RIP Goblin King

David Bowie was one of those artists that, if you had asked me, I’d have told you that I wasn’t a fan of. “Never been fond.” I would have said, almost automatically. And yet, if you’d have played me some of his songs or even just shown me a list, I would have been “Well except for that one. Oh, and that one. Well yeah, everyone loves that one. Kurt Cobain did it best, but it was a hell of a song to start with.”

The man worked at such a high level that, even for someone like me who doesn’t count himself as a fan, there are songs of his that provide the soundtrack to certain parts of my life. Which isn’t really a surprise, as Bowie provided the soundtrack to pretty much everything else, sometimes with only one song.

Life on Mars alone has been featured in the background of countless iconic scenes in movies and television. That’s without even thinking about the television shows (both British and American) that were named after it. That was just one song. Bowie had dozens that were both innovative and alien, yet somehow perfectly suited to the moments they punctuated, and eminently quotable.

I remember a moment in Red Dwarf, a British science fiction comedy show, where the main characters are trying to steal a spaceship and escape from prison. When asked to identify themselves by Ground Control, one of the characters leans forwards and says “Major Tom” pulling a laugh you just couldn’t get with something that hadn’t entered the lexicon so completely. In fact, if I think on it, I’m not sure I’d even heard Space Oddity back when I heard that joke, yet I still knew the line well enough to get a laugh from it.

There have been a lot of musicians who’ve passed over the years, but the one who comes to mind is oddly connected to Bowie with a song they performed together. Freddie Mercury was something incredibly special and the world lost some of it’s music when he died. I still wouldn’t describe myself as a Bowie fan, but I recognise that something unique has been taken from this world with his passing.

The World Of Cinders

I haven’t been writing much the past few months. That’s pretty much evident from the few posts on here in that time, but I also mean writing in general. My books have fallen by the wayside, and not through lack of trying either.

I live in a block of flats that is part of a community of several different blocks. Not everyone gets on but it wouldn’t be that pesky real life if they did. However, the past few months have been a nightmare for pretty much everyone around these parts. And it’s all thanks to the machinations of one twenty two year old girl. This girl has been horrible ever since she moved in, starting fights and screaming matches in the car park, getting drunk and walking out into the street in her underwear (usually to demand sex from the poor drivers of the cars that go along our street), having all sorts of sad old men over to fund her drink and drugs with the blatant promise of sex for what they buy her. And around three months ago there were finally enough complaints from all the neighbours to get her kicked out. Which is when the trouble really began.

You see, the process for eviction is long and complicated in this country. So many rights have been afforded the tenant that it takes a lot of time, money, and effort for a landlord to evict someone. And that means that this girl, knowing she had nothing to lose but months to stay in her flat, decided to really take it out on the other tenants. For three straight months she has been blasting the radio (not even a CD, but fucking Radio 1) morning, noon, and night. She’s been screaming racial abuse out of the window at the students who pass by. She’s had her friends and customers (the aforementioned old men) riding the car park barriers while off their heads on drugs, until they broke. It’s been ridiculous to see someone that age acting in that manner, and it’s been embarrassing to be associated with by those passing our home. But, mostly, it’s been loud.

Every time in the past few months that I’ve sat down to do some writing or editing, she’s been kicking off one way or another. Even closing all the windows and going to the other side of the flat (bearing in mind that the flats are arranged so that she is already the opposite side of the car park to me) I could still hear her radio turned up to such a volume that it was louder than my television. And there are those who would simply answer “Turn the TV up then.” but that only makes me as much a part of the problem for someone else who is likely already suffering thanks to her.

I haven’t been able to concentrate. The few edits I’ve managed have been done in fits and starts, mainly when the girl’s boyfriend has had an argument with her and taken his music system back. And yet the fake pregnancy she continued to boast about kept bringing him and his bloody speakers back!!!

Raaargh!

Hmmm, it seems I needed to vent a little. At the end of October, two days before Halloween, this girl was finally removed from the flats for good. She’s gone and it has been so quiet since then. In the few days between now and then, I’ve managed to get more editing done than in the months leading up to her eviction. Even before she started kicking off she was distracting me from writing, so I’ll be going over my second draft and double checking everything before I sign off on it. Looks like this one will be getting a third draft before it sits besideĀ it’s predecessor. Still, with a little luck things will stay quiet and this edit should take only a month or so to quickly go through.

As you may have noticed, I’ve taken down my previous World of Cinders page and have amalgamated it with this one. As I was writing less, both pages stayed empty more than they normally would have done, and it helped highlight how little sense it made to spread myself over two different sites.

So, that’s me. I’m back, I’m together, and I can fucking hear again. How are you?