Archive for November, 2006

When the leaves give up the fight

I’ve been listening to Leaves by the now defunct Swedish band, City Lights, for the last hour and I still can’t decipher any of the lyrics apart from:

‘Too bored to even try’

And:

‘When the leaves give up the fight’

But then maybe that’s all we need to know.

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Friends

Someone asked me today how I made friends in the past and I didn’t know the answer.

Don’t friends just arrive? Like most of the best things in your life, don’t they just turn up when you’re least expecting them?

It’s a funny thing, being close in a platonic way to another human being. The membrane between platonic love and sexual love is very thin.

The people we love just happen to be the people we like the most and are also sexually attracted to.

I have had two great platonic friends and, unfortunately, we all live in different countries now.

I miss them.

Here’s a nice song to cheer us all up.

No ordinary childhood

Upstairs my neighbour is playing Sade very loudly.

I’m going to listen to the songs and see where the memories take me…stand by for some rambling.

Smooth Operator has just rewound me to the 80s and staying up late at my parents’ parties.

We had a print on our wall of a highly stylised, angular tree branch. I think it was red, and set against a white background.

Very 80s.

Now it’s in the loft, cracked, and missing its frame.

For a while in the 90s I had my parents’ mirror-topped coffee table in my room but when I left for university that too was consigned to the loft.

Their salmon pink three-piece suite, which was actually a lot nicer than it sounds, suffered an even more ignominious fate – it was stowed in the garden shed.

Mum and dad moved with the times, it must be said. Last time I was back, they had dispensed with the farmhouse sideboards that had cluttered the kitchen and it was rapidly taking on a Scandinavian appearance – not minimalist so much, just elegant and simple.

Henry Rollins says that you don’t own stuff but it owns you and I think it’s kind of nice not to get too bogged down with the stuff that surrounds you.

We have Anne’s grandad’s truly stylish 70s leather sofa and armchair and his coffee table….

No Ordinary Love, now. I’m thinking of that strange film that came out in the 80s. The one with the guy from the Fine Young Cannibals in.

I was a compulsive TV watcher back then and I think some of the weird shit I saw as a ten-year-old had a formative effect on me.

One time, back when my dad played Sunday cricket, the team went for its annual jolly to a village somewhere in Shropshire.

I had my own room in the hotel and even had my own TV.

Needless to say I stayed up all night watching it. At about half ten, Apocalypse Now came on. Which to a ten-year-old boy was quite an event.

It must have been Channel Four because afterwards they showed an NBA game. They loved their American sports back then.

Sade… I think my first girlfriend liked Sade… but let’s not go there…

Guillemots…

…are playing at Loppen on Thursday and if I can a/scrape some money together, and b/find someone to go with, then I’ll be there.

Hear some of their songs here.

Book tickets here.

New addition

There’s a new link over in my bogroll; life is carbon is devoted to all things Scandinavian and is well worth a read if you’re interested in the unfeasibly large amount of cool stuff which emerges from this part of the world.

And there’s a small chance that you might be seeing some of my stuff on there one of these days.

Only a small one mind.

Blackball False, Truth

Here’s an underground music tip you can impress your cool friends with.

Lovely sounding New York one-man band. 

What a banker

I opened my first Danish bank account last week. But only just.

I went into Jyske Bank, one of the bigger Danish concerns, with all the appropriate paperwork and politely asked to give them my salary every month in exchange for a debit card.

A reasonable request, you might think.

But apparently not.

After considering my entreaty, the chap explained that Jyske was ‘not that kind of bank’ and suggested that I go elsewhere.

‘So you don’t have any accounts you can offer me?’ I asked.

‘No, it’s not that,’ he went on, ‘it’s just that we are more of an advisory bank.’

‘I see, so you don’t want foreigners joining your bank?’ I retorted.

‘No, no, we just are more of an advisory service,’ he repeated.

‘So, it’s because I’m not depositing any money then?’

‘No, it’s just we’re not that sort of bank.’

I felt pretty bewildered at this point, but anger was beginning to boil beneath the surface, like a fart.

I said that it was strange that they apparently had plenty of account options for my (Danish) student girlfriend but none for me.

‘Oh, your girlfriend has an account here?’

Out came all the paperwork, welcome to Jyske Bank.

I should have told them where to stick their fucking account.