Have spent any half hour I can muster this past week preparing the ground for veggies. It's hellish work (we suffer from the blight of brambles) but is incredibly satisfying. The earth at the bottom of our garden is fantastic - heavy & rich & almost black in colour, with good drainage and plenty of sunshine now we've cut the neighbours' enormous trees back a bit. Last year, it yielded bumper crops of potatoes, giant leeks, hundreds of thousands of supersweet peas, french beans, endless salads of every possible variety - even sweetcorn - and only now am i coming to the end of the cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli, all of which is still growing well in the patch beyond the giant yew tree.
At the risk of going all Monty on your asses, there's just something about it - the picking of your own homegrown food, knowing it's absolutely 100% pure and fresh and chemical free, and that the hard toil from the previous spring was so worth it. This year, I'm putting in spuds (Maris Piper this time, along with some chitted leftovers from last year's crop), carrots, parsnips, more peas - they're like candy! - garlic, red onions and I may give the butternut squash another go (sadly last year's crop was flooded out). So, a bit more digging and composting and sewing and planting to go, then it's the watering-wait til shoots appear...(green)fingers crossed!
The weekend was an amusing one; my first real attempt at DJing - y'know, of the 'Getting P*ssed People to Dance at Parties' variety? The friend who's birthday it was, and who asked me, said she used to listen to the Back Room* and loved the music, so I figured I'd play a load of 90s indie (with her being 30something), throw in the odd rave reference, and then mix the rest up with a selection of hip hop, current indie/rock/pop and the occasional grunge number. Think along the Stone Roses/Prodigy/Dizzee/Beck/Smiths/Stevie Wonder etc etc lines. (Aside: HA! I sound like i'm trying to sound like I knew what I was doing - double HA!!)
As the birthday girl had also been a fan of local nightclub 'The Academy' in the late 90s, I asked the lovely Nicola J - fellow former EnergyFM DJ - to join me, as she's a whiz on the ole dance tracks and used to DJ regularly at a nightclub, so had a better idea of this malarky than your ginger protagonist.
So, spent an hour or so raiding the shelves & shelves & shelves of CDs and put together two or three small boxes of 'favourites' for the night, which was like a trip down MusicMemoryLane in itself, and I was quite confident that one - or maybe even two! - tracks might be well received. How wrong I was...!
COULD WE GET THE FECKERS TO DANCE?? Could we feck! we tried everything... from Pulp to Primal Scream, Jackson Five to Justin Timberlake, Madonna to Britney, Gorillaz to Gomez - even threw on the Soul Wax mix of Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 and Destiny's Child - genius! but no. they stood, and they drank, and they talked. The only songs they shifted their feet to were Groove Is In The Heart, Thriller and Prodigy's Breathe...and even then, their hearts clearly weren't in it. Pah!
Still, if you do need a pair of lady DJs to, er, stand in a corner and play music you may or may not enjoy, do feel free to drop me a note...we're enthusiastic if nothing else!
I may just go back to my veggie patch ;)
In the meantime though, I'll leave you with the latest video from the superb Richard Swift:
Richard Swift - Lady Luck
*The Back Room was the lidl indie radio show i used to present..thems were the times *sigh*! www.myspace.com/thebackroomsessions