Thursday, November 26, 2009

You've taken the fun out of everything

I am reading Bit of a Blur by Alex James. I really enjoy these type of books. James is an interesting man. I once encountered him in the cloakroom queue at The Laurel Tree while at Blow Up, the popular indie/mod revival club night that was once the toast of London.

Blow Up was fun. It was always heaving with people, some of them proper scenesters, some of them common-or-garden punters up from the burbs, like me. The toilets used to block, overflow and run down the stairs like a particularly foul water feature. You could feel the floor in the upstairs room sagging dangerously while you were dancing. Occasionally you'd spot some minor indie royalty (Steve Diggle out of The Buzzcocks?!) and you'd feel thrilled that you were a mere 750 yards from the very centre of the universe, The Good Mixer on Inverness Street.

To reverse back a bit to Blur, Alex James wasn't the only member of said band that I encountered in the 1990s. One evening, when I was working at the theatre, I spied Damon in the Upper Circle. You couldn't really miss him. His gangly legs were sticking awkwardly out into the aisle. All of Blur are very tall men, they're like the polar opposite of the Small Faces...but I digress. At the time, I was confused that one of the country's biggest pop stars should be watching a West End musical.

Anyway, the poor bloke looked really bored. I decided to go and say hello to him before the start of the second act. I said something like "I'm a big fan" (reader, I know you have an impression of me as a cynic, but I genuinely was - Blur were at their best at this point) and asked for his autograph. He obliged, and asked me, "Exactly how much longer does this thing go on for?". I responded that the whole musical was three hours long, and to be honest, it would be better if he cut his losses, because it didn't get any better. He took my advice and left twenty minutes later.

My meeting of minds with Mr Albarn took place post-Parklife, but pre-Great Escape. A little while later, I read somewhere that Damon had planned the latter album to be a musical. I seem to recall, although it's some years since I've heard it, that it's a bit of a concept album about getting the success you crave and being alienated and unable to cope with it. Boo hoo!

So, what Damon was doing that evening was research, pure and simple. You can't knock him for that.


Monday, November 16, 2009

You won't get far in a cable car

Another pause, then a post. I was really hoping to get to write more, but things have been catching up with me.

We've been spending time paring our flat/lives down, walking in Richmond Park, recovering from the working week. Nothing serious, but that doesn't mean things aren't serious. There's a distinct lack of making plans. Something inevitable is coming, and it's approaching at speed, and there is nothing any of us can do to halt it. Things have been bleak, so it's been monumentally hard to be positive.

That being so, I caught up with some saved-up telly over the weekend, most notably the recent documentary that was made about Edwyn Collins and his recovery from a double-brain hemorrhage. This was moving, but not a downer: Grace, Edwyn's missus, claims that she knew that he was beginning to recover when he started being argumentative once more. This sounds familiar.

I also took in a hilarious and coruscating episode of Curb your Enthusiasm that made me cry with laughter. Misanthropic worldviews are always worth a go as far as I'm concerned (especially when they take me out of my own), so I am reading the new James Ellroy and marvelling at the lunacy and sheer scariness of the plot.

Just thought I would leave you with a piece of writing that is close to poetry, courtesy of Charlie Brooker. This made me laugh heartily today, but there's something so utterly mournful about the way it's written, that it makes me want to shed yet another tear.

On 3D television:

...the possibilities are potentially endless. And when they're tired of 3D, they can move on to the fourth dimension, Minkowski spacetime, and broadcast shows in which you stare into the past and future simultaneously, witnessing every moment in history at every location in the universe, bathing your eyes in eternity, entering a state beyond joy or sadness, innocence or wisdom, gradually coming to realise that your soul is woven into the celestial fabric binding everything together, and you experience a sense of love and belonging so profound it resonates through every atom in your being, rippling outward to caress every atom in creation.

At which point your TV cuts to a 3D Morrisons commercial.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Straight back down to earth

I'm aware that it's been a bit of a while, and I fully intend to get back into this. The problem is time, and work. Y'see, there was a time back along when I had time at work to cock about. [Well, I didn't really have time, I just made time out of the periods when I should have been actually working.]

Since returning from getting married, there has been nary a second spare to do any personal admin at all, because I have been moved into a job on the online side of things. On the plus side, I am having to use my brain slightly more now, so the days don't drag. Not that they dragged before...especially when I was organising a wedding. There was plenty to be getting on with then.

Anyway, I give it six weeks in the new job before I have things running my way and the usual torpor has set in.

Going back to the wedding organising...I find that there is an enormous gap left by this and it makes me realise how much I fool myself. I love a project and it's my main aim in life to make things happen. Now that there is very little to do, I am a bit bereft, adrift. According to the bridezilla social network this is a common theme for people coming out of a period of wedding planning. Plus, the wedding was a handy way of pretending that my other problems didn't exist. Now I no longer have the excuse, so I have to face up to my mother's illness.

On a lighter note, I have been enjoying life. Despite what I have written above, I am not wandering around with a little black cloud over my head. We've been going out, seeing people and trying not to use the changing weather as an excuse to sit about, eat too much and do nothing. Autumn is absolutely the best time of year and the (very gradual) change of season has been a delight to watch.

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