On the way to the Small Press & Little Magazine Symposium at Nottingham Trent University on Saturday my driver, Tim Atkins, and I decided to stop at Leicester for breakfast. As a result we managed to take in Ultima Thule record shop, a shangri la for krautrock afficionados run for years by brothers Alan & Steve Freeman (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/ultimathule/shop.html). I've known about Ultima Thule since scouting for Cluster and Amon Duul vinyl in the early '90s and many years ago picked up a copy of A Crack in the Cosmic Egg, the Freeman's mindbogglingly comprehensive guide to the genre (it's now available as an interactive DVD). The shop seemed barer than I'd anticipated and according to Alan Freeman this was because the exchange rate has made a lot of music imports prohibitively expensive - twenty quid or so for a CD - and punters just won't pay. Unaccountably Tim found a Helen Reddy LP in the racks - hard times indeed for such a place to have to include such fare! Anyway I walked away with two Agitation Free CDs and one by Floh de Cologne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agitation_Free & http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floh_de_Cologne) - none of them twenty quid items I hasten to add - and we made our way to Nottingham. On the way we passed Ratcliff-on-Soar power station (see below). The symposium had its moments, and at the end of the day Tim and Steve Willey posed for a photoshoot outside the University gym. I pressed the wrong button and took a 4 second video instead (see below). What larks indeed!