Sunday, January 22, 2006

May all your rats turn out to be voles

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May all your rats turn out to be voles

The detox week may be over but the effects go carry on. This Saturday I had about six cups of coffee and two glasses of wine during the day. The caffeine and alcohol rush made it impossible to sleep and impossible to think creatively. I found myself on the couch at one thirty in the morning flicking between Big Brother Live (tedious) and “A man called Horse” (annoying). I did eventually manage to sleep and decided to eat normally for all of today. The rest of the week has yet to happen.

Whilst trying to describe a road map of Switzerland this morning I could not remember the name of Jackson Pollock. I was trying to say that the map looked to me like one of his works, every other artists name (and a few authors were attempted) and we explored various theories about memory, recall and filing systems. I tried to think myself back to our visit to MOMA in New York to hook onto something but nothing came, then after half an hour and whilst frying two eggs the name popped back into by head. How the hell does that happen?

Every so often you come up against people who have never heard of Salvador Dali, or the House of Commons or existentialism or something. What makes them tick? Then I think how little I know about mathematics or soap operas or rugby and I realise none of it matters.

Today we cut the hedge (8 feet high x 100 feet long), it took two hours. After ten minutes we both realised how unfit we were and also what a devilish instrument a hedge trimmer can be. Ali cut the sides whilst I cut the top and also the part adjacent to the field. The field was of course a quagmire into which the stepladder and I sank numerous times. During the process we found one birds nest and a dead rat, which we decided on a politically correct basis to describe as a vole. “How do you think it died?” asked Ali, it seemed likely the cat had had a paw in it’s demise but we will of course never know. It started me thinking about Ratty in “Wind in the Willows” and how pleasant and friendly he seemed and of course the similarly named Ratty in “Tales of the Riverbank” (Jonny Morris voice over). Both these rats were champions for the rat cause but are not really associated with the more unpleasant sides of rat habits. We agreed that these rats were of course cleverly disguised voles; Mole and Vole would never have worked well as a named partnership nor been so popular so Ratty was not doubt born as result.

After the arm crushing hedge trimming we went out for a cycle, after half a mile and with only half the right amount of air in both my tyres and lungs we stopped. We did see either a grouse or a sparrow hawk (middle aged sight cannot be relied upon) and three deer that were very close by but over the wall in the deer park itself. We struggled back home, cycling up the muddy hill and collapsing onto the couch for lunch and an hour’s recovery coma.

On the creative side we’ve written two new songs from scratch this week; “Time of your life” and “Modern life” (maybe too much of a life thing going on there). Whatever it means we’re on target to demo a mixture on brand new and older songs prior to our next recording venture in Germany with Martin at the end of March. Good progress.

Original lyrics are not easy to write but we soldier on, anyway - but imagine if Frank Zappa had invented the George Foreman Grill it could have been the Frank Zappa Fat Zapper.

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