I've just got back from a weekend spent with friends in Glastonbury. That's Glastonbury the town as opposed to Glastonbury the festival.
For those who've never experienced Glastonbury (the town) then let me set the scene. One street (hill actually) that bends at a right angle at the bottom (like a capital L) featuring about 20 shops selling all manner of New Age paraphenalia, a couple of book shops and some good vegetarian cafes. The whole place is themed around some spurious notion that it's the mythical Isle of Avalon (I think 'mythical' is the key word there) and as such has built it's entire identity around New Age tourism.
I have a strange - or maybe that should read strained - relationship with the place. It's just too fucking nice! The people are nice, the shops are nice, the buildings are nice, the litter is nice - aaaaargh! Within half an hour of arriving I'm looking to buy the foulest pornography available - 'anal puppy sluts' or somesuch - so i can sit and read it in the town square just to sully the place a little - does this make me a bad person? - I think not.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a complete curmudgeon (just mostly) - I like the fact that it's got a free and easy vibe to the place. It's all just lacking that edge that I need to keep me interested (or even conscious). Sue, my partner, on the other hand loves it there as she can let her inner hippy run riot and so i get dragged from crystal shop to crystal shop looking at shiny rocks and assorted tat.
It was good to meet up with some old friends again though and I had plenty of time to write some more reviews (the new orchestramaxfieldparish album is a corker) and also managed to do some reading - Concrete vol.2, (which was good fun although the russian agents in the everest story were a little cheesy), John Wagner's History of Vilence which was way better than the film, The Push Man by Yoshihiro Tatsumi which was an interesting change from the usual manga dreck and i managed to finish reading The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes an interesting, but flawed, stab of alternative victoriana - not quite steampunk but with the addition of, i suppose, magic (it's never really clear) that leads for some quirky and unexpected twists and turns.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.