It’s Monday and I’m not at work, weird but it’s finally sinking in that I’m retired, from teaching anyway. Although the pension bollocks drags on, my union caseworker thinks the report based on my consultant’s report would be a “close call” because he used the term “significant chance” instead of “balance of probabilities”. So now I need to get another supporting report from my GP, and it’s over a week I have to wait just to have a phone conversation about it. It’s a month’s wait for an appointment about my knee, which is doing some alarming things when I move it.
Said goodbye to Jaike this morning, he’s off travelling to Bali and Australia today. Lots of people sad to see him and his mate Richard go. Kate just called from airport, said they were both quite nervous, which is good and normal as it’s all part of the process and will help their survival behaviours kick in. I’m sure they’ll both have fun and benefit from their experiences, the least they’ll get is that it’s not so bad here (despite the tt’s and their acolytes). Shit Duncan, do you have to mention politics quite so often, it gets so tedious and we’re all so bored of it now. Just get over it and suck it up.
Very tired right now as I had an excursion to Bristol yesterday (or Brizzle as it’s said in the vernacular) with Mike to see Sun Kil Moon at the Colston Halls. Us poor folks in little old Swanage have to travel so far for our cultural kicks excepting any number of bleedin’ cover bands. Is there a cover band that covers a cover band yet?
Anyway it was fun in Brizzle, we walked round the central bit, well I limped, and got a flavour of a Sunday in Brizzle checking out all the hipsters. I am definitely in the minority now having no facial hair but looking at the bearded hipsters I won’t be changing my image any time soon, although I may well purchase some Harris tweed. We had lunch at the Mud Dock Cycle Works Cafe, went to view some contemporary refurbishment installation at the Arnolfini, were educated and impressed with the M Shed Museum with people bunjee jumping just outside. We watch stuff like that at least partially in the knowledge that there’s an element of danger and yet if there is a horrendous accident then it would be banned and we would no longer have that particular spectacle; such vicarious capriciousness.
Then more walking and limping, coffee in the Watershed followed by a limp along King Street with all it’s ancient hostelries. Apparently it’s now dubbed the ‘Beermuda Triangle” and there are a lot of places to drink beer. Now you’d expect a couple of old fogies like us to imbibe an ale or two in such ancient alehouses, and we tried but with the draught ales off and a preponderance of pissed people we opted for the hipster Small Bar where we drank craft ales in 2/3 pint glasses surrounded by lots of hipsters and feeling quite at home.
Finally on to Colston Halls and Sun Kil Moon, which is basically a Yank: Mark Kozelek, and his current band. Mike told me a bit about him and he sounded like a dangerous Van Morrison but he was far more entertaining and engaging than the grumpy Morrison. He prowled the stage like a pugnacious panther (he likes his boxing, Sun Kil Moon is a Korean boxer), said he was very tired but still played for over 2 hours and live he sounded much better than the recorded stuff Mike had done for me. Also I was continually distracted by audience members coming and going to and from their seats, is there a Brizzle bladder thing?
So Grace is unwell, she has her final AS exam tomorrow and is panicking. I called the school and they said if she doesn’t take the exam then she fails the year and has to resit next year although with a doctor’s note and supportive stuff from school she might be OK. So not only is she in the cohort that have become the most tested pupils in the world they are also subjected to rigid exam conditions, good system eh?
Brilliant edition of New Statesman, in my humble opinion the best I’ve ever read. It’s guest edited by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer with the theme of “Saying the Unsayable”. So many good pieces but I’ll just give you a bit of the actor Michael Sheen writing about the “Tyranny of Mere Wealth”: “At the time of writing there’s a handful of Labour leadership candidates essentially trying to be everything to everyone. Aspiring to be aspirational to the aspirants who aspire towards aspiration”. And with condom features one nation bollocks it’s all continuing downhill unless we sort things ourselves.
I remember my first blog writing about ultra-orthodox Jewish men refusing to sit next to women on planes. Their latest is the (although this particular issue has been going on for over 50 years) Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sect Belz (male) not allowing women to drive, and a recent letter to parents at their belzer school saying that children driven to school by their mothers will not be allowed into school! An exclamation mark seems absolutely and totally inadequate, who do these men think they are. It almost makes me want to believe in a god so that they could come down in female form and fuck over all the males of all the misogynistic religions and give them a taste of subjugation for a while. I’ll leave the last words to Kate Bornstein from this week’s New Statesman (did I say it was a good edition?) about saying the unsayable with regard to her memoir and stuff about scientology “Yep, scientology really is all about the money and the power”.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.