It's been a happy Halloween in the I like household. In amongst the usual masks, witches, ghosts etc, was this at the car boot sale - a tiny stoner mask, complete with spliff. I'm stunned that they're still making these. Sadly Tommy wasn't invited to any Cheech and Chong theme parties this year but we had fun all the same. To celebrate we went to the Tunnock's tearoom in Uddingston (opposite the Tunnock's factory) to get a Halloween cake. Proper Halloween cakes are getting harder and harder to find but they should (1) have a face, (2) be a garish colour, (3) be full of trinkets, and most importantly (4) have cheeks filled with synthetic cream. (This is what the phrase 'He/She has got a face like a Halloween cake' relates to. It's not a compliment.) I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tunnock's know all about branding. The shop window is full of characters and things made out of Tunnock's products and the bakery is full of vintage Tunnock's adverts. The shop assistants even have a caramel wafer embroidered onto their tabards. Then, when you buy a cake ('Produced in our modern bakery and up-to-date factory') it comes in a fantastic Tunnock's box (note the 'Window on Quality' strapline - class) and when you've eaten it there's a note underneath saying 'That was a quality Tunnock's cake'. It's kind of relentless and if it was anyone else it would make me hate them, but it only makes me love them more, so much so that I've made an I like Tunnock's page for this and future visits.
It's so sad about John Peel. When I was growing up, at that difficult teenage stage and onwards, listening to his show showed that there was something else out there. He got me into so many bands that I still love to this day, It was always an education, taping things off the radio then rushing out the next day to buy The Smiths or Ivor Cutler or The Shop Assistants, and getting excited about the Festive 50. Happy days. And I met most of my friends because of the music I like so we're all sad. It was great the way he talked about his kids, and did what he liked and never wavered.
Top Peel memories:
Sunday night line-up:
I've been to see Standing Wave, a play about Delia Derbyshire, electronic music pioneer best known for the Dr. Who theme (Real video). It was really good, very inventive and the Delias (there were two) looked great. There seems to have been lots of stuff around since the Alchemists of Sound documentary so, some links: - Half of An Electric Storm by The White Noise (Delia, David Vorhaus and Brian Hodgson) is available as mp3s. Some of it is a bit wiggy for me, but Firebird and Love Without Sound are lovely. More about Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram ('the unsung pioneer of techno') with links to a detailed essay about the Radiophonic Workshop.
Sidetracked along the way: Papercuts video (Real) from Broadcast; Raymond Scott, electronic genius who built the first portable electronic synthesiser, the Clavivox with Bob Moog in 1956. There are some great sound clips here like the timeless Lightworks.
I'm starting my new job tomorrow after a 3 month wait, and having spent some time worrying about how I get there, and what my desk will be like, and how the food is in the canteen, it occured to me to start the real worrying, about the job and a new situation with new people. There is a great story in Tales from Moominvalley - The Hemulen Who Loved Silence - about a hemulen who works at a pleasure-ground punching holes in tickets 'so that people wouldn't have fun more than once'. He has a outburst which I can relate to - 'I want my pension. I want to do what I feel like doing, and I want to be absolutely alone in some silent place.' I'm sure it will be fine, but I've got that last minute fear. So no updates for a few days until I get settled.
There's more to life than books you know, but not much more:
New likes for October:
I like recommends:
The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society by Andy Miller. Great little book. Part of the 33 1/3 series from Continuum Books.
Just above the mantlepiece: mass market masterpieces by Wayne Hemingway. Beautiful books of paintings by J. H. Lynch, Tretchikoff and others.