Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Northern Sky

You know this new iRiver thing is derailing my "weblog" titling (someone has to pretentiously give the full name and it might as well be me, I still put an apostrophe at the front of 'phone). Everything's a song title these days.

Anyhow, it is now officially Summertime, the height of the cotton and jumpiness of the fish 'round here confirms it, the evenings are lighter, and 'oop' here in 'the Northcountry' as them 'doon' there in 'the Smoke' like to say, this has translated into beautiful skies, (the most beautiful skies, as a matter of fact, they go on forever...) that you can get for free and are better than most of the current telly.

Now, I'll wager there's a million and one weblogs about this in the UK at the mo, but I don't care because it's marvellous, and it'll be even better when I've worked out exactly when I should be sleeping (does this get fiddlier with age?) and yesterday I had my first run since a rather embarrassing fall on the stairs a couple of weeks back that meant I hurt my ribs too much to even think about deep breathing without the aid of paracetemol.

Don't run in-doors in socks. It bears repeating. The rule is barefoot or shoes- the "oh, just a nice wool-nylon mix foot covering for warmth" compromise can be deadly if you decide to just nip up to the study for something without sufficient thought.

Anyhow, the run was fabulous, really cleared what we'll euphemistically call the 'cobwebs', because you don't want to visualise what I really coughed up from my lungs after a fortnight without a jog. Quite why you're trying to picture it in all its sticky, sickly-coloured, globular horror now is beyond me.

You're a bit contrary, aren't you?

Thanks for reading.

Ooh, while I'm here... I went to the most amazing discount place in the West Midlands at the weekend, new wool cashmere coat, casual jacket, shirt, Max Bygraves biography (just because, alright), Arnold Brown (genius!) single cassette in double cassette packing (good old Laughing Stock, they used to love doing that), and the following DVDs- the complete Robin of Sherwood series 3 (2 volumes), The Singing Ringing Tree, The Goodies... At Last, Press Gang (series 1), A Very Peculiar Practice (series 1), and The Complete Ripping Yarns. The DVDs were all between £1.99 and £7.99, and there were a fair number of other Network archive TV DVDs there too. I wonder if that means they're making next to no money at all and can't shift most of these splendid things anywhere else? I hope not.

If you're nearish-by, I'll sort you out the name and location of the place, because it was top, and should still be so even after my raiding party, particularly if you never quite got around to buying the Sykes, Star Cops, Hazell, Public Eye and Special Branch DVDs a while back and think you might want to.

I know the sadness of my audience. I think I may be responsible for some of it.

In sketch show news, I'm just completing my demo of episode 3 which (for my particularly sad audience members) includes a mention of Gabrielle Drake in lycra in one sketch that still makes me hoot aloud even though I wrote it- a rare thing, that.
Her brother wrote the lovely title song for this post that I suspect will be today's soundtrack now.


Stuart Douglas said...

I'm really starting to suspect you are me, now that you've added a fondness for Nick Drake to your enromously tasteful cultural resume. After one of his songs appeared on some advert which I never saw, I used to get quite arsey if anyone suggested I was a recent convert, to the extent of threatening to go home and get my dog-eared vinyl box set - from before the out-takes album was included! - until Julie pointed out just how arsey that was. Now I just glower and feign indifference. In intend to do the same when Blakes 7 resurfaces and prvoes very popular...

{neat segue}

...with star, Michael Praed, of Robin of Sherwood fame. I noticed the other day that RoS was seven pound a season on Amazon, and the Sweeney was down to £40 for the complete box set, which suggests either Network are having an unexpected clearance or are in danger of going down the swanee and need some money fast. I hope it's the former, as my off-air copies of Sykes could do with replacement by nice shiny remastered DVDS. Plus I still have hopes of some kind of TV cops compilation of the best of the surviving Dixon and Z-Cars.

IZP said...

Well you being me might explain your ability to tolerate my short stories, anyhow.

I came to Nick Drake through the Way to Blue compilation and from there to the proper albums a few years ago, though I don't know if it was long enough ago for me not to be a lousy recent in-comer.

T'were the early '90s but you know anyone who was a bit maudlin in the 70s can easily beat that (I think for me maudlin properly kicks in around '81).

I wish a proper Z Cars compilation was out. I watched a bunch of the 70s shows at the Beeb a few years back looking for good Matthew Corbett and Geoffrey Hayes clips, oh the glamour. They stood up much better than popular myth (60s is always best in these things I find) oh and my theory that Patsy Kensit was a phenomenonal child actress who then sadly never got much better (largely based on my memory of her scaring the heck out of me in The Legend of King Arthur as a little un) was justified by her ep of that. Brilliant for an eight year old, merely adequate any later.

I can't see a Z Cars release from Network at the mo though, given the company's current tie-up with ITV archive. I do heartily approve of the label though (Scully! For me to own! Surely, this is impossible?) but I do worry about some occasionally shoddy mastering- the audio synch and noise problems etc on the Jack Rosenthal set was a real crying shame.

I always think it's a shame there's none of the first season Dixon with Billie Whitelaw left myself (she pretends she was never in it and was 'discovered' for more serious stuff in her autobiog), I'd swap any of season one for The Rotten Apple, though I do rather enjoy The Roaring Boy.

I'd missed that Michael Praed was in this audio B7 (Daniela Nardini, let me not see you, so that in my head you're still the Anna you were, and I won't imagine you maundering on like you did in the first half of This Life plus 10. I didn't see the second half).
It's very cannily cast to ensure members of half a dozen fandoms pick up at least one copy for signing at trestle tables in hotel function rooms, isn't it?

Stuart Douglas said...

1981 sounds about right, maybe a year or two later but no futther than that - although clearly coming to Drake after Way to Blue is *way* too late (see what I did there - I could be a writer too, if I wanted).

I've only ever seen half a dozen or so Z-Cars and about the same Dixons (not counting ones I saw in my long-disappeared youth) but Z-Cars really does hold up well. I've got a fairly poor quality copy of The Rotten Apple and it's not a huge favourite IIRC, although Pound of Flesh is much better.

As for B7 - yes indeed, it's almost as though they thought about just that consideration in advance :)