anonymous asked:

This is probably random, but I miss sheriarty a lot, so... Top five headcanons?

lol but I suck at this? I don’t even think I have a “top 5” so much as just canon compliant thoughts I really like such as “Jim is buried at Sherlock’s grave”, for example, but I’ll try….

1. Jim has an irrational hatred of Switzerland. The cheese, and the lederhosen and embroidery, and The Sound of Music, and the happy little chocolates and pastries, and the snow-capped mountains with their fresh air and waterfalls and shit, it all just freaks him out. So of course Sherlock takes the opportunity to secretly install a Swiss chalet cuckoo clock in every one of Jim’s London flats to scare the hell out of him.

2. Sherlock actually has written a song for Jim, but it’s an impossible composition to play. Any attempt to do so will result in the music sounding like gibberish because it was never meant to have a comprehensible melody meant for everyone’s ears. Jim couldn’t be more touched.

3. Although both of them know how to drive, neither one of them can be in the car with the other because they nitpick everything:

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware you picked up a spare job as a London tour bus driver and decided the speed limit was 50 in a single carriageway.”
“Oh, kind of like how you decided sticking your middle finger out the window when you had to pull over was an acceptable hazard light?”
“But at least I use an indicator, Sherlock. I shouldn’t be surprised coming from someone who took their test in an automatic.”
“And let me guess you were just naturally gifted at driving a stick shift?”
“Oh honey, you better believe it.”

4. Jim is incredibly careful not to take Sherlock out to places where there’s any smoking to insure he’s not triggered or starts to have cravings. Sherlock puts up a big fight about it, of course, because he hasn’t had urges in months, but is secretly grateful for the gesture because now they don’t have to talk about rising anxiety he gets at the prospect of it happening again which he’s sure Jim’s noticed - hence all the trouble he goes through.

5. Sherlock is really surprised to know he has more beauty products than Jim, who he was sure would take up the entire bathroom sink but has some special moisturizer, hair gel, and a bar of soap to his name. Jim jokes that’s because his Irish genes aren’t saturated with thousands of years of guilt to need much more upkeep. Sherlock mumbles something about his genetic height and leprechauns. Jim chases him around the flat with a shaving knife.

nostradamvs  asked:

Writing prompt 113! Armand & Lestat (*^^)

This was a challenge but ultimately cheered me up after a shitty evening. :D Thanks!!! 

(Send me prompts!)

Armand could feel the extra energy as he came through the carriageway into the back garden. Not completely sure what it was, only that he could sense them moving in the flat, and there was something sweet and playful and innocent infused in it, thrumming beneath the presence itself. Lestat was home, he could feel that as well, and Louis. Their energies were different from each other, each palpable and distinct. Lestat felt bold and loud and vivid, Louis soft and sweet and comforting. Lestat was a popping champagne bottle, the splatter of paint on a Pollock canvas, a firework in the night sky. Louis was a gentle hand on your back, reassuring whisper in your ear, the slow and seductive pull of dawn.

I’m here, he told them as he ascended the stairs. He wondered if he should let himself inside, or knock, but instead put his hands in his pockets and waited.

But then Lestat’s face was in the window, his eyes glittery and excited, skin darkened by the recent trip to the sun. The door opened on its own, Lestat’s doing, and it was instantly obvious that he’d chosen to use his mind because his hands were full.

Before he could speak, Lestat extended one arm out, in his hand a single German Shepherd puppy. Three others wiggled against his chest and he cooed in French at them. “Here,” he said, and thrust the one into Armand’s chest. Armand grabbed it instinctively, somewhat bewildered but immediately charmed by the warmth and purity radiating from the creature. “I named this one Armand.”

The spike of anger and reflexive venomous response that usually came out in these moments were quelled by the gentle life in his hands, and he looked away from Lestat to stare at it. It was kicking its legs and squirming but he gave it a little scratch behind its ear to calm it down. It stopped moving and looked at him, eyes so shiny and black, and responded by licking his face. Armand ducked his head so that Lestat wouldn’t see his smile.

