Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the last metro

The open mic at The Metropolitan bit the dust last night. It didn't come as a huge shock; attendances have been pretty poor for a while now. It is disappointing personally though because I always found it to be a good night out.
For the last hurrah, regulars were invited to play a few songs out in the band room at the back of the pub.
A good sized crowd turned up to support the evening's performance, and I enjoyed the chance to get up and play. My good mate Lindsay joined me for the show, singing and playing three songs he'd never played before. My facebook song went down well, and choosing to play Werewolves of London immediately afterwards proved a good decision. It has been some time since I've played before such an obviously engaged crowd, it's just a shame that we couldn't have gotten a few more to the Tuesday night venue through the winter.

Oh well, one door closes, another one slams in your face.

Monday, August 29, 2011

All alone

I ride my bike most weekends. I've been doing it for a while now, and have had some marvellous adventures on my longer tours. Most weekend rides are interesting; cars, pedestrians, dogs and other bikes all contributing to the fun and games. Climbing up a steep hill and roaring down the other side provides its own particular joy. But the most enjoyable times on my mountain bike are those rare moments of solitude and tranquility that come from out of nowhere.
Don't get me wrong, I love riding with others. In fact, I rarely ride alone. These joyous, meditative experiences usually occur while I am riding with friends.
It happened yesterday. I was barreling along a stretch between Mount Lofty and Norton Summit, and I'd moved a fair way ahead of my mate. The morning sun was (finally) warming me up and I was lost in the beautiful scenery as I rode. No cars, no riders, no Sunday morning bikers, no-one. Just me, the birds, and the breeze. Out of nowhere, I suddenly felt that everything was perfect. The whole world was in balance, as was I, gliding along at around 40 kilometres an hour.
Five minutes later and I was at the Norton Summit intersection, with a four-wheel drive tank up my khyber. Bikes and riders everywhere, cars using both sides of the road, and me wondering where all the peace and quiet had gone.

I wish I could bottle that beautiful, fleeting feeling and take a swig whenever I felt the need. I suspect I'd need a big bottle...

Catching a break.

OK, right up front, I admit it would be stupid of me to bleat too much. Relative to most of this doomed planet's inhabitants, I have a great life and a great lifestyle. No-one, as far as I know, is trying to blow me up, rip me off, or make my life miserable in any other way. Not directly, at least.
Having said that, the last few days have been murderous. One of the downsides of trying to pack so much into life is that precious little slack time is built into the daily plan. If something goes wrong, it can have a flow-on effect, or simply darken the mood so that minor issues seem a great deal worse than they truly are.
Since Thursday, I have felt a rage growing inside me, nourished on an all-too-frequent diet of rude people, bad drivers, being taken for granted, making dumb mistakes, technology meltdowns, and a million other minor irritants. To say it has made me grumpy and angry is an understatement akin to saying that Hitler was misguided.
The manner in which I have dealt with this (admittedly trivial) rough patch has demonstrated, to me at least,that I have slipped dramatically from a few years ago. Strengthened by an almost insatiable appetite for Buddhist literature and learning, that version of David would have laughed the bad mood all the way to Nirvana. Or at least tried to.
Some work to be done, I think.

I have to go to sodding Melbourne for work tomorrow. A day full of planes, taxis and offices. And a gig in Adelaide tomorrow night.

Serenity now.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday rambling...

Friday is my favourite day. It always has been, and I suspect it always will. I usually have Fridays off, which adds to the joy.

This morning I rose before dawn, got picked up around 6:45, and was ferried into town. My mate Bob and I, along with a few hundred others, took part in the Walk A Mile In My Boots charity walk to help the homeless. It was a cold, cold morning, but at least we hadn't spent the night sleeping outdoors.
I walk to work at dawn most days. I pass through Adelaide's parklands and I know that there are folks sleeping rough out there. It's freezing in winter; I don't know how people do it. I guess you can do just about anything when you have no choice. I am thankful that I have a choice.
The walk went well, there was a pervading sense that we were doing something good, and I enjoyed a fried egg sandwich at the end before we headed down Hutt Street for a coffee.

I am fond of saying that "You are only two bad decisions away from sleeping in the parklands". I believe this. Most of us can make one almighty mistake and just about recover. When one mistake leads to another, however, things can spin out of control very quickly.
Extreme caution is advised when making mistakes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


People die every day. Famous, unknown, heroes, villains, old, young; it doesn't matter - mortality doesn't discriminate.
With each passing year I seem to be less and less affected by the news of celebrities shuffling off. Even the young and tragic cases don't generally have much of an effect on me. I guess I've just become used to it. I still remember hearing about Sid James (neither young nor tragic) passing in 1976; I think that is about the earliest I can recall.

The one that still gets to me is the untimely death of Joe Strummer - dead at 50 from an undiagnosed heart condition. Poor sod. He was doing quite well; riding high(-ish) on the crest of a second wave of acclaim with The Mescaleros.
I met Joe once. By some fluke, me and a few mates bumped into The Clash in the back rooms of Thebarton Town Hall after their 1982 gig. We'd been out to the airport to see them arrive (see photo) and already enjoyed a bit of banter, so this was an unexpected bonus. He was top bloke, as were the other three members of the band. By all accounts the Australian tour was not The Clash's happiest time, but we shared a few laughs and a few beers over the course of a couple of hours that night.
Anyway, I miss Joe more than I miss most of those that have checked out. I reckon his best may still have been in front of him.