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Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Future of Rock and Roll

My net connection at home is down, so no more pictures yet, and blog entries infrequent as I have to do them surreptitiously here at work.

The big up-duff news is that we’ve had the 20-week scan and all appears well. The nurse was pretty sure that no testicles were present, so it’s either a girl or a very unfortunate lad. Presuming the former, and if all goes well, Elizabeth Sara should be joining us around about June 20th.

Michelle is coping extremely well with the pregnancy. No sickness to speak of, just a bit of back pain when she’s been driving or similar for a long time. I think second trimester is the glowing period, so maybe there’s problems to come once her barely visible lump expands. She’s feeling kicking now, but I haven’t managed to feel anything no matter how long I’ve lain with my hand on her protuberance.

Meanwhile, it’s been a week of artistic highlights.

At the movies, we saw Sideways, which is ace – pithy, sad, funny and convincingly messy. There will have to be some corkers this year to stop it being in my end of year top…one?

Big Day Out ’05 was fun as ever – kind of a one-day Reading Festival with more sunshine and a twist of patriotism (it’s held on Australia Day). The Beastie Boys proved unexpectedly entertaining on the big stage, and we enjoyed Money Mark, The Polyphonic Spree and Little Birdy further on the fringes.

Last night was our last visit to the Sydney Festival for this year, an tribute to Leonard Cohen at the Opera House called Came So Far For Beauty. It turned out to be one of the greatest gigs either of us have ever been to. A stellar line-up included Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, LovelyBeth Orton, Rufus Wainwright and family, the Handsome Family and loads more I am less familiar with. Highlights included:
- Rufus doing “Hallelujah”, which made M cry
- Jarv and LovelyBeth doing an indiesexgod duet on “Death of a Ladies Man”
- Rufus chasing Jarv across the stage for a snog
- Mrs Handsome’s banter, e.g. “I should warn you that when we did this song last night, seven people caught fire”

Most startling of all was an androgynous guy just called Antony who nobody had heard of beforehand but who was getting the biggest cheers by the end of the night. He has a hypnotic stage presence and a voice unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. His version of “If It Be Your Will” could have gone on forever for me, and the guy is going to be a huge star. You heard it here first.

Love youse xxx

Monday, January 17, 2005

Trotting, in a global manner

OK. So. Yes.

We’ve been away for a month: Canada, UK, Hong Kong. If you’re reading this then you probably saw us somewhere along the route, for which we are both very grateful.

I’ll put up pics asap. However here’s a run-down of the highlights:

1) Canada.

Vancouver is a lovely city with the mountains looming over the compact centre. Lots of lovely eateries and a good pub – what else do you need? A large statue of local notable Gassy Jack, that’s what.

Victoria is a pretty place on Vancouver Island, where we stayed in a preposterously posh hotel and hung around the second-hand bookshops in the grottier end of town.

On to Banff for Christmas, which is a gloriously located ski resort in the Rockies. This was the highlight of Canada for us, seeing glaciers eroding away furiously on snow-covered mountains, and keeping an eye on the thermometer in the hire car (record: minus 18 celsius). The Banff Springs Hotel is impossibly glamorous, far too fancy for the likes of us, but we enjoyed it. Canasta, sleigh rides, more food than you can eat = top time.

2) UK

First we zipped down to Brizzle to see my family and do the “Christmas on the 28th” thing. Then a lovely dinner in Chelmsford catching up with old mates before a flight to Edinburgh to see family up there and count in the New Year. Next up a quick trip to Durham (more family stuff) before returning to London and haring round the place catching up with all our lovely mates. This was all so much fun, lots of beer and lots of baby talk, it all seems a bit blurry already, but we had a blast. Now how many people will we get to Sidders this year?

3) Hong Kong

Dropped into Honkers on the way back to see Rob and family, in particular the newest addition, the gorgeous Thomas. Relaxing on Lamma Island is always a good way to spend a couple of days.

So now we’re back in Godzone, back at work, and feeling none the better for it. Samuel Richardson turns out to be good and Elmore Leonard over-rated. Arsenal become rubbish while England become good at cricket – the world seems like a different place. Were we away so long?