“Come inside, I want to close the door. Don’t let them out,” Lestat said, and backed away to make space.

He saw Louis then, when he cleared the doorway, still snuggling his namesake to his chest. Sitting cross-legged on the velvet couch, Mojo curled up beside him, a solid black puppy in his hands. He was scratching its ears and smiling at it and…

Strange ache in his chest, because he’d never seen that look on Louis’s face before.

“Where did all these puppies come from?” he asked. Louis looked up at him as if waking from a trance, like he’d been too absorbed to even notice Armand had arrived.

“Turns out Mojo is a lady,” Lestat said. He plopped down on the floor in the center of the room and took turns giving each puppy pats on their heads. They climbed on his legs and chewed on his shirt.

He held his puppy away from his face to inspect it again. It tilted its head at him and whined, and… strange ache again as he realized how unusual it was, and how he was straining to remember last time he’d held an animal this close. At home, in Kiev. They could never keep pets in Venice. He felt cold all over for a moment before pulling it to his chest again, feeling its warm little body settling against him and hearing the fluttery little heartbeat.

“What are you going to do with them?”

Lestat shrugged and picked one up, rubbing his face against its chubby, furry belly.

“Why don’t you give one to Daniel? Maybe you can win him back.”

[^ Inspo pic of Louis :D]

Loch Assynt

The A837 skirting Loch Assynt is a varied road ranging from narrow single-track to a wide, flowing single carriageway near Lochinver. Sights to see along the 50 mile stretch are Suilven and Canisp, later on you have Calda House and of course Ardvreck Castle.  This is one the finest stretches of roads in Scotland, up and down with fast corners and great views.  To do this in a road trip I would probably base myself at Inverness, Its about a two hour journey up to the north east of Scotland. Once you’ve had your stop offs for pics and to take in the sights I would suggest you carry on to Durness, there are campsites and a couple of hostels but you would have to book early if staying overnight, alternatively stay the night in Ullapool which has many more places to stay. 

written for @afraschatz because i have to make things up :)))

(some robert & liv for you :D)

“Are we lost?” Liv asks, giving Robert an unimpressed look. 

“No,” Robert says immediately. He flicks the indicator as if to prove he knows absolutely where they are and where they’re going, but he’s pretty sure the plaintive look he gives his dead phone speaks for itself. “Are you sure you can’t find the charger?”

“No, Robert, I deliberately overlooked it because I like being stuck in a car with you when you’re grumpy.” Liv rolls her eyes and goes back to her sketchbook.

Robert’s been driving slowly so that he doesn’t jog her too much, but she gets so involved he’s sure she wouldn’t even notice if he did. The last time he saw a sign was about thirty minutes ago and if he sees one more country lane he might throw himself out of the car and scream. 

“You realise,” Liv says, helpfully, rubbing the sketch with her thumb. He can’t see what she’s drawing. “Aaron’s probably got the whole village out searching for us.”

Robert snorts, can imagine Aaron panicking, asking all and sundry whether they’ve been in contact with anyone. As if Robert would choose to contact anyone other than Aaron. 

“Though he does know what you’re like going somewhere new.”

“Oi,” Robert says, grinning at the innocent look on Liv’s face. “I’ll have you know I can find the way home from anywhere.”

“Yeah,” Liv says, eyebrows raised, looking pointedly at the dead iPhone in the centre console. “When that things not dead.”

Robert opens his mouth, but can’t really refute it. “Well, hopefully we’ll find somewhere we can eat soon. I’m starving.”

“Same,” Liv says, sliding her sketchbook shut and shifting so that she has her feet up on the dash. 

“Liv,” Robert says, eyes on the road, turning into a layby as the first car in centuries passes them on the tight road. “What have I told you about that?”

“’Don’t do it,’” Liv parrots, legs still up on the dash, “’if I have to brake, you’ll break your legs.’”

“And yet,” Robert mutters, and slaps her leg for emphasis. With a huffed sigh, Liv drops her feet to the floor, and then shifts them underneath so she’s sitting crosslegged. She’s still wearing her seatbelt, so Robert tries not to comment again. “Come on.”

