Friday, 27 February 2015

Vinyl Struck: Listening To Robert Wyatt On Cork

I do love my vinyl playing set-up now that it is in place. The only change I have made, after a few playing attempts, is to order up a replacement mat. The deck comes with a thin felt mat which seems to increase static. Fluff and stuff fly to the record surface. And like some escalating slapstick scene .... when I lift up the record to change it, the mat sticks and tries to come along for the ride. As I try to sort that out... the rubber band what keeps the whole thing turning falls off. And we all do know what a trial it is when your rubber band falls off.
My solution is to buy a cork mat, a "Cork It" in fact. Bliss. No more fluff and static... and it do sound better also I think.

So I  catch up on LPs I haven't played for decades.....
....and my "new" treat.... which is "Rock Bottom" by Robert Wyatt... a layered dreamy thing, full of some kind of jazz and including an appearance from my favourite and late Scottish poet, Ivor Cutler.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Old Man's Hair Stands On End: A Letter From George

Oh but The Old Man is furious today... and has been for several days. You see, we each get a letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. No. Really. From George himself. It do have a photo of him at the top of the page... freshly coiffed, smoothly skinned, straight off his 5:2 diet... and smiling at us.
This is because we are of a certain age. So he is writing to us about Pensioner Bonds. The Old Man explodes.... Is there a public list of pension age people? Has George used government money to compile the target list? How much does that cost? Huff-puff.
Me? Golly I have not received a letter from a minister before ...  about my taxes... my health.... my education... whatever. It's very flattering isn't it. It's a wonder he do have the time to write to little old me.
Does he think it make me vote for him?

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Vinyl Crazy

So it's not just The Old Man that is crazy for that black vinyl. It's me now. And I do mean the stuff that's flat and round and revolves at 33 rpm.
Cos we do go into Falmouth and the lovely Jam Records and I really just want to get downstairs where the records live... I just can't concentrate on the CD racks no more.

And I do go down stairs and stagger back with not one but two albums. Jazz... jazz... jazz. Thelonious Monk is my man these days.... and Monk's Dream has been remastered and re-released on 180gm vinyl.
And I also go out on a limb with a very early The Jazz Epistles  with Hugh Masekela  - "Verse 1", similarly re-released on vinyl. Indeed this is so early that The Old Man do pull a face and make cutting remarks.
But I don't care.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Animated Goings On: Who Is This?

I mean, WHO is this now?
You know....I have a nasty feeling that this is Mrs D's dear departed mother.

I think this is taking animating ambition too far....not to mention nepotism.
I mean it isn't even Halloween.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Walking By Copperhouse Pool

Shaken by our morning visit to my old "home town" the other day (previous post). We accelerated away from it all and drove into Hayle, another town being "revitalised". A huge new Asda store removes our bearings... but at least the powers-that-be are repairing the rail viaduct that crosses a main square and has looked ominous for some time.
We find Philps for a pasty each and drive sedately along King George V Memorial Walk, parking up at the other end in a small space still available... for now.

The estuary tide in Copperhouse Pool is low.... a lot of mud... which means waders. On the way I spot shelduck. Out of the car we start to walk back along the Memorial Walk. First up is a flock of lapwings quietly settled on the flats. I see the elegant titfer crests and hear the occasional pipe. Now and then one rises up with that floppy-winged flight... broad ended wings.

My favourite comes a bit further along in the walk... The big guy with his down-curved beak. The curlew. And yes.... he do call as he comes in to land. I love that sound.
Elsewhere.... Redshank, Greenshank, Wigeon.... And lots of dogs chasing balls and stuff. Can hear a thrush.
Wuff.... Just what I need after the grim concrete of Carbis Bay.

PS. Hello friend looking to return to Cornwall.... I take back what I said about Hayle.... for now.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Monday: A Visit to My Old Seaside Home

The sun shines and the cold wind drops. At last I start to unwrap layers of clothing. Time to get out there before us older people do lose the use of our legs.
Struck dumb by a property advert for a flat (£395,000 Edit: £369,000) in the tiny crescent of sea-facing bungalows where I lived whilst a schoolgirl... we strike out to gawp at it.

Carbis Bay is next to St Ives and was a holiday resort of a genteel kind since Edwardian days. Shortly after we moved there in the early 1960s, the cauliflower fields (oops! "Broccoli fields" in Cornwall) between our bungalows and the main road started to be replaced by housing. Still, I never imagined that our outskirt settlement of St.Ives would have developed its own Tesco superstore... which it did, quite some time ago. Let alone ... until this morning... what an apartment-stuffed, suburb of St. Ives my old "home town" would become.

The building with the £395,000 (Edit: £369,000) flat stands on a corner plot of our tiny crescent. Admittedly it looks like a large house rather than an apartment block. Our old bungalow is still there... flanked by other survivors. Its name has been changed to protect its dowdy dignity... made dowdier by Mum's flowers and shrubs, patiently reared from purloined cuttings, having been replaced by a layer of concrete.
A lot of the surrounding buildings... the seaside hotels for instance... have been demolished and re-instituted as.... "blocks of luxury apartments". The area is unrecognisable and actually...... unbelievable.  Does this mean that these plots.... once long-term businesses.... are now prime second/holiday homes? I suppose so. The fact that the immediate approach into St Ives itself has become a terraced pile of towering hotel/apartment complexes says enough. Just try Googling "St. Ives development" to get an idea of the ongoing race. And there are articles about St. Ives' attempts to control it all.. like this one in the Guardian Nov 2014....

Alright, already, I am not a St Ives fan but I am sad about this .... and when guests say they think they will pop along to St Ives and the Tate St. Ives? My eyes roll up into my head. Give me a bucket.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Considering Tattoo Designs For An Older Person

Sometimes I do. That is.... I do idly wonder if I would have a tattoo. Where? What? After all, this elderly skin do not exactly have a life time to blur and fade.
Something and somewhere tasteful of course... leaving aside things cosmetic such as eyebrows, probably soon necessary as what of mine still exist be scattered, pale and vague.
So... words of wisdom for myself... or others? A tasteful and discrete design?

The other day we do find out that The Old Man's Old Man is spotted on the floor by the man who comes to deliver his meals on wheels. This kind man do take a lot of trouble alerting ambulance, letting us know... trying to find the key and so on. All is reasonably well. The Old Man's Old Man had fallen over and couldn't get up again but is now in hospital being sorted as he be rather confused and so on.
But this set us talking... What to do if.... Where does he keep.... Who knows where the.... and so on.... For The Old Man's Old Man do live quite some considerable distance.

Well that's me decided then. Tattoos, I mean.
On me chest.. "Do Not Resuscitate" and on me back.. "Desk drawer, top left hand ."