Thursday, February 14, 2008

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

I've decided it's finally time to call time on this blog. Come and visit me at my new place where, hopefully, I may be more a little more productive!

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye - Soft Cell (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Brand New Start

It's been so long that's it's almost tempting to forget about this blog and start a whole new one. After all, it's been more than eight months and the only hits I get these days are people googling Choux Pastry Heart. (Very random, I know, but try it, I'm up there at number three!) However, despite all evidence to the contrary, I am quite fond of this blog. When something amusing or interesting or annoying happens or when my head is filled with obscure musings, I think, I really should blog about that, but then I go away and do absolutely nothing about it! I think I may have mentioned my procrastination skills before but should anyone be in any doubt, this blog is the ultimate example of procrastination at its best (or worst, depending on your viewpoint): I moved to the new version of Blogger, I changed my template, I tweaked my template, I came back and fiddled some more. And I still didn't write anything! Is my blog forever destined to be a triumph of style over content or can I redeem it? Your guess is as good as mine...

Brand New Start - Paul Weller (Days Of Speed, 2002)

Monday, October 23, 2006

This Charming Man

Back in the blogging loop. Back to Musical Monday. This week's choice is in memory of the late, great John Peel; undoubtedly the biggest single influence on my musical tastes. I know the 'official' celebration was Peel Day on the 12th October but, as this week marks the second anniversary of John's death on 25th October, I'd like to offer my own little tribute.

In 1981, when I was fourteen, my Dad decorated my bedroom. I acquired a whole new set of furniture, including a desk and a bedside unit with a built-in Binatone radio-alarm clock. My life changed. No longer forced to do my homework at the kitchen table, my evenings were now spent largely in my bedroom, ostensibly working on my homework and inevitably listening to Radio 1. Although I'd always been an avid radio listener, I'd rarely ventured away from the daytime wallpaper of charts and playlists; night-time radio was a revelation! From 8 'til 10 was the dulcet tones of David Jensen. David played new music and sessions from bands on the edge of commercial success (the 1980s, male version of Jo Whiley?). He was responsible for introducing me to the delights of (amongst others) Everything But The Girl. John Peel, however, was something else!

The first time I heard John's Peel's show I was somewhat bemused. He didn't sound remotely like anyone I'd ever heard on Radio 1. Where was the slick patter, the cheesy DJ cliches? As for the music, I can't pretend that I liked all of it, but to be exposed to such a multitude of different sounds, to have the opportunity to listen to so many different bands was incredible. My little musical bubble began to grow.

Pretty soon John Peel was essential listening for me. From Monday to Thursday, 10 'til midnight, I'd be there, listening to the radio. I loved John Peel's dry wit, the way he spoke about his family and the palpable enthusiasm he had for the music he played. Saturday afternoons were spent in Barnsley's mecca of indie music, Casa Disco, seeking out some of the tunes I'd heard. Favourites from the era include B-Movie's Nowhere Girl and More than a Dream by The Farmer's Boys. However, my biggest reasons to be forever thankful to the memory of John Peel are Billy Bragg and The Smiths, both of whom I first heard on The John Peel Show.

Once I left Barnsley for the bright lights of Birmingham, my evenings were often otherwise occupied but I still listened to John Peel when the opportunity arose. Even as a mother of three, I was still pleased to catch the show - most often in the car, driving home after a late finish at work.

My feeling of loss when I heard that John Peel had died was far beyond anything I'd previously felt when someone in the public eye had passed away. October half-term and we were driving back from a family day out at Twinlakes. A radio news flash imparted the sad news. I felt like I'd lost a good friend.

So, what to play in memory of John Peel? For me, it had to be something by Billy Bragg or the Smiths and as Billy has previously featured in my Musical Monday selections, I give you a song I'm sure you're all familiar with, This Charming Man by The Smiths. This version is taken from the album, Hatful of Hollow, and was recorded for a John Peel session at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in September 1983.

