Quiz, Festivals, Summer, Holiday, Littlehampton the Cool Capital in Your Fantasies You LondonistasThe Behemoth is coming this very day ... Check the Quizzing website by the end of the day for the details, by which time I hope full, explanatory details will have been posted... G'wan g'wan g'wan NB: The following words were written before the blurb for the BH118 post. Because I am "an enigma" and wasn't in London and was back home-home at the timeFestivals and Ennui Warping My Brainwaves
Compiling this BH bored me for some mysterious reason. I went on, yes. Ploughed on and on as tempus fugit. I made it pass the century mark. I could even have gone on further. Oh yes. Call it the lingering curiosity that grips my mind in a comforting cradling hold and the unstoppable urge to splurge on the words (this may have something to do with me being back in LA and having no internet connection, meaning I get down to all the work I never do in London because the distractions are too powerful to resist; distractions including looking at the internet, chaining search terms on Google that pop in my head, finding music to listen to and download - this world wide web that is actually a sticky spider's web I always struggle to unglue myself from and only succeed in doing so after an average of six hours.
But, for now, I can conveniently blame all that on the usual post-musical festival daze and illness and recovery. Here in my airy, sun-dappled bedroom I feel like I have more room to breath and stretch out on the sizeable floor area, which I estimate to be 10 times bigger than the rented equivalent in KX, though this space deficit problem is exacerbated by my inability to maintain bare floor space in the London bedroom. If I see a patch of exposed carpet, a newspaper, magazine, book, postcard or piece of clothing is then mysteriously dropped on it, probably because I really want to annoy myself at a later date with added picking-up cleaning duties. I do it to myself and that's what mildly hurts. More BH Quiz Bumf
But back to the BH quiz talk ... I sourced this one purely from a couple of papers and four books, including: The Rough Guide to Cult Pop:
so awesome I'm glad I pilfered it from a pile of books nobody wanted in the office; I would give it a loving, hands-on home and it would help me with the more interesting and quirky corners of this thing we call POP music .... talk about, pop musik.
Trevor Montague's A-Z of Sport: The Compendium of Sporting Knowledge
: still solid as a rock, but noticeably lacking in the more interesting stuff you will find in every issue of the Observer Sport Monthly supplement ... it could be made a lot more engrossing with the introduction of the short human stories about sporting events, much more miscellany and putting all the admirably compiled lists into some context which would help the reader remember because they would chortle: "How amusing! What antics!" or "What a ghastly bastard!" The book's growing weakness is the way its heavy emphasis on the stats and lists of winners is becoming increasingly mind-numbing every time the book is opened one more time. Yet thinking about it, it probably couldn't be done much better any other way. You think it could be padded out well though with some of the aforementioned suggestions, considering its smaller length than its general knowledge equivalent. Chambers Biographical Dictionary
: thousands of dead nobodies sinking into further obscurity and nearer the abyss of the completely forgotten with every passing year and so much irrelevance, yet the irrelevant stuff will probably be perfectly acceptable because what was once difficult has become a chestnut and so on; nevertheless you will always find immense amounts of good, useful biographical details in it. The Saturday broadsheets
: always something to be reaped; journalists often have to pad their articles with slightly superfluous facts.
And my increasingly bland looking Philip's Encyclopedia: Comprehensive Edition
:my old Hutchinson's ragged monster with pictures and subject timelines and proper attention to detail - like adding the foreign titles as well as the English ones - craps on it mightily despite the fact that I bought it in 1997 ... it's still good. On the other hand Philip's is predictable and dull. If it was a colour it would be a slightly weak beige. I do not recommend it.
Otherwise, apologies if you're getting a bit of a functional, pizzazz-lacking vibe from this particular number BH. You cannot win them all, satisfy everyone all the time, conjure up more apologetic cliches and you certainly cannot set a consistently awesome yet awesomely brutal long quiz every time.(Also, more writing follows the 103-question quiz. I decided to put the quiz near the top because, obviously, there's a lot of writing and it goes way down the page. This time, I thought it was better to serve my trivia-hungry constituency first, and leave the other stuff as more of a bloated main course) Zanother of Zose QuiZZes
1 Given the scientific name Pinus contorta
, what is the only pine native to both Alaska and Mexico and has a name referring to the native Americans' use of the trunk as building material for their tents?
