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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Shack Tales: 1

It's the little things that can make a day...
Sitting here in a fisherman's net shack on the Suffolk coast counting blessings.
It's blowing a hooley and, on occasion, this exposed wooden shelter seems likely to take off. I know that we are more robust than that: the vacantly vulnerable often need to gather strength and develop static, stable and stoic defences.
Now that Di's bailed out London bound I'm trying to prep for some time in the studio with Marcus and am doing my usual: safely content in a cozy cabin but occasionally offering my chin to the elements to see what smarts.
Noting and toting.
As ever it's the daily rituals that develop and shape the day.
Late night whiskey means early morning coffee.
Perhaps a pill or two: purely medicinal.
I reach to the wood fire basket for inspiration. That's where the kindling and 'fire paper' is kept. 
'Fire Paper': usually the Sunday sups. The financial pages go to blazes ('Doh Jones!') and I hold back the travel, sports and arts for the reading. As ever there's much inspiration in the minutiae. Looking at my notes from yesterday I think there's a song to be had from an article on how man developed his relationship with wolves: it seems that, when a domestic dog reacts to your every whim, it is down to his wolves' eye: an acute sensitivity to the pack, an instinct vital for survival: a hunter's eye for weakness, a selection of prey in order to avoid fruitless pursuit. Could be that when you are nose to nose with your best friend you might actually be having a 'conversation with death...'
A piece on nudity in Art produces a few notes about the difference between 'nude' (clothed in art) and 'naked' (vulnerable) and might make it into a ditty.
A review of Jonathan Coe's new novel 'Middle England' sets me scribbling about Brexit, this island life and the recognition that I might be beyond middle age. 

And that gets me listening to new music for inspiration.
This morning 'new' comes from a fairly sage source:
Mumford and Son: 'Delta': 'Aching' and 'empty' come to mind.
Beautifully produced, shimmery and intense, punctuated with the trademark crescendos, but... it's all a little passionately dispassionate. When you're singing from the heart there needs to be... a heart. Interestingly the best track (for me) is 'Wild Heart' which takes them back to their faux folky roots.



Next up the much vaunted The Good, The Bad & The Queen:'Merrie Land': Damon Alban working alongside other late 20th century icons: most notably Clash bassist Paul Simonon. It's a concept album that casts an eye over West London bathed in Brexit's gloomy half light. A 'Merrie Land' in “Anglo-Saxostentialist crisis”? apparently. “Are we green, are we pleasant?” questions Damon. At least he's singing and not shouting. I particularly like the recorders and ache of 'Lady Boston'so here it is:


Oddly it's Mark Knopfler who provides the morning's keenest pleasure. 'Down the Road Wherever' suggests that you know where he's going and what he'll be giving you will be sturdily dependable. And. yup, he delivers. A crumpled curmudgeon with a canny eye for the everyday. Anyone who can put a lump in your throat with a song about a sandwich must be master of his craft: lacing sanguine sadness to a universal conundrum: "When you're dealing with a toastie what do you prefer: Brown or red?"
No video so here's a link:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6iPklJBWZbOENNOsCPlfhh?si=5pVv9EAZT1iTojQXyRCdeA
Right: I'm off to make myself a bacon roll.
It'll be 'red' for me: Local Adnams ketchup.
Talk about 'sage sources'...
It's the little things that can make a day...

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