Europe :: November -- December, 1996

Subject: And the lesson today...
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 18:23:41


13:55 52 Coborn Road; Bow, London -- England :: 28 DEC 97

I've just flicked on the telly to find The Six Million Dollar Man guest starring, get this, Sandra Bullock as the newest addition to the bionic broohaha. She's not getting the close-ups she needs for that charming smile to work its magic. Of course, she's going to die in the end, if not sooner. In the meantime, kinda neat to watch her tossing big ugly lugs around like 5 kilo sacks of potatos.

Anyway, I didn't start up the computer to jabber about 70's kitsch tv. Oh, except to comment that Bullock doesn't die in the end afterall. Can you imagine what would've happened to her career if they'd made a spinoff?

20:28 Coborn Road; Bow, London -- England :: 28 DEC 97

Right. Had to get out of the house after that. Ahhh, yes, the house.

I'm currently house sitting in East London. The situation came through the friend of the brother of a friend living here. It's a nice place too, narrow terrace house with three floors. Very common here. The owner, whom I haven't met, has been doing a fair bit of work on it. It's called DIY here, Do It Yourself, an industry in England because you can't just go around tearing down old houses and build mondo boxes like we're doing back in Vancouver. Here, there's a pretty strict system for maintaining heritage structures, which seems to include most anything built before WWII. You can't even bulldoze an old barn--or renovate it as a house-- without the proper paperwork. But back to my temporary abode.

You reach the bottom floor, the basement, by a narrow stair leading to a white kitchen, and off it a spare bedroom. On the main floor is the living room, centred on the wood- burning fireplace, and dining room. Wide-boarded hardwood flooring in a warm walnut finish punctuates the whitewash and blonde wood of the walls, shelves and doors. The top floor should get a paragraph all its own. Not for the master bedroom which is compactly sized and being prepared for carpeting, yet already showing promise, but for the bathroom which contains a swimming pool.

People who know me might understand my love for a bathroom starring such a monstrous tub as this one. I know several of my hosts have seen me disappear into the bathroom for an hour or so. Long baths. Love `em. First thing I did last night was stoke up the boiler and then soaked...and soaked. And read.

Finished Bob Geldof's autobiograpy, Is That It? , last night, in the swimming pool. Maybe you don't recognise the name.


And the silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload.
Ooo, and nobody's gonna go to school today
She's gonna make them stay at home.

And daddy doesn't understand it.
He always said she was good as gold.
But he can see no reasons
`Cause there are no reasons
What reasons do you need?

Tell me why I don't like Mondays,
Tell me why I don't like Mondays,
Tell me why I don't like Mondays,
I want to shoot the whole day down.

Geldof wrote that even as a young girl in America had the children in a school across the street pinned down. Several of them died from the bullets launched by just one of the guns her father had been giving her every Christmas since her tenth birthday. Geldof was in an interview at the time the story broke live and, bored with the repetition of questions he could automatically answer, followed the events as they unfolded on a tickertape by his chair. He wrote the song the same day, after the interview as the seige continued.

It was originally intended to be a reggae tune. Fortunately, there wasn't the necessary time to work up the full instrumental arrangement before its first performance so it became Geldof's swansong with piano accompaniment.

Well, I Don't Like Mondays became the swansong of his popsinger career. You might also remember him as the organizer of Band Aid, a small effort of the English pop- music community that raised quite a few million pounds sterling for famine relief in Ethiopia. If you can't remember that then perhaps the little concert he staged shortly after. It was called Live Aid and brough most of the pop greats to one of two stages (Philadelphia and Londn) for 17 straight hours of music. Apparently, something like 80% of the world's television sets tuned into the event at some point. This one raised hundreds of millions of dollars.

That, and he got to tell off Maggie Thatcher...to her face...over whether Africa could use the excess butter the UK would soon spend millions to destroy. Never question that man's bollocks (or Maggie's, for that matter.)

Well, if all that wasn't enough, he's also something of a writer and the autobio's a joy. Enough music industry anecdotes to keep that sort happy and plenty of intimacies for those so inclined. But my pleasure comes from the keen observations into the music industries of America and the UK, and the political systems of the world.

~~~ Responses Sought ~~~

And the lesson today is how to die.
  graphical element

Bob Geldof
From the song, I Don't Like Mondays
on the 1979 album The Fine Art of Surfacing

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