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A warning in advance, this is a long and rambling post so you might want to cut to the music at the bottom of the page.

Like most people my age, I’ve had the occasional hallucination here or there. The worst one was truly unsettling but not in a ‘my face is made of tiny demons that are eating the audio ashes of James Brown while I stare into the workings of the black sun machine’, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

I don’t get on well with nature, even simple things seem to end with disasterous results. Many years ago I moved into a cute little house, it was painted yellow outside and had had only one owner, it was previously a council property that was sold off to the resident for pennies. However, as a result of the woman being quite old and on her own, the garden had fallen into quite a state of disrepair.

I ignored it for the first year, as did our downstairs neighbour. They couldn’t care less about the shared garden area given that they had a fridge and a burnt out chip pan among the fauna in their half. Our bit had a broken Anderson shelter and some neglected rocks alongside the grass.

Eventually I was goaded into tackling the mess by my parents, my mother could see somewhere to plant things and my father liked manual labour. I was strongly encouraged to cut the grass, and I made a half hearted attempt at doing so before giving up and putting it off until the next day.

The next day comes, and to try and avoid a day of crushing inevitability I dig out the mower and extension cable and decide to get on with it. Even it is only for ten minutes before I throw the towel in again. I pull on the extension cord, but it’s stiff and I figure it’s just knotted and pull harder. And harder. And harder still. It gets to a point where I have cable wrapped around my should while I’m pulling on the rest, and then something yields. Unfortunately it is my lower back muscles that give in leaving my right arm quite the worse for wear and resulting in my inability to work for a couple of weeks.

After then nature and I decided we weren’t friends anymore. I couldn’t sleep well during this period save a coma brought about by too much vodka and even that was brief, I couldn’t play videogames to while away the time either owing to my mouse hand being out of order so I got to know the less visited Satellite TV channels very well. One night in particular the pay TV system failed, leaving all previously unavailable channels open for anyone to view.

Noticing this, I quickly realise the this means the porn channels must be free also, and make a beeline for the Adult Channel or whatever it was on Sky, thinking a pornucopia of naked women would be up for the lechering. However, UK TV porn is strangely neutered. You’re not actually allowed to show anything going in or out, and the dirty bits tend to remain just off camera or purely as shadow, so the whole experience is the opposite of erotic. When a jack the lad Englishman with a cockney accent turns up and throws a strangely stained mattress to the ground for a few minutes of someone’s back, it’s a strangely depressing experience that I can’t imagine anyone finds erotic, it’s quite unlike the animated butcher’s shop window experience of continental pornography that also seems kind of unerotic, but for different reasons. I ended up watching Blues Brothers 2000 instead that night, and it might actually be the worst movie ever made, but it was far more entertaining than the alternative.

Anyway, fast forward to about three years ago, I picked up a carrier bag full of shopping awkwardly, and throughout the rest of the day I feel a building pain in my side. I figure I’ve pulled on the war wound and try to shrug it off, but it does get to a crescendo of agony as I try various pain management remedies, all pretty much to no level of relief, with the exception of an infra-red lamp which seems to calm it down to an extent. I set it up about 3 inches from my side and sit with this bulb trained on myself. After a few hours I notice that I have a rather large spot on my side, and put this down to burning my skin so I turn the lamp off and resolve to visit the doctors in the coming days. The other side effect of course is the inability to sleep, but at least German TV shows the greatly relaxing Space Night.

Come Monday morning, my lack of sleep has me slightly bewildered and in need of a doctor, I see my usual one and she informs me I have shingles, which is well known as being extremely painful as it travels along the nerve endings and had the side effect of getting me some sort of morphine pain relief.

At least I had something that took the pain away, even if it was kind of still there. It seemed to have the effect of making me not care about the pain although it was still very much present. However, I was still finding it very difficult to sleep, so I thought a little nightcap of a vodka would help me with that.

It did and it didn’t. I did feel sleepy about an hour or so after that, but for a good 30 minutes I was in a stupendous drunken swimming pool point of view. Like walking through jelly and the sort of swooshing effect that you might see when someone is depicted as drunk on TV. Feeling really quite off colour I turn to my old night friend of television, and flick through the local channels pausing on one that displayed the local town square to see myself walking across the square towards the doctors office. If you’ve ever seen yourself on television, there’s no mistaking who it is. By this point I’ve hit a realisation that morphine + vodka = hallucinations + probable death, but the adrenaline rush from the fear anchors me back to reality and the subsequent endorphin flood puts me to sleep for a few restful hours while my mind tries to put itself back together.

The following evening I check the channel again and lo and behold there I am, so I open the vodka again knowing that if I find myself on the edge, it’s not going to be as weird as when the TV decided to try and freak me out.

This was originally going to be a couple of Lee Marrow tracks (PAIN/Moving), but it kind of ballooned a bit. The previous ramble was pain themed, this next part deals slightly with moving, although not in as much depth as the previous tale about the same subject.

I stayed in the same place for just over 7 years, but it did come time to move on and as such we found a new place that’s a new development in a slightly more rural area. As part of the move, I had to wait in the old apartment for the rental agency to come out and receive the keys from me. During the move a few items were left behind, so I decided to lift them after them move and attempt to find my way home using public means as I’ve never learned to drive. The handover is mostly OK, if long. Once it is over I pick up the bag of recycling and other bits and head out. I notice a couple of glasses that were gifted to us in the recycling bag and decide to keep these out, so now I have a bag of glasses as well to carry home.

At the end of the line, I get off the tram and start to walk along wanderweg, a trail I assume leads to the fussweg (footpath) which further leads to my home. This leads into the local forest, but I assume it breaks out later on towards the road. Five minutes later I slowly realise that I’m heading in the wrong direction and all I can hear are dogs barking and shotguns which makes me slightly paranoid that I’ve wandering into a farmer’s field. I can hear cars on the road I’m looking for, and as the only out way of the forest seems to be up a steep incline composed of wet mud, I decide I have to run up this to get to the top. This would be difficult as the best of times with a bag of glasses and other items, but I don’t have only this to contend with. I also have a set of stepladders to try and ascend the climb with. The only positive aspect is that I pretty much always wear boots, so at least I had some grip for this trial. Suffice to say, I won’t be commuting in future via this path.

Anyway, here are some things that I found while unpacking.

Audioweb – Sleeper(Weatherall remix)

Lee Marrow – Pain

Lee Marrow – Moving(Pain)

Ragga Twins – Wipe The Needle

Adam Freeland – Fear(Rez version) : Reposted to celebrate the re-release of the wonderful Sega game Rez on Xbox Live. This is the in game version, which differs from the version on the Gamer’s Guide to Rez soundtrack album.

Moodswings – Spiritual High (Parts 1-3)

Last Rhythm – Last Rhythm(Way Out West remix)

BBG – Snappiness(Evolution)

The Streets – Weak Become Heroes(Royksopps Memory Lane remix)

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