A-Z iPod Challenge

THIS website was created for on-road travelling diaries but all good journeys end somewhere. So the blog headed out on a detour.

This bit remains about a journey – and that’s using the word properly, reclaiming it from all those reality TV wannabes who mistake wanting to be famous as a good reason for it to happen, rather than doing something to make it happen, other than sobbing, wailing, singing  (and occasionally all three) into a camera.

This journey has a start point and an end point, but takes any number of detours and U-turns with the distance from A to B constantly growing.

It’s not travel, but it does cover one of my other great passions and one that goes hand-in-hand with travelling and sparks plenty of great memories – music.

Say it quickly and the A-Z Challenge sounds simple enough. Listen to the contents of my  iPod in alphabetical order.

When the idea was first mooted , that meant around 9,000 tracks. At the time of writing, it is closing in on 16,000 which, if listened to non-stop, 24 hours a day, would take… a long time and probably drive me nuts.

In reality with breaks – enforced, voluntary or just due to the need to catch up with the writing – this is going to take years. It already has.

The musical adventure runs from A Day In The Life (twice) to two songs simply called ‘-‘ via… well, we’ll discover that along the way as the journey takes us off down any number of tangents, musical memories and discoveries with the odd rant thrown in along the way.

Comes with added playlist in each entry. Well, most of them.

A to Z – How To Get There The rules of the challenge


A Day In The Life to Adagio For Strings Billy Bragg, acoustic guitars and soundtrack for a perfect moment
Add It Up to Airportman Conscious uncouplings, challenge debuts and great gigs
Al Sharp to All Mixed Up How Half Man Half Biscuit were born again
All My Colours to All Time Lay down thy raincoat and start gigging
All Together Now to Amen Undervalued and overhyped music celebrations
America to Angel From sea to shining sea
The Angel and the Fool to Anti-Pioneer Crossing the parallel with a helpful sign
Antistar to Ashes of American Flags Frustrations and anticipation from departures
Ask to Ayla “The paramedic thinks I’m clever cos I play guitar”


B+A to Ballad of Climie Fisher Delayed gigs, birthdays and feuds over gravel
Ballad of Helenkeller and Rip Van Winkle to Basic Space The People’s Poet is dead
Bastard Son of Dean Friedman to The Bell A-Z of the Walkman age
The Bell to Birds Flew Backwards The car that refused to quit. Unless you count the locks and the windows
The Birds Were Singing of You to Black-Eyed Susie Two wheels good… escaping from a black hole
Blackhole to Blue-Eyed Pop Blame it on the Tetons – Norman’s tale
Blue Eyes to Bonny Soundtrack to a tough paper round
Bonus Beats to The Boy Done Good Flirting with the (very) edges of the music business
The Boy Done Wrong Again to Broken Household Appliance National Forest Summer nuptials in the sweltering South and my part in the love story
Broken Imaginary Time to Burger Queen Upgraded escape from Transatlantic irritations
Burgundy to Byrd Joel Landmarks, musical treat and unwanted Bono

The Top 15


C’mon Kids to Cass and Henry A long journey starts with a small step. Straight into a traffic jam
Cassandra Geminni: A Tarantism to Charlton Heston Just 10,000 to go (back then anyway), lessons learned from reaching the point the last challenge ended
A Charm, A Blade to Clint Eastwood Christmas comes early and in a cloud of cynicism
Clones to Come To How an irritating flatmate with a hatred for washing up sparked a musical obsession
Come To Dust to Contort Yourself Final musical miles on home soil
Contact On The World Love Jam to The Crane Wife 3 Picking up halfway through a paragraph… 28 countries later
The Crapsons to Cygnus Vismund Cygnus Sleeping with the Labrador – couch surfing on familiar soil
(A) Touch Sensitive to Cry Me A River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues Catching up with our ABCs and the rules from A-Z

Carissa/Casimir Pulaski Day 


D&P Blues to Date With IKEA Rugby rants and vanishing refs
Date With The Night to Deado Turning it up to 11 close to home
Dear Avery to Depressed Beyond Tablets ‘I’m feeling kinda basic today, top five side ones, track ones…’
Depression Era to Dig For Fire Sleeping with the enemy in a traffic jam – unlikely return to working life
Dig For Victory to Do It Again From first base to Huntingdon… shipping up to Boston
Do It Clean to Don’t Run Our Hearts Around State of the nation 2016 – taking a break
Don’t Stare At The Sun to Dynamo That was the year we tried to forget
Ablaze to Drunk And On A Star State of the nation 2017/Best of 2016

