Posts from 15th October 2003

Oct 03

Impromptu Art sighting.

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 343 views

Impromptu Art sighting. The time: 11:35pm. The date 14/10/03. The place: The pavement outside the Virgin megastore exit of Tottenham Court Road tube station. Observed three fake leopardskin furry paving slabs, three dalmatian furry paving slabs, in a chessboard formation. Some people walke don them, most viewed them with suspicion. The added a mment of levity to the bus wait, but did not really seem to do much else. I tlooked like a seventh may have already been peeled off for potential pillow use by a hobo.

Celery lovers unite

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 385 views

Celery lovers unite BUT DO NOT DRAG ME DOWN WITH YOU! Far better than rubbish stinky celery is celery ROOT, i.e, CELERIAC!! Now it’s root vegetable season again and we have a functioning oven I’m expecting lots of turnips, taters and indeed the aforementioned CELERIAC to be going in my happy shopping basket.

Geeta mentions Cel-Ray soda but CELERIAC FANS ph34r not! For in Planet Organic, I found CELERIAC JUICE. I still doubt I will be buying any though, as I spent a fortune in there last night on various:

pumpking puree inna jar (I am going to make pumpkin PIE!)
elderflower cordial (Does this make me a ponce or a goth or BOTH?)
happy camembert (Added bonus of coming from happy cows HURRAH also it is smaller than yr miserable camembert BEHEMOTHS you see in Tesco Safeway Asda et al so you can eat it ALL plonked under the grill for a few minutes with a hem-hem SPRINKLING of nutmeg on the top without so much fear of heart attack)!

I still think celery is minging but perhaps next time I plan a jug of Bloody Marys and need some for swizzling purposes, I shall give it another bish. (Also celeriac is HAIRIER => more fun!!!)

The problem with writing about a film about spelling

Do You SeePost a comment • 229 views

The problem with writing about a film about spelling, is that the very act of writing removes the difficulty of words the suspense rests upon. Spellbound is a terrific film, and oddly makes a great double bill with Kill Bill, but it is difficult to write down exactly what is so suspenseful about a ten year old boy having trouble spelling the word Banns.

The charm in Spellbound obviously comes from its eight protagonists. The film-makers have cleverly scoured the country for eight contestants who are pretty diverse, different socio-economic backgrounds and with differing reasons to be taking part in the National Spelling Bee. Because the film is not trying to make too much of a grand statement about the US as a whole, it manages to be illuminating in wholly other ways. It is easy for a cynic like me to laugh at the American dream, less so when you see people pursuing it. However the cynic in me can still chortle a touch when the means is by spelling words they will never use and do not know the meaning of. Even so it is a bit disingenuous calling the spelling bee a wholly worthless competition, so is the Rugby World Cup but plenty of people are drawn in by it.

The beauty of Spellbound is that when we finally get tired of seeing the bunch of misfits that make up our lead characters we then get plunged into the competition itself. And we do care who wins. There is point when we realise that with the amount of footage that has been shot, it is more than possible that the winner, the one in two hundred and forty nine, might not be one of our eight. Especially when the ace in the films sleeve is finally pulled out. The competition favourite and the best baddie you’ll see on film this year. Just don’t write about the words.

DREAMWEAVERS – “It’s Almost Tomorrow”

Popular49 comments • 4,963 views

#43, 16th March 1956

The Dreamweavers knew – absolutely knew – their song was a hit, but nobody wanted to record it. At this distance we can only guess as to why – too sad, perhaps? Too defeatist? Too old-fashioned? So the group did something remarkable: they recorded it themselves. Their arrangement was primitive – just a piano and crooning voices – and their singer wasn’t the finest, with a wimpy voice and an audible lisp. But their instincts were right – “It’s Almost Tomorrow” was a smash. Self-written, self-produced, a portrait of male weakness and romantic defeat – The Dreamweavers had made the first ever indie record, and had taken it to the top of the charts.

In all seriousness, this is a lovely single (the jarring ending flourish aside). The singer is doomed and knows he is doomed – in the morning he will meet his lover, and it is certain that she will leave him. So sure is he of this that his best hope lies not in her relenting, but in tomorrow somehow not arriving. The tune is terribly pretty and vulnerable, a lullaby of abjection, and the delivery is almost comically pathetic – imagine Droopy the cartoon dog writing a 50s pop ballad. Except British. I don’t actually know for sure that the Dreamweavers were British but my goodness this record sounds it: its buttoned-down misery and polite hopelessness strikes a national chord which has kept on resonating down to this day. “The saddest songs are the lonely songs, so easily outgrown” – British pop hasn’t outgrown this yet.

All this talk of chanting

TMFDPost a comment • 364 views

All this talk of chanting has made me think of the best songs I’ve heard on the terraces and what makes a good terrace song. My particular favourite is that sung by Sheffield United to the tune of Annie’s Song by John Denver:

You fill up my senses
like a gallon of Magnet
like a packet of woodbine
like a good pinch of snuff
like a night out in Sheffield
like a greasy chip butty
Oh Sheffield United
come thrill me again
nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh
nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh oooh

I like it not only because it fits so well, but also because it goes past the single line chant into the full song territory and thus should be applauded. There are others too, which should be recorded here over time.

Another addition to the discussion of Manyoo fans singing “are you England in disguise?” It’s not so long ago that they were chanting “argentina” all over the place in the style oif the Scots vs England, I never quite figured that one out at all.

Just a short note on Tim’s piece below

TMFDPost a comment • 924 views

Just a short note on Tim’s piece below. Whenever I have heard a crowd singing “Are you England In Disguise” I have always taken it to mean that the team seem to survive on a sliver of desperation, a bit of luck and rather boring football. Prone indeed to too much fanny dangle as the England teams of the 80’s were. If you think of footballing disappointment after all, the national team is the watchword. We live in this no mans land between expectation, hope and actuality. Not unlike the kind of position a team like Leicester is in these days. Yes there is the possibility of the odd cup win, but for a team used to success like Man Utd, surely the biggest insult would be – you play like a team who are not successful.

If you didn’t know already

TMFDPost a comment • 317 views

If you didn’t know already, and you could be forgiven if you didn’t, Mari Cha IV is now the fastest monohull in the world, having crossed the Atlantic in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, beating the existing transatlantic record by over two days.

However uninterested you are in the world of yachts and yacht racing it is an undeniably impressive looking boat. What’s more she’s British.

One of the more interesting details of the boats construction is that her predecessor, predictably called Mari Cha III and also a previous holder of the same record, was four foot longer and weighed in a 109 tons. Technology advancement has enabled the owner, Bob Miller, to construct his new toy out of carbon so that she weighs less than half as much.

Scientists discover what the rest of the world has known for ages: rejection HURTS

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 322 views

Scientists discover what the rest of the world has known for ages: rejection HURTS

Transatlantic celery mindmeld!!

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 354 views

Transatlantic celery mindmeld!! It’s been unusually sunny and warm over the past few days in New York City, but today it was a little colder and autumn-y and I thought, ‘I should make soup!’ I made a beautiful vegetable stock to use up all the odds and ends I had in the fridge, which included a big bunch of celery I had bought for a dollar. A few hours after I had finished cooking (the results were fantastic — and costed almost nothing!) I thought ‘I should blog about the glories of celery’ and I looked and hey presto, Pete had done it minutes before! Creepy! Unlike Pete though I didn’t grow to love celery — I always liked it, especially done up kindergarten-lunch-stylee with peanut butter and raisins on top. My favorite celery-related consumable, though, has gotta be Dr Brown’s inimitable Cel-Ray soda. Celery-flavored soda pop: the drink of the gods!