“A sign!” Liv yells, waving her finger over to the side of the road. 

To their shared despair, the sign reads Leeds: 35 which means another half hour on top of their journey plus, but as they burst out of the country roads onto the first dual carriageway they’ve seen in decades, Robert sees a sign for the services. 

“Food,” he sighs happily. 

“Yeah, yeah,” Liv says, grinning. “You’re buying though.”

“You took twenty from me just this morning,” Robert protests, knows for a fact she’s probably accumulated at least a hundred over the week, but she smiles sweetly at him. 

“You also made me sit in a car with you for three hours. I think I deserve a prize.” 

Robert sighs, mutters, “Yeah, alright,” but Liv’s grinning, her eyes soft in the way she gets when she really doesn’t mind at all, so he pays for her to have food and a dessert, and makes sure to charge up her phone before his.

“This way you can face the wrath of Aaron,” Robert tells her on their way back out to the car, one hand on her back. 

“Great,” Liv sighs, but she leans into him a little, so Robert thinks he’s forgiven. 

brand new sun

ao3 link

letting yourself move on was the hardest part of any breakup. or, robert goes on his first date with leyla, and has a conversation with aaron.

robert/leyla, past aaron/robert

1,926 words

for @robertisbisexual, because she encourages all my multishipping ways.

It had been Leyla, who’d flirted with him first. Robert had accepted it, that he and Aaron were over - Aaron had a string of new boyfriends to prove that he was very much moving on, and well, Robert was happy for him, he was. Aaron deserved to be happy, even if that meant not being with him.

He just hadn’t thought about moving on himself. The closest Robert had gotten to moving on was taking off his wedding ring, the two bands nestled safely in a box at the back of his chest of drawers, finger bare in a way he wasn’t quite used to, even now, months on.

Leyla had noticed, in that quiet, typically Leyla sort of way no one seemed to give her enough credit for. She hadn’t said anything, just set a gin and tonic down in front of him and given her one of her bright and easy smiles, and asked if he wanted some company while he ate.

Somewhere between there, and then, she’d asked him on a date. Robert had said yes, the second the words were out of her mouth, unable to refuse her anything, not when she’d smile at him the way she did, as though she saw beneath the surface, saw past all the fronts and excuses he gave to try and look as though nothing in the world bothered him.

(Leyla was perceptive, clued in to how people felt, and thought, and it was something Robert hadn’t realised until he’d started spending more time with her.)

Robert had said yes, and he’d been excited, but now he was waiting in the hallway of the house she shared with Tracey and David, he was nervous. It had been such a long time since he’d even been on a first date, and a part of him still felt guilty, about letting himself move on - and it was all such a mess, he could have ran.

He was glad he didn’t, when Leyla finally arrived down the stairs, wearing the most insane black dress that hugged every inch of her figure, dark hair still cut into a shoulder length bob, make up making her look even more dark, and mysterious, and beautiful.

“You - you look amazing,” Robert managed to say, barely stringing together a sentence as he took in her appearance, watched as she wriggled into a pair of high heels, shoes that looked as though they weren’t made for standing in, let alone walking in.

Leyla grinned, pushing at his chin. “Get your jaw back up off the floor,” she teased. “Where’s that Robert Sugden charm I’ve heard so many stories about?”

Robert laughed, a flush rising in his cheeks as he shook his head, realising he hadn’t been as quick off the mark as he was probably rumoured to be. “You caught me off guard, I didn’t realise I was going on a date with a supermodel,” he said, eyes scanning Leyla’s for a reaction, enjoying how she seemed to melt a little at his words.

Leyla laughed, the sound like music to Robert’s ears as it filled the hallway, filling the house with noise, bringing back all the excitement Robert had lost when he’d knocked on the door and realised this was r e a l, he was going on a date for the first time since the breakup.

“Where are you taking me then?” Leyla inquired, tucking her handbag under one arm, leading the charge out of the house.

