Face Pareidolia

Milky Merriment

“‘Face Pareidolia’ – the phenomenon of seeing faces in everyday objects – is a very human condition that relates to how our brains are wired.”

I copied and pasted the above text from a random website, but there’s more.

I see faces all over the place. Some of them are happy, some of them sad, some of them look pretty benign and others look positively bad, but none of are randomly emotioned; because they all take their cues from me.

Smiley Spud

When I feel grim I see little hobgoblin faces in the wallpaper. When my mood is light, I see grinning faces in the cornflakes. Petulance brings frowns in the architecture and anger cancels out all the angels in the cloudy shapes floating across the sky. In short, I’m in charge of what I see around me. My moods dictate how the world appears.

I’ve never really thought about it much. It’s just a cute little diagnostic tool to tell me how I feel. It doesn’t affect anyone else and it doesn’t make the the world a better (or worse) place. It’s just a thing.

Anyway, that’s all I got time for today. I need to clean my teeth now. Cornflakes don’t half gamm them up.


Bench Views #20 – Alwyne Drive

I see the signs from this bench: the house behind me was recently sold by Ashtons; there are road works 300 yards away on the main road; the speed limit is 40mph on that same main road; and Alwyne Drive leads to Alwyne Grove. Anyone here know what an alwyne is?

I do. Apparently it’s an elf. Or perhaps a magical friend. It’s also a girl’s name. So maybe we’re talking about girl elves being just up the drive from here?

Thing is, though, I know that there’s not much of a grove up that drive. If there is it’s in someone’s front garden. Yeah, that’s right, there’s nothing but houses up there.

Across the road, though, is a whole other kettle of starlings. You see those trees? Well behind there are fields and fields and more fields that stretch right down to the river Ouse. There are also trees there, most of them politely standing at the edges of the fields, but I imagine that a few of them have conspired to form the odd grove or two.

I’ve got a phone call appointment with an NHS professional on the 24th September. Hopefully they’ll be able to tell over the phone whether the irregular brown patch on the side of my head is skin cancer or not. Do you think I should buzz-cut my hair to make it easier for them to do their diagnosis over the phone?

I haven’t seen any squirrels near this bench but that doesn’t mean they’re not …


Things to Say, Songs to Play for Thu 23rd September 2021

This is an emergency list of things to say between songs on my radio show (www.5townsradio.co.uk). I’ll add to this as the week goes on. These are only took be used when I run out of things to say off the top of my head:

  1. There’s going to be another Topical Quiz. The last one went really well so just go for that format.
  2. And, of course, I’ll read another story from my blog.
  3. Blogging. My experience of how to make a blog moderately successful and my thought on how to make it fly.
  4. Wall at the end of the universe. Potato.
  5. Little Simz (Simbiatu Abisola Abiola Ajikawo) is a rapper.
  6. The deer at the top of our garden. Where did it go? Where do deer sleep at night?
  7. Safety at work. Three day course. Risk assessment on making a cup of tea.
  8. Why we do what our parents did even though we didn’t like it when they did it. Chicken in short pan. Following a river into a tunnel in waders.
  9. A meditation experience. Enlightenment feels like sneezing, falling asleep, orgasm, an oxygen rush.
  10. Um and Ahs and introducing what I’m going to say before I say it. Being meta.
  11. The experience of being on a train and the thoughts it entails and the movie that could be made from it (if only we could have enough interesting thoughts to fill an hour and a half. The experience of making a podcast. The ability to talk for a while without stopping while only relying on what’s in one’s mind. And the funny things that a mind thinks when it’s made to.
  12. Showers.
  13. Fruit trees and bushes. Blackberries this morning.

Like I say, I’ll keep adding to the list. Ideas are welcome.