2 Which seaport on the estuary of the River Nervion, near the Bay of Biscay, is the capital of the Basque Country province of Vizcaya?
3 Responsible for the development of the touring company, which Anglo-Irish playwright and actor-manager wrote and adapted nearly 300 plays, the most successful of which were his comedies and romantic melodramas like London Assurance
(1841) and The Octoroon
4 By what name is the mosque and shrine Qubbat al-Sakhrah
known in the English-speaking world?
5 Which leading artist of the Italian Baroque worked with Annibale Caracci on the Farnese Palace in 1602 and influenced Poussin and Lorrain with such landscape paintings as The Hunt of Diana
and Landscape with St John Baptising
6 Which radioactive metallic transuranic element of the actinide series was identified by US nuclear scientist Albert Ghiorso and colleagues as a decay product of U255 from the first large hydrogen bomb explosion?
7 The tall, perennial herb fennel is a member of which family?
8 Repealed in 1844, the "gag rules" were adopted by US Congress during the 1830s to prevent the discussion of which subject?
9 Home to more than 800 islands making up 10 per cent of the total land area, which country's largest island is Saaremaa?
10 Which of the three groups of elementary particles are the messenger particles?
11 For how many paces may the ball be carried in Gaelic football?
12 Which rock musician released the 1970 album Band of Gypsies
13 How many counties comprise Northern Ireland?
14 The songwriters Lieber & Stoller left Atlantic in 1964 to start their own label, which was home to the girl groups the Shangri-Las and the Dixie Cups, but it closed abruptly amid rumours of run-ins with the Mafia. What was it called?
15 Olga Korbut invented which two moves she showed off at the Munich Olympics, one performed on the beam and the other on the asymmetric bars?
16 The NBA team the Detroit Pistons were located in which city when they lost the play-off final series to Syracuse Nationals in 1955 and the Philadelphia Warriors the next year?
17 Attaining a length of c.80cm/31in, the African crested is the largest type of which herbivorous rodent to be found in Europe and Africa?
18 Which grandfather did Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, succeed as ruler of the principality in 1949?
19 Which founder of the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt (reigned c.1320 to 1318BC) was a general under Horemheb, who chose him as his successor?
20 Derived from the Italian for "projection", what is a three-dimensional sculpture projecting from a flat background, and has such levels of protusion as alto
(low) and mezzo
(in between the two)?
21 Also a designer of De Stijl furniture, which Dutch architect's masterwork, the Schroder House in Utrecht, was arguably the most modern European house of its time on its completion in 1924?
22 In rowing, what term describes using two oars rather than one?
23 Who composed the theme from the film Love Story
24 Which Dutch pop group had topped the UK singles chart for a month in 1976 with the Jonathan King-produced song Mississippi
25 Often cited as the world's finest ever sticksman and called "The greatest drummer ever to draw breath"
by contemporary Gene Krupa, which short-tempered perfectionist was loathed by many of his colleagues and became known as the man Frank Sinatra hated most in the world?
26 Which one-time undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, an American of German descent, was nicknamed The Livermore Larruper
27 Also the first amateur to win the tournament, which golfer broke the Scottish monopoly on the Open Championship in 1890 and became the first Englishman to win it?
28 Who became the first Formula 1 champion to win the Indy 500 in 1965?
29 Which successor to the Varangian king and founder of the first Russian state in c.862AD, Rurik, made Kiev his capital with the state becoming known as Kievan Rus?
30 Which later work of Vedic literature dating from c.650BC, whose name means "session" in Sanskrit and are also referred to as the Vedanta, take the form of dialogues between teacher and pupil discussing the essence of the universe, reality and man's salvation?
31 In which country did Francisco de Miranda lead uprisings against Spanish rule in the late 18th century?
32 Which Belfast-born jockey, who retired in December 1999, was known as The Prince
33 Which football club did Alf Ramsey manage in 1977, his only league appointment other than his 1955-63 stint at Ipswich Town?
