This and That

I haven’t been getting through many books recently. I do tend to read just one book at a time although if you look at my Goodreads thingy it often looks like I’m reading four or five at once.

At the moment I’m reading Oblomov by Goncharov, it’s the book I got in the Classics Club spin and although it isn’t due to be blogged about until the 2nd of May (I think) we’re going to Holland and Belgium before then so I want to get it done and dusted before we leave.

Otherwise I’ve been busy gardening, weeding to be precise. It seems that I have just about every known weed in the UK in my garden but today I managed to weed about 70% of the back garden, of course it’ll be just as bad again in a couple of weeks. A lot of ground cover plants are required to keep them in check I think. Just give them no room to germinate is my thinking, but that won’t help with the couch grass, ground elder and creeping buttercups that come in under the garden fence.

I got too hot whilst gardening, can you believe that? It was 11 C which translates to 52 F. You can imagine how I feel when it gets to 70 F, not that that happens often here.

Meanwhile, we’ve been asked by Gordon (youngest son) if there is a song that we would like to have played at his wedding in July. Yes Gordon and Laura are getting married at last.

So whilst weeding I’ve been trying to think of songs we like. If Jack and I have an ‘our song’ then it would have to be Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, by Sacha Distel. I think that came about because when we started going out with each other it seemed to be forever raining – well we lived in the west of Scotland, well known for wet weather. We walked everywhere and lived at opposite ends of the town from each other so we spent a lot of time in rain. One of my first gifts to Jack was an umbrella! But really ‘our song’ for some reason is associated with autumn for us. If we see a load of dry autumn leaves by the roadside we have to scuff along them singing that ‘Raindrops’ song – silly I know.

But it isn’t suitable for a summer wedding dance. I love Somewhere in my Heart by the Scottish band Aztec Camera, it’s a cheery summery tune, but some of the words are a bit weird. It begins well with the words Summer in the city, very apt as it will be summer and the wedding is taking place in Glasgow. I’ve always wondered what the second line is supposed to mean though – A baby bein’ born to the overkill. I wonder if it was written using the David Bowie method of cutting up random lines of words and rearranging them.

Summer in the city where the air is still
A baby bein’ born to the overkill
Well, who cares what people say?
We walk down love’s motorway

Ambition and love, wearin’ boxin’ gloves
And singin’ hearts and flowers

But somewhere in my heart
There is a star that shines for you
Silver splits the blue
Love will see it through

And somewhere in my heart
There is the will to set you free
All you’ve got to be is true

A star above the city in the northern chill
A baby bein’ born to the overkill
No say, no place to go
A TV and a radio

Ambition and love, wearin’ boxin’ gloves
And singin’ hearts and flowers

But somewhere in my heart
There is a star that shines for you
Silver splits the blue
Love will see it through

And somewhere in my heart
There is the will to set you free
And all you’ve got to be is true

Who could heal what’s never been as one?
And our hearts have been torn
Since the day we were born
Just like anyone

From Westwood to Hollywood
The one thing that’s understood
Is that you can’t buy time but you can sell your soul
And the closest thing to heaven is to rock and roll

And somewhere in my heart
There is a star that shines for you
Silver splits the blue
Love will see it through

And somewhere in my heart
There is the will to set you free
All you’ve got to be is true

Somewhere in my heart
There is a star that shines for you
Silver splits the blue
Love will see it through

And somewhere in my heart
There is the will to set you free
All you’ve got to be is true

Just in case you have no idea who Sacha Distel was have a look at him singing Raindrops.

Good Morning Britain by Aztec Camera and Scottish Independence

Well the date has been set for the Scottish Independence referendum, it’ll take place on 18th, September 2014. Already there have been quite a few programmes on about it with talking heads all trying to get us to do whatever it is they want. It’ll be interesting to see how the campaign unfolds. One thing I do know for sure – if we are inundated by Tory toffs telling us what to do – it’ll be fatal for the union!

Apparently most women are undecided, me included and I suspect I might still be undecided when I walk into the voting booth to cast my vote. I must admit that I’m nostalgic for a Britain which doesn’t actually exist any more, which you probably guessed from all the old books which I read. Just as a matter of interest, as we’re all obsessed with the weather in the UK, according to Angela Thirkell’s books the summers weren’t any better way back in the 30s,40s and 50s. I know, that’s me going off at a tangent again, it’s just that it’s so much colder here than it should be at this time of the year and we’ll probably have a white Easter!

Anyway, I like Aztec Camera, a Scottish band from the 1980s. Have a listen to Good Morning Britain, the lyrics are definitely not upbeat, but the tune is. The film running behind them is interesting.

Songwriters: FRAME, RODDY
Words and music by roddy frame

Jock’s got a vote in parochia
Ten long years and he’s still got her
Paying tax and and doing stir
Worry about it later.
And the wind blows hot and the wind blows cold
But it blows us good so we’ve been told
Music’s food ’til the art-biz folds
Let them all eat culture.

Chorus:
The past is steeped in shame,
But tomorrow’s fair game,
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning britain.

Twenty years and a loaded gun
Funerals, fear and the war ain’t won
Paddy’s just a figure of fun
It lightens up the danger.
And a corporal sneers at a catholic boy
And he eyes his gun like a rich man’s toy
He’s killing more than celtic joy
Death is not a stranger.

Taffy’s time’s gonna come one day
It’s a loud sweet voice and it won’t give way
A house is not a holiday
Your sons are leaving home neil.
In the hills and the valleys and far away
You can hear the song of democracy
The echo of eternity
With a rak-a-rak-a feel.

Chorus

From the tyne to where to the thames does flow
My english brothers and sisters know
It’s not a case of where you go
It’s race and creed and colour.
From the police cell to the deep dark grave
On the underground’s just a stop away
Don’t be too black, don’t be too gay
Just get a little duller.

But in this green and pleasant land,
Where I make my home, I make my stand
Make it cool just to be a man,
A uniform’s a traitor.
Love is international
And if you stand or if you fall,
Just let them know you gave your all,
Worry about it later.

Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera

The weather has been really lovely for quite a few days now, well the temperature keeps going up and down but we haven’t had any of that wet stuff recently, which is quite amazing.

Does anybody else have good weather songs? This one always makes me think of sunshine and blue skies, it’s just a really jaunty pop song from the 1980s. Aztec Camera was a Scottish band, I think they all came from just outside Glasgow.

I think my favourite is the first version but if you prefer something a bit more laid back you might like the second version more. The video is certainly much better.

This single was released in 1988, when our sons were just 1 and 2 years old, so I was still walking about with a numb brain due to lack of sleep, and washing nappies of course. Happy days?!!