Songs to Play:

  1. Take Me to your Leader by Joan as Police Woman x Tony Allen x Dave Okumu
  2. Solid Air by John Martyn
  3. Vossi Bop by Stormzy
  4. Sensoria by Cabaret Voltaire
  5. Havana by Camila Cabello
  6. Touch by Little Mix
  7. Offence by Little Simz
  8. You Need to Calm Down by Taylor Swift
  9. Ego by Porij
  10. traitor by Olivia Rodrigo
  11. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
  12. Crank It by George Kwali and Kideko
  13. Pat Earrings by CASisDEAD
  14. Don’t Wanna by HAIM
  15. I Love You, I Hate You by Little Simz
  16. Summer of Love by Shawn Mendes and Tainy
  17. Strike a Pose by Young T & Bugsey
  18. Shivers by Ed Sheeran
  19. This is America by Childish Gambino
  20. Unforgettable by French Montana
  21. Fair Trade by Drake
  22. Kiss My by Anne-Marie and Little Mix
  23. Woman by Doja Cat
  24. Clash (feat. Stormy) by Dave
  25. Your Girlfriend by Blossoms
  26. 3 Nights by Dominic Fike
  27. Alone by Rag’n’Bone Man
  28. Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) by Lil Nas X
  29. Hold Up by Beyoncé

Things to Say, Songs to Play for Thu 16th September 2021

Got to start making a list of things to say between songs on my radio show (www.5townsradio.co.uk). I’ll add to this as the week goes on. I need about twenty-five.

  1. Old people. Got to apologise for my ageist remarks about Ronald Reagan and Joe Biden in my last show. Tell story about meeting Evelyn. Also apologise to Kristen Stewart for calling her plain.
  2. There’s going to be another Topical Quiz, but it’s got to be easier than the last one.
  3. And, of course, I’ll read another story from my blog. The last one (Even Insane People Need Love) went down pretty well.
  4. Microwaves. There must be something interesting a person can say about microwaves, right?
  5. Sklugoo Speaks needs to get a plug at some point. It’s my podcast.
  6. Blogging. My experience of how to make a blog moderately successful and my thought on how to make it fly.
  7. A conversation with a cow whilst sat on a gate at the top of a field.
  8. Silent roads and how one made a car disappear on me.
  9. The Mercury Prize 2021 – nominees and winner. Yeah, I’ll have to look this up. Did Arlo Parks win? Dunno.
  10. Travelling in someone else’s mind. A friend once said to me that I can’t travel in their mind, only they can. That’s okay because my own mind contains so much already. Wall at the end of the universe.
  11. Little Simz (Simbiatu Abisola Abiola Ajikawo) is a rapper.
  12. The deer at the top of our garden. Where did it go? Where do deer sleep at night?
  13. Safety at work. Three day course. Risk assessment on making a cup of tea.

Like I say, I’ll keep adding to the list. Got any ideas for me?

Songs to Play

  1. Thunder by Imagine Dragons
  2. Death Bed (feat. Beabadoobea) by Powfu
  3. Coca Cola by CamelPhat & Elderbrook
  4. Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice
  5. Tilted by Christine and the Queens
  6. Black Dog by Arlo Parks
  7. Take me to the Church by Hozier
  8. Take Me to your Leader by Joan as Police Woman x Tony Allen x Dave Okumu
  9. Solid Air by John Martyn
  10. Closer by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
  11. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
  12. Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
  13. Vossi Bop by Stormzy
  14. Havana by Camila Cabello
  15. Touch by Little Mix
  16. Offence by Little Simz
  17. You Need to Calm Down by Taylor Swift
  18. Ego by Porij
  19. traitor by Olivia Rodrigo
  20. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
  21. Crank It by George Kwali and Kideko
  22. Pat Earrings by CASisDEAD
  23. Don’t Wanna by HAIM

Some Songs

Here are some songs I played on the radio during my show at www.5townsradio.co.uk last night:

Remember by Becky Hill and David Guetta
Feel It Still by Portugal The Man
Kiss My (Uh Oh) (feat. Little Mix) by Anne-Marie
Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran
Panic Room by Au/Ra & CamelPhat
Talk About by DJ Craig Gorman & Rain Radio
Need To Know by Doja Cat
Crying In The Club by Camila Cabello
Wild Thoughts (feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller) by DJ Khalid
Mood Ring by Lorde
Out Out (feat. Charli XCX & Saweetie) by Joel Corry and Jax Jones
Dynamite by BTS
Mood (feat. iann dior) by 24kGoldn
Piano Banana by Krystal Klear
Rinse & Repeat (feat. Kah-Lo) by Riton
Just for me by PinkPantheress
Take My Breath by The Weeknd
Midnight (The Hanging Tree) by H.O.S.H. & 1979
Rumors (feat. Cardi B) by Lizzo
How Can I Make It OK? by Wolf Alice
Good Girls by CHVRCHES
Crown by Stormzy
Jesus Walks by Kanye West
Turn Down For What (feat. Lil Jon) by DJ Snake
Cry For You by September
Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish
Higher Love by Kygo vs Whitney Houston
Paradise by George Ezra
Boyz N Da Club by Shermanology
Stay by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber
Medicine by Bring Me The Horizon
Eastside (feat. Khalid & Halsey) by Benny Blanco
I Love You, I Hate You by Little Simz
If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You by The Wombats
Come Together by Franky Wah
INDUSTRY BABY (feat. Jack Harlow) by Lil Nas X
Be Honest (feat. Burna Boy) by Jorja Smith
Be Free by Rathbone Place
Psycho by Maisie Peters
One Kiss by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
Better Days by Dermot Kennedy
Your Girlfriend by Blossoms

