Wednesday, August 31, 2011
They are out there, on Amazon, in every bookshop (those that have survived the cull that is), in charity shops and on Play.com. Rubbish biographies of rubbish rock stars, beware innocent and naive reader, you get less than what you pay for. Anyway these hairy, gaudily shirted chaps look OK and no doubt they have a decent tale to tell. I believe that they were all rather good at playing their instruments too, happy days.
Tea tonight: Cheesy pasta and football with a cheeky rocket and tomato selection on the side. Yum.
Halfords visit: Not one but two headlight bulbs blown today - £15.99 and a brace of screwdrivers.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
An extract from “Doing the right thing at the right time and other random thoughts” by Kay Debenham:
Today's attempt at a Soul Breakfast consisted of a lonely white coffee, a bottle of Tropicana orange juice with bits and a cherry Elevenses bar by McVities. To my mind this isn't a soul breakfast, this is an unsatisfactory, disappointing, makeshift, solitary, at your desk at work kind of breakfast conspicuously lacking a soul of any kind. The term “soul breakfast” needs to be defined and described in more accurate and creative terms. Firstly I generally don’t do breakfast, when I wake up I'm not really hungry normally, I'm happy to shower and go, start the day on the hoof and catch up later, maybe at eleven or so and generally speaking ignore the soul and breakfast thing altogether – but something tells me that they are both equally important and need to be catered for.
Of course the problem is that therm soul has been hijacked by charlatans, religions, quarks and other unscrupulous groups becoming a debased airy-fairy way to describe the indescribable ghost that allegedly lurks in the centre of our skulls and eventually passes on either to heaven or hell or moves on in reincarnation or some other altered state. It also describes an intense musical culture and performances filled with heart and emotion that cross over at times into a clearly religious territory of some sort. Then there is actual soul food: Cajun cooking, catfish, red beans and rice, chicken, corn bread, garlic, eggs, bacon and various herbs and spices. Good as this food is it's not what I want from a soul breakfast, I want something else. Something that will nourish me and those I share it with, in a complete, holistic if you will, way. No religion or belief systems, prayer, meditation, Tamala Motown or fried chicken then please.
So what should a soul breakfast have?
Sunshine – that's important, hard to come by round here but a basic part of the set up. At a pinch daylight might have to do.
Company – you can't soul breakfast alone, loved ones, guests, friends are necessary.
Set up table – comfortable, pleasant but uncluttered.
Oven – on and whirring in the background, keeping the food warm so time can stretch.
Conversation – easy, tough, doesn't really matter, it should ebb and flow and rise and fall.
Smile – if you can, better to start the day that way. Laughter good if possible.
Dress code – isn't one.
Music – again keep it light, let it gather in the background.
Chef – somebody has to take this on, it can be shared which may be better, lend a hand if you can.
Food – whatever you like, whatever is available, simple as that. It's good to eat but it's better to get together.
Misunderstood lyrics: I heard an earnest sounding Christian lady on a religious radio programme pick Bob Marley's Redemption Song as a favourite. I don't think she could get beyond the title, that's always a problem with songs, taking the first available message and misunderstanding it without bothering to check. Of course Redemption Song isn't about any Christian redemption or “payback”. It's about singing songs of freedom instead of singing the old missionary redemption songs. Redemption Songs was in fact the title of the deep red songbook passed out by Christian missionaries containing the old hymns and standards that formed the basis of the strict European worship passed to and imposed on confused children and “converts” across the Great British Empire for over a hundred years. Some publisher must have made millions from it as it was handed out as a foundation and anchor for church services across the globe. I guess Bob Marley and his generation must have come to hate it and see it as a piece of the relentless propaganda trotted out by generations of oppressors, teachers and overlords to indoctrinate the masses and keep them occupied on a Sunday.
“Wont you help me sing, these songs of freedom? 'Cause all I ever have: Redemption Songs, Redemption Songs, Redemption Songs.”
The bigger hope clouded by the years of frustration, despair and disappointment is clear in the lyric and in the delivery, this isn't about Christian redemption but about the opposite albeit Bob M get's the Almighty in there for a quick mention, but on his own terms. It's his defiance that still resonates, even after all these years and as we all know defiance, regardless of the cause, always strikes a chord. People sing, hum along and buy into all sorts of things set in lyrics sometimes quite unwittingly. You've all heard the church choir having a poke at Lennon's “Imagine'. I suppose that once it gets out there, you have to let it go.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Diary of silence.
When I'm on my own, or omo as it's known, I hardly make any noise. I creep and slink and pad around the house and behave as if noise, either generated by me or in the background is to be avoided at all costs. To make noise sometimes feels like smashing a mirror or attacking a piano with a sledgehammer, crazy and unacceptable behaviour. Occasionally the radio might be on or some music may be played but always set to the low end of the sonic spectrum. Changed days from rocking out and constant noise pollution, screaming guitars and vocals, pounding drums and out of tune singalongs. When did the golden silence start, when did it first descend? I guess it goes back to the early days of “baby in the house”, now some 30 odd years ago. At that point all my learned and adopted behaviours began to change and as the little tikes exerted their right to sleep the volume control came down like a slow turning guillotine of parental, self induced pressure. In turn they are given licence to bawl, shout and play games and watch TV at whatever level, parents rights erode into the vapour. Now there is truly only the occasional need for me to be quiet but despite that quiet remains the default. I listen on head phones, I strum the guitar gently, the amplifiers languish in a cupboard and cats sleep on top of them unaware of their potential as unexploded bombs. So I'm here, trapped and oddly guilty, stuck behind a wall of habitual silence that cloaks and chokes. This isn't the way I planned things but it is the way things are. A science fiction reality, breathing through tubes in noiseless cocoons avoiding ASBOs and not allowing the outside world to eavesdrop on my life, shutting in and shutting out. Paradoxically it's the opposite in the car, a noisy speeding coffin filled with spewing speakers and karaoke banter and ranting. Baffling really.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wandering along George Street to experience a little of the mud and the blood of the Book Festival drinking coffee, cream and carmel and avoiding the rain. Book lovers gather and stare at great piles of books, authors sign copies, sup on lattes and try hard to look cool and interested. It's that time of year again, hoping for big sales and decent returns and a break in the weather.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
At night orphan cats come out and sit on the roofs of still warm parked cars, then they check out the tourists and the passing lizards and chickens. It's a life I suppose.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
On a tree in a car park somebody has painted a cat chasing a mouse down the tree trunk, an unlikely scenario. Of course this image may have it's own deep meaning and significance in Greek society. Probably belongs to some political party or anarchist group.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Incredibly blue skies meet and greet at the arena entrance. Between the two stages we saw a number of decent bands; Feeder, the Coral, the Pigeon Detectives. The best bands however were on the second stage - two ska outfits, tight, loud and a lot of fun, oh and a Johnny Cash tribute, you never know what you're going to get and, best of all you never know what you're going to like.