This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Sunday 12th January
On the way home from a very enjoyable weekend in The Smoke. Lots of boxes ticked: a rousing London derby, night in a posh hotel, a couple of hours spent with Dad and a catch up with Mr and Mrs Beare. Last leg of the journey. Sunset in St Leonards. No doubt about it, I will sleep well tonight.
Saturday 11th January
I was just about to eat my supper when the news broke - Neil Peart of Rush dies of brain cancer at 67. HOLY FUCK! I had no idea he was ill, though it transpires the band's organisation managed to keep it secret for three-and-a-half-years. What a terrible, terrible loss. I wasn't fortunate enough to meet Neil but that never bothered me. He was one of those guys that didn’t do small-talk and he had a brain the size of a whale. It was probably best to admire Peart's immeasurable talents from afar. As Amanda will testify, I spent the evening in a daze, constantly checking for tributes and updates on my phone.
So here I am a, up at stupid o'clock (5am) to go to football and listening - truly listening - to this obscenely brilliant piece of music. The mood, the playing, the lyrics, the sheer scale of ambition and attention to detail. It's strange how we absorb and accept what we hear; after several thousand spins it becomes 'the norm'. For the very first time since being exposed to 'Xanadu' as a teenager I'm sitting here at my desk blown away by its ingenuity. It's truly remarkable. Finding myself on the verge of tears. Might have to put a cherry brandy into this tea before the journey to Selhurst. RIP, The Professor.
[Edit: Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 1. The Eagles start the game and finish it above the Gooners. How far we've come. A very useful point. COYP]
Friday 10th January
There's a brand new Wishbone Ash single called 'We Stand As One', taken from their forthcoming 50th anniversary set 'Coat Of Arms' (due at the end of next month). It's a bit of a protest song, hence the fists raised in the air. I was in the crowd at the Islington Academy when it was filmed, so I've heard the song a few times but it hits the spot with me. Look out for a guest spot from my pal Robert Corich at the 1.30 mark. I was next to him, but you can't see me. :-(
By the way, fellow Bowie fans should check out this inspirational story from Rolling Stone on David's last few years.
Wednesday 8th January
Are there any other fans of the programme Peep Show out there? David Mitchell and Robert Webb are brilliant funny in it... Olivia Coleman, too. All of the episodes are now running on UK Gold - truly side-splitting comedy. Series link set!
Tuesday 7th January
I've been working on a top secret project throughout the festive break, will pass on the details as soon as I'm allowed, but it's back to the grindstone in terms of my duties at Classic Rock. When you've been writing obituaries for almost two days only a blast of euphoric, crystalline AOR will elevate the mood. I 'kin love this album. After I reviewed it at the back end of last year for CR I received an email from Pat Cash (yes, *that* Pat Cash!) who said: "Just a quick note to say brilliant job at recommending Work of Art! What an album!! Perfectly cheesy and happy. Damn, those Swedes keep making good stuff." Pat loves his AOR, hahaha!
Monday 6th January
I was up at dawn for yesterday's FA Cup Third Round game vs Grannyshagger Rooney and Derby County. Once again, a very disappointing result (0-1 to the Championship side) but at least I got to spend time with my sports bud. Let's just concentrate on the league...
Friday 3rd January
Fitness update: Day #3 of four (I couldn't walk, let alone run, after my indulgent New Year's Eve). Shortened the track just a jot. Each time I go out I'm a little faster and stopping less (from four breaks to one, and today, zero).
Thursday 2nd January
Very disappointed by the result of yesterday's game vis Norwich. Fair play to my eldest lad Eddie who made the trip for the game in Norfolk which saw the home side take the lead. Palace equalised just before the end thanks to a VAR offside decision. So many areas of weakness to address - Luka Milivojević really must improve his dead-ball deliveries. Palace have not scored a goal from a corner at almost 100 attempts which, frankly, is a complete joke. Still, at least we didn't lose this one. Poor old Norwich now look Championship-bound, which is a shame as they kept faith with the players that got them promoted and have played some very decent football... but the league table doesn’t lie.
Just back from my first run in maybe 18 months, a simple one for starters - down to the beach huts at Grosvenor Crescent and home again. It's gonna take a while to get back into shape but I shall relish the challenge in 2020, it's one of the reasons I wanted to move to the seaside. #freshair #exercise
Wednesday 1st January
Happy New Year everybody. I saw in 2020 with a 'disco' at the Hastings & St Leonards Angling Club... yeah, really! Amanda and I had her 16-year-old lad Ewan with us, which meant exclusion from the local pubs, but a good time was had by all (our friends Jeff and Philippa joined us, and Cliff Evans from Tank dropped in for one drink and stayed till past Auld Lang Syne). I was drinking Somersby strawberry and rhubarb-flavoured cider which was 'kin delicious. The night ended with just about all of our gang out on the dance floor jigging around to the strains of 'The Ballroom Blitz' by The Sweet. Start as you mean to go on, eh?