Phil Collins – On a Motorbike!

When I was about 19, I had this great big 750 Suzuki motorbike, it was an R reg, so it was pretty old, a bit vintage really, but it went ok, you could go over 100mph on it easy, so I got this job doing despatch riding – what an experience! I lived in Bedford, about 50 miles from London, so most deliveries went to London, but we also got some nice jobs up north, and east and west. Anyhow, I was just thinking about one of my first trips to London, I had to deliver something to somewhere near London Wall, which is an area. I didn’t know where it was, so obvs I had to look it up on a map, cos there were no GPS or anything, so I set off for the motorway, about 15 miles of burning rubber later, I was on it – flying along in the fast lane “Hell for Leather” as they say. Most of the guys who worked there were nuts, and I was no exception. I have no idea why they passed me on my test, it was a license for insanity, like giving a murderer a presentation axe on release day!

So they told me to go down the A41 or whatever it was, I can’t remember, if you’re going west London, you go A5, and turn right at Marble Arch, after that you’re fucked! If you’re going east, its A41, then there’s the North Circular, east and west, the South Circular, and Marylebone road, or the Seven Sisters road – what about that! Cor blimey, watch out for the Old Kent Road! There’s London Bridge, (which isn’t the one you think it is, and there’s Vauxhall, (we were always going there) and the Elephant and Castle! Me old China! 

I drove past Buckingham palace loads of times, never saw the Queen, I expect she was peeping out from behind the curtains saying “Phil – look at that lunatic!”

Anyhow, I found Marylebone, its like an inner city ring road, you go past Kings Cross & St Pancras, familiar with those from train journeys, after that, you just follow the flow of traffic until your’e completely and utterly lost! Its a great job doing despatch – really interesting! Never a dull moment, what with all the taxis everywhere yelling out greetings like “Get out the bloody way” and “Bloody idiot!” 

Anyhow, I found the place eventually, I think I had to ask quite a few people cos the street had vanished, they’d built a factory on it and renamed it or something – it was quite easy getting home, because there’s signs that say A1 – M1 The North – I always loved the way when you’re in a city, it says vague things like that – its always much easier getting out, than getting in – unless you end up in a giant shopping centre car park like I did one time. When you see that sign, “The North” you think yeah! And open up the throttle!!

Anyhow, enough of all that, here’s some Phil Collins songs – I was watching something about his hits the other day, but they missed all the best ones!

Down the River!

The river nearest to me growing up was called the Ouse – or more specifically, “The Great Ouse” cos there is another Ouse in the UK, (its a different river) which passes through York, but we didn’t know about that, cos it was a long way away. Yes, you’re right, this is interesting! At least from where I’m sitting – I now live much closer to York and the other Ouse, but its the Great Ouse I woke up dreaming about. We used to get in canoes, in the youth club and go from the village I lived in Clapham, Bedfordshire, and paddle down towards Bedford town, but then it does a U-turn, and goes to Bromham or something. mostly we’d go upstream to the next village of Oakley, this makes perfect sense, because the road runs the same way – you can’t see the road from the river, as its a way off, and anyhow, you’re down there in the river channel, looking at ducks, swans, water rats, fish, rocks, stuff like that. Its harder going upstream than down, it makes your arms ache a bit.

Its a very gentle river, and pretty easy to go along – only when the level is really low you might have to get out and carry your boat near Oakley, where there’s a weir, and some rapid bits. 

But where does the river go beyond Oakley? I know it goes through Felmersham and Pavenham, and Carlton, and Harold I think, and the other way, it goes towards Bedford, but first it does a U turn, and goes to Bromham, or was that before Oakley? Ok lets have a look at the map –

Well you can see it bends about quite a bit – You might be going along a road and think, “whats the river doing here? I thought it went the other way?” It runs rings around you, you have no idea where its going. Its just as bad if you go along the railway line, it crosses the river 5 times in a few miles – WTAF??

Yes, its pretty flat landscape, the river can hardly tell which way is downhill, hence the meandering. Clapham to Bedford on foot, is about 2 miles, if you went by boat, it would be more like 8 or 10, and you’d have to navigate all sorts of weirs, go past loads of farmland and peoples back gardens – at Bromham, its all water lilies, very pretty, people have long gardens with tall trees, nice lawns, boat houses, that sort of thing – then you get to Kempston, which is all drug addicts and finally Bedford, which is a mixture of posh folk from rowing clubs, and more drug addicts and goths!