John Peel, thank you.

This Charming Man - The Smiths (Hatful of Hollow, 1984)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Going Missing

Almost four months. The more the days and weeks drift by without writing anything, the harder it is to start again. Not to mention, of course, the fact that (when the boys are around, at least) getting near my PC for anything longer than the ten minutes or so I'm kindly permitted for the purposes of checking my email is nigh on impossible. RuneScape has a lot to answer for! Anyway, it goes without saying that I've been sadly remiss, not only in updating my own blog but in reading and commenting on old favourites. A mammoth catch-up session is definitely overdue...

So, excuses over, what have I been doing since I last posted at the end of June? I had a birthday at the beginning of July and have now reached the shamefully advanced age of 39. (How scary is that? In just over eight months I'm going to be 40, which surely can't be right. I remember my Mum's 40th birthday party only too well. I was 18 and, naturally, knew everything about life. I stood in a corner of the pub with my best friend, M, sipping a Pernod and blackcurrant, and gazed at the assembled party-goers with a cynical eye. In my mind there were two certainties: I had to escape from Barnsley at the earliest opportunity and, should I ever reach the impossibly ancient age of 40, I would definitely behave in a more dignified manner, befitting my mature years. Yeah, right...)

The summer slipped by in a pleasant haze: school holidays, catching up with friends, days out, trips to the park and a laid-back two weeks on the Isle of Anglesey. My soundtrack for summer 2006 was not, as predicted, Corinne Bailey Rae but, somewhat surprisingly, Lily Allen. The James Morrison album featured pretty heavily too and didn't fail to live up to my expectations.

I was looking forward to getting back to some serious gig-going after the lull of the summer (three children plus working at weekends means that the delights of the festivals are pretty much out of the question) but, with the exception of Maximo Park at Birmingham Academy a couple of weeks ago, I'm still waiting for it to happen. (Cam and I took the boys to see McFly at the NEC last month but that definitely doesn't count!) Maximo Park were pretty incredible, though and I've developed more than a slight crush on the gorgeous Paul.

I had tickets to see Corinne Bailey Rae last weekend but the gig's now been postponed until March next year whilst Corinne tries to make it big in the States. We'd planned to stay over in Birmingham after the gig so, with my Mum already organised for babysitting duty and time booked off work, Cam and I decided it would be a shame to waste the opportunity and headed off to Norwich for the weekend instead. We had a pretty good time, despite Cam losing his voice completely for part of the weekend. (Made for an 'interesting' time whilst out and about, with me in the role of mouthpiece!) Anyway, lots of alcohol, good food and 'couple-building' (cringe) time. We saw The History Boys at the cinema on Saturday which I thought was excellent - the best film I've seen in a long while.

This week saw two anniversaries for me and Cam. The 18th was our 9th wedding anniversary and today is 17 years since we first got together. We met a couple of weeks into our final year at Aston University. I'd just come out of a three year relationship and, feeling in need of some excitement, had announced to my friends that I was going to 'pull' that night (what a tart!). So, there I was, Friday night, strutting my stuff on the dancefloor and I met the eye of a guy sitting underneath a table, looking somewhat the worse for wear. He seemed to be smirking, so I marched over to him and demanded to know if he was laughing at my dancing. I looked into a pair of the most gorgeous (albeit slightly bloodshot) green eyes I'd ever seen as Cam delivered the immortal line, "No, I was smiling at you." And thus began a beautiful friendship... Sick bag, anyone?

Going Missing - Maximo Park (A Certain Trigger, 2005)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Super Glider

It's been too long. Almost three weeks since I've posted and I've missed two Musical Mondays. All is well in the Midas household. My only excuse is that life is busy again. We're currently in the middle of mad birthday season - George, Daisy, Cam and I all have birthdays in the space of three weeks, not to mention various members of the extended family. All the present buying and party organising, together with the other extras happening at the moment - guitar concerts, school plays, sports days, special assemblies... has resulted in my online escape time being eaten away.

