EOTWQ at Rick’s

1 “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Ever suddenly found yourself in the wrong place? (Or the right place?)

2 What’s your favourite weather?

3 Do you Skype? And, if not, why not?

4 When the going gets tough, a ‘Spiller…..

5 So, 5 years of RR. Will you still be RRing in another 5 – and/or what else will you be doing?

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44 thoughts on “EOTWQ at Rick’s

  1. Ooh, very philosophical this week…

    1. Not that I can think of off-hand. I’ve often been somewhere that I’m supposed to be and felt completely out of place and alienated: scout camp (my take on post-’Nam flashback trauma), line-dancing at my aunt-in-law’s seventieth birthday in Felinfoel, 70% of all parties I’ve ever been to, posh hotels where they automatically put a couple of hundred quid onto your credit card without even asking… Which is, I suppose, a way of saying that I’m one of those people who can feel ill at ease in any social situation, feeling that I’m really not supposed to be there and will be found out any moment. Same reason I don’t like doors. Or telephones. Sorry, what was the question again?

    2. Bright, crisp autumn or winter days, blue sky and no wind. But I also enjoy a good storm, preferably with lots of thunder and lightning.

    3. Yes, on occasion. MsStepAbahachi has a habit of disappearing overseas on a whim for a year or so – she hasn’t done it for a while, but it’s a constant possibility (that, and moving back home so that the fridge fairy and the laundry fairy can take over for a bit) – and it does terrible things to the phone bill. Has also proved useful when I’m away on conferences or research trips.

    4. …compiles a playlist?

    5. To be completely honest, I don’t think RR will still be with us in five years’ time; if it is, I’ll be there. I do have more faith that the ‘Spill will still be with us, in one form or another, and I’ll definitely be there.

  2. 1. In bed, dreaming of the romantic hot-air balloon ride we were taking that sunset, having somehow forgotten it was actually that sunrise. The sudden realisation came on switching on my mobile and finding several irate messages from the pilot. I think Mrs barbryn has forgiven me by now (it was 8 years ago) but I haven’t forgiven myself yet. And we haven’t had the balloon trip yet. That’s the worst example from a litany of missed trains, boats and planes. And I think of myself as a fairly well-organised person.

    2. Heatwaves with a cool breeze. But I also love blustery autumn afternoons, crisp winter evenings and fresh spring mornings. I don’t think I could live somewhere tropical.

    3. All the time to communicate with work colleagues, but usually just messaging – haven’t yet set up a webcam.

    4. … has a serious think about whether it’s worth toughing it out, or whether it would be better to look for an easier alternative.

    5. I reckon so. I’m in a fairly settled place right now, and can easily see myself in the same house, same job, except with a – holy Christ! – 8-year-old daughter.

  3. Yay, EOTWQ’s!

    4. Take a nap, which i’m going to do right now as i have no brain cells available for the other questions. Then tackle the problem rested and refreshed.

  4. 1. In the mid 70s I was working for a geophysical research firm. We were doing a project in Florence, arizona & a crew member met some girls who invited us to a local party. Should have known to reverse my path after wading through an acre of chopper bikes. 15 minutes in I found myself talking to amped-up fella called whitey who was excitedly showing off his assault weapon collection (all of which he had given names) Went to get another beer & slipped quiely out the front.

    2.Right now. Gorgeous blue skies. 80 degrees f afternoons, 50 degree or less mornings & little wind.

    3. Never have. No particular reason.

    4. Hastily makes a an Ode To Billy Joe reference?

    5. One day at a time mates, one day at a time.

  5. Oh yeah, I like the look of these … although you did cause me a minor heart attack as the doorbell rang just as I read the thread header !!!

    Back after the girls are in bed.

  6. 1. Did have a near miss with a tornado in Wisconsin once. It got close enough to pull the car over & jump in a wet ditch. Luckily, that made it change direction.
    2. Kind of miss the seasons in FL. From around now to the end of April you can’t beat the weather here.
    3. Yes. Very cool. We got it set up to keep in touch with Shoeteen.
    4. Flounce
    5. Don’t know. Post much less than I used to. Probably not a bad thing. It’s become a pastime rather than an obsession. Will be posting even less until the techies sort out the latest “enhancements”. Pages won’t load on the mobile beyond Friday AM. Miss doing the donding – it’s good to say thanks to whoever introduced you to a good new tune that week. Think donds for tunes you already know should be renamed damns or something else more polite.