But I digress, when you look at a map, you can see where you are and where everything else is, but when you’re actually down there on the ground, its all about what it feels like to be where you are, you got no real idea of where anything else is, you got to experience the journey to know what its going to be like when you get to where you’re going, and what that will be like when you get there. It won’t have much to do with the map. 

I lived in Kempston for a bit, so I know what the river is like there, and I know all those villages from the roads, cos the school bus went through picking everyone up. The river used to flood at some of those places, it would flood in Clapham when I was young, you’d need wellies to go down the high street, so I’d usually just go the other way if it was in flood.

Also, if you go west of this map, I used to work in Olney, where the Ouse passes through there, we used to swim in it at lunch break, its still quite deep there, but its quite a shallow river at many points along it. I see from a bigger map view, after Olney, it goes through Milton Keynes and Buckingham, then ends near there, so if you got in your canoe round there, it would be all downstream to Bedford, but it’d still probably take about a week to do it – it would be nice if the weather was ok, a worthwhile trip, but I don’t know if I’d recommend it? You would need to take a tent, and there’d be no TV etc.

The river is only really navigable from Bedford to the sea, about 60 miles east. Mostly thats all managed water ways, they drained the marshes (Fens) altering the rivers course, but you can take a bigger boat along there.

Here’s the Ouse at Bedford


And here it is at Felmersham

Turvey is nice too!

Here’s a flood

And here’s what its like at Kings Lynn, going out towards the sea!

A couple of stories!

I wrote these 2 pieces on my phone at work during down time, one is a true story, the other a partial fantasy, I wonder if you can guess which is which!

Content Warning – Sex + Projectile vomiting

In 1981, the gov pulled the plug on the funding for my apprenticeship and I ended up on the dole along with a load of others –  the only job I could find was working at a scrap yard – it was the worst job I ever had in my entire life, and the pay was crap too! £1. An hour!  I found myself literally, metaphorically, and any other way you like, “on the scrap heap!”

We used to sort all this smashed up metal from cars that were torn apart by this huge machine, there was Colin, who’d been in the army, and Chris who’d been in the navy, there was little Lenny, a black kid who was only 16, his mum used to come and pick him up after work. Then there was Ivor, a psychopathic crane driver, and the foreman, who we called Selwyn Froggit, cos he looked like the TV character of that name.  Selwyn was a big tough looking guy, he wore a donkey jacket tied at the middle with string – one time he overheard one of the guys refer to him as Selwyn, he just said “If I ever hear you say that again, I’ll splatter your snot-box” I suppose you could say he was good at conflict resolution, good leadership skills – follow me, or else! 

The lads there used to call me Tojo, after the Japanese emperor – yeah, I never heard of him either, I was pretty mad about my being stuck in that job, but I got to know a few people better and I suppose it was ok.

 At Xmas, the lads were planning to go for a drink after work on the last day, so I got the bus to work, cos I knew I was going to be having a few, I think it was meant to be a bit of a party in the pub, I don’t know if it was organised or just off the cuff, but everyone was talking about it all week looking forward to it.

So we got to this pub, it was a big old cottage style of pub, old oak beams, that sort of place, really cosy, especially at Xmas, really busy & bustling with merry makers, quite good really. It was probably snowing too, it was a cold winter that year, I do remember there being a lot of snow around at that time, so it was warm and cosy in the pub & I was glad I’d turned out for it.

I was only 17, so technically not old enough to drink, (it’s 18 here in the UK for booze) but most pubs were fairly relaxed, no one ever asked for ID back then, it was “yeas, you can have a drink”, or it’s “no, get out!” I don’t remember any trouble at the bar, I expect the older guys got the drinks & brought them back to the table to save problems, of course I’d have been happy with that, it wasn’t every day I could have a few beers in a pub without having to worry about rules & regulations.

