Top 10 of 2006: 10. The Feeling – Twelve Stops Then Home

10. The Feeling – Twelve Stops Then Home

This record comes and goes for me. Sometimes I think this is the greatest pop record mankind has ever created. Sometimes it’s unbearabe cheese. But it’s such a crazy attempt. So much so that it booted other, more consistent records off this list.


So they toured Australia and played to a less than full room apparently. And I got offered tickets and turned it down. A “the” band from the UK? No thanks. No one told me that they were fronted by a gay man who loves Supertramp.

So what we have here is an 80s teen pop record. It’s Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller etc…set to music. Lots of ‘baby’, geeky backing vocals, unrequited love and all manner of fun. Just like good classic teen pop, it’s musically complex…making it even funnier.

Just listen to Love It When You Call, the third, great single which has more chords and more catchy bits than Elton John and Kiki Dee’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Which is what sets this record apart; the sense of going for something, and pretty much nailing it.

The questions is, how long that something is going to last? Pop music isn’t supposed to have legs – it’s supposed to last one summer, one relationship, one moment. Which is why pop music continues to rule…no other type of music takes photos like pop music. So a handful of songs will live on – the stunning off kilter opener I Want You Now (so Cheap Trick) and Fill My Little World. And listening to a lot of XFM, they sometimes play it over the air and as tunes played occasionally on the radio, they sound great.

So I highly recommend this record still. Pop music at it’s sweet, unhealthy best.

Danny Yau
London

Working for the Clampdown

I’ve said goodbye to the carefree life and I’ve started again in the work force.

So I’m waking up early in the cold, foggy, plane stopping mornings and catching crowded tubes. But it’s great. A great job, a big change, and things are moving quite quickly. I’ve looked at a place and hopefully I’ll get it.

I’ve come into work at the Christmas season so there’s not a tremendous amount to do, and lots of long lunches. It’s tiring. So tiring that I fell asleep on the tube. I’m back at the same company I was working with 2 years ago, an I’m getting emails from spammers who’ve held onto my email all that time. But the people here are very nice.

So, I’m still in Balham, and will be over Christmas. I’m really looking forward to sleeping for a few days, and call a wrap to this huge year.

Have a happy holidays, everyone!
Danny
London

God bless Tudor houses, antique tables and billiards

So the arrival of Lisa and Kim has sparked off a big slog of tourist activity. Not that I laid too low before then.

Lisa and Kim at Buckingham Palace
l-r: Lisa and Kim at Buckingham Palace

For those tuning in late, Lisa and Kim are from Melbourne, Australia. We became fast friends in Paris, hung out in Spain and they’ve since been to all sorts of places, and have come back to London. What can I say about them. They’ve been keeping me entertained and making me miss Australia. They are pretty much on their return journey home, where I’m still going to be here, on my own for the holidays. In any event, it’s great to have the band back together for one last show.

Me at Abbey Road
Abbey Road

So I’m beginning to get the swing of swinging London. I feel like I’ve adjusted to the weather. It’s like swimming, just keep moving to keep warm. I’m more than fine getting around. I’ve gone back to giving people exact money and not rounding up or down to the nearest 5 cents. I know Debenhams from my Marks And Spencers.

Like I said, it’s all been a bit touristy these last few days. Palaces, parks, statues, towers, famous album covers and more. Kim took this fantastic photo of me at Trafalgar Square:

Me at Trafalgar Square
I’m lion down. Get it??

Guards in London Tower
The guards at London Tower really don’t move.

We also saw some theatre in the West End, an amazing performance of Chicago. In the foyer was a poster of Ashlee Simpson, who played Roxie but had since left. A shame. But it was amazing to see some real theatre.

It’s bittersweet though because after this weekend I rejoin the workforce and pretty much knuckle down for the holidays. Next step is to sort out banking and then getting a place, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Hope everyone’s doing well. If you haven’t gotten a postcard from me, it’s because I haven’t been manage to send even one yet.

Danny

Tourism

So my laptop has finally died. I will try not to descend into cliche with anecdotal details on the laptop from my salad days. Suffice to say it’s quite annoying.

I also start my new job in a week. I realised a flaw in my thinking. I deliberately packed very little for my backpacking. Now I have about 7 t-shirts to last me a year. And one towel. True bachelor living awaits me.

I have finally taken to being a tourist here. Wandered around all the usual – Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, some museum hopping and more. I also spent about an hour in Sister Ray, an indie record shop on Berwick Street, ie, the street on the cover of What’s the Story Morning Glory.

I’m completely undecided about what guitar to buy, although I guess a new laptop now takes priority. I want to get something weird, something not found in Australia.

I wish I had something more funny and interesting to say. I did see something called a ‘Dog Toilet’ today, which was basically a sand box in a park. That was pretty funny.

So overall it’s about a 7 out of 10. It’s going to be a boring Xmas of working. And I realise that January here will be quite different to the ones in Australia. No laid back afternoons in a beer garden, no Big Day Out and side shows to round out the month. Just another, normal, everyday month.

Danny
London
(future blogs may be scanned from handwriting)

Things I miss about Australia. Part 1

1. Tim Tams


I used to have a filing cabinet. It was, however, 2006, and I for one was racing head first into a paperless society. I’m trying to think of what was in it. Some manuals I was given from someone who did part of my job once. Older documents that was left from the person who once owned the filing cabinet, Lots and lots of those manilla folder like things that held the paper.

