Last weekend was a big David Bowie commemoration. We should have been celebrating his 74th birthday but instead, the world marked the fifth anniversary of his death.
I watched Lazarus, the musical that was one of Bowie’s final pieces of work, online, a recording of the London performance that I saw twice with our friend Helen, with Liesel joining us on one occasion. Liesel and I also saw Lazarus in Melbourne, and that seems a long time ago now.
And yes, it was just as enthralling for me the fourth time round.
Photos from TV screeens will never be as good nor as clear as those taken inside a theatre, of course. But you’re not supposed to take pictures in a theatre, apparently.
I stayed up late to watch A Bowie Celebration. This concert was put together by Bowie’s long-term piano player Mike Garson, and was shown online at 2am our time. Sadly, it was postponed for 24 hours, so I had to stay up late for a second night in a row, and that hasn’t happened for a long time. Actually, I grabbed a few hours kip before getting up, just in time, to enjoy three hours of wonderful and sometimes very moving music.
In real life of course, I would have run up to the stage and stolen the set list. Luckily, we can see the full set list here. Also in real life, Liesel would probably rather not let me run up to the stage!
It was good to see Ian Hunter perform his tribute to David Bowie, Dandy as well as All the Young Dudes and what’s scary crazy is, he’s 81 years old and still rocking and rolling. Many other Bowie alumni took part, including Tony Visconti (although we never saw him) and Rick Wakeman (confined to a very small box on the screen). Yungblud never worked with Bowie of course, and I think he was trying to do a Covid test on himself with the microphone.
[Added two weeks later] I just found a list of some of the best comments from the Chat that accompanied the show. I couldn’t keep up with all the comments, there were far too many participants.
‘I small pot’.
‘I got front row tickets’.
‘How do you mirror this show to TV?’
Mike Garson disappeared for one song: ‘Mike spilt coffee on his pants, changing now’.
‘Paid for a live concert, the energy ain’t there’.
‘I’m in space’.
‘The woman in front of me won’t sit down’.
Other than those two events, there were about twenty shows on radio to enjoy, BBC and elsewhere, never mind what was on TV. I’m still catching up of course, and what with a slight backlog of podcasts, it’s a good job we’re in lockdown and I don’t have to go to work! Always look on the bright side, as they say.
[10,000 words omitted]
Well, if Robert Heinlein can use that device in his novels, so can I in a blog. I could have written so much more about the David Bowie weekend but that’s for another place. Maybe.
The week was full of four letter words: rain, snow, cold, wind, dull, grey. Despite that, we did venture out a few times, but again, we confined ourselves to our own postcode.
The river was surprisingly low early in the week, we could even see the bricks that make up the weir. And our old friend the heron was sitting there wondering where all the water had gone.
But no need to panic. Within a couple of days, the river was as high as before, totally hiding the weir and covering the island. Anyway, our friend flew off, of course, and we next saw him standing on the grass. So here’s a bonus portrait of the heron.
One day, we’ll go along with some fishes in our pockets to feed him.
The larger volume of water just a couple of days later was enough to shift large bits of, if not whole, trees.
There’s a new lake in Wythenshawe Park.
A few seconds after taking this picture and putting my phone away, those two dogs had a really good time running through the puddle and shaking water over some other passers-by. A big puddle, yes, and the grass on both sides was under water too. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, oh no, we’ll have to turn round and go back the way we came.
The sentiment on the back of the van: seconded!
In other local news, as well as coffee this week, I bought some bagels from Salutem. Possibly the best bagels I’ve had since we were in Anchorage over two years ago. Anchorage: that city so well-known for its bagels.
The drizzle didn’t prevent me from walking to the GP for a quick visit. I certainly didn’t expect to see flamingoes, but there they were, two of them, large as life in somebody’s garden.
To be honest, I’m not sure they’re real life flamingoes, I couldn’t see a pond anywhere nearby.
Yes, it was only drizzling lightly, but the puddles in Sharston Road were out in force. You have to time it right as you walk on by.
I’ve always wondered, given that Manchester is famous for its rain, why is its drainage so bad? This should be the capital city of run-offs and storm drains.
The end of the week saw the start of the 19-day long Celtic Connections. Liesel and I have wanted to visit Glasgow for a while for this music festival, but obviously, not this year. Instead, we’ll enjoy it online, like everything else. But we’re certainly not alone in wanting to be able to see live music again, sometime.
One day this week, I poured out my breakfast cereal only to realise I’d finished off the milk in my first cup of tea. Fresh milk would be delivered later, so I was reluctant to open the emergency bottle of long-life milk. And there’s no way I was going to separate the Shreddies from the muesli and the blueberries, not to mention the Weetabix crumbs, and return all the cereal to the various correct containers. Only one thing for it. I poured on the last of the Christmas Baileys and had a very nice start to the day, thank you very much.
This week on Radio Northenden (newly updated website, go and have a look), we went back to school, had a few lessons and said thank you to our teachers. Catch up here.