Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catching up...

It has been a tradition, over the last half dozen years, to write introductions to my fanzines which presented various perfectly reasonable excuses for the lateness of publication and, indeed, I have a fair number of archived introductions that were superseded long before the final publication dates. I'd sort of expected not to do this on a blog because there's always time to write a couple of lines. Well yes. However, as a 2nd Dan Procrastinator, I can still find myself way behind with my exciting life, as demonstrated by my finally posting the last day of the Fringe report a good fortnight after the event. One of the reasons is pressure of work, the other is that I've been reading a book that seems to require some comment but I'm not clever enough to write anything cogent. The book I've been struggling with is 'Prosperity Without Growth' by Tim Leggett of the Sustainable Development Commission. I have vaguely wondered whether this book is one of the reasons that the Commission, against all good sense, is being disbanded. Certainly working within the business community I find that the idea that we should reconsider our desire for growth and replace it with some type of steady state economics is heresy that must never be uttered. I've finished reading the book and intend to re-read it and make notes. There may be some cogent comments in the future. Don't hold your breath.

In the meantime, life has been full of excitement! I finally met Catherine's new chap, Martin, who seems to justify Sally's contention that he's a really nice guy. Which is, of course, a Very Good Thing.

(I should just note that as I write this Ian has gone from playing jolly Cliff Richard teenpop of the fifties and sixties to Del Amitri's angstrock of the naughties. I Del Amitri.)

So work has moved into the heavy training timetable of Autumn. This is good in many ways. I like training very much as long as I know what I'm talking about. Unlike Ian I can't hold forth about subjects I'm totally ignorant of. Preparation is essential. But what I find I like is the pleasure of connecting with lovely people (not had a real grump for at least a year now) and the true joy of not having to write a report the day after. Last week I had a day in North Wales with a Welsh speaking civil engineering company (it's a long way from the middle of Anglesey by train), an extremely interesting day at the Building Research Establishment in Watford listening to how we should deal with refurbishing our decaying building stock, and a morning in Kettering. The week before was Bradford. Next week three days within easy travelling distance of Sheffield; Derby, Leeds and Bradford. I'm not bored.

(Dolly Parton now. 9 to 5 has given way to Stairway to Heaven...Um.)

More importantly, I've had a couple of fun weekends. Last weekend we saw the Moody Blues and Toy Story 3. Both of them gave a rather melancholy insight to the passage of time. Toy Story was rather more uplifting than the Moodies. This is what I scribbled immediately afterwards:

'Oh waily, waily, waily. We went to see the Moody Blues Sunday night and, as usual, it was pretty fab. Question was the first LP I bought and, though I’m not a musical afficianado, and have no real musical appreciation, I still like the Moodys lots. I had one of those evenings, though, when I felt strangely sad. One reason was because they stupidly projected photographs and videos from when whichever song they were playing was first produced. Also, some of the songs are terribly idealistic; eco-warriorish in many ways. It made me feel very old indeed and, unlike Graham Edge, I’m not 69. The average age of the audience was possibly not below 40 and we were all jolly comfortable. Possibly due to the padding we all carried with us.'

(Now we are listening to David Mitchell's Soap Box followed by Old Jews Telling Jokes.)

This weekend we went to see Barenaked Ladies and Scott Pilgrim versus the World. And we called in to see Margaret, Ian's ex-wife. All I can say, with jewish humour echoing in my ears, is that all these activities were hugely fun. Perhaps the best part of the gig was that Boothby Graffoe was the first support act. I'm particularly fond of Boothby and his animal friends and have missed seeing him at the Fringe. It was a joy to find him so unexpectedly accompanying, and accompanied by on the later songs, the Ladies. I bought one of his CDs. The BNLs were also jolly good but by that time the Manchester Apollo's seats were making me uncomfortable and my feet were twitchy. It is a tribute to their showmanship that I enjoyed them as much as I did. Fab!

I'm sort of thinking that our globetrotting friends will be back from Australia, getting over the jetlag and putting their photoalbums in order. I hope so. Is there anyone out there? 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the latest issue of ishoes (all fall down). Since you have now moved over to the virtual world, there is obviously no point in sending you a loc, so here instead is a fond memory of last night. This is not a comment of course but I found your comments on language interesting if only because you didn't include Ian Watson's attemps to embed them in his sf oevre. But you are right, language fucks you up in more ways than you can shake a rat at. And indeed which rate should end up shaken?

    aka Graham Charnock