Monday, 17 March 2008

Good Things II - the update

  • Splendid visit to Becca who was in fine fettle ...
  • ...and has a truly excellent new haircut. Apparently, as the world gropes its way towards an appropriate descriptive vocabulary for the shiny new barnet in question, the terms hedgehog and bog brush have both been bandied around. I am here, boys and girls, to tell you that it's actually more like slightly surprised baby duck. It's very nice, anyway.
  • Also very nice was seeing Bec independently mobile in her snazzy new power chair. Zzzzip she goes. This is the first time for months that I've seen this and believe me it has a major effect on morale. Yes my morale Tamsin, do try to keep up, dear. Plus, to be honest, the Kronprinzeßin looks a whole lot better without a fat sweaty old Dad pushing her along: it kind of lowered the tone a bit, you know.
  • We went down in the garden, which will one day be beautiful, and there met two very nice, though noisy, boxers. (Yes, Colin, the type of dog. No, you may not do Frank Bruno some more. Foolish boy.)
  • I have always had a major soft spot for boxers since the days of poor, tragic Tantus, about whom I may write one day. Good doggie. (Flobbery-chops!) Good doggie.
  • This was a nice visit. Last time (about which I have not yet written and indeed might not), although we accomplished quite a lot it was all a bit stressy. Productive, yes, nice, no. This visit, in contrast, was a very low-stress affair: a Good Thing, then.
  • I've started to suss out the bus service there a tiny bit and now feel slightly less of a whinging pathetic southern nancyboy. I still had a Bit Of A Moment on the way back to Piccadilly and wondered if Mr Thompson would perhaps come out in the Bentley to get me if I rang him up and cried on the phone. However an omnibus then came and I soon felt All Better, thank you for asking.
  • Now I am sitting in one of Mr Branson's comfier chairs and a charming Bransonette has just brought me "Baked rigatoni pasta with cheese sauce (served with focaccia bread)" and her colleague has furnished me with about a pint of "Collezione Marchesini, Cabernet del Veneto". It's fair to say that the mellowing effect of all this has been most welcome.
  • Due to an absolutely wizard wheeze on Mr Branson's webitty website, I now feel even less guilty about travelling back First Class (not that I was exactly convulsed with guilt to start with, but hey). This is because I can get my outward ticket for an amazing nine quid in some e-ticketing pilot scheme thingy with its own little subsite for Euston-Piccadilly journeys only. It can't possibly stay at this price if it picks up too much custom from the main site, but I'm making hay while the sun shines.
  • I promise that normal service (being horrid about certain Virgin products) will resume as soon as possible, but for the moment I'm, like, Rich, I love you, man.
  • Just picking up from the previous Emuārs entry and thus popping back for a moment to this morning, my Wretched Young Persons' Portable Phonographic Device then followed up its earlier rather distinguished performance with the unimpeachably brilliant Niklas Eklund doing the slow movement of the Michael Haydn Trumpet Concerto, which is just fantastically fantastic and yes I really do mean Michael and not his older brother Joseph, in case you were wondering, and even if you weren't.
  • And then, wonder of wonders, just as I was hitting Piccadilly it "randomly" selected the most fabulous bass aria, "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" from the St Matthew Passion. In other words the "randomness" is just a front: as is now obvious, the PDA scrutinizes what I've written, attempts to analyse my mood, then uses a secret wireless link to discuss with the MP3 player what it should next play for me. Very clever but they can't fool me. (I do appreciate the kindness, though, thanks guys.)
  • On the way home I've wrested back control of my listening and have, er, greatly (aha) enjoyed Byrd's Great Service.
  • I must say, though, that at one point, when the Great Service was over and we were into three bonus anthems kindly added on by a generous record company, I very nearly accidentally spat out a whole mouthful of "Collezione Marchesini, Cabernet del Veneto", right over the inoffensive-looking chap opposite.
  • What caused this potentially messy near-choking episode during Sing Joyfully Unto God was the unshakeable conviction that the choir had just - with admirably clear diction, this is the Tallis Scholars after all - had just sung the words "Blow the Trumpet in the Nude". Several times. Yes I know I know. Nevertheless, despite numerous re-hearings, that is still what they seem to be advocating. Perhaps I should check. Other factors apart, I seem to recall that, despite his success and high office, Byrd had plenty of reason to watch his back. So I can't really imagine him letting his mates down the pub talk him into this even if it seemed like a really good laugh.

That's about it really. Tube, bus, home: another Monday, another Manchester visit. Huzzah!


Anonymous said...

Total stranger from another continent here, many months later. I was just now listening to Byrd performed by the Tallis Scholars and started giggling when I heard them singing "blow the trumpet in the nude" over and over. Of course the next thing I did was google to see if I was the only one. It was a pleasure - and reassuring - to learn that I was not alone. Thanks for the company.

Strawberryyog said...

Thank you so much for the comment, and for the confirmation that it wasn't just my wine-addled brain producing this bizarre exhortation!