Monthly Archives: February 2010

Shrove Twosday

A beautiful evening has just been had when the Mountain Parade’s band practice and my Oxford Shrove Session (I was in London for real shrove and needed to spread some love on home turf) hijacked each other. The results included:
  • Mark Taylor’s utterly excessive and extremely welcome Waitrose visit
  • An old schoolfellow of mine, Steve, discoursing freely on the subject of cigar-box violins
  • Sam Taplin receiving a personal rendition of classic MP song ‘The Squid and the Whale’
  • My learning Sam’s ‘Dan’, and its subsequent performance to the politely-listening remnants of the parade
  • More pancakes than you could reasonably shake a stick at, including a crumpet-esque experiment with vegan ones
  • A general retreat to the nearby public house, including some unbelievable dance moves from Roxy, Sam and I; also sizzling pool shots from Sally.
  • The songs ‘Torn’, ‘Year 3000’, ‘Buck Rogers’, ‘Clint Eastwood’ and ‘Harder to Breathe’, courtesy of DJ Mark Taylor

Beautiful times!

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I’m off to London to Shrove hard with Max and the rest of the gang, in an effort to reproduce what I’m certain will be the best Shrove video yet! Naturally it will be months before I get round to editing anything, though (there’s still a fOwl from December I haven’t finished yet) so allow me, for now, to simply extend my shrove-ly wishes in your general direction, and say, KEEP IT SHROVE YO.

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I want to share two little quotations from Jerome K. Jerome’s Novel Notes (1893) with you. He really was a wonderful writer, mixing an enormous amount of idle banter (Novel Notes consists of almost literally nothing other than idle banter) with these extraordinarily pithy little moments. How serious he is about any of them is up for discussion, but I think that just makes it better (cf. Wilde, The Decay of Lying et. al) – naturally, their effect is diminished considerably by giving them to you in isolation from the rest of the book, which I strongly recommend reading, but I think it worth the risk. Here’s the first one:

“For, when you are very, very young you dream that the summer is all sunny days and moonlight nights, that the wind blows always softly from the west, and that roses will thrive anywhere. But, as you grow older, you grow tired of waiting for the gray sky to break. So you close the door and come in, and crouch over the fire, wondering why the winds blow ever from the east: and you have given up trying to rear roses” (90)

I find this especially useful when allied with a much shorter thought he has a bit later on:

“The streets of life are very crowded, and if we lose each other’s hands we are soon hustled far apart” (108)

A little something to think about, perhaps.

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Keeping it Pantis

More things have continued to happen to me, in my life, since the last time I wrote on here. How unusual. I’ve gone shopping, for instance. Then there was the great Pantis disaster of Sunday (yesterday), when I needed to purchase some Pantis as a matter of great urgency. I played the EOCC with a chap who really, really wants cannabis legalised, and bumped into the sister of an old friend of mine. My room smells of girls and Zelda: Spirit Tracks is a good laugh but not in the same league as its predecessor Phantom Hourglass. Meanwhile, my Dad rocked the Sheldonian in a wonderful way, and the Russians, by the way, are in a field of their own when it comes to orchestral music.

Of more significance, I am happy to announce my place on what I consider to be the greatest bill of all fucking time – check this out:

and ME

All of this is in the Half Moon, St. Clement’s, a pub so intimate that if you come along there is an 8% chance that you will have sex with one of the four people named above. It’s happening courtesy of the wonderful James Bell and the Oxford Folk Festival Fringe on the afternoon of Saturday March 13th. Don’t miss it!

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The Quickest of Ones

Little from me in blogland lately owing, at least in theory, to a monolithic and rather nasty piece of writing I’m handing in today in connection with my degree. I’ll try and post something of substance soon, but for now a bullet point list of recent happenings in line with the good old aide-memoire traditions:
  • Many lovely dinners in Hackney, complete with the Swindler’s latest invention: a tea-chest bass.
  • Learning to like the BL, although not its silly induction day.
  • Getting very excited about the Darwin Centre, to the chagrin of those accompanying me.
  • Several pleasing moments in two of Jericho’s nicer pubs.
  • Discovering that the KCL History department has an unbelievable secret study zone where you can HAVE TEA AT YOUR DESK *&%$(*&%
  • Reflecting on the fact that the previous point is the level of excitement I seem to deal in these days.
  • A nice post-catweazle circle consisting of Alan B., Ed P., Roxy, Ira, Natalie and myself.
  • Significantly increased frostiness in my relations with TFL
  • General happiness with the new song (lyrics forthcoming)

More soon.

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