Sunday, 16 November 2014

Happy Birthday to Me...

Thanks to all of you who have sent birthday wishes.
You've made a bold man very sappy...
My birthday started early; yesterday Di took me to the 'Ja Ja Ja' fest in Shoreditch. It was a wonderful celebration of Nordic music, culture, food etc. Lots of Icelandic beer; particularly one fine Pale Ale, not too pallid at a stonking 7.5%! It helped to wash down renowned Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi's wonderful food. I ate a lot of face (and I'm not talking about snogging Holmsey). How does Crispy Catfish Cheeks in Icelandic Beer Batter with Seaweed Salt sound? It tasted even batter... Followed that with a Lamb's Cheek sandwich with Crispy Red Cabbage and a Dulse Seaweed Creme Brûlée. Just awesome.
We watched a screening of Bjork's 'Biophilia Live' documentary and then sat through a presentation of The Best of Nordic Music Videos from Andre Chocron, Dan Kragh Jacobsen and artist Jenny Wilson. We then watched Jenny's dynamic set and lounged around the bar, meeting some interesting folk; particularly another 'elderly' couple (we were on a uni campus) Andy and Lizzy. I got mistaken for 'someone famous' by one youngster who was disappointed to hear Di's whispering response (Didn't want to hurt my feelings) that I was no one special really...
We also bumped into the lovely, irascible Emiliana Torrini, our main reason for being there. Di and I met up with Emiliana in Aarhus in 2012 at the festival when I played at the opening Gala. She introduced Di to the word 'Sshpaaaarklaay' and me to Japanese Single Malts so... she has a lot to answer for. She played a blindingly beautiful set, drawing mainly from her recent 'Tookah' album which I recommend to anyone with half a heart.

I'd guide their other half, to what Emiliana half heartedly describes as her 'duvet album'. Fisherman's Woman' is a stunning folkish thing of great beauty, Buy it now here:
Home the long way around as the M40 was closed at both ends... I think that we came home via Birmingham; still, we got to listen to Tookah 3 times through... every cloud...
And then... up this morning to my right ear being folded into four (why?) and then that same ear bent again by Di's rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.
Ditto from Dot.
Di and her Mum both have Van Gogh's ear for a tune...
Card opening and coffee.
Two lovely presents from Di: Sylvie Simmons Leonard Cohen bio 'I'm Your Man' which I've coveted a while...

... and a beautiful 'coffee table' book 'Remembered for a While', a celebration of Nick Drake's life and music.
Nick Drake has been the soundtrack to the morning.
His back catalogue is heartbreakingly brief; 2 hours flew by.

Next we were on to Leonard's exquisite, unsurpassable debut, (Oasis? Really?) before being whisked away for a surprise lunch with the caveat "don't expect it to be what you initially think it to be..." and "dress smart, jeans will be fine..."
Umm, ok...
I'll be happy as long as I don't have to eat a beast's face. Been there, done that...

Back, much later; fed and watered.
Pissed and stuffed actually...
A posh curry with the noisy neighbors.
Leonard sings a lullaby:
"Ah the wind, the wind is blowing... freedom soon will come. 
Men will come from the shadow..."
Di's hopeful.


  1. Hmmm... a sarcastic or sentimental quote? I'll be sweet for a change, and go with this positive spin on getting older...

    Age is opportunity no less,
    Than youth itself, though in another dress,
    And as the evening twilight fades away,
    The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.


    Live long and prosper, Captain...

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