Last night I watched the 1992 film Singles which for me was one of the defining films of my youth. It starred Matt Dillon and Bridget Fonda but also featured Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains which for the teenage me, was just about as cool as it got. After the film had finished, my husband and I started chatting about the music of our teenage years which spiralled onto reminisces of old friends, some of whom we have lost touch with. One of my pals was a drummer called Andrew Marshall who (despite the advent of the internet me being a professional researcher) I have completely lost touch with. He was a great friend and got me into loads of cool music but I have never been able to track him down. I have however found two of the mix tapes that he made me, in a box in my loft. One tape has a helpful track listing in it whilst the other one hasn’t. Which is annoying as I no longer own a cassette player. Here’s the track listing of one of those tapes:
* This track officially got me into Stone Temple Pilots in a big way. I thought Scott Weiland was awesome. His Reading Festival appearance shown on ITV’s The Beat saw him sing down a megaphone (a megaphone of all things!) and I loved his closely cropped dyed red hair which went against a lot of the long haired grungy types.
** Primus’s music is like nothing else. Weird, twangy and brilliant. I don’t like all Primus but this is one of the tracks I love.
*** Paul Gilbert can play guitar very fast. I remember this track making me laugh a lot. I think I was supposed to be in awe but I wasn’t. It did however make me laugh loads.
† I can’t find anything on this track. But I think Uncle Fester was Andy’s own band.
†† And if you read this blog entry Andy, then give me a shout. It would be nice to hear from you. Thanks to you I am now hunting for a cassette player…
I haven’t added a list for so long, partly because my summer has been spent settling into our new house. It’s quite a bit bigger than our old place but then we haven’t moved for 12 years and I spent the last five or six trying to convince my husband that actually our old house was perfect, despite becoming increasingly too small for us. I had all the usual fear and anxiety about moving but now we’re here I love my new house dearly and feel like we’ve lived here for years not weeks. We planned it to be our ‘forever house’ and here are the things I love most about it:
- The stained glass. *
- The doorbell. **
- Listening to music in our library dining room. ***
- Having a garden big enough for gatherings. +
- The kids. ++
* This is what sold me the house in the first place to be honest. There’s a massive stained glass window at the top of the stairs and I thought that if I saw that every day I would be able to cope with anything.
** Our first visitor was a lady from across the road and at that point we realised we had a ridiculous doorbell that sounded somewhat suicidal. I changed the battery and the chime didn’t change at all. Sadly, the doorbell became intermittent (despite the new battery) so I had to change it. But not before I recorded it for posterity.
*** We had tonnes of shelves in our old house. They came with the house and were duly left with the house. One of our first jobs was to get shelving made for our new place and now we have lots of book shelves in the dining room. As nerdy as it sounds, it’s always been our dream to have one room with loads and loads of books in it.
+ We had a housewarming party last week and because of the crappy weather I made sure I didn’t invite more people than could fit in the house. As it turns out, the day was lovely and we had a barbecue in the garden. Which made me suddenly realise that I desperately need some outdoor lights…
++ This has been the most unexpected surprise about the house. There are lots of kids in my street and they all play together. I sort of thought kids didn’t do that anymore but my daughter has had lots of pals coming round (to the extent that I thought their mothers’ were sending them round to be friendly to her) and she has formed some new strong bonds which I daresay she will always remember even if the friends drift apart eventually. It’s completely wonderful and I feel incredibly lucky to be here.
Posted in Lists
Tagged home, house
I don’t want to be one of these people who bash the Queen’s 60th Diamond Jubilee for the sake of it; two days off work and some street parties just for the sake of it isn’t so bad (despite the fact that the country can hardly afford it) but I did have a bit of an issue with the gala concert. I love music dearly and am an avid listener of digital station 6Music, a place where I have discovered young bands and artists that I am now fiercely loyal to. So Gary Barlow’s concert was a massive disappointment for me. OK, I get it that we had to wheel out Elton, Cliff and Macca and I suppose it was nice to have Kylie and Stevie there but why did we have to pad out the rest of the concert with such odd and disappointing acts as Grace Jones, Cheryl Cole and Ed Sheeran? At no point did I feel particularly enthusiastic about anything I was hearing; it was like someone had stuck on a badly made mix tape (punctuated with ill fitting token opera tracks) and if we were showcasing the UK then it was a shame we didn’t find time for one or two of the hugely popular bands which are loved by many but overlooked by so many more. We looked like a nation with nothing new to say, and more worryingly a nation whose musical legends (I’m looking at you Cliff and Elton) didn’t actually perform that well at all.
