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Things I’ve Done This Summer

Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2006

The part that has nothing to do with music
Now what was I saying?. One minute I was diligently doing my weblog every couple of days and then I seem to have been somewhat distracted. I’ll tell you a little secret that I discovered this summer. It’s called the ‘real world’ and for those of you unfamiliar with the concept it involves doing stuff, well, outside. Very outside, like out of wi-fi range outside. Now that is very outside. So after returning from a little traveling around playing some shows I decided to dedicate a little time to some other pressing matters, namely getting a suntan, traveling without having to play guitar every night and trying to find my garden among the forest of weeds that seemed to have replaced it since the last time I went outside. I warn you now, this isn’t going to be a very interesting weblog so perhaps you should just look at the pictures or skip forward to the bit about the music. When my weblog starts to mention things like pottering about in the garden then it’s time to go back to reading that moby weblog or someone else ranting on about changing the planet. While I’m at it, if he does want to change the planet he can come and start with my fucking garden. Anyway, enough of the garden already.
So should I share my real world revelations with you or not?
As I’d just spent time in England playing shows in June I wasn’t exactly thrilled when my girls thought it would be a great idea to visit the UK for a holiday. The other reason for visiting the UK was to take my older daughter, Lucy Belle, off to college in England. So it was that her life was packed into many boxes which were then packed into our vehicle and that, as they say, was that. This separation is messing with my dangerously addled, middle aged state of mind. There’s a big hole where there used to be, well, someone that I used to bump into from time to time, when she left her bedroom to make a cup of tea. She has hopes to work in the field of animation seeing as she’s just discovered that changing her hair colour and sitting in your room all day on MSN messenger, hogging you’re dads bandwidth, doesn’t pay the rent. The funny thing is I’m having trouble getting her on MSN now….. I think she may have found the blocking feature.
Here are some other things I learned this summer. If you want to feel really fucked up without taking drugs try this.. First, become a middle aged man. Then go back and visit where you spent all of your holidays when you were a small child.. Woaaaah.. Big mistake. I shouldn’t have done that without a therapist. For some indefinable reason, perhaps curiosity, perhaps mid-life crisis, I decided to take my family around Scotland, not where I grew up, of course, I didn’t want them to get mugged, but the beautiful parts, of which there are many. I found myself a little choked up to visit places I’d visited as a small child and I had recollections of things long since forgotten, lots of memories involving my dad, who died before I was old enough to really know him. Strange as it may seem…or maybe not to anyone that knows me, I really hadn’t considered that I was now the same age as he was when he took me to these places and this freaked me out, but in a really positive way. Little has changed in Scotland once you get into the Highlands. Thankfully mountains take a while to move and while following winding roads around lochs and glens you feel safely out of the range of Starbucks.
I guess we spent about a week in Scotland, which was not enough, but very much appreciated. With a seemingly inexhaustible supply of diet Irn-Bru, were it not for the fact that it was so buggering cold, it’d make a nice place to live, er, not for me, mind you, but for people that like grey oppressive weather and sheep.
Londoners, for example….
After Scotland, London was big, smelly and expensive but it was quite lovely to be there, not only from the point of view of seeing friends, but to be somewhere alive and animated like London surely is, something which has become a novelty for me these days. Violette, my youngest, was born in London, but had never really been there and had constructed her vision of what it would be like by watching Mary Poppins therefore it was somewhat of a letdown that not everyone spoke like Dick Van Dyke. Another illusion shattered, like the time in May when she said to the Little Mermaid in Disneyland, “but Ariel, that’s not a tail, you’ve got legs in there”. Walkie talkies chattered and she was ushered away quickly by the Disney swat team, or whatever, and told to keep her voice down.
Other things to say about England.. Not much, I’ve a pretty love-hate relationship with it, you know, love leaving it, hate being there, that sort of a thing. But actually this time I enjoyed some of the simpler aspects: like people begging who were wearing nicer shoes than me; like seeing a whole section of the supermarket dedicated to pies, which surely explains a lot; like people being polite, something I’m less used to these days because I live in France; Like good service, well with the exception of Morrisons supermarket in Stratford Upon Avon, a town I ought to just avoid; like bookstores, not only with books in English, but open late and even on Sunday (refer to one of many previous bitching sessions about living in France).. And on the same subject.. Leakeys Bookshop in Inverness – a church full of books…No really, there were a great may things I enjoyed during my short stay in the UK but I couldn’t help being left with the impression that the country has become populated with even more fat, chavvy Sun readers that before.
So, my girls seemed depressed to get back to France, but I was delighted. Kissing the ground would have been going a little too far due to the ever present abundance of dogshit in this fucking country, but you know what I mean. It felt like I was home. Trouble is, now that I’m writing this the French are starting to irritate me again with a plethora of red fucking tape, stupid laws and a completely backward banking system. And customer service??? That concept is a is a bit of a stranger to these shores. (refer to another one of many previous bitching sessions about living in France).. That fuckwit Gerorge W Bush coined that most amusing Bushism, “The French don’t have a word for entrepeneur” and we all laughed at him when in actuality it was probably one of his, or more likely his only, astute observation. He’s still a fuckwit though.

