Archives for August 2011

Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach...

Simon Mayo | 08:49 UK time, Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Well that was a little better. A relatively normal night, with most of it spent in the land of nod I am glad to report. I had started to wonder if every night was going to be spent, fruitlessly, counting backwards from 500 in twos. Or other routines vaguely remembered over the years. Anyway, a hot bath and my own bed did the trick. Oh yes, and a night out with the Drivetime team helped. Nigel had found a quite wicked Mexican restaurant and we ate and ate as more and more extraordinary dishes arrived. Then some aged tequila arrived and sat imperiously at the head of the table. Apparently it was great but your host felt that a tequila-fuelled sleep was no help in the long run. That, and driving home. So it was left to the rest of the team to do it justice. The great thing about eating with Nigel is that he orders for everybody and you just take what arrives. I'm thinking of asking him to move in with us.
And wasn't Ryan Adams wonderful? Quiet, thoughtful and wonderful tunes. His Iron Maiden cover was terrific-even the Maiden fans said so. It sets up the End of Summer Mosh today so hold on to your air-guitar (doubtful bloggers can take refuge in the knowledge that our mosh-spectaculars will rest till Christmas).
And on the oldies, I think we should do the END OF SUMMER/END OF HOLIDAYS theme which some of you were blogging about anyway. Last day of August seems the right time to me, so lets serenade the end of summer with some great tunes.
Have an inspiring and reassuring Wednesday, see you after 5.

Just nudge me

Simon Mayo | 08:37 UK time, Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The hotel room is dark, child 3 is reading through the crack in the curtains and Mrs M slumbers. After the worst night in history (can I do the show on one hours sleep?) this will be an interesting day.
I have been compering at the Greenbelt festival in Cheltenham and thought a hotel for the family would work just fine but with all the snuffles and crashes and snoring and snuffling and rampant insomnia things haven't worked out the way I was planning. Which is a shame as last night was a fine evening of Kate Rusby, Ron Sexsmith, The Unthanks and Mavis Staples. The Grammy winning gospel and soul legend was on terrific form and, at 72, an inspiration. Her older sister is one of the backing singers! So that part of the night worked well, it was just what came later that was a trial.
So with windows down and Ken Bruce up loud, I shall wend my way southerly with the prospect of Ryan Adams playing today. He has a great new album out and he'll prove it to you after 6.
And for the musical challenge I think we should take inspiration from today's report that Britain's RIVERS are in the best shape they've been in ages. Otter, salmon and a host of wild life are returning in great numbers. Some rivers that were not much better than sewers, are now teeming with life. So RIVERS and its contents please and jolly fine it'll be too.
Have a wide-awake and stimulating Tuesday, see you after 5.

Moving slowly...

Simon Mayo | 08:52 UK time, Friday, 26 August 2011

Bleary eyes, achey head. Bad night, back to bed. I'm mystified really, I can't understand it. We weren't celebrating, commiserating or even thinking really, which I think makes it just a random attack of the remember-you-can't-do-this-anymore bug. Or maybe it's Nige's fault? That curry last night was something else, totally recommended. Rebecca assures me that the recipes aren't so tricky as you might think and make you feel good too. I feel a purchase coming on.
The Autumn feel continues today I feel as I have just returned from another walk around the estate, going anti-clockwise this time. For the curious, this takes 11 seconds, circumnavigating the shed, a trampoline and the fox poo. The groundsman has clearly not been attending to his job properly-the grass is clearly a few millimetres too long. Words will be had.
So, with apologies to Scottish bloggers, the Bank Holiday weekend dawns. Yesterday was spent hunting for tents and sleeping bags in the loft. By and large, I found Christmas decorations and old clothes. This will not work as camping gear I'm told by the family, who want me to look again. Or maybe they can look themselves maybe.
No movie show yet, that returns next week so it's just the mighty ARF to handle and I'm really looking forward to it. Get that tune in for the 5 o'clock moment and the crown might be yours.
Have a clear-headed and pain-free Friday, see you after 5.

Mellow and fruitful

Simon Mayo | 08:57 UK time, Thursday, 25 August 2011

Good morning bloggers, here we are again with a lovely Thursday dawning. Pretty wet and gloomy here. In fact a quick stroll around the estate reveals it to be Autumn already. And it's not just the damp, the nip in the air or turning leaves. I know this because I have a back to school feeling. I might be 52 (I remembered in the end) but come the end of August and the start of September, I get the butterflies associated with a new school year. This might be because I attended many different schools over the years and really didn't look forward to going back but it is the one moment that I remember my age and give thanks. I remember I don't need to try on my uniform or cover my text books (did anyone else do that? I used wall paper and my dad recommended brown paper but I don't recall passing on that skill (Oh the shame) and feel better.

Anyway it's all fine because I love Autumn as the very finest of times. A little Indian summer or maybe its offspring the St Luke's Little Summer and September is the best. And it's my birthday but that is irrelevant I assure you. If yours is a GCSE house, I hope all is a well with you and yours. Can be a tough one. Here's to the right letters in the right order.

Top show today with more Confessions and more tickets to Hyde Park. And Nige offers (if I remember correctly) a Superfood Berry and curry type dish which sounds bizarre in the extreme but all will be well. In fact curry is a good topic today as the owner of a Midlands restaurant is laying claim to serving up Britain's hottest curry. It's called the Inferno and uses the naga chilli which is usually considered too hot for UK use. In fact if you finish this curry, you don't have to pay. It's available in beef , chicken or lamb, as if that makes a difference. So let's do a SPICE theme and get in the mood for a warmish evening.
So have a fine and dandy Thursday, see you after 5.

