Sunday, June 19, 2005

Mr. Charles Darwin Had The Balls To Ask. 

On Friday morning I permanent marker penned a blue stripe across my face, put in an early shift at the coalface and buggered off at lunchtime.
Me and Girlfriend and a bewildering profusion of her mates and their mates and their sisters and their sisters’ boyfriends and canoeing buddies went to see REM at Lancashire County Cricket ground. It was really good.
The weather just about stayed dry. It was very warm and muggy. I queued for three quarters of an hour to buy beers and missed what didn’t sound like a terribly thrilling set from Feeder.

I love REM and I guess by association that means I love Michael Stipe. Fair enough. Around The Sun doesn’t make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck like the earlier albums do, but they’ve still got that indefinable ‘it’.
I love the way they’ve kept the faith and stuck to their principals; it’s good to have constants in your life and for me - and a few hundred thousand others - REM is one of them.
They did loads of the hits and some less familiar stuff, and Stipe projected like his very existence depended on it. I thought they were great.
That said, I’m not keen on stadium sized gigs - is anybody? - and if you’ve seen the band at close quarters in a small venue then you can count yourself very lucky. I’m envious.

Back at Leanne’s a modest gathering played CDs and drank vodka and sat up late talking nonsense, then in the morning she took us to see the llamas. She still lives close by to the house where she grew up, and pointed out places where she used to play with her friends as small kids. Maybe it’s my time of the month or something, but I found that quite poignant and moving.

I haven’t been back to the town where I grew up in twenty years or so, and don’t imagine I ever will. It makes me feel rootless and a bit sad.
Likewise, when Girlfriend shacked up with me, in doing so she left the place she’d lived all her life, a place she really loved, and that seems to me a huge sacrifice to make.

On Friday night there was a funny moment when a girl who was new to that circle was asked where she worked. She’s a very bonny girl and seemed really nice too, and when she said she worked for one of the well known international charities, there was a split second of silent awe and Lisa Simpson style “Wowww!!!”
It seems that working for a well known international charity is the embodiment of sexy cool right now, in a ‘Make Trade Fair, Motherfuckers’ Chris Martin kind of way. After she left it was agreed that everybody fancied her - I was the only male present at the time - and in the highly unlikely chance that you’re reading this Natalie, erm, Hi, I hope this is less embarrassing for you than it is for me.

Oh, and Leanne showed me how to send text messages properly, so there’ll be no stppng me now.

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