  7. 1. Wrong place, yes, and unfortunately it was the register office. Most cowardly act of my life and one I have no intention of ever repeating.

    2. Another taker for crisp autumn days here (but I do love a good storm if I’m near the sea).

    3. No I don’t; I can reach you all on here.

    4. … sips a frozen margarita while watching the otters. Oops, I think that’s another ‘Spiller’s answer (wouldn’t mind trying it out, though!)

    5. I suspect that depends on whether there’s any more book deals/advertising revenue generators in the offing as to how long RR continues – and who could take over after PaulMac? (No disrespect to Paul but I do miss Maddy). Should I ever ‘enjoy’ the luxury of a gravestone, may my epitaph read “she ‘Spilled unto the end”

  8. 1) Hmm. I tend to take the point of view that wherever you are is the right place at the right time. I hate where i live now. It’s near the ocean, i like cities and mountains. It’s dull as dirt and very insular, there is nothing to do. Which is exactly the circumstances that i need at this point in time to stay inside on the computer all day and work on building business. I lived in LA for 3+ years and didn’t like it there at all. But i got quite a lot out of it too, even though most of it was a bust overall.

    2. Today is gorgeous. Sunny and cool, around 70. I love autumn, even part of winter. Rain and storms are fine. Don’t like summer, humidity, tropics. Cities with perfect weather for me – London and San Francisco.

    3. Not quite sure what it is? Obviously, i don’t use it. I don’t have a cell phone. I hate to talk on the phone. I email and post on the web, it’s easier to walk away and turn the computer off than to hang up on someone on the phone.

    4. See earlier post. Also, have a bit of the American pulling up bootstrap philosophy built in. Not a bad thing, imho.

    5. I have no idea. I’m with Fintan, one day at a time, i don’t know what i’m doing tomorrow. But in 5 years i’d like to be living in London or environs, and have the time, space, and money to be painting.

    PS – Shoey -I’m with DsD, discovery donds are for the great new stuff.

  9. Thought D’oh Donds was a DsD trademark? Works well. Like discovery donds too, for the newtomes. A distinction is needed, we need to know what flavour of dond is being donded amongst all the willy nilly donding. Or not.

    We now return you to EOTWQ, already in progress.

  10. 1. I was in a hotel bar in Managua chatting to a guy from the States. This was 1986 and Managua was hardly the place for American tourists to hang out.

    Maki: So what are you doing here? I mean it’s not like you guys are flavour of the month here, are you?
    Guy from the States: I came down for my brother’s trial. He got thirty years.

    Turns out he was Eugene Hassenfus’ brother (an American pilot who was shot down whilst flying contras and supplies in from Honduras.

    *Maki looks round bar and realises that 80 per cent of the patrons are actually plain clothes Nicaraguan police!!*

    Severely grilled at airport next day before leaving.

    2. Crisp winter days. With snow if possible.
    3. Yes
    4. Put together a playlist and go to the pub. Sometimes do it the other way round, which is why my playlists aren’t always that good!
    5. Still RRing. Hopefully with a little more free time. No big changes expected.

  11. Completely forgot about the second part of Q.5… Well, I rather hope that I’m somewhere else in five years’ time; impending cuts to UK higher education mean that I am seriously looking to flee the country, preferably to somewhere with half-decent beer and a good growing season. It’s not that I think my job is particularly under threat – so, yes, I’m a lot better off than many people – but the conditions are going to get ever worse, and I’m now sufficiently senior that I’ll be lumbered with having to decide which of my colleagues get fired and keeping the show on the road with ever-diminishing resources, watching as higher education becomes ever more the preserve of the expensively educated. In five years’ time I should have improved my language skills sufficiently to cope (assuming that I go somewhere where they don’t speak English) and made the adjustment so that I can start to enjoy myself again – and the new asparagus bed should be ready for harvesting in the spring.

