Tuesday 11 July 2006

Sailing Weekend

We went sailing last weekend with some sailing friends of ours. We stayed overnight on the yacht moored in Gosport (Portsmouth), got up early on Saturday and then sailed up to Yarmouth via Newtown on Saturday. Sunny and lots of wind. Excellent sailing! Woke in the middle of the Sunday night to what sounded like a raging storm. In the morning, I briefly considered getting Jenny to take the kids home on a bus but we dropped our mooring lines with all onboard. It sounded worse than it was. The rain cleared up by the time we stopped in Cowes for lunch. The afternoon was brilliant for a gorgeous run back across the Solent home. The picture was taken just on our way into Cowes.

The yacht was an aging Sigma 33. A bit old and tired but it handled very well. First time using a tiller for me. It some ways it's better than a wheel since you always know the rudder position.  Can't say the yacht was very comfortable to sleep on but it was ok for two nights. Cheap and cheerful.

I was happy to be out on the water again trying to remember all the stuff from last year. Jenny still isn't too convinced about sailing but is a good sport about it. Didn't get sick this time! The kids tolerate it well but it does seem a bit boring for them and they often get lulled to sleep waking up when we stop somewhere.

I've got a sailing trip planned for just myself in August to get more experience with the vague hope of doing another flotilla next year. Always looking for fellow crew members!

Wednesday 5 July 2006

Hyde Park Calling: Roger Water plays Dark Side of the Moon

Last Saturday Jenny and I headed down to Hyde Park and caught the Roger Waters concert. It was just too irresistable with the promise that he was going to play the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon.

It was excellent and we managed to stand up close to the stage for a great view.

The day was stonkingly hot so we got there late missing a few bands that played in the afternoon. We did get to see Texas though. She had a difficult time because they were also showing the England vs Portugal game at the same time on a large screen nearby so half the guys in the audience weren't watching her performance and she stopped during the penalty shootout. However she was there to provide some cheer after England crashed out of the World Cup.

Roger Waters opened with "In The Flesh" - great start! - and played many Pink Floyd classics. Surprisingly, he also played Set The Controls To The Heart Of The Sun early in the first set too - you could tell most of the audience weren't fans of old Floyd. That was the only pre-Dark Side song. It was followed by the likes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here, Have A Cigar and Sheep. Noticed many pictures of Syd Barrett. Much of the concert was a sing-a-long. Many refrains of "you can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat" could be heard.

He also did some post-Floyd songs I didn't know. And he played a very recent single of his called Leaving Beruit accompained with comic book style illustrations with lyrics projected onto the stage screens. Very anti-war, anti-Bush & Blair. Roger wears his politics and I like that.

I didn't take my camera for fear of getting it taken away but it turned out that lots of people had cameras and video recorders going all through the concert. I wish I had some pictures for you but you can find some on the 'net.

After a short break, he began the second set introducing Nick Mason - huge cheer. And they proceeded to play all of Dark Side of the Moon. Some of it obviously came from the original recordings - with the addition of a rushing train mixed into On The Run. I didn't catch her name but they had a superb black female singer do the scat singing to The Great Gig In The Sky (originally done by Clare Torry). She was spot on. Absolutely stunning.

Dark Side of the Moon still remains one of my all time favourite albums. I can hear every note in my head so it was immensely satisfying to hear it live. I heard Roger Waters back in 1986 and I've been to a post-split Pink Floyd concert. I still hope to one day to hear a reunited Pink Floyd.

The encore started with The Happiest Days Of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall (part 2) followed by Vera / Bring the Boys Back Home and Comfortably Numb for an excellent concert close.