Friday, 12 April 2013

a brother slips away

and a brother slips away
like a ship at dawn of day
a brother slips away
another brother gone

Amongst the hand-wringing, sword clashing, celebration and general brouhaha clamouring for people's attention this week, a quieter death was announced.

Whilst not as well known perhaps as his older brother Glyn, Andy Johns did work on many seminal releases. Whilst the list of albums he produced and/or engineered is impressive and is probably the soundtrack to someone's life. He engineered Joni's Shadows and Light which remains one of the great live albums. Anyway, he's presumably finished climbing the stairway to heaven now.

As the obituaries pile up for those we admire (as well as those we didn't) it gets more and more uncomfortable to realise that those fellow travellers moving on are of a similar age to ourselves.

That's quite a sobering thought.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

rise above

We set off to France on Good Friday for a long coach journey and arrived very early on Saturday morning, tired and sore of limb. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable coach journeys I've ever suffered and I've endured plenty over the past thirty years.

Mont Blanc, I believe!
A skiing trip is always undertaken with some trepidation but this one was, on the whole, a joy. The weather was pretty good generally and the conditions were mostly excellent. We were at Les Arcs and it was probably the best resort we've ever been to. The food was excellent but the doors left something to be desired.

Doors? Yes, we had lots of door malfunctions. The main door lock decided to break early in the week so we spent four days without a lock! Luckily the whole chalet seemed quite secure and the coach-load of us had taken it completely over. Then the bathroom door handle kept falling out every time the door was opened which woke up Mrs Dave every time I went to the loo in the early hours. Obviously, she was impressed with that.

The only real problem of the week other than the rather laissez-faire attitude towards door ironmongery was the day I chose to borrow some rather fancy new skis. The conditions were icy and Mrs Dave decided that we should go to another part of the mountain range we hadn't skied on before. As you can guess, gentle reader, this was never going to work out well. What could go wrong? Red runs, skis for experts and icy slopes. I'll leave it to your imaginations but there was much swearing echoing through the resort.

Usually whilst I'm out of the country, someone famous dies - Keith Moon and Jerry Garcia being prime examples - but thankfully, Thatcher waited until I was back to shuffle off her mortal coil. That meant that I could join in the festivities. The Twittersphere erupted with much joy and vitriol with Mark Steel being my personal favourite commentator ("87 years too late"). Some people seem to think that we shouldn't make negative comments and "not speak ill of the dead". Why not? Read this and remember! Best Tweet was Martin Simpson's simple "Ding Dong . . .". Subtle and worth a thousand words.

Anyway, let's just look forward to the funeral:

Well I hope you live long now, I pray the lord your soul to keep
I think I'll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
'Cos when they finally put you in the ground
They'll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down