I am in Broadstairs with Jim-one of my best mates and we are looking forward to a unusual and passionate celebration of radical cutting edge folk.
And by the way-what exactly is the term 'Folk' if not a vague descriptive noun for 'music of the people'?
But here in the heart of Folk week an aural nightmare begins to unfold with the relentless plinkety plonkety happy clapping bell ringing morris dancing bearded folky set with their weird looking ancient instruments and their tarrum tarra refrains and their pewter mugs hanging from their rucksacks. This cacophony of ancient musical shite. Oh Lord of the Sounds deliver us from 'Folk'. Even now the restless deebeedeebedu plucking mandolins and the weeweeweeweewo violins tear at me having heaved in through the unsafe orifices of my unguarded ears like audio burglars smashing up the china shop of my so carefully collected internal rhythms. Why is no one walking around wearing headphones-noise cancelling ones? 'Why are you here?' I wish to scream at groups of scantily clad 17 year old Italian girls with their glossy hair and the big brown eyes of gently ruminating cows and their language college rucksacks and their long long brown legs. Why???
Then we stop along the prom and see three young lads soundchecking with mobile gear and he sings and we suddenly have some passion and originality and a voice with some beautiful stretching emotion hauled out of a guitar, a bass and a tiny drum set. This is music! This is what it's about! Relief floods over me-all is not lost.
But they have to pack their gear away to yet more empire building folkies with their tarrum tarra again and their fucking whining violins and their Ewan McColl dirty old town renditions-awful! Soundtracking our over-salted, over cooked and over priced cod in 'Posillipos' Italian where sour looking Italian waiters ejaculate black pepper over our gruel-food.
Then Jim quite literally has this amazing lightbulb moment!
'too right mate' I assent, 'any more violation of the eardrums in this manner and I am prone to murderous intent upon a possible innocent party. Indeed let us repair to the safe haven of my flat.'
On the road up my friend nearly steps in a mound of vomit on which mould is growing. I internally gag and day 1 is, thank Saturn's round rings, finally over.
I sleep badly having a sea kayaking dream about my kayak being smashed just before a Scottish Island expedition. I wake at 4am feeling nauseous like a parrot has crapped in my throat. But out at sea earlier in the day I saw a beautiful lugger blowing to windward. Her bowsprit almost her length again holding full sail like a vision of what-might-one-day-be.
And in the morning the sea shimmers like a silver curtain-beautiful as we walk past Bleak House. Fucking Dickens I muse internally. He's like a rash in Broadstairs, and I will deliberately never read Bleak bleeding House! Anyway I saw the TV series, and I liked it muchly. I have started writing again-where will it all end?