It’s a cliche universally acknowledged that two Englishmen in close proximity is a queue in want of a purpose. The way by which one may distinguish a true Englishman (and I use man in the widest sense, inasmuch as it includes any and everybody) from those others who merely wish they were English is simple: place a random selection of people in a room and the ones who form a queue (even if the queue is to escape the room) are truly English. I wonder if UKIP use this fact in their campaigns, targeting the queues that form for no reason other than the laws of gravity (English, remember)? You certainly never hear them talk about immigrants waiting to enter the country, while Cameron, in his turn, seems intent on starting the naturalisation process early, by making ‘them’ wait before they may claim benefits. It’s a wonder he hasn’t said that ‘they’ must ‘wait in line like the rest of us’. Continue reading
Picture the scene, if you will. A trio of long-haired muso types are crouched in a cellar, soldering irons in hand, as they make lead after lead after lead, threading together the great looms of cable which will form the nervous system of the studio into which this cellar is slowly metamorphosing. Every lead has to be numbered at each end, and tested thoroughly before being encased in the various tubes designed to ferry them from control room to vocal booth and isolation booth. They’re a real pain to take out and fix once in place, so you tend to install a few more than needed, just in case. Continue reading
So, in today’s Indy, Kanye West has been roundly chastised on account of his ‘ignorance and stupidity’ in using Parkinson’s in metaphorical terms, apparently to describe a young lady’s violent booty-shaking in his perview:
“Soon as I pull up and park the Benz / We get this b***h shaking like Parkinson’s.”
I wrote recently about my disillusionment with the modern way of giving, noting en passant that sponsorable feats are ‘subject to worthiness inflation, that is, to justify sponsorship you must come up with ever more wacky or onerous tasks. It won’t be long before there’s a charitable foundation for the children of people who’ve died on fund-raising trips’. Well, this may have been a joke of sorts even though it was based on observation of people doing frankly stupid things for charity, but today I discover that one American, Richard Swanson, died after being hit by a truck while attempting to dribble a football to Brazil for the opening of the World Cup, to benefit a football charity. Continue reading
I’m not particularly comfortable with, or good at, asking people for money. Last year, when I switched to batting left-handed and asked for sponsorship, the smart money was on a very small runs tally. The smart money doesn’t always win. It began unravelling for my various sponsors during my first innings, in which I scored 40 not out. Though the next few languished in single figures, the die was cast, and this, coupled with an insane quantity of games played, meant that the amount pledged racked up. Naturally, an amount failed to be given in, but this was due to my refusing to accept money until the season’s runs were scored. Continue reading
Like many of us, I simply cannot bear the sound of my own voice, so I have yet to listen to this interview which appeared on the Danny Pike Show this Monday – it starts at 1.09 in.
I do know that the aspects of voice are many, that it means many different things, but that each one of them is down to identity. Whether it’s authorial voice, the voicing of a chord, the collective voice of a populus, or the simple result of air being moved over vocal chords, the voice is something that is instantly recognisable. Why do we not like the sound of our own voice? Is it because we don’t want to be confronted with who we are?
Parkinson’s affects your voice. It gradually softens, slurs, diminishes.
As it does so, another aspect of what makes you you slowly fades.
Eventually, the words ‘I didn’t recognise you’ will be the one I hear most.
Sometimes, I don’t recognise myself. Perhaps that’s why.
I’m truly not convinced I can listen.
I found an odd search term on my website today, and followed it to rater a dinky little piece I wrote quite some time ago … I thought I’d share it again, A sort of revisitation of old writings. Apt, seeing as this piece is about revisiting old haunts. You can read it here. Go on, you know you want to!
Five years ago, on January 30th, my life changed. It changed because a consultant uttered the words ‘you have Parkinson’s’.
In the months that followed, my marriage, my career, and my sense of self took an almighty battering. Continue reading
Picture the scene, if you will. A late night, a mildly drunken (and bloody cold) bike ride home, avoiding the detritus of youth resplendent in sheer stockings bent double on the promenade, skipping the worst of the hills, and arriving at a sleeping house rather flustered, and very much ready for bed. The door opens. Primarily because I put the key in and turned it before pushing, but let’s not spoil the mood. I begin the trial of manoeuvring the bike into the hallway before realising that that ball of ginger mischief is three feet away, having spotted the outside world and, more to the point, an opportunity for a stab at freedom. Well, when he sees freedom it really is conditional. Conditional on his knowing damn well the food will continue to flow. Continue reading
OK, I admit it, I have long believed Ms Mitchell’s line from Big Yellow Taxi. You know the one: ‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.’ I fear I may have to perform a volte face. Continue reading