Sunday, December 06, 2009

Black Tie, White Noise

Today's soundtrack: The Who - Odds and Sods

Another early return home for the itinerant accountant this week, as Friday night was the big gala night out for the sales and marketing team from Mrs W's employers - a night out for which she'd somehow wangled an invite!

So - for the first time in a looong time - it was on with the monkey suit, the cufflinks and the dicky bow.  That's me, not Mrs W, by the way.  She had her new party frock on - it was red and long, fashion fans, with a pleaty bit on the front.  And very nice she looked, too.  By contrast, I could probably have done without sporting the extra chin which was rather obvious on the official photo...

I have to say that, despite these uncertain times, Mr W's company know how to put on a party.  Minor quibbles - the 'Liverpool Theme' involved all the table numbers being marked by a RED football shirt and the prominent Liverpudlians used to name the individual tables included only one with an Everton connection - and who now plys his trade in the Manchester area.

But we're not bitter.

Everything else was absolutely perfect - from the hamper and flowers in the room, the free drinks, carols, and the 'turns', to the full English breakfast the following morning.  The hangover was remarkably light, as well - all things considered...

Because we're not as young as we used to be, the rest of the weekend became an exercise in studied laziness, although there is the small matter of a football match to get myself along to this afternoon.  Not a good time to be playing Spurs, I fear.  But we'll see.

Short week in Staines was leavened by a final visit from Simon, his last week before his return to the daily grind - good luck for Monday, young man!  Not that you need it, of course.  We did the Jimmy Spice buffet thing again, which is highly recommended if you fancy a Chinese meal.  Followed immediately by an Indian meal.  With all the trimmings.


Watched 'The Damned United' this week in the hotel.  Bit of a strange one, really.  I enjoyed it while I was watching it, but at the end felt strangely dissatisfied.  I think it's a combination of things.  As a portrayal of the football world of the late '60s and early '70s, it is superb.  The impersonation of Brian Clough is, on occasion, spot on although occasionally veers off into camper territory than I remember from Cloughie.  But it's all a bit 'Mike Yarwood' on occasion as well.

I think I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd not read the book first.  The book is a masterful portrayal of what *might* have been going on in Cloughie's head during those few days as manager of Leeds, pulls no punches when it comes to his developing alcoholism and is just a far more rounded portrayal of a very, very complex man than the film allows.  The story is about much, much more than Clough's enduring bitterness following a perceived snub from Don Revie back in the '60s when manager of Derby.  It is, however, better on the relationship between Clough and Peter Taylor, the ultimate breakdown of which is the real tragedy of Clough's life.

So.  See the film, then read the book.  Not the usual order, I grant you, but trust me on this one.

Today's 'white noise' comes from The Who - not one of their established albums, but 'Odds and Sods', a collection of - yes - odds and sods from their career, including their first single, 'I'm the Face', from their days as The High Numbers.

As always with these things, it's a bit hit and miss, but there are a few gems lurking amongst the, quite frankly, lightweight early b sides and covers.  Gems like this one - Water - which was only ever a 'b' side (to 5:15, I think) but was a feature of their live shows for many years.

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