So anyway, there we were at our table, in this packed out pub, probably 4 or 5 of us at the table & about 7+ pints and some glasses of vodka and whisky & you name it, crisps & wot not.  Lenny always got a lot of stick, cos he was so young,  People kept trying to spike his drinks, but he wasn’t having it, I think he just drank some shandy or something. I was low on funds, so I drank Lenny’s since he didn’t want it, and pretty soon I was really drunk. Someone told me Lenny’s drink had at least 3 or 4 vodkas in it, guys kept dropping by our table with another double vodka for Lenny, it all ended up in this spare pint that no one but a complete fool would drink.  So I thought well that’s a bargain from where I’m sitting!  After a while I realised I was really badly seriously drunk, I had the notion I might projectile vomit over everyone at any moment, so it was about time I was leaving, so I had a couple more swigs for the road and told the guys I was going outside for some fresh air and that I may be some time.

I had to walk from the pub at Flitwick to the next village of Ampthill to catch the bus home, it was a couple of miles, so I staggered along the path there, you know when you look out the car window and you see some guy staggering about blind drunk and you go, ha, ha, look at that guy! Well, that guy was me! It was me!!

You have to stay really focussed when your in that situation, staying upright is the prime objective, moving in the right direction, not getting lost or run over are also priorities, but finally, I emerged from my bleary state actually at the bus stop. I was actually very surprised and pleased with myself to have made it without falling over, being arrested, or run over or anything, this was my link back to reality. I read the bus timetable and seeing as there was a pub there I decided to go into the pub and get warm while I waited.

So anyhow, I walked in, and every head turns, as they do in locals & you’re not one of them. So I stride up to the bar and order a coke, I know my limits, or I had done some hours earlier, ya know, before? So I get this coke, and take a sip, suddenly something inside ruptures, so I casually (but quite fast) go back outside and vomit copiously, and I’m thinking, ah, that’s got it! Now, where’s that coke gone? I needed a mouthwash – so I go back to the pub door, and they locked it! So I’m thinking, that’s odd, maybe it’s closing time already? So I try the other door, and that’s locked too! I could see through the windows they were all still inside, how strange!  I guess they didn’t want some guy in the bar who was totally and utterly blotto drunk.

In the end, I just had to wait outside for the bus. When we all returned to work after Xmas there were a lot of stories about how everyone got well and truly plastered, those were good times! Good old days, pubs weren’t for family meals back then, if you went to a pub, you expect to get drunk! Well I did anyhow!

————————————

Second Story (unrelated)

As I sat on the small leather sofa outside her office, getting my papers in order for what would be a substantial meeting, I knew we had a lot of ground to cover. She was a  respected professional, I had no qualms about going to her when I was overwhelmed, she was my favourite of all those at the institute, but I couldn’t hardly care any less about this world of work, in the back of my mind our secrets revealed the futility of our endeavours in this life.

She had talked about having an experience, I was unsure what she meant by that, but I liked the sound of it, I liked the sound of her voice, and the way she carried herself, I liked her clothes, her lips, her eyes, her long legs, her hair, her arms, her breasts, her shoes, I liked her coat, I liked her everything.

Her husband came out the office and said “are you next?” An  uncontrollable smirk overcame my  face as I said yes, I almost laughed out loud, he looked like a prick to me, he dressed flash, like Don Johnson in Miami Vice – I didn’t watch shit like that, I was coming from a much darker place, they both knew it, it was written all over me, I did not belong here, no one knew what the hell I was doing in this place, everyone thought I would fail massively, people kept their distance from me, but not these two, they seemed to have some sort of faith in the arts and artists.  I wasn’t comfortable being there, I just blagged  my way through life with no real purpose, there is no purpose, did you know?

She called me to come inside, her office was the best in the whole place, top floor, quite small, it was furnished more like a spare room, with all sorts of antique furnishings. The view over the hills was stunning, I remarked you could see the weather coming in from 10 miles, she warmed to my enthusiasm and said how she loved this place, I imagined this view was perhaps worth dying for, she impressed me, everything about her told me she was the best, and yet, somehow I knew she was seeking something more, or ought to be, with a mind like hers.

We got our boxes of papers out and set about ticking boxes, filling forms and so on. I looked at her  intently, as she moved her pen down along the row of boxes, signing off at the foot of each page, I thought about kissing her where her knickers leave a mark on her inner thighs, following down over her legs, down too her feet, her ankles, slipping her shoes off, my mind drifting as the sun was going down behind her.