34 Which club won the first European Cup final to be staged in London when it triumphed over Benfica 2-1 in 1963?
35 Which poet and singer translated Jacques Brel's songs into English, his versions bringing the Belgian songwriter a wider audience and resulting in Seasons in the Sun
and If You Go Away
becoming huge hits for Terry Jacks, Westlife and New Kids on the Block, although the former song is said to have "bizarrely emasculated" the vitriol of the original?
36 The pop group Madness took their name from the title of a song by which ska musician?
37 The father of noted conductor Yan Pascal, which late French cellist celebrated for his interpretations of Bach and Elgar made his concert debut in 1931 and, in 1957, became a professor at the Paris Conservatoire, where his pupils included Jacqueline Du Pre?
38 Medan, Palembang and Padang are the largest cities on which island?
39 Ruth St Denis and Ted Shawn were innovators in which field of the arts?
40 Where did the Democratic Union Coalition form the first non-communist government for more than 70 years in 1996?
41 Equal to 27.32 days, what type of month is the time from full moon to full moon and is longer than the sidereal month at 29.53 days (one revolution with respect to the stars) rather than 27.32 days due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun?
42 Famous for its contribution to naturalistic drama, which theatre was founded in 1898 by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko?
43 Which German physicist's 1958 doctoral thesis concerned the emission of gamma radiation by radioactive nuclei within crystals, and gave his name to an eponymous effect?
44 On his greatest voyage, which French explorer followed the Mississippi to its mouth in 1682, naming the land Louisiana and claiming it for his country?
45 Which late American composer of original and exotic music produced such works - some of which reflect his Armenian ancestry - as Mysterious Mountain
(1955) and And God Created Great Whales
(1970), and wrote 67 symphonies?
46 Which chemical element is one of Bob Geldof's middle names, along with Frederick?
47 Hungarian, Ostyak and Mansi (or Vogul) comprise one branch of which group of related languages?
48 Hanga Roa is the chief town of which volcanic island in the south-east Pacific Ocean, the most isolated in Polynesia?
49 Which capital at the foot of the Gissar Mountains was founded in the 1920s and was known as Stalinabad from 1929-61?
50 Which 1965 Margaret Drabble novel was filmed as A Touch of Love
51 Which Austrian physicist and mathematician is most famous for a prediction he made in an 1842 paper on double stars?
52 Author of such pamphlets as Revolutions de France et de Brabant
(1789), which French revolutionary was responsible for provoking the mob that attacked the Bastille in 1789, but was guillotined in 1794 having aligned with Danton?
53 Hindus refer to which evergreen and coniferous Indian cedar that yields a fragrant oil from the snowy slopes of the western Himalayas as "the tree of god" and has spreading branches which droop or "weep" at their ends?
54 Named after a local town, which group of giant chimpanzees deep in the Congolese jungle are said to kill and eat lions, catch fish and howl at the moon, and have been found by European scientists to be feasting on a leopard carcass?
55 Which 25-strong group of presidents' and monarchs' chefs meet in Monaco every year in July for an annual dinner, having spent a week carrying out a culinary tour of France?
56 Castigated in the press due to the organisers' alleged mistreatment of some Pygmy musicians, the Festival Panafricain de Musique
is held in which capital city?
57 Hailing from China's Inner Mongolia region, what is the name of the world's tallest man (he currently measures 2.36m or 7ft 9in)?
58 Also from Inner Mongolia, which 73cm/2ft 4in tall man is believed to be the world's shortest man?
59 Which Dublin-based group is the owner of Magners cider?
60 Located in the suburbs beyond Berlin's Grunewald forest, which traditional lakeside bathing spot celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer after a long refurbishment programme? And what became the first modern urban beach to open in the centre of the German capital in 2002?
61 Much associated with the city of Salvador da Bahia on the northern coast of Brazil, which bean patties came to the country with slaves from west Africa and - resembling a large spicy falafel - is best eaten in combination with salt-dried prawns, chilli salsa and salad as an evening dish?
