Originally uploaded by miketransreal
Frankly, it’s been a really milkd winter with almost no below zero temperatures and hardly any snow. Some vicious winds but that’s about all, and most of them were back in December.
We’ve been trying to get out and about a bit more this year on our Sundays so it took until last week to get round to our first visit to the zoo this year.
Big change as you go in!
The 1930s sealion pool has been filled in! For decades, since the aquarium was done away with, this pool has been the first thing visitors saw entering the zoo – almost always with sealions in it! But now it’ll be a big Meerkat habitat. Bit of a comedown for the space in my opinion. But at least they seem to be keeping the life-size statue of Sofus, their big male Patagonian Sealion.
Our January concert, as mentioned in my end of the year post, was at the Fruitmarket in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago as part of Celtic Connections. We went through a bit early and had a meal at one of the restaurants in the old Fruitmarket next door to the venue (which has been considerably done up sine we saw Faust there a while back).
Then it was time for the gig – we wanted to see the support band as well and they were really good – Debademba, from West Africa. Happy to go see them again if they play here. But then it was time for my Christmas present – Manu Dibango! I’ve been a fan for years, ever since his collaborations with Sly & Robbie in the early 1980s – Happy Feelings, Goro City, etc. Still in the house somewhere on 12″ vinyl. I had given up hope of seeing him perform and hadn’t known he was coming to Glasgow until I opened my christmas presents! Excellent gig.
Another gig we went to was a little bit lower key -a friend was playing at Henry’s Cellar Bar, which we’ve been thinking we should check out for years. It’s small but we really enjoyed the three bands that were on – even the punk-a-billy version of Gary Numan‘s Cars! I expect we’ll go back…
Reading has been a bit varied, a re-read of a Jack Vance trilogy (Cadwal Chronicles) the excellent A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias, a so-so Joe Haldeman thriller and now I’m finally getting to grips with Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I’ve owned the UK 1st edition since it came out in 1992 but never got beyond the first 80 pages until now! And it’s very good so far! (Half-way through, and I’m thinking of keeping on going and reading Green and Blue as well. I’ve owned them all for 20+ years so it’s about time! And then I’ll be up-to-date with him at last!
And next weekend, providing the weather doesn’t conspire too much against us, we get to see Peter Hammill‘s new project, a collaboration with Gary Lucas (ex-Magic Band guitarist) at the Union Chapel in London. Last time we were there was the pre-VDGG reforming gig in 1996 they all played at. Hope this is as good!