The part about the music
OK for those of you who made it through that lot I’ll now attempt to fill you in with what should be happening in this next little bout of activity that I’m just commencing on. First up, I’ve started to mix the sessions recorded in San Francisco in May with Harold Budd. Done four pieces so far. Would have been five if it was not for writing this. All to say there is the same as I said before, it sounds lovely and it’s been a very refreshing experience listening back to some of the takes. When I listen it transports me back to the recording room and that’s definitely a good sign for me. All things point to this being a beautiful album.
I’ve been remixing a track for Alsace Lorraine called Tall Grass, more details of which I’ll post later, Recording more stuff for Apollo Heights and am expecting the return of Annie Barker from Los Angeles to continue with her recordings in a week or so. I’m doing another remix of a track for Ulrich Schnauss, who I saw performing at La Route Du Rock recently. At the same festival I was happy to see Why? perform…loved them..

17 Responses to “Things I’ve Done This Summer”

  1. Steven

    Any chance you might post a few samples (at least one) from the H. Budd recordings on My Space? That would be a nice sneak peak of the music. Can’t wait to buy that one.

  2. Ted

    Good to see you back Robin. You were missed.

  3. edmur maia

    Dear Robin.:
    It`so good to have you back.Hope you find time to post here more often.
    Any news from your project with John Foxx?

  4. Indyenna (Ian)

    There is nothing wrong with gardening. There is nothing wrong with living a life outside of the guitar in the real world. Outside interests are always good. Adds character and nourishes the muses.

    Being older isn’t fucked up. I find being older is fucking gravy. Older people have a lot to offer. Older people are very refined. We have some wits…I think that you are THE MAN. You have a family–a wifey and kiddies. You have skills. You have a REAL LIFE. That’s fucking gravy. When you look back at all that you’ve done. You can say “I rocked this life out and this is fucking gravy!”

    About President Bush, you should know that he doesn’t write his own lines. His staff writer(s) writes those lines. So any astute observations given by him were written by someone else (probably a gay man with clever sensibilities). So, laugh at the fuckwit, I SURE didn’t vote for the guy.

    OMG, you’re working with Apollo Heights?!?! You have been away toooo long. Hehehe. (I am really shocked with this revelation because they ARE BIG FANS of RG!!!!)

    Thanks for letting us know how you were and are doing. I still am buying your CDs…

  5. Mark Millard

    Thanks for the update, Robin. We always appreciate the news, and your sense of humor. Looking forward to hearing the work with Harold Budd. Please blog when you can.

  6. Steven

    Good to have you back Robin….

    BTW…”A Sigh Across the Ocean” is great!

  7. Markus & Randi

    nice holiday report; do you really like haggis ?
    We survived this (football) summer with all your wonderful music. Special thanks for ARGENTA , A SIGH ACROSS THE OCEAN and THE DAY STAR.

    And what can I do when our son Robin (21 months) is starring to a photo (showing my wife Randi and you at September Sound) and saying “Mama und Papa” ???

  8. Carl Casinghino

    Yes, thanks so much for your comments, Robin, and “Continental” was much appreciated. Much of my life is wrapped in this cultural stuff. In our case, it’s with France and the U.S.A (where we live) as mine is an American (me) — French (my wife) partnership. We spent some of our married years in France, and I’m QUITE familiar with the hair-pulling frustrations of trying to send sparks flying about a bit in the entrepreneurial sense, BUT I’ve got to try to remind you of some of the other stuff: the intense creative spirit and the profound respect for the individual search (“panache” and all that): it’s really scattered throughout the landscape. I could go on about much more, the intense relationship between “terroir” and food traditions, the love of the exotic, Henri Salvador, etc. etc.
    Your comments are appreciated and evoked more than a few smiles. Ah, Scotland …. (and my French wife starts turning to jelly when she hears the accent … we still haven’t quite gotten to the Highlands and parts thereabout after 17 years of marriage…) — Well, we’re certainly all REALLY looking forward to this Robin Guthrie / Harold Budd collaboration — it’s some kind of dream album after the lovely soundtrack you produced together. Cheers, Carl Casinghino

  9. Bernie Thomas

    I enjoyed reading your blog and your outlook on things

  10. Andy from Arizona

    Glad you’re back.

  11. brian

    RG, you are one funny motherfucker. I really enjoy reading your blog. It’s a good time. And the new ep out here in the states sounds great.

  12. Julián Urteaga

    I’m feeling some things like that with my own city, Lima. Hate being here, but… I’m used to it… It lacks many things, but has alot more…
    Well… I’m tired, good night.

