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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Frozen Water prompting Drivel

So much cabin fever/low-grade boredom that I thought I ought to “do an update” to this blog. Hmm. So.

The New Year Nifty Night gig went well, Skinbat Scramble did a set amalgamating with the Sons of Quag, so a melange of a set ensued. All good stuff though, and in homage to the soon-to-be weather, I slipped in “Stopped By The Woods On A Snowy Evening”. I also played sampler in the Old Dolphin Brigade, and the Skinbats all joined them for sonic shenanigans.

Another notch closer to graduating, with the last-but-4 essay handed in. The energy for doing the last 4 will have to come from somewhere, I’m not sure quite where at the moment.

Mum; seems OK at the moment. though Xmas proved a bit trying at times. Memory (and its loss) is a funny thing – and hard to fathom. Mood swings, aggression, denial, apathy – all mixed in a souffle of “where did I put that” and repetitive requests – Do you want a cup of tea? – No thanks – Do you want a cup of tea? Harsh.

Xmas was (in spite of above) very pleasant, L was off through until New Year’s, P got ballroom shoes and competition dresses (among lots of other stuff) and none of us were ill.

New Year has been a bit of a damp squib for obvious (weather) reasons, P only went back for 2 days before school closed (it has remained closed since) and it’s still snowing at the moment. L was unable to get to work (no buses) for 2 days, so the Xmas hols have sort of vaguely extended tendrils out into 2010.

Which means lots of PS3, Lost and Pushing Daisies boxsets – and oh yes I almost forgot booking up a 2-week trip to the States for Easter. VEGAS!

More rationalisation

Pip is at her last day at Earwig, with a presentation this afternoon, I am at home after a devastating night of evil, paranoid dreams.

I have in the last few days rationalised my “blogging” such as it is, as follows:

I am abandoning MySpace for the cess it is.
Continuing with Twittering @falhawk.
Continue with Facebook.
Starting a new “master” blog with WordPress.

Updating from the Macjournal application, which will feed (the same entries) to both WordPress and my old LiveJournal. Exceptions will be mobile updates (or if I forget to push both export buttons) in which case, a few entries might make WordPress but not Livejournal.
Facebook continues to get its “notes” feed from Livejournal

This should save me time, and, as virtually no-one reads my blogs anyway, will inconvenience no-one.

Testing 1-2-3…

Skinbats gig on Sunday 6th September at the Forum… not sure of support/supporting yet. It will be the last live performance for a while, probably until Xmas time, though there are some nascent studio things and some odds and ends to tidy.

Mightily enjoying “Pushing Daisies” boxset, and hugely impressed by “Watchmen

A chore…

I am stuck inside on a lovely day checking blogs and writing more of this drivel, when quite frankly what my life needs at this point is a little time in the sun; there’s lots of it outside, but then I won’t be up to date on the easter eggs in Friday’s episode of “Lost”, and I might miss a picture of somebody’s Facebook friend looking like a bl**dy twat.

Good grief, I think I’m depressed, call the medics!

Low-Grade Anxiety

Waiting for news of the funeral; inevitably there are delays, and two weeks turns into forever, poor L is coping well, but the rest of life goes “on hold” so to speak and we’ve other things to be getting on with frankly. We are waiting for the actual date from L’s brother, who is organising the thing.

Gig on Sunday, Forum T. Wells. I am ill-prepared.

Torchwood was back yesterday – excellent, they seem to be expanding on the concept of Time Agents, with the arrival of Spike from Buffy. If the series bible doesn’t contain references to Jerry Cornelius, I’ll eat my hat. It would be lovely if they introduced a character called Una, Jerry or something. It would make my millennium.

Arranging a birthday party for P amid the funeral bell-clanging. Bowling? Dunno.

Strictly Insomnia

The insomnia is back, and I’m numb with it; still, I actually got some work done last night!

Last week Pip attended her first ballroom dancing competition (!). It’s a sub-culture; highly enjoyable for that. P was happy to get to the semi-finals of her “cha cha cha” event. At several points through the day, L and I looked at each other with a who would believe it/how did i get here look.

recently
film
Black Book – very good, quite thrilling.
Last Orders – fabulous, depressing, recommended.
books
The Weight of Numbers – a great book
1066 and All That – reread for the umpteenth; very funny
Star of the Sea – a wonderful surprise – excellent.
telly
Boo hoo no lost. ER treading water but good. Doctor Who more or less pretty good, with some reservations. The latest version is the nearest we’ll ever get to seeing Jerry Cornelius on teh box, I suppose.

Nick Cave’s Trousers (redux)

Have spent the last week or so tidying and avoiding proper work, in order to clear the decks to start “practicing” for a performance at the Forum soon (July 8th). Crikey!

Also half-term has enforced childcare duties, which has been a pleasure, looking after Pip. Today we are going rollerblading, and then to the little paddling-pool on the seafront. A few years ago, I took Pip there for a paddle and the pool was being shared with Nick Cave’s kids (I’m pretty sure I diarised this at the time). Mr. Cave popped in the pool for a paddle himself, with his trousers rolled up.
I wish I’d had a camera. Needless to say, today I am fully tooled up, just in case I spot, say, Tom Waits with a hanky on his head.

The flatscreen is fully installed and working now, and the Virgin V+ service seems good, with nifty timeshifting and recording like everyone else has had for years. The hi-def is super, but a dearth of programmes as yet, meaning we watch Torchwood again just to confirm that Gwen’s knockers the sets look great in a slightly higher resolution than hitherto.

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