Elbow Room

News wise, things are bleak people. I am still keeping up with stuff, and apologies for not sharing my piquant thoughts on the state of affairs locally, nationally and globally in some time. I think about it a lot, but frankly I don’t know how to write that feeling of wanting to douse my eyes in bleach whilst banging my head on the desk, and weeping incessantly for the future of my children, country, sex, planet in enough different ways to cover it all.

Basically, if you’re poor, poorly and particularly if you’re female, you should give up now with any hope that anyone with any kind of power anywhere is going to help you. You should just watch back episodes of Ray Mears’ survival guide and stockpile tins of tomato soup and crepe bandages whilst sharpening all the dinner knives into shivs. Sisters need to do it for themselves, like Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox but with a side order of Bear Grylls on maracas.

I just hope they give me a hysterectomy before they turn being a surgeon into something Guides can do if they’ve already got their ‘Safety in the Home’ and ‘Hostess’ badge. I really don’t fancy the idea of Tallulah bearing down on me with a Swiss army penknife and an evil glint in her eye. Her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, as does her anatomical knowledge. One of her most oft quoted lines in this house is, ‘who needs a pelvis when you have some shoes?’ I do not want think about what she would do with my gynaecological gubbins, or the fact she’d probably make an incision at the ear.

On that front, I am quite a lot better this week, for which I praise teeny baby Cheezus and all his multitudinous angels. Joint pain is much, much less and only one headache this week, and that was stress related and controllable by over the counter meds. I am however still having issues with hot flushes, only mine are more of the tepid variety so not too bad. Sleeplessness is kicking in, which is a bit of a bitch, but having had three children and survived on fragments of sleep since 1999 I can live with it. I just need to invest in more Touche Eclat.

This morning, after having read all the gloom and misery of the news I was feeling a bit down about the state of the world in general until a friend of mine mentioned in a Tweet that she had been listening to Elbow in the sunshine. This was the beginning of a conversation in which we agreed that:

Guy Garvey should definitely read the news, because his voice is so soothing that even the most miserable of things sound bearable.

It should be mandatory for every man to accept that they will lose their wife/partner to Guy should he crook his little finger and whistle. The men, also half in love with him, will simply sigh and understand that this is the natural order of the world.

There is nothing that a combination of lyrics that read like they’ve been put together by Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett, combined with a sweeping musical landscape and the warm, rough tones of a professional Northerner won’t sort out for the better.

I am currently listening obsessively to the album ‘Leaders of the Free World’. Station Approach is a wonderful song and you should definitely listen to it, because it’s all about coming home, and who doesn’t want to feel like they’re coming home?  However, for the sheer genius of the lyrics and a cracking score, it’s got to be Forget Myself as my stone cold winner of the album and one for my Desert Island Discs list.

In fact I love this song so much I have lectured the children on its sheer genius and clever poetic method until they roll their eyes. I make no apologies for the fact that I actually talked about the plot line and the kinaesthetic energy of the narrative. Just bury me in Quinoa wrapped in back copies of The Guardian. Sing this at the funeral (along with Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive – just for the laugh).

They’re pacing Piccadilly in packs again
And moaning for the mercy of a never come rain
The sun’s had enough and the simmering sky
Has the heave and the hue of a woman on fire
Shop shutters rattle down and I’m cutting the crowd
All scented and descending from the satellite towns
The neon is graffiti singing make a new start
So I look for a plot where I can bury my broken heart

No I know I wont forget you
but I’ll forget myself
if the city will forgive me

The man on the door has a head like Mars
Like a baby born to the doors of the bars
And surrounded by steam with his folded arms
He’s got that urban genie thing going on
He’s so mercifully free of the pressures of grace
Saint Peter in satin he’s like Buddha with mace

No I know I wont forget you
but I’ll forget myself
if the city will forgive me

Do you move through the room with a glass in your hand
Thinking too hard about the way you stand
Are you watching them pair off and drinking them long
Are you falling in love every second song

No I know I wont forget you
but I’ll forget myself
and the city will forgive me

5 responses to “Elbow Room

  1. I never really listen to elbow but I am going to turn them on now. I’ve been trying to shake off feeling depressed about the results today but it’s impossible. So if elbow helps I’ll give it a go.

  2. Like any sensible woman, I adore Guy Garvey. My OH carries a torch for the (admittedly divine) Mrs G, Rachael Stirling as was, so if a bit of a swap was on the cards, he (OH) probably wouldn’t have any objections at all! 🙂

    Having watched Guy hold the audience in the palm of his hand during some Glastonbury coverage a year or so ago, I mused that it is just as well he seems set on using his powers for good, as I reckon he could take over the world should he so wish.

    Have you got the new Elbow album? It is a wondrous thing.

  3. In response to current events in the world in general I’ve retreated into music as well. The trouble is in my case we’re talking Nick Cave at his most apocalyptic. I don’t think this is going to end well (for other people at least) because like you I’ve concluded that no one is going to look after anyone now and – on the grounds that we’ll be OK because we have money (we have been very lucky in both being only children and having parents who had property to leave) – fuck everyone else. We’ll take care of our own immediate circle. Right now I’m struggling to suppress the urge to demand what the hell people are thinking to vote the way they have. I have a terrible feeling that in the next few years I’ll also be suffering the urge to say “serves you right, you voted for this!”

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