  12. 1. It was 1968. We (the band) were driving from (West) Berlin to Munich. Travelling through the East German bit of the autobahn towards the Mariannborne(?) check point, we and all other traffic was stopped. Then hundreds of Russian tanks, lorries, troop carriers and half-tracks rolled past. It was the “Prague Spring” and the Russians were pulling out of Czechoslovakia, pretending to let Dubcek get on with it. In reality they hid in the East German woods and went back in to “liberate the country from fascist elements”! Quite scary as the only western country to recognise East Germany was Sweden and we weren’t Swedish..
    2. I like long summer days that are bleedin’ hot. (and, oh oh those summer nights!)
    3. I “Skype” my son to see granddaughter’s progress.
    4. Make a cup of very strong, black coffee or smoke one of those funny little cigarettes with no brand name.
    5. RR gets under your skin. If it’s still going in 5 years, I’ll probably be there still flying the falg for Gene Vincent.

  13. 1. Well my all-time worst one and there’s been a few was that night in Lusaka, it’s a longer story than will fit here but I put it on my now unused blog some years ago, if you’re curious it’s titled ‘Adventures in a foreign land’ and it’s at the bottom of the page at:
    http://goneforeign.blogspot.com
    It’s all true!
    2. ‘Favorite weather’ is a totally English concept that I relinquished when I departed, in my case it’s like what Sister Rosetta Tharpe was on about, it’s ‘Up above my Head’.
    Though I don’t like nasty cold rainy blizzards.
    3. Often, with my sister in Spain, my brother in Wilts, my mother on Norfolk and soon a connection to my nephew in Sydney. Always with live pictures, amazing free technology.
    I have wondered about the possibility of a Spill skype conference call?
    4. I’ll usually put it off until tomorrow and if that doesn’t work I’ll put it off until the day after tomorrow.
    5. I gave up on RR a year or so ago, since then the comments have increased to a point that I can’t even be bothered to scan through them, a thousand comments on a bit of trivia is more than I can contemplate.
    What else will I be doing? Breathing I hope.

    • That is one hell of a story goneforeign. I cant pretend to compete with it – but I did have a few hair-raisers of sorts..too many really. Living abroad can be a very safe experience unless you are just one of those people – i’m talking about myself now – who was just a bit too ‘open’ and ready to follow the scent when I smelled something cooking.. Like the time in Russia when I stumbled into an organised mafia ‘hit’ in the process of taking place.. or in Poland when a guy (who didn’t like the fact that his female table-mates had invited a foreigner over to drink with them) started chewing his beer glass – he literally bit the top edge off and started munching it while staring me out pointedly! But ‘shows’ of a bizzare nature aimed at you are nothing when you compare them with what you describe. Bravo is all I can think of to say right now. And thanks for sharing.

  14. 1. Sudden wrong place- getting out of the underground with family, looking across to the opposite platform to see visiting neo nazi football fans being driven down the stairs at both ends by special unit riot police.
    Sudden right place- it’s a long story…
    2. I miss a fresh sea wind sometimes, living in the middle of a continent. Otherwise, the kind of overcast, cool autumn day when you encounter little patches of warm, fragrant “tree breath” and the faint odour of burning leaves.
    3. No. Tried it, but frustrated by incompatible systems at either end, jerky pictures, ghoulish features. Yakking on the phone is fine.
    4. …dons a funky frown and writes a post about an obscure hip-hop jazz sample.
    5. I wouldn’t rule it out. Can’t see any other big changes on the horizon (other than stubbornly fulfilling an ominous prophecy to teach the first boyfriend how to cook Mara’s favourite meals)

  15. 1- yes often.. but the stories are too long (yes part 2 – the right place was on Westminster bridge on an anti-war protest – and being dragged all the way from there to here now.. by the woman who is about to have our second child.. yikes!

    2- I’m British…. all weather is great – as long as I can complain about it – so Turbulent Weather. (dislike the hot sun – burns my Celtic complexion)

    3- have it set up to chat occasionally – but system failure (me) usually mucks it up.

    4- When the going gets tough, a ‘Spiller… gets Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) on the turntable.

    5- if they give me a theme I’ll be making a compilation.. if I’m posting or not, who knows.. what else .. everything and nothing.. same as I’m enjoying now.

  16. 1) I can remember back when I was a punk being suddenly in the wrong place once or twice. It usually involved being battered about the face and ribs by persons of a different tribal persuasion.

    2) Bright, warm sunshine, very mild breeze. Failing that, proper winter weather. Can’t stand autumn.

