Tuesday, 10 June 2008

honkjazz The Allotment - Part 12

Saturday 31st May, 2008

During the week H and I had popped along to the site after work (ahem) for a few hours to chip away at bed number 7. It was kind of imperative that we got that finished because the runner beans in our little plastic greenhouse shelving thing (What?! Do you know what it's called?) were going bonkers. Well half of them were. The half on the bottom shelf were screaming upwards with an abundance of healthy leaves. The half on the top shelf just couldn't be bothered to even split their shells. Shut up lazy seeds.
So by the time Saturday came around we only had the final 1/8 of the plot to dig. The weather was playing with us a bit but the showers were only gentle ones. Until the last forkful had been turned over and sifted through, then the heavens opened. So we quickly knocked up a border and scarpered for it. Herb went off to the nearest local nationwide DIY chain store (damn your convenience and brightly colored advertisements!!) to get some bamboo canes and some more carrot and spring onion seeds and I went to H&S' smallholding to collect some manure for the runner bean trench.
I had so much fun as well. I love getting all mucky and working with dirt and poo and compost and timber. It's my favorite thing. I was covered in manure and stank like a pig's arse and part of me wanted to smear feathers and blood across my chops and pop up to Evil Monolith Tescoverlord to wander around the meat section for a bit. You know.
Good Lord, I actually think about this stuff.
So I filled up ten bags of pig manure and drove back. By the time Herb had returned I was just finishing off the
bean trenches before filling them with the manure and covering them over.
Alas we didn't have enough bamboo so we whizzed down to the local garden centre and grabbed the rest there. And now we know that they accept cards we'll try to shop there as much as we can because it's all local and that init?

Anyways, we done made this.
Looks ace doesn't it? When you stand at the top of the plot and look down it's amazing just how much the feel of the place has changed now. The simplest of structures adding new points of focus I guess. We love it.

So that was about the extent of our work on Saturday. Just as we finished planting the last of the runner beans the sky opened up and it chucked it down again. Well done us!
And Dad's signposts are still making me chuckle (although we're short of a Potato, a Garlic, a Chives, a Lettuce, two Spring Onion and a Carrot - these retired folk think they can just sit around on their Aris' all day. There's work to be done. You don't see us lot sat about all day on our backsides, lounging around in the sunshine doing nothing do you?!?!?)

Sunday 1st June, 2008

Wukka Wukka.
Today we decided that the previous days work was well enough to reward ourselves in this fashion. Some may say that we're just sat around
on our backsides in the sunshine doing nothing all day. Well, I'm not sat down alright!?! That's Suz, Herb's infinitely better half. She totally brought it with the wet-wipes which I for one would have gone mad without. It's one thing to have a man who's clothes are smeared in pigsh*t eating a burger with grease running through his stupid beard but it's another thing entirely to have said man walk around holding his greasy paws in front of him dripping meat-juice everywhere, fingers splayed, looking like Edward Burgerfat-Hands.
So cheers for the wet-wipes Suz.
They always represent with the wet-wipes don't they, the girls? Is it part of the Girl Constitution?
1) You must always answer a question with a question.
2) You must always save information/annoyance for a minimum of two months before dropping bombs.
3) You must never look away from a pointed camera.
4) You must always carry wet-wipes.

So here's the little culinary corner.
There you can see the little plastic greenhouse shelving thing (whatever!) and also the Belfast sinks. Yeah, yeah, never mind the humans. The sweet peppers are in the left hand sink and after planting we slapped an old window over the top to give a kind of green house effect. The next sink along is the garlic which has been falling back, the leaves withering and disappearing completely. I reckon it's because of the abnormal amount of rain we've had of late. So Herb dug all of the weeds out and we slapped another window over that one as well (note - for ''slapped'' read ''gently placed with caution in the presence of a grown-up''). Let them do their thing, use up all of the moisture in the soil and we'll see what's vibing along under the surface in July. I've got a feeling that they'll be there all done and everything. Just hiding from us is all! The last sink did have the chives that Dad gave me in January. They'd died off as well so I weeded it out and in the process discovered loads of little chive bulbs in there. I figured it couldn't hurt to mix it all around and spread the bulbs around and slap the last window over the top. We'll see what happens won't we?
(note - we might have to adjust some of the angles of the sinks a bit because the drainage is not going towards the plug-holes - this may back up my theory of the chives and the garlic being overly moist)

So as Herbert manned the BBQ and Suz offered anyone passing by a wet-wipe I went around the edges of the plot with the shears and gave the old girl a well-needed haircut (''you look fahbulous dahlink'' - hair by Vidal Baboon) and did a bit of weeding. By the time we got to eat the green watermelon that I'd picked up (see? boys remember stuff like that!Booyah!) the plot looked lovely and we were all well stuffed and very happy.
Here's the rest.

