I maybe climbing on rainbows

So, I might as well be honest.

This weekend has been kind of crappy. And I can’t quite put my finger on it. Just general bottled up frustrations. Crappy Australia Day. Work is very busy. Can’t seem to find a better place to live. Worried about this. Worried about that. Getting angry just looking at the face of strangers. Big existential doubts. Missing people. And places. And travelling. It just led to a low ebb this week.

Which is the best time to write, really.

I spent some time this weekend just wandering around. I’ve got my favourite walk down pat. Start at Starbucks on Kensington Church Street. Buy a coffee (Grande Latte) and a muffin (Classic Blueberry usually, although yesterday I got Chocolate Chip). Walk past Kensington Palace, home of Princess Di, into Kensington Gardens past the high school sports teams and curse myself for getting that stupid muffin, as muffins are not really designed to be one handed meals.

Take a slight detour past the pond and use the bin there to throw away the muffin cup paper squiggly wrapping thing and the paper bag. Light up a cigarette and both coffee and smoke should be done by the time you reach the bins and exit near Lancaster Gate. From here you can trundle on for twenty or so minutes to Soho or jump on the tube.

So nothing frustrates me more than nothing. I’m supposed to be writing but I haven’t really been in the mood and my writing space is a bit blergh. I need some clothes but I don’t know what to get. I’ve got all these half things that I’m putting off, waiting for something I don’t know.

Anyway, all this rambling IS leading somewhere. It sets up quite nicely the mood I was in as I got to Soho today, nominally to look for a present for a friend. And I remembered that since 16 I had an outlet for my stress, my frustrations, my creative energies and my whimsy.

So I bought a £200 guitar.

It’s a ¾ sized Art and Lutherie, a Canadian company. It’s blue, making it look both odd and a bit like a toy. I was trying to think of something small and blue to name it after and I’ve pretty much settled to the emotionally crippled, manic depressive that is Charlie Brown.

Got out the old notepad today and I pretty much finished one song and got most of the way through a second. And it feels good. Also managed to do some recording on Garage Band. Exciting is not the word I would use to describe it, more just comfortable. I should have gotten one earlier. Everyone needs a talisman, or a security blanket.

I’m going to go work out the chords to Bread’s Make It With You now.

Charlie Brown
Meet Charlie Brown


Danny

UPDATED: 31st Jan

Ha. Sometimes I surprise myself with my own multi-layered genius. The first and most famous security blanket of them all belongs to Linus van Pelt, also from Peanuts. How apt that mine is named after another ‘Peanut’. What do you mean you don’t see how funny that is?

A very flickr upate 2

I am the proud owner of a new Macbook. I got a white one, because black just looked like a PC. So goodbye old Dell crazy thing, with your angry screen. I’m up to date with things like Messenger and Skype too. Most importantly, I can finally upload some of the photos I’ve taken.

A Bahlam Christmas

Tim, who along with Marianne were my first hosts in London. He is putting together the Christmas tree I got to know very well.

Butlers

Emily, and her store. We worked together at Warners and now both find ourselves in London in the same point in our lives. I will have big news about her soon, but so far we have been loving Wagamamas.

Nick and Dave again

Nick and Dave, last seen in Paris, chilling on the couch. They crashed with me for a few days before Dave returned to Canada and Nick slowly makes his way to Sydney of all places.

Tate Modern Super Slide

Watching myself disappear

A couple of photos from the tremendous Tate Modern museum. I know Nick found it frustrating, as did I in many places. But I loved the wankery of it, the art as ideas only part. I wont wank on, but the first shot is of the series of slides that you can go on in the main entrance hall. The second in a series of automatic doors made of mirrors.

Simon's birhday

Back in Paris again for Simon’s birthday. We actually ran into eachother in the streets on Monmartre, near the Sacre Coeur, my spiritual heart of Paris. From left to right there’s Adam, Simon’s brother who’s apartment this photo was taken. Chris, who Simon met at a tourist office when travelling through Europe last. Simon sits next to Joan, his mum who along with Adam treated her to this trip. Far right, Swedish Pete, who along with Swedish Tom (not pictured) joined a random crew for a big random night.

Snow mobile

It's like a blank page

Finally, it snowed in London as January faded. It was such a wonderful thing, this blanket of magic light that covered everything, put everyone in a good mood and made us amazed at the world we lived in. Or at least it did for me. 1) The car outside the building I live in. 2) Em and the snowman that was a group effort amongst the office staff.


Hopefully it wont be that long before another photo update.

It’s snowing! It’s snowing!

Well it did. Last night. I was snowing.

I did my usual zombie wake up routine, looked out the window and did a double take.

Cars are covered in white. People are still driving them.

People are scraping them off surfaces into snowballs and walking off with a big smile, devious snowball filled schemes running through their minds.

I tell you, I almost skipped through the streets.

Of all the things that make me feel like not working, snow is the best one (I can think of right now).

Danny
London

UPDATED

The day is ending. Hopefully it will snow again.

People were in a great mood today. People told me of their snow memories. A little girl in starbacks was jumping up and down and looking out the window, amazed at the sky.

It was great leveller.

Em made a snowman. We all took photos. I went for a wander through the gardens.

It made for a lovely day, and for such a simple reason. A reminder that I am living in an amazing world.

Danny

Hate-triotism.

Or when I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver.