    3) No – not averse to the idea. Just waiting for my brother to come and set it up for me without being asked.

    4) Buys up most of the contents of Lush and soaks in a bath for far too long.

    5) Hmmm – I suspect I’ll be even more reluctant to wait for the midnight call – but if it’s still going I’ll still be trying to get Joan Armatrading onto the playlist.
    Since I work for a public library I suspect the chances of still being in the same job in five years time approach zero.

  17. 1 Mr. Z. and I once attended the wrong wedding reception.

    Despite having grown up in the town in question, neither my father (who gave us a lift to the venue) nor I were aware of the proper location of the Polish Club. Maybe it used to be at the place we went to, but had moved at some point in the previous 60-odd years (yes, my father grew up in the town, and so did I).

    We stayed for a while as I attempted to recognise people. I eventually realised that the bride was not the person I was expecting and we sloped off. I think we must have asked somebody for information re. the actual location of the Polish Club, because we did get to the correct wedding reception – on foot, because it wasn’t all that far away. No doubt I was wearing uncomfortable shoes, though.

    As you might have guessed, I don’t have a Polish background.

    2 It all depends on what you’ve got. I’ll take glorious sunshine if it’s not excessively hot and I’ve got my prescription sunglasses. I’ll take a brisk, refreshing wind; great for walking. I’ll take six or more inches of crisp, white snow to make snowmen, snowtrains and igloos (I had fun last winter). I’ll take an exhilarating thunderstorm (but, please, can I have my hat? It stops the rain getting on my glasses).

    Who was it that said there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing?

    3 Reluctantly. It’s the whole video ‘phone thing. There is something plain wrong about beig able to see yourself while you’re talking to distant friends. We Skype with the more IT-literate grandparents – the kids like it. I think I have Skyped Mr. Z while he was away in the States – or was it just that he said it was a good idea?

    4 … puts a record on.

    5 Yes, I expect so, if RR is still here.

  18. 1. At Leeds Town Hall at a work “Away Day” – got really depressed, couldn’t imagine how I had ended up there!! Next day I applied for a career break and ended up taking a year off to finish my degree.

    2. Clear, sunny, neither too hot or too cold – usually winter or spring. On Saturday I went out blackberrying and ended up sitting on top of a hill, looking out across the valley to the moors beyond – blue sky, very clear (prior to rain, but before the rain had arrived). Lots of scudding clouds. Fabulous.

    3. No, because I don’t know anyone else who does?

    4. Goes blackberrying.

    5. I hope so – though am already running out of ideas. Hope the Spill is still going, I hope I will still be Spilling. Or if I follow Amylee’s advice I might even be blogging!!

  19. 1. Wrong place – wrong lane of the road – crashed head-on into a car coming the other way. Had looked down to pick up a can of coke from its holder and drifted over. Luckily we were both going slow so no serious injuries but scary for sure. (And the other driver was a Hell’s Angel so that was even scarier!)
    2. Sunny
    3. No. Doesn’t interest me. I don’t phone people much either and rarely write a letter. I’m a bit of a loner by nature. Except for family and a few close friends, I prefer being on my own, often online. But even online, I am not overly chatty. (oh! You noticed!) But I do value my RR friends highly.
    4. Looks for something to cheer him up online.

    5. Probably. I find it very enjoyable and still get a bit of a thrill if one of my suggestions makes a playlist. (I’m easy to please!) And I still enjoy putting together the Marconium.

  20. First off, Skype is simplicity itself, a retarded dunce could have it loaded and working in less than 5 mins, literally! Second it’s free!
    Google it, download it, it probably installs itself, register and call tony in cal, my computer will ring! Or you can call an email address, that works also.
    All that’s necessary is a decent internet connection, dial-up won’t work, if your monitor has a camera [most do] you’ll also get free pictures. The quality I get is excellent, I even do screen grabs to get pics of my family. It’s dead easy.

  21. 1. (i) Wrong place? Apart from my two major RTAs, not really. I’ve been very lucky to avoid walking into the wrong bar/alley/meeting etc. Although there was that time down a darkened side street in New Orleans when I was briefly, REALLY scared for my & DsMam’s safety. Wrongly, as it turned out, but I didn’t know that at the time. If there’s anyone who hasn’t heard the story … though I suspect it will pale into insignificance if I get a chance to check out goneforeign‘s Lusaka experience.

