Departure lounge ramblings on music, places, climate change and stuff outdoors

Tim Book Two

Charlatans singer, Tim Burgess, has swapped drink and drugs for coffee and tweets, but his record buying obsession remains. Tim Book Two finds our hero feeding his crate-digging addiction in pursuit of vinyl targets set by a host of music luminaries over the course of a Charlatans world tour. It’s all an excuse to write with passion and depth about music and record shops and for anyone who loves either Tim Book Two is 257 pages of pure joy.

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Britain’s third longest river

It’s a wet holiday morning and so I’ve been browsing the bookshelves of our little narrowboat. The first one I picked up, ‘Heritage of Britain’, is shakily inscribed by my late grandma “To Ruth and Rob from Mum, 18.12.86”. But there were too many kings and queens in that volume and so I have settled instead on ‘Exploring Britain: Rivers, Lakes and Canals’. More specifically, today’s story is of the Trent, the river upon which I grew up and along whose adjacent canal markontour now floats.

Perseids over gearbox trouble

Yesterday afternoon we had a little gearbox trouble on our narrowboat and were forced into harbour at a local marina. Further disappointment followed when we realised that access to dry land was barred by electronic gates. With the boatyard likely to be observing Sunday closing the following day, a holiday scenario that is only useful for blogging material was unfolding. But then karma intervened.

Tears at the Castle for a man called Ove

What a beautiful film, what a gorgeous little cinema! Londoners who want a cinematic treat need to head to the beautiful Castle cinema on Chatsworth Road in Homerton, and catch ‘A Man Called Ove’. There are proper armchairs, a great range of drinks and food, and friendly staff in this recently restored old picture house. And if you loved Frederik Backman’s wonderful book (previously reviewed on markontour), then you’ll adore the film. But bring a big box of hankies, because there was a lot of sniffling on Friday night, although it is ultimately a hugely uplifting tale of a man with an outsized heart.

When Jeremy headlined Glastonbury 

The western world’s greatest music festival is over for another year and 2017 was undoubtedly defined by the way that Glastonbury embraced Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve been going to this magical festival for 25 years and have experienced countless ‘Glastonbury moments’, when an entire crowd is moved to euphoria as one under the power of extraordinary musical performance, but I’ve never witnessed anything like this.

The laughing GP

Yesterday I visited my local doctor (General Practitioner, or GP, in the British vernacular) about a hypochondria based toe-injury, and got a lesson in psychological medicine.

The Booth of Truth

Last weekend I made my first ever record – an improbable mash-up of Dylan Thomas and Steve Earle – recorded straight to vinyl via a 1950s BBC-issue ‘Record Lathe’. This means, of course, that all markontour’s dreams have now come true and I didn’t even need to leave my own neighbourhood to achieve them, courtesy of the wonderful people at 42 Pearl Road and the E17 Art Trail.