“Iberica, in Leeds,” Robert quipped, the Spanish word clunky and haphazard as they rolled off his tongue, the restaurant in Leeds he’d booked for them getting the reaction he’d hoped for, Leyla looking delightedly at him.

“I’ve always wanted to try there!” she exclaimed, locking the front door behind them, the summer evening warm, Robert almost regretting his decision to go with a suit (though not really, because he looked good, and they looked good together.)

“Me too,” Robert admitted, ducking in front of her to open his passenger door for her, flashing her a cheeky grin. “All part of the Sugden charm.”

“You’ve already got me on a date,” Leyla said, hiking the skirt of her dress up a little so she could ease herself into Robert’s car, the Porsche a little too low to the ground to be entirely comfortable.

“You asked me on a date,” Robert pointed out, closing the door gently, quickly walking around to the other side, sliding in behind the wheel.

“Only because I didn’t think you’d ever get yourself together and ask me, darling,” Leyla responded easily, checking her impeccable red lipstick in the overhead mirror, giving him a bright grin. “I’d have been waiting until I was eighty for you to get yourself together and ask me out.”

Robert laughed, flicking on his indicator so he could turn onto the main road, the dual carriageway stretching out ahead of them. A part of him felt like he should feel apprehensive about taking Leyla on such a long car journey when it was their first date, but it was easy to talk to her.

It had been since that first day she’d slid him a gin and tonic, and asked if he fancied a friend.

It was odd, really, how comfortable he felt spending time with Leyla, but maybe it was more odd because Robert had spent the last year deciding he was absolutely not loveable, not anymore, not after all the ways he’d hurt Aaron.

But here was Leyla, smiling in his passenger seat, and googling the menu for the restaurant, because “she wouldn’t have long enough to decide when we get there, Robert!” and Robert felt a sort of happy, content feeling settle in his chest that he hadn’t felt in a while.

“I figured you enjoyed the chase more than I did,” Robert responded cheekily, swelling thickly as he looked at Leyla, the way her dress was sitting on her shoulders, collarbone and neck exposed, a delicious expanse of tan skin that had Robert’s head spinning.

He was going on a date with a gorgeous woman, Friday nights didn’t get much better.

“That last cosmo was a bad idea,” Leyla laughed, arm hooked in Robert’s elbow as they walked through the village, Leyla teetering on her heels. They’d both had a few drinks, in the end, leaving Robert’s car at the restaurant and calling a taxi (not one of the Barton’s, thank you very much Robert, that would be like you ringing Aaron for a lift!), Leyla’s hand on his knee the entire way home in the taxi, the two of them content to sit in silence, and watch the motorway whirl past as they made their way home.

As first dates go, it had been as perfect as perfect could get. A spectacular meal, a few quiet drinks, followed by a few louder cocktails, the two of them attempting to order the most ridiculous sounding drinks from the menu, Leyla snapping pictures of Robert posing with over the top drinks for her instagram story.

“At least you didn’t get that horrific tequila thing you made me order,” Robert winced, the taste of tequila still lingering in his mouth. He was thirty two years old, far past the doing tequila shots stage of his life, more partial to a smooth, expensive whiskey, than he was some cheap as chips tequila.

“That was awful,” Leyla agreed, coming to a standstill as they arrived at her front door. The porch light was on, making him feel like a teenager bringing his date home before their curfew. “Well, this is me.”

“This is you,” Robert said, standing, hands in his pockets, drinking in every inch of Leyla. She was beautiful, beautiful in a way that made his heart race, made him want. “I had a really great time tonight, Leyla.”

“So did I,” Leyla said, eyes flickering to Robert’s lips.

Before he could talk himself out of it, Robert leaned in, and kissed her, lips unfamiliar against his own as they kissed, Leyla’s hands knotting in his hair. As first kisses go, Robert decided as they broke apart, it was nothing short of spectacular.

“Let’s have lunch tomorrow,” Leyla said, lips inches from Robert’s as she spoke. “In Leeds. We could make a day of it, do a bit of shopping.”

