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Tuesday, April 24, 2001

An Impressive Amount of Chance

An internet café in Newcastle . . .

Still off-line and it looks I’ll be that way for a little while yet. Talked a while to Sean Hewitt last night who is bravely trying to cut the incredibly wordy word count of the KC book. Of course not being able to read his suggested cull is a bit of a pain but I guess it does introduce an impressive amount of chance into the process.

You have no idea how much they charge for using this service here. So, I’ll bugger off and try and speed flick through the e-mail that’s piling up.

Apologies to those who might be waiting for a reply. Normal service will resume at some point in the future.

Saturday, April 14, 2001

Getting The Goosebumps

Still off-line but life goes on. A truly wonderful week made all the better by Debbie’s return from her chums in Birmingham. We spent a lovely couple of days just being together mooching around in the kitchen and Green room, cooking, chatting, reading and laughing. I even managed to do soome painting this week which was so enjoyable.

The boys are wild and have basically been out in the street kicking a football around and playing games such as Statues, Bulldog and Monakitty. Last night we had the neighbours and all of their children in for a huge meal which began around 7.00 p.m. and finished sometime just after midnight. I pushed the boat out and had myself three of those ickle lickle bottles of bier d’Alsace and was only mildly stocious.

Sometime last week I reduced to tears by listening to Aaron Copland’s Quiet City. Have you heard it ? If not you should try and get a listen to it. I was truly transported to a place of profound beauty. As the trumpet and strings gathered together in a moment of opalescence, I felt the tears fall. And afterwards felt utterly refreshed and somehow more connected to my surroundings. The music has haunted me all week.

On a different scale but not to far from the above point, as Debbie and I were preparing food yesterday we were playing Roy Orbison’s greatest hits. She was in the kitchen and I was in the Green room sorting out some crockery. Just as the Big O paused to belt out the final “It’s oooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeerrrrrrrrr”, the pair of us burst out in goosebumps, which we ran through to compare. Wow. Exhilarating stuff. A couple of minutes later, we repeated the song but this time there was no effect.

Hopefully I will be back on-line in the coming week and thus normal service should be resumed. Incoming telephone calls from Ian McDonald and Robert Fripp last week. Once I’m back on-line there should be outgoing calls to Adrian Belew and Trey Gunn which should mean the 80’s and 90’s section of the book will be finished. Yee-haaa !

Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Cut Off

Back home from London to find a letter from the phone company telling me that we are about to be disconnected once again. So it looks like this will be the last diar. . . .

Sunday, April 01, 2001

Trying To Get a Handle On Things

Leafy Highgate. . .

Boy . . .
a calm quiet kind of day and I slept until 10.20. Now you might think that my getting up late was something to do with a wild, late night spent singing and cheering and generally worrying the locals. Sadly not. I was in bed and asleep a little after midnight. Kimber reckons I need so much beauty sleep because I'm so ugly.

Cooked breakfast for the pair of us and read and talked. After we'd done that we talked and read some more. It's been that kind of day. Talked to Debbie on the phone and caught up with all the news back home. While I've been away Debbie has arrived at some important career decisions which sound very exciting. I know how she feels. I'm also feeling that I need to make some changes in what I do with my life when I'm not asleep. It's not that I'm unhappy but I don't quite get the same sense of engagment as I previously did. Also the framework in local government isn't something that I feel I have much to contribute anymore.

In 18 years of Tory government we managed to avoid closing services. In three years of Labour government it's like we've gone out of our way to get rid of services. Anyway, I won't rant on. Anymore than I have.

Wandered into town late afternoon and discovered a great Jazz shop and managed to buy two albums. One was a new cd from Joceyln Pook and the other was a collection of Geordie folksongs from Johnny Handle and other Northern blokes.

The Handle songs were recorded around 1961 and have a special place in my heart. When I was a kid we used to have an e.p. on the Topic label which featured many of the songs collected on this cd selection. I listened to a few of them in the shop and a lot of memories came flooding back. Sadly they've left off a couple of the humourous songs as the collection is loosely themed around mining, drinking and being as hard as fuck.


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