I went out into the week of rain on a mission to find three things, bread rolls, wrapping paper, and halogen lightbulbs. Trying to achieve lunch, present-wrapping and lava lamp re-ignition. The light shop, the paper shop and bakery are all in the same row of shops between two junctions and close by, what could go wrong? Actually, nothing except I walked past the bakery and the paper shop to the light shop to find it closed despite the times on the door saying it should be open. It seems that in Portugal there’s a two-hour lunch, 1 PM-3 PM, that’s fine because they open later. In Penzance, everything was closed at 5.30 PM, on the dot, by 6.30 PM it was a ghost town as far as commerce in the high street. Outside the shop, two other people were waiting and at ten past three, the guy still wasn’t there so I went to the wrapping paper shop and the bakery first before returning to the light shop that was still closed. In the wrapping paper shop, the lady told me that her father’s birthday was on December 25th – and he only got one present (a travesty of justice). I walked back to the light shop as the rain was starting to come down. The nice lady outside the light shop told me she had called the owner and that he was on his way, he arrived at 3.15 PM, not too bad.
On the door was a sign, only “two people in the shop at once”, so as I was third in the queue I continued waiting outside. At about 3.30 PM, a delivery van arrived with items for the shop, he obviously knew not to be early. I finally got to the counter and presented the man with two broken 70-watt halogen bulbs. He said these days it’s all LED and I said yes but we have lava lamps and the LED doesn’t work with a lava lamp and he said as it happens I have some old stock of 100-watt bulbs but it’s the last of them. He had four and I bought them all – they weren’t expensive, 1.30€ each. So now I have one of the lava lamps going strong and spare bulbs. But, if anyone out there knows where to get the two different sizes of lava lamp bulb, the small ones and the larger ones, let me know, I’ll send you the money, go buy them because in 2031 there will be none and a world without lava lamps will be a very sad place.
I came back, reignited the lava lamp and waited, six hours later it was moving and by 10 PM it was actually dancing. I lit a Nag Champa and put on The Dark Side Of The Moon (not really). I watched Ronnie O’Sullivan destroy the opposition in the second round of the Scottish Open 4-0 in 37 minutes and in his interview Ronnie told the world he wouldn’t let his son be a snooker player. Haha, explaining that the guys that lose in the first round, the less well-known players, don’t get paid anything and have to deal with all the costs associated with being there. He asked if the organisers would consider paying those players’ expenses – he asked for support for them, for the game, the winners could afford to contribute to the lesser players that make up the competition. Good man. In the front row of the audience was an older woman wearing a T-shirt that said “Mrs Ronnie O’Sullivan”. Oddly the Scottish Open is being held in Llandudno, North Wales (my hood, kinda). I thought it was because of Covid restrictions in Scotland but apparently, it’s because all the venues were booked. What? Really? Sorry, no World Cup this year, the Basingstoke Wax Effigy Institute has Wembley booked for the whole month. Bit of a sporty day, the last game of the Champions League qualifiers, Porto are out, Liverpool won, the first English team to will all six of their matches. The Ashes began today in Australia and England’s opening batsman Rory Burns was out on the first ball. At present they are 4 for 43, it’s a disaster.
Last but not least I failed to mention that yesterday at the pool, the naked firemen were in again. I walked into the changing room and they had taken over all the hanging pegs (that’s hanging pegs, not hang Mike Pence!), I turned around immediately and went to the smaller changing room which was empty. It wasn’t their nakedness, I was worried about, it was how rowdy they are once they return from the pool. When I got to the pool, they were all in the corner with snorkels and masks being directed by a very serious looking teacher. When they escape to the showers they are ready to be young carefree men again – noisy.
Music today was the fifth Love and Rockets album, Hot Trip To Heaven (1994), which on the opener, Body and Soul Parts 1 & 2, sounded very much like a Steve Hillage album with an opening track 14.17 in length. They really are full of surprises and Wikipedia cites The Orb, Orbital and Leftfield as inspiration for their new direction. The cosmic music continues with Ugly. It’s been five years and they’ve come back with a different tune in their head. They have those dancey beats and sampled Arabic or Indian female voices (and/or Natacha Atlas) and another long track of 7.26, it’s chill-out music. Trip and Glide follows the same path. They found the orgasm sampler on This Heaven. No Worries, another mellow 7.14. The title track, a little noisier but like the whole album machine and sample-heavy.
The problem with this album (if there is one) is that it sounds like an album that you put out in between albums and don’t get me wrong, I kinda like it. Eclipse is a short brooding, macabre instrumental, Voodoo Baby nice and weird, Be The Revolution, another 6.14 track of studio fun that sounds like they might have been listening to Massive Attack except they don’t really have their groove. It all ends with Set Me Free, perhaps more redolent of The Residents than Bauhaus or Love and Rockets. They changed, fair enough and although it’s nowhere near what they started with, a band like this has to make left turns, otherwise they turn sour.