Sunday, 5 May 2019

It was a lonely night

Latvia 
Carousel
That Night

I was at this thing the other day and one of those people that knows me from another thing was talking about something important to them, and slowly their grip on my attention started to loosen and my mind drifted away from the conscious reality of sitting there listening to them as my brain gently rose like a hot air balloon ascending the heavens and gliding across a landscape of idle thoughts, while back on Earth my face was sat beside them saying "mmm" and "ooh" and "really?" and occasionally arching its eyebrows like an actor in a commercial who's been asked to wordlessly indicate that cough sweets work.

As I gazed down at the idle thoughts, wondering which to toy with, I became aware of the fuzzy, trance-like state I was in, and realised that although I'd entered this reverie out of boredom, the experience of boredom itself was proving pretty interesting. In fact, I don't think "boredom" itself actually exists. There's no such thing as boredom, just varying degrees of fascination.

Here's an example. When I was 13 I was off school for weeks, literally bedridden. I couldn't walk or run. And back then there was no internet or satellite TV. I couldn't move my right arm without experiencing blinding pain, which meant most existing forms of entertainment, from reading to self-appreciation, were off the menu. All I could do was watch terrestrial TV. Unfortunately, it seemed my illness was taking place in the middle of a non-stop televised bowls tournament.

Carousel So there I was, forced to lie still and watch bowls for hours. Did I lose my mind with boredom? No. I got into it, without even trying. Easy when there's nothing else to do. First, you choose a favourite player - not consciously, it just happens. Perhaps one of them's a bit slick, or you don't like his glasses. Instantly, you root for the other guy. Then there's the game itself, which largely consists of tantalising footage of bowls gently swerving to a halt as close to the jack as possible. This struck me as twice as exciting as the climax of Ghostbusters 2 (which was prescient of me, since Ghostbusters 2 didn't come out until the year after).

What I'm saying is the mind entertains itself no matter what. It's a blessing. It means that I've become fascinated by Carousel. I've watched them in Latvian concert show "Pasaka ziemā". I've dug out both Sabīne and Mārcis' performances from the 2017 Latvian selection. I've dug into the exciting back catalogue of Stanislav Judins on double bass and Mareks Logins on drums, who bring "a distinctive vibe and sound".

And I tried, I really did, listening to their Eurovision entry "That Night". For well over six seconds I imagined that it was one of those soundtracks to one of those romantic road movies where people don't understand why they're not who they used to be or something but then I remembered I had a cake to bake – I've got no clue at all (cep, cep, cep, cep, cep kuuku) I've got a cake to bake – and haven't done that before (cep, cep, cep, cep, cep kuuku) don't be proud, mate please don't bother,
go, come on and ask your mother, how to bake, how to bake, bake that cake.