Saturday, October 27, 2012


Matt T and I decided to spend a few days out on Lundy Island (where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic) for a bit of isolation so we could get a significant chunk of work done on Prime Numbers, Quantum Mechanics and a Journey to the Centre of Your Mind (volume 3 of our Secrets of Creation trilogy, which I'm writing and he's illustrating...hopefully out by the end of the year).

First, I got to have a day out with his former Spacegoats colleague Stella and her partner Colin near Lewes. Matt's in the midst of recording her new album, but we didn't get a chance to play any music. Still, we did get to check out the autumn colours in nearby Sheffield Park Gardens where we saw this leaf float past us on the lake (honestly!)...

...and found this fairy ring (from which I delivered a spontaneous cross-legged mini-lecture on mycelium growth and forest eco-systems to a pleasantly bewildered couple of passers-by):

Matt showed up in the morning, having been working on the production of a new album for Carrie Tree. We drove all the way down to Falmouth so he could drop off his recording gear, which meant I got to visit Rosy (sister of Zoo For You's bass player) in the little geodesic dome she's recently built with Leon from Rae in someone's back garden down there — a very cosy little space. I was told a touching story of her landlady's ancient cat (called Moog!) having just died peacefully in her arms. And a guitar hanging up...Rosy's a secret guitarist too, but I didn't get a chance to hear her play anything.

Matt and I were off to Ilfracombe very early in the morning to get the Oldenburg out to the island. But the seas were too rough, so we were told to stick around until the next day to be flown out there by helicopter. So we did. And it turned out be the most significant day in Ilfracombe's recent history, as Damien Hirst's controversial 66ft sculpture Verity was being erected in the harbour. As we walked along the coast path to a nearby headland we wondered why all the crowds, media, cameras, binoculars, etc....and then we realised. We got a bit of work done that day too, in various spots around Ilfracombe, and true to their word, the Lundy Shore Office people flew us out by helicopter from Hartland Point the next day (a mere six minutes). Unfortunately, this put limitations on what we could carry, so my saz and his bouzouki had to stay behind, which meant that no music got played while we were out there. But an excellent time was had, it didn't rain, we saw a great diversity of seabirds, lots of seals, feral goats, sika deer, crazy rock formations...and quite a bit of the inside of the Marisco Tavern! We got a huge amount done on the visual conclusion of the book (the key ideas arising while sat upon The Tump in the centre of the island, quite appropriately).

Matt's attempt at getting an appropriately authorial photo, in front of "The Pyramid", west coast of Lundy

Our final day was a bit of a work-a-thon, listening to a lot of different psychedelic music on my tinny laptop speakers, including the Grateful Dead's remarkable live set from 1975-03-23 (a good starting point for non-Deadheads), Hillage's Fish Rising, Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Rainforest (never fails to amaze) and Soft Machine's Third.

Matt described the island in the guestbook as "like a giant fossilised dragon crash-landed in the Bristol Channel", and it did feel like there was more going on than mere geology and causality in us being there, then (and it was hard not to think of Hirst's arguably grotesque, massive Goddess of Truth staring out across the water with whacking great sword aloft, as if to say "Don't mess with the Truth!").

On the threshold of my last night's sleep there (this was in the ruins of the 13th century castle keep), I felt compelled to listen to a song that once played a major part in an extraordinary dream I had, "The Sailor and the Dancer" from the Incredible String Band's 1972 Earthspan...and in my threshold-of-sleep state, it did seem to capture something of the "true" underlying story of the place. awaiting a "you f***'in' hippy" comment from Sir Robert Bunkum to appear below : )


Anonymous SRB said...

Always happy to oblige...

Get out of that fairy ring you fucking hippy!!!

Isn't it a shame that for all the effort you put into researching and publishing this excellent blog, the clear majority of comments appear to be soley comprised of me insulting you?


'Sir' robert

9:36 PM  

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