if you’re going to play it out of tune, play it out of tune properly…

By amy ~ January 25th, 2018 @ 9:28 pm No Comments »

Thus spake Mark E Smith, who spake a lot, and the world was a richer place for it.

A sad day indeed, although my morning run was a real joy thanks largely to a hastily thrown together selection from the Fall’s back catalogue – very hastily given that there must be a hundred or so albums many of which I can’t claim to have although my modest collection of a dozen or so will be getting some extra stick over the coming days.

I only got to see the Fall live once, it was a long time ago and I was very, very drunk although possibly not as drunk as Mark E Smith; we both had a pretty good time, I think. I’m heavily indebted to him for making being a miserable teenager far more bearable and thirty-odd years on, for having such an incredible body of work that there’s literally a Fall song for every possible situation. And probably a book, too.

May he rest in peace, although wherever he winds up won’t be too peaceful for everybody else. I hope they know they’re lucky to have him.

it’s (already) that time again…

By amy ~ January 22nd, 2018 @ 6:01 pm No Comments »


I’m officially (I think) mid forties! I might have been last year, to be fair. I’m not actually sure what the official criteria is.

This year I’ve definitely had no opportunity to forget my birthday – beer and Cosmo buffet in York on Saturday, pasta and chocolate gnocchis in the snow on the seafront yesterday and a trip to Manchester with Chinese dinner thrown in tonight plus the utopia that is a hotel breakfast buffet in the morning. It’s a good job I signed up at the sports centre.

In keeping with blog tradition, the number forty five has a few mentions in popular culture although most of what I found when I googled it concerned guns. It is the atomic number of rhodium, a rare and precious metal from the platinum group and with which my favourite piece of jewellery is plated. There have also been forty five presidents of the United States, although I doubt I’m the only person who would have been happy had they stuck at forty four. Apart from anything else, I do miss New York.

Having only just returned from a flying visit to Aldgate East mid week, I’m now (yes right now, thanks to my trusty phone) on my way to the Beyond The Gaze launch, a research project which has looked at how the internet and digital technology has shaped not just the way we work but the way punters punt – some people reading may have taken part in the interviews and surveys, and now it’s all done! And I get to go and see what happened – needless to say this will be taking up tomorrow in it’s entirety and whilst I may get the chance to answer the odd text, that’ll be it until Wednesday.

The London Winter Run with accompanying (and very keenly looked-forward-to) return to Waterloo is getting ever closer and after a new personal best time when out and about the other day despite getting stuck trying to cross the road, nearly tripping over a dog and forcing myself to run back up the cliff instead of walking I have high hopes for the day! These are also being fuelled by a promised treat – if I beat fifty minutes – in the shape of Miffy, a Dutch rabbit I adored as a youngster and who I was overjoyed to see is currently for sale in various crocheted forms in the shop at the Tate Modern – for twenty five pounds. Even with my members discount that’s a lot for a knit bunny and I left sadly Miffy-less (but having very much enjoyed the Modiglianis, the jasmine tea and the sitting on the carpet underneath a giant desk toy) so if I’m fast enough back to the Cenotaph, all bets are off and I’m going back to get one come hell, high water or any amount of outrageous overpricing for the tourists.

I also have dates for the next couple of months overleaf! There has been some hardcore forward planning going on and whilst some are fixed (Edinburgh for example, since Dead By Dawn isn’t going anywhere) others may be subject to the odd bump, but nevertheless should be worth keeping half an eye on for those who like to organise themselves; admittedly this would mostly be me and my pathological fear of paying any more for a rail ticket or anything else than I have to.

Back to the present and to those who have texted birthday wishes, thank you! As mentioned, it’s looking like one of those weeks but as ever reasonable notice should get you (mostly) anywhere and the even the blizzards seem to be laying off for now – yay!

Song of the week is entirely appropriate if not particularly celebratory, and made me want to dig a few old friends out of the album collection. Happy birthday (again) to me!

More soon. Manchester here I come and (thankfully) back to Scarborough again almost immediately. You won’t even notice.

better late than never!

By amy ~ January 13th, 2018 @ 11:37 pm No Comments »

And it’s all long since over! We’re already almost midway into January and the afternoons are already getting noticeably lighter; the London train beckons in under twelve hours and most importantly my birthday is fast approaching. Nine days and counting…

I had said I’d be back in London before I knew it, and my relatively new Aldgate East abode will be home until Wednesday morning after a couple of seriously busy weeks here in Scarborough, not helped by my planned return just after Boxing Day being thwarted by the Cold Of The Decade which reduced me to a shivering mess and forced me back to bed in the least fun way possible for three whole days. I was back on my feet just in time for New Years Eve, whereupon I managed to trip over them on my way home and land on my knee following an afternoon of cleaning and tidying at the flat without a drop of alcohol being involved and after a cliffside run that morning which took in every conceivable bit of narrow, uneven, potholed and mud/wet-leaf strewn path imaginable without a wobble. Curse those straight, flat and properly maintained pavements.

