Saturday, November 15, 2008
cross-border fixie forays
The specter of looming fat-bastard-dom beckons: I was once 150 pounds of blued steel with accompanying six-pack, now I'm more like an entire case of Aldi green stubbies of cheap French lager; hence the attempt at a daily thrash on the fixie around the lanes. Today was one of those classic Irish 'soft days', where it isn't quite full-on raining but being outside feels vaguely like being underwater. So after a morning of playing around with power tools under the strict supervision of the cruel mistress of my heart, I headed out across the border (only to Essex), just like in the Cormac McCarthy trilogy. And like his protagonists in The Road, I find myself moving through the post-apocalyptic world that is Essex, avoiding the dead eyes of the locals shuffling through the grey ash, while I constantly eye skips and waste ground that I pass for firewood and building materials; when I spot something, I make a foray with a friend (let's call him 'Robert', anonymity is crucial in these matters) in his white van (as we can pass for locals) to collect firewood for my crap chainsaw. As well as that, there's always the possibilty of finding the camper-van Jane has set her heart on, so, just as in a wildlife program, there's always the possibilty of suprising one browsing quietly in the forecourt of a semi-detached, overshadowing it's small clearing, not unlike coming upon an elephant in a forest. There are many VW's that have gone down there to die, but they all tend to have lowered suspensions and alloy wheels.
I just got back from hearing a friend's premiere of a new piece; John Hopkins' Floating World, played by one of the better regional ensembles, directed by Peter Britton. John's piece, a setting of a series of Haiku, was excellent - just one interesting texture I wished had written after another; and Olivia Tay was superb in her handling of fairly challenging (the 'C' word) material. I'll put up a few fragments on the Amp Publishing site shortly. I must get down to work on more composing...Paul and Mifune are playing my violin piece, and I want to re-work the last movement.
And I have also now entered what appears to be the sad world of Face book, it's not just viral, it would seem almost like cancer. After one day it has spiraled well out of control already. I'm going to have to be firm and limit myself to a single short session a day. I just realized the most sensible thing is to cut out the notifications.
I keep leaving the Rapha catalogue on the kitchen table now that Christmas is approaching, constantly retrieving it from the recycling bin. You just know in your heart that your life would be soooo much better with a 'classic' tweed softshell jersey - and at £450 , a bargain. That said, it is Paul Smith's cycling label...so the price is, of course, entirely justified. we used to lust after his suits and assorted mod-inspired gear in the club scene surrounding Tommy Chase in the jazz revival of the late 80's. So, what the hell, throw that Mr. Careful hat away and go for perhaps even this. Let's spend our way out of this recession. It's our duty, and you know we deserve it anyway.
Anyway, the string of gigs to pull together the Riprap ensemble finished this weekend on a high point, there's a post of some videos on the Facebook site, and I'll upload some of the recording to the website and comment on it next week.