62 In 1938, which Austrian-born molecular biologist, who became a naturalised British citizen in 1943, began a lifelong x-ray crystallographic investigation of the structure of haemoglobin, which he termed "the molecular lung"
63 Known for The Hard Nut
his version of The Nutcracker and dancing the part of Dido himself in Dido and Aeneas
, whose "Dance Group" opened his new show, Mozart Dances
, at the Barbican to a mixed critical reception in early July?
64 Created by Bloomsbury publisher Liz Calder and co-founded by her husband Louis Baum, Flip
is a four-day long international literary festival held in which Brazilian fishing town?
65 Subtitled The Epic Story of the World's Most Valuable Coin
, Alison Frankel's new non-fiction book tells the tale of the last gold coins to be minted in America, the vast majority of which were melted down during the Great Depression with the remaining few being illegal to own as they are still property of the US government, although one was allowed to be auctioned off by Sotheby's in 2002 for $7.59 million?
66 A tribute to the 1905 Hjalmar Soderberg book Dr Glas
that reprises the same characters. whose novel, Gregorius
, narrated by the titular and repugnant rapist-pastor, won him Sweden's August prize in 2004?
67 Born in Radzymin, Poland, the son of a rabbi, which 1978 Nobel-prize winning author emigrated to the US in 1935 and produced such novels as The Family Moskat
(1950) and the story collection The Spinoza of Market Street
68 What nickname, meaning "top hats", are given by football fans to the allegedly corrupt figures who run Brazilian football?
69 Subdivided into the Tertiary and Quartenary periods, what is the most recent era of geological time, beginning c.65 million years ago and extending to the present?
70 Which colonel assumed control of Central African Republic in a bloodless coup in 1966 and proclaimed himself emperor of what was now an empire rather than a republic in 1976, before he was deposed three years later?
71 Which Romanian city, just 10 miles from the frontier with Moldova, was the capital of Moldavia from 1562 to 1861 and features such notable buildings as the 15th century Church of St Nicholas?
72 In which city is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquartered?
73 In which in vitro fertilisation technique, abbreviated ZIFT, is a fertilised egg returned to the Fallopian tube, from which it makes its own way to the uterus where it then divides to form an embryo?
74 Which Ukrainian writer, who changed his name to A.Anatoli after defecting to England in 1969, published the novel Sequel to a Legend
75 Which city in Argentina, the country's largest oil refinining centre and a major exporter of it through its port Ensenada, was called Eva Peron from 1946 to 1955?
76 Which Zulu chief became President of the African National Congress in 1952 and became the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960?
77 At which hospital did Florence Nightingale found the Nightingale School and Home for nurse training in 1860?
78 Named after the village in central Nigeria where remains such as the small clay figurines that are among the first African sculptures were found, which ancient African civilisation flourished from 500BC-200AD?
79 His country's first prime minister, which Burmese statesman took power in 1948 but was ousted by the military in 1958 and again in 1962 after he had returned to government, and having endured years of exile returned to Burma in 1980 where he was later placed under house arrest before his death in 1995?
80 Produced by the pituitary gland during a woman's pregnancy, which hormone stimulates the uterus's muscles, initiating the onset of labour and maintaining contractions during childbirth?
81 Author of L'Eau des collines
(1963 - the novel adapted into the films Jean de Florette
and Manon des Sources
), which French dramatist and film director adapted his "Marseilles" trilogy - Marius
(1931) and Cesar
(1937) - for the screen?
82 According to the 16th century Swiss physician Paracelsus, the human body primarily consisted of three elements, which if separated would cause illness. One was salt, but what were the other two chemical elements?
83 Belonging to the order Holotricha and including such species as bursaria
, which genus of freshwater, ciliated protozoans are characterised by their 'slipper' shape, defined front and rear ends, an oral groove for feeding, food vacuoles for digestion and an anal pore for elimination, and two nuclei?
84 Which strong membrane of connective tissue lines the body's abdominal wall and covers the abdominal organs?
85 Which Swiss educational reformer wrote the 1801 book How Gertrude Teaches Her Children
86 Prozac works by increasing levels of which chemical - a vasoconstrictor - in the brain, it being represented by the second S in the acronym SSRI (as in Selective _____ Re-Uptake Inhibitors)?
