What’s not to love this fine September morning?
This Monday, I thought I’d put a little Latino fire in your soul with a little Rodrigo y Gabriela. This is the musical equivalent of a triple expresso. We all need a little foot-stamping from time to time.
It reminds me of how important music is to me – just one of those things I can’t live without. When I used to go on long train journeys or plane journeys, I’d always take a little music with me. Every long journey I’ve ever made has involved tunes of some kind.
First, I started with a cassette player. I’d tape LPs onto cassettes and then stick them on my Walkman. Some of those old cassettes are still floating about. The problem with them was that you couldn’t take loads, so you had to be really selective, or take mix tapes. If I had to make the soundtrack to my life, James Laid would be the first album I listened to repeatedly on a long, long train journey through a very hot and weary France in the summer of 1995. I slept on the floor in the sleep lounge on an overnight ferry, this album playing on repeat. By the time I was flying to Japan, MP3 players were all the rage and I listened to the Guillemots over and over. Morocco was all about coming over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco listening to 36 Crazyfists as I came down from Fez to Errachidia.
It’s funny how music can be just as evocative of a memory as a smell is.
I’m not sure everyone outside the North West is quite as aware of how music is in our blood. I know I’ve got a little London friend who was thrilled to bits to be going out with a ‘real-life’ musician when she moved up to Manchester. Knowing my friends from the south, from Cornwall, from London, music is something other people do. Personally, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a boy from my youth who didn’t play something, and play it to a standard that’s sometimes amazingly good. I can think of five or six guitarists that are jaw-droppingly good, still playing, sometimes teaching. Some of them do classical stuff, or Spanish-style stuff. Most of them do rock stuff.
Some of our hometown boys made it big, like Elbow. Sometimes, Facebook recommends that I befriend Guy Garvey, which makes me laugh a bit. Elbow are great. This was their Olympic track. For me, they were the pinnacle of the closing ceremony.
So Much Monday Love to guitar boys and girls everywhere. Here’s to long haired, northern boys everywhere. Even if the hair is no longer there and the boy is but a man’s vague memory.
Also Much Love to new readers and their blogs. Pretty soon, my Google Reader is going to be overwhelming – but it’s always so nice to read other people’s blogs. It gives you a little insight into their minds, their lives. And when I’m reading, it’s like I’m listening, properly. I can think about what they say and revisit it. I can’t count the number of times a blog post has given me the kind of food for thought that has nourished me all day.
Much Love to sleeping dogs
Notice that there is no room for me.
Much Love to Mme. V’s Granddad. I took the dogs over on Friday night as usual, for Heston’s weekly sparring competition with his brother Charlton. Mme V had told Granddad that Heston was Charlton’s brother. Only Tilly got out of the car first, my little blonde American Spaniel, and Granddad said ‘Ooh, you wouldn’t know they were brothers, would you?’
I don’t think anyone could confuse Tilly for Heston’s twin. But I like that for one small minute, in Granddad’s head, they were brothers. I love those slips of imagination where just for one minute, a bizarre truth exists.
And for those of you who don’t know why I do Much Love Monday – or why I continue to do it long after the initial blog it came from finished – it’s because I think I’d like to start every week remembering what it is that brings me pleasure and what I’d like to be thankful for. A few years ago, I could find nothing I wanted to live for. Depression does that to you. Now I want to live for everything. It’s as much a reminder to me that there are many splendid things in life that can bring you happiness or a smile. And as you’ll see from my photographs, most of them cost me nothing. ‘Cept those damn dogs. They cost a fortune. I think they need to entertain me more…. I reckon they cost me a couple of quid a day and they need to learn to clean up after themselves.