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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Drop Ball, Arguments & the Racist Taxi Driver

Monday 16th and I drive to the Rainbow room to set up laptops for the kids to use today. Marilyn Manson is playing, ‘Coma White’ from the Mechanical Animals album. Everyone arrives and we start the day with a quick game of drop ball. The iPod shuffles in the corner for a while, until Olivia and the others start to make their own music, using some DJ software I have brought in. The sound of drum beats, claps, slaps and pre-recorded bass lines reverberate around the room; a cacophony of synthesised noises.


After a brief trip in the sun to the park and a stroll around the local cemetery, we end the day listening to music on Olivia’s laptop. I drive home as Charice, sings her recent hit featuring Iyaz, ‘Pyramid’.


Tuesday 17th, and the rain welcomes me as I make a morning cuppa at 06.30. The Specimen are playing ‘Lovers’ as the toaster pops it’s contents up. The day looks dismal, but hopefully the activities we have planned will brighten us. I drive in as Mel B shuffles forward with ‘Tell Me’, from her rather disappointing solo album, ‘Hot’.

We decided to make our own pop video, so we chose a song from the 80’s and set about filming sequences.


Thursday 19. After a few games of ‘Drop Ball’ we set off to the park to film the last sequences for our music video. As usual, the boys fall out, one minute they're the best of friends, the next sworn enemies. Back at the room for lunch and the noise levels are deafening, as kids scream, shout and play music. I say play music, in reality all they do is skip tracks after ten seconds, so all we get to hear are intro’s from a smorgasbord of genres. As I write this Daniel has his blue iPod shuffle plugged into the speakers and Michael Jackson is playing, ‘Black and White’.


I nip to the shops to get dog food, Beyonce, is belting out ‘Crazy in Love’, I drive around the corner and a taxi blocks the road. I wait patiently for the taxi driver to let his customer leave the car. The driver then indicates that he wants me to reverse in a small gap so he can pass me, when he has ample space to reverse. The driver, a Pakistani, sticks two fingers up at me, I point out that I’m not the person parked so no one else can get past, to which he calls me a F#####g white c##t, before driving off. Now I have never been a racist and find the concept of racism abhorrent, however my tolerance towards young Pakistani men is beginning to wane. Every one I seem to come across has a bad attitude and is hostile.

Friday 20, I write this as Sylvester sings ‘How Great Thou Art’, I think the world lost an amazing talent when Sylvester James passed away in 1988. He is remembered as a flamboyant disco artist, but there was so much more in him. He was a great blues singer and exceptional entertainer. Sadly 41 years old is no age to take the stylus off the vinyl.


I drive to the final day of the Action Project, summer school for 2010, as Ultravox play ‘The Prize’ from their U-Vox album. There’ll be no prizes today for guessing who’ll be relieved to leave at 16.00 and start packing for next weeks flight to Italy.

Sunday comes around and after spending 9 hours yesterday in the kitchen, of course being entertained by the shuffling of songs, as I prepared food and tasty nibbles, all in readiness for Sunday’s al fresco day – a sort of barbecue without the barbecue, it’s an outdoor eating of Italian food in England. So as the iPod in the kitchen lets rip with a blast from the past: to coin a cliché, Kylie’s ‘I’ll Still Be Loving You’ from her debut album, I start to stuff cherry tomatoes with garlic and anchovies.

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