Well that's not entirely true. I've been eating, drinking and snorkelling. We stayed in the rather pleasant Grand Sharm hotel, on an all inclusive deal. In truth I was completely cream crackered and just needed to chill and relax and build up my energy. I didn't get a holiday last year and I reached the point where a week of nothing was called for. A last minute deal and we were off.
I used the opportunity to catch up on my reading. Amongst the things I read was the Keith Richards autobiography. I suspect I'd get on quite well with Keef.We both share a deep love of Rock and Roll music and whilst I suspect most readers of his book were fascinated with the tales of sex and drugs with Anita Pallenburg and a bevvy of other beauties, the thing I loved was the descriptions of recording sessions, the way he wrote songs and the way he tunes his guitar.
Perhaps the other thing I enjoyed reading were some of Keef's eating habits. The book contains Keefs trademark recipe for Bangers and Mash. As I was reading the book in an Islamic country, it set me lusting after a plate of bangers and mash. Although there was all manner of tasty food on the menu, pork was strictly off the menu. On arrival back yesterday, the very first thing I did was nip up to Cafe Buzz for a bacon butty and a catch up with Mr Mustard. The hotel had no effective internet, so I needed a full briefing on what I'd been missing.
So whats been going on whilst I was away?
Well perhaps the oddest thing was the news that Mr Mustard had been suspended from twitter for an ancient tweet which advised Barnet residents to chat to the then Barnet Council Cabinet member Robert Rams on his mobile phone, who got booted out in May.
Mr Mustard contacted twitter and pointed out that Mr Rams (he got booted out as a councillor in May, as electors realised what sort of character he was) published his own phone number on his own website, so in effect it was public domain. Twitter concurred with Mr Mustard that it couldn't claim it was an invasion of privacy if Robert Rams published it on the net himself and the suspension was lifted.
Of course Twitter didn't tell Mr M who complained, so I guess we'll all just have to guess who could possibly be upset enough about Mr Mustards tweet to dob him in. Anyway, alls well that ends well!
As Mr Mustard tweeted
I was suspended for tweeting a mobile phone number by the person who had put it on the web themselves. The tweet was in May!
Mr Mustard also gave me a full briefing on whats been going on at the Council. Like me, Mr Mustard considers our current Council Leader Richard Cornelius to be something of a PR genius. Unlike most of his thin skinned colleagues, Richard doesn't throw his toys out of the pram when he gets a bit of stick from blogs. He simply laughs and gets on with the job.
AboutI am the Head of Office for the Conservative Party on the London Assembly and also former aide to Nigel Evans MP. In my spare time I am a volunteer in the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade the oldest Jewish youth organisation in the country. I write for the huffington post about wrestling.
So anyway, I had my bacon butty and waved adios to Mr Mustard. Next stop was down to the studios to see whats been going on in my absence. The good news was that we've had our best ever August. One of the interesting comments in the Keef Richards book was that people are still listening to the Rolling Stones music from the 60's and 70's and it still sounds fresh.When the stones started, the music from 40-50 years earlier was virtually from another planet from what they were doing. As a studio owner, it is interesting to see how music is developing. We had an interesting mix of customers in yesterday. old and young. I spent some time with a pleasant middle aged couple explaining to them how to care for their guitar and how to get the best sounds from it. Personally I'd like to see music be a compulsory subject and every child be given the chance to play an instrument.
Boris Johnson did announce a scheme to make it easier for young people to play instruments, but this was aimed mainly at classical instruments. I believe this shows that Boris is out of touch. Another book I read was Mick Walls biography of Lou Reed. Perhaps the most interesting chapter was the one about Transformer. If you listen to the orchestration and the composition on songs such as Perfect Day, I believe this shows that Rock and Roll is in no way a "lesser cousin" of classical music. If you love good music and are interested in how great albums are put together, watch this amazing documentary about the production of Transformer
Reed and Richards are similar in a few ways, both have made some of the best music ever recorded, both were part of the 60's and 70's drug counter culture, both moved away from hard drugs and both seem to have found serenity and happiness on a personal level, emerging from that madness.
Reeds wife, Laurie Anderson described how Reeds final hours were spent doing Tai Chi movements and contemplating the beauty of nature. Richards is happily married and has a family he is clearly besotted with.
When it comes down to it, I think the chapter about the Bangers and Mash says more about Richards than anything. So anyway, here I am back up to speed and all fit and raring to take on whatever new challenges. Sharm El Sheik has a lot going for it. Guaranteed Sunshine, a tropical reef wit amazing fish on the private beach in the hotel, 38 degrees and clear blue sea. I must be mad, but I still prefer rainy old Mill Hill and a plate of Bangers and Mash.
Have a lovely Bank Holiday.