17 Feb 2009

Post 107: More Babies, my mate Tony and Keane in concert

I have been meaning to write this post since it has been fresh in my head and funnily enough the longer you leave it, you can actually feel it going stale in your head as you start to forget little details and jokes that you wanted to include. This is an occupational hazard of fatigue, being unable to write or easily get to the computer. I can't scrawl down ideas or do pro plus fueled all nighters. I just can't. My feeling of dreadfulness/hopelessness is too acute for me just to throw caution to the wind. Being clear, if I wake up shattered and down on a Monday it can spoil a whole week – sadly it hasn't yet worked the other way yet although finding Asli has helped restore some of my battered faith in humanity. Since the Awesome Keane concert on Friday which I will talk about in more detail later everything apart from the always entertaining visit from former Director of buying (now retired) in Furniture, Textiles and Lighting (John Lewis' biggest area) Carole Lee, so entertaining and interesting is she that my mother even specially timed a visit to coincide with hers just so she could catch up with the latest on Carole's Roses no doubt. I once half jokingly asked Carole on my mothers behalf what the secret of stopping the deer eating the Roses was , without flinching Carole said 'shoot them'. I know full well that the best my folks had was rather a weak airgun that didn't even trouble the rabbits so what chance a fully grown stag, 'no they'll have to get a 12 bore'. Just the thought of either of my parents wielding a 12 bore fills me with dread but Roses are pretty important, apparently. I have digressed, since the Keane concert , my weekend and monday were about babies, or rather proud friends bringing them round here to introduce them to me. First up on Saturday were Peter and Imogen Lee to introduce me to their tiny (born 6 weeks premature) several week old gorgeous daughter Beth. Peter said the funniest and most true thing I've heard in ages while he was here 'babies are like Heroin to middle aged women', This couldn't be more true, particularly of my mum who stayed longer on monday when she found out Rocio (My first carer when I got out of hospital) was bringing her new son Oliver over to pick up some new babyclothes mum had left here as a present. Mum has been a trooper in this respect and has a rapidly declining pile of babyclothes which she acquired from the States when the pound was stronger against the dollar. Without fail she has always given something to my friends who have had babies, this is an admirable quality but makes me think that I won't ever see my kids if one day I by some miracle have some! Indeed, grandchildren seem to have given her a new lease of life, Even though my sister lives in the States, I'm sure much to my brother-in-laws chagrin she is always popping over there, even though their American accents drive me nuts I can see why. The first two, Rory, 10 and Maddie, 8 are Angels whilst the third, Charlie, 6 is a creature of pure malevolence and can only have been spawned by Satan himself – interestingly, Dylan, my neighbours in-your-face attention seeking 6 year old gets on well with him when he's over here. Clearly, evil begets evil. While she was here, Imogen said a very perceptive thing to me. Having been on the wrong end of a less than pleasant hospital experience for a few days while giving birth to Beth she said she was closer to understanding the hell I must have been through having been in hospital for 2 + years. This is exactly it and lets hope the mental scars are rather less permanent than my brain damage. My old life may be over but life goes on.
Before I get to my recollection of Keane, I just want to mention what an uplifting day Sunday was. Firstly I was visited by my best mate Tony pictured here relaxing at le petit ferme in the franshoek valley near cape town when went on holiday there years ago - it is without a doubt one of the best places on earth and i count myself lucky to have seen it before i was prevented going on a holiday like that ever again, who brought down his new girlfriend, Kate. For the last decade me and many others have been talking about the fact that a great guy like Tony deserves to find a truly nice girl, he is charming,funny, reliable, interesting,intelligent and successful and I'm not just saying that! For longer than some of us care to remember he hasn't found the right girl and now I think he has. Kate is pretty, articulate and lovely and one of the most important things to me is they seem really comfortable in each others company. I owe Tony so much so it's great to see him happy now! The rest of Sunday belonged to having a cup of tea with someone I met on the internet who lives down the road in Cobham called Sacha who represents my first attempts to get to know people locally as I'm new to this part of the world. She's lovely but worryingly she reminds me a bit of one of my old friends from Brixton who I spent far too much time with propping up the local bars! Ominous.
