The Day After The Solstice, 2010

It’s been forever… and look, another year has dripped from the roof like melting slush.

I spent the best part of the summer with pneumonia, and the exhaustion recovery entails. A raft of medical appointments (x-rays, cardiograms, consults) followed, even more exhausting as the compass needle was for a while pointing at something worse than a “shadow on the lung”. however, it’s all in the past now.

Mum is now permanently in a (nice enough) dementia care home in Bognor. The stress on the family has somewhat been removed, knowing that she has such care.

I have retired from live Skinbat duties at the moment, I remain (I hope) a fully committed member of the project/object, and hope to be involved in the studio process of the next album (two tracks are in the can and sound quite wonderful) – also the “Live at the Forum” album if that ever sees the light. I hope so, as three of the Skinbat recordings available are amazing.

Music – not music of the year as such but that which has come into my world this year

Goldfrapp live at the Dome

Belle & Sebastian: Write About Love thanks to Sarah for this one
Brian Eno: Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Chicago OST
C.W. Stoneking: Jungle Blues
Imelda May: Mayhem
LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
Grinderman: 2
Nellie McKay: Normal as Blueberry Pie
Crimson Jazz Trio: King Crimson Songbook Vols 1 & 2
Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports (how did I miss that?!) thanks to David for these two
Eels: Tomorrow Morning
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs thanks to Liz for nagging on this one
Laurie Anderson: Homeland
Divine Comedy: Bang Goes The Knighthood
Tom Waits: Orphans, Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Scarlet’s Well: Society of Figurines get well soon Bid
Goldfrapp: Head First
Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me
Eels: End Times
Scarlet’s Well: Unreal II
Tiger Lillies: Freakshow

TV / box sets:
Lost ended 😦
Celebrity Juice
[most of] Glee
The Walking Dead
Mark Gatiss’ A History of Horror
Mad Men (series 1 and 2 only so far)
CSI (Vegas only)
Hi-De-Hi box set
Lipstick On Your Collar
Miss Marie Lloyd , Queen of the Music Hall (thanks to Dickon)

Film (not all this year’s releases, some blu ray remasters and in the case of WDT only just available)

Wisconsin Death Trip
Toy Story 3
Alien Anthology remastered
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Up In The Air
The Thing remastered
Amarcord remastered
A Serious Man – Coen brothers back on form yay!
Watchmen director’s cut
Zombieland
Kick Ass (apart from the weak last scene)
44 Inch Chest

I’ve probably missed loads.

Books:

Have read all of Cormac McCarthy’s books this year – amazing.
Jonathan Coe: The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim
Stephen King: Under The Dome – as usual, under-rated by critics
Michael Chabon – The Yiddish Policeman’s Union
Gregory Maguire – A Lion Among Men
Richard Dawkins – The Greatest Show On Earth
Nick Cave – The Death of Bunny Munro
Peter Carey: Wrong About Japan
and re-read shedloads of Dickens

O, and I got a degree! I now own a piece of paper saying I have a 2:1 BA(Hons) in Humanities with Media Studies and Literature, which is nice. I have a ceremony in April 2011 with a cloak and everything!

I also got back into fishkeeping this year. When I was around 10 to the time I left home I kept tropical fish with my dad, that tank is long gone. Liz and I had a tank wen we first moved to Brighton, but we closed that down when we moved years ago. I’d always hankered after keeping marine fish, but in the old days they were very hard to keep. Skimming technology has moved on, and though more discipline is required than with a freshwater tropical tank, marines are now possible. 6 months on, I’ve got a nice little reef with corals, fish, shrimps and all sorts. Yes, I do have clownfish, and yes one of them is called Nemo. It’s a nice name.

OK more turn of the year drivel soon

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Endings

Still amid a terrible month of depressive moods (circulating darkly around our house) and depressive vampirism (mum’s ongoing medicals) this has been a funny old time. Along with this is the usual raft of missed social engagements, and also a small sprinkling of pressure for P – upcoming school tests, peer group changes and a slight waver in her performance-confidence. Mum is in a respite home mostly in order to re-regimen her meds, she simply can’t cope with taking them herself. Strange times.

