Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Birthday

My blog is five years old today, so I thought this was a good excuse to celebrate by sharing a link to one of my all-time favourite songs by one of my all-time favourite groups, The Idle Race. I also decided that this was an appropriate moment to compile The Other Mike Church's Best Bits, which, as you can imagine, is a remarkably quick read... and an even quicker download.

If Blogger's statistics are to be trusted, this is my hundredth post since April 18th 2010, and these are the posts that have received the most views:

Walk Like A Giant and My Way are tributes to Mamel and Dad respectively, while Wasted Time is literally what it says: a completely useless list of anagrams that kept me fruitfully entertained for weeks on end. Knowing now, for instance, that "fear and ambition" is an anagram of "mortified banana" has completely transformed my file life.

Be that as it may, I find this audience chart rather more interesting:

And here are my conclusions:

1.  I need to work on my fanbase in America (South), Africa, Asia, Australia, the Arctic, and places beginning with A in general.

Having fewer than 120 visits over 5 years from 6,000,000,000 people is nothing to write home about. That works out at about 0.000000004 visits per person per year.

2. There is zero correlation between  blog visits and book sales; in my case, at least.

I estimate that about 90% of my sales are to the UK, but I get far more visits from Spain and the US. When it comes to sales, the Spaniards are usually reluctant to pay more than zero cents, while most of my American customers ask for an immediate refund once they realise what they have bought.

3. Watch out, watch out, there’s Russians about!

Despite having received 940 visits since the beginning of time this blog, I have yet to make a single sale to Russia; I have no Russian friends on Facebook (or, indeed, anywhere); and I was stood up by my gorgeous Russian brides many moons ago.

Furthermore, if we limit ourselves to pageviews in the last month, the Russians are straight in at number 2:

Well, whoever is reading this, wherever you may be, and whatever you think of all this nonsense, many thanks for your continued support. And here's hoping you'll put up with me for the next five years or so.

Some write wonderfully; some write woodenly; others write whateverly.

Colin was in the last group. He was always in the last group.

Writing was Colin’s catharsis. Whatever “catharsis” meant. And whatever “whateverly” meant, for that matter.

Well, whatever, writing whateverly, wheneverly, whereverly was a wonderful way to wish one’s woes away with words without wasting one’s whatnots by whacking walls or wailing to the wind.

dayrealing, chapter 10, "Don't Give Up"

Thursday, April 2, 2015


‘Can anyone help me? I’m looking for this song by Ricardo Igea,’ somebody asked on Facebook the other day...

‘Ricardo who?’ you ask.

‘Ricardo Igea.’

‘Never heard of him.’

‘Don’t worry. Neither has Amazon.’

Needless to say, Wikipedia is none the wiser, either:

‘No, Mr Wiki. I did not mean, “Ricardo Igor”; I meant what I wrote: “Ricardo Igea”, the most overlooked talent in the history of Spanish music.’

‘Oh, that Ricardo! You mean that mad poet from Zaragoza who smokes like a chimney but has a smile and a voice you could die for?’


‘He’s bloody brilliant if you ask me. Didn’t he do Swimming Without Wings? That song reduces me to tears every time.’


Poor Ricardo. Amazon won’t sell his albums, Wikipedia won’t give him an entry, and YouTube won’t get his song titles right.

‘What do you mean, We won’t sell his albums?’

‘Oh, hello, Mrs. Amazon. Sorry if I woke you up.’

‘Never mind that. Just answer the question.’

‘Why can’t I find Ricki’s albums on Amazon, Mrs. Amazon?’

‘They were discontinued ages ago, so don’t go shooting the messenger. You can still buy Todo Lo Que Tengo. It’s a cracker!’

‘I’m pleased to hear it, but my Facebook friend wants to download Gafeína. That’s on Las Manos del Médico, isn’t it?’

‘Have you tried Spotify?’

‘Of course. They told me to go and listen to Inma Serrano.’

‘And what about his web page?’

‘Inma’s a man?!’

‘Ricardo’s web page, you fool.’

‘Oh, sorry! Well, there are some great articles and links, but there’s no sign of Gafeína.’

‘At least the link to Indigencia still works.’

‘Eat your heart out, Phil Collins! I say.’


‘Never mind.’

‘So what’s Ricki up to these days?’

‘Well, he’s reinvented himself as Muchacho Mochila. Backpack Boy.’

‘Backstreet Boy? I’m pretty sure we’ve still got him on Amazon.’

‘Backpack Boy. Muchacho Mochila in English. Well, that’s my translation.’

‘And a pretty crap one if you ask me.’

‘Have you any idea how difficult it is to translate well from Spanish to English?’

‘What’s wrong with Google Translator?’

‘What’s wrong with Google Translator?! Did you see what they did to Báilalo?’

Ricardo, Ricki, Muchacho Mochila, Mumo... He’s still making the best music around. I wanted to finish with a link to his latest masterpiece, Hoy Es Siempre Todavía. It goes without saying, unfortunately, that I couldn’t find one that worked:

I’ll keep searching J.


–¿Por qué no bailas?
–¡Estoy bailando!

–Why aren’t you dancing?
–I am dancing!

–¿Vienes aquí a menudo?
–Bastante. Soy la mujer de limpieza.
–Ah. Encantado.
–Lo mismo digo.

–Do you come here often?
–Quite a lot. I’m the cleaning lady.
–Oh. Pleased to meet you.
–Shall we dance?

–¿Cómo te llamas?
–¿Y eso cómo se deletrea?
–Tal como suena: L, O, L, A, Lola. La, la, la, la, Lola. Una Coca-Cola, por favor.

–What’s your name?
–So how do you spell that?
–As it sounds: L, O, L, A, Lola. La, la, la, la, Lola. A Coca-Cola, please.

–¿Tu casa o la mía?
–No tengo casa.

–Your place or mine?
–I don’t have a place.

Mañana vas a tener un clavo de mucho cuidado.

Tomorrow you’re going to have a terrible hangover.

Spanglish for Impatient People, Lesson 19, "at the disco"