Friday, January 12, 2007

Once I Had a Bunch of Time (To Blog)

Well, hello there, faithful readers. What you you doing, still hanging about here? Didn’t you know that after that last snide post there - that Lohan-bash which disregarded the whole meaning of Thanksgiving - I suffered a Lohanesque breakdown of my own (read: got blogblock) and had to go into rehab? Except it kind of looked like my parents’ home in the Irish midlands. And instead of having Pete Doherty to look at outside my window, snorting coke and groping Kate Moss in the clinic’s salubrious gardens, I had for my viewing pleasure the time-honoured elements of the fragrant midlands countryside: the Old Black Cow (the cranky one who insists on getting hurriedly knocked up at unsuitable times of the year, the old-fashioned way, without the help of the AA man); the New Housing Development (knocked up at a similarly hurried pace, also without the help of the AA man but with plenty of help from the WPP [What Planning Permission?] man), and the Two Roads Diverged in a Scraggy Wood, neither of which I could take due to my continuing, really-embarrassing-at-this-stage, inability to drive.
I also had at my disposal the slowest, patchiest, most sputtering internet connection outside of the Comoro Islands, with which I could try, I suppose, to excuse my blogging silence of the last two months, but I won’t lie to you. I was only home for three weeks: I could have been frenetically blogging all of the rest of the time. Out of the loop I fell, however, and here is my pathetic attempt to muscle my way back in. Wish me luck. It’ll probably be the 12th of April (happy birthday, Miglior!) before you hear from me again.

So, to kick off 2007 chez ESV, below are some lovely youtube swipes which pretty much sum up the world I’ve been inhabiting for the last few weeks:

1. My Native Place (or near enough):

I don’t know who made this (I swear to god it wasn’t me), but as far as I’m concerned it’s the greatest work of art to come out of said county since Castle Rackrent. The suspicious cattle, the time-stained bungalow, the novel approach to “landscaping” in said bungalow’s front garden; this skatebop guy has it all. I hope he’s at least getting some Local Authority funding.

2. My social life over Christmas:

I ventured all the way to Leitrim. Again, I am not the artiste behind this tape, but I live in hope of the day some Carrick-on-Shannon lad will shout “howya horseboxes” at my retreating skirt. (I hope they don’t speak to Mary McAleese like that as she’s going about Carrick doing her shopping, as she recently told Marian Finucane she likes to do.)

3. What I saw on my daily rambles down to the banks of the canal:

This is always happening, you can’t go for a walk anywhere in my neck of the woods without stumbling over proof of the county’s traditional song and music heritage, and what a hale and hearty state it’s still in. Honestly. All the energy there goes into fiddle-playing and sean-nós dancing, not into breathalyzer-avoidiance and anti-Latvian mutterings.

4. My new standard of excellence:

No, really. I thought Shay Healy’s documentary on Foster and Allen (which skipped over the whole matter of the boys playing in South Africa during the Apartheid-protesting boycott by practically ever other musician in the world) was kind of brilliant. In an accidental way, mind. But still. You can’t beat quotes (only slightly paraphrased) like these:

Foster: “I don’t think I’m famous at all. I don’t get treated too famous around here anyhow. Sure didn’t I come back from a world tour there one time, and I was only in the door before a neighbour rang to know would I go up to him and help him to pick a few stones out of a field. And I went.”
Allen: “No, we never see each other when we’re not on tour. No, never.”
Foster: “I built this huge complex for me horses. And I have pictures of horses everywhere in it. And this oul' Native American Indian wall hanging. It has a horse on it too, see?”
Allen: “I built this patio so that when I come home from tour, I can sit out here on my own. On my own. Do you understand me?”

I can’t wait for the director’s cut with behind-the-scenes coverage of the boys’ obvious mutual resentment.


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