Monday, 18 August 2014

Cross Border Catchups

It was a weekend of catching up with friends, which is a good weekend any way you slice it! The great thing about travelling and living the life of a wanderer is that one gets to meet so many people and make many friends. The less great part about it is that one usually ends of miles and oceans apart. Thank goodness for technology!

My weekend really started on Thursday with a trip to Amsterdam. Meeting up with people you know in random foreign cities is by far the best; going home is nice, but if there is a chance to wander around a city while catching up...well, I'm sold. The friend I went to see is the lead singer of a rather wonderful band out of London. We met through a mutual friend a few years ago, and we three all share a love of music. Not only is the band, The Statue Thieves, really, very good, the lead singer also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of '60s music, which made for fascinating conversation while walking along Amsterdam's waterfront. My favourite track off their first album, Statues of Realisation, is 'Broken Beat'.

There is nothing broken about it however, as it is one great toe tapping tune. It is my 'go to' up-beat song. What I like about The Statue Thieves music is that is makes me want to pull on a black turtle neck or an A-line skirt and be driven around on a Vespa... The chaps have a bit of 'The Mod' look about them too, and they are a delight to watch live. Such (dare I say it) groovy energy. Craig, Alex, Iván, and George have great music to share, and would you know it: a free download available at the moment. Do give them a listen!

Talking about music is always lovely and my time spent in Amsterdam with someone who is so passionate about music was very inspiring. Ran home and finished writing a song in fact. (Well, I took the train...but you get my point...)

I also chatted with two of my oldest friends from high school and my uni days at the weekend. I never feel homesick, but for once, this weekend I did a bit, and I was incredibly grateful to chat about old familiar places and people with those who have known me for ages. Something about this time of year - the mountains and whispering aspen leaves only just beginning to change colour have been very much on my mind. So there you have it: wandering and living the globetrotting life is great, but there are moments when remembering old times is just the ticket.

It was also a very rainy weekend, so a lot of holing up in the attic room with pots of tea. Was just what I needed to get ready for the start of classes this week. I also went through my entire music collection, which to be honest really isn't quite the same on a computer. I know as a globetrotter it really is more handy to have it all on hard disk, but there is something lovely about leafing through albums...and don't even get me started about the joys of listening to vinyl. No wonder people needed the entire downstairs cast of Donwton Abbey when they used to travel...I imagine I would be weighed down by a typewriter, record player, and about a hundred books.

So, perhaps instead of watching another mindless television programme tonight: pull out your favourite music and remember the joys of just listening in the comfort of your sitting room. (I've been rocking out to 80s music all afternoon...for a change...)