87 A speechwriter for FDR and Oscar winner for his screenplay for the 1946 film The Best Days of Our Lives
, which US dramatist won four Pulitzer Prizes for Idiot's Delight
(1936), Abe Lincoln in Illinois
(1938) and There Shall Be No Night
(1940) and his memoir Roosevelt and Hopkins
88 Once world famous for its silk, which province of south-west China - capital at Chengdu - is almost completely surrounded by mountains and is the most populous in the country, its eastern part comprising the most prosperous area too, in the heavily populated Red Basin?
89 Holy Roman Emperor as well as king of Hungary, Germany and Bohemia, Sigismund secured the succession for his son-in-law, the first ruler of the Habsburg dynasty, before his death in 1437. What name did his son-in-law use as ruler?
90 Which Stax soul star got his big breakthrough when, having been driver for singer Johnny Jenkins, used the final half hour of one of Jenkins' sessions to record These Arms of Mine
after the session had gone awry?
91 The Rochdale-born Johnny Clegg, having settled in South Africa as a child, found international fame with his second multi-racial band, known for their blending of Zulu music and slick European production, although little UK chart success came their way, the single Scatterlings of Africa
stalling at no.75 in 1987?
92 Which game is known as Gude
in Brazil, Jorrah
in parts of Africa, Pallina di vetro
in Italy, and has US varieties called Ringer, Immies and Mibs?
93 The Australians Catherine Cox, Sharelle McMahon and Eloise Southby and the Englishwomen Alex Astle, Tania Dalton and Jo Steed are renowned fillers of which position in netball?
94 Independent SC of Delhi, HTHC Hamburg, Port Commissioners, Jockey Club Rosario, Braunschweig and the Southgate Club are club sides in which sport?
95 What term describes a mathematical quantity that has only a magnitude, as opposed to a vector, which also has direction; mass, temperature, energy and speed being examples?
96 Which English men's finalist shocked tennis fans in 1933 when he wore shorts to play in at Wimbledon?
97 Deriving its name from a planet or Roman god, which element was discovered in 1940 and was the first of the transuranic group of elements?
98 What was the final novel in Paul Scott's Raj Quartet
99 The most densely populated region of Bolivia and site of such famous ruins as Tiahuanaco, which area also includes the seat of government at La Paz, lying close to Lake Titicaca?
100 Simon "the Liberator" Bolivar achieved no real success in his attempts to free South American from Spanish rule until his victory at which 1821 battle led to the liberation of New Granada (Columbia)?
101 Laura, a US photographer who documented her voyage along the Rio Grande from source to mouth and the Navajo people who lived on and lined its banks in 1945 - the book of which was published in 1949 as The Rio Grande: River of Destiny
; the Cumbrian-born William, a vicar of Boldre in Hampshire who was satirised by William Combe in Dr Syntax
(1809); and child actor turned ballet dancer John, who became artistic director of the London Festival Ballet in 1962(-65) and created notable roles in Frederick Ashton's Le Reve de Leonor
(1949) and Anton Dolin's Variations for Four
(1957). What is their shared surname?
102 Which company launched the benzodiazepine drug Valium in 1963?
103 Also known by the name Lydia Kamakaeha Paki, who married John Dominis, the son of a Boston sea captain in 1862 despite her being engaged to a Hawaiian prince and became queen of Hawaii, and therefore the last monarch of the Hawaiian islands, on the death of her brother King David Kalakua in 1891?
