July 2007


That’s it. Give it half an hour and I’m leaving. I’m not great with goodbyes. Mainly because I know how bad I am at keeping in touch with people. Still, time to move on I feel. Haven’t really had the time to get excited or nervous. Just feel a little empty.

And I’m probably going to drop off the map for a while. Settling into the new house, hanging out with my new flatmates and the people downstairs, new job, new stuff to learn how to do, new places to explore and new things to try not to buy. No internet. Not right yet anyway but will be working on it.

A time to say goodbye is also a time to say hello.

For now…

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It’s been a weird week, all told.  And I’m discontent.  I’ve come to that conclusion.  I’ve got so much stuff bouncing around in my head that I don’t know where to start.  I’ve wanted to write it all down but I’ve been keeping it to mull over for a bit longer.  I’ve come to my conclusions but I’m too tired to start now.  Maybe I’ll find the time before I move on Tuesday.  Maybe.

It’s a new start and it’s at the right time and I’m looking forward to it.  I’m hopeful.

It’s been a hectic week since getting back from the Lakes. Suffering from the late nights and the stress already though I did have 4 people tell me in the first few days that I looked like I’d gone on holiday which was nice.

Got my flat sorted in Brighton and going to meet the landlord Tuesday to finalise the details. Excellent.

And then on Thursday I saw Mogwai at Somerset House in London. And? I hate to say it but I came away slightly disappointed. Crap. It wasn’t the best I’ve seen them though maybe after the legendary Royal Albert Hall gig I might have to scale back my expectations. They were just on fire that night. Anyway, the venue was great (large open air courtyard) with perfect weather. It was also in surround sound which was pretty cool and being in the middle did sound awesome. Most of the feedback came through and felt like the noise was washing over you from all directions. But they didn’t seem to find the volume until half way through. Near the end there were moments of ear splitting intensity but nothing as bad as I’ve seen before.

But my biggest problem came with the setlist:

  • superheroes of bmx
  • friend of the night
  • I know you are but what am I?
  • ratts of the capital
  • 7:25
  • hunted by a freak
  • R U still in 2 it?
  • travel is dangerous
  • stop coming to my house
  • ex-cowboy
  • small children in the background
  • glasgow mega-snake
  • we’re no here

encore:

  • cody
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong

First the good: they played some older tracks and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen them play R U still in 2 it which went beyond awesome as they had the legendary Aiden Moffet (from the sadly defunct Arab Strap) turn up to provide the hauntingly melancholy vocals. Unfortunately half the crowd didn’t know who he was. They also played ex-cowboy which is the song that started it all off for me (and still sounds darkly relentless – they played this one loud), GMS was ridiculously entertaining as always and there was a lot of singing this time especially from Stuart (not seen that for a while).

The bad? Well, the opening truncated version of Superheroes could have been better (it’s on of my top 5 gwai tunes) but my main gripe is no Herod, no Fear Satan, no Helicon and no Xmas Steps? And no big ending? They had a brief 5 min sonic assult after we’re no here, then came back for their encore. 2 rights was done pretty well but I saw the definitive version of this at the RAH and this just couldn’t compare. Still, beautiful song which was played out and ended suddenly as it does and then…goodnight, thanks very much. I stood there for about 10 mins with a bewildered look on my face waiting for them to come back on and end it properly but no. 11pm, curfew, end of gig. No final monumentous sonic adventure with mountains of feedback and distortinfg and pure mind fucking noise? Nope. It’s like you’re having the most mind blowing sex ever and then just as you’re about to come everything suddenly stops and that’s it (an analogy the women are more likely to relate to I suspect). I have to say that really got to me.

So, not the best time ever and an odd way to end it but hey. They’re still my favourite band and I’m devoted to them so can’t complain too much. Support was from Malcolm Middleton (the other member of the Strap) and he was really quite awesome. Set was mainly from his recent A Brighter Beat which is a great little album and worth checking out. Only members of the Strap could sound so cheery while singing about such depressing things!

Then while feeling low anyway on Friday I managed to miss the leaving do of one of my favourite people I’ve met this year. Mainly because I fell asleep after getting home form work and didn’t leave to really late, by which point it was over. Rectified this by going down to Brighton yesterday and having coffee with her and later her husband. I still find it strange that I have married friends. In fact, the more people I find / find me on Facebook, the more people I know are married or have kids. Scary shit.