I reached out and put my hand on hers, and her pen stopped moving instantly.  I leaned in and brushed my lips over hers, inhaling her breath, I passed by her cheek and gently kissed her ear, moving my fingers through her hair. She was putty in my hands, as I turned her face towards mine our eyes met. She flicked her eyes down and back up to mine, as if to say, okay, we’re going to do this.

I had both her hands in mine as we rose from our seats and began to kiss deeply, she was as passionate as I had imagined, the kissing and touching of hands on arms and shoulders as she came around the desk to meet me on my side of the desk was graceful and almost balletic.  I passed my hands down over her hips as she bumped herself up onto the desk, I didn’t want to cramp her style and I stood back while I slipped out of my jeans and underwear. She shook out her hair and slipped her shoulders out of her dress, she was beautiful, in her prime I would say. 

I brushed some delicate shift she wore  from her shoulders, it fell from her easily, she was now naked from the waist up, I mumbled “your husband” as I moved in on her, and she said “don’t worry” as she began to stroke my tool which  soon grew to some enormous size.

 I approached her meekly, my respect for this woman was inestimable. She pulled me towards her, grasping across my back while she gripped my hips with her vice like  thighs, we kissed some more before her hand reached my cock, guiding me inside of her. Apparently, she wasn’t wearing knickers after all.

She put her hands behind her on the desk for support, throwing her head back and rocking gently on my shaft, it seemed this was the way in which she intended to consume me.

We met once more, a night of feasting, drinking and passion, a tiny room above a pub out in the sticks, honestly it was heavenly, she was a fast lady, from what I could tell, her husband was some kind of afterthought in her scheme, I suspect there are many others like her, I just wish on my star that I may find them out.

Herne Hill – Half Moon!

Its New Years Eve, and I just woke up from a good nights dreaming with this song in my head.

What the? That’s Whitney Houston! I’m really not a fan – so what could instill such hubris?

Well, I had been going through some old photos, looking for pictures of the Mystery Girls, to add to my live video I was uploading, I knew they were in the photo draw, but its all shuffled up, so I had to see others from those days when we still took photos and put them away someplace.

So whats the deal with the Mystery Girls? Well they came to Bedford a couple of times, and I thought they were just great, so when I saw them advertised playing in London, I was happy to go and see them there on the motorbike. I probably saw them 3 or 4 times, they used to play the Fulham Greyhound, that was a place I went to a dozen or more times in the 80’s, always had a good time there. 

My photos and footage!

Of course you don’t have to watch it – I put it up for anyone who remembers those great party nights – if they still remember! 🙂 

With our gang, we usually went to the Hammersmith Palais, all get heinously and roaring drunk, go by train, it was super fun, but when I went to the Greyhound, I often went alone, or with a friend, on the motorbike, and not drink at all, or just one “road legal” drink.

One time, we went to see the Mystery Girls at the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, I liked that, it rolls off the tongue! As it turned out, it was a great place, you had to walk for a mile or 2 from the nearest tube to get there, so we must have gone on the train if we were doing that. 

Here’s a picture of the boozer!

You have to remember it would have been night time!

I don’t remember who went with me, I think I was the only one of my friends who really liked them. Perhaps a couple of my punk friends came along, thinking oh, its some gay thing he likes – they were cool about me being gay, even though I wasn’t, and I wasn’t anyhow, I just liked a lot of gay things – lol, I might have been with my best friend, who happened to actually be gay, but he didn’t really like the Mystery Girls either, he probably thought they were a bit irritating, we didn’t know he was gay at the time – so it must have been a big secret for him, or perhaps he didn’t know either? He knew later, cos he came out about it, but either way, it was a great night IMO.

This Whitney song tho, I thought of that after seeing all those other faces from that era, (while I was sorting through my photos I mean obvs) this girl I liked, I was besotted with her for a few years, she was my mates GF, but she was very nice to me, so I have some wonderful memories of her, then there was this other one, she was lovely too, only now do I realise how hard she tried on my behalf, why do people do that? Its a miracle really, as I was just thinking yesterday, you know the basic human can’t change, and yet, as Guru Murti says, by a miracle of love they can. Thats all we have, a miracle isn’t much to go on, and yet they do exist.