Our kitchen and window arrangements.

The Lettuces that have survived.

The King Edwards

Them onions.

Our grub.

So all in all we had a lovely afternoon. Stuff got done but not in a real hurry. We worked on Double Reggae Time which is of course, the best time to work on. My favorite bit of the weekend was when we were trying to tie the bean frame together and I had to cling on to the cross-pole to weigh it down and keep it straight whilst Herbert struggled with the knots and I felt like a pirate on the rigging of a ship. A pirate gardener. It was brilliant. And yes, I am an idiot child.
And when we left it looked like this.....sigh....

Monday, 2 June 2008

A Very Dull Post About A Very Awesome Event

When Herbert and I first came up with the concept for Mixatron 8000 it seemed like such a productive idea. The plan was to spend an entire weekend playing records, digging on the allotment, writing the genesis of a radio show demo and generally getting sh*t done. But we both knew deep down that it would end up like this...

So we didn't even say the word "radio" and it rained all weekend so we couldn't get to the allotment. What did we do? We played records, that's what. And we recorded the entire thing. Seriously, we have like about 12 hours of audio, solid mixing. Well, H did some mixing, I just played records because I'm a chump. Whatever. Actually, the audio that we havve will become radio shows in the end so I guess we did have a productive weekend. It just may not look it. Heh.
So I present, in no particular order and with enormous apologies to any members of my family that might be reading this who may have thought that I'd grown up and learned to control myself a bit, the first little sprinklings of honkstival in a photo-story style (like Look-In and that) .....

Mixatron 8000

Some records. This is on the Friday night when we were young and fresh-faced, all optimistic about the future, sure of our good work, purpose and effect. It went downhill pretty quick from here.

Herb kicked off the proceedings with a blinding selection of dirty, raucous funk that was SO GOOD that I daren't step in for fear of interrupting his mad flow. So I sat on the sidelines offering such choice jems of encouragement as "I'd play that" and "That's well good that is" and almost incessantly "Who the f*ck is this!!!!!?????". I'm sure I provided other forms of input but to be honest it became a blur pretty quick on.

Here's a shot of more records and stuff. We were recording the entire thing into some computer brainengine that's been designed using science and magic and stuff so we have a complete record of the proceedings. I dread to listen back to it to be honest. H played such a blinder of an opening 90 minutes that I couldn't even remember what records were.

Anyway, as you can see, there's a few records about.
Lovely eh?

There's the boy himself spinning the platters that matter. Seriously, it was an awesome demonstration of funk styles. He really hit the zone and just mashed out blaster after blaster. I was more than happy to sit on the sidelines and listen to the music. Also, I'd have only messed it up by playing Full Force or The Coconuts or something.

Here's me before I've even looked at a record let alone tried to follow the master. Yeah, it got worse. Hmmm, you know where things are heading when you take 62 photographs of your beard. And think they're all brilliant.
Fortunately for me Herb turned the funk masterclass into an electro hip-hop beast before offering me the spot. That was a bit closer to where I wanted to be so I grabbed that one.
And no, the photos don't get any better. In fact we only looked at the camera on the Friday night. Because really, we're not going to look any better than we do at this point. I know, it's depressing right?

So there I am trying desperately to remember how record decks work, what records are, how to mix, what a mixer is and where I am. I tried to play a selection of electronic musics that are designed to make you appreciate olives and coffee tables and Farrow & Ball paint all the more.

I'm not sure what this picture is about. It's either the exact moment that Herbert turned into a string of tiny red lights or I caught the record deck's tracer lights (or whatever the hell they're called). Once, twice, trice - whatever.

Herbert had started pumping out some banging house and 2-step by this point. And we all love a bit of that. Come on, admit it you terrible schlubs!!

And here he is.

So on Saturday we had a big, fat fry-up, a couple of beers in the pub and got cracking again. I played a nifty little drum & bass set, Herb played some cracking funky house, I played some abstract hip-hop and H played some dub heavy beats. This does no justice at all to the scope of musical genres that we covered. Everything came out, 60s psych-rock, acid-techno, live jazzbient pretentiobeat, African soul-step, movie schmoovies, everything. And at 4:45am on Sunday we finally switched the decks off knowing that we had a beautiful haul of material to edit into honkjazz radio shows, honkjazz mixes and three hour long honkjazz ringtones.
Just you wait.

So it's goodnight from me...

And it's goodnight from him.