As I was feeling low Friday I went to see Harry Potter in the middle of the night which I’m glad to say was awesome. I really don’t like the 5th book, it’s too long and Harry is such a miserable moody fuck in it that I can barely cope reading it. However, they really did a good job with the adaptation and the movie is tight and really cinematic. They portray him well, get across his frustration and rage without alienating him and they make the ending exciting opposed to the let down I felt with the book. The final battle is truly a spectacle. Really can’t wait till next week when the final one comes out. Not that I’ll be able to read it for a few days as I’m doing the Three Peaks next weekend. More on that later though as this has become really long.

Ha ha – back from holiday with a surprisingly swift 300 mile drive this morning/afternoon.  Since then?  About 5 fucking hours catching up with t’internet.  Bloody internet.  Still, holiday was fun and relaxing for the most part and aside from a few rainy days to start with the weather really picked up.  The last few have been glorious.  Unpacked, not washed any clothes yet and a mountain of Things To Sort.  All to be left as tomorrow I’m on call with nearly my while team (excellent – bedlam on Thursday then) and the next night I’m seeing Mogwai!  Ha ha.  I’d pretty much forgotten so that’s a wonderful surprise.  Somewhere amongst that I also have to go down to Brighton to sign the lease for my flat.  Hmmm.  And iron some shirts.  I do not like to iron.

Came this close:
to setting the fire alarms off after getting distracted listening to Transparent Things by the awesome Fujiya & Miyagi.  Really should listen to more of the music on my iTunes.  I also have no idea who the baby is but it was the best image I could come up with to demonstrate quite how close I was.  There was smoke and a dive for the fire doors.  Plus window wafting.  Lots of wafting.

Pictures of lots of mountains and valleys will follow when I get round to it.  Already sorted some but many more to come yet.  Will link them here.  For now got to go though.  Later.

Holiday going well. 

The weather could best be described as ‘Traditional British’.  That equates to almost constant wetness in one form or other at varying intensity and annoyance.  It’s also very grey.  Still, hasn’t stopped us from getting out and about.  That’s what waterproof clothing is made for.  The freash air hasn’t seemed to help my cough at all though (I’m certain I have TB!  ha ha).

Spent the first 2 days walking with Rebecca (one of the the doctors at Redhill who happened to be up here), currently taking a day off to try and organise bloody GMC registration so I can continue to work next year.  Trying to find a fax maxchine is surprisingly difficult here.  Giving my legs a rest today too so probably going to the Wordsworth Museum and then mooch around some villages.

The hostel is nice and beautifully situated right on the edge of Lake Windermere (as in 6m from the edge).  Got some really beautiful sunsets the other night when the rain eased off – shall post them when I get back.  Spent yesterday evening talking to an interesting guy from Bristol which was cool.  Also spent the last 3 nights semi-infatuated with a really cute young teacher running one of the school groups.  Ha ha.  Very me.  We got to chat briefly the other night but no other opportunities sadly.  Schoolboy crush on a teacher.  Jesus!  She left this morning.

Anyway, later.

It’s been a busy week all told.

I managed to find a flat.  Actually I found two.  One yesterday which was an ok flat with people who seemed really friendly and nice.  But the place was small and after going back today with a tape measure I realised too small.  So driving home I got increasingly concerned about what to do (as I’d said yes to them).  But then a new opportunity presented itself and now I have a new flat with a bigger room and an enormous house and living area with people (who on initial presentation) appear to be awesome.  Which is nice.  Feel an arse for letting down the first guys but then it’s a year of my life that I need to be happy with.  I’m often told I don’t think about myself first enough.

So in a few weeks time I will be living with two final year art students in Kemp Town, Brighton, about 10 mins from the hospital.  Now I’m all excited.  Even better this means I should be able to go on holiday this week.  Got to ring the landlord and letting agent tomorrow to get confirmations and will know more then.

Back to the Lake District for more walking and climbing (if the weather holds as it’s been really shitty here recently – floods).  I think I’m going to try and go up to Scotland and climb Ben Nevis too as we’re doing Three Peaks in 3 weeks and it would be a good idea for one of us to have attempted it beforehand.  Looking forward to (firstly)not being at work for a week but also to being outside and getting some fresh air and exercise.

What else?  Ulka had an amazingly fun party Thursday and I got very drunk on Pimms.  And yet again no one could tell.  That I was drunk – it’s always been that way – I must hide it really well (Abi once told me I often come across as drunk normally so it can be difficult to tell sometimes.  Ha ha.  Weird, she didn’t mean I sway and slur my words, but I’m often excitable and bouncy which is apparently what I’m like drunk).  Last to leave.  Felt rough the next day and then that night cooked for Ulka (a really nice red-onion gratin – starting to get really good at it) before we watched the first series of Peep Show.  Good night.

Bed.