Tag Archives: music
Yes, another… Just before bedtime… It’s about time I introduced you to my divine niece, Lily Ahlberg. Enjoy.
Busy, busy week…
I’m writing this on my new iPad, which is a challenge… But having invested my life savings and an arm and a leg in it I’m going to crack it if it kills me. My Ma always says, “Where there’s a will there’s a way, and you my dear have one of the strongest wills I’ve ever seen.”
She’s not wrong…
I discovered this afternoon, to my dismay, that you can’t actually blog from an iPad… Which is entirely why I bought the bloody thing… Because the sites like WordPress and Blogspot haven’t married up the touch screen interface with the host domain’s dashboard yet. You can’t upload pics or vids or docs which is obviously what I do a lot of, in fact it’s all I do, other than the actual text of my diaries.
However. Relax. I’ve found an app which is very clever and seems to work really well other than crashing occasionally. It enables you to post vids from Youtube and photos either from your library on your iPad or flickr, or images directly from the web. It involved the setting up of various accounts but that was relatively simple to do. I wanted to find a way of blogging whereby I could be entirely self sufficient with just an iPad so that when I travel it’s all I need to take. This app seems to be the answer.
It’s called Blogsy.
I may eat my words after I press the publish button and see the results of my endeavours, but fingers, toes legs and eyes are all crossed.
Saturday 17th September
Last Saturday I drove Isaac up to Leeds. The traffic was chaotic. We witnessed the aftermath of about seven accidents and every other car seemed to be piled full of cardboard boxes and duvets- a mass exodus of teens off to uni from every city along the stretch of the M1.
As always we passed the four hour journey (I know- very extended…) with pleasant conversation and an eclectic selection of music. Isaac is never anything but good company, a fact that never ceases to make me feel anything other than joyful.
The top pic is of Isaac’s flats, bang in the centre of Leeds and the bottom is of the architecture building. A wonderful structure, award winning, that looks like it’s made of rusty metal panels like an old ship’s hull.
Negotiating the one way system and ring roads of Leeds was not easy, which considerably added to our journey time and my frazzle-factor, but we finally arrived at The Plaza, Isaac’s home for the next year, a mere hour and a half later than our booked appointment time. No one was bothered however and we were greeted by a smiling rep, shown where to park and register and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Isaac’s on the tenth floor in a flat with five others- three girls and one boy. His room is a decent size and he has his own ensuite which is tiny, like an aeroplane loo. It’s all beige moulded plastic, but clean and functional with enough shelf space for a razor, shaving foam and a tooth brush and paste. (Just as well he doesn’t often wear make up or use many hair products…) Ha ha!
We unpacked his stuff, then re-packed half his clothes back in the suitcase for me to bring home again when he realised how much space he doesn’t have. (He must get his clothes collecting gene from someone… Can’t think who?) Made up his bed, found a home for everything, learnt why the Asda coat-hangers we bought were so cheap, discovered the local corner shop- very handy- bought loo rolls and washing powder which we realised we’d forgotten and Isaac made me a cup of tea before I left him pinning up all his pics and gig tickets on his pin board above his bed.
By the time I’d driven round the perimeter of Leeds at least three times and through it’s centre twice in an inept attempt to locate either the M1 or the A1-I wasn’t fussy as long it was heading South- I’d completely swallowed the lump in my throat and forgotten it was ever there. He’ll be fine. I know that. And it’s not like he’s not been away before. And he is a messy bugger. And noisy. But I do miss him.
I’ll publish this and see how it looks before I write up a whole week of drivel in case I find it’s got even drivellier thanks to the inadequacies of modern technology.
If it works all hail Blogsy!!!
What a lovely afternoon- Market Harborough. Poetry Stanza. Two hours of bliss. Lovely people. Like minded. Intellectual stimulation. Discussion. Generous constructive criticism. What more could a writer want. I am blessed.
Ma and Pa came round for supper. They were half an hour early and I was consequently tetchy and resentful. Wish it was not so. We ate and drank well but my patience was stretched. Sometimes I hate myself. I wish I was nicer.
Blasts from the past. I love. Thank you G.E.
Haven’t really listened to them for years.
I remember I was so obsessed with both The Roches and Roy Harper…
And I remember why… because they are fucking amazing is why.
We nearly didn’t get there… Nipped into Oakham at 11am to buy buns for breakfast and Wellies for kids who didn’t have any and having read the weather forecast decided they needed some and we broke down in Tesco carpark… The van wouldn’t start. I turned the key and nothing happened, nada zilch rien sweet FA, not a sound not a grunt not a squeak not a peep, dead as a dodo. Phoned the lovely Callum at Hillside garage in Great Glen- a knight in shining armour if ever there was one- and he said call out the breakdown chappy and if they can’t sort it I’ll come out… and this was even though I knocked down half his wall yesterday on leaving the premises after he’d rushed through my MOT for me… It was a small wall to be fair, invisible to all intents and purposes, but it was his wall none-the-less!
Called the breakdown service (who came super quick by the way- probably because I said I had five children, with me, which I did, and they didn’t ask the age of the kids (16), no doubt presuming we were on some kind of a kindergarten outing, which obviously we weren’t) and embarrassingly it started straight away. Got home and Callum phoned to check if it was sorted. I told him I wasn’t sure as I didn’t dare cut the engine in case I couldn’t start it again. He enquired whether I was going to keep it running for the whole five days I was away or wouldn’t I rather see if it started OK just in case. I agreed that his was probably a better idea, went out, turned off the engine and Hey Presto!!! it wouldn’t start again… So…. the lovely Callum came out AND SORTED IT… in five minutes. Dodgy connection on the starter motor. Genius! We packed the van to within an inch of it’s life and set off- me (obviously) and Ferg in the front, Rosy, Oliver, Adam, Julius and Jip all sqeeeeeezed into the back, along with everyone’s baggage, sleeping bags, tent, cooking stuff, gas cylinders, seven pairs of wellies, 48 buns, 48 eggs, 6 packs of bacon, 10 crates of beer, and all my clothes… Yes, the old van did us proud.