One day I had the brilliant, brilliant idea to chuck most of it out, put all the folders into the top drawer of the filing cabinet, and put snacks into the bottom drawer. And it was usually Tim Tams. If you are not Australian, you might not know them. They are a chocolate wafer biscuit with a chocolate cream centre all in a chocolate coating. They are yum.

Every now and again, you could get Tim Tams for $1.99, on special. Much better than when I had a craving and I bought a pack from the petrol station on Enmore road for $4.50. My favourite was the double coat chocolate ones.

I remember once, on Sunrise, there was some controversy about Tim Tams. I think it had to do with the number of Tim Tams in a pack, and how the double coat ones were two less than normal ones. Well, someone who worked for Arnotts wrote in to Sunrise and told us all it was cos the double coat ones were just plain thicker and less fit in a pack.

I remember when in high school, a bunch of us used to have video nights. This was before we had girlfriends. It was a grand tradition. We’d all go to someone’s house, get lots and lots of videos we would not get through, have pizza and snacks. The older we got, the harder these nights got to organise. I saw lots of great films cos we would often take a punt on things. But anyway, I remember one time, and I still remember this clearly, we introduced Demi to drinking milk through a Tim Tam. I remember his look of hesitation when he started, and the look of joy on his face when the milk hit. It also works with tea but the Tim Tam self destructs quite quickly.

(If you somehow have access to Tim Tams but have not tried to drink milk, tea or coffee through it, here’s what you do: Get a Tim Tam. Get yourself a beverage. Now, bite the tiniest bit off both ends so the wafer shows through. Just a tiny bit. Basically, circumcise the biscuit with your teeth. Just do it. You’ll thank me. Then, holding the middle of the Tim Tam, use the now open ended Tim Tam as a straw. This only works once so be prepared to scarf down the Tim Tam and also it could get a bit messy, so have tissues ready.)

So I’m missing Tim Tams. Especially the Double Coat. And the caramel centre. The White chocolate ones are ok. I usually love white chocolate but the scientists at Arnotts are yet tp crack the code on that one. And the original is also great.

Marianne tells me I can get Tim Tams at Tesco and it wont cost too much. I’m going to go check it out tomorrow.

Danny
London

Blessed

Look, I know optimism and happiness is not cool.

Let me digress. One day, many moons ago, Warwick at Greville was dealing with a customer who didn’t like Paul McCartney. I’ll paraphrase, but our anti-McCartney-ist, let’s call him John…well John just thought Macca was a bit of a lightweight. He’s pop waste. Especially Wings. Where’s the balls? Where’s the passion? Compared to Lennon’s best solo work, which came roaring like fire from the stomach and the heart, Macca was a wet blanket.

To which Warwick responded: It’s not his fault he lived a blessed life.

Which is true. He did. He was the victim of divorce, sure, but he took it in his stride. He was in a great band, made millions, laughed his way through it, married early, very little baggage and didn’t find religion. Would you want him to write and sing something like ‘Mother’? No. So he has his detractors but he’s happier than the lot of us. Yes, it means he churns out mundane work sometimes, but the guy’s blessed, what do you expect?

So I haven’t made McCartney’s millions, but I’m feeling pretty blessed. I sat today in Kensington Gardens, drinking a coffee and thinking about Peter Pan (it’s set in that park). And thinking, for the first time ever, that things have turned out kind of all right for me overall. And any time anyone has ever said to me “You’ll be fine”, I’ve always brushed off, but they are right.

Again, let me digress. I remember something Judie said…”It’s not like you’re whole life is going to fall apart because you haven’t booked a hostel for one night. Like, I lost everything in my life and then I died because I didn’t book a hostel for one night.”

Anyway that’s a long ramble into what I want to say, which is I’ve had a good life. I really have.

I met someone today who knew someone I used to know. Who passed away, and who I miss dearly. I mumbled and stumbled my way through the conversation. And yeah, there are down times. Things go wrong. But I feel like I’ve made so many right moves. Like every job I’ve left there has been mixed feelings, but it always ends up that I left at the right time. I’ve made more right choices then wrong choices. Even when I’ve been off course, something there knocks me back on it.

So I followed my heart out of Australia. Then followed it Spain, which led me to London, which is exactly where I need to be right now. I feel like it’s coming together, and the future is bright. And I look back, and I have no complaints. And few regrets.

I don’t know what you think of Wings. It could be the self indulgent ramble of someone happier than you. A boring tirade that is without heart, fire or balls. Four colours, no edges. That’s fine. Whatever makes you happy, I guess. But it’s not my fault.

(it’s late, I ramble. I prefer McCartney over Lennon. Superman over Batman. Brandon over Dylan.)

Danny
London

Dan-archy in the UK

(I wish I could take credit for the dad joke that is the title of this blog, but I cannot. It belongs to Adrian)

So I left Paris for London and I’ve been here a few days now. I’m staying with Marianne and Tim. They have been lovely to me.

I’m not writing much because I already feel I’m living here rather than adventuring here. I haven’t done many tourist things. Have not been to Abbey Road. Have not seen Big Ben or the London Eye. I did find the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.

Peter Pan statue, Kensington

The boy who wouldn’t grow up (and a statue of Peter Pan)

I’ve gone for a few jobs and it looks like I might have gotten a good one. Been going out a little but mainly trying to get settled. Trying to figure out which neighbourhood to live in.

There’s more to write but I’ll do it more later. This is just a little update for those who are wondering.

Look Cath, no swearing at all.

Danny