What Ho!

Simon Mayo | 08:07 UK time, Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Early start this morning, car to garage for its MOT (hoping for similar grades as child 2's AS results) and a brisk walk home through (ahem) London's pleasant streets. Then child 3 entertaining duties and some compulsory Scrabble/Monopoly/Cheat/Rummy before turning attention to another lovely Drivetime show.
By the way, does anyone know the etymology of rummy? The card game is one thing but having spent the summer listening to Jeeves stories, Bertie Wooster always describes bad, dodgy or suspect things as 'a bit rummy'. I rather like the expression but will expect ridicule if I ever use it. And while on the subject of modish expressions, an American staying with us is using the term 'baller' which apparently means cool or stylish. Why not use it today and impress your children/young colleagues? If there are other old fashioned or new stylish phrases in your house, it is your bloggers duty to share wit the rest of us.
Noah and the Whale play some songs today after 6 (very baller) and so we should do BIBLICAL CHARACTERS for the oldies today. I think that'll work if we allow the devil. Which we will.
The garage is calling. Have a sprightly and ache-free Wednesday, see you after 5.

The routine kicks in.

Simon Mayo | 08:51 UK time, Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Well that's that then. First show back, especially after a break of 3 weeks, always requires a tad more concentration than normal. Which jingle goes where? What happens now? When do we finish? A little ring rusty maybe but we all emerged more or less intact I think. Matt looks tanned and relaxed, Rebecca poised and dignified, Sally is calm and, when not in the wimple, a model of loveliness. All the team sounding good together I thought. And I didn't sound too baffled by any of the tunes either...
I enjoyed the chat with Mark Billingham too. His Thorne books are really taking off now and I think this is a great new addition to his range. If he ever gets round to writing 'Daisys Buttercups and the Sweet Sweet Cottage', you can be sure it'll be a fine addition to the series. The truth about my quiz question last night is that I'd forgotten I needed one. At the last moment, I realised what was happening and a Mark B question was all I could think of. The fact that it was rather a successful ruse is making me think I should do that more often. I'm also a fan of Matt tweeting his answer first; this way we can all catch up with him. Keep going Matt!
So here we are in a strange part of the year (at least in England and Wales) where the hols are over, the work has resumed but the kids are still idling. School is still far away enough for them not to be too bothered and so 'hanging around the house and just relaxing' is still very much the name of the game. We are expected to fill their days with excitement and challenges but really that's a first-few-weeks-of-the-holiday state of mind. I'm in a back-to-school mood so roll on September. There's always some ironing you can have a go with if you're that bored.
Tunes today on the subject of SHOWING OFF. This is a Big Brother related idea really. I have a physical repulsion to the show and dread its reappearance and this celebrity version seems to be following the well worn path. SHOWING OFF in front of your friends was always something my grandmother would chastise me for (as if!) but that seems to be precisely what BB is for. So let us join the party (though one of dwindling numbers if the BB viewing figures are to be believed) and find tunes with SHOWING OFF as a theme/idea/inspiration.
Suzi Quatro is with us after 6, another top confession, Quiz of the Day (remember a question this time) and more tickets for our Hyde Park gig on the 11th of September.
Have an energised and creative Tuesday, see you after 5.

There you are

Simon Mayo | 08:36 UK time, Monday, 22 August 2011

Well good morning to all you bloggers, assuming you are still there. It's not just paranoid insecurity that makes one wonder who might have drifted away in the last 3 weeks. There are many shows, many radio stations, many baubles and trinkets competing for your attention. They may have seduced you away. On the other hand, where else would you keep such company and enjoy such conversation? Precisely. Do other blogs offer you hats? No they do not. Can anywhere else run The Sweepstake Stakesweep? I think not.
So 3 weeks have shot by passed with an assortment of activities ranging from Suffolk sunshine, Tenerife sunshine, finishing something called a line-edit for the old book and toasting child 2 with some rather fine AS results. All undone last night by my stupidity of going away without my asthma inhaler. Cue nocturnal hours of wheezing and feeling sorry for myself. This fine morning however brings sunshine, fine air and clear lungs. Time for some work I think.
I trust Liza has looked after you well (but not too well) with some great shows (but not too great) and some good tunes (you get my drift). Today we offer you the return of the R2 Book Club with Mark Billingham's latest Tom Thorne novel 'Good As Dead'. You can read some of it here and get in the mood for some crime novel chat with Mark after 6. This is the first of his I've read since David Morrisey started playing Thorne on TV and consequently it is he who I imagine starring in this new story; my guess is that many readers do the same.
And songs today on the subject of ROADWORKS please with councils being warned that they may be fined if they carry them out during peak times. So just weekends and night times which wont irritate anyone (so the theory runs) even if peak time is pretty much all the time these days. ROADWORKS then and the accompanying hassle and time wasting, thanks.
Confessions returns of course, as does Rebecca, and we are giving away tickets to the Hyde Park extravaganza next month.
Hooray for Drivetime! Have a straightforward and hassle free Monday, see you after 5.

Bubbling nicely

Simon Mayo | 10:10 UK time, Monday, 15 August 2011

Just to keep this thing ticking over, a 3 worder from my holiday sojourn...

Doing ok thanks

Now back to the plate spinning

See you in a week bloggers!

Just ticking over

Simon Mayo | 11:10 UK time, Monday, 8 August 2011

Those that know say things will tick along quite nicely if I pop up now and then to reassure the blog it is still loved. So that's what I'm doing. Keeping it brief in case I'm spotted of course. Hope all good with bloggers everywhere. Back shortly.

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