Monday, March 25, 2013

I Heart Vancouver

Although, with their 13% fare rises between now and 2015 BC Ferries seem to be doing their utmost to make it less so, it's great having such easy access to two of the world's most exciting cities: Vancouver and Seattle. We have a buddy over the border but in the case of the former we have many friends, so visit as often as possible to hang out with them, a gig usually providing the perfect excuse to hop over the Georgia Strait.

Susan lived in Vancouver for 23 years, so prior to and soon after our relocation from the UK in later 2006 there was discussion concerning the possibility of setting up camp there. But it didn't work out that way and now we've settled happily into the leisurely plod of island life we find Vancouver's hectic pace rather challenging! Nonetheless, when we can carve out the time (which, sadly, may be increasingly infrequent now we've bought a house), we love to visit Vancouver for two or three days and whoop it up a little.

While idly arseing about online yesterday I dropped by the Vancouver is Awesome blog site and stumbled across the video above. In just four-plus minutes of dazzling timelapse footage, with an apt, pumping electronic soundtrack, Joel Schat goes quite some way to capturing the excitement and genuine beauty of Vancouver. Susan and I watched it together, at once marvelling at the skill of the filmmaker and the thrilling images of her longtime home. In some ways it made us long for the choices and opportunities unavailable to us in a small community, but on the other hand it makes us grateful not to have to deal with the daily stress, noise and sheer volume of people and traffic in a big city. You can't have your cake and eat it, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Alright / Not Alright

Man, does this latest song from Matt & Kim bug me! It's everything about cheesy modern pop I can't stand, but I guess on the upside it's an upbeat melody and free from that godawful auto-tuning that's everywhere right now. The video, on the other hand, is fabulous! A deliciously simple idea, both sexy and humorous without being overplayed, it really is a lot of fun. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?

Except for the benefit of the record store I don't do Facebook or any other social networking. It just doesn't interest me and my time is short enough without getting involved in all that nonsense. Yes, I do sometimes find myself wondering what became of certain people from my past, especially old school friends, and I know such as Facebook might help me reconnect with some of them, but I just will not go down that path. I spend way too much time sitting at computers as it is.

But now and again I simply stumble into information explaining the fates of characters from days gone by, which in some ways makes it all the more rewarding. I've learned that a few have become successful businessmen and -women, moved abroad, had kids and all the usual. A couple have passed on and others are exactly as they were, but thirty-five years older. On occasion, however, their lives have been full of drama. I can never forget, for example, discovering what became of my mild mannered, skinny, bespectacled school friend, Peter Glibbery. It's an incredible story, and Peter doesn't appear until the 19th paragraph at the end of that hyperlink, but it's well worth your time.

And then today, on the BBC website, I was sorry to read the tale of Chris O'Neill. Despite a tug-of-war over a girl, with whom he resurrected a relationship last year, he and I were pretty close friends throughout school, and for a few years after until life took us in separate directions. I have two particularly vivid, wildly contrasting memories of Chris: he passed out at a UFO concert we attended together, and he was a fantastic long distance runner. But now it seems his running has come to an end, at least for the next three years. What a fucking idiot. 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Things That Happen # 4 (The Legendary, the Fearless, the Fiery Reggie)

Like all cats, our Reggie is prone to regular "spazz-outs," whereupon he tears about the place like a thing demented, screeching and wailing until he has exorcised his demons and/or run off his pent-up energy. It's a daily occurrence and, depending on his level of lunacy, often quite amusing. How he hasn't done himself a mischief thus far is anyone's guess, but then he does appear to be made of rubber. For an eleven-and-a-half month-old cat with boundless energy there are understandably times when his spazz-outs are so out of control that he's in serious danger of breaking things as he uses his home as a parkour course, so we have to tell him off or try to calm him down. When he's naughty, we address him as Reginald.

This morning he had an almighty spazz-out, for the first time free-running in areas previously unexplored on these occasions. In our utility room there is an inverted U-shaped book case above his litter tray (because Susan believes in books in every room), and when haring into that room he bounced into, or rather off, the bookcase, exiting the room in a blinding flash to continue his mad circuit elsewhere. Incredibly, just one book was dislodged, plummeting into the litter tray with a plop. The book? What else could it have been but the David Nobbs classic, "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin." Susan and I just looked at each other, astonished.

Seriously, we couldn't make this up if we tried!