I walked Bruno this morning as I have done every morning for the past 11 weeks. I always go to the same place – the fields behind a pub called The Friars Oak. Someone asked me the other day whether Bruno gets bored always going on the same walk. I hadn’t really thought about that so I asked him before we went out this morning whether he would like to go somewhere else and he just looked at me lovingly so I took this to mean that he was happy to go anywhere. I don’t get bored because I play a podcast on the phone and this morning it was the third of Malcolm Gladwell’s trilogy on the casuistic method that Jesuits use to solve problems. Maybe I’ll expand on this another time because it was much more interesting than I anticipated it would be. For the last two days I’ve walked a little further than normal because my back wasn’t hurting as much as it normally does. It wasn’t any easier putting on my socks this morning but walking 4 miles didn’t seem to be a problem this morning. Maybe it’s something to do with losing weight because I’m down to 12 stone 7 pounds this morning which is 21 pounds lighter than on March 19th. I doubt that that’s it though. For some reason I was even able to vacuum the house this morning in anticipation of Roo’s birthday tomorrow.
My Mum used to tell me never to grow old to which I asked her if she wanted me to die young. But I understood what she meant because the aches and pains of being in my Sixties are only going to be amplified as the years go on. I used to love going to gigs but in the past few years, I’ve either been to a seated gig in which case there’s never enough leg room and my backside hurts or it’s a standing gig and my back hurts. I had been looking forward to seeing Lucy Dacus with Richard at The Hope and Ruin in April 2018 but after enduring the support act, it became increasingly painful to remain standing in the tiny spot that I made my own. After about 40 minutes I left the gig and went downstairs to sit in the pub where they were playing the loudest, most tuneless heavy metal music possible. I fitted in like a mattress on a bottle of wine but at least I got to sit down.
Lucy Dacus was 23 years old when she released her second record, “Historian”. The review in “Pitchfork” states that “It’s not an easy album to wear out. It lasts, and it should, given that so many of its lyrics pick at time, and the way time condenses around deep emotional attachments to other people.”
The standout track is “Pillar Of Truth” which is 7 minutes long. It starts very simply with just a guitar accompaniment. The song is a paen to her recently deceased grandmother. “I am weak looking at you, a pillar of truth, turning to dust” It’s slow, tuneful and emotional. After two verses, bass, drums and brass kick in. “Lord, have mercy on my descendants for they know not what they do”. The pace quickens and yet Lucy’s vocals remain languid, sad and loving. As the song builds, her voice grows more intense before she yelps “Then my soul screams out to you!” “Pitchfork” describes the song: “At times, she seems to switch places with her grandmother, describing the death with first-person pronouns as if she were the one at the end of her life, looking up at her family from her deathbed. Then she snaps back to herself, and all the life she still has left.”