So I was thinking back then, I couldn’t take this one home to mum, so it wasn’t that kind of fantasy, but then on the other hand, mum quite likes a rebel – maybe that would have gone down quite well? I felt the other one I could take home sort of girl, she was so beautiful, inside and out, but then you never know what kind of mood they’re going to be in, the lovely girlfriend or the mum, they’re all of them prone to lunacy IMO. ❤

The moon was big here last night – and very bright!

Please excuse . . .

Please excuse the sound at the start of the video, Paul was having poo!

Haha, Yeah, I know this isn’t Facebook, but I just decided to listen to this song and found this very strange version!

Anyhow, I like the bass line, pretty cool – I’m up at nearly 1am, work tomorrow, what a drag, had a few beers, and I thought I’d write something – hence:

I wouldn’t say I’m over it, because you never get over it, you learn to live with it blah, blah, blah, or you learn to say fuckit, that part doesn’t work anymore, like a starter motor that’s burnt out – and you can’t replace it, you just have to jump start it from now on! 

Paul Young is from the next town from where I was at – Luton!

Not really helpful is it? Well that’s all I got tonight, its not that bad, it could be the beginning of something bigger & better?

The End!

Ok, not really “The End” after all, I got a bit more to say – I left my heart in the 80’s, tonight at least, it seems the 80’s were better – I like to get a bit mashed on a Sunday night, that’s what we used to do back then, Saturday night was alright for fighting, but Sunday night, it was more like a family affair, in the lounge bar, they’d have a singer, and we’d all got in there, on our best (or at least better) behaviour, and have a singalong!

I was always proud of Paul Young, cos he was a local boy!

That was a bit strange – anyone still ere??

Paul’s a great singer – just get him a song and off he goes!

REM

R.E.M. stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which is what your eye does when you’re in deep sleep. I knew that after someone told me at some point or other, and I knew about the group REM from quite a few years before they were popular, but I didn’t really actually know anything about them, just that they existed from quite a way back in the 80s.

Well these guys moved into my flat, using the room next door for sleeping, there were three of them, when they first came and knocked on the door there were 2, I’d only expected one, since there was only one bed, but 2 turned up. There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess.

SO anyhow, they moved in, and this other guy just showed up at some point after that, so there were 3 in there, when they were home, which wasn’t that often. They were getting through an awful lot of ganja these guys, so much of it, I was higher than I’d been for a while just by knowing them – I guess they kept me sweet that way. So of course I was curious as to what made them tick, I liked music, and got chatting to one of the guys about that, he liked REM, he told me it stood for Rapid Eye Movement, and about how he liked these songs they do. So we got like really stoned, and he told me about how he’d been in this car accident, the car had rolled on this road I know quite well, and how he’d had to have a false heel done in an operation, around which point I just fell asleep for a bit, it was probably 4 am or something, those guys used to come into the flat at way past 2, and doss down – 3 of them in a room meant for one, so I’m meeting my neighbors, and I’m trying to stay awake, and when I wake up he’s showing me his foot, he’s got his sock off and his heel is like white, cos its some sort of plastic insert, pretty freaky, – then I wake up again, and I’m like fuck this I got to go to bed, and he’s like “you want it don’t you?” I’m thinking WTAF? Its another misunderstanding, I completely forgot whatever the subject was. He said well that’s where I want to be – I liked him, he knew where he wanted to be. Maybe this song was in my mind? I have no idea, I was totally confused! Don’t Go Back to Rockville,

I really can’t remember – they all thought I hated them for a while, and I did off and on, cos of course you do when you live with someone, there was another couple of guys living in the flat at the time, quite a few people came and went, it would have been more fun if they’d paid the bills and contributed to the running of things a bit more, know what I mean?

I quite like this one about Wild Heaven

Fucking beatniks! LOL I do remember this one – Pop Song 89


Could be from years later for all I’d know, I don’t really remember that much from that time, things got a bit frustrating, there were some other guys sleeping in the front room, this guy had such cheesy feet, I have no idea where he came from, but he drove me nearly insane – I don’t need some guy with stinky feet in my kitchen every morning for weeks on end, it don’t matter how high one is, that just doesn’t work for me – no way!