Thankfully the bruises have almost gone and the January is off to a flying start in all respects; even the tax return is done! The freezer is replete with curry-perfect turkey and half a ham that I was too bloody ill to deal with in December, yet more home (and flat) improvements are being ticked off the neverending list – not least a couple of exciting IKEA flat packs to be dealt with – and I will be back on home turf on Thursday to start cracking on with all of the above. For those who’ll miss it this time I’ll be back in London even sooner than expected on February 4th; the London Winter Run takes place at 9.30am and I (along with some 20,500 others) will be on it for a razz around some of the sights before heading indoors for huevos rancheros and a hot bath at one of my very favourite Waterloo hotels, where I will be hanging about for a few days after. Woohoo!

So the first blog of the year is out of necessity a brief affair; the bags are packed, the fridge is neat and free of the usual eat-it-before-you-go-or-throw-it-out oddbods and my first train journey of 2018 awaits in a few hours! Not really a landmark moment in itself, but it segues straight into the years’ first king size sausage roll from the concourse pasty shop at York Station which is well worth at least a passing mention in the diary. I will remember it fondly (and am trying not to think about it now when I need to go to sleep).

Song Of The Week is somewhat inappropriate and certainly well overdue, but there’s never any good reason to miss out on a bit of Abba. Happy New Year!

More soon. To the Londoners, see you tomorrow…

one more sleep…

By amy ~ December 24th, 2017 @ 3:34 pm No Comments »

It’s crept up fast!

The weeks have flown by, with the snow trying to put in another appearance (although with far less success than at the time of the last post), and I’ve had trips to see the Nutcracker from Covent Garden courtesy of the Stephen Joseph’s streaming programme, my regular trek to Brixton Academy for Gogol Bordello ten days or ago (supported by Lucky Chops, a bonus for anyone who enjoys a stageful of fine young men stripped to the waist and playing tubas and trombones, and why ever not?) and the usual tie-in London stuff; a ride out to the Natural History Museum for – finally – a look at the blue whale plus the ice skating outside and my perennial amazement at how big a giraffe actually is. Honestly, go and see the giraffe.

I also managed a leisurely trip back through town on the bus to see not just the Christmas lights but the magnificent scaffolding currently encasing Big Ben (well worth a look even for those with no particular interest in scaffolding) and a visit to Borough Market for cheese, brownies, sausages and a very expensive scotch egg; it’s worth pointing out that all this took place days before my official London arrival a week ago! A lot of fun was had then too, and almost entirely without leaving my hotel (which fortunately was very nice and extremely well appointed) thus it was in festive mood that I left, albeit a tired and seriously croaky one thanks to the bloody overheating and lack of window opening.

Back home and all the extra shopping trips to stock up on the sort of unholy junk I don’t get to eat for the other fifty weeks of the year (chocolates in big tubs, Pringles, three different kinds of ice cream) as well as tomorrows giant Sunday dinner, the carrying home of which nearly put my back out (ten pounds turkey + five pounds potatoes & assorted veg in one rucksack = stupid) are done, the twinkly lights are twinkling and Muppet Christmas Carol – mainstay of Christmas Eve veg preparation – is on in three hours (I’m counting); mince pies are next on the list and who knows, I may even get dressed. For those who want to know, I’ll be back on Friday 29th since unforeseen but determinedly spanner-throwing events will prevent my attendance prior – sorry! I’ll check emails when I can but the phone is and will remain off before then, although I’ll glance at it.

So as the darkness starts falling – after all, it is half past three in the afternoon – a very Merry Christmas and peaceful New Year to everyone! And what better as our Song of the Christmas Week than a bit of Tom Waits…

And with that, back soon – and with a few exciting plans for 2018! Meanwhile, the Pringles won’t eat themselves.

All the best to all of us :)

Further Reading

if you’re going to play it out of tune, play it out of tune properly…

it’s (already) that time again…

better late than never!

one more sleep…

i probably asked for that…

friday i’m in love…

I’ll be your treasure…

it was supposed to be so easy…

all packed for Pimlico!

Pictures! Grimmfest! That London!

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