Foggy City Orphan

I arrived in Sydney nearly 24 hours ago. The smoke haze on the approach stretched on for miles. It started long before the plane’s descent.

Of course I arrived on a scorching hot day. I got some rest on the plane. I had my first (and what will probably be my only) experience as a business class traveller.

I flew out with Lufthansa under a Star Alliance co-airline flight. Glasgow to Frankfurt – Frankfurt to Hong Kong – Hong Kong to Sydney.

At Frankfurt there was announcement at the departure gate that some business class seats were available for ecomonmy/economy plus travellers to buy at a discounted rate. I thought… well, I can just enquire and see. If it’s stupid money, I won’t. So… I upgraded. Wow! The seats actually FULLY recline prostrate! It was amazing. The leg room. Wow. A MENU of food. I slept properly for about 4-5 hours. Even laid on my stomach at one point. I mean… when do you get to do THAT on a plane!?

Back to economy for the final leg, which was with Cathay Pacific. It was my first experience with Cathay Pacific and I have to say their economy class is VERY good.

We landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. Sydney was humid but cool when I arrived. I took my time. Alighted the plane last. Tidied myself up in the first toilet I saw. Took a seat and filled out the immigration form.

The e-passport thing blows my mind. All electronic. No 20 questions of why I’m the country, etc, etc. Scan and go.

My poor suitcase had hardly any friends left when I got to baggage reclaim.

Going through customs was fun. Some of us weary travellers were guinea pigs for trainee sniffer dogs, so it took a little time to get through there.

Out in arrivals I got myself a coffee and a bite to eat. I got a local SIM for my phone and then went to the train station and got myself to Central to get a connecting train to Liverpool – which still leaves from trusty old platform 19.

On the way through we passed Lidcombe Station. Lidcombe is where my mum grew up – not too far from the station itself. Two stops down is a tiny station – mostly it served workers for the big rail depot there. The station is called Clyde. And… all the time I lived in Sydney, the link never really occurred to me! I know! Silly. But how it hit me yesterday. My mum starting out in Lidcombe, just a short stop away from Clyde… and here I was, home to say goodbye to her. Never being able to say “Oh, mum, guess what? I live near Clyde too now.”

We say goodbye later today. To have been able to talk to her one last time… I wish.

Practising What I Preach?

I’ve lost my way with this blog, partly due to … someone being much quieter this year, for one. And now my muse has escaped me.

The past several weeks has been all change, on a personal note.

I fly out to Sydney in two weeks time. We move to Glasgow on Friday. And if I don’t have enough with those two things going on, I’m still conscious of the blog just…lagging.

I don’t really have any kind of regular thing happening with it. In the past I’d have something going on, be it Kerrsday Thursday, the Weekend WhirliGIG, the “Why I Love…” special posts, Lyric Of the Day – when the art was happening on a regular basis. There was also some kind of weekly or regular post. I’ve even let my weekly Spotify listening stats (posted under Tweekly FM) slip by at times lately.

So, I might find it a little awkward until the New Year to commit to something fully regularly, I will at least commit to putting a little more life into the blog at least in the next couple of weeks.

As I say, as if I haven’t enough to be getting on with!

I do want this blog to be an interesting thing. I had such plans for it at the beginning of the year. And it really started well with my interviews with Jaine Henderson and Bruce Findlay, and then it kind of fizzled. All the best laid plans, eh?

Let’s see what I can salvage to end 2019 with a bang!
(P.S. He isn’t convinced 👇🏻)

Still Just A Small Taster

My collection of Virginia Turbett prints of Simple Minds grows slowly yet strongly. A new batch arrived last week and I wanted to show what is in it without comprising the copyright of Virginia’s images. This is still just a small taster, and probably now the last you will see.

The prints are of stunning quality. Trust me, if you decide to buy, you will NOT be disappointed. This video doesn’t do them full justice (I have to be careful not to show them at optimum resolution as they’ll just end up being taken and used) but I hope you can get some sense of how wonderful they are. Some are just truly iconic. The ones taken at Tavistock Square in 1980…the whole photo session is gorgeous.

If you are interested in prints, contact Virginia via her website at: www.virginiaturbett.com

Pleasure In Pain…

The Sweat In Bullet video….honestly…when it gets to this point, I’m like “Whip me. Just fucking whip me with that mic cord. Just do it. Break the skin. Just frigging hurt me!”

He’s delicious…

Man, I need help! (Been a long time since I spoke like this on the blog. I can feel a dark mood descending again…)

40 Essential Tracks Of The (New Romantics) Scene – Changeling

I was looking through the new Classic Pop special on the New Romantics movement and wondering if Simple Minds would even get a mention anywhere. Of course they wouldn’t describe themselves as New Romantics…but they were certainly on the fringes of the scene, if not directly involved in it. And certainly their music fitted in with the sound of the period.

In particular, I had hoped to see them be mentioned in the feature of the magazine called “40 Essential Tracks of The Scene”, because if nothing else their sound was right in the frame (as far as I am concerned) for the period. I started to get a bit disgruntled as I turned the pages. I mean, if Duran Duran’s Planet Earth is there, how the fuck could I Travel NOT be?

Finally…and right next to Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing (at a lowly 39! Fucking hell. I wonder about some of these music mags sometimes…) – was this (see below). I am actually finding Changeling a curious choice given what else is in the Simple Minds canon at the time of the New Romantics movement. I mean…HELLO! I Travel, anyone? Celebrate? Love Song?

But having said that, great that they chose a bit more of a curveball and highlighted Real To Real Cacophony right on its anniversary. I’ll give them that.