While I’ve been away…

I’m sorry, I’ve not been concentrating properly lately. Also, I’m not 100% sure you can even see these entries since I got Robin to upgrade me to MT 3.2 the other day. From my house I can’t see anything more recent than the Eurovision Song Contest. Anyway, here are some great things: Elvis Costello’s collaboration with Allen Toussaint. Juliet hates Costello so I’m winding her up something rotten by leaving the album playing in the car whenever I switch off. It’s quite awesome. About ten absolutely brilliant songs that I can’t stop singing (the kids shout at me to shut up on the school run – I have become an embarrassing Dad). Toussaint and Costello are men in their prime: driving, soulful, humane, er… tromboney (also, this year’s best lyric: “What happened to that Liberty Bell I heard so much about?/Did it really ding dong?/It must have dinged wrong/It didn’t ding long.”).

Obviously I’m a regular listener to ‘On Your Farm’, the BBC’s weekly farming show that goes out at the crack of dawn on a Sunday. Last week it came from a dairy farm in Somerset run by a friendly sounding geezer called Michael Eavis (of course, no one at the Beeb thinks it worthwhile keeping stuff like this available for longer than a week so here’s an MP3).

It’s sort of rambling and not, perhaps, the toughest critique the author will see but I am an absolute junkie for Freeman Dyson in any context and his review of Daniel Dennett’s anti-religion book in the NYRB is readable and clever and full of good anecdotes (my own view is that scientists don’t serve the scientific cause as well as they think they do when they wade in to demolish religion. In fact, I think they almost always wind up making a series of category errors that make them look obsessive and pedantic and not lofty and disinterested as they no doubt intend).