UAnswers to BH119
1 Lodgepole pine 2 Bilbao 3 Dion Boucicault 4 Dome of the Rock 5 Domenichino 6 Fermium 7 Parsley 8 Slavery 9 Estonia 10 Gauge bosons 11 Four 12 Jimi Hendrix 13 Six 14 Red Bird 15 Korbut Salto (an aerial blackflip) and the Korbut Flip (a backflip-to-catch) 16 Fort Wayne 17 Porcupine 18 Louis II 19 Ramses II 20 Relief/rilievo 21 Gerrit Rietveld 22 Sculling 23 Francis Lai 24 Pussycat 25 Buddy Rich 26 Max Baer 27 John Ball 28 Jim Clark 29 Oleg 30 Upanishads 31 Venezuela 32 Richard Dunwoody 33 Birmingham City 34 AC Milan 35 Rod McKuen 36 Prince Buster 37 Paul Tortelier 38 Sumatra 39 Modern dance 40 Mongolia 41 Synodic month 42 Moscow Art Theatre 43 Rudolf Ludwig Mossbauer 44 Rene Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle 45 Alan Hovhavness 46 Xenon 47 Finno-Ugric 48 Easter Island 49 Dushanbe in Tajikistan 50 The Millstone 51 Christian Johann Doppler 52 Camille Desmoulins 53 Deodar 54 The Bili apes 55 The Club de Chefs des Chefs (Club of Leaders' Chefs) 56 Brazzaville (Congo) 57 Bao Xishun 58 He Pingping 59 C&C Group 60 Wannseebad, Strandbar Mitte 61 Acaraje 62 Max Perutz 63 Mark Morris 64 Parati (as in Festa Literaria Internacional de Parati) 65 The 1933 Double Eagle 66 Bengt Ohlsson 67 Isaac Bashevis Singer 68 Cartolas 69 Cenozoic 70 Jean Bedel Bokassa 71 Iasi 72 Vienna 73 Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer 74 Anatoly Kuznetsov 75 La Plata 76 Albert Luthuli 77 St Thomas's Hospital, London 78 Nok 79 U Nu 80 Oxytocin 81 Marcel Pagnol 82 Sulphur, mercury 83 Paramecium 84 Peritoneum 85 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi 86 Serotonin 87 Robert Emmet Sherwood 88 Sichuan or Szechwan 89 Albert II 90 Otis Redding 91 Savuka 92 Marbles 93 Goal shooter 94 Hockey 95 Scalar 96 Bunny Austin 97 Neptunium 98 A Division of the Spoils 99 Altiplano 100 Boyaca(/) 101 Gilpin 102 Roche Laboratories 103 Liliuokalani THE WITTERING ON CONTINUES HEREBody Damage Report
Back to personal whiny physical woe and the post-fest recovery. The festivals always damage me. The pertinent question is therefore how badly did Latitude lash and drain my body? Okay. Progress is cantering along at a bearable gait, while I am free of physical exhaustion, the mental side still needs to do a little catch-up. The four rock-hard umbo-like facial spots caused by Latitude-blocked pores are subsiding; the body parts I exposed to the blazing Suffolk sun are no longer radiating the humming heat of scorched, rapidly browned epidermis; lastly and still worsely, my swollen left arm is not quite the petrified wrist of pulsing pain, weeping lymph and scary potential for gangrene, with swollen flesh so tough and durable you might think that, for just one sec, you could relate to the beneficial skin problems experienced by The Thing of Fantastic Four fame. But it hasn't been so grating today. I have even stopped rubbing it (because that will make it so much better) since I started to rub Voltarol around the afflicted area ... oh, I'll stop there. But I do detect a soothing softening replacing once bulletproof skin, only through a reedy and annoying tickly voice to encase my throat and cause me to make disturbing growing sounds.Escape To Novelty
But I am sure, bloody certain actually, that I need some sort of holiday involving reliable sun, total relaxation and forgetting all about the exhaustion of last month's gallivanting before the summer is out. There's also something about a truly oppressive, low level gloom and the way it can trap you in a foul mood and punch you down, forcing you into doing all sorts of mindless rubbish. It has happened far too often this rainy season, resulting in some truly Olympic standard internet faffing about. Otherwise, the ravenous monster that be daytime TV-related will undoubtedly feast on my desire to live yet again. The spirit suffers so. Won't someone stab Jeremy Kyle in the eye? Won't someone chop Antony Worrall-Thompson's head off with a very large cleaver? These gits are eating my soul. And I'm letting them do it. So if a trip to foreign climes be in the offing I mighty verily jump at the idea and hug it in a death embrace of love. It's the fleeting escape from that old routine that I am currently craving (though bear in mind it might just be an shattered post-festival me talking here and in a few days I will sink into a state of strange contentment as I sometimes do). A mere week or two swapping my rutty environment for the unfamiliar, seeing new buildings, eating weird and greasy foreign muck in a range of restaurants, marvelling at foreign chocolate bars, spending quality sunburn time absorbing the solar rays that make me feel better and lighter while lying on on a sandy beach rather than a spine-crippling pebble mass (which I could really just set up in my back garden if I am unable to reach the UK escape velocity) - you're right Sheryl, a change would do me good. Latitude Mashes Glasto
