Thursday, July 19, 2007

Trains are shit, Rouse is great...

I could have got on a bus to Selby and then clambered on the Leeds train and maybe, just maybe, arrived in the office two hours later than scheduled. But, when I saw the other hundred passengers lining up for a bus that was, by all accounts, at least thirty minutes away and wouldn't have the capacity for all of us, I quickly made the decision to call the whole thing off and try again tomorrow. A young chap from Look North wanted to interview me as I headed back into the station to get a refund on my ticket. Unusually for this media whore, I declined the on-screen appearance. He hadn't yet seen the queues of people all mumbling that their journey was more important than everyone else's in the queue, so I sent him outside and wished him good luck. There was a real air of selfishness in the queue. I'm glad I walked away. Twenty minutes later I was having a coffee in Cafe Nero with Beware The Ninja Badgers, and she unveiled a magical recording device that BBC folk are now armed with to gather news and views and images and video. Super, it was and, predictably for this media whore, I gave her my views on the latest public transport debacle taking place up the road. As we sipped our frothy, chocolate-dusted drinks we were surrounded by University of Hull graduates and Cafe Nero, according to the undergraduate sweating profusely behind the counter was "three times busier than it usually is at this time of day". A chap in front of me chipped in a helpful, "there's a graduation ceremony taking place," explanation for the barrista, just in case he hadn't seen all those people in caps and gowns sitting in Cafe Nero!
Keen to maximise my day off by doing wonderful things, I then went and purchased a V-shaped pillow, some snacks from a deli and ambled home - not by public transport but by the miracle and more reliable method of moving that is walking. Now, avoiding looking at the script, we're just back from a stroll around the park where Uncle Sam, who is not my actual uncle, has set up his American Circus and surrounded it with American big trucks and American trailers, all of which are operated by people without any trace of an American accent. Suspicious, huh? I ate a burger in the park. It was one of those nasty ones that are boiled, rather than grilled or, gulp, fried. A boiled burger. Mmmmm. And to think, I could have spent the day in Leeds.

I'm listening to the new Josh Rouse album Country Mouse, City House, which is now in the shops, pop pickers. It's lovely; the aural equivalent of swimming with dolphins. Us and easy-on-the-ears Rousey go back to our time in Pocklington (where Adrian Edmondson went to school, Richard Herring was born and masked and armed bandits rob the Nationwide branch in the market place while, just across the road in this sleepy East Riding backwater, people purchase sausages and cheese from the farmers' market), when he turned up one night at the arts centre. Earlier the same day a young chap who better remain nameless had thrust some illicit Rouse material into our hands and implored us to attend the gig. And it was, I must admit, a great night.

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