Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dervish on my mind

One of the pleasant things about working from home sometimes is that I get to listen to music without headphones and without interruption. Right now I'm enjoying Dervish's 1996 album Playing With Fire. It's just so pleasing. It helps me forget the Eurovision fiasco, and bolsters my belief they've got other more interesting things in store.

A couple years back I was listening to the cranial jukebox--that's when you get a song stuck in your head; sometimes pleasant, but more often irritating, especially when it's just the few bars from an old record commercial and you never heard the rest of that song so that's all you've got and it goes around over and over in your head...

Well anyway, a couple years ago, it was a Dervish song stuck in my head (The Banks of the Sweet Viledee, another version of the House Carpenter). This led me to visit their website to see when they might next be around Chicago on tour. Not anytime soon, I found, but they'd be at a festival in Sebastopol, California in late September. For some reason, I checked the website for that festival and the lineup of performers was stupendous! In no time, I'd told my husband that this was how we should celebrate our tenth anniversary, with a trip to this festival. Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait, and a fine time we had, too. We splashed for VIP tickets and brought the instruments, too (the guitar got lost and found and delivered 75 miles to our hotel). We knew no one in town, but quite a few of the performers. One new discovery was the Welsh poet Les Barker; it's hard to pick a favorite among his many self-published poems, but I can't forget about the lovesick dachsund... Thanks to Cloud for the great hospitality.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

One (hundred) for the road?

Yesterday was the first frost. Today is November 3rd, and even though it's almost 8:00 in the morning and quite light, our yard is full of birds. There are countless robins in the box elders lining our back fence, and they're darting around madly like barn swallows. I step out on the deck to marvel, but they take no notice.
A trio of mourning doves is foraging under the great tall spruce outside the kitchen window. Something small and stripey (a nuthatch? do we get those here?) is shouldering them out of the way as they earnestly overturn the dry needles.
Coco is buried there. My cockatiel companion for eleven years, he always liked to find the highest perch in the room, which often meant the tallest guest's shoulder. When he died, we laid him under the blue spruce, some fifty feet tall.
I wonder if everyone's finally getting ready to go someplace warmer for the winter.