Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mountain People

As I wrote a couple of days back, that things change quickly in this town once one rubs away the laid-back veneer. Well somethings never do. I visited Andys Records this morning's spitting weather. Stacked as ever like a audio tardis, I've been visiting this little shop since I got into music back in the early 90s. I used to buy Britpop fringe stuff and rare vinyls and discs by bands so new they shone. One of these bands were the Super Furry Animals, when I bought Hometown Unicorn cd single after hearing it on Radio One's Evening Session, and followed that up with their first two realease (on Welsh indie label Angst). I also bought a one-sided 7" track given away at some obscure gig in Bala in Snowdonia or somewhere. Given that they were a Welsh band it was much easier to get these rarities. As they became more popular (ie. available in Woolies or Menzies) I felt a little bit of loyalty for Andy's Records. Well today, 11 years since buying Fuzzy Logic (and playing it first back in the caravan to the rather indifferent audience of my Grandparents) I put my hand in my pocket for their latest album Love Kraft. I hope its as good as Radiator.

Yesterday I didn't do much at all. But then I guess that was the plan all along. I left the guest house when I got hungry again, this time I ate at Yr Hen Gorsaf, the Wetherspoons place. I ordered the Peri Peri Chicken panini, but they'd got no chicken, peri peri or otherwise, so I opted instead for the rather sickly tuna and cheese. Still a couple of pints of Pedigree at £1.65 a piece helped it along (I'm noticing a pattern to these last couple of days). I went to try and register at Travail, the only emplyment agency I've found in town. They share a redeveloped old building directly opposite the pier entrance, I think it used to be the Theological College, but in these godless times who needs that. Anyway, I stumble in, and follow the signs from the surprisingly elegent lobby. I wandered down a corridor, but the only doors I found had signs like Travail Meeting Room 1. As I was trying to not look lost a pretty dark haired girl with sympathetic eyes came through an unmarked door. I asked her if that was the door to Travail, cue confusion. She asked me to repeat myself in a strong French accent. Oh dear! I duly repeated myself, but realised Travail is the French verb 'to work'. I wish my French was better, I only know how to ask for three thousand melons. I gave up, giving her a thankful smile. I'll have to register when I get back to Telford.

I went back and watched a bit of cricket between the thankful rain interruptions. Boy, we are missing Simon Jones. And don't the Western Mail know it. The lack of the Glamorgan speedster at The Oval was almost enough to knock Gavin Henson's groin strain off the back page - almost. Apparently he's seeing a specialist doctor in Germany who has treated people like Darren Gough and Michael Owen, no-one knows how this injury has arisen. Well on page 8 of the same publication is a big picture of Miss Charlotte Church. I wouldn't have thought it'd take an expensive genius German quack to work that one out. I watched L'Appartement last night. Great film, so well structured. I first watched it when I was at Uni here on S4C (a week after it had been on channel 4). I only watched because the stunning Monica Bellucci was in it. Any way I was gripped, all these seemingly unconnected sub-plots all interweaving on a film every bit as tight as The Usual Suspects. As the film was approaching its climax, S4C (which was always a temperamental channel when showing Channel 4 stuff) just shut down. Just black silence. Quarter of an hour until the credits. When I realised it wasn't coming back on I screamed with frustration. I went to bed defeated and deflated. I got up early and was down Pier video by ten. I knew I'd seen L'Appartement on the shelves before. I couldn't see it now. I appraoched the guy behind the counter asking him where it was and if it was due back in today. He shrugged and casually told me I was the seventh person who had asked him since nine o'clock. It was a week before I finally got to see it all the way through. It was worth the wait.

I can see a little fishing boat in my bit of sea from my room. Very relaxing. It's taken a few days and I have occasionally missed having a conversation, but I feel very nearly chilled out to the max, to use the parlance of our times. As I strolled back from Andy's Records and Spartacus (Coronation Chicken baguette thanks for asking, and as good as ever), A bloke came flying down the steep San Francisco-esque Loveden Street next to the Town Hall, on a homemade go kart. He was no kid, he was easily mid twenties, a fluttering shock of scruffy long brown hair flying over his green sweater matching the movements of a yellow triangular flag at the back of the cart as he whizzed past me. I tried to take a photo but he zoomed away down the road like old footage of F1 drivers like Fangio or Stirling Moss. That wasn't the only odd thing I've seen today. I went back into town to pay the landlady, and as I came out of the front door of the launderette a dragon walked past. He was pretty heavily built, I doubt he could fly. Then loads of kids following him with sashes on indicating some charity or other, I chucked some silvers in and carried on. At the King's Square was a group of people in what appeared to be Jacobean dress folk-dancing to a couple of musicians. A small group of holiday makers plump in their West Brom replicas (aren't stripes supposed to be slimming?) and a trio of moustachioed bikers had gathered around, and the violins played with a backing beat of the sea behind them. Saturdays are odd here.


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