Monday, June 07, 2010

Rolling on the River

I found this various artists disc with the biggest hits from 1969 on it and after a shaky start (The Archies and Zager & Evans), it pretty much swung into groove-tastic action. I'd forgotten all about this disc; I must have done it ages ago (as the disc is a *cough* unbranded one). On this compilation was the second record I ever bought with my own money - Dizzy by Tommy Roe; the best Elvis record ever recorded - Suspicious Minds; Spinnin' Wheel by Blood, Sweat & Tears - a crazy song if ever there was.

1969 could have been a massive turning point in my life, but a slightly fucking mad brother, a needy grandmother and two parents who were suckers for giving in changed everything. If there is such a thing as a multiverse, I'd love to see my reality had I never left Canada...

Witchita Lineman - what a great song and one of my mum's favourites...


The week stretches ahead of me and I'm trying desperately not to be too optimistic. After all, the weather forecast is grim (taking a week in June used to be a guarantee, didn't it?) and we're not exactly as rich as Croesus at the moment - which would be the fault of my lovely shiny Fiat Sedici, which despite being a pleasure to drive and a car I'd be happy to have for the next 10 years (which the wife believes is a conservative estimate), it does cost me about half again as much to run than the 'Noddy Car' or Seat. Noddy Car? I love this, coming from a woman who drives a Fiat Doblo...

The plan is to follow a similar theme to what I'm listening to and be a bit nostalgic. Speaking of the Doblo car mentioned earlier. Days out with the dogs are always going to be fun; all I need is a loudspeaker on the top of the car playing the theme from The Muppets and I'm halfway to madness.

Anyhow, the week ahead. Well, the reason I'm trying not to be positive is because it's been pretty good so far. Friday night we spent a very pleasant evening in completing the first season of The Sopranos on DVD. Saturday I sizzled on the patio before venturing to a good friend's evening do; which, despite hardly knowing anyone, we had a very pleasant evening, which made a great change from our usual Saturday night nothing. Sunday started gloomily and our original plans were put on hold because of a rain-fearing procrastinator, but we made the most of our revised plans and had a really enjoyable day. That is until the evening...

Bloody hell! Bob Dylan!


No, Bob had nothing to do at all with the reason why Sunday night made a damp squib seem like a cool alternative. Valhalla Rising was the reason. 90 minutes of my life that I will never ever get back and worse still the memory of that film will be burned on it. Bad films tend to get obliterated from ones memory, to the point where you can watch it TV years later and wonder if you actually did see it as you can't remember anything about it. I won't have that problem with Valhalla Rising.

I remember spending something like 5 years one afternoon watching Paris, Texas with a couple of stoner buddies in the 1990s. The most extraordinary thing about that film was the fact that nothing actually happens. If I watched it today, I'd be asleep inside 10 minutes. However, despite finding that film similar in stature to having teeth removed by trained stoats with Black & Deckers, Valhalla Rising could well replace that film in my mental hall of fame.

Did anyone ever see that Bergman film about Max Von Sydow playing death at chess? Jesus, that film is Die Hard compared to this. Yes, it starts promisingly; grim landscapes, violent cage fighting style gladiatorial games; deformities and enigmatic sparsely spoken lines. But that soon dries up and we're left with allegory; at least that's what I figured it was about. Nothing happens. Nothing happens at all. They sit on a boat in the fog for a third of the film contemplating God and curses, possibly end up in North America and all die. The lead character doesn't speak - ever and... and... and nothing.

I know people who will proclaim this a classic. These people should be shot.


I'm into the 1970s with Blockbuster by the Sweet! So you better watch out if you have long black hair...

Actually, 1970 was my first World Cup. Admittedly I was alive during the 1962 and 1966 tournaments, but I was either too young or living in Canada and therefore it had little impact on my life. I remember watching the final between Brazil and Italy and being mesmerised by the way the Brazilians played the game - they seemed unstoppable and proved that by disposing of a pretty impressive Italian side.

Now 40 years later, I shall watch my first World Cup in HD.

I am now going to forecast who I believe will win the cup...

England will draw with the USA on June 12. I expect it to be 1-1 with the USA equalising in the last ten minutes, probably from a Landon Donovan cross that the normally excellent Ashley Cole will fail to stop. They will then beat Algeria 2-0, but make hard work of it. Another 2-0 victory over Slovenia will see them top the group after the USA's dropped point against Slovenia.

In the first knockout stage they will face Serbia, who they will beat 2-1 in extra time by a headed goal by Peter Crouch. If things go according to form, they could be playing anybody in the QFs. The two likeliest are France and Argentina, but neither side are playing remotely convincing football, but we could end up playing Nigeria or possibly Greece and I think that will also see us win. Which would put us in a semi-final against Holland, Italy, Brazil or Spain, depending on how the draw goes.

I expect to lose on penalties in the semis to the eventual winner.

So, I'm saying the final is between 2 of the five teams stated above. That's what form says; that's how the draw works out and that's what every punter in the country seems to think will happen. I do expect England to get through to the semis. I think Capello can do that with his resources and I'd be happy, if obviously gutted to get into the last 4. But I've got this feeling that the World Cup is going to throw up a few surprises this time around. While common sense dictates that it really has to be one of the teams I mentioned, a part of me thinks this tournament could throw up something totally unexpected; like Greece in Euro 2004. I keep thinking that if England draw Serbia and don't beat them, then they could be a really worthy each way bet!


Earlier last week. I thought it might be a good idea (and a little self-indulgent) to stick lots of my unfinished stuff up on a separate blog. For about 5 minutes it seemed like a great idea. Then I had a look at a lot of my archived stuff and decided that it was actually a really bag idea.

However, it has given me an idea; or rather rekindled an old idea. To write a story using a blog. My actual body of fiction is inconsequential to the amount of stuff I've actually had published and I struggle to finish so many things or never return to them once I've got them out of my system. However, writing a story for a blog is a commitment and also a prerequisite to edit myself before pressing the 'publish' button.

So... I have this idea. It's a new story utilising old ideas. Which adds a ton of weight to my long standing argument that everything you write down has a value or purpose at some point in your career.

I lay in bed last night planning this massive magnum opus of interconnected stories; but settled on just getting the first one down, done and dusted. I love breaking with convention, so the hero of this story is likely to be a bricklayer... Or maybe a bin man.

The week lays ahead of me. Enough of this foolhardiness and on with the show!

1 comment:

  1. Nah, intelligent stuff till you said Crouch would score with his head