Sometimes (a)musing
I am not a ‘natural’ blogger

Is it indolence, or lack of time? It doesn’t really matter since the end result is the same. I haven’t posted here for a year. I probably had some things I would have liked to share, some of them might even have been interesting. But they are all lost now.

On the other hand, everything I might have written, could have been pretentious claptrap. So on balance, it’s probably no great loss.

Being 50…..

……… isn’t so bad when you get a shiny new camera.

I am very, very lucky: C wanted to buy me a necklace, but we couldn’t find one on the day. Then I started to think. A necklace- all shiny and bright- but necessarily only to be worn sometimes; when the occasion is right & the dress matches. What’s more, when I’m using a cross-body bag and wearing ID on a lanyard, a necklace gets tangled.

Maybe a ring? I love a big, bold ring. But do I want one that I need to worry about? I take rings off and leave them lying around: I haven’t lost one yet, but one day I will.

Why a camera? I love taking photographs, but this is more than that. This is about owning something beautiful and functional. This is about a marking of a birthday that felt momentous; 50 and halfway there. Thinking back I had a camera for my 18th birthday, for my 30th and my 40th. In between, I bought a few more. But maybe, just maybe, this is my ultimate camera. Probably not my last, (not if I’ve got another 50 years in me), but the one that feels absolutely right for me.

The camera? Oh didn’t I say, it’s a Leica.

For me music is a solitary pursuit

So I did listen to Leonard Cohen on Thursday, and again on Friday. But only for a little while. (It was both discs of the Essential Collection if you’re interested. I know that Greatest Hits collections are naff, but they are useful shorthand if you don’t have all your music to hand).

But today I haven’t listed to music, nor am I likely to tomorrow. This is because, for me, music is something to be enjoyed alone. It is partly because I like to sing- loudly and pretty tunelessly. It is partly because I like to dance. It is mainly because music feels personal and I am happiest when enjoying it on my own. If there is another music diary project next year, I may well have very different listening habits. If I were driving, or had my own office, or C were working, then I suspect I would average 3 albums a day. But not this year.

That all sounds a bit downbeat, so I’m going to add something else. I don’t have much music in my life right now. But I do have the following:

  • A flat with a balcony- with a view of the Gherkin
  • A placement at the Treasury
  • A season ticket to watch the best team in the world. (Oh, just shut up Man U and Barcelona fans).
  • A 10 minute walk to Borough Market, 20 to Tate Modern.
  • A very happy (and relaxed husband).

I was 50 on Wednesday- so only halfway though my allotted time. (Look at the stats and I’m an optimist).

There will be plenty of time for music.

Appalled by my sentimentality

That last post- late yesterday, really isn’t my style. I laugh at sentiment, cringe at romance and the only emotions I fully endorse are the dark ones.

As a penance I will be listening to Leonard Cohen today.

My birthday was……

……full of surprises. C had got all the children to come to London. I cried (of course).

It was a day full of flowers and presents and champagne. Though not much music.

1. Cake- Fashion Nugget

2. Lou Reed- can’t remember which album.

It was a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with them.

Day 2 of the Music Diary Project:About a girl

I was ridiculously pleased with myself by the end of yesterday. I’d started this blog, fulfilled a promise and listened (properly) to some music. Oh and got 8 hours work on the book done. So the first thing I did today was look at my music diary for yesterday. And it hit me- I hadn’t listened to any women, not one. Ok, I thought there might be one tucked away in Vampire Weekend, but nope. I was appalled. By me, not by VW, it’s none of my business if they don’t play with women.

I love women’s voices. I like listening to them.I also like spending time with them. I have never, ever, ever had anything in common with the sort of person who says “I’m a man’s women”. Or who claims that women don’t get along with each other and are bitchy. As far as I’m concerned women rock. Only yesterday they didn’t, not in my flat anyway. So today it’s almost all about the ladies*.

1. Amy Winehouse, Frank.

I love both her albums and feel really sad at that thought that she might not do any more. I don’t want to listen to this in ten years and wonder what she’d have produced if she’d been around. I particularly like the song about the wannabee WAG, Fuck me Pumps. It is my favourite driving in traffic with the window down song.

2. Lily Allen, It’s not me, it’s you.

Another woman who might not do any more music. I don’t really care about that. This is a disconcertingly perfect pop album. I don’t need any more from Lily. Men like it too- though I suspect not if you start humming it in bed.

3. Kirsty McColl, From Croydon to Cuba Disc 1.

Usual story, put on the lovely, upbeat pop. Think about all the lovely memories. Then remember that she died in a horrible, unnecessary accident, leaving two sons and have a little cry.

(Has anyone ever died in a necessary accident?)

So that was it. Except then I remembered that there was a song, About a Girl. So I tried to find it and realised that if I ever had any Nirvana, it has been stolen. (I did and it has). So I found the song on the internet and listened to it. And Cobain is dead too- so if today had a theme, perhaps it was ‘singers who stopped before they had run out of talent’.

*ladies, ok to use in a blog or an ironical manner. Not ok to use in a meeting at work.

I lied- we do have some music in common

When C came home, I was listening to:

3. Nilsson sings Newman. For those who are too young to remember the seventies, this was a highly acclaimed collaboration between the two. Randy’s songs, Harry’s vocals.

C loves it, but then he loves everything by Nilsson. I love it too- though I wouldn’t listen to any other Nilsson if you paid me. (Of course that’s a lie, make me an offer and I’ll let you know).

There you go, we aren’t incompatible.

By the way I am also too young to remember this. Or at least I don’t remember it. I discovered Randy Newman in the nineties- while the rest of you were listening to Michael Bolton.

I loved Washington. This guy was sitting in the park near the White House

I loved Washington. This guy was sitting in the park near the White House

My first time- with thanks to Nick

So my first ever independent blog posting; I’m ashamed to be such a late adopter. In my defence….. nope there’s no defence.

Anyway Nick aka SickMouthy, has started a week-long #musicdiaryproject and I said I’d take part. I have just looked at everyone else who’s doing it and I suspect I am the old/uncool one. However I am determned to rise above that, so here goes.

I haven’t been listening to music much over the last few weeks. The reason for this is that I am trapped in a flat in SE London writing a book. In fact that’s not the real reason; which is that my husband (C) is here too. He isn’t actually trapped, nor is he writing, but he is around a lot. And we don’t have much in common, musically. (We are, of course, compatible in every other way.) Add in that I don’t drive in London- when most of my listening was in the car- and that I lost all my iTunes library when I broke my laptop, and you’ll see why listening has declined.

But the nice thing about Nick’s project is that it reminded me that I like music on when I work. So it’s not only a record, but also a prod.

Today I have listened to:

1. Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around

I love this album- my favourite of the series that spun Cash back into the mainstream view. I always pretend to myself that Hurt (Trent Reznor) should be ‘my’ song. Actually I’m way more upbeat than that. ‘In my Life’ (Lennon/McCartney) has a special resonance with respect to a love in the autumn of my years- not that Mr Clooney knows that yet.

By the way, yes I always sing along- so only music with words does it for me.

No I don’t have a nice voice. Poor C.

2. Vampire Weekend- self-titled.

Witty and one of the few CDs that I own that my children don’t sneer/laugh at. They aren’t really children, anymore, since the youngest is 24, but they still adopt a superior attitude when it comes to music.

That’s it, so far.