Another month, another plane ride to Germany. Like the George Clooney film “up in the air” I pretty much know exactly how to get through airport security without ever getting my bag (or myself) searched. But, boy, can I spot those who are going to get caught out. Like a clockwork mouse I know exactly where to go, the quietest and best place to get a coffee at the airport and exactly what time to get on the plane and the best place to sit (3A if you must ask). I know exactly what the Ryan Air air stewards are going to say, they stick to their script like robots. Once we land I head to the EU only section wave my Irish passport through in Germany so avoid all the hassle of passport control interrogating non-EU British people (why are you here? where are you staying? show me your return ticket?) . In actual fact I can’t be bothered to renew my British passport, I’ll stick to Ireland. In another country I effortlessly slip into my other life – my German life, where it’s just me and two teenage boys, causing havoc in the controlled German cities with only a spaghetti eis to keep our dreams alive. Late nights, early mornings, walking walking walking looking for fun wherever we might find it.
Then, before I know it, I’m home again and life is stable. it’s school runs, drama and music clubs, baking cookies, reading Haffertea hamster books and nursery rhyme records spinning with crazy girls dancing and stepping on lego. Days off school because “it’s boring” as life moves pretty fast….when you’re 6 years old.
Meanwhile and mysteriously there’s still music and books and art and love. Driving home from the airport the other month the radio was playing an incredible song by someone called CMAT. It caught me off guard and I had to stop the car to experience the full blazing effect. I’ve now bought her cassette, it’s rad. She’s rad. Everyone should support her. This is the song
The Welcome Wagon are one of those special bands, so beautiful and tender yet as they have only released 3 albums in about 15 years, any new release is to be savoured and appreciated like the piece of art it is. I was lucky enough to get given a copy of their latest album – Esther – on my birthday. Every song is magnificent. It was hard to pick one, but I went for this
Another song by somebody I’ve never heard of is I can’t get my head around you by Billie Marten. This is another song I heard on the radio late one night driving home fro the airport, it’s perfect for late night confusion – something I’m prone to – and I just dig the gentle breeze and laidback vibes I get from this track.
The final song is a gloomy as hell, it’s probably one of the most depressing albums of all time. All about a broken marriage. Old Frank Sinatra is stuck in a boring town trying to raise 2 kids on his own and his wife has left him. There is no happy ending in this album, only more heartache when Sinatra realizes he will never see his beloved wife again and life aint got much meaning anymore. So, if you’re feeling kind of emotional it might not be the best time for this music, but sad songs are my friends. Enjoy…if that’s the right word…each song is a masterpiece, and I guarantee you won’t get through it without noticing your eyes getting a little bit moist. If you thought you knew Frank Sinatra thing again….
I’ve been reading a couple of quite extraordinary books recently. First one is Summer before the Dark, a snapshot of a little seaside town in Belgium where writers and intellectuals (including the brilliant Stefan Zweig and the hopelessly flawed Joseph Roth) spend one last summer together in 1936 with the world falling apart around them and their dreams of a united liberal and free Europe evaporating day-by-day. It reads like a novel, it makes you feel you’re sitting their at a cafe watching Roth get drunk and Zweig pretend everything will be ok. Throw in a few crazy eccentrics thrown in too for good measure. Best book I’ve read for quite a while. After this book is done I’m going to finally start Meg Mason’s “Sorrow and Bliss”
Back in the early 90’s I got really into Star Trek – the next generation as a tween kid, I liked the weird kind of intellectual aspect of it, and the slightly odd romances and loneliness of the characters. I also dug the little fun things like a machine that would make you any meal you wanted instantly appear, and a virtual reality holiday deck. So I was strangely happy when I saw old Picard was back on tv. I’m a bit slow as it’s been out a couple of years now, but I’m starting at season 1. It’s really very much in the spirit of the star trek stuff and it’s pure escapism at it’s best.
That’s all. Keep on dreaming of a better tomorrow 🙂