Seven Day Challenge


E-Bow The Letter to Elvis Presley Blues Redefining the website and getting back to where I belong
Embassy Row to Enemy What are you protesting about? Depends what Trump has done this week
The Enemy to Everybody Knows Answering the big political questions.
Everybody Knows That You Are Insane to Eyes Wide Open From A to E via  a rather complicated route


F*** the Police to Father’s Child Only losers on the phone take the bus
Faust Arp to Feral It’s all about the music. Honestly
Ferris Wheel to Find Me, Ruben Olivares Reunions, musical offspring and dribbling aliens
Find My Baby to Flag Day Where to avoid another election – without really trying
A Flag In The Court to For Emma Finding the answers to filling white space
For Everyfield There’s A Mole to Freed Pig How suffering in The Shed is in the genes
Freedom to Fuzzy Changing times in journalism and the novelty of weekends off
A Few Months to Fool’s Errand Musical welcome in the hillsides


Gagarin to Ghetto Thang How life changed just by turning left
Ghost to Girl From Mars It’s a travel site, honest. Just with added music. And other stuff

Under A Well-Lit Sky State of the Nation 2018

The Best of 2017

Girl From The North Country to God Save The Queen Fighting extinction, one newspaper and one TV series at a time
GOD. to Good Man Soundtrack to a skiing sickbed
A Good Man Is Easy To Kill to Great Wiping the ink off memories
The Great Big No to Gypsy Death & You Springboks, lions, sheds and  that mid-season feeling
Adios Amigo to Golden Dream Live music memories which should be left that way


Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) to Happiness Words matter. And so does getting your facts right
Happiness to Have A Day/Celebratory Dialling into how to use the phone in the office and the work experience hall of fame
Have It All to Heavenfaced We need to talk about Ryan
Heaven, Sittin Down to Heroin It’s all about the music. For once. Starting the attempt to write a post a day throughout May
Herzog to Hold Your Head Oh, it’s a gym. Finding a musical bus replacement service
Holda You (I’m Psycho) to Honey Fighting to keep up with the pace as challenges collide
Honey and Smoke to Hope We Make It Hitting a landmark and recapping how we got here
Hopefulness to How Come You Never Go There? Taking the long road to responsible travel 
How Cruel to Hysterical Strength Are we nearly there yet?
About the Light to Hey Heartbreaker The 200th Travel Marmot post gets political. If only the politicians would.


I to I Am The Resurrection The A-Z journey goes live for one night only
I Am The Resurrection to I Found A Way I believe in coyotes and rules as an abstract

Best of 2019

I Found Love to I Must Have Been Blind Return to a changed world
I Need Direction to I Wanna Destroy You Why there just isn’t enough time in lockdown
I Wanna Die to I.D. Having party listening to my past
I’d Go Anywhere With Hugh to I’m Shipping Up To Boston Time waits for no blog, even in a pandemic

Best of 2020 Soundtrack of a pandemic
In The Shadow of a Virus A year of frustrated travels, lockdown and Zoom calls

I’m So Bored With The USA to If War Should Come How to walk on a pavement – in or out of a pandemic
If We Make It Through December to In Spite of All The Damage How a T-shirt guided us to a meeting with Behan

Under A Long-Haul Flight Path Best of 2021 and ending a long wait by engaging in the future (without getting on one knee)

In The Act to Irene A false dawn of more regular blog posts and a recap of what the A-Z Challenge is all about
Iris to Ivy It’s the end of a vowel as we know it (and I feel tired)

Under A Ticking Clock The Best of 2022 ahead of a year of change, thanks to one email

A-Men to Into The Groovey Adjusting to life on the other side of the world without changing time zones


J-Smoov to John Wick Measuring adaption to Australia using the medium of kangaroos
John, I’m Only Dancing to Juxtapozed With You How reading a travel blog sparked the first step on the journey to mrriage

Best of 2023


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