Tuesday 13 August 2013

This and That

The skies are quieter now - apart, that is, from the ever-growing flocks of ring-necked parakeets (40 or 50 at a time these days) making their raucous, shrieking way to wherever the food is. They, I fear, will be always with us - but the swifts have gone for the year. Or as good as gone, after a summer in which they seemed more numerous, vocal and lively than they've been for some while. I thought I might have seen my last on Friday, but no - yesterday evening, quite high up over Carshalton village, three swifts were flying quietly and purposefully into the southwest...
This was a cheering end to a somewhat grim day, which began with a visit to the dentist. As I lay there  in the dental chair, with dark glasses on (he insists), while he drilled, injected and poked away and his assistant plied the suction tube, I became aware that Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia was playing, pianissimo, in the background. 'Melancholic music, I'm afraid,' said the dentist. 'Rather lovely though', I ventured, speaking from the still functioning side of my mouth (he'd given me a double dose of anaesthetic). He told me he'd treated himself to a big boxed set of Vaughan Williams, which he found in a large, wonderfully well stocked record store in London. 'Whereabouts?' I asked, as you would. He seemed a little embarrassed at this and, after a little prevarication, had to admit he hadn't the faintest idea. He thought it might be somewhere near Oxford Circus, but really it could be anywhere. Definitely London though. Whenever he is in London, he told me, he loses all sense of direction and hasn't the faintest idea where he is. I think, in the circumstances, he's doing rather well to find his way to the surgery every morning (let alone find his way round so many mouths). Anyway, next time I see him, he promises, he'll be able to tell me where to find this musical goldmine.
I went on my way, for the next four hours unable to eat, barely able to drink, and feeling as if half of someone else's jaw had been crudely attached to mine in some sort of Frankensteinian experiment. All's well today, though, apart from a little residual pain.
PS: I see Blackberry is in trouble. Clearly they should merge with Apple. Easy as pie. This could be the anaesthetic talking...


  1. The shop was almost certainly Harold Moores Music, hard by Oxford Circus in Gt Marlborough Street - the sort of dusty, old fashioned record shop I spent far too many hours dreaming in, as a boy. As the HMV's and Borders have come, and gone, they have somehow found a way of hanging in there and winning customers with quaint but efficient service, and a staunch refusal to modernise, at least in any noticeable way.

  2. Great - thanks Mahlerman - and seems he was right after all! I must go and have a browse...