I recently made good my escape from home and normal life for two months in New Zealand and Australia. One day cycling about New Zealand I wrote a song to keep myself entertained, something I think I do a lot. I’ve previously kept these songs to myself but on an impulse I decided to video this one and share it on Facebook. People seemed to like it, so then I started sharing others from the travels as they progressed. I called them “daft ditties” which autocorrect on my phone kept changing to “daft dirties”, which sort of stuck.

So here they are, the collected Dirties.

Numb Bum

Written in the saddle, cycling the Alps 2 Ocean trail on the South Island of New Zealand, from Mount Cook in the centre of New Zealand down to Oamaru on the east coast. The off road tracks were bumpy, and the gravel roads horribly corrugated in places… Recorded next to one of many hydro dams on the one day of blissfully smooth sealed roads.


Approaching the end of the Alps 2 Ocean trail. Recorded at a picnic spot at lunchtime, some kind of abandoned corn-thresher in the background, shortly before cycling through a mildly terrifying old railway tunnel.

A Hill With A Lighthouse On It

Walking around the headland at Byron Bay. There’s a hill. With a lighthouse on it.


Stayed with one of my sisters, brother in law and nieces in the quiet small town of Mullumbimby, inland from Byron Bay. Not recorded until I reached Sydney, because my sister refused to join in.


Staying with old friends in Ulladulla, down the east coast of Australia from Sydney.

The Trees and the Sky

A brief Grampy Rabbit-esque song, on the way up from Federal Pass past the Leura Cascades near Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, Australia. Sent to a friend and her Peppa Pig-loving youngest.

Blue Mountains

Recorded in my tent at the end of several days walking much further than I planned in the Blue Mountains (I kept successfully failing to have a rest day). It’s a stunning place. It made my legs ache.
The volume is a bit low as I was in my tent, not wanting to be heard by my neighbours.


When I was about 23 and nearing the end of a ceramics degree, a friend was convinced I would become a stereotypical beardy, folky potter. I was adamant I wouldn’t. She bet me I would be by the time I was 40. It’s the only bet I’ve ever seriously entered into. I made to 38. I now owe her two of my finest pots.


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