    (ii) Right place? Nothing to match saneshane‘s standing atop the crumbling Berlin Wall, I’m sure!

    2. Favourite weather? I’ve always answered “a crisp autumn evening” to this before now (sorry severin). There’s something about the light, the air, and the smells that I just love.
    But now, in my middle age, I think – following a succession of crap UK summers – that I’m turning into a sunchaser. This last June in Murcia was just bliss.

    3. Skype? No. Tony? I AM that ‘retarded dunce’ and I claim my five pounds! A combination of that, the lack of friends using it, an ability to pay my phone bill without pain, and sheer laziness all have something to do with it too.

    4. When the going gets tough, a ‘Spiller … pours a drink and compiles a playlist.
    Chances are, that playlist will contain at least one song from either The Roots, Drive-By Truckers, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Paddy McAloon, or someone on Flying Nun, On-U or Ninja Tune Records.

    5. Still be RRing in 2015? Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I’m almost certain we won’t. I’m already amazed at the blog’s longevity, and would be prepared to bet the paper will drop the column before it gets to be 10y.o.
    What will I be doing? My daughters will be 15 and 9 … ToffeeBoy: what will I be doing in five years time, apart from scowling at her choice of friends?

  22. Achtung, party pooper alert: may I just remind you of something I posted over on the Mothership a while ago (where it even got a couple of recommended clicks)

    And while I’m here, may I just buke ‘Van Full of Retards’. Yes, I know I’m being overly sensitive, you can take PC too far etc etc, but I find the ‘R’-word acceptable only in medical terms and can never let it pass uncommented.

  23. Great replies, keep ‘em coming!

    1 At my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law’s hen night: of course I was in the right place in a sense, since I was the mother of the groom, and had been invited, but it quickly became clear that everything else was wrong. It was an event set up to sexually humiliate the people who were being celebrated – all young women (there were a couple of other hen parties and a few birthday celebrations). I was on my second evening in a city, country and continent I’d never visited before so had nowhere to run. Fortunately when it came to her turn Jess refused to participate. Phew.
    Bridesmaids, they’ve got a lot to answer for!

    2 Sunny and hot. [Why do you live in Scotland then, tfd? Ah, that's a much longer story.] I do like a good storm though as long as I’m indoors. One evening soon after we’d moved here I was driving home from work and, as I approached the house, noticed something odd: there was seaweed in the hedge on the side of the road AWAY from the sea. Yes, there’s been a humungous storm and I’d missed it!

    3 I got Skype last weekend and so was able to watch Matt watching Arsenal for quite a long time. He wanted me to get it so that I’ll be able to see the baby, who’s not due till the end of the year so he obviously thought it would take me a while to learn to use it. (Not so: as gf says, it’s very simple.) I haven’t got a webcam but have realised I’ll have to get one so wee James can get used to the look of his other Grandma.

    4 Sips a frozen margarita and watches the o…oh sorry, debbym: that was yours. Come over any time (I have spare rooms) and we’ll do it together!

    5 Well, if RR’s still there I reckon I’ll be on it. But my life will be completely different otherwise, because I’ll be retired and living in Milton Keynes within walking distance of my grandsons (not the Texas one of course); and I’ll be acting in plays and going to gigs and the cinema and the theatre a whole lot more; and riding on buses for free if people can still do that!

  24. 1. Can’t think of anything dramatic, but Shane’s serendipitous meeting on Westminster Bridge (accompanied by the dulcet tones of Jens Lekman) is one of my favourites, especially for the song.

    2. I’ve always been a fan of spring and autumn, but I feel like these seasons have disappeared, especially the former. I’m fine as long as I can see some of the sky. 27º is pretty perfect. Light breezes are heavenly when it’s hot.

    3. Not so much anymore since I’ve been back in London, my parents are quite keen on it.

    4. takes a break

    5. Maybe, I hope to still be ‘Spilling. At the moment I’m not quite sure what I want RR to be for me, so it’s hard to answer the question.

  25. 1 In the right place: Just in front of the cinema door when Di Caprio and Al Gore walked out of the screening of their eco-doc. My mobile rang so I rummaged in my bag and… Missed them.

