Monday 30 August 2021

Here In Catalonia

 I am currently reading George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" and am shocked how I have drifted into it , ensnared by Orwell's excellent writing. It's about the Spanish Civil War and everything about this book says a big no to me. Boring ,  1930s War commentary about something that I have no interest in at all.

Then I opened the book.

The text was huge almost unparagraphed slabs , only 250 pages but I wasn't going to get through this. 90 pages later and it is a truly excellent read . It brings out the total boredom of war and just as you are getting as numb as Orwell was the bombs drop , the bullets fly , the lack of resources , the dirt and filth , you are in it.

And it is very readable , I am just surprised how good it is , maybe it is just me.

So to go with it I've included Greenslade's "Catalan" from "Time and Tide".

One of the good things about posting on my own blog is there are no limitations or quality control (as you may have noticed , but you can check out my Vocal writing here , which is subject to quality control.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

On The Border

Woke up this morning to thick fog. 

I was dreaming , there was a guitarist and Cher , and he was playing in various styles and she told him to play like Carlos Santana, I thought there is no way he can just play like Carlos Santana without the right guitar and amplification set up.

He started to play and I thought it's nothing like Santana , it sounds like birdsong. This went on for a while and I then realised it was my alarm clock which wakes me up with birdsong. It's the first time for me , I think , that real life and dreams have meshed together so closely . I really don't know if that is a good thing. Is this real life or is it just fantasy indeed?

Obviously the multi style guitarist got me thinking of "Guitar Jamboree" by Chris Spedding , he is a brilliant guitarist but it's just a novelty song.

I finished Tony Hawks' "Piano In The Pyrenees" which turned out to be more about his attempt to build a swimming pool while integrating into the local French community , culminating in meeting up with a former lover. I hope it worked out.

Next book I've nipped over the border with George Orwell's "Homage To Catalonia" about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. It is grim and the pages are huge blocks of text making for difficult reading but it is providing an insight into what happened then.

Now to work.

Saturday 14 August 2021

The Piano Is In The Pyrenees

I am half way through the book "A Piano In The Pyrenees" by Tony Hawks, and while it is extremely entertaining , the piano got there after a hundred pages without too much trauma, apart from a Luton Van meeting it's demise. The thing is it's a bit like writing a 500 page book on the titanic and a hundred pages in it's on the bottom of the Atlantic. I suppose the film did start a bit like that.

Anyway this is just one of Tony Hawks books (all worth a read and great fun) and some fun stories about an English man relocating to a house in the Pyrenees , the scrapes he gets into and the characters he meets.

The weekend is here and I am not sure what is going to happen. 

I am working through "The Killing" on BBC iPlayer and , if this is really the right word , enjoying it. In the past I have worked so many people who will not watch a program with subtitles, they really don't know what they are missing do they?

As I mentioned "Titanic" I've included "The Unsinkable Ship" from "White Star Liner" by Public Service Broadcasting.

Sunday 8 August 2021

More Dreams and The Accidental Button Press

Yesterday I got my new contact lenses and there was a letter saying which lens went in which eye, which I duly followed. After giving my eyes hydration via and eye bath I put the lens in my left eye and it was very blurry but thought it will settle down. I prepared the right eye one but the left eye was still blurry , it wasn't going to settle down. Then I swapped the lens in my left eye to my right eye and I could see perfectly immediately. The letter had got the lenses the wrong way round , so now my sight is perfect.

I had a really odd dream , our work team were having a meeting in a classroom on the corner of the West Road and Clayton Street (it's a cake shop in reality so that might say something). There was my team and a Facebook friend Les who shares a love of Greek Mythology as demonstrated by this story

Ola by boss was writing in chalk on a blackboard and I was having real difficulty seeing , took my glasses off , no difference , but still had contact lenses in. Then walked out and visited a couple of record shops with another friend Sarah , who's birthday party I attended a couple of weeks back. Now there's only one record shop in that direction , Beyond Vinyl , although Vinyl Guru is the other direction  but there are the Amnesty Bookshop and Kazbats Den. I didn't buy anything and told Sarah that I needed to get back to work.

I then woke, washed , showered , and when I picked up my phone , the Marvin Gaye song "We Can Make It Baby" came on via YouTube. I have never heard before , it is quite good , but a sort of end to the dream sequence.

Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit in one of his songs wrote that and unusual thing in a dream would be going for a loaf of bread. in the song "San Antonio Foam Party" but all the lyrics are here and they are a literary treasure trove.

Saturday 7 August 2021

A Piano In The Pyrenees

As you can see the posting to this blog has dropped significantly since I started posting on Vocal here , so my writing has increase but not here. 

This is my first August post and it is the first day of the new Football season , and Preston North End (my team) are playing Hull City. They signed Jamie Thomas after he impressed in a friendly against Bamber Bridge so I really hope things go well for him.

Book wise I picked up "A Piano In The Pyrenees" by Tony Hawks (not the skateboarder) about buying a house in France and getting his piano there. This is a bit more sedate and gently funny , than my recent books "Maroc" by Daniel Easterman and "Nightworld" by F Paul Wilson, both excellent but I felt I needed something a bit gentler.

He is responsible for lots of humorous books based on odd premises.

Also you can see this is very short, but you can follow the Vocal link if you want some more.

Music wise I have have been listening to a lot of different things but lets go with Matthew E White's "Rock and Roll Is Cold"