Robert nodded, not trusting himself to speak, or he’d be doing his very best to go back on their ‘go slow’ agreement. They’d both had their hearts broken, in the past year, and they’d decided not to rush things, not when neither of them were ready to fall madly in love again.

Not yet, at least.

Leyla pressed one last lingering kiss to Robert’s lips. “I’ll see you tomorrow then,” she said, a delighted smile on her face. “I’ll pick you up, yeah? We can pick up your car then.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Robert smiled, giving Leyla one last appreciative look before he turned, and started his walk back toward Diane’s, walking straight into Aaron, who was clearly only on his way home from a night out himself.

“Hiya,” Aaron greeted, the tentative friendship they’d managed to develop over the year extending to some small talk, and greetings. “Good night?” he said, voice teasing as he pointed to Robert’s mouth.

Lipstick, of course.

Robert ducked his head, wiping at his mouth. “I uh….” he trailed off, not sure of what to say, not sure he even wanted to tell Aaron about the fact he’d been on a date.

“Robert, it’s okay,” Aaron reassured, eyes kind, and honest. “I want you to move on. Remember? I’m moving on, so it’s okay that you’re doing the same.”

Robert nodded, looking anywhere except at Aaron. “Still feels a bit weird, though,” he admitted. “Talking to you about dating other people.”

“I’ve got a boyfriend,” Aaron reminded, Robert vaguely remembering some dark haired lad Aaron had been having lunch with in the pub a few days previously, a name he’d definitely been told slipping his mind.

Robert took a deep breath, smiling slightly. “I think I might have a girlfriend,” he said, the word sounding strange, but not entirely unwelcome on his lips. “Leyla. I - I’m not going to rub it in your face, or anything, but…”

“I’ll see you both around,” Aaron finished for him. He was wearing the black shirt Chas had bought him for his birthday, scruffy trainers finishing off an altogether very Aaron outfit, one he’d seen a hundred times before, but it still made his heart skip in his chest a little. “Rob, seriously, it’s okay. We were both going to have to move on eventually - I’m not going to be mad at you for doing the exact same thing I’m doing.”

Robert’s chest felt a little freer, as he listened to Aaron speak. “You’re happy?” he asked, feeling like it was the simplest thing to ask, the easiest way to see the conversation going for a few more minutes, at least.

“I’m happy,” Aaron confirmed, giving Robert a genuine smile. “Are you?”

If you’d asked Robert a month, a week ago, he’d have said no, without a seconds hesitation, but now, after tonight, the feeling of Leyla’s lips still lingering on his own, well, he felt like happiness wasn’t such a foreign concept anymore.

“Yeah,” Robert admitted, feeling good, light, like he could be be the kind of happy he used to be, before the breakup, before the baby that wasn’t, before it had all gone to hell. “I think I could be.”

#54: Auf dem Snæfellsvegur in Westisland hat man einen schönen Blick auf den Berg Fagraskógarfjall, hier in Fahrtrichtung Norden.

#54: On the Snæfellsvegur in West Iceland there is a beautiful view onto the mountain Fagraskógarfjall, here in northbound carriageway.

