Once Upon A Season
It was entirely possible that parts of me were falling off in real time. First there was the slow and worrying closure of my larynx. Then my eye attempted to perform semaphore and throbbed accordingly. Having decided that I didn’t really need to know what came next and feeling increasingly like butter scraped over too much bread, I made for the hills, ran with the lambs and caught some of what is known by them there locals as “big sky”. They ain’t mistaken in the slightest.
And now I am back. I found a portion of time to reflect upon all things health and calm and those things not within. The route causes of aforementioned deterioration of the physical Cat were almost certainly, in part down to those admittedly inevitable throes of birthdaydom. The impulse to pillage rare becomes less over time but I do believe its impetus changes. They say that depression is rage turned inward; I think that birthdays (shortly post the Three Oh) take on a similar state of inversion, whereby age is no longer a cause for celebration - amazement with regards to improbable longevity perhaps - but more a pointed case study of the transmutation of joy into acceptance of certain things. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m not grateful, I am. I can see the the curve and measure through which I am altered yet stand and in doing so, I am enable to be subtly changed yet also vertical.
The Peak District is not internationally known for its record shops but probably should be. Music In The Green in Bakewell (yes, of tart fame) is one of those places that, if you’re at all like me, then you’d feel right at home. It is an intimate space filled with the most excellent of things. I only wish I’d had more time there and was keenly, anxiously aware of the fact that I was on a clock. Somehow, even with my masters’ whips lashing at my heels, I managed to emerge with a couple of bonafide treasures. ‘Hawkwind Live 1979’ was a necessary purchase, if only because I had never considered a live album by those motherfuckers to be possible. I have a feeling this was recorded post Lemmy, which is…fine? By all accounts, it might be better and I still have no idea how you get kicked out of Hawkwind. My current theory is that you have to be Lemmy and the standard model of prog-rock physics supports that equation for now. ‘Raw Power’ on the other hand, is a record of which I was absolutely aware and an original pressing was far, far too tempting to pass by. I exchanged twenty pounds worth of English gold with the most benevolent of guardians, in what I feel may have been something of a sandbag transaction on my part before rolling out the door, fully expecting the wall to descend behind me.
In what was ostensibly an effort to purchase something that would delight and surprise the tiny Bassface clone on which I dote, I spent an amount of time in Big Top Toys, searching for anything to do with ghosts because apparently that is the momentary height of obsession. It is another space in which maps are relatively moot and one can bounce, much like a cooing pinball from Hot Wheels to Lego to Pokemon to miniatures and back again. I eventually settled on an ample stock of tiny cars with which to be always prepared and was convinced I was done before the shop wizard jumped me with these. Rory’s Story Cubes are easily the best writer’s block-breaking mechanism I have ever seen and I cannot understand why I am only just discovering them now. I guess they can be a game if they want to be, although the rules are absolutely yours to make and there is evidence to suggest that they work as a powerful buff in any teaching environment. For my own uses, I saw them as a stupidly useful as a tool for breaking into a page and promptly purchased a modest sampling. When we returned to our dwelling later that day, I tried them out for all of five minutes before sprinting to the forbidden technology and ordering the whole damn set.
So that’s what lies beyond the city wall, in case you were wondering. They have fields and trees and dogs for miles. Should you find yourself in Foolow at any point in this life or the next, you could most certainly do worse than fare at The Bulls Head Inn. It is everything you imagine a great, family-run village pub to be and comes complete with an incredible kitchen, really good ale, and a generous quota of local musicians with whom to whisk away those later evenings.
Then there’s that tiny door next to the village pond, exclusively for the use of ducks with waggy bums.
JD - TACOCAT
[Props to Big Top Toys for the photo of their emporium of the arcane, Rory’s Story Cubes for that of their incredibly useful dice, and finally to The Bull’s Head Inn for both the snap of this finest of watering holes and also for keeping us well fed and lubricated over the past week.]