One of them dropped an f-bomb on the audience, which wasn’t good. The whole show is going to be repeated in Saturday night from 7pm if you want to listen again.

Topical Quiz

Quiz based on stuff that’s been in the news this week. I used it on my live radio show on 5 Towns Radio (www.5townsradio.co.uk) tonight. The contestant this week got absolutely none of them correct – nil pwon. See if you can do better …

  1. Which eighteen year old British women’s tennis player made it to the semi-finals of the US Open this week?
  2. Which of the following didn’t make it onto the Royal Mail’s new issue of 18 stamps featuring DC Comics heroes and villains – Spider-Man or Wonder Woman?
  3. Who officially became Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian as of this week?
  4. A rare birth took place at a Sri Lankan animal reserve where were twins were born – but which animal species are they? (Giraffe, Hippo, Elephant or Lion)
  5. Which country announced that they were limiting the gaming time for children to 1 hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays?
  6. Which artist just broke the record for the most monthly listens on Spotify? (Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Arianna Grande)
  7. Cristiano Ronaldo just returned to Manchester United from Juventus and then broke the men’s international scoring record. Who had previously held it? (Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, Ali Daei, of Iran, Soh Chin Ann, of Malaysia)
  8. Pigeons have been in the headlines. But what were they being blamed for?
  9. Kim Kardashian set tongues wagging by attending a “listening party” for the new album, Donda, by her soon-to-be-ex-husband Kanye West, by wearing what?
  10. After his first-round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas (left) in tennis’s US Open, Andy Murray criticised his opponent for taking too long to do what? (take his first serve, talk to his coach, go to the toilet)
  11. Neil Fachie won a gold medal for Great Britain at the Paralympics. What did his wife Lora do an hour after Neil won his medal?
  12. New figures show that the number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high. What is the estimated number? 5.6 million, 560 thousand or 56 thousand.
  13. Which major fast food chain have just announced that they will be trialling a Vegan Burger in selected outlets at the end of this month?


  1. Emma Raducanu (RadooKaanoo)
  2. Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)
  3. Sarah Storey (Swimming and Cycling)
  4. Elephant (The male twins were born in Sri Lankan orphanage which is the first time in 80 years)
  5. China (China brought in the law. The country already had strict limits on how long under-18s could access online games. In 2019, children were restricted to playing games for up to three hours during holiday periods or 1.5 hours on other days)
  6. Justin Bieber (The pop star had a massive 83.3 million streams over the last month, breaking a new record for the highest number of monthly listeners, ever! The record was previously held by Ariana Grande)
  7. It’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran between 1993 and 2006
  8. It’s the broadband outages. Prof Alan Woodward, a beta-tester for the new service provided by entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, said it had mostly been working well. However, he noticed outages “some [lasting] a second, others longer”, which he put down to “pesky pigeons” sitting on the satellite dish on his kitchen roof.
  9. A wedding dress (Kardashian, who has filed for divorce, prompted speculation of a reconciliation by appearing in the Balenciaga gown during the song No Child Left Behind)
  10. It was using the toilet. After Tsitsipas stopped play for an eight-minute comfort break during their match, Murray pithily commented it took twice as long for the Greek to go the bathroom as it took US billionaire Jeff Bezos to reach space.
  11. She also won a gold medal for Great Britain at the Paralympics.
  12. The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England has hit a record high of 5.61 million, as the NHS struggles to clear the growing backlog of care caused by Covid-19.
  13. McDonald’s has said it is to start selling a vegan burger in the UK and Ireland after years of research to perfect it. The McPlant burger will be trialled in 10 Coventry restaurants from late September and go national next year.