Finally, moving on to Keane last friday, as some of you will have read, my charming (recently single girls) cousin Danny managed to blag tickets by virtue of knowing one of the promoters. How to classify Keane? I think melodic soft rock will probably do or the slightly more trite Coldplay Style Rock or worse still 'Public School Rock'. OK, it's time for an admission, Danny and I were in the same house at school as Tom Chaplin (the singer) and Tim Rice-Oxley (the keyboard player) and knew them both pretty well, I wouldn't say we were friends or anything but we all certainly new each other, we've all gone our separate ways since, them to megastardom,Danny to a career in international development via Iraq and Afghanistan before selling out and going to work for Accenture because it's virtually impossible to subsist in this town on a development wage and worthwhile jobs are scarce, and me – near death, losing everything and seemingly endless convalescence. I am in bewildered awe of Tom and Tim, Keane is built round the frankly magnificent voice of Tom Chaplin. They have produced 3 albums. Their first 'Hopes and Fears is IMO one of the best albums ever made, beautiful melodic tune after tune, it is simply one of those rare things in life. An Album without a bad song. Rock it ain't, my mum loves it, everyones mum will love it but it's not cheesy easy listening. People who don't like it will think it's too soft and watery for them. Occasionally this sort of music is just rather nice to listen too. When I finally got my own room in hospital and could play music out loud 'hopes and fears' was one of the first I played. So, the concert, For starters I love the sound and the Ambience of the main Arena at the O2 and the pikey count was mercifully low because Keane are too nice and refined to be popular amongst the chavs of this world so it obviously depends a lot on the event and who's performing (sounds obvious now) so I have tried to imagine the worst possible thing to go to. Sadly I have tickets to two such things which might generate painful audiences but I don't have tickets to a couple of things that would probably be intolerable, The two I have tickets for are 'Pub Landlord' Al Murray in May who I always find funny on TV but his slightly jingoistic, xenophobic style is bound to attract chavs, and Britney Spears in June will attract the UK equivalent of ' trailer trash'. I think Girls Aloud would be worse and the worst would be 'lady Sovereign' or the 'Ting Tings', hopefully the sheer size of the O2 will deter these latter two.
Back to the Keane gig,Tom Chaplin has the sort of voice that brings a lump to your throat and a tear to your eye and even though their 2nd and 3rd albums are good, you could tell that the crowd wanted them to play the 1st album classics.They obliged and Tom's voice soared, weaving the singles from the 2nd album 'underneath the iron sea' and 3rd album 'Peerfect Symmetry' in amongst the 1st album classics, starting with 'everybody's changing' and finishing with the magical 'bedshaped'. The really nice thing was that Tom's many conversations with the crowd showed a certain humility and gratitude that you rarely see in the music world. It was indeed one of the best nights out I have hadout at the Dome and I've been there a few times.


Shaun said...

lol - James Blunt next? :p

Simon said...

The Corrs?

Anetta said...

'babies are like Heroin to middle aged women' HA HA HA HA HA HA

I just sent that to my sister!

Its so true!!!

yvette303 said...

Hey there, we were at Keane on the Thursday night. Good to hear Dan and I aren't the only middle class melodic rock fans ;o)Unfortunately they aren't a completely chav free zone. When we saw them at Wembley we were in front of a bunch of young chavians who were shouting out "Keane Keane as mean as a bean!!" We have now taken it on as our Keane chant. Cant believe you knew Tom Chaplin, he's on my "list" - ie. if the chance came up I would......

Dom P said...

No chance of me ever being a fan of Blunty or the Corrs,Hi Yvette, how's Dan and Kira? Keane are great but as for Tom being on your 'list'. Aim higher, your husband for starters.

nurul iman said...

Thank you very Steady info ... hopefully more successful.
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