©islandfeuer 2010. All Rights Reserved | Please leave captions + credits intact

In macchina - vocab

in macchina = in the car
guidare = to drive
guidatore = driver
passeggero = occupant
codice della strada = rules of the road
permesso di guida = driving permit  
patente (di guida) = driving licence
documenti = ID proof 
assicurazione = insurance
libretto = car documents
volante = steering wheel
marmitta = muffler/silencer
tettuccio = roof
paraurti = bumper
pneumatici/gomme = tyres/tires
lunotto = rear window
tergicristallo = windscreen/windshield wiper
parabrezza = windshield/windscreen
cambio = gearshift
frizione = clutch
acceleratore = accelerator
clacson = horn
frenare = to brake
inchiodare = slam on the brakes
andare dritto = to go straight ahead
sterzare = to steer
curva = bend
ponte = bridge
piazza = square
fari/fanali = lights
accendere i fari = headlights on
lampeggiare = to flash lights
lampeggianti = flashing/police lights
pericolo = danger
incidente = accident
tamponamento = rear-ending, pile up
autostrada = motorway/turnpike/highway
cartina stradale = road map
indicazioni = directions
pedaggio = toll
corsia = lane
veicoli lenti = slow lane
corsia di sorpasso = overtaking lane
sorpassare = to overtake
corsia di emergenza = emergency lane
carreggiata = roadway
strada a due carreggiate = dual-carriageway
cartelli stradali = sign posts, road signs
sottopassaggio/sottopasso = underpass
parcheggio/posteggio = car-park, parking lot
parcheggio custodito = parking lot with attendant
parcheggio incustodito = parking lot without attendant
parchimetro = parking meter
isola pedonale = pedestrian zone
spartitraffico = traffic island
zona pedonale = pedestrian precinct / shopping center
traffico = traffic
ingorgo = traffic jam
code = traffic ahead
incrocio = crossroads, intersection
lavori in corso = roadwork/men at work
strada sdrucciolevole = slippery road
bivio = junction
rotonda = roundabout
semaforo = traffic light
strisce pedonali = pedestrian/zebra crossing
pedone = pedestrian
lampione = lamp-post
marciapiede = sidewalk
via = street
strada = road
strada principale = main road
strada statale = A road/state road
strada provinciale = county road
strada laterale = side road 
stazione di servizio/distributore = petrol station, gas station
gasolio = diesel
benzina senza piombo/verde = unleaded petrol    
viale = avenue
strada a senso unico = one way street
senso di marcia = travel direction
strada a due sensi di marcia = road with two travel directions
strada in pendenza = sloping road
velocità = speed
velocità massima = maximum speed
velocità minima = minimum speed
velocità di marcia = running speed
rallentare = to slow down/reduce speed
accelerare = to speed up
limite di velocità = speed limit
multa = fine
fermarsi = to stop (very fast, also engine on)
sostare = to park (engine off)
fermata dell’autobus = bus-stop
pista ciclabile = bicycle trail
passaggio a livello = level crossing

mettere la freccia = to use the turn signal
fare un'inversione (a U) = do a U-turn
scalare (la marcia) = to change down
cambiare marcia = to change gear
è vietato = it’s forbidden
è permesso = it’s allowed
divieto di accesso = no entry
divieto di fermata = no stopping
divieto di transito = no thoroughfare
macchina in divieto di sosta = illegally parked car
non ho visto il semaforo rosso = I didn’t see the red light
quel motorino mi ha tagliato la strada = the motor bike cut across me
ho cercato di frenare ma ho perso il controllo dell'auto = I tried to brake but lost control of the car
moderare la velocità nei centri abitati = slower/control your speed into residential areas
mantenere la distanza di sicurezza = to keep a safe distance
attenzione, caduta massi = caution, falling rocks
immettersi nella corsia = take the lane /merge into the lane
disporsi su due file = two-lane traffic (organize on two lanes)
girare a destra/sinistra = to turn right/left
suonagli (il clacson) se non si muove! = honk the horn if he doesn’t start moving!
allacciati la cintura di sicurezza = fasten your seat belt/safety belt
vado in macchina = I go in the car
prendo la macchina/ci vado in macchina = I take the car/go by car
mettere in moto/accendere il motore = to start the engine

The Kelpies; Falkirk, Scotland.

These giant metal sculptures were installed 2013 and opened to the public in 2014. A part of the developing Helix complex, made to unite several communities in the Falkirk area, these 30-metre high horse heads create a dramatic view in day or at night.


Happy Birthday Anton Corbijn !

‘ Depeche Mode will grow & grow Tomorrow… all the time in the world’NME1981;

Anton, born 62 years ago on 20 May 1955, is a Dutch photographer, music video director, and film director, also the creative director behind the visual output & artwork for Depeche Mode since the eighties, below a recap of his first collaboration with Depeche Mode for the NME back in 1981.


by Paul Morley
New Musical Express, 22nd August 1981

Paul Morley skinnydips with the electropop heart-throbs from Basildon.
Anton Corbijn pictures it

SO I’M surrounded by three of the sweet Depeche boys, impressed by the variety of their haircuts, surprised by their simplicity, and I do what any responsible writer would do. I go boating with them.

