Thursday, 10 February 2011

the february man

. . . still shakes the snow from off his head and blows his hand

According to Dave Goulder, that is.  The song The January Man explores the year as a series of men - one for each month. I'm February as it was my birthday this week - another year older.  It seems to be rushing by at the moment.  I like Bert Jansch's version of the song.  In fact, he recorded it twice - possibly more including live ones.  But his 1990 album Ornament Tree was a good one. However, there's been no snow in these parts for a few weeks now.  But I do have to blow my hands occasionally.

We wandered out down to a local Bistro for a quiet meal last night in celebration (?) of the event.  Excellent sea bass and cheese board, I must say.  The bass was served with new potatoes and caramelized onions.  Unfortunately I can't remember what wine we had - it was French.  I'll check next time I'm there. Talking of food, as I was taking some sausages out of their skins to make an interesting pasta, Mrs Dave disconcertingly informed me that the farmer she bought them from told her he knew the names of the pigs they came from! That seems a bit Hugh Furry-Dick Whittington* to me. but I carried on regardless.  I don't think I want to know whether I'm eating Pinky or Perky to be honest. I'm not a fan of pasta usually - I don't understand how it's become such an integral part of British cuisine but it certainly has.  Anyway, I've actually eaten it three times in the last two weeks which is a real record for me.

I had some black squid ink stained linguine a few weeks ago, some Orza earlier in the week and Orchiette tonight.  That should do me for the rest of the year, really.  But I will probably have the black stuff again with King Prawns and Squid.  That's what Mrs Dave had last night too. Actually, I'm getting hungry again now.

We've got what used to be a Safeway in our town, only now it's called Morrison's - why they named it after an obscure 1970 album by Ashley Hutchings is anyone's guess. And, much as I don't like the place - it's one notch above Asda, at least - I went there last night and discovered that they've got a good range of bottled beers.  They've got one of my all time favourite beers at the moment, Everards Tiger (no apostrophe on the label).  Excellent, so I may have to go there again soon.

Whilst Mrs Dave has been hogging the computer, I've spent the last two weekends decorating with my son, his bedroom.  Laying laminate flooring, mitring scotia and painting.  It's nearly all finished but we do have to face the one job I detest.  The putting up of the blinds.  New blinds from Ikea (Swedish for MFI).  It's usually a real opportunity for me to be inventive with expletives again.  So another fab weekend coming my way.

I've been using a book for the last two years in Film Studies that I've found invaluable, English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby.  It really is excellent on Hammer films which we study at AS level.  I'd left it at school quite openly as I use it so much.  So I decided to buy another copy so I don't have to carry it between home and school.

I bought it originally at Borders - a rather useful American chain of bookstores which has recently disappeared from British streets.  There was a good one in Cambridge, a reasonable one in Southampton and a couple around Oxford Street in London.  My favourite one was the one on the corner of Denmark Street (aka Tin Pan Alley) and Charing Cross Road which is where I bought this fine tome.  I think I paid - well, the school paid - about £18 for.  So I went onto Amazon (where else?) to buy a second copy.  How much?  £178! Jesus, I made sure I brought my copy that I usually left lying around home.  I'm sure nobody would know that you can't get hold of it now, hence the asking price, but someone could take an interest as it has lots of stills from Hammer films (such as the rather lovely Madelaine Smith in all her glory and Ingrid Pitt getting it on in Vampire Lovers et al) which could very much appeal to some young oik. I sure won't be leaving it lying around any more!  If any of you out there see a normally priced copy - second hand or new - please let me know.

* A "celebrity tv chef" whose real name is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; all mad hair and on far too friendly terms with what he eats.


Brendini said...

Dave, have a gander at It's a second-hand books site. I think there are ten examples of what you're looking for (nine of which are American). The only English seller is still a bit pricey, but the postage is cheaper. On the other hand it may very well be worth trying our ex-colonial cousins over yonder.

Dave Leeke said...

Thanks for that, Brendan - perhaps I'll have a look when I'm in NY. I'm sure we'll find a bookshop or two to wander around.

Really, I think I was just amazed at how expensive specialist books like this one can become.

Mike C. said...

Happy birthday from another February Man, 57 this week!

Brendini's suggestion is spot on -- abebooks is the place to look. You could try as well, which is an "aggregator" of used book sites.

The trick with abebooks is to keep checking in, until a bookseller somewhere gets a box of stuff which he prices up by instinct, because it's too much trouble to see what everyone else is charging...

Out of print textbooks are the worst -- parents pushing up prices on behalf of desperate student offspring. I've done it myself.


Dave Leeke said...

And a happy birthday to you too, Mike. I'm off for an Indian meal with Andy soon to celebrate. I might have a drink, too.

Thanks for the info - I'll have to check these places out. As I'm not in a hurry, it might be interesting to see a range of prices.

Right, must remember to take a key . . .

Kent Wiley said...

Happy B'Day Dave! You too, Mike!

As for the book, looks like a new edition or printing is about to be released. Check out this Amazon listing. If you look for it in NYC, try Strand Bookstore, corner of Broadway & 12th Street. If you're in the Village, you're not far away.

If that doesn't work, and it doesn't appear on the English Amazon site, let me know, and I'll send you a copy when it releases in April.

Dave Leeke said...

Right, thanks for that Kent. It isn't on the Amazon.UK site yet but hopefully it will be soon. I'll wait until it comes out but look after my current copy! I'll look in NY - I'll see if I can get to the bookshop you recommended.

Thanks again.

Martyn Cornell said...

"now it's called Morrison's - why they named it after an obscure 1970 album by Ashley Hutchings is anyone's guess

Lol, to use an over-worked expression. It's only just occured to me that their deliveries arrive in a Morrison van …

Dave Leeke said...

Oh, excellent, Martyn! That hadn't occurred to me - any way of suggesting songs by Van the Man that might be appropriate?

How about "It's Too Late To Shop Now" as a starter?