We set off around 2pm and got there uneventfully around 6pm- van drove like a dream- especially now I know to stop and check the oil level every 50 miles or so- and I’ve learnt how to use the dip-stick, not just pour in the whole 5 litre can, she says proudly! Isn’t knowledge a wonderful thing? It took us about 2 hours to get into the site and we were all set up, with tent erected by 9pm. Watched an amazing sunset and pootled off to get our wrist bands and some supper and a few ciders. I came back around 11 to wait for Jo who’d left Yorkshire straight after school had finished, (that’s my sister for those of you who don’t know and she’s a teacher by the way- not a pupil…) We sat up till late chatting and the kids all staggered back, slightly inebriated and buzzing like bees round the proverbial honey pot. We all slept like boulders.
Got up about 9.30 and the sky was a flawless cornflower blue, the sun already blazing. Made and drank much tea. Cooked mammoth bacon and egg butties for 9 peeps for we’d aquired Henry by now too and off we all went into the inner sanctum.
First up was Edwyn Collins. Always been a fan- saw Orange juice so many moons ago I cannot tell you when- and he was fab!
He sang a song with his son, William, introduced him so proudly explaining this was his debut… William was fresh faced, innocent, young and so sweet, looking for reassurance and approval from his father, it was really touching. He did fantastic too. Edwyn himself is amazing- brave and a real fighter to keep performing after his stroke. He’s still quite paralysed down his right side and has to walk with a stick but his singing voice is unimpaired. I’ve heard him talk about how music was one of the main things that helped him get through and fight against his disabilities. Well done that man. Great set too. And he did Rip it Up and Start Again. Cool…
After that we wandered off into the woods and caught Phantom Band, Fool’s Gold and Grouplove who were bloody brilliant, and I cut my ear on a vicious twig while peeing in the bracken. That’ll teach me!
I loved Grouplove. They were one of my faves of the weekend. They have a lot of hair between them, probably about a yak full. Energetic, original, fun, wild, brilliant. The male lead singer reminds me of our very own Tacey and sings like a 21st century Neil Young backed by a more melodic Mouldy Peaches and the girl is the epitome of cool with a great voice to boot…
We just chilled for the rest of the afternoon, drank cider, spent a bit of money on rings and frilly knickers and stripy leggings and crazy socks, as you do, listened to KT Tunstall-always good, and Bright Eyes-OK but not amazing, ate v good goat curry and shark patties, while getting a tad sunburnt, fun, fun, fun.
We finished off our musical entertainment by taking in The Vaccines and Bombay Bicycle Club. The Vaccines were absolutely brilliant. So much life and energy. They were a revelation. I enjoyed Bombay Bicycle Club too but the Vaccines get my vote. Their songs are short and snappy and perfectly formed, like early eighties punk, still edgy and raw but 21st century and just that little bit slicker.
Took in some fab poetry to round off the evening brilliantly.
Saw one of our faves from last year- Brigitte Aphrodite- anarchic, hilarious, wild and very cute. Then caught Luke Wright, Tim Clare (who Jo and I are both a little in love with) and friends. Really, really good, really, really entertaining.
Staggered back to the van and slept like babies until the thunder and lightening and torrential rain woke us at about 10am!!! Oh England, I love you and your erratic weather systems tra la la.
More to follow…
Oh… I feel so guilty. I’ve not blogged in weeks. Sorry…
Anyway- why? You are entitled to ask.
Life, work, children- (GCSE’s and end of term exams, and lack of organisation,) love, sex, parents, writing, and then a knowledge that I had so much to catch up on, how could I ever… A friend all the way across the ocean in New York actually nudged me into getting my arse in gear… by his comment- re 3rd June- it’s pathetic!.
Here I am. I haven’t just been sitting on my bum, I swear…
What have I been doing? Listening.
here are some of my new loves…
Toni Morrison: Song of Solomon
I loved it. beautifully, evocatively written. A wonderful insight into America and what it was to be African American, black, in that time. It’s a story of family, of history; both private and public, of love: how we can make or break each other according to how we deport ourselves within it and because of it, and of a need to discover where we’ve come from in order to explain where we’re going. Wonderful.
Kay Ryan: The Best of It
Wonderful, gorgeous poems from the American Poet Laureate 2008-2010. A revellation. So initially simple, yet so absorbingly complex that one reads and reads and reads again. I defy you not to love them.
Robert Shearman: Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical
If you love a good read and you love a short story and you love quirky, funny, poignant, surreal, original… look no further.
Jacob Ross: Song for Simone
Out of print and hard to get hold of but well worth it if you can. Beautiful, poetic, heart wrenching, raw, evocative. Love, loss, life and a wonderful insight into a Caribbean childhood and a coming of age. It’s all there.
James Baldwin: Going to Meet the Man
The eponymous short story is terrifying and touches all that we are as human beings, at our best and at our worst. These stories are shocking and groundbreaking and everyone should be encouraged to read them. I’m encouraging you… daring you… to read them.
Jane Yeh: Marabou
I just like her neat, economical style. She speaks volumes in a phrase, where others would struggle with a paragraph or a whole poem.
I love Mslexia…
Great feature on starting your novel… but could be a short story… read on.
So- that’s me for a min- I need to eat.
Fergus has cooked us Spaghetti Carbonara. Yum Yum.