Friday, August 25, 2006

Northern Skies

I shall write more about the Coles’ Scottish (and Mancunian and Yorkshirian) jaunt at another juncture. However, I shall briefly report that a marvellous time was had by all although, as ever, it is lovely to be home. There’s a couple of photographs above to indicate the coast/city japes we embraced.

I have plenty to report and plenty on the horizon. I bought my new rugby season ticket today and shall trot to the Kingsholm area tomorrow to exhort my heroes to play up and vanquish against a Llanelli fifteen. I remain disappointed by the two losses incurred thus far pre-season and dismayed to learn of the nasty injury suffered by the young prince, Simpson-Daniel. I’m just keen to see the lads in action for myself. I note that Bortolami has been named as captain for this weekend’s clash; we need a strong leader so I hope this is an experiment that works.

I seem to have had my head in a book fairly constantly for the past couple of weeks. I’ve polished off a couple of music books which shared similar themes. Joe Boyd’s White Bicycles was a fascinating swoop through the sixties and the key strands of the fascinating underground scene that Boyd, to an extent, fostered and inspired. I finished Patrick Humphries’ biography of Nick Drake today. The book contained few surprises and missed the input of two key figures, Drake’s sister, Gabrielle, and Joe Boyd (Drake’s close friend and producer), both of whom refused to cooperate with the project. I read a couple of novels while away too. I enjoyed Zadie Smith’s White Teeth a while back and tackled On Beauty, her latest work, while in Scotland and this proved a remarkable read full of insightful ruminations on class, race and gender. It reminded me a little of some of David Lodge’s campus novels and the portrayal of university politics proved a hoot. I also read Small Island by Andrea Levy which examined race issues during and after the Second World War and considered the treatment of Jamaican servicemen, and later, immigrants by a predominantly white and suspicious English population. I welcomed a peek at a forgotten chapter of British history.

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