Basildon is close to Southend, Essex, a half hour journey on old stock from a little-known London station. Depeche Mode – “hurried fashion” – are in between a British tour that ended in Edinburgh last Saturday and the recording of their debut LP, and are meeting the NME at Basildon station. The NME is twenty minutes late! “Sorry, it’s his fault,” I glibly blurt, pointing at the lanky lensboy. Depeche look annoyed, don’t say much, and hang around the station entrance until their instant photographs have been processed.

We walk through the new town: unlike a close, dirty and snaggy city, Basildon is flat, open light grey and fresh brick red. The sky looks close. I bet the tap water is moderately drinkable. We stroll past the square shopping centre, probably a local attraction for the postcards, cross a busy dual carriageway, an odd sign of speed, towards the indoor swimming pool.

“A lot of people,” Andrew Fletcher – a redhead, with new, dangerously close-cropped hair – tells me, “think that Basildon is a little country village.” Thatched roofs and jukebox-less pubs. “In fact it has a population of 180,000,” Martin Gore – derelict blond curls, a couple of days’ tender fluff on the chin – affectionately mocks him. “Oh, Andy knows everything, even the population.”

“Believe me,” continues Andrew earnestly, “It’s got an electoral roll of 107,000 and that’s not including kids. That’s the biggest in the country, and next time it has got to be split up into Basildon East and West.”

Have you lived in Basildon long? I ask singer Dave Gahan – black hair with a strange lie and an abbreviated fringe pointing down the centre of the forehead. “Since I was four,” he says. Depeche Mode are the formalist tingling sound of young Basildon, the alert geometric sound of the new town, the soundtrack for all cosmetic optimism, an evocative representation of the functional artificiality of some environment. Sunshine suits Basildon, all interviews with Depeche Mode should take place in the open air.

The Swimming Pool is set in a small tidy park: next to the swimming pool is a boating pool, near the boating pool is a putting green. Teenyboppers on school-holiday burn their legs in the sun and look numbly happy in the peace and slowness. Depeche and the NME sit on strictly mown grass under a toy tree; missing is songwriter Vince Clarke, who from past interviews appears to be the most prepared to attempt to rationalise the anti-romantic anti-intellectual Mode pop.

“There was a guy who interviewed us for the Daily Star, Ricky Sky, and he was desperately looking for a headline, an angle, and he was saying to us – haven’t you done anything really exciting, what’s been happening? We said well nothing really, although when we played at Ronnie Scott’s once all the lights went out! He was excited by this, then he started to talk about looks and he said do you think it’s an advantage to be good looking and in a band? Vince said Yeah, obviously, it’s an advantage in life to be good looking. Rick Sky made it out that Vince had said UGLY BANDS NEVER MAKE IT, IF YOU’RE GOOD LOOKING THEN YOU’RE NUMBER ONE. Since then Vince has never ventured out of his flat! He is so upset. It really hit him hard. He hasn’t been out for six weeks and he had a real bad depression.”

At the station I felt that Depeche Mode were going to be surly and silent: pop technicians simplifying their calculated art so that it fits into “the interview”. Actually, they like talking: what they like talking about most is nothing in particular. There is a residue of scurrilous schoolboy values, an innocently mutinous streak. They’re in no hurry: they’ve a cheerily vague idea about where they’ve been, and aren’t too concerned about where they’re going. Yet! Tomorrow is just another day: yesterday was a bit of a laugh. Today: flick the switch, talk to the man, fiddle with pieces of grass. Depeche Pop: for all the time in the world and no time at all.

DAVE: “It’s just the pop sound of the ’80s, that’s what I would describe Depeche Mode as.”

