If the Dulux paint chart is to believed, in recent days the sky has been a ‘striking cyan’ colour. That being said, Crown paints beg to differ with their stock list indicating the celestial dome above us is more ‘splashing around’ blue.

I’ll let the two UK paint giants argue whose chromatic descriptive is most accurate. One thing for sure, though, is that this vision sets a striking scene. A colour akin to that lauded by late US crooner Perry Como when singing the bluest eyes he’d seen were in Seattle.

East Leeds can’t claim a monopoly on the bluest sky, after all, as I write, numerous areas of the northern hemisphere will be bathing in solar rays. The result of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation passing earthwards through our azure tinted celestial dome.

Anyhow, that’s my attempt to poetically relay the splendour of the current skyward blue. If the prose isn’t to your liking, you can probably get something with greater literary integrity by googling ‘Non pretentious descriptions for celestial domes, along with performant sunscreens’…… Even if that long-winded search criteria doesn’t return anything useful sky colour related, it should at least help you locate a decent sunscreen.


It’s the first of a new month today. Yesterday’s dawn saw the end of June, 2018’s second quarter and half year. Now in the second half and third quarter, according to my unofficial Gordon Ramsay calendar hanging behind the kitchen door, today is the bloody 1st of b*****d July.

A controversial almanac I received as a Christmas gift, the calendar contains 12 pages (one for each month, surprisingly enough) incorporating an amalgam of Mr Ramsay’s alleged favourite recipes and ‘go to’ cursing expressions.

I don’t believe it’s on retail sale. In fact I know it isn’t available in stores, as an acquaintance created it for me on his laptop. Another give away it wasn’t by Ramsay being the limited culinary recipes and fact my mate always incorrectly puts two ‘t’s as a suffix to the word t**t.

Amongst the uninspiring meal suggestions were banana soup and peanut pizza. The banana soup cooking instructions were to blanch a peeled banana in boiled water infused with an vegetable Oxo cube for half an hour. I’ve got many uncertainties in my life, however attempting the banana soup recipe isn’t one….. I definitely won’t be.

The peanut pizza instructions were the slapdash covering of a pre-made pizza margarita with dry roasted peanuts. Obviously don’t attempt that pizza topping if you have a peanut allergy, or indeed you don’t want a culinary disaster on your CV…… I understand on the calendar pages for October and November are peanut soup and banana pizza. Two more recipe suggestions I won’t be indulging in.

Anyhow, we’re into the second half of 2018. Personally speaking, I’m unsure if I’ve entered July with a feeling the year’s been half full or half empty. I suppose I’ve encountered six months of highs and lows; then again so do most people.

It’s been a half year enhanced by witnessing some great gigs, decent breaks in Oxford and Ambleside. However, the feelgood factor is only a trigger away from tipping back towards making it a half empty half year. This ordinarily contributed to with my wife’s enduring cancer battle, along with multiple triggers of my late father memory which generate bouts of profound sadness.

I don’t envisage the negative existential elements will disappear anytime soon. To be honest for things to move on would require dreadful circumstance which I don’t want to countenance for one moment…… Hail the status quo!