Today's soundtrack: Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate
After the excitement of the last couple of days, today was a relatively quiet one and nothing (much) did indeed happen. But no mind - not every day can be a whirlwind of event and happening. So let's talk about what did happen today, then let's find something more interesting to talk about.
An early shopping trip was required - ostensibly to pick up one or two ingredients for tonight's tea (another Aussie Steak Combo, if you're interested - Mrs W's latest foodie craze). Not that I'm complaining - what's not to like about a baguette, stuffed with steak, bacon, cheese and fried onions? Nothing - that's what! It's not quite enough, on its own, to commend the festival lifestyle to Mrs W, but it's doing its bit! Anyway, the shopping trip turned out a bit more expensive than anticipated, as I spotted a particular Sauvignon Blanc that Mrs W likes on the shelf (Montgolfier) so a couple of bottles found their way into the trolley, as did a digital set-top box for the portable telly in the kitchen.
Back home, and the set top box was duly installed with surprisingly little fuss. So we can now watch over fifty channels of crap in the kitchen, instead of the previous five. And listen to the radio, if we are so minded. Mrs W, as I knew she would, had a few words to say about the thick black lines that have now appeared at the top and bottom of the telly as our old analogue box struggles with a widescreen feed, but hey, that's progress, honey.
And that was really as exciting as it got all day, I'm afraid. A bit of housework, stripping beds prior to the arrival of some houseguests tomorrow and that's yer lot, really. A bit of blogging, a bit of surfing, a bit of reading.
The Aussie Steak Combos were, of course, to die for. Ribeye rather than Sirloin, I would suggest.
So what else shall we talk about today?
I did place a cheeky order with Amazon for the final series of The Shield (that would be Series 7 -we are halfway through Series 5 at the moment and Series 6 is waiting on the shelf, but best to be prepared) and the new Arctic Monkeys album (and you can read what Son No 2 has to say about that album right here), as well as the DVD release of Tutti Frutti, which you may remember from back in the 80's...Scottish Rock & Roll Band? Robbie Coltrane? Emma Thompson? A pre-Victor Meldrew Richard Wilson? Well you should - very good it was too.
So what's been happening in the real world then? Well, it was Back To The Seventies in the East End last night, as football hooliganism reared its ugly head again. I'm old enough to remember (but far too wimpy/sensible/whatever to have ever been involved in) the regular outbreaks of trouble home and away, that led to fences - and that ultimately led to the tragedy of Hillsborough as those very fences pinned in people trying to escape the crush behind them. So it pains me to see such scenes all over again - we can just hope it is a one-off incident. I suppose if it was going to kick off anywhere, West Ham vs Millwall is as likely a place as any. Wonder if Harry The Dog is still out there, leading from the front?
Continuing the Seventies theme, I have started reading David Peace's 'Red Riding' quadrilogy that was recently filmed and shown on TV. I deliberately didn't see the series, wanting to read the books first. I'm most of the way through the first of the four (1974) and it's a dark old read for sure. Was the Seventies really as grim as it's painted? It didn't feel that way at the time to me.
All this talk of grim miserablism brings us neatly to today's featured artist, Laughing Leonard Cohen. I don't just throw these blogs together, you know. However much it might look like that.
Sadly, I missed Len at Glastonbury the other year - his performance there, and his subsequent shows, have firmly cemented his reputation as an international treasure, and seem to have given the lie to the cliche'd picture of him as a performer of miserable dirges, consumed by self-possessed students in their solitary bedsits wallowing in self-pity. Turns out he's actually quite a chap, and the miserablism is a bit of a myth.
Songs of Love and Hate was his third album (look! He's smiling on the cover!), with a 'Love' side and a 'Hate' side on the original vinyl. The album is probably best known (and loved) for its inclusion of the original of 'Famous Blue Raincoat', one of Len's most covered songs.
Here's Len performing Famous Blue Raincoat back in the Seventies (that decade again!) - on German TV, I think. Great performance with a nice sax solo about half way through as well.