KULTURE KIOSK

Steve Hogarth: Here There and Everywhere

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

*this blog includes affiliate links WHO IS THIS GUY? The late eighties were, as I’ve most likely said elsewhere, a time of discovery. Now in the age of Wiki we can look up anyone of interest and know all about them in moments but back then it was all detective work, piecing together fragments of information.  For those of us music junkies or audiophiles who took time to read the sleeve notes, certain names appeared. I can’t remember which one went first, it could have been The The, it could…read more

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Swansea: City By The Sea

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links PREVIOUSLY Three cities, three sisters, three connections on the map, dotting the southern Welsh coastline. The second largest is Swansea, a mere 40 odd miles west of Cardiff yet I’ve barely been there. This is only my fourth ever visit and by some considerable distance my most comprehensive. The first was in 1986, a rushed affair which took in HMV (where I saw David Sylvian’s Gone to Earth and INXS Kiss the Dirt single). The second I can’t remember and the last one was at…read more

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Cardiff: The Northern Parks (Three into One)

Posted by in Travel

These blogs were originally published as separates. Here to stem the number of blogs about any one city and future blogs I’ve amalgamated them into one (call it three into one if you like). Starting with… THE MEADOW If Bute Park is Cardiff’s Hyde or Central Park and Roath Park is its Regent’s Park, then the (unnamed) Meadow Walk is possibly its Hampstead Heath (I’d now say that was more likely Cefn-Onn below). And to think I only knew the north of Cardiff for its city train line but living…read more

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A Lyrical Oasis 25

Posted by in Book Cover Design, Publishing

RELEASE HISTORY April 1997 saw the release of my first book A Lyrical Oasis. Self published and with little promo, it sank without trace. Nonetheless, it will always be my first baby even if it was still born and remains pretty much a ghost in terms of release and sales. In 2009 I tried again with an e-book but this met a similar fate. I dare say that in some other world it may have been the pop poem hit I envisaged it to be in my naivety but alas…read more

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Tears for Fears: Before and After Love

Posted by in Culture, Music

*This blog contains affiliate links. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for purchases made on third party sites. CHANGE OF SEASON In early 1983, unaware of Mad World which I had missed through the vortex of global relocation (from NZ back to the UK), my first meeting with Tears for Fears came with Change; an energetic marimba driven song with lyrics both cool as they are obscure: ‘You walked in to the room, I just had to laugh, The face you wore was cool, You were a photograph.’ Change carried enough youthful fizz to reach…read more

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Kiev: A Collision of Cold, Caffeine and Colourful Churches

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains an affiliate link THIS MUST BE KIEV ‘Kiev’ my train cabin mate declares, seconds later we pass Zhuliani airport and I know from my research that we are within four miles of our destination. A typical melee to get my bags through the train doors and onto the low platform below ensues. My cabin friend and I shake hands and head in separate directions. He has another hours bus ride ahead of him while I have an art hostel to find (not knowing if they have a room available). ALARM…read more

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Newport: Jigsaw Falling into Place

Posted by in Culture, Travel

SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOUR DRAB HOMETOWN *this blog contains an affiliate link. It is not often I get to blog about the hometown (technically speaking somewhere between the M4 and Caerleon), so rare in fact it’s never been done, so here goes… It’s fair to say that Newport doesn’t exactly conjure up positive imagery; even Lonely Planet has previously referred to it as ‘a bit of a dump’. A faceless grey town on the banks of a muddy brown river with an equally bland name (it sounds better in…read more

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Cardiff: A Different Man

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links CROESO – A 2022 UPDATE Hi or Shw mae (‘sure-my’) as we say in Wales. This piece was originally written in 2018 in what was in travel terms, a completely different world. I had returned from many years living in China and extensive travel in Europe. In 2022 Cardiff again beckoned still in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic although this now has become almost as tired as some of Cardiff’s signs and buildings, more on that below. If you’re moving to the capital you’d…read more

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Malta: Noughts and Crosses

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER Malta on a map is a mere speck, surrounded by the beautiful or hazardous blue (depending on your circumstance) of the Mediterranean sea. The day I land its airspace is being smothered by a storm! This makes Air Malta’s A320neo a flying roller coaster as we are batted around from side to side and up and down through air currents, air pockets and god knows what else.  Breaking the cloud seems to take forever and when we do the Med seen…read more

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Year Amid Winter 10

Posted by in Publishing

YEAR AMID WINTER celebrates its 10th birthday this month. For those that don’t know (which is most of you) the book was originally released as a series of e-blogs in 2012 and got a release as a PDF ebook in 2015. It has since been released in the EPUB format. ABOUT THE BOOK (from the original press release) The book comprises three parts: OXFORD (living in a recession), AUCKLAND (becoming a TESOL teacher) and ISTANBUL (learning the hard truths of teaching in a foreign country) and charts Hayes departure from the UK…read more

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