Sun. Why hast thou forsaken me? Pfft, dunno what the weather has been like where you are this week but, up here in the moutains, it’s been pretty blowy and rainy with occasional spatterings of blue. Not too much where we might get any vitamin D but just enough to remind us that we aren’t in the middle of nuclear winter. July has been a bust so far.
Can’t think of any good documentaries that we have seen this week – certainly nothing outstanding – so I shall mention a TV show that we watched instead: “Detectorists”. Starring (and written by) McKenzie Crook, it’s about two middle-aged-ish metal detectorists seeking their fortune from the ground. It is so much more than that though. It’s a love letter to the British countryside with wonderful cinematography throughout. The acting is also beautifully nuanced and naturalistic. We binged watched the two seasons that are available in the space of a few days. It’s rarely laugh-out-loud funny, the humour being from situations rather than gags. It has a lot of heart and compelling storylines. Hope they make more!
“Ant Man”. It’s not big (ouch) and it’s not clever, but it is a lot of fun. Confession time: I usually get bored shitless during any kind of superhero movie. The action is not enough to keep me involved and most of them have storylines that are so weak, or so convoluted that I find my mind wandering within moments. “Ant Man” was different though, much better. I wondered why then saw it was written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish (Brits) so it had more of that tongue-in-cheek humour in it plus, being written by two blokes rather than a committee, it had a stronger storyline than many. Not a great film, but a good way to kill a coupla hours.
The dark horse of Aerosmith – Joe Perry – wrote his autobiography a couple of years back. Well, had interviews with the ghost writer who wrote it, anyway. That is besides the point. As a long-time Aerosmith fan, I am pretty knowledgeable about their history and the personalities within the band. Of course, you never really see or hear too much of Joe Perry talking, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was good. Really good. Joe Perry has a heart and a soul and an honesty that many do not. A man of convictions who is not afraid to stand by them. Clearly, he has lead an interesting life but it is how he has approached and overcome the obstacles in it that make the better reading. A good autobiography, whether you know Aerosmith or not (although the book assumes you do); I came away with a new-found respect for Joe Perry. Not just an amazing axe man but a jolly good chap to-boot.
I used to be a massive fan of Kid Rock. Not popular in the UK, I caught a couple of his videos in a dingy pool hall in Croydon early 2000s. It caught my ear and, as I was on the search for new music, I bought “Devil Without A Cause” and was sold. Loved it. Still do. In fact, it must be one of my favourite albums ever. I then went back to his early, scratchy Rap record (which was OK) and eagerly ate up “Cocky” which followed a couple of years later. Then it all started to go a bit wrong. The Country element crept in and the Rock-Rap hybrid which he does exceptionally well, got less and less. Scrolling through Amazon music recently, I saw there was an album on there I could listen to for free, “First Kiss”. OK, I’ll give it a go..there must be a couple of cool tracks. But I couldn’t get with it at all. So many bands do Southern Rock or Country and do it better than Kid Rock. The thing he was a true great at was the music he broke through with and, for me, it is a shame he hasn’t stuck with it. I know why he has changed – he has followed his heart more – so fair play to him for that but, sadly, not for me.
Well, seeing as I have just come back from spending a couple of hundred snooters at an antique fair, it is a toss-up between a wooden Knight in armour, an incredible impasto and palette oil painting or an antique potty from Holland. Clearly, it is the latter that won. Only £20, it is a ceramic pot, resting in a wooden cradle on a wood base with a leather strap to keep that damn baby from falling off. Hilarious.
I have always been a fan of Mucha, the artist who is most associated with the Art Nouveau movement. There was a resurgence in the 1970s, just at the time my mum was decorating her new house, so I have been surrounded with the imagery since birth. It is imprinted on my brain. So, whenever I come across any in auction, I will always buy it. I had these prints for a while – the sketchy nature making them slightly more unusual than the typical fare – but was surprised they didn’t sell sooner. Eventually, however, there is a buyer for everything and, this past week, it was their turn.
Getting better (see below).
I WAS ILL. I am never fucking ill, so I was not impressed. I’m not a typical chap who overcooks the egg when it comes to illness, so I was properly ill. In fact, I couldn’t even eat on the second day. I never ever ever get like that. I cannot remember the last time I couldn’t eat. Anyway, it came and went and I am back to my normal rambunctious self.