological, but it feels as though the pedalling action eases the tightness and I feel very pleased to be out in the Devon lanes again. They may be treacherously slick with mud, but their familiarity brings a vast amount of solace.

In the fields above Columbjohn where the road is red with a skim of rich Devon soil, the farmer has stacked plastic wrapped bales. From afar the pale green bales interspersed with the black make the stacks look like some mad rural game of Wordle where the answer must always be ‘tractor’.

Unpop 212

Download Disc 1

Dawn – Hualun (from cassingle)
The Purveyor of Karmic Justice – Scrabbel (from ‘The Good, The Bad, The Dokkaebi‘)
Broken Prayer Stick – Bobby Lee (from ‘Origin Myths‘ LP)
The Underwater Supermarket – Roman Angelos (from ‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets‘ LP)
Lights That Burn Twice As Bright – Ffion (from cassingle)
Jupiter’s Dance – Hurray For The Riff Raff (from ‘Life On Earth‘ LP)
Nothing Can Stop Us – Saint Etienne (from ‘C91‘ 3CD boxset)
I Can’t Wait To See My Baby’s Face – Madeline Bell (YouTube)
Obnoxiously Talented – Molly Nilsson (from ‘Extreme‘ LP)
Simple – Collect Call (from ‘The Golden Hour‘ EP)
I Want You to Come Back to Me – Billie The Vision & The Dancers (from digital single)
Our Secret – Beat Happening (YouTube)
Dear Claire – Love, Burns (from ‘It Should Have Been Tomorrow‘ LP)
Middleman – The Saint Larsen (digital single)
The Great Dividing Range – The Lucksmiths (from ‘Why The Doesn’t Surprise Me‘ LP reissue)
Lapsed Catholic – Darren Hanlon (from ‘Life Tax‘ LP)
And I Love Her (Fantastic Something) – Even As We Speak (from ‘Soleado: a tribute to Siesta Records‘ LP)
Southwesterly – The Fish John West Reject (from ‘Best Street‘ EP)
Running on Fumes – The Jazz Butcher (from ‘The Highest In The Land‘ LP)
How High The Walls – Subway Sect (from ‘Moments Like These‘ LP)
Ambition – TV21 (YouTube)

Download Disc 2

Lawn – Aldous Harding (from ‘Warm Chris‘ LP)
Little Things – Big Thief (from ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You‘ LP)
Who Has Seen the Wind? – David Byrne & Yo La Tengo (from ‘Ocean Child – songs of Yoko Ono‘ LP)
Performance – Modern Nature (from ‘Island of Nature‘ LP)
Dreamgaze – Beneather (YouTube)
Paintwerk Stitch – Ben Phillipson (from ‘Moonrider‘ LP)
On The Green – Pulselovers (from lathe cut and digital single)
Strand of Life (“Viroid”) – Laurie Spiegel (from ‘Unseen Worlds‘ LP)
Nostalgia – Mira Calix (from ‘One on One’ LP)
Vagueness and Disorder – Anna Yarbrough (from ‘On Madness at Sea‘)
Space 2 – Nala Sinephro (from ‘Space 1.8‘ LP)
Cherish the Day – Sade (YouTube)
No Ordinary Love – CHUMP (from ‘Under the Covers vol 2‘ LP)
Murmurised – Pumajaw (from ‘Scapa Foolscap‘ LP)
Still Life – Carson McHone (from ‘Still Life‘ LP)
found the back of the tv remote – elkyn (from ‘Holy Spirit Social Club‘ LP)
Walking Cities – lispector (from ‘The Cult of Less‘ LP)
Stockport – The Wake (from ‘Under the Bridge‘ LP)
Theia Mania (Hardy Tree remix) – Victoria and Jacob (from ‘Theia Mania remixes‘ lathe cut and digital EP)
Days Turn Into Months – Armstrong (from ‘Happy Graffiti‘ LP – also available to order via Country Mile in the UK)

Stream the whole mix on Mixcloud

Tiny Moments 2022 #8

It’s already two months since I’ve ventured along the Lowman valley. The last time I was here the leaves were falling like bronze confetti; today the trees are bare and the freshly cut hedges catch the weak January sun like spiky flat tops. This lack of coverage means the vistas are even finer, and over on my right I glimpse a body of water that I learn later is called simply ‘The Lake’. Further investigations suggests it is likely at least in part the result of a flooded quarry. At Dog Down Cross the wind whips in from the North East, blasting the already decayed signpost whose fingers pointing to Bampton, Clayhanger, Hockworthy and Ashbrittle are barely legible under their layers of lichen. Meanwhile the finger that should point down the valley to Huxham is lost entirely, though whether this is the result of the ravages of time or vandalism by locals looking to confuse tourists is anyone’s guess.

Tiny Moments 2022 #7

Another afternoon ride in the chill of January sunshine is punctuated by two separate buzzard sightings. The first I disturb from its perch on a fencepost as I pass over Burrow Bridge, it’s lazy sweep of wings taking it coasting over the fields towards the forest. The second is already airborne, flying in front of me as I ride up Westcott Lane, afternoon sunlight giving a soft warmth to its pale underbody and wings. I watch it glide over the field in which a horse is idly grazing, its red overcoat streaked with mud. We blink and it is gone.

Tiny Moments 2022 #6

The penetrating cold of the morning fog has mostly evaporated by the time I’m heading out, burning away to reveal the brittle blue of a January sky. The low sun reflects blindingly bright rays from the wet, mud coated lanes but I’m not complaining because the faint warmth is charming and most welcome. I head east and south, a vague notion of seeing the sea at Sidmouth again the driving force behind my sunny pootle. When I arrive on the seafront the calm of the previous few days has started to stir and the rising south easterly brings waves churning onto the beach. The sea’s murky brown contrasts nicely with the watery blue above. Leaning against the prom railings I reflect that an espresso would go nicely with the energy bar I’ve plucked from my back pocket. The little kiosk that might usually offer such treats is, however, like many other premises, resolutely closed behind vanilla coloured iron gratings. The fact that is is called ‘The Summer Cafe’ really should have prepared me for this probability.