I handed in my final essay for OU yesterday. Assuming I get more than 40% for it – ?! – I have finally got my degree at 2.2 and will graduate in April 2011 assuming I live that long. I feel sort of empty with no focussed reading to do any more. Dickens here I come… I wonder if I’ll ever write another “essay” again? Pulling out the pin…

Skinbat Scramble have an upcoming gig at the Forum as part of the Syd Barrett trust; also recording to do for the next album; I have committed to this. Syd Barrett – could it be any more perfect?

Last night I dreamed that my next-door-but-one neighbour urinated on me from his window, in the dream I pretended to ignore it and haughtily went on with unloading groceries from my car.

Open Recession End

Lego Star Wars is fantastic – Nick Cave’s “Death of Bunny Munro” – Pip coming in the final at Gosport (6th) – OU course starting, looking good. Back not hurting. Nothing from Mum.
Life seldom gets any better than this, does it?

Week

Pleasant enough weekend, holiday anticipation for Cornwall running rife. Pip is giving up her Nintendo DS in favour of a PSP, thus purging the last of the Nintendo-ism from the house (apart from the Mario soft toys).

Went to see sister’s new house yesterday, which is nice – with lots of “built-in” original 1930s features, superb model kitchen with drop-down seating benches and table and – under the manky carpets – herringbone parquet wood flooring. Lot of work for her but excellent.

Disturbed dreams last night – of space-opera magnitude. Probably from reading Banks’ “Matter” which is wonderful.

God Help Us, Every One

Tidying the house for a friendly visit; Xmas Eve excitement for Pip and I – we have yet to convince L that it’s the season to be jolly.

On Saturday we travelled up to a (curiously empty for the Saturday before Xmas) Tunbridge Wells, and met my NY cousin Charlie and his friend Susan at the Pantiles. We lunched in The Ragged Trousers, which we found does good food. It was great to see Charlie, I hope it was worth taking a day out of his vacation to visit the Wells – looking at the surroundings of the older part with clean eyes, it probably was – it’s a lovely town, architecturally at least… The reason for meeting there? Charlie’s family (and ergo part of mine) started out there. His headed for the USA via Toronto (?); ours stayed here. Anyhoo, we wended our way to the top of the high street for a coffee, passing the cinema – boarded, shuttered and dilapidated. In my youth (I’m guessing the first film I saw there – or certainly ONE of the first films I saw there was “Oliver” which I think was 1967, so I was 7… I certainly saw a lot of films there, and certainly a lot of good formative films: a palace of dreams it was, now it’s falling down and vandalised. Oh well.

Yesterday gentling and tidying, and reading “Orlando” for my course. Bloody Vita Sackville-West drags my mind back to Sevenoaks, and thence thoughts of Lady B, still in the hozzer, looks like till they find her a place in a home of some kind as she is too frail to be discharged.

Ha Ha Very Funny

I spy bugs bunny

In 2007, falhawk resolves to…

Buy new imagineers.
Connect with my inner gormenghast.
Find a better goldfrapp.
Go to nerve every Sunday.
Go moviegoing three times a week.
Backup my gothic regularly.

Get your own New Year’s Resolutions:

Juggling Facebook etc

Too much time spent juggling facebook, myspace and livejournal lately; I’m not sure how to rationalise, but something will have to give. They all have their plus points. The band would seem to need myspace, though I don’t like it at all – my journal such as it is has always been on livejournal – facebook just looks lovelier. If facebook had a proper blogging facility it would win, I guess. Ho hum.

Rehearsal Sunday, we definitely have a christmas/new year gig on 30th Dec. I suppose we need to rehearse for it!
I’ve just purchased a microkorg, which has a vocoder. Won’t you take me to Funky Town?

The decorators have gone, having given me a gloss-paint headache (like an ice-cream headache only not as tasty). It looks nice. Now to clear out the office (a million books) and paint that. Before the carpet blokes come.

Reading: Poetry of the 30s (a course book). Yawn!

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