Anyway, thank you to
Cat and Kell for missing me. I should be around a little more often this week and plan to spend some time catching up on all my favourite blogs as well as updating my own. In the meantime, I didn't want to let another week go by without posting an offering for Musical Monday

This week's selection is Super Glider by Drugstore; a song that, for me, perfectly evokes lazy days and the long, hot summer of 1995 - my last childfree summer. I first heard the song on an indie compilation, Sharks Patrol These Waters, and loved it so much that I was driven to seek out the band's eponymous album. Although I'm fond of other tracks on the album, this one remains very special - short, simple, and yet achingly sweet.

Super Glider - Drugstore (Drugstore, 1995)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


It's back to the 1970s for this week's belated Musical Monday and a track from the German rock band Scorpions. An ex-boyfriend introduced me to Lovedrive, the album from which the track is taken and I quickly fell in love with several songs on the album - in particular, Holiday, the track I have chosen for this week.

I hadn't listened to the album for quite some time until recently, whilst travelling in the car, I was scrolling through my MP3 player, attempting to find something (other than Guitar Legends - there's a definite limit to how many times I can put up with Smoke on the Water in one day!) that Joe, our budding guitarist, would listen to without moaning. Happily I rediscovered Scorpions and we had a remarkably peaceful journey.

Holiday - Scorpions (Lovedrive, 1979)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Seven Days In Sunny June

Well, I'm not really sure where the last week's gone. Time certainly flies when the children are on holiday from school!

Monday and Tuesday were spent visiting my parents in Barnsley and surprisingly, as I mentioned in my last post, I had a pretty good time. Cam, Daisy and I escaped on Monday afternoon for a drive over the moors. A mere fifteen minutes from my parent's house and you're on the edge of the Peak District with some spectacular views. The hills are one aspect of Yorkshire I really do miss. Although Leicestershire has some attractive countryside, it can't compete with the stark beauty of the moors. Having no map and only the vaguest idea of where we were going, we tried to find the
windmills of Royd Moor. After failing to find the road up to the top of the moor, we abandoned the attempt and decided instead to visit Emley Moor and the infamous TV transmission tower which dominates the skyline for miles around.

Tuesday saw us heading off into the countryside again. With Mum directing, we managed this time to drive to the top of Royd Moor and visited the recently erected viewing point. Mum also introduced us to the delights of the local
farm shop and café with homemade scones to die for. (How do you say scone, by the way - do you pronounce it to rhyme with phone or to rhyme with gone? For me, it's the former and I completely disagree with Dominic Byrne on Radio 1 who said this morning that my version is the 'posh' pronunciation!)

The sun finally arrived on Wednesday and we had a lovely day out at
Warwick Castle. It's sometimes difficult to find places to visit that will appeal to all three children but we seemed to manage it this time. I think Cam found the ramparts walk with a nervous Joe and a completely fearless Daisy a little hairy, though! George doesn't like heights so we stayed safely at ground level and found other things to see.

Cam went back to work on Thursday and the children and I spent most of Thursday and Friday enjoying the sun in our local parks. Friday evening was Big Brother eviction night and I was happy to see sleazy Sezer get the chop. I don't think I've ever seen an evictee look so shocked as he did when his name was called.

Saturday was spent shopping, catching up on domestic chores and I accompanied Daisy to a birthday party at our local soft play area whilst Cam and the boys went for a bike ride. I was back at work yesterday but didn't have a lot to do. Presumably people have better things to do than phone for a moan when the sun is shining!

So here we are. Monday again. The boys are back at school, Daisy is chilling out after pre-school and it's time to choose my song for
Musical Monday.

(Edited to add: Audioblog seems to be having some problems. Musical Monday will follow once normal service is resumed...)

Seven Days In Sunny June - Jamiroquai (Dynamite, 2005)