Yesterday felt like a day of strangeness and magic. First came a great deluge that threatened to wash away the parked cars and the occasional cyclist in an almost biblical-style flood. I stood under cover, caught between my local store and home after returning from work. I was listening to some sublime electronica at the time, a unique soundtrack to the cascades of water splashing and bouncing off roads and pavements. For a few minutes I just stood and watched, mesmerised by the experience. I found I was smiling broadly and felt an easing of the hangover headache that had dogged me all day. It was just a moment of subtle, indefinable magic.
Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the downpour ceased and I broke cover and headed the few hundred metres home, trying to avoid lake-Ontario-sized puddles. A rainbow appeared briefly above our block of flats, a fitting appearance at the end of Copenhagen’s Gay Pride week.
I will backtrack slightly to me leaving the cafe where I work, about an hour beforehand. I ran into a lady of mature years, standing outside. She wanted to know more about the place. It turned out she was a fellow Brit and after basic pleasantries were exchanged, I told her all about our lovely little non-profit cafe and the many activities we host within. The lady seemed most pleased at my invitation to come and sample our food and perhaps make some new friends. “You are my angel of the day” she announced, in a warm northern accent, and I was perfectly happy with this description. I have been called lots of things, but don’t often get called an angel.
A journey into the city recently turned into one of those Mondays of minor irritations and muse-inspiring moments that just sticks in the mind.
It didn’t start well, since my watch strap, the subject of a few recent repair attempts, finally gave up the ghost and snapped. This turned into something of a metaphor as shortly afterwards I literally ran out of time and missed my bus to the station by seconds. Oaths and dark curses were muttered as I waited in the cold for its successor.
After transferring from train to the Metro, a guy got on with luggage but neglected to hold on as the train lurched forwards. He fell against me and trod heavily on my foot. It’s fortunate that I’d neglected to pack my razor-sharp ninja sword that morning, else he’d have been completing his journey minus his head.
I’ve always been fascinated and entertained by clever, funny or weird band names. Clearly it’s a challenge for any musician or group to find the perfect moniker, that name that sets them apart and captures a sense of what they are about. Or maybe just got chosen in a moment of drunken / stoned madness and stuck.
I grew up listening to the likes of Pink Floyd and Bowie and one of my first LP purchases was Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, so perhaps it’s no surprise I developed an ear for good music and interesting names.
I’ve noticed quite a few of my fellow bloggers have been doing some nice round-ups of fave movies, TV shows or other popular entertainments. Never wanting to miss a popular bandwagon to leap on, here is my own humble halfbananas listicle of my top five banana-related entertainments. Enjoy.
1. Bananas – Woody Allen’s hilarious tale of love, dictators and fruit
2. Pulp Fiction – Tarantino’s fruity masterpiece
3. Bananas is My Business – Carmen Miranda documentary
4. Herbie Goes Bananas -1980 thrillfest featuring the magical VW
5. Banana Joe – 1982 film about a man who grows bananas
New year’s eve is often a time of reflection and even regret, as well as anticipation and hope for the year to come. But we can only live in the present, so as a great sage once said:
“Be not afraid for the future or regretful of the past, for the past was once the future, and the future will soon be the present, until it quickly becomes the past, again. In this way there is no past, present or future. Or something.”
Wise words indeed and ones we can all easily choose to ignore.
We lost many wonderful people in 2016, including some personal heroes like David Bowie. I suspect we also lost a bit of faith in human nature, with the UK’s Brexit debacle and the US presidential election demonstrating once again how the masses can be manipulated by ruthless sociopaths and morally bankrupt media organisations to vote against their own best interests. We now live in a post-truth world we are told, although I’m not sure if that is true or not.
There was a survey a while back that showed that a quarter of the American population believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not the other way round. This was of course the mainstream view until our old chum Nicky Copernicus upset the apple-cart with his heliocentric model, published in the 16th century. At last the Earth was put in its rightful place, although not everyone was thrilled with this particular advance in human knowledge. There were certainly some major grumblings from the Catholic church. Still, at least Mr C managed to avoid the fate of his defender and fellow astronomy clever-clogs, friar Giordano Bruno, who apparently was just too much of a rebel for the church and had his chestnuts roasted on an open fire, along with the rest of him.
Are you a bit weird? How would you know for sure? How does one even define such a term?
The OED defines it thus:
Weirdo: A person whose dress or behaviour seems strange or eccentric.”
Okay, so we have a working definition, which is a start. But things may not be quite so simple. Because you see there are so many other categories that seem to impinge on this one: oddballs, eccentrics, characters, visionaries, freaks, outsiders, introverts, writers..
It’s a fine line between eccentric and bonkers, between visionary genius and delusional crackpot. Stay just on the right side of it, and you might find yourself lauded, loved and sung about (although maybe not in your lifetime). Wander across that imaginary line too far though and you might find yourself mocked, attacked or even taking up residence in a locked room with heavily padded walls and terrible room service.
When I was young I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, apart from taller.
I showed a keen interest in science and space exploration at an early age, but sadly my eventual application to astronaut school was rejected, on the grounds of my flat feet and shortsightedness. That, and the complete lack of a science degree, flying experience, courage, or any of the usual qualities they tend to look for in potential astronauts.
It’s been few days since the announcement of the death of a hero – David Robert Jones, better known to the world as rock icon David Bowie. It came as quite a shock, since he was by all accounts a very private person, keeping the news of his illness a closely guarded secret.
It was perhaps all the more surprising in the light of his recent resurgence with the well-received album The Next Day in 2013, and Blackstar, a brand new album release to kick off 2016 in style.