    2 Today’s.

    3 No – because I enjoy paying humungous mobile bills (makes mental note to buy a SKYPE set)

    4 When the going gets tough, a ‘Spiller MAKES A PLAYLIST TO GET HIM THROUGH!!!

    5 So, 5 years of RR. Well I was 5 years ago so, going on my past record….

  26. 1. Nothing dramatic, and mostly stories that I’ve told on the ‘Spill before. There was a time that a man saw somebody else watching my film from across the room, asked what it was, contacted me for a copy and then gave me a grant. After years of me applying for grants to no avail…

    2. These weeks have been fairly perfect…chilly nights, warm golden days. We had an unbelievably beautiful evening on Monday – the very edge of a thunderstorm, swirling, gorgeous clouds and the whole world bathed in rosy golden light. It was almost too much. I wish I liked winter better. I’ve come to actually dread it. These rapidly shortening days make me feel anxious already.

    3. Nah…always some technical difficulty, and the images are so ugly, and the conversation so stilted.

    4. finds some music to wallow in.

    5. Well, 5 years is a long way off, and by then we’ll be able to teleport ourselves, or simply use our jetpacks to flit off to the island in the middle of the Atlantic for the MFF.

  27. 1. Fêtes de Bayonne late 70s, late night early morning. Emerge from side street looking for a bowl of soupe à l’ail. Look right – riot police; look left angry Basques; clunk … look at feet, tear gas canister. oooh that stuff stings.

    2. Hoarfrost by moonlight.

    3 No, and don’t spend too much time on the phone either. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    4 When the going gets tough, a Spiller suggests the rubric is open to interpretation.

    5 Maybe the question is, will I be prepared to pay to play RR in 5 years time? I don’t know.

  28. Just read goneforeign’s Adventures in a Foreign Land. Holy Mackerel! That was the most gripping story. Had me on the edge of my seat. Glad you and Gina made it through that nightmare!

  29. DsD, Sourpus & Marco: Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it. I wrote that the day after it happened because I wanted to get all the details down before it started getting foggy. I later transcribed it to my Mac and one day many years later I came across a publisher online seeking ‘adventure’ stories from travelers, I emailed him a copy and totally forgot about it. Several years later one Sunday morning my phone rang and it was a longtime friend from LA who I’d told the story to, “You’re famous” she said, your book is reviewed in the LA Times book section this morning!”, I had no idea what she was talking about, she sent me the page in the mail and It was a review of a book titled ‘Danger – True stories of Trouble and Survival’, the reviewer chose my story to review as being representative, he finished by saying “A chiller that could easily be optioned for a slasher movie script! I’m still awaiting the offers.
    I was so busy at that point that I put off even thinking about contacting the publisher plus I didn’t know how to handle the fact that he’d published it without my approval so I just let it sit. Many months later my phone rang again and it sounded like the junior typist from the publishing company, her boss had told her to try and locate me and to tell me how much they were willing to pay, I told her I’d call back but I didn’t. [This is looking like a classic example of my answer to question #4] They called again, and again and I still stalled, finally the president of the company called and we got down to brass tacks, he upped the offer substantially, I quadrupled it, he accepted!
    One thing that surprises me about that event is that even though it was potentially terrifying, I wasn’t at all scared or frightened throughout the whole episode, I was very concerned but not afraid. I don’t say that with any bravado, I just find it interesting that that’s how it affected me.

    Debby: My apologies.

    • Thank you, gf, you are indeed a gentleman. I realise that the ‘r’-word is in common usage in the States, but I have an absolute knee-jerk reaction to it since my daughter was born

  30. 1] Music answer, I’m afraid, but it was a right place scenario. The gin-joint was Ronnie Scott’s and I was there with a couple of mates to see Cecil Taylor (see Panthersan’s Earworm a few weeks ago for the polarising capacity of his playing). It was good enough that we were at one of the front row tables and could see right along Taylor’s piano keyboard, but Ronnie Scott had lined up a more straight-ahead crowd-pleasing support act, Dick Morrisey’s group, and before their second set of the night, he announced that there’s a “young lady in the audience” who’s here for the gig but she’s agreed to get up and sing a couple of songs with Dick’s group. It was Chaka Khan. She belted out a couple of blues numbers and all I could think of was her famous line about when she performed she imagined herself making love to the entire audience, and that I was in these terms at the front of the queue….

