Friday, 24 October 2014

A Tuneful 2014

It is a truly fine time to be alive and enjoying music: Judas Priest had a new album in July, and AC/DC have a new album next month. Rock 'n' roll & heavy metal all the way.
Today is the halfway point between the two, for me, most significant releases of the year: Weezer a couple of weeks ago and Pink Floyd in a couple of week's time. Hmm, yes, it does feel weird to write about a new Pink Floyd album; after having obsessed about their majesty for so long, to have them release an album in my memory is quite magical. 'They' say it'll just be unreleased & rehashed stuff from The Division Bell, but I love that album and am quite enamoured with David Gilmour, so I'm completely fine with that.
Interestingly, on the subject of The Division Bell, that album - Pink Floyd's last - came out twenty years ago, in the same year as Weezer's first album (Weezer). If that wasn't coincidental enough, Weezer's latest album (Everything Will be Alright in the End) mentions Professor Stephen Hawking in a song, twenty years after Stephen Hawking soundbites were used on The Division Bell.
Further factoid! Having listened to EWBAITE (I believe that's the accepted abbreviation technique, though it's rather rendered useless by this long-winded parenthesis) everyday since its release, one song that seemed a little incongruous is I've Had it Up to Here; everytime it played I've had a little voice in my head telling me that it sounds a little like The Darkness. Then, idly browsing the track listing, I was astonished to see that it was co-written by Justin Hawkings. That would explain it.
Talking of Justin Hawkings, whenever people are talking of close-encounteres with celebrities, I am forced to admit that the only time I have ever soared to the dizzy heights of mingling with the stars was when I serviced Justin Hawkings' Chopper, all those years ago. I should probably clarify that it was a Raleigh Chopper and not anything else any possible readers' mucky minds might have  thought up.
Ah, actually, I did have one more encounter with the famous: years ago, before I could reach the pull-flush in the outhouse, I got a "G'day!" from Rolf Harris at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Made my day. How the mighty have fallen...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Choo Choo

"This journey may be delayed."

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Having a Giraffe

"You must think I’m some kind of fucking arsehole.”


I've no doubt that, in years which have yet to pass, others & I will look back with longing at having paid more than half-an-hour's pay for a pint o' piss. Perhaps, one day, I'll look back with longing at a time when I was paid a pittance for a job with only an average amount of stress attached.

Halcyon days.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sitting in an English Garden

Other than waiting for the inevitable rain to come, the cat & I are watching parrots eat cherries. It's a funny old world.

Well, I say the cat & I are birdwatching, but this scarface here is really only watching his catty dreams go by:


Saturday, 11 October 2014

More Journeying

Morning
Today started, as many, happily, do, with a feline rendezvous outside the back door. There is a great deal to commend such time as is spent watching the clouds scud past whilst stroking a small, fluffy, mammal. The mutual benefit is undeniable, and, though I can't communicate exactly what the cat was cognating, I, for one, am spiritually & mentally enriched by the times we spend together. He hangs around waiting for me, so I think I'm doing something correctly.
As all things must pass, it was too soon time to frappé la rue. The day's first misfortune, other than the alarm clock sounding, was the impressive, unseen &  really rather rapid change in weather between one side of the house & the other: partial cloud to pissing down in just a few short strides. Bollocks.
So on with the oilskins and just get on with it.
Predictably, within five kilometres the rain had stopped, the clouds were thinning and I was sweating like a hippo at noon. A quick nip into Dulwich Park brought relief in the form of stripping off the (allegedly) breathable waterproofs. What a swizz Gore-Tex is. Something of a chilly ride after that, but that's always preferable to boil-in-the-bag.

Evening
Work done (W), and another bike ride awaited. This one was uncomfortable from the start; downing a couple of small beers before heading out is not a terribly clever idea.
Immediate indigestion gradually subsided into increasingly urgently needing to empty the soluble waste tank. Suburban London, particularly the South Circular, affords few opportunities for a sly slash, so it was not until the journey was well over half-done that the chance presented itself. A quick nip into Dulwich Park brought relief in the form of watering a shrubbery.
I've piddled in a few picturesque places, and while Dulwich Park in the dark is certainly atmospheric, it doesn't have much of a view.
...unless you happen to pissing toward the South at just the right time:



By complete chance, the highly distinctive, steadily shining, deceptively slow-moving star that is the International Space Station happened to be visible exactly where I looked up in relief. I would urge everyone to follow the link below to see when you might be able to catch a glimpse of a permanently crewed base in outer space travelling at more than 27500km/h. It could do my journey to work in about 4 seconds.
There's nothing quite like experiencing one of the Wonders of the Modern World (along with such things as vaccines, efficient mass crop production, increasingly efficient air travel & GPS) to buoy one's motivation on an arduous journey. And to arrive home to find the cat being extra fluffy & friendly, well, that just made the day for a wannabe crazy cat lady like me.

FAQ
"But how do you know it's the ISS?"
Admittedly, until I arrived home and looked it up on spotthestation, I didn't know it for sure. Having seen it many times before, it does become quite distinctive: it's too slow to be a meteor, not flashy enough to be an aircraft, too bright to be (almost) any other satellite, visible for too long to be an Iridium flare; though it could have been aliens. Take 5 minutes out of a night when it'll be visible where you are and get acquainted with the glow.

"ZOMG, how do I know where & when I can see this miracle of engineering!?"
http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/index.cfm

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Law of the Sod

Walking.
Shoes too small.
Wishing I'd come by bike.
Cannon Street closed (as I bloody-well should o' known it would be at this bloody time).
Walking.
Shoes still too small.
Signal fault at London Bridge (as I bloody-well should have pessimistically predicted on such an evening as bloody this).
Really wishing I'd come by bike.
Running.
Terrible idea at any time (except, of course, unless velociraptors are involved).
Additionally, shoes still to small.
Bus late.
Bus slow.
Scheduled bus times appear to be based on noöne ever joining or alighting.
Passengers are an inconvenience, evidently.
Really, really wishing I'd come by bike.
Happily though, I have drunk too much coffee & tea for this time of night, so I shalln't be waking up in Bellingham.
Bus stops at Lewisham Shopping Centre rather than Lewisham Police Station, i.e. it deposits us in a wretched hive of scum & villainy.
By my various gods, I cannot begin to describe how much I am wishing I'd come by bike.
Walking.
On another bus.
Walking.
Attempting to enter house silently.
Oh what's that? I made plum crumble earlier in the day? It's matured beautifully? Plumble™, get thee down my oesophagus.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

How I Wish You Were Here on an Island in the Sun

I don't play guitar, but if I did, I'd struggle to choose between the accessorising of...

Gilmour or...

...Cuomo.

I don't imagine this will ever actually be an issue, but it's rather pleasant to dream of these two lovely chaps and their skillz. Innit.