Sunday, December 26, 2021

Another Plan Gone Wrong

I'm pretty sure no-one wants to hear another Christmas song for at least the next eleven and a half months so the rest of the ragtaggle collection I've scrubbed together is going to have to gather dust until next year. I did take a brief look at New Year songs but the general standard there makes Christmas songs look like touchstones of cultural import by comparison, so that's not happening.

Then I came up with a clever plan to take a picture of one of the presents Mrs. Bhagpuss gave me yesterday, a vinyl 45 still in its sealed shrink-wrap, mounted and framed. It's Wet Leg's Chaise Longue and I already have it hanging on the wall above my monitor, where I can glance up and see it any time I want.

It seemed quite deliciously ironic, given some of the snarky comments I've made about vinyl recently, that this should be one of my favorite gifts this year, along with a tee-shirt featuring Bean from Disenchantment, because of course that's exactly the sort of thing I should be wearing in my sixties, along with my Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale ones. I thought I might make some self-deprecatory capital out of that.

Unfortunately, the camera on my Kindle Fire is bloody terrible, my phone has a flickering screen and I really don't have the time or energy to charge up the digital camera that I haven't had out of the box for about three years. I tried taking some shots with the Kindle but you can barely make out the frame let alone see what's inside. I guess I should think about buying a new phone.

Another present I received, at my request this time, was the little 33 1/3 book by Darran Anderson on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson, the album I learned earlier this year to be the sonic inspiration for the Arctic Monkeys' Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. I suppose I could have asked for the album itself but I really wanted to read the book, which is supposed to be more of a biography of Serge than just a "how it was made" on the album.


It's an excuse to slap one of the songs up here, anyway. I also got an Auteur de Lucie CD, so I don't see why we shouldn't have a little bit of a French interlude. Pourquoi non, hein?

That tiny moment of madness is Sagrada Familia, which of course is in Barcelona, just to confuse matters. I've been there several times. I climbed all the way up inside the spires once. I wonder if they still let you do that? I doubt it. I was surprised they let me do it then.

I'd love to go again but it seems ever less likely. These last two years mark the longest time since I was too young to read that I've not left the country at least once. Currently we're booked to fly to Bilbao at the end of May but I've already shifted that flight four or five times and I'm fully expecting to have to move it again.

I think if there's one thing we've all learned of late it's not to make any plans we're not prepared to change. The future won't be dictated to.

Oh, look! This has turned into a New Year post after all and it's still Christmas! See what I mean about making plans? 

At least there weren't any New Year's songs. I got that part right, anyway.


  1. We were at Sagrada Familia about three years ago, and we couldn't go all the way to the top then, just about halfway.

    I don't know whether they closed the spires for good though, or if it just was due to the ongoing construction work (which doesn't really seem like it will ever be finished, does it?).

    Still a fascinating place. When I first saw it from the outside I got serious Final Fantasy vibes. I'd had no idea it looked this...well...fantasy-like.

    1. Yes, I'm so familiar with it now it doesn't have the same effect as it once did but it's always a little bit trippy when you come out of the metro station and see this bizarre fairy-tale apparition right in the middle of some fairly run-of-the-mill city blocks.

      As for finishing it, I wonder if there's even the intention any more? It's almost part of the draw, that it's always in flux. I really like the new part they added in the 80s or 90s, even though it looks nothing like Gaudi's vision. I'd like to imagine more and more towers and buttresses being added until the whole thing acts as a kind of architectural history lesson going back centuries.


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