Stuart's Diary

Hello folks
Here I am, another cosy Sunday night. The missus is in a different continent, so I’ll talk to you instead, even though I’m listening to

Don’t Talk by 10000 Maniacs.

I’m on spotify, you know, one of those web sites that allows you to listen to free music. It is great for old timers like me. Instead of going down to the garage to dig up old vinyl I can just spin it out here. I’m still a bit bugged by Spotify, but it is good for the punter, that’s for sure. So I’m a Spotify hypocrite. A Spoticrite.

Hey Jack Kerouac by 10000 maniacs.

I just realised I’ve joined the nobel pantheon of artistes (there’s lots) that have recorded songs in tribute, at least part, to Jack Kerouac. (He’s the Jack of Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John on the new record.) When I dejayed, back in the day, I remember I would have themed montages, and I had a Kerouac one once which involved playing the 10000 Maniacs followed by The House That Jack Kerouac Built by The Go Betweens. I think perhaps there was an Icicle Works number as well. At least, my friend Peter Miller wanted me to play that one. Wonder why my discos never really took off…

Shoot Me Down by Everything But The Girl

Well, it’s been a really useless kind of Sunday. I have hardly spoken to anyone, apart from the ladies in church this morning. I came home, had lunch watching the grand prix (hope you didn’t lose interest in me completely there, it’s pretty good lunch eating viewing), then fell asleep on the floor listening to the daily broadcast on a funny Christian website called Pray As You Go. ( I really can’t get enough of the Lord on a Sunday)

When I wake, the best part of the day mostly done, I tumble into the car and drive. I head up to Loch Lomond. I need to see an expanse of water, it being the weekend. I make it to Luss, tumble out on the shore in the friscalating dusk, and breathe in huge lungfuls of hope, relief and refreshment.

After walking along the shore for a while, darkness and mist rolling and falling around me the whole time, I stand on the pier, almost completely surrounded by the flat surface of the Loch, the water lapping imperceptibly. I perceive.

Ballad Of The Times by Everything But The Girl

Ah, the friscalating dusklight. That’s a made-up word I believe. From Wes Anderson’s Tenenbaum’s Royale. As I return from the Loch in the wet darkness, I listen to a folder on my ipod called

B&S Archive

Pretty much everything before this record is on there. I’m just seeing what jumps out, see if I feel like reviving any oldies for our trips to the US, to Mexico and beyond. Electronic Renaissance comes on, and I notice a made-up word, though not as good as friscalating. Glitterats. They were the scuzzy punk kids you used to see around; they were my own glitterati back when I was unemployed and useless. Stoopid word though.

Luka by Suzanne Vega

Fuck, this song is so good. I have to listen to it twice. So, do I have anything for you? Any good gossip? Thoughts? Facts? Jokes even?

When I was driving to Loch Lomond, I was thinking about this game we were playing last night. It’s called The Settler’s Of Catan. It’s pretty addictive, it takes a long time to play, you know, you have to build houses and villages on this island, and keep sheep and stuff.

Well anyway, I played like a pillock last night, and was losing badly for about three hours. During the game, you sometimes have to take a mental step back and think..

“What am I doing again? What are my tactics? Am I trying to build roads? Am I going for the largest army? Do I care about collecting ore? Do I want to aim for one of the ports?”

Well, I realise, on my drive to the Loch, that I was thinking about my life like I was still playing the board game. I was thinking about my overall tactics. And it’s something that I very rarely do! (I don’t know if it’s something that you do at all?)

I don’t usually tend to plan too much. I tend to ramble and let myself be dragged along by whatever project that I happened to start. I just mooch from project to project. I tend not to consider money at all (if I can possibly avoid it). I must admit, I don’t usually consider other people either, until other people come into it..

I almost felt embarrassed to think for a minute. The thoughts were along the line of..

“What am I doing again? What are my tactics? Am I going to have a family? Where do I want to live? Will we make another record straight after? Should I try to make my film?”

I think I left those thoughts on the road. I get quickly back into rambling mode. When I ramble, The Boss takes control. God I mean. I just want to step back into line and soldier..

I almost want to ask you how you do it. How you let yourself be guided, or if you just make your mind, and just do a thing? I know that works for some people. I’d like to do that, but nothing ever works out for me unless I hear the still, small voice at some point, say ‘OK’.

Anesthesia by Luna

Hey, I know I’m being particularly self indulgent tonight. This is a conversation I’d rather have with you two ways. Maybe I’ll come on a made-up book tour, and we can talk about this stuff. In the New Year I’d like to get into my trusty hatchback and tour British City Bookshops. I’ll have this ‘book’ coming out, and can use that as an excuse. It would be like an evening class, or something, dark and wintery outside, warm and interesting on the inside.

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