They don’t celebrate thanksgiving in France you know.
So ungrateful, huh?
Here we are way further into the month than I imagined, my floor covered in small scraps of paper, blown from my wall calendar as if a window was left open, just like in the movies. In fact the whole year has been like that but, hey, what a productive year I’ve had. The sheer volume of music that I’ve written or produced or worked upon in some way supersedes any year I can remember and it’s not over yet. I’m a 20GB a day man…. I thought, foolishly perhaps, that as one gracefully slid well into their forties that things perhaps became easier, and you know, perhaps some things do. But then again some things don’t. Dealing with the business of being Robin Guthrie doesn’t get any easier, the balancing act of work and family doesn’t get any easier. Taking time out to do other things, you know, things which don’t involve being in the studio or online becomes difficult when I’ve set the bar so high for myself. Somewhere I have one of those time management for retard books but I’ve never taken the time to look for it. Conversely, some things become easier. I find that my musical output becomes more in harmony with my self than it has been before, I feel less insecure about most things, I feel more and more gratitude to be able to do what I do and I ‘m generally not as hard on myself when I can’t quite reach the targets that I’ve set myself. Hey middle fucking age, it’s great. It’ll be my birthday in a month or so and I’ll be halfway to ninety. How cool is that?
Anyway, here’s what’s up. Annie Barker is here, working on finishing her album. I’m taking the liberty to write this on her time as she is jetlagged and sleeping somewhere while we should be working. But I’m not being hard on myself, right? lol .. She has a very infectious enthusiasm for her work which is really nice to witness and I’m really happy to be part of it. Actually it’s nice to have someone in the studio as for the last few weeks I have been working in isolation, putting the finishing touches to the work that I’ve been doing with Harold Budd. It’s pretty much all done now and is just awaiting sequencing and mastering. I’d like to play it to people to have a reaction but as Harold himself hasn’t heard it I’ll wait for the moment. It’s quite simply heartbreakingly beautiful. I’ve not really ever made a record that has touched me in the way that this has and it seems a shame that because it’s instrumental it will always be categorised as so, and sure to be found incomplete by those people who’s minds are not fully open to what emotion can really sound like without having a human voice to act as a guidebook.
What else? I’ve a couple of remixes coming up when I can slot in a moment, things that I’ve been needing to get done but haven’t – see time management for retards – and a trip to California in January. The one thing that I’ve not had a chance to do for a while is some music of my own. I have no doubt that when I start some new things for myself they will act as a tonic, for a while, for all my other little bitchy complaints about life, somewhat like a drug addict being reunited with his drug of choice after a period of abstinence. One takes what pleasures as one can, these days, being halfway to ninety, don’t you know?
Wednesdays are a whole different bag of liquorice allsorts, aren’t they? Last night I was knocked back into the reality that the world that I live in is beautifully surreal if not surreality beautiful. The universe showered upon me many many little gifts yesterday, most of which I wasn’t really in the correct frame of mind to access, but the best was easily granting me another opportunity to share in the joy of the world, or in this case, allowing me to be entertained by the kids who came trick or treating. Now to suggest that my host countrymen haven’t quite got the Halloween thing down pat, would be somewhat of an understatement, for it was only introduced here, by the hallmark corporation, here some three years ago. But, you know, they have the whole pumpkin/scary mask/candy thing, as lifted from countless American movies, and the supermarket is full of orange and black attire in reverence to the pumpkin, the significance of which has always eluded me. Growing up in Scotland in the sixties we had no pumpkins, no, we had turnips, which are so muxh more scary than pussy pumkins. Anyway, as is evident, the French as up for as many holidays as they can get because it means not working and having a legitimate excuse for being trashed in the afternoon. So it was with this in mind that I dutifully answered the doorbell, just as darkness was falling, to what I thought would be a darling little bunch of children, dressed up as members of the cure, that I could give sweets to without the fear of being arrested. But it actually turned out to be, well, big kids, some of whom I’m sure I’ve seen in the bar. It went like this ..
kids trick or treat?
me trick …
kids trick or treat?
kids (with vacant faces) quoi?, que voulez-vous dire ?
me (losing patience sensing I’m about to take a beating) Um, ca ne fait rien, que voulez-vous?
kids de l’argent
kids des cloppes
me les cloppes? ne voulez-vous pas des bonbons?
fat kid (looked like robert smith) monsieur, vous avez du fromage?
me ecoute, prenez mes bon-bons and fuck off (slipping back into english frustrated that my french wasn’t up to transmitting the sentiment in the way I desired)
And that, mes amis is all it took for me to start appreciating the world again. That French children can come to my house and try to terrorise me into giving them money, cigarettes and cheese (lol – the fucking french, I swear) on a night more traditonally known for, I don’t know, scaring the shit out of little kids then giving them enough sweets to ensure future diabetes, makes me truly believe that I live a wonderful life.
Little things are so important when walking along the edge.