Maybe, I merely crave novelty making a passing trip through my life at the moment ... also, one of the reasons why I loved Latitude. It was different. It was bloody lovely. The change of scenery evoked the kind of tangible excitement I hadn't felt in an age at a music festival. It was a complete contrast to Glasto, which I thought was good fun thanks to the brilliant and fun company I kept, but occasionally, a humdrum feeling overcame me. Then I remember the full-on, sensory overload experience I have been trying to block out. It was another muddy Glastonbury spent soaked to the bone despite waterproofs. The mud was unbelievable and astonishing in its merciless spatter and stick qualities and the ability to reform into several impressively different colours and consistencies. But, frankly it was bearable because all this crappy weather was only to be expected. Miserable past experiences from 1997 and '98 inure you to it along with wellies, but then you come back home and look at the photos and dispiriting memories of the relentless regularity of rain showers that ranged from pulverising drops to annoying, seemingly eternal pitter-patter, and the shearing cold that eventually succeeded in cutting through every layer, and the inability to sit down anywhere on the ground unless you wanted to do a very convincing impression of someone with creamy, nuclear diarrhoea. The good music was scant compensation. And you dream of the days when Pilton Farm was bathed in transcendent sunlight and you remembered wearing t-shirts and speck-less trainers and everything seemed so much more ... dry. Dry is a very good thing. It really is. And now they become such distant, faded memories that make the present seem so much more diminished.
Contrast it with the Latitude experience: no mud, sunshine shooting down, forests filled with actual, bona fide shoe trees and people dressed as angels being poked with sticks by a woman-in-drag dressed as a lumberjack, campsites with space galore, less people, less dickheads, always someone or some band to see and, more often than not, an act that you had been thankfully brainwashed by Uncut
magazine into liking and buying months before to get you ready (see The National and The Hold Steady and a whole load of 30-and-over musicians shunned by NME), a communal feeling of amiable vibes forever coursing around the site, the Literary Tent and the Live Aid style rendition of Danielle Steele's poem Jam
, easy access to everything, toilets that behaved, idyllic scenery, a beautiful lake and a bridge of sighs that mellowed you out instantly just by looking at them, laid back feel and psychedelic sheep and a surprise round every corner, small children playing in the grass that has just been urine-sprayed by the blokes who couldn't wait two minutes to use a proper toilet, and mucho beer drinking under our aforementioned yellow star: enjoyment augmented by our cunning can smuggling operation. Latitude beat its behemoth of a Somerset big brother hands down, though at least Glasto destroyed the insect threat by basically drowning the little blighters. That is one thing I can think of. I'll get back to you on that one ... with another one ... maybe.
I've got another one: £8 for a no frills Latitude booklet. No little round the neck mini guide and no TV listings style clash-awareness stage timings list. We were forced to create our own with pencil and paper!Sunny LA Option
Or I could stay at home-home for a few more days (they said it would be torrential showers today, but I only see the lovely hometown sunshine filling the streets outside) and roam LA's shingle shores and cool hip beach, play a bit of pitch 'n' putt with the bro, read more Anna Karenina whilst deckchair-sunk in between diving into the pleasantly tame surf and trying to walk to France at low tide, before rocking up to the polished wrinkled purple turd of a dining establishment on the East Beach
, where born and bred locals have been outraged by fancy hamburgers costing £9.50! Them's Brighton prices ... it's a bleeding diabolical liberty!
But, what about a local value comparison, despite my never even sampling the East Beach Burger? £9.50 at the EBC still cannot best the Wetherspoons sub-£4 Beer and a Burger deal: Spoons may deliver a minging microwave-abetted hunk of blackened cow bum, but it does it cheaply enough so you don't care. So long as the very reasonably priced beer is numbing the taste receptors on your tongue and your stomach is being filled with some kind of protein, no matter how carcinogenic, along with the kind of pointless, joyless chips that taste best when they are slathered in salt and sickly sweet Spoons ketchup, You see it's all about getting a good amount of digestible matter into your body, even if does not quite fulfil the dictionary definition of "food", and getting a pint with it. That's what's really important. Drink. With alcohol in it.
