Thursday, November 17, 2005


Was joining my old band for a jam/rehearsal. As often used to be the case, I felt slightly frustrated at difficulties in getting any coherent songs together; the whole thing didn't really work out. Was using my old black Yamaha drum machine.

Later, in an alternative vesrion of Greenock (my home town): with a bunch of people including my cousin K. we end up in an upper storey flat. He has a firework (it seems to be some sort of firework occasion) - just one, a Roman Candle, and lights it. To my mild distress he leaves it, unattended and sparking, resting on a window sill and pointing out of the open window. However, I later find that it has exhausted itself, and the sparks have crystallised somehow. They protrude in a spray from the charred cardboard tube, looking slightly like the fibre-optic lamps popular in the eighties, and flake and crumble upon touching in a similar way to a Chinese 'magic forest' or 'crystal garden'. Later, we go to see a recent innovation: a church which has been converted into an extremely steep indoor ski-slope. Two trough-like runs have been created, each begins at the level of the balcony, and ends up at the front row of pews, leaving the aisle clear for entrance and exit.

We spend some time wandering around this pseudo-Greenock, I am suprised to see bits (especially a small circus of tenement buildings around a private garden) which I don't recognise.

I am later taken to meet a moustachioed bloke who (at first) irritates me with his seemingly contrived eccentricity. He runs a graphic design business (there are colour swatches lying around the floor of his otherwise smarty house), and I rapidly assess that he fancies himself as something of a Vivian Stanshall. We end up discussing Stanshall, and I discover that he claims to have met Stanshall on at least one occasion). I also get the impression that this man shares with Stanshall a tendency to alcoholism. He shows me his piano - I am about to tinker with the keys, when he simultaneously shuts the lid on my hands and begins to play himself, somehow. However, I accompany him on another piano positioned at right angles to this one. My piano is older and a lot of the keys are badly out of tune, which annoys me, but we manage to enjoy a relatively harmonious session of twelve-bar blues. At one point when the music hits difficulties I am delighted to make my wife (J) laugh with the phrase "aaargh, everything's gone pell-mell!"

Later, I'm in a pseudo-Glasgow, trying to get home by bus. As always, I am interested to see parts of the city I don't normally visit, and this route takes a long diversion north towards the Campsie Hills, passing by a housing estate which I recognise as being marked on an Ordnance Survey map I have at home as a 'Disused Showground'.

K seems to be making regular appearances in my dreams lately - I wonder why, since I don't see him that often, and he doesn't occupy especially more time in my thoughts that some other members of my family who never feature (sorry K., don't take it personally!)

I saw my old band last week, which may have triggered their appearance. I never actually used the black Yamaha drum machine with the band. My friend F. told me a while back that his occasional client, Andy Arnold of the Arches Theatre in Glasgow had worked on Vivian Stanshall's 'Stinkfoot' in Bristol, which impressed me at the time and might have prompted the anecdote of the self-styled eccentric. I was in Greenock yesterday (and writing about this rare visit last night) , and that would seem to have prompted its appearance in this dream. The 'Disused Showground' reminds me a bit of Scotstoun in the real Glasgow, which is a functioning showground and calls itself such.

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