Saturday, 28 May 2016

What Is Northern Soul?

That sounds like the answer to a question on Jeopardy! (America's favourite quiz show, starring Alex Trebek) only what might the question be?

A seagull blitzed me yesterday, the little tinker, smack on the left shoulder. Don't ask me what sort of gull it was - possibly black-headed, more probably Common, definitely bad-assed. I was wearing a thin blue t-shirt at the time. Bad-assed seagull shit is warm, weighty, quite gritty and it absolutely reeks of fish. I walked the mile and a half home with this deposit emblazoned, congealing and whiffing on my shoulder. I acted as if nothing had happened. That's Northern Soul!

It's only the second time I've suffered a direct hit in nearly 3 years of living in the jewel of the north; quite a low incidence given the squadrons of gulls constantly wheeling overhead. (On the previous occasion, coincidentally, I was also wearing a thin blue t-shirt. You may wish to file that information away.) I'm told it's a very lucky strike when this Blackpool blitz happens. I made a wish. Pity the poor gull if the wish comes true.

Now I wouldn't like you to think that being shat on by a gull is the most exciting thing that's happened to me all week, but I'm not at liberty to tell you about the several more exciting things, so blitzing will just have to suffice, I'm afraid. And today's blog is perforce quite short as, like Lady Curt, I'm heading out of town early to miss the Bank Holiday traffic, only I shall be turning right (i.e. south) not left (i.e north) and heading for the Peak District.

I absolutely love living in Blackpool, but it's good to get out of town occasionally... and then it's exciting heading back to the coast of a Saturday evening with the tower a welcoming beacon, three piers punctuating the Irish Sea, the expansive sense of openness and the breath-taking sunsets.

Moody magnificence - high tide and tangerine skies looking to south pier from the promenade
One day I shall complete a poem that does justice to the full experience of living in the jewel of the north: "This is the town/up on the gold coast..." etc.  It's a work in process. 3 years isn't time enough.

In the meantime, a couple of poetic offerings to fill the gap. First a hastily dashed off terse verse of my own:

Northern Soule
He's made of one part grit,
One part wit
And there's shit in the tread
Of his northern sole.

Finally for today, I'll sign off with a few words from Ash, a favourite northern rock & roll combo:

Tonight there's no denying, no there's no denying
there's something magic in the air.
Emotional disorder came from out of nowhere
and took me unaware.
The patterns of the oceans, lost in her emotions,
you know that I don't care....
On nights when the north wind blows through your heart,
dream of a new age...

                                                [from 'There's a Star' on Free All Angels, 2001]

Thanks for reading. Dream of a new age, S ;-)


Anonymous said...

Ha ha - love 'an incontinence of gulls'.