July 22, 2012

Evil Under the Sun

There was a slightly criminal atmosphere at the beach today, and it wasn't just my copy of Raymond Chandler's 'The Simple Art of Murder' which served as my post-bathe reading, accompanied by an Old Jamaica Ginger Beer.
I arrived to find that one end of the T shaped pier from which I swim had been burnt to a crisp, and not for the first time either. It made for a rather bleak image on a sunny, breezy day. It sort of appealed to the mood at the end of the pier though, the sea dark and choppy, colder than usual, me, the only person in the water - clouds kept covering the sun and dropping the temperature so regularly the Swedes couldn't decide whether or to have a dip or not. Most of the time they simply sunned themselves on the warm wood of the pier and looked at the cordoned off charred wood.
After a brisk swim to a buoy anchored a way off in the water with a pit-stop at the pontoon on the return trip, I left the pier to read my book in the grass, with the sun on my back.

July 17, 2012

Not in an empty room

Wise words from Agent Cooper:
Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.

In my case, it could also be Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band - one of my favourite records, or LP's which contain some of my favourite songs (Deirdre by The Beach Boys, and 'You Better Move On, The Rolling Stones' version of the Arthur Alexander classic.)

It could even be sitting on the grass with a cold beer and a book by one of your favourite authors (Ngaio Marsh, Raymond Chandler and Haruki Murakami) after just having a swim.

These are a few presents I have treated myself to recently, to fill up sometimes lonely days with words, conversation, lyrics and music. 
Besides, there is something very comforting about reading Murakami when the times are tough - almost all of his main characters do little more than read, listen to music, drink beer or whiskey, and make mouth watering meals for themselves seemingly effortlessly. They are always alone, never lonely. And there is a comforting companionship when one follows another's solitude within one's own.

July 15, 2012

Soft lighting on hard lines

Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Barcelona

Alone Again

In May I started compiling a collection of my favourite songs about crying. Crying, tears, general sadness. I was hoping to play it at a clubnight or something similar - a misery laden dj set of a sort. But then my life changed drastically and I was unable to listen to 'In Tears', as I tentatively called it - because I have literally been in that state for the past 5 weeks or so. I have been told that crying is a side-effect of a particularly malignant disease known as 'heartbreak'.
I moved across the world to build a life with someone, and now I do not have that anymore. I do have a collection of amazing songs that seem to know how I feel though - even if no one else does.

I don't know what I will do with these songs. Maybe one day I will stand at a DJ booth in a small and relatively empty bar - I imagine it will be raining. Now a relative loner in this town, none of my friends would be there, and the regulars in the bar would be unable to appreciate the mixture of tearful moody-garage tunes, and woeful sweeping ballads, but I could at least play them in a respectively atmospheric surrounding.

In any event, I made a playlist of this set, for people to enjoy in the comforts of their own home while on a steady diet of Gin & Tonics (whatever gets you through the night, eh). But sad songs are always good to keep on hand, you never know when you might be needing them.

Enjoy! (if that is the right word to use in this situation) IN TEARS