Saturday, June 23, 2007

Midsummer Harvest

Only intended going up the plot for an hour 'cos the weather looked iffy - but in the end the showers never came and I stayed for around five, harvesting, planting, weeding, lying on my back in the long grass.

Harvested nearly 1lb of redcurrants - which I put in the freezer when I got back - a few stalks of rhubarb, some peas, a handful of raspberries and an artichoke head : I made up some garlic butter with a little olive oil and lemon juice as a dip for the artichoke and peas and had the rhubarb stewed with some yoghurt. Yum.

Planted some more rocket, (more like ski-lift - it's really slow this year) 'cobra' climbing beans, the last of the peas, a couple more pumpkin plants and the last of the leeks.


Ah - a bit late I know, but I've finally got into Arcade Fire. It dawns on me that I've already heard around half a dozen tracks on the radio, but now with the ! Reminds me a bit of The Flaming Lips, Pixies, David Byrne. Smashing, absolutely essential live, even from the comfort of my own mud free sofa. Soul searching, tear jerking, brilliant stuff.

In contrast, Artic Monkeys seemed to be playing the same song, over and over again, with the social skills of a lamppost. Yes (ladies & gentlemen), some of us did look good on the dancefloor, dancing like robots in 1984 but we don't do it now. No need to take the piss.

You can keep yer Kasabian, Killers, Editors and Iggy Pop - what a ridiculous old man. What's his excuse ? And how foul mouthed is Lilly Allen ? Like it or not, she's responsible for how eight year old girls talk. I was quite won over by Rufus Wainwright, in spite of / because of messing up his own songs. Camper than the big top and what a voice ! Saw snippets of Cherry Ghost & Pigeon Detectives - catchy as headlice but infinitely more enjoyable, if shambolic. Thank goodness for the Manic Street Preachers.

The Beeb's coverage was well messy - natch. Still haven't forgiven Colin Murray for joking about autism last year and being a bit in love with himself. Still, entertaining to see him speak his mind about Peaches Geldof. Jupitus might be forgiven for 'not doing tents', due to his girth, but what kind of quasi racist / stereotypical rubbish was that bloke ( Don Letts ?) spreading by saying that black people don't camp ? At least Lauren Laverne was on cracking, sparkling form as usual. Nearly made up for Peel being missing.

Also missing, from where I'm looking, is any kind of interesting electronic music. The Chemical Brothers, despite the great visuals, are a bit old hat. At the risk of sounding like a real duffer, it's not like the old days of Richard James, The Hartnoll Brothers, Squarepusher, Underworld etc.

And who needs The Who ? Shirley Bassey ?!

Fatboy Norman had the right idea, suggesting that in future there shouldn't be any named bands at all, just the sideshows. Still, it's all very well for a man who's made it very nicely thank you, to eschew the bright lights. A bit like me moaning that it ain't what it used to be !

Friday, June 01, 2007

Possibly a porpoise ?

Rhossili beach, Wales, June 1st : Initially we noticed the smell and at first sight I thought it was a seal, but on closer inspection it appeared to be a dolphin, or possibly a porpoise.

A grim sight, though without a post mortem - or even identification - impossible to tell why it ended up here.

All week we'd been noticing the death slumber of a calf, washed up towards the southern end of the beach. Perhaps it had slipped from the cliff at high tide, or fallen into the sea elsewhere and been dumped by the waves above the high water mark.