Whabburba… wasaat? Gordon selling all his possessions, a high-class house-sale with his friends from a different world, his fancy projector going for £8,999,000 more than it’s worth, Gordon in the DJ booth, I’m talking him out of foolish indiscretions while making my own. Gill isn’t happy, but for no good reason. It’s a long night for dreaming, and filled with long dreams. Proof of this one: I wake up into another dream, and am presented with a receipt for my dreams, 3 hours and 21 minutes exactly that last one. It’s a very long night, and it’s all devoted to dreams.
Monthly Archive for May, 2004
Wow, exciting Formula One yesterday, shame I only caught ITV’s late highlights (busy working in the allotment all day), so I found myself watching one incident after another without time between them to straighten out in my head exactly what had happened.
Anyway, depressing afterwards to see the smug Saint Coulthard laying into Sato and BAR. As I said on this message board,
So, David Coulthard has “slammed BAR for not retiring Sato”. Surely this isn’t the same David Coulthard who drove half a Monaco grand prix two years ago with smoke coming out of his car? And then went on to win it?
He also called BAR “immature” for not spotting Sato’s engine problems. I think what he means is that BAR haven’t got as much experience of spotting engine failures as McLaren. Fair point. NOBODY has as much experience of engine failures as McLaren.
And, excuse me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Kimi blown up on track on at least one occasion this season, complete with plumes of smoke and everything. Why the hell didn’t “mature” McLaren pull him off the track before he wrecked somebody else’s afternoon?
We tested out my home cinema idea on Saturday. It works! (although we could really do with some blinds in the living room). Emma borrowed the LCD projector from work (a very small one at that, and not unbearably loud), I played a DVD (Respiro) on the laptop, fed it through the projector and the hi-fi, Gill found some white curtains in a charity shop, to serve as a screen, and we all sat and watched the movie. Even more amazing, Rowan seemed to get quite into the film, subtitles and all. And it had some great Greek-sounding bass clarinet music from John Surman.
The arguments on this page smack of conspiracy theory, but in light of the similar arguments used to “prove” the Mirror photos were fake, they take on a new light. Besides, these days the whole of reality smacks of a conspiracy theory.
I finally got around to reading some Katherine Mansfield, after reading glowing praise from M John Harrison and others, and spotting Harvey Pekar reading one of her books in a scene from American Splendour. I picked up a pleasingly 1950s-looking hardback “Collected Stories” from the book stall on the South Bank, under Waterloo Bridge.
Last night I was reading Je Ne Parle Pas Francais, my mind particularly sharp, and almost every phrase within the story dripped with significance. She starts it off by saying:
I don’t believe in the human soul. I never have. I believe that people are like portmanteaux-packed with certain things, started going, thrown about, tossed away, dumped down, lost and found, half emptied suddenly, or squeezed fatter than ever, until finally the Ultimate Porter swings them on to the Ultimate Train and away they rattle.
I was cheering with the appropriateness of this simile, until a few paragraphs further down she puts herself down, calling this a:
rather far-fetched and not frightfully original digression
But the bit which really had me sitting back digging into my own mind for resonances was this:
I’ve no patience with people who can’t let go of things, who will follow after and cry out. When a thing’s gone, it’s gone. It’s over and done with. Let it go then ! Ignore it, and comfort yourself, if you do want comforting, with the thought that you never do recover the same thing that you lose. It’s always a new thing. The moment it leaves you it’s changed. Why, that’s even true of a hat you chase after; and I don’t mean superficially -I mean profoundly speaking . . . I have made it a rule of my life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy, and no one who intends to be a writer can afford to indulge in it. You can’t get it into shape; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in. Looking back, of course, is equally fatal to Art. It’s keeping yourself poor. Art can’t and won’t stand poverty.
Suddenly I was cast back to the days when I had a hat. I was seventeen, studying for my A-levels at Richmond-upon-Thames college. I’m sure that to most people who saw me at the time, I was defined by that hat. I’d picked it up at Kensington Market, during one of my many trips to that magical bazaar, a floppy wide-brimmed felt thing with a light-blue cotton scarf tied around and dripping over the brim, pulling it down on one side. I wore it everywhere. I felt strangely connected to it as my main distinguishing feature.
Then I went to Southampton, for a meet-up with fellow players of the Saturnalia play-by-mail game. I cruised the drinking establishments of Southampton’s red-light-districts with the Southampton Uni students who ran the game, got very drunk, crashed the night in Mo’s flat listening to eternal B52s, left early the next day to catch a train to Woodcraft Folk camp in the Forest of Dean.
I soon realised I’d left my hat behind, in the room of a particularly obnoxious student who had been limbering up for his finals. We corresponded, the hat was still there. He finally brought it along to the next meet-up. Unfortunately, by then the finals had passed, as had post-exam drinking binges, and in a night of excess he had returned to his room to find only one receptacle suitable for holding vomit: my hat. He’d tried washing it, but it had lost its shape, it was not the hat it had been before. I tried wearing it, but it didn’t feel right. Of course, this was largely down to the negative effect of puke on the shaped-felt, and I did lament my hat and wish that I had it back in its previous form, but I think that sick-receptacle or not, that couple of months spent separated from my headgear had changed both me and the hat in ways more subtle that those immediately obvious. Even if it had looked the same as when I’d left it, I don’t think I’d have gone back long-term to wearing the hat. Time had divorced me from my hat.
I went into a record (or rather, CD) shop yesterday, intending to buy the new album by The Streets. Instead the new album by the Sluts of Trust leered out at me almost before I’d got through the door. I’ve written about the band here before, and the album was everything as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also the first CD I’ve bought in ages, yes file-sharing is killing CD-buying, but good CDs are still worth buying. Also, the same day “Fat Boab” posted an enlightening comment on my previous Sluts entry.
Here’s what I just wrote about the album on Amazon:
This is an incredible album, from an incredible band. The Sluts of Trust’s angry, raw combination of drums, guitar, voice and nothing else won’t appeal to all, particularly as the vocals and guitar playing are sometimes flawed (but more human because of it). Their pared-down approach features a polyphonic squee of guitar noises, chords, solos, basslines all played on the same instrument at the same time like a not quite so extreme version of Caspar Brotzmann’s Massaker. Underneath this are rock-solid drums (some wonderful stilted thrown-together rhythyms), and above it raw, funny vocals. It’s hard to think of comparisons: Eddie van Halen’s psychopathic runt of a half-brother rails against the world, Mark E Smith discovers heavy metal, I dunno. They’re unique and they’re wonderful.