  13. shells

    allo allo mr guthrie unkle fukka. I’ve moved to the capitol of california. I live in Sacramento now. I’m all over the place. Dont know a soul here but decided that it was fun to be anonymous for a time…anyway, as always I am involved in artsy farts crap and well the top of my list right now: Katherine Brooks. Ever heard of her? She directed The osborns, newly weds, that paris hilton-nicole richie show…forget it’s name but she does these amazing movies too, for example surrender, loving annabelle, they are awesome..sort of mysterious skin like. She is looking for music collaberation and someone who can put a webpage together..I just thought…omg…Robin….Katherine…fook. why not? So here I am… this is the posting she sent out for the music. She also has a website…

    Katherine Brooks

    Date: Sep 21, 2006 8:03 PM
    Subject Music Needed for project ASAP!! (REVISED)
    Body: Hey ya’ll,

    I think the best way to do this is to have you send a cd or demo to me so I can listen to it, have a copy and keep track of what is what. My address is:

    Katherine Brooks
    20841 Ventura Blvd #286
    Woodland Hills, CA 91364


    much love,

    (original posting)
    Hey ya’ll.

    Please feel free to pass this on to all your music friends too.

    We are currently shooting a “making of” documentary for my next film, Mad World. It will be an on going process over the next year and will be streamed on an interactive web site.

    We need music for the documentary.

    The launch of the web site is October 1st, so time if of the essence to get music for the pilot.

    We will also need music thru out the next year.

    This is a cross promotion type deal.

    We need to be able to use the music for free. You will have to sign a license agreement allowing us to stream it.

    And you’ll get the access to our viewers.

    The site will have a section called “Mad Music” where people can go and see your name and music credit and it can have your My Space link.

    Whomever is interested please contact me ASAP.


    With gratitude!

  14. mike

    Andy said he booked you at the HALL OF MONEY AND FAME for June 31st, 2007. I need to know how many of dem mad treez you need to realize that vision.

  15. Anneli Drecker

    hi robin!
    i know what you mean about the garden stuff, puh!
    sooo much work and i cut the plum tree wrong, hm…the branches too close to the eh…”tree”… should be 2 cm. how could i know?
    i love september!!
    aand mountains!!
    and i enjoy very much reading your blogs, they make me crack!! :o)

  16. Dennis

    sometimes your blog is better than reading a book before sleep…why don’t you go on writing one?
    I won’t forget to collect every piece of your latest work as soon as some pennies pile up at the bank…

  17. Keki

    Quite honestly, I prefer to read the stories you have of life outside of the media and big business. It’s a bit of a shock to realize Lucy Belle is already college age! I should have known better, I know. But it never ceases to amaze me how fast the years go by.

    My boyfriend Paul’s oldest daughter, Rachelle, just started college here in Memphis. She’s loving it and she’s really grown tremendously socially since starting. She’s spent most of her teen years in a fairly remote part of town and has yet to earn a driver’s license. Her boyfriend drives but is a pretty big flake and despite being a few years older than her, he’s not really older mentally. Though… I could go on and on and on for quite awhile about what we don’t like about her boyfriend. Yes, I know this is natural when you’re a parental figure, but he is genuinely lacking in certain mental capacities. Rachelle really only got to go out when Paul and I would go do things in town. I’m really glad she’s finding life for herself finally with freedoms she never took advantage of as a teen. She didn’t sneak out (that we know of unless she was REALLY good at it), she doesn’t do drugs or smoke or drink. She’s overly into Anime and Manga and going to related conventions when she can. There’s not a whole lot that Memphis has to offer for the type of things we all like, but there’s enough to get by until moving is a realistic option.

    My babies are growing too fast. Elisabet is now at teen, 13. Michael is 11. She’s a bean sprout. Tall and thing end of the charts. Michael’s now a few inches shorter than his sister and seems to be waiting anxiously for his height to catch up.

    Kids are amazing. I remember sending Lucy that birthday box of Pokemon goodies. I can’t believe how long ago that was. Sorry… I’m a bit lost in thought at how many years have gone by. I’m going to be 36 in December and I can only hope I deal with middle age well. I guess I’m knocking on it’s door already but I don’t feel that old. Somewhere I went from feeling older than I was to feeling not that old.

    I’m probably rambling but it’s one of those rare days when nobody’s clamoring for the phone. We don’t have the luxury of high speed where we live, too rural. It’s a blessing in its own way. I don’t get online as often so I get to focus on the rest of life. Of course, I’m a sucker for my Nintendo DS.

    I’m learning German. I plan to brush up on my Norwegian and try to expand on what I know already of it. How fluent in French are you? How long did it take to learn or have you always spoken it? I took a bit of it in junior high school but never stuck with it. I can still count tremendously high in French! hah!

    Ok enough of that. We’re off to do some grocery shopping and brain melting at Jackass 2. Free passes shouldn’t be wasted.

    I hope you’re doing well and that Lucy finds her niche in college early. If you’re on MSN and feel like chatting, look me up: keki13@msn.com