Thursday, 17 July 2008

Change and changes

A funny couple of weeks. An anniversary comes and goes of a school friend passing away. A friend of mine splits with his other half. Another friend gets hitched (more of which below). Another friend is newly diagnosed with a condition, which, while thankfully not life-threatening, is considerably life-altering. I run out of money once again, think about a pension scheme and maybe moving back to the ‘burbs and somewhere more affordable. It’s all very grown-up in that scary way in which you have to fashion adult responses as you go and hope that they are the appropriate ones.

On a partially-related note, I seem to be losing hearing in my right ear. I do believe this is middle age. It seems a little unfair since I can still smell my twenties just disappearing around the corner. ‘Turn and face the strange; ch-ch-changes', advises Bowie, right as always. I dreamt about him again by the way but I won't go into it here. Suffice to say that, considering the amount of time we've spent together by now, if he doesn't recognise me when we eventually meet I'll be nothing less than dumbfounded. My friend Joff owns a book called I Dream Of Madonna which compiles women’s various nocturnal fantasies about Madge. I’m going to write one about Dame Bowie, I could fill half of it myself by now …

So, after a leisurely Friday off work spent gyming, writing and having mad half hours with The Pugling and a Boots receipt, I hot-foot it to Chipping in the lush Ribble valley for the wedding do of my lovely friend Sam to the equally lovely Dan. I've known Sam for nineteen years which just ages the two of us quite unnecessarily. I unreservedly approve of Dan, he is an absolute diamond. Just the evening do for me this time so am half expecting the dress to be covered in cake or Ribena or somesuch by the time I arrive, but it and Samantha are pristine. It seems my girly friends do an excellent line in making beautiful brides. A semi-reunion of old school chums in the evening sunshine is not at all a bad way to spend a Friday night. Apparently the bride arrived at the reception by helicopter. Cue big chopper jokes. Cannot wait to see the video.

As promised, some nice Brit psychedelics. I always suspected I liked the psych-art-blues Barrett side of Floyd more than the later laser-prog stuff. Listening to 'Terrapin', 'Octopus' and Floyd's own 'Bike' affirms this. 'Terrapin' is just wonderful, it could easily be 'Miss America' off Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish, or maybe even a 'Beetlebum'-era B-side. Blur are such magpies aren't they? They do it so well though. I think Damon and Graham must both have been immersed in Barrett at some point, it's all over Graham's solo stuff too. Have also been playing Leonard Cohen's Greatest Hits (the one with the sepia cover) where somewhat disappointingly my current favourite track is 'The Partisan' , the only one he didn't write. The sleeve notes are excellent, almost as cryptic as the lyrics themselves: 'I developed the curious notion that the Nazis were overthrown by music.' I have spotted the odd lyrical favour borrowed by Nirvana, and The Smiths of course: 'And everything depends on how near you sleep to me' from 'Take This Longing' which has some of the best lyrics I've read in my life. Morrissey was fifteen when this song was released, it must've been burned into his heart, it floors you. Leonard Cohen and Syd Barrett; put them on my fantasy diner-party list and laminate it.

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