Now as I may have previously mentioned I'm rather ambivalent as regards being tagged, though I've been known to indulge from time to time. It would be hard to refuse this one though, since it constitutes a twin assault from djkirkby and pixie (though presumably not acting in concert...that would be a bit weird). So I shall do it and make the most of rambling on about myself: let none of my ambivalence appear disrespectful to my two taggers, since it's flattering really.
So thank you to the aforementioned, though I shan't tag anyone else: anyone who wishes to do this one though, feel free to.
8 passions in my life
Art. Both the viewing/experiencing of, and also the making of. Finally, in contrast to when I spoke about this a few months ago, I'm starting to breathe a bit of life (only a bit, at the moment) into the seemingly long-since dormant corpse that is (or was) my own artwork.
Music: similar to above, this relates to the listening thereof (?), seeing in live performance, and also producing my own. Sporadically so at the moment, but unlike drawing and painting, I've never allowed this to stagnate for long periods of time.
Reading: no, not the place. Reading books. It's been less fiction and more history over the last 12 months since I first went to Berlin (yes the place), I feel the need to know about these things. Which serves as an explanation for my book list below, which looks a bit obsessive to say the least.
Languages: especially European ones. My love of the sounds and words spoken in other languages is in inverse proportion to my ability to speak them. I'm fascinated by the relationships between words in different languages. I'm a sucker for hearing foreign accents as well.
Cycling: I'm sure I've gone on about this often enough as it is.
Good whisky: single malt, especially Laphroiag. As a real connoisseur might say, "it's the shit."
Decent beer: similar to above (though not the same, obviously, or my liver would have packed in years ago).
An unrequieted one: I'm not saying any more, but see the point about languages.
8 things to do before I die
A total copout answer here, but more of the above. I was tempted to put "breathe in and out four times each" but that's even more of a copout. I'm stonewalling: for some reason this one doesn't present anything satisfactory. The other thing is, what if I don't do them before I die? That will mean I've lied or I've failed, even if I've had a damn good time trying. Yes, I know the whole point is probably to have a damn good time trying, but still I can't think of 8 things to put here that properly answer this question.
8 things I often say
You fucking tosser (usually under my breath since I want to stay alive for now)
I don't know/ I'm not sure
What/pardon/sorry? (see earlier posts about tinnitus)
That'll be them now (whenever the phone rings)
8 Books I read recently
The Great War For Civilisation by Robert Fisk
Ulli Haarburst's Novel of Roy Orbison in Clingfilm
My Summer of Love by Helen Cross
In Search of Adam by Caroline Smailes
Stasiland by Anna Funder
Rising '44 by Norman Davies
The Berlin Wall by Frederick Taylor
The Fall of Berlin by Anthony Read and David Fisher
8 songs that mean something to me
Oh bloody hell, where do I start with this? Another one which is difficult to answer but for a very different reason, i.e. there are way too many. I'll choose eight which aren't necessarily the most meaningful, or even the most meaningful right now, but still they answer the question.
Motherfucker=Redeemer by Godspeed You Black Emperor. An incredible, epic instrumental piece from an incredible, instrumental album by an incredible, instrumental band. I haven't listened to the album that this is from for a couple of years at least, it may well be time to rectify that. Intense and very moving stuff.
Take Me To The Other Side by Spacemen 3. First time I heard this was when I saw them in concert, and I was knocked for six: nearly twenty years later I've still not been to a better gig, and the song in question was an astonishing highlight. Relentless, druggy power-chords and drones: it really had a huge impact on me, and I was stone-cold sober when I saw them.
Jesus by The Velvet Underground. I could choose any of the songs on the first side of their third album. This is beautiful, quiet and has a heartbreakingly simple melody and lyric which gets me every time.
Genetic Transmission by SPK. Because like the album it's from (Leichenschrei), it used to scare the shit out of me and was unlike anything I'd previously heard at that point (early-mid eighties).
Come On In My Kitchen by Robert Johnson. Not sure how I could do this, or its effect on me, any justice.
Yoo Doo Right by Can. Not the first track I heard by them, but the one which instantly drew me in and the one I always come back to, for all sorts of reasons both musically and personally.
Fernando by Abba. Yes it does mean something to me, because as I've written previously, this was the first piece of music I heard, aged about three, in which I felt compelled to ask what the difference between the song and the band was: something which had never previously occurred to me. If we were to talk about an ABBA song that I really like though, that would have to be S.O.S.
Host Of Seraphim by Dead Can Dance. More breathtakingly beautiful stuff (and other such hyperbole). I was reminded of this earlier today: a friend of mine once came round, she was going through a difficult time and we were sat talking. I put this album on and she immediately burst into tears because she knew it and associated it with an even more difficult time. Oops.
Eight Qualities I Look For In A Friend
This might sound disingenuous but it feels quite cynical to list something along these lines. Yes there are obvious ones like sense of humour and so on but if I have to write a list then it feels like it's missing the point really. Sorry!