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>Another Year Older…

>Today’s soundtrack:  Various Artists – 12″/80s

So – another year, another birthday.  Spent in far more enjoyable circumstances this year than last year, without a doubt.  This time last year I was working my way through an all-day interview session with a predetermined outcome (quite possibly) that did not involve me being the winning candidate.  This year however, back in the saddle, it was over to Manchester in the sun for a spot of lunch with Mrs W, Son No 2 and his girlfriend.  We went to the Hard Rock Cafe in the Printworks, and very enjoyable it was too.  Despite gentle threats, I managed to avoid the birthday sing-song from the waiters and we filled up on nachos and a variety of burgers.  I commend the Red, White and Blue!

After the inevitable trip to Fopp, we went our separate ways, me laden down with CDs both purchased and gifted.  Coupled with the monthly download from eMusic, I’m now well stocked up with a range of new music to listen to on the trips up and down the motorway, to and from work.

Ah yes, work.  Week two passed very smoothly, thank you very much.  Lots of meetings in different places as I continued the induction process, all passing off very smoothly indeed.  Oh, and a birthday card from the team on Friday as well.  I’m going to like this job.

With the extended weekend giving us the chance to recharge our batteries, it’s been quite a lazy couple of days.  Got back in time on Saturday to catch the second half of Everton’s disappointing draw with Stoke that inevitably condemns us to a season without European football.  Now whilst part of me thinks this might be a good thing – fewer games, a focus on the domestic competitions – I’ll miss the midweek games against obscure Slovenian teams and the inevitable exit to a half-decent Spanish outfit in the ’round of 32′ or whatever they call it these days.  A fate Liverpool are now condemned to after their meek capitulation to Chelsea yesterday.  So it looks like Chelsea’s title rather than ManYoo’s, thanks initially to Stevie G’s misguided backpass that let Drogba in for the first goal.  What was going through Stevie’s mind, I wonder?

I think Liverpool’s close season is going to be hugely interesting this year.  Will the FSW still be there?  Stevie and Nando?  Not if their body language is anything to go by.  Which doesn’t leave much.

Double bill (quite literally) of Tarantino this weekend – we watched the two Kill Bills over Saturday and Sunday.  Hugely enjoyable, entertaining tosh, borrowing heavily from the chop-socky kung fu films of the ’70s, with a bit of manga thrown in as well.  Loved it, and on the big telly, the blu-ray version looked great.

Despite all my new purchases (and gifts) over the weekend (oh, since you ask, some Fall, Weller, Santana and the new Laura Marling, plus downloads of Midlake, Caribou, Luxuria and a Cath Carrol album I found lurking on eMusic), today’s soundtrack comes from that much-maligned decade, the ’80s.  The 12″ collection does what it says on the tin – collects extended 12″ remixes of songs released in the eighties.  As I type, I have Pete Wylie’s ‘Tribal Mix’ of Sinful playing in the background and very fine it is too.

The 12″ remix was very much an eighties thing, and I was an absolute sucker for it at the time – I must have bought more singles on 12″ vinyl than on 7″ – just to get the extra tracks and the remixes.  Some were great – notably the Trevor Horn remixes of the Frankie stuff – and some were pretty awful (the Langer/Winstanley extended mixes of Costello’s stuff spring to mind).  But to inveterate collectors like myself, it was a great time to be buying singles.

Here’s Grace Jones, with Pull Up to the Bumper.  Not the extended version unfortunately, but very redolent of the era.  This couldn’t be more ’80s if it came with its pastel jacket sleeves rolled up and a pair of espadrilles on its sockless feet.  But it is still very good indeed.

>Welcome to the Working Week (again)!

24 April, 2010 Leave a comment

>Today’s soundtrack:  Nat ‘King’ Cole – The Unforgettable Nat King Cole

Right, well that’s week one out of the way – and I’m knackered!

It’s good to be back at it again and – touch wood – everything seems to be going fine so far.

Turned up at the office first thing on Monday morning, to find out that the bloke I’m taking over from was stranded overseas, caught up in the volcanic ash ‘incident’ that brought the country to a standstill last week.  Still, I was expected, and was rescued from reception, and shown to my office.

My office.  Oh yes.

Everything was there waiting for me – laptop, mobile phone, stapler, calculator, holepunch – you name it!  I found out where the coffee was, then settled down and got on with it.  Over the course of the week, I spent time with the team, met a few of the senior executives (at least those who were in the country) and started getting a feel for things.

And so far, I’m enjoying it – enjoying the challenge, the interaction with people, enjoying the fact I’m not stuck in the house by myself trawling the jobsites on the web.  And also, today, enjoying the fact that Saturday is ‘special’ again.  Even if I did have to do the weekly shop first thing…

Oh, and the prospect of a paypacket at the end of each month is rather appealing, as well.

That said, it’s still been a shock to the system – I’m sleeping like a baby, knackered the minute I pull on to the drive.  Luckily, Mrs W has always been there with a restorative G&T to soften the blow! (Oh, and each morning there’s been a fresh cup of coffee waiting for me as I’ve pulled into the car park as well).

Next week, it’s off to the main Head Office, than over to York to meet up with the boss, as my ‘induction’ meetings kick in.  Bring it on!

What with all the excitement of the new job, and the travel, there’s been little time to focus on the important issues of the week – like the fallout from the volcano, some of which seemed to find its way onto my car, despite a week of clear, blue skies (proving beyond doubt that clouds are made by aircraft) and the climax to the football season (ManYoo regaining the initiative, 4th a straight fight between Spurs and Citeh, Everton nowhere).

Oh, apparently there’s an election soon, too.  I’m very comfortable with who I’m not voting for – just need to find someone I can in all conscience vote for, now.

I’m still soundtracking the blog, of course – and today it’s my mum’s favourite, Nat ‘King’ Cole – he of the honeyed voice, delicate piano and marvellous choice of material.  I’d never have ever listened to this stuff when I was a lad, but with the benefit of age and wisdom, it’s possible to appreciate this music for what it is – beautifully crafted, played and sung.  He died ridiculously young – aged 45 – but is still one of the all time greats.

Here he is, performing ‘Nature Boy’.  Check out the guitar work as well – simply sublime!

Categories: Nat King Cole, work