    2] I like my weather like I like my whisky – mellow and, um, amber.

    3] I’m getting a Blackberry next week. Baby steps…

    4] …produces an entertaining discourse on the musicological connections between The Beatles and Parliament Funkadelic.

    5] I’ll be here, and if I’m not, then we’ll always have Songs About Afternoons. If we ever lost it, we got it back last week with Songs About Anniversaries. In 5 years’ time, I might have yet another short-lived part-time job to do and where I’m going, you can’t Skype. Where I’ve got to go, you can’t be any part of, Spillers, I’m no good at being concise, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of ten little songs each week (and ten more for the B-list) don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy cyberspace. Someday, you’ll understand that.

  31. @May: ah, the start of a beautiful friendship

    @tincanman: what happened to your post? I hadn’t listened to any of the music! (I’ve already got Mojo so I didn’t have to listen to that.)

  32. bah, just lost a post……the other answers were a great read, here’s my less-than-illuminating contribution:

    1. No dramatic stories i’m afraid, but a couple of times when I was in Bristol I enjoyed the hospitality of a few of St Pauls’ more insalubrious and illicit after hours watering holes. Barred and blacked out windows, billowing marijuana smoke and a lot of shady looking people. Pretty stupid for an innocent skinny white boy I suppose!

    2. Japanese winter are great. Crisp sunshine and not too cold. The summers are almost unbearable however. This year was the hottest on record, it was basically 35 degrees for about 6 weeks with stifling humidity….as of TODAY it seems to have cooled down a bit finally – which means I can get back to listening to black metal (Burzum on the stereo as I type) which just doesn’t seem to work when it’s hot and sunny!

    3. Skype is ace! It may not be perfect, but it’s basically a free long-distance phone call, what’s not to like! I use it for the family back in Ing-er-land and my sister in Portugal. Recently I keep hearing about ooVoo which is supposed to be better, but I haven’t tried it yet.

    4. When the going gets tough, a ‘Spiller….spills!

    5. Agree that RR may not be running, but i’m confident the Spill will be, of course i’ll spill be here!
    On the Spill that is, not sure about Tokyo. We went to view a house yesterday and are thinking of buying. It’s got a sea view and a view of Mount Fuji and is big and nicely designed in a retro late-70′s way, with a garden with a cherry blossom and a pond for Koi and even an extra house included in the price (could be used as future business premises or rented out)! Only problem is is it’s a long long commute to Tokyo…..would mean changing jobs (possibly to one I don’t like very much and pays less) and more importantly closing Mrs Panther’s shop which we have worked hard over 5 years to build up…….and, there would be the nightmare of mortgages and moving etc…….hmm…….looks like it’s Big Decision time in the Panthers den……….

  33. 1) Right place/Wrong place. I was driving back to London from Sunderland along the A1 and was on a dual carriageway section north of Thirsk. It was an early evening in the month of June. (Can’t remember the year, but it was about 15 years or so ago). The weather was cloudy and sticky and it had been raining. The road surface was still wet. I was overtaking an “artic”. It was from Lithuania and was LH drive. I was just about 3/4 of the way passed the front of his cab when he decided to pull out. As he hit me he spun me 180 degrees. I was travelling backwards while he was still coming towards me. I continued to travel backwards (and, luckily, sideways) until I stopped half on and half off the soft verge. He had driven back into the nearside lane and continued past my vehicle, ripping all along the side.
    The poice said that had the road not been wet my vehicle would not have slid to the side of the road. The “artic” would have flattened me.

    2) Linked to the above. I now live in Spain and love the weather. It has rained only once here since May

    3) Yes. It’s a great thing. Free calls to anywhere and you can see them as well.

    4) RR’s put on a set of headphones, chill out (nudge, nudge) and listen to some ‘Earworms’

    5) Hope to still be alive,and well.

  34. @GF, finally found your adventures post, so add one more “holy shit” from me. Great blog btw – you really must keep it going.

    @Debby, don’t know the specifics of how your daughter is differently abled, but would highly recommend Temple Grandin. It’s an HBO biography of Temple and covers what she achieved because of her autism. It deservedly cleaned up at the Emmys & is the best film I’ve seen this year.

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