Looking at the dates, I’m talking about the 80s, but I’m thinking more like the mid to late 90s, so maybe I got it all wrong, could have easily been a throwback. I remember this one – Radio Song

I’m just wondering what REM songs I knew at that time when I told that guy I quite liked REM? I have no real idea what was going on at that time, I’d lost my mind in an incident involving magic mushrooms a year or 2 before, anyway, I liked this guy, he knew what he wanted, or where he wanted to be or whatever. Anyhow, they all moved out, in a bit of a hurry to do with cops and the law or whatever. Love this song, it definitley wasn’t out at that time, cos I remember hearing it later – (I think) – such a classic! What’s the Frequency Kenneth!

There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess. SO anyhow, they moved in . . .

 

[Edit] – I just want to add, R.E.M. are such an amazing band! I went into my collection and found so many good songs on this various collection I’d got. Its just got me floored how good they were – I added a few tracks, check it out,

reml

I only really play them from time to time, its not really my thing, and yet when I do, I go nuts! Its brilliant!! I’m only really interested in the hits, but there’s so many, writing this blog reminded me of the missing songs I needed – its just refreshed my admiration all over again! 😀

Faderhead

This guy! I seen him a few times in Sheffield, they don’t have that scene like they used to – about a decade ago it was pretty busy, now they play Manchester – or don’t come to the UK at all, just London, but Sheffield was pretty happening 10 years or so ago, you could see at least half a dozen industrial dance bands a year there.

Faderhead played a few times, I signed up for the newsletter and got some very interesting insights into his music career – he’s called Sammy, and he’s a good guy! One time when I saw them, I was surprised to see he had fans, with actual Faderhead T-shirts! Well, why not? They were pretty good!

Anyway, here’s a 10 min doc to bring you up to speed! 🙂

American Honey

This was a good film I saw on TV a while ago, its not really just like the trailer, which makes it look like a Bonnie & Clyde thing, which it is in a way, but not at all really, its one of those you have to see to get it. One of the things I liked most about it was it captured something about youths and growing up, at that stage where its all out there for you, just waiting for you to discover it, but then you soon begin to find out about the details, and the real nature of what you’re up against. 

There’s views of the real America, unlike the Hollywood version, where they go to housing estates filming the characters working, larking about, and all this stuff that happens, you have to see it –  but they also go to some really stunning places and have experiences they’ll remember forever kind of things. Its a real good one to watch, cos weeks or a month or 2 later, you might think what was that bit where . . . and there was this . . . and then . . . 

That’s how it was for me, cos I was watching something on TV tonight, and it reminded me of American Honey – and how good that film was, something about it. I hate Bonnie and Clyde BTW, so its really not like that!

I looked the film up after I saw it and it turned out that the cast weren’t actors, the director just went out spotting kids for the roles in car parks and beaches and stuff – the group seems to gel together really well, there’s parts where they’re all singing their favourite pop songs together, its quite touching. 

Here’s Mark Kermode doing a review of the film better than I can do 🙂 

Jibber Jabber

Well we’ve been on this lockdown now for what? 7 weeks? At least! And what have I done? Well, Ive eaten a lot of chocolate I can tell you that! Its easing off a little now, so I went out for a motorbike ride, its pretty, but in a sad and sombre way – every village you go through there’s kids drawings of rainbows & NHS support posters, all the little shops have queues outside, socially distanced spacing, its like driving through a weird post apocalypse movie scene. Of course lockdown might have been less long and severe if the country hadn’t been run by a bunch of lunatics, letting it come to this in the first place, and where do we go next? How much more of it? 

Yesterday I was thinking about Lizzie Siddall, why was that I ask myself? Well, I forgot, but I looked her up for some reason, something on TV or whatever prompted me, she was the girl in the painting of Ophelia, it was something to do with that.