I Became a Radio Presenter

I became a Radio presenter for two hours this evening on my very own show on www.5townsradio.co.uk (or download the app).

Some great songs and interesting banter made the evening very enjoyable.

There were a few niggles, but I’m sure these can be ironed out in future shows. Tune in Thursday at six for your next two hour extravaganza of blather and songs.

And that’s that.

How to Become a Great Radio Presenter

Just be doing my homework. I have a radio show to present tomorrow (2nd Sep 6-8pm BST) on 5 Towns Radio.

00:34 – 20. Don’t Worry, Be Happy! 00:50 – 19. Be Well Read 01:22 – 18. Listen to Other Shows 01:43 – 17. Always Pre-Read Your Scripts 02:10 – 16. Don’t Be F%*#ing Offensive 02:27 – 15. Get Friendly with Paperwork 02:44 – 14. Always be HomeTown Proud 03:06 – 13. Laugh at Yourself 03:25 – 12. Be Disciplined 03:47 – 11. Promote Your Fellow Hosts 04:12 – 10. Embrace Your Community 04:26 – 9. Be Friends with Everyone 04:40 – 8. Learn New Skills 05:02 – 7. Get Networking! 05:36 – 6. Become a Storyteller 06:00 – 5. Find Your Niche 06:22 – 4. Be Social Media Savvy 06:52 – 3. Always Show Your Gratitude 07:17 – 2. Listen Back to Your Shows 07:40 – 1. Invest in Quality


  1. Prepare Beforehand: Trying to juggle too many things at once can result in mistakes. Structure your time by preparing beforehand so you can produce the best shows possible.
  2. Be Authentic: People like to listen to presenters that come across as genuine. Be proud of who you are and where you came from. You may not appeal to everyone, but at least your authentic and broadcast with confidence.
  3. Talk to One Person: Engage with your listeners by presenting your shows like you’re talking to a friend. For example, “I hope you had a good weekend! We’ve got some awesome tracks coming your way soon, so stay tuned!”.
  4. Have Something to Say: No one wants to listen to a boring person. As a radio personality, you should have something to say. Be passionate on-air to engage with your listeners.
  5. Air Check Shows: Once you have finished a broadcast, go back and listen to what was said. What went well and what didn’t? Address these issues next time you are on air.


1. NEVER Be Boring

2. Air Check Your Shows

3. Make Listeners Feel Special

4. Social Media Savvy

5. Stay Updated

6. Paint Pictures with Words

7. Share Nuggets of Your Life On-Air

8. Learn Useful New Skills

9. Know Your Station Like the Back of Your Hand

10. Community Focused

11. Promote Fellow Presenters

12. Professional and Punctual

13. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously, or No One Will

14. Never Forget Your Roots

15. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

16. Don’t Be Prejudiced

17. Always Pre-Read Scripts

18. Engage With Your Radio Station

19. Do Your Research

20. Keep Cool

I’ve got my songs prepared.

I’ve spoken to as many of the other presenters on the radio station that would reply to my email in which I begged for tips (about a dozen of them replied with some really useful stuff.

I’ve worked out how much time I have to speak between each song (somewhere between 40 secs and 2.5 minute depending on how many songs I want to play per hour (between 10 and 17 depending on how much talking I can come up with)).

And I’ve started writing out a list of 30 one-word prompts:

Yeah, that needs a little work, but I’ve got all day tomorrow to do that. It’s just a question of distilling the essence of the above and the emails from the other presenters. Easy.

  1. Listeners/Bladerunner
  2. Animal
  3. Local/Community/Inoffensive
  4. Mouth/Laughing
  5. Partner/Phil/Wife
  6. Research (So, I survived the zombie apocalypse and all I got was this podcast by Chris Freeman)
  7. Script/List
  8. Hometown/Roots
  9. Songs
  10. Presenters
  11. Lifestories
  12. Wordpictures
  13. Unboring
  14. Relax/Enjoy (The History Man and Her (John and Kay))
  15. Stand (David Walton – sat in France)
  16. Prepared (Rob Shersby)
  17. Confidence/Clarity/Music (Adam Press)
  18. Course (Bec/Bev/Liz/Gail/Lindsey/Chelsea/Janette/Halima)

So, yeah – that’s it – all set up to present a two hour radio show. Yay!