Well, my letter writing seems to be at a steady stream. I have 5 penpals so far, a guy in France, and ladies in Germany, Bath, Finland & America. I had written to a lady in Belgium but received the letter back saying that the address was incomplete, so messaged her as I had copied and pasted her address from her message. Yesterday, I received a message asking if I would write to a guy in Russia, so what the hell, although I find writing the first letter always a little hard as I never know what to say or how far to go. Do I just do a page intro and leave it at that or do I write something longer with no reals scope on discovery? Getting a happy medium is quite the thing. My penpal in Hamburg sticks to one sheet of A4 paper, both sides which work well, but I can be a chatterbox in the letter writing side, and when sending to my one in Bath manage usually 9 pages.
Postcards are coming thick and fast from Postcrossing, and with extras from my friend at Cupcakes & Canter, who was a great help with the penpals and quite an authority on the subject.
Now my mission is to get a penpal in Japan. I learned to speak Japanese many many years ago and loved everything about the culture and the place, so thought I penpal there would be fun. Maybe find one in New York as it is a place that I love to see on films and the TV, and maybe one in Australia or New Zealand. Oh, and Iceland too!
This morning we went on a little trip (with the dogs too) to have a taste of Japan.
Although we did not physically go to Japan, we did go to the site of the International Garden Festival in Liverpool. I remember as a kid, along with millions of others visiting the site in 1984. It was full of different gardens from around the world, milature railways and so much to see and do covering 95 hecters which is 230 acres.
Alas the site is now very very small, the rest of the site referred to brown land which should be re-developed into thousands of houses, retail area and a new ferry terminal. It is a shame to see that most of the site has been lost, but if Liverpool Council do what they say and pump £700m in to the site, then it should be a lovely place to live.
Another incredible musical influence I discovered whilst babysitting in the 1980’s was Japan. The couple had a rather amazing vinyl collection, which I was able to play when I sat for them. The sound of David Sylvian’s voice was, and still is something of pure pleasure to listen to. I took a few tapes with me when I sat for them and recorded the albums, and when home poured over them in an almost obsessive way. I could not get enough of Sylvian’s voice, it was like listening to honey being poured. Again avant-garde music, but with something else attached, maybe its an inner peace, or a deeper understanding of the lyrics? I don’t know what it is, but his music, no matter who he collaborates with, be it Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ingrid Chavez, Robert Fripp or his solo compositions, I cannot find a track I do not like.
Nine Horses, another collaboration that produced an elequent jazz sound with very deep set of lyrics, and still is something that I listen to all the time.
In 1983, the film “Merry Christmas Mr Laurence” was released, the soundtrack was done by Sakamoto and Sylvian. Again the music burned into my psyche. I got a copy of the film on VHS, and quite literally wore it out listening to the music. I later bought the soundtrack.
I have a love for electronic music including Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream & Bernard Szajner, but Sylvian manages to feeds that love, but like all good food, you want more.