On Chesil Beach... there's rubbish

Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Friday, I took the train to Weymouth to visit Dorset's Jurassic coast, Portland Bill and Chesil Beach.

Chesil beach, from above

Chesil Beach is an amazing geographical and geological wonder - a huge, 18 mile long bank of pebbles which start out large and become smaller the further you walk along the beach.

Chesil Beach

I was very lucky to see a beautiful sunset from the beach.

Sunset, Dorset

The beach has become more popular recently with the publication of Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. Signs ask visitors not to take pebbles, but I noticed one family had commemorated their visit by writing on the pebbles.

Names written on pebbles, Chesil Beach

I was less heartened to see, however, that rubbish is strewn all over the beach. This ranged from odd shoes, combs, plastic bottles, tin cans and drums to more natural detritus like wood and ropes.

Rubbish on Chesil Beach

It's a shame those signs that say 'don't take pebbles', don't also say 'but please take some rubbish away with you'.

Rubbish on Chesil Beach

That said, however this tin of pimento dulce (sweet paprika) intrigued me - had it floated all the way from Spain or Portugal?

Suddenly Last Summer

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Years ago, in university, I was involved in a production of Tennessee William's play Suddenly Last Summer. I was very excited to hear that the BFI are holding a Tennessee Williams season at the moment, and went to see a film version of the play last night.

It was spectacular - Katherine Hepburn as the venomous yet fragile Violet and Elizabeth Taylor as the sultry yet disturbed Catherine.

One of the highlights was this scene - the first appearance of Violet, descending from above on her throne. It's camp, it's fabulous, and so very Tennessee Williams.

Happy birthday, acediscovery

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This blog is now 3 - I started it off in November 2005 - see here for the first few posts.

I love giving mixCDs as birthday presents, so here is one of my favourites:

Fierce & Fabulous - download RAR

· Originally for Nathan, who is both fierce, fabulous and ferocious - a mix of ace pop, disco, electro and clash, in alphabetical order:

  • Amanda Lear - Fashion Pack

  • Amanda Lepore - My Hair Looks Fierce

  • Anita Meyer - Why tell me why?

  • Anita Ward - Ring My Bell

  • Avenue D - Sex that I need

  • Beyonce & Shakira - Beautiful Liar (Freemasons)

  • Beyonce - In Da Club

  • Candi Staton - You Got the Love

  • Cazwell - All Over Your Face

  • Diana Ross - I Ain't Been Licked

  • Fanny Pack - Camel Toe

  • Elena Paparizou - Gigolo

  • Linda Sundblad - Pretty Rebels

  • Liquid Gold - Dance Yourself Dizzy

  • N.E.X - Straight to Bed

  • Pay TV - Trendy Discotheque

  • Readers Wifes - Nostalgia

  • Therese - Time

Girls Aloud are ace

Friday, November 21, 2008

There have been many excellent reviews of Girls Aloud's new album, Out of Control. I second everything they write. Lyrically, it's top-notch, and fabulous singing and vocal moments abound. Such as these ace bits:

  • The Promise: Huge girlpop anthem, giving everyone a chance to be girlband fabulous. You're gonna make me, make me love you... and a massive key-change.
  • The Loving Kind: Majestic, brittle, beautiful, making me wonder if love is all about the little things.
  • Rolling back the rivers in time: Gone are the days of magic sings Nicola, directly referencing another of their songs, It's Magic
  • Love is the Key: opposites attract, and now we're picking out the towels and curtains
  • Turn to Stone: Electropop!
  • Untouchable: Without any meaning, we're just skin and bone. Like beautiful robots, dancing alone. WOW.
  • Fix Me Up: a plea for all my sexual healing sounding oh-so like "homosexual healing". You know, you go, girls.
  • Love is Pain: oh oh oh oh Love is Pain oh oh oh oh you're insane oh oh oh oh
  • Miss You Bow Wow: an ace title, and basically is 4 choruses (chorii?) strung together into one huge song. Massive sing-a-long I remember in one of these many chorus moments
  • Revolution in the Head: Girls going dancehall. Gimme the ting, gimme the ting, gimme the oh oh oh - and making it work.
  • Live in the Country: cow sounds! cat sounds! pig sounds! It's joyfully bonkers, and yet totally in Girls Aloud's oeuvre as a logical response to Swinging London Town
  • We Wanna Party: It's vintage Aloud: we're-famous-and-fucked: disillusioned with my dreams, got life confused with my designer jeans.

Overall: a brilliant, grown-up, sonic and lyrically superb album with songs which both refer back to earlier songs and move their style onwards.

A Pop Quiz with Baccara

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's about time to have another quiz!

Here's a lovely song by those two Spanish senoritas, Baccara. They trill their way through Darling, purring oozy, schmoozie, floozie sentiments and (somehow) shoe-horning in a mention of Birmingham.

But there's one point where I have no idea what they're singing about.

In the chorus (after the Darling! Darling Darling! bits), they sing: "...and I imagine all the something we can do."

It begins - I think - with a G... but what is the something?

Make me laugh, make me cry, but please tell me. Fabulous prizes for those who answer.

My favourite Obama quote

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I love this quote from Oprah Winfrey. It just sums up everything I'm thinking.

USA in London

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today is America's big day - the election of a new president. I've found the following American-themed places in London - a motley crew: a casino, a restaurant and plenty takeaways.

Vegas casino

Vegas Casino, Islington

Montana Wines

Montana Wines, Clerkenwell

Texas Embassy

Texas Embassy, near Trafalgar Square

Dallas Chicken &Ribs

Dallas Chicken in Vauxhall

Chicago Pizza & FriedChicken

Chicago Pizza & Friend Chicken, South Lambeth Road

Tennessee Fried Chicken

Tennessee Fried Chicken, Lavender Hill

Anthony Gormley's statues on Crosby Beach

Monday, November 03, 2008

I went to Liverpool last week, and continued on to see Anthony's Gormley's statues on Crosby beach. The statues were installed there in 2005 as a temporary art project, but are now permanently installed.

Anthony Gormley sculptures on Crosby beach

Crosby is a non-bathing beach - but the statues ignore that. 100 statues are placed along the beach, in the tide and out to sea. The way they look despends on the tide - whether it's in or out.

Anthony Gormley sculptures on Crosby beach

The statues are entitled 'Another Place' and I really liked how they were looking across the sea, maybe towards Ireland or towards America.

Millions of people left Liverpool's port to sail to America in the hope of a new life. Millions of people left Ireland for Liverpool in the hope of a new life. Are the statues looking back to the past or forward to the future?

Anthony Gormley sculptures on Crosby beach

I was reminded of a big tradition in 19th century Irish art of Ireland imagined as a maiden, Erin, standing on the shore looking out to see for her exiled lover to return to free her and the nation.

Anthony Gormley sculptures on Crosby beach
Who or what are the statues looking to?