Sunday, May 12, 2013

Easing through the weekend

I’m back in the UK for the week – alternating days in Cambridge, Sheffield, and London. The annual carnival (small ‘c’) came to the Green as well, a blue space rocket outside the window in the morning.  ‘kind of a cheerful blue-on-green-on-blue as warm spring Weather finally arrives.

Summer fairs, with whirling rides and barker’s games, junk food and neon lights, were always events that I enjoyed growing up.  It was grass underfoot, twilight overhead, a group of friends from work or school, easy banter and relaxed laughter,  There was never a sense of stress or hurry, just easy drift from game to ride, long into the warm evening buzzing with insects.

And speaking of buzz, let’s turn to coffee.


I’m using an AeroPress to craft my morning brew.  It’s a press device that extrudes a single shot: a scoop of coffee in the cylinder, boiling water and stir, and press through the filter.  Simple, yet the results can be very different depending on how much coffee, time, and water are used.

I’m no good at science projects pre- coffee, so I went looking for the ideal mix of factors. It turns out that there is an AeroPress World Championship, with winning recipes recommending pre-wet filters, 85C water, and  double-fine ground coffee.

And the Inverse AeroShot.  Flip the cylinder to hold  the coffee while it brews,  then shoot the shot.  Mornings became even more complex after looking for  advice – I’ll converge on a single recipe soon.

Fairport Convention came to the Junction on Saturday evening, a venerable folk band that sound like Gordon Lightfoot and attracts a crowd of ex-DeadHeads.  Great fun.

The older folk / jazz / blue artists in small venues really do put on a superior show.  They are comfortable with one another, they know their material, and their one-liners are well-honed.  The shows tend to be relaxed and interactive, with a familiar audience and self- depreciating references to their 60’s gigs and 70’s tours.

I like to be challenged when I go to see art; but I prefer to be warmed when I go to listen to it.

Usual disclaimer;  I have neither been asked nor incented to give my opinions.


Textual Healer said...

Fairport? Wow, jealous! They organise and host a festival every summer in the Oxford region (maybe the wrong shade of blue for you!) which I have been meaning to go to for years. They invite contemporary acts as well as 'old farts'. And your Dead analogy is right on the nail! I never made it before - but I agree that there is the same degree of iconoclasm around the Fairports in the UK as there seemed to be around the Dead in the US (though perhaps with fewer VW camper vans or tie dye t-shirts). Next career in rock journalism???

Dave Hampton said...

I can't wait :) It was a good venue and a relaxed concert, grey beards and wire glasses above black t-shirts and bulging tummies. My sort of crowd.
I've joined their festival page on Facebook and have considered going over to the concert later this summer if the weather (ever) improves...

Textual Healer said...

I went to a concert with an audience like that this week. Five accordionists (named Samurai). It felt like a homecoming. I didn't think Americans 'got' the English folk thing. My American friends with whom I share many musical tastes don't much appreciate the jigs and reels