Which brings me onto my list. In the past few months (for reasons I won’t go into here) I have started to go and see tribute bands playing my local civic suite. I’ve never seen any before but have found the whole experience quite fascinating. The people gathering at the gigs are hugely excited about the bands they are going to see and the bands themselves play hard without a note of apathy; they are the rock gods and their audiences are the real fans. I used to think tribute bands were a bit sad but I have quite an affection for them now. Fans of Metallica and Iron Maiden who have to wait months or years for a chance to see their heroes get to go up the road and hear the songs played live for a tenner by blokes who get into part with the right accents and stage banter. The band have a great night, the audience get to stand really close to the stage and rock out and the enthusiasm is infectious. In a world where our greatest musical exports can be praised for playing badly in front of a load of people who have turned up for free, surely those musicians going out there week after week and playing to genuinely appreciative fans should be given more credit.
- Bon Giovi *
- The Clone Roses **
- Higher On Maiden ***
- Mentallica ****
* Jon was great. He did a lot of bottom wiggles that I don’t recall the real Jon doing that much but the ladies loved him and he did a lot of songs ‘For the Cowgirls out there’. I’m not a fan of Bon Jovi but I enjoyed myself.
** This was one of the most passionate gigs I have been to. I suppose I do live in Manchester but everyone was massively excited about this gig (although that could have been the copious amount of alcohol everyone seems to have consumed). One man sat by me (yes there was seating at the side) and bemoaned the fact that the band were on so late before telling me that he had to go out for a cigarette and did I mind? I didn’t and beat a hasty retreat to another part of the hall when he left. As a lady on my own I think he felt I needed company. The band were terrific; shambolic, arrogant and like the real life Stone Roses. And if you looked at the audience then you would have had no doubt that they were genuine fans too.
*** Worst tribute band name ever but a decent enough act.
**** Wasn’t so keen on Mentallica. They did the songs ok but the James Hetfield bloke (complete with accent) was a right arse and kept shouting at the pole dancers (*sigh* yes there were pole dancers although they were the type of ladies who do it for keep fit rather than for dollars stuffed in their g-strings. They were all in gym clothes and were very impressive indeed but I felt uncomfortable by the misogynistic diatribe coming from Fakey Hetfield on stage).
Sorry for the absence of posts. I have been ridiculously busy of late and last night was up a tower in the centre of my village. In fact, a friend of my daughter’s told our childminder that he had seen his friend’s mummy was ‘up a tower in the village’ which confused my childminder somewhat as our village doesn’t have a tower. Hence the list…
- My grandfather’s apple tree via an Anderson Shelter. *
- The balcony over the West Door, St Mary Redcliffe. **
- A Tower in My Village. ***
* I always wanted to go and have a look round the Anderson Shelter in my grandfather’s garden looking for souvenirs of past times but it was so dark and cobwebby I never dared go in. Instead I used it as a stepping stone to climb his apple tree where I regularly harvested the fruit for him.
** More happy childhood memories; this time playing trumpet fanfares on Ascension Day at a school service. The balcony was tiny with a low rail (I’m guessing kids couldn’t be sent up there now) but it was pretty cool playing and seeing 1000 heads turn round as the sound hit the massive church.
*** This was last night. I was shooting a video and we needed a high angle shot to finish it off. I was going to go in a nearby building and film from a 1st floor window until a helpful gentleman brought some scaffolding which he erected for me to climb. Reader, I am scared of heights now and did not enjoy the experience one bit. But I did it. And without a risk assessment too. Shhh.
