Had a bit of a shock earlier in the week when I saw what I thought was the Olympic torch procession coming up the hill. They’re not even due round here until mid July so it did seem odd, but given the number of cock-ups we’ve had so far surrounding The Games I wouldn’t have been overly surprised. It turned out to be the villagers storming the castle AGAIN: That’s the third drawbridge I’ve lost this year and I never get a penny back on the insurance. Thank God I’d had the leak in the moat bunged up and a fresh delivery of boiling oil, or there might have been no blog today at all.
Ben has been away in Edinburgh with his BFF since Sunday, and it’s been really strange without him. Daft, because if it was a normal skool week he wouldn’t be about anyway, but with the bank hols and that I’ve really missed him. Oh well, he’s back tonight and chances are that by Saturday he’ll be driving me bonkers again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. He phoned just now, and will be home around midnight. His BFF’s mum had said if they were back too late he could sleep round theirs and I could pick him up in the morning. The words ‘welcome’ ‘worn-out’ ‘his’ and ‘he’s’ come to mind, but not necessarily in that order.
So, hasn’t it been a great Jubilee? Lots of soggy people sitting at soggy trestle tables eating soggy crisps, sossages, and cupcakes and wishing they were indoors in the warm with their feet up. Not really giving a toss about the queen, I WAS indoors in the warm with my feet up for most of it, complaining bitterly about the hi-jacking of the regular weekend TV – bad enough under normal circumstances – to make way for hour after hour of footage featuring soggy people sitting at soggy trestle tables etc etc and over-the-hill musicians and entertainers doing their bit to draw attention away from the fact that it was all costing billions in an economic climate where the vast majority of dear ol’ Bettie’s loyal subjects are on their uppers. Still, any excuse for a piss up, eh?
Had Ben been at home we probably would have ventured out, despite the drizzle, to one or two of the events that were going on locally, but as he wasn’t, and what with most of them being family based, the prospect of damp afternoons in a variety of muddy fields wasn’t quite enough to draw me from my lair. We did, though, have the Saturday before he went and a glorious day of sunshine it was too! We went to a local music fest (or ‘Unfest’) but sadly the music wasn’t loud enough to be heard properly outside of the venue and the weather was too good to miss by going inside (be fair, we’ve not had much of the good stuff, have we?). So all in all a bit of a washout, in every sense of the word.
Mind you, after dropping him at his BFF’s at lunchtime on Sunday I spent the afternoon at a little music fest of my own making, time-travelling back to the Sunday afternoons of my yoof by laying flat out on my bed listening to WHOLE ALBUMS back to back. I was a bit nervous about falling asleep (more of a hazard with each passing year) and thus shooting myself in the foot viz a decent night’s kip later on, but cleverly avoided that trap by the simple expedient of cranking up the volume to eleven, something I don’t do anywhere near often enough but will make a point of finding time for occasionally in future.
Avoiding anything post-punk I started out with Pink Floyd’s Relics, and I’ve got to say it was a lovely trip; even the couple of tracks I usually avoid since the advent of CD’s and the skip button. I won’t bore you with the albums in between, but I finished with Hawkwind’s first album, and by the time it got to that rather wet sounding fart in the fadeout of Mirror of Illusion I felt warmed to the very cockles in that sort of bittersweet way that is simultaneously heartbreaking and cathartic. I’d love to be able to time-travel for real and tell that scared, sixteen year old I used to be that it would all be alright (mostly) in the end: He was a lovely kid (I wonder what became of him!) and there was nobody around back then who took the time or trouble. Hope I do better by Ben, who is an even lovelier kid and deserves it even more…
Next time I might wind forward a bit (back to the future and back a bit) to the safety-pin and tartan bondage trews years (though in truth I never owned a pair of the latter and only faked the nose piercing for a couple of nights as the nightclub I illegally frequented as a seventeen year old wouldn’t let me in with it in) and dig out my Devo, Damned and Ramones CD’s too. Never did rate the Clash, and Mr Dury and the above aside punk was more of a 45’s experience than an albums one for me. Lots of bloody excellent singles, though, and by that time Cassettes had taken off big time so compilation wasn’t such a dirty word (Bow-Wow-Wow made a single about it, in fact, though not one that falls into the bloody excellent category either by today’s standards or those prevailing at the time of its release). I still break into a sweat when I hear the opening guitar on Pretty Vacant, and certain live versions of Mr Dury’s songs give me an adrenalin rush that’s dangerous at my age! I wouldn’t say better than sex, but a bloody good second and far less messy. I meant that in an emoshunal sense, BTW, for anyone going ‘ewwwwwwwwwwwwww’.
Yep, that’s a def. Next time Ben’s round his mates on a Sunday arvo I’m gonna dig out the punk stuff and have a good pogo round the bedroom. No gobbing, though – it’s a filthy habit and since I gave up the fags there’s really no need for it.
Oh well. Dinner won’t cook itself…