Anyhow, she was from a fairly working class background, and met up with painter Rossetti, had an affair with him and eventually they got married, but supposedly Rossetti’s sisters didn’t like her much, cos they were more classy, knew what spoons to use at dinner and so on, so the whole thing didn’t work out that well, or it did, but Rossetti liked to shaft other women, being a bit of a rogue and all that – anyhow, she died of a laudanum overdose, and Rossetti put a book of his unpublished poems in the coffin with her, then years later had her dug up to retrieve and publish the poems, but the public didn’t like them so much, perhaps because of the morbid connotations. Anyhow, Siddall had support from art bigwig John Ruskin, he liked her poems and pictures, which is quite interesting, cos Ruskin himself was also an interesting Victorian character, always opinionated and a bit odd in this day and age perhaps, but there you go.

Following links from that info + more about Rossetti’s life (which was interesting too) I read about John William Pollidori, who was Rossetti’s uncle, he used to hang out with Byron & Shelly and was at the famous mansion at Lake Geneva, out of which came the book Frankenstien, (Mary Shelly) and his own book “The Vampyre” (first ever published book in that genre). Ken Russel made a bonkers film about it!

I got the film Maleficent to watch, I bought it before lockdown, but haven’t watched it yet cos it seems frivolous to sit and watch when the older generation are all locked up in this dreadful situation, now its easing off a little, I might finally watch it. I watched Star Wars the other night, not bad, not good, just trash! LOL Enjoyable I guess, bit silly, bit pointless. Its all based on War really isn’t it? Hardly progressive, but when did Disney ever care about anything? They tell it like it is, shit, with good bits, there’s a piece of brain missing in Disneys ethos non?

This morning, they were playing some reggae song and it reminded me of this phrase that goes “Its a long long way” – similar vibe, so wondering what song it was I was thinking about. So I googled the lyrics, and I don’t know if its this song or not, cos clearly its not reggae, but it may have been this one by OMD. Once I hear an OMD song, I can’t think outside of the OMD box, cos its so distinctive.

– anyhow, its not a bad song or owt, and I got informed about the actress Louise Brooks by it, so I googled her, and it seems that she was quite an interesting character – That guy out of OMD is quite good at finding heroines to write songs about (RE Joan of Arc) I found this quote about Louise Brooks
“…the eminent Herr Pabst described it to me over a cocktail in the Bristol Bar, Berlin. ‘Louise,’ said Herr Pabst, ‘has a European soul. You can’t get away from it. When she described Hollywood to me—I have never been there—I cry out against the absurd fate that ever put her there at all. She belongs to Europe and to Europeans. She has been a sensational hit in her German pictures. I do not have her play silly little cuties. She plays real women, and plays them marvelously.'”[69]
Well, what does he mean by that? You may ask? There’s something weird about that – Hitler banned the film because he didn’t like her, or that sort of woman I suspect, you don’t want to mess with right wingers, not if you’ve got a brain worth using!

Here’s a nice picture of Louise Brooks I like 🙂

Weird!

Isn’t it strange? Practically the whole world on lockdown, who would have thought a month ago, we’d be where we are now – its happened so fast, you just can’t predict some things can you? It’ll be argued that we could have seen this coming, or that some did, but I didn’t anyhow.

People I work with have gone home to work, or just to self isolate, or been ordered to do so, because of health conditions. Its weird at work now, I’m wondering why I’m still there, am I going to be one of the last still standing, or one of the first to fall, or just somewhere in the anonymous middle of the outbreak? Well I don’t know the answer to that, I just hope for the best – its like when you’re at school, and you did something wrong, and the punishment is coming, and you’re wondering what its going to be this time? How curious.

I keep thinking of Fu Manchu, he was a dastardly evil oriental character played by the late great Christopher Lee. At the end of each evil tirade he would be captured and defeated, only to say to camera “The world will hear from me again!”

cl

Well thats pretty irrelevant really, and yet I keep hearing his laughter echoing in my mind!

One of the things I’m going to miss if I die, is music – I always seem to have a good old song going through my mind, today its Olivers Army by Elvis Costello. 

I often think this song just rattles along nicely – I was raised at a time where melodic pop tunes were in vogue, and that preference has stayed with me all these years, I just love a rollickingly good singalong! I have to look up the lyrics from time to time and try to figure out what on earth its about – quite a few things really, newspaper headlines and just all the jumbled up junk of that era – it means nothing, its of no import, not then and not now, all that matters to me is its a good distraction. We humans, we’re small fry, and yet, aren’t we marvellous! Weird! Extremely so!