Apparently, Thomas Heatherwick's giant clam was polished at the last minute to achieve more of that classy driftwood sheen, which is odd because organic or inorganic stuff, including numerous large-ish sea creatures reduced to piles of rancid translucent goo, washed up on these shores is often drained of any vibrant life colours, is at least half-obliterated by the roll and rock and rack of the English Channel and is always about as approachable and attractive to touch as a rusty pail of poo-poo. If they wanted an authentic beach look in fitting with the surroundings they should have just dumped 3 tons of maritime-themed scrap and special LA-themed trash on the cafe, giving it a real Trainspotting by the Sea flavour. Edgy, yeah. I remember a large hypodermic coming out of the sea's surf once in my teens: a no doubt deadly needle-torpedo slowly flowing towards me, then fast then slow and so on due to the crashing monotonous, almost languid, routine of the breaking waves. It missed me by at least 10 metres. Phew. I then took a few moments to wonder if I would prefer being pricked by the used hypodermic needle or being chomped by a Great White Shark. I had a terrifying fear of needles at the time, so this dilemma was not pondered lightly.
However, I have certainly never seen a huge purple clam rest up on our impure shores. No doubt LA's wild, unruly youth will soon realise its metal shell casing (or whatever durable substance it is made of) will a provide perfect venue for their regular beer bottle target practices, a enjoyable prospect no doubt enhanced by their perception of this metal monstrosity as a Greebo-Posho den of twats. What else is there to do on a weekend night other than propel glassy and pebble projectiles at inanimate buildings and targets that baffle their tiny minds? That's the LA way: if you don't like or understand something you hit it with something else.
But here's a thought: the movie Transformers
is coming - oh yeah, baby. Wouldn't it be cool if the East Beach Cafe was really an elaborate promotional stunt for the Transformers movie and it turned into a giant robot on the film's release date on the 27th? Then, it would make a lot more sense. However, if this was so, in my wildest opium den fantasy, I am assuming that the giant roboscrap o' crap would flee LA as soon as it could do the CHEE-CHOO-CHOO--CHOO-CHEE-CHOO (er, transliteration of what I believe the transforming sound to be) having already stayed here as an inanimate eating venue for far too long, having been driven mad by its schizophrenic mix of patrons and gawkers and deadly native LA wisdom heard spouted from every table till it could take no more. Finally, is the Daily Telegraph completely off its rocker?
Talk about idiot journalists writing complete and utter bollocks. Take this review of the East Beach Cafe from the Telegraph's July 14 "Britain's top 30 seaside restaurants."22. East Beach Café
Littlehampton, West Sussex (01903 731903; www.eastbeachcafe.co.uk)
Forget the old image of sandwiches and Mr Whippy ice cream, the humble seaside caff is now cool. With this architectural metal marvel, Littlehampton has moved way up the hipometer, casting Brighton into the shade. Built on the site of the existing seafront kiosk, sitting inside this extraordinary building, made of layers of patinated steel, is like being in a shell. It's slick, modern and clean - don't expect any cute seaside clichés. Food, by contrast, is traditional - bacon butties and potted shrimps, washed down with Laurent Perrier Rosé.
Price: about £30 per person. House wine: £12.
Casting Brighton in the shade? This is LA. It casts about as much shade on Brighton as a stinging nettle would on a Kew Gardens greenhouse. You, the author of this review, live in a La-la-land-London and really need to get a grip on reality and not resort to outrageous statements. I feel compelled to launch a response in some media outlet to Littlehampton's apparent sudden rise to the apex of cool (the modus operandi of sexing up many a dull town is to focus on something amazing and out of the ordinary happening to it - like the arrival of an enigmatic hunk of scrap metal - and then using it as a pretext to say attention-grabbing things about the place). These journalists must be proscribed in the fashion of Sulla, Octavian and other very reasonable and barbaric Roman historical figures. It is the only way to stop them.