Monday, August 20, 2007

Home to Donegal - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Beltany Stone Circle, Raphoe, Co. Donegal - magical views shared with my children

A deep chat with Maura Logue over lunch in the craft village in Donegal Town

Lough Swilly at twilight - coming home...

Track of the Day

Atlantic City as performed in 2006 by Bruce Springsteen on his Live in Dublin with the Sessions Band record, bought by me today in Raphoe, Co. Donegal, returning from the Stone Circle

Well now, ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe ev'rything that dies someday comes back

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rings a Bell - today's Happiness Experiment entry

Sitting by the lapping water of Lough Corrib at Ballinduff Bay

Gardening (in Maud's front garden, with D)

The angelus ringing

Driving rain - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

The Burren - travelling across from Gort to Kinvara

Seeing Mark and Sadie Hand and family again (after two years) in Galway (at Maud's new home)

In driving rain, walking along the Flaggy Shore near New Quay, Co. Clare, as featured in Seamus Heaney's poem Post-script - there were indeed swans in the lake

Track of the Day from Galway

Danny Boy as interpreted by Christy Moore

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow

Monday, August 13, 2007

Joy to the World, All the Boys & Girls

I was called to the TV in a hotel room in Lahinch, Co. Clare, to hear about the sad departure of Tony Wilson to the Big Gig in the Sky. My memories and associations of him?...

Only encountered him once in the flesh - introducing the In The City conference three years ago at the ICA, London. It had all the classic Factory ingredients of music cross-fertilising with other arts and media; waving the Manchester music flag; and all being on the chaotic side, too many ingredients to fully bake.

The Lyceum, London: Joy Division supporting The Buzzcocks - one of the most embarrassing performances I've ever witnessed (only just behind Matt Lucas at the Comedy Store) - but embarrassing in a truly original way - little did I know...

It was Atmosphere which really enlightened me with regard to Tony's Factory - so here's a good juncture to tip the hat to Martin Hannett. The scene with the drum kit on the roof of the studio in '24 Hour Party People' captured his contribution fabulously.

Buying Pete Saville 12" covers in that little oasis in East Finchley, Alan's Records. Tony drew in and nurtured some wonderful creative talent around the big boys of Joy Division and Happy Mondays. His consistently extravagant praise of Shaun Ryder's lyric writing was admirable in its loyalty and provocation ...and, of course, passion.

And that pretty much summarises the fella - loyal (to his native town, to his Factoryfolk - like humouring Saville with his post-gig tickets to be proud of); provocative (the clip on Newsnight the other evening in Lahinch paying homage to The Third Man in a ferris wheel [the London Eye?] "And what did London give us? ...Chas and Dave!"); and passionate - a man who makes records where the beautiful sleeve costs more than the retail price of the record wears his heart on his sleeve. Enjoy the unknown pleasures, Tony, you deserve them.

East Clare - today's Happiness Experiment entry

Swimming in Lough Grainey near Faha in the east of Co. Clare with N - the whole lake to the two of us

Up first, reading in the morning sun in Maureen & Joe's garden in Faha, overlooking Lough Derg

Lunch outdoors in the sunshine of Coole Park, home of Lady Gregory where she welcomed Yeats, Shaw, O'Casey, Augustus John, Masefield et al

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Magnetic moments - today's Happiness Experiment entry

Playing in the pool with D - Lahinch, Co. Clare

Magnetic Music in Doolin - picked up records by Karan Casey, Kate Rusby and a live Christy from last year at the Point

Church bells in An Leacht

Quote of the Day: Tupac

D 10/08/07:
"I've got a two-pack" [lifts T-shirt] "Where's it gone!"