Oh dear, I’ve been an extremely remiss blogger recently. I mainly put this down to lack of daylight, and returning to work all in one hit Unlike some S.A.D. sufferers, I don’t get depressed, but I do get tired – think hibernation mode, and you get the general idea - and although the creativity didn’t go away, I somehow didn’t feel an urgent need to write about it as well (though you will find photos of some of what I’ve been doing sprinkled through this posting).
On the needles, I have a jacket in Pingouin Iroise, which I am making up as I go along (with a certain amount of help from Ann Budd, though I think that her stitch calculations for set in sleeve heads leave something to be desired, so I having to do a certain amount of re-working for these). Photos to follow anyway, when I have got this bit right
Before I start on the posting I’ve had in my head for about the last month, I would like to thank the people who e-mailed me to check I was OK (especially if I’ve been rude enough not to reply to the e-mails). What lovely people you are – I am really touched by your kindness in thinking of me.
So to the main theme of today’s posting, which was mainly triggered by a piece of music that turned up in a recent episode of the new series of the BBC’s new series of ‘Life on Mars’. If I were to ask the very simple question ‘David or Donny?’, I think I would get one of three answers:
If you picked the last one, then I am guessing that you are under 40, as almost any blogger over that age will know exactly who I am talking about. I am also prepared to bet that no-one would answer ‘both’, it’s a bit like asking ‘Marmite or Bovril’ (sorry to overseas readers, I don’t know if you have equivalent products, but for the record, I’d answer ‘Bovril’).
Suffice it to say anyway that I heard the opening bars of ‘How can I be sure?’, and in a moment I was 13 years old again, and it was really 1972. Damn good song, even so many years later, and that led me on to thinking quite hard about the music that I actually like.
James (who recently celebrated his 18th birthday in traditional style, by being taken to the pub to purchase his ‘first pint’) has often remarked that the songs I like sound the same, but for a very long time I didn’t understand what he meant.
One of the things I did with my redundancy money was to buy a large capacity iPod – you may say that this was a great waste when I didn’t know how long I would be unemployed. I agree, but I wanted to have something to show for it, as otherwise the money was only going to go on helping the OddBall family to stay afloat – and of course this is a worthy aim, if not very exciting.
To date, I have something like 1800 songs on it – obviously I don’t like them all, but I have so much space on it that it will be a long time before I have to make any hard decisions about what to keep, and what to discard (approximately another 3 - 4000 songs, I think .... it’s a bit like having SABLE). For those of you who are actually interested in such things, here’s an Excel file with the full list.
Meanwhile about 10% of those songs get my top rating, so in the interests of trying to discover what James meant about the music I like, I took some notes one day of what the machine played when it randomly selected from my top rated songs
Midnight at the Oasis / Maria Muldaur
Everybody Hurts / REM
Cruel to be Kind / Nick Lowe
Visions of China / Japan
How to save a Life / The Fray
Don’t Fear the Reaper / Blue Oyster Cult
This Masquerade / The Carpenters
Wicked Game / Chris Isaak
Dance Away / Bryan Ferry
Art for Art’s Sake / 10cc
Minor Swing / Django Reinhardt
Kiss on my List / Hall & Oates
Pink Moon / Nick Drake
Don’t Speak / No Doubt
High / Lighthouse Family
Neon Lights / Kraftwerk
Don’t you forget about me / Simple Minds
Could it be Magic / Barry Manilow
One Way Night / Metro
Rikki don’t lose that Number / Steely Dan
The Sleepwalkers / Level 42
All Cried Out / Alison Moyet
Atomic / Blondie
Lovely Day / Bill Withers
Life on Mars / David Bowie
A fairly representative selection I think (even if it does mean I have to admit to liking Barry Manilow!). But what is it that’s the linking factor? - this has taken me the best part of 2 weeks to figure out, and in the end the answer is so simple, it’s laughable.
The majority are from the mid 70s – mid 80s, much as you would expect, given my age, but not all (in fact, the selection covers songs spread over about 40 years). Some can sing, some can’t (I shall leave you to decide who). Some are upbeat, and some most definitely not (ditto) There are many factors that link some of the songs, but only one (I think) links them all, and I think it is that all of them appear to be songs in a minor key.
And here we are - back to the beginning of my post, not depressed, but definitely living in a minor key at the moment. I spotted this in a posting from Crazy Aunt Purl recently, and it probably sums me up pretty well (though I could wish she hadn’t used the word ‘Weeble’, no matter how aptly descriptive!)
“Taurus folks have a chatty happiness that instantly attracts me. I know that like Cancers, ya'll have your little homebody issues sometimes but I love the way you move through life with a happy medium always perched solidly in your middle. You teeter to one end, roll to the other and yet somehow always manage to get upright in the end. Much like a Weeble! Weebles wobble but they do not fall down. That is my Taurus folks in a nutshell. You have a teensy bit of teeter in your chart, there are family obligations pulling you in all directions and some strangely misplaced expectations from your friends to look forward to, but in the end (which is to say, at the end of March through all of Mid-April) you will once again find yourself wobbling back up to the middle, where you and your Weeble-Taurus goodness will find a solid middle ground.”
Daylight is nearly back, and I’m feeling a lot more communicative today, so roll on British Summer Time, only a week to go ...