Sunday, February 28, 2010

No precaution leaving the fold

I’m happy to report a fine victory for my favoured rugby team yesterday. My word, the Kingsholm pitch was wet and muddy and grassless but the players responded intelligently and seven tries wi’out reply tell the story well. Gloucester continue to climb the league table but will require doughtier opponents than yesterday’s lacklustre and underwhelming Sale outfit to truly test progress and prowess. This season seemed to be slipping away before Christmas but now the club finds itself in two cup semi-finals and with a chance to end the season in sixth spot and achieve Heineken Cup qualification. I would settle for that sixth place now at the expense of cup joy; it would prove a decent reward for improved form of the squad and the improved skills and imagination of numerous squad members.

Yesterday’s match saw a belligerent and confrontational eight wield large spades and construct a pleasing platform for the backs to spin magic. The wing-threequarters, in particular, relished the battle. The young prince, Simpson-Daniel made countless yards with electrifying running and will-o’-the-wisp craftiness while his less subtle partner, the Tongan behemoth Vainikolo sought contact abrasively and bounced through tackle after tackle. The pair is scoring tries for fun at the moment and will relish firmer pitches and sunnier skies. This punter is satisfied that there is plenty still to play for this spring.

I’ve been listening to plenty of sounds. I am going through a huge Super Furry Animals/Gorkys Zygotic Mynci phase and lapping up as much melodic Welsh mischief as possible. Recommendations include the, ahem, Furrys’ MWNG which is sung purely in Welsh but is utterly beautiful and teems with subtle treasures. As a lovely companion piece to MWNG, I would suggest Gruff Rhys’s solo effort, Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, another non-English-speaking offerin’ that drips with pastoral and gentle songsmithery. Gorkys Zygotic Mynci’s Barafundle is becoming my ‘go to’ long player of choice; it’s a charming and jaunty beast with many moments of pop perfection. I span former Gorky fellow Euros Childs’s recent album, Son of Euro Child, yesterday. I rated this collection to be the second finest of last year and my view has not changed in the least; here is an eccentric, quirky and lovable set of songs.

I bought the new Field Music album a week ago. It remains an album I admire rather than like at the moment. It lacks a bit of warmth. A few spins may change this.

I hope I can continue to keep this blog going but I’m posting less and less often. My affection for micro-blog facility Twitter (although I am sulking today because I’m not receiving the tweets of those I follow for some reason) grows and grows daily and I suppose this is having an impact on the time I spend here. I had had a PC-based Twitter account for a good few months but it was only on owning an iPhone and summoning the marvellous Echofon App that my attention was fully grabbed. I am now hooked and am beginning to learn more about Twitter daily. My enjoyment would be more complete if I could harvest a few more like-minded followers but I’m just two months in really and I’m more than content with the quality and affability of those I mainly engage with. I’m just warmed by the amount of intelligence and creativity that floods my Twitter feed every day. Things like the forthcoming General Election, for example, are hugely embellished by Twitter and a steady stream of insightful messages (often with hyperlinks taking one to fuller pieces) by political analysts, bloggers, journalists and certain key politicians adds a vibrant and brilliant dimension to events. All my interests – music, news, films, sport – are caressed lovingly by tweets from fascinating folk. I’m entertained greatly by this world; it’s making me a lot more informed and enriched. Stereotyped ideas about Twitter being a log of what people have just had for breakfast remain low brow, lazy and manifestly ill-informed. This is a splendid scene bristling with intellect and vibrancy and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I’m afraid that this old place is suffering a touch though.

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