the fiver. the simple, humble fiver. for some thirty years it has been the lowest denomination banknote one can get in (as far as i know) all of the United Kingdom. once upon a time this was the standard fee for a new album on vinyl, i think the tape cost 49p or so more. celebrated and somewhat altruistic periodical Viz once claimed that a since-deceased member of the Royal Family had sex for a fiver with a tramp; in a phone box no less. far be it from me to say which member, but it was something that Elton, perhaps in his wisdom, did not mention in his song.
what can one do with a fiver these days? buy five pounds sterling worth of something is the rather obvious answer there. you needed to read this blog to find that out? well, happy to help. as for what i did with a fiver, or a variation of fivers, well, if you have an interest, do read on. go on, you might as well, you are here now anyway.
a super duper happy use of a fiver (or 1p below, pedantic types) was around obtaining this.
yes, that's the 2xCD "book" deluxe of Rewind The Film by the Manics. when it came out last year (September, i think?) i was in SA, and there was no release of the album there. no imported copies either; not even of the single "regular" CD. indeed, regular readers will recall my adventures on trains and such to record stores to see if i could find it. nope.
this would be the third time in a row that i have got the "super" version of one of their albums for a fiver. the other two were Journal For Plague Lovers, which is awesome, and Postcards From A Young Man, which has some really decent tunes on it - mostly the ones they didn't put out as singles. without fail it seems the 2xCD version of their album drops to the cost of the humble fiver when a new album is imminent. to this end, something or other called Futurology is due by them soon-ish. i am too old to read NME so i do not know the specific release date. sorry.
my travels around music shops here are, then, on the whole much better. people in shops appear to have heard of the bands that i like, which is very nice. the little things one takes for granted another cherishes, trust me. my travels also, with much delight, saw me cross the path of two very, very, exceptionally dear friends. quite by chance.
for those that do not know, the above is Andrea, whom my dear friend Mr Norman Bastard has the distinct honour, privilege and pride in referring to as his better half. a wonderful lady who has been a good friend to me and my (considerably) better half over the years. yes, Andrea, yes, we will all get together soon.
a particular highlight of meeting Andrea was that she alerted me to another interesting way i could dispose of a fiver. or two, as it happened. the club shop for that team we were born to support, you seen, had a jolly sale on.
a jolly sale that turned out to make the boys rather happy indeed.
to the cries of "no, serious, really?", yes, i can confirm that both shirts above cost a fiver each. that's down from somewhere over thirty, usually. crazy for kids shirts.
you would have thought, right, that they would make the kits for children a bit (a lot) cheaper, even if it meant bumping the cost of the adult ones up. teaching a child that just the shirt of the team they were born to support is too expensive is a rather brave, bold and dangerous lesson; one unlikely to help with match day attendance figures. not that i am an expert.
the next day (not Bowie album but calendar) was meant to feature all dreadful and ill weather. as you can see from the pic of the boys it was not the case, hence them being pictured outside. we went off for a stroll to the "secret" play park, since having football shirts meant it was appropriate to have a runaround and a kickabout.
yes indeed, Uncle Sinbad and Aunty Maria, that's the football, the one you got for James when he was barely a week old and one that has never been out of his possession. it was enormous fun in the suitcase, believe me.
William has all of a sudden got an interest in football. it came about the moment he got the shirt, which is an interesting precedent. i will be off to the shops once more, then, looking for a "putting away toys is class" t-shirt, or perhaps even one that says "listening to Mummy & Daddy is ace".
what's that? you want to go back to my "anything so long as it is a fiver" exploits and see a picture of me with the legendary Norman Bastard? certainly.
Norman, for the most part, does them marathon things. he is quite selective, though, as he will only do them in cities where David Bowie has a residence, or if they have what he considers to be a "quality airport". i think i will probably go along to one of them with him. he reckons he does one in about five hours. in that time i am really, really confident i can find a nice coffee shop near the start, followed by taking any suitable means of public transport to find another coffee shop, or maybe even a nice bistro, near the end of it all.
yes, probably time for another image of the boys kicking the ball around, "zoomed" as best i could with the magical ways of the blueberry camera.
i probably should have taken the iTwat thingie with me, sorry. these shirts and the football would look even more awesome in Commodore 64 mode. the perfect excuse, then, for another trip soon.
the blueberry, at least, offers a perfectly useable video camera function, which allowed me to make this rather class video of William doing his thing.
do feel free to insert your own "lad in Boro shirt running around in circles" joke here.
as for who William was calling, well, for the first time since we arrived we did not have the park to ourselves. which was a most excellent change. a number of friends and classmates of the boys came along, and they all had a splendid time running themselves ragged. that is, after all, what it is to be young.
so yes, as to what you can do with a fiver, but a deluxe version of a superb Manics album and buy a soon to be out of date football shirt are just two possible answers for you..
the inevitable, cliched conclusion, however, is of course that some thing and some views are just priceless.
aaaah, indeed, dear reader, aaaah.
righty-ho, that will do it for now then! more sooner or later!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!