Lots of thoughts to jot down today, but all of them instantly wiped from my memory having heard this on 6 Music’s Loud and Proud LGBTQ+ All Day Rave (phew!), this morning.
When that piano synth riff kicks in at 1:16… What a moment of release!
The original (this is the 2009 remaster) was an anthem to all that is grey, sick and problematic about urban living, and was released way back in 1986, but even now, 36 years later, they’re still using it to open their concerts.
No, not this blog. And not cocaine, either, before you go rushing in there.
Neither of those accurately fit the description if you actually think about it.
Obviously, I’m talking about the new collab between Soft Cell and the Pet Shop Boys. This one:
It’s not great in any way shape or form except that it’s Soft Cell and the Pet Shop Boys and also… it’s obviously great. Because what’s not to like about Marc Almond in an ice cream van or the boys playing dominoes together in a quiet corner of a late 1970s pub?
Well, it’s the music, which is disappointingly ordinary and unremarkable. It’s terrible. And it’s also great. And addictive.
The sample seems to have been lifted from Love Is A Bourgeois Construct (which has history on this blog) and the synth from Always On My Mind. And these guys have all repeatedly earned their musical full colours years and years ago: they don’t have to prove a damn thing to anyone.
It’s terrible, but it’s also addictive. I’ve listened to it 37 times since yesterday.
Following the debacle of the first lockdown run, I’ve been getting better at exercising and doing small circuits of the garden Chez nous.
Some upper body weights, some online core and HIIT classes, the occasional run, a bit of cardio up and down the steps. It’s mostly been great. I’m actually feeling pretty good.
There are a few things that still need sorting out though.
This was yesterday’s workout:
Not bad. Decent figures. That distance isn’t correct though – the first run was measured on GPS and sold me short. This one relied on my steps and probably overestimated by a couple of kilometres. But this was all about heart rate and time, not about distance.
It wasn’t about speed, either. And that was a pity:
How do you like them apples? What’s up, Usain? Can’t keep up, petal?
Yes. My maximum speed was 91.9kph. A speed I haven’t managed to achieve since heading back from Agulhas a couple of years weeks ago.
I’m faster than I look. Weird though – I don’t remember my face being dragged off my skull by the sheer, brute force of massive acceleration next to the pool. And Christ only knows what the braking distance is for that sort of speed. I’m surprised that I didn’t collide with a wall somewhere. My garden really isn’t that big.
There’s one other issue. Timing.
I’ve been timing my workouts by song. As in:
I’ll just do two more songs and then I’ll get a beer.
And when you know that you’ve only got one last song, you put in every ounce of effort you can. And then that last song turns out to be the 12 extended player of some 160bpm dancefloor remix by the Pet Shop Boys. And you very nearly die.
For 9½ minutes.
For the record though, the Pet Shop Boys are really good for getting you going while you’re exercising. Yesterday’s dance version of Love is a Bourgeois Construct got me up to almost 92kph.
When it gets dark, my dog will bark At any passers-by
So sang and remastered the Pet Shop Boys, thus:
Barking at passers-by was one of the beagle’s most very favourite things to do, and absolutely its most favourite thing to do that didn’t involve food. We spend most of our outdoor time at home in the back garden, but if we have cause to go out to the front, the beagle will scoot out and take up a position overlooking the pavement and… well… will bark at any passers-by.
You must please understand that the gate is some distance from the actual passers-by. The passers-by are in no danger here, although if they were to actually get into the front garden, they may be licked to death.
I went out into the front garden this morning to wash the front windows, because that’s the kind of thing you do when you have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. And when the windows are dirty.
The beagle eagerly ran out and took up position and waited… and waited… and waited. And gradually, it sat and then sank to its tummy, resting its head upon the bottom rung of the fence, as absolutely no-one passed by.
Eventually, it gave up and returned inside to do some sleeping. This is absolutely unheard of (the returning inside bit, I mean: the sleeping is entirely normal).
This is great news as far as the adherence to lockdown regulations go, but not so wonderful if you are the beagle. The beagle is clearly very unhappy.
So, if you are planning to pass by my house, please could you…well, actually, just please could you? Literally, please could you pass by my house? It would make someone I know ever so happy.
“Go West! Life is peaceful there!” So sang the Village People and then so also sang the Pet Shop Boys.
So it must be true.
Trouble is, if you’re in Cape Town and you’re planning to follow that advice, life is going to be rather wet there too. (West being the South Atlantic, for the geographically-challenged.)
That’s why I’m going to turn things around and Go East! this weekend. Logic suggests that life will be turbulent there, and, should we extrapolate through the rest of the song, that we will be enclosed, alone, there will be rain in the summertime, the skies will be grey and we will do anything except be just fine.
Hmm. East seems a bit crap, to be honest.
Still, the beaglesitter is booked and we’re heading off… East… for a weekend away. Posts here will continue (obviously), and my Instagram is always open for your delectation.
Have yourself a good one. And try not to contract antibiotic-resistant Gonorrhea. (That latter bit of advice applies beyond this weekend, to be honest.)