When did Racism become taboo? Why are we so embarrassed by the fact that there are racists in the world, living amongst us? Why can’t we admit there is a problem.

Australia has flaired up with a debate on ‘nationalism’, which is basically another word for racism. Partiotism is also another word for racism.

The debate revolves around the Sydney Big Day Out Festival discouraging people from bringing Australian Flags into the festival. They point to the violence and racism of last year’s festival, caused by people using the Australian flag as a symbol fo superiority and elitism.

How can I put this bluntly? People with the flag were breaking the noses of people who didn’t.

Australia has been on a downhill slide for a long time. I remember Pauline. The Cronulla Riots. This. Someone could write a fascinating book about the history of racial intolerance in Australia. The White Australia Policy. Villawood. One Nation. Her track record is embarrassing. A lost beacon of the white western world stuck in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve moved out of Australia. For many reasons. I love a lot about Australia. It’s culture, it’s weather, it’s foods, it’s natural beauty. But I don’t miss the people, in general. There is something very wrong there, that something as terrible as the Cronulla Riots can flair up, but we are told it was not an act of racism.

God forbid we admit our problems and deal with it. Instead we put the monster asleep until it wakes again. And it will by a 2 dollar shop Australian Flag when it does.

So why take the flags away at all, if it’s so bad? Because something has to be done and our leaders are either unwilling – or even scarier – unsupportive.

For me, my view of Australia is when I look over Sydney’s Darling Harbour, when I see the some what tacky attempts of modernity, the open air, the beautiful water, and that mad mix of culture. We are right below Asia, we have a strong continental European community, and we are a bright, vibrant diverse face. We are multi-cultural.

Our leaders. I don’t know what they see when they look out, but I don’t think we see the same thing. I really don’t understand how being Australian can be anything but a mix bag of of the many cultures that makes us up.

I’m not missing Australia today. I’m feeling quite embarrassed about being Australian, just days before my first Australia Day abroad in twenty odd years. And I don’t see it getting better.

Little Things: Part 1

So, allow me to tell you what really sux.

It’s the little things that I can’t share. Either you had to be there with me, or the people with me now are still getting to know me and don’t get how interesting I find little funny things.

Then I remembered I had a blog, and I had if you are going to be excluding and indulgent, then there is no better place for it.

1) The song ‘Up the Junction’ by Squeeze. I love this song. I remember sitting in the Town Hall Hotle in Melbourne after a gig and a friend with a guitar played this song and it just blew my mind.

Cool thing is he first line of the song mentions Clapham, a suburb I’ve spent a lot of time in now that I’m in London.

How great is that? See how indulgent and uninteresting this all is?

Be excited for me please. And track down this song.

2) My email address has ‘Baker St’ in it. Yes, it’s a Sherlock Holmes thing, but also a Gerry Rafferty thing, with his seminal song Baker Street. I put this on a Yacht Rock compilation for friends recently. It makes me laugh even now.

3) I wrote a story once about a character named William Miller. The name came from discussions with my friend Sophie about a good name for me if I decdied to change it to play music. We decided on William Miller because it was a combination of country artists last names – Hank Williams, Lucinda Williams, Victoria Williams, Rhett Miller, Lisa Miller, Buddy Miller. We later realised it was also the name of the main character in the movie Almost Famous.

So at Portobello Road markets on Sunday I was sifting through t-shirts and found one that said “Bill D. Miller – State Senator”. I bought it immediately. It was pretty weird ok?

Okay, that saves me boring people in person for a little while at least.

Danny
London

Like the warmth of the sun…

It’s been a while since a proper update. Here we go.

Emily has arrived in London. There was a golden year there when we worked at Warners and we used to joke around. Being back at Warners and having her around, it feels both comfortable and frighteningly familiar. Even the desks and the atmosphere are kind of 2003.

We went to great New Years party that was as random as it was fun. The highlight was at 5am, when we had no idea how to get home and out of nowhere the clouds parted and provided us with a cab.

Since then work has definitely kicked into gear. Been spending a lot of time at work but that is fine, it’s keeping me occupied. I’m living 5 minutes from the office so I can go home for lunch, and sleep in til the absolute last minute.

I have been having a few sleepless nights. But I’m definitely keeping busy. Meeting lots of people, going to drinks and parties, but not many gigs yet. I have tickets to the Fratellis and Ash at the moment. The weather has been quite mild and if anything negative has to be said about the whole thing, it’s that it already feels quite like a normal life.

I miss the travelling quite a bit especially now it’s warmed up. Had a long chat with Adrian and he helped me realise that maybe staying in London for the next three years or whatever may actually be a worse case scenario. And I can’t forget Europe is just across the water. To that end, this morning, I booked a Eurostar to Paris and will stay the weekend. I love Paris.

Otherwise London has been lovely to me. I’m in Kensington and on Sundays I walk through Hyde Park into Soho. I’ve been gawking at guitars and MacBooks. Yesterday I finally went to the Tate Modern, which I can only describe as breathless. Photos when I get my new laptop, don’t you worry.

I’ve also decided to explore British culture more, now that I’m hear. I re-read the last Harry Potter, and started on a John Peel biography. I’ve been watching This Life. Listening to the radio. Getting into the vibe. I have lots of books I will finally read – Trainspotting, Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, some Sherlock Holmes.

Today I’m at work, trying not to drown in it. My feet hurt from walking. But it’s getting better all the time.

Danny
London