This weekend has mostly been spent playing in the three or four inches of snow which we got on Saturday. We all knew it was coming and I think perhaps that made it even more exciting, like waiting for a birthday party. During the weekend I helped my little daughter to make a snowman and I got so hot that I ended up in my shirt sleeves, out of breath, as I struggled to roll large balls of snow up and down the hill where we live. Whilst I was at it, a Polish man stopped to chat, chuckling at me and telling me that in his country it was minus 32 degrees and they had two meters of snow. The only thing I could think of to say was “I guess this isn’t really a novelty for you then?”. I’m not so bothered about snow now (too worried about travel logistics) but as a kid I absolutely loved it. My favourite thing by far was sledging but I never had a real one. This is what (over the years) I used instead:
- Uncle Brian’s home made sledge. *
- A laminated newspaper round bag. **
- A laundry bag. ***
- A proper plastic sledge. +
* My Uncle Brian leant us the sledge he made for his kids, who were now grown up. I was enormously excited. Uncle Brian was an aircraft fitter and his sledge had a long flat wooden seat and thin metal runners which he welded himself. In the minimal snow we had it was absolutely hopeless. It churned up the grass and refused to take us anywhere, having runners that were far too sharp and far too thin. I’m not sure how much snow you would have had to have to make it work but I imagine it would have involved flying abroad at some point. It did look good when we pulled it along with no one on it though, so I think that made up for it.
** After my Sunday morning paper round one week, it snowed. I was on my way home, with my Dad, walking across Rodway Hill but I had no sledge. In desperation I sat on my paper round bag which was made of shiny laminated plastic. It was awesome. Thick enough to cushion the bumps, with a handy strap to grab onto and a surface so shiny it went like a rocket. My father and I both took turns to sledge down the deserted hill (this was early on a Sunday remember?) before one of us nearly ended up shooting across the road at the bottom. It was the best sledging ever.
*** When I had a daughter of my own we had a day of heavy snow somewhat unexpectedly. No shop had a sledge for sale and we had a nice hill near our house that hardly anyone was on (see above comment about no shops having sledges in stock). So frustrating! Building on my past knowledge and experience of shiny laminated bags and snow, I headed to the nearest pound shop where I purchased three of those big tartan plastic sacks you put washing in. Despite being a bit thin (ow, ow, ow all the way down) they worked brilliantly. And we soon gave a couple away to other people on the hill.
+ At last, we own a proper plastic sledge. It’s not a great piece of design. If you try and pull a kid on it, it rises up at the front but it’s probably the best sledge I have ever had… although I still think the paper round sack was much faster…
Just a quick list tonight. When I got married the one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of spelling errors I would get with my new surname. It’s not hard; it’s Farrer. Rhymes with erm… wheel barra’. My husband claims never to have that many spelling errors but I’ve had loads. Here’s that list in full:
Posted in Lists
Tagged mistakes, names
I have been hugely lapse at updating this blog of late. I have no excuse other than the simple fact that (like most people) I have been really busy doing other stuff. As for the new year, I didn’t bother with resolutions this year (they usually read like a very dull appraisal) but I did do a lot of cleaning out of stuff including my iPhone photos. As a photographer, I rarely use my iPhone for pictures. I have a tiny Canon that permanently lives in my handbag and a big d SLR with a variety of lenses. Therefore my iPhone usually gets reserved for pictures I want to put on Twitter or Facebook or (on the extremely rare occasions that I don’t have a proper camera with me) for spontaneous events. As a result, the pictures can be a bit random. Here is a little selection of some of the pictures on my phone:
- A Dundee cake.
- My Husband holding a book with a picture on the front that looks like him.
- An accidental fire.
- A pair of horrible seventies style pants.
- Noel Edmonds.
- A Demist pad.
- Five copies of The Da Vinci Code in a charity shop.
- Ornamental wooden letters spelling out the word ‘Ass’ in TK Maxx.
- A Bullseye screen grab.
- A person who looked like Lady Di.
- A garden meercat.
- A Tesco pricing error.
- A blocked fire exit.
- Another blocked fire exit.
- The most horrible dress I have ever seen.
- Heeled shoes for little girls.
- A row of pies.
- Two rather effeminate Bratz boy dolls.
- A stuffed robin (synthetic).
- A clipping from the NME showing someone I once kissed.
- An Alice in Chains / Nirvana / Pearl Jam tribute night poster.
- First Class breakfast from the train.
- Two jumpers.
- A ‘travel loo’ poster for going erm… on the go.
- A loaf of bred.
- A pizza box.
- Some airfix.
- A squashed potato.
I don’t think explanations are needed.