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Falling And Laughing

Back in the mid 2000s I found myself as a down-on-his-luck Englishman back in the UK after living for years abroad.

I was working a totally crap job (minimum wage) somewhere on the Welsh borders. I shared that job with a young Slovakian girl who I fell madly in love with (you can always tell when I start writing poetry for the poor gal). This was the song, even though it had been released decades earlier…

This track still hits me when I listen to it. Me and the aforementioned Slovakian girl were strangers in the night - there was also a Hungarian hippy in the mix, a nice guy who’s still serving out a five year sentence in one of the toughest prisons in Hungary; but I digress.

Anyhows, I’m getting onto Edwyn Collins here (he penned the above track). In early 2005 Collins suffered a brain haemorrhage and was rushed into the Royal Free Hospital in London. While in intensive care he had a second haemorrhage. The doctors said that Collins chances of survival were practically nil, but survive he did after undergoing a lengthy operation. He was left paralysed on the right hand side and had difficulty speaking, yet he still went on to make music.

I can’t be arsed to format my blog post about all this here, so a direct link, if you’re interested in this…


Please note that on my blog I do not ask for donations or flog anything, beyond my books, which most people here will already be familiar with.

And I’m glad to report that Edwyn Collins is still laughing and falling and making music.


Unfortunately I really only know the Postcard bands very slightly, but had heard of Edwyn Collins travails, and his recovery, and wish him well.

The Simon Reynolds book named after the OJ song everyone has heard of is good fun. Photobombed below

If I had to pick a favourite twangy tune of that ilk it’d probably be Oblivious by Aztec Camera.

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Now there’s a thing, because the Hungarian hippy was also a big fan of Aztec Camera.

I have to be careful of what I say, because this board gets a lot of UK readers, and some might know who I’m talking about.

So, I will simply refer to the Hungarian hippy as ‘HH’. HH bought a small vineyard right on the shore of lake Balaton (it’s a beautiful part of the world). As well as growing the grapes, HH also grew the Mary, and got caught. Back then, drug laws in Hungary were very strict (they still are). Deemed by the authorities as a dealer in Mary, HH was looking at a ten year stretch. He fled to the UK, and in what is another long story is how I met him (we were close neighbours).

HH is the kindest, most gentle person you could ever meet. For example, I’ve never done drugs (apart from vin rouge and tobacco) yet HH and I became instant friends. It’s not fun being a fugitive, and eventually HH’s lawyer in Hungary negotiated a deal with the Hungarian authorities, whereby HH would return to stand trial for a tariff of not more than five years. They threw the full five years at him; and remember this was just for growing a bit of weed on the shores of Lake Balaton.

I’m not sure if HH will survive the full five year stretch. The last time I saw HH was Christmas 2018. At our farewell we kissed each other. This is something Hungarian men do (Russian men as well). Anyhows, the reason I’m mentioning all this is shortly before going into a hell-hole of a Hungarian prison, HH was more worried about who would look after his cats.


His mistake was probably cutting the CIA out of the loop. Cocaine Importing Agency aka La Coka Nostra. The Taliban made the same mistake but now Big Pharma has perfected synthetic opioids and poppies ain’t all that.