Andrew: “Yeah, I don’t think tours play a major part in what we do. I think most of the people who bought our record have never been to a gig in their life and will never go to one. They’d rather see a picture in a magazine … A lot of housewives bought the record, I reckon, old ones as well as young.”

Dave: “My mum always tells me if a song we’ve made is bad, if it’s too choppy she doesn’t like it. It’s got to have a good beat and run melodically.”

Andrew: “A lot of people still don’t realise that the whole of our set is pop. Virtually all our songs are pop songs. I think people think it might not be like that.”

What do you think people think?

Martin: “They think we’re jokes!”

Andrew: “Naah… a lot of people have still got this thing – synthesiser, he must be moody. You get a lot of Numanoids coming to our gigs.”

Dave: There was this bloke come to see us the other day and he said to me after the show – I think it’s really bad the way you have all your friends in the audience talking to you and that, and then we’re all over here and you don’t react to us. I said well what do you mean? He said: I think it’s really bad that you have like all your friends in the changing room. I said well what do you want me to say c’mon all the audience into the changing room. He said – well have you got lots of friends? I said well I’ve got a few. He said – well I haven’t got any. Well pity you mate! Isn’t that a friend, a guy who was with him. He said – yeah he’s a friend, but not a friend like that.

“It was really weird! I couldn’t be bothered talking to him. He thought that we should be like Gary Numan and have the distant lonely look and image. Because we play synthesisers and we’re supposed to look strange at people, and not smile. The bloke didn’t like the way I smiled at people!!”

DEPECHE MODE electerrific pop is a mazed glitter reflection of fast life and new values, the subjective sense of populist culture, the sound of flashing lights, a minimalist activating caricature of repentance and reason, a clinging ringing radiance. Soothing and exciting, pop’s equivalent to the TV commercial. Their songs are successive transformation of images, precise parodies of the sense of interplay between technology and man. They’re simplifications, curt cuts, ironic pop sculptures, lively chairs, a spiked soft drink.

Talking to them – especially without Vince Clarke, the missing trinket – you can’t directly appreciate the subtle merit of Depeche pop, where the intention seems to be to disclaim reality as messy and stale, to condemn daily life as heartlessly indifferent to the needs of imaginative life. Depeche Mode is a figurative pop that is the result of a collision between SENSITIVITY and INSENSITIVITY, RESPECT and INDIFFERENCE.

There is more going on than it seems: there will be more going on. Mode’s literate, significantly glossy pop has a superficiality that is contradicted by an inner consistency that hints at emotion, tragedy, spirit, or perhaps an anticipation of impatience with the present format. Depeche Mode are moving between the over candid and value-less simplification of Numan, and the convincing confrontation of new possibilities of Cabaret Voltaire. Listening to the focused pop of Depeche Mode – “to sound like a fairy tale full of silent machines, robots, consumer imperatives and mute children in love with the sky” – can put this listener in the best possible mood to take in the day. Today …

Minus Clarke, Depeche Mode talk like teenyboppers: no complications! Depeche unpretentiously admit that they’ve ended up this way today through a series of lucky breaks. Unlike distant rubbing cousins like Cabaret Voltaire or even The Human League there’s been precious little sense of purpose. They find it difficult to frame their new fame. Ingredients, colours, ideas, references, styles were generously, haphazardly scattered: the accidental pattern that’s formed is brilliant, attractive and the bright basis for a special design. Depeche are a supreme example of the electronic vitalisation of the basic pop format, and it’s the beginning.

Depeche Mode haven’t appreciated this yet. They’re still adjusting, playing truant. That they’re an obvious part of the evolution from Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League and DAF – musically and conceptually – whose observation and explanation of SURROUNDING is dislocated and oddly associated indicates that DeMode have the potential to be a shade more provocative than their fakerist contemporaries. Tomorrow…

THERE IS no impudent statement about Mode’s employment of electronics; though they relish the opportunities. To them it was natural, a rewarding route to constructing intelligent pop songs. There is no rigorous or possessive art background. They’re all under 20. Vince Clarke may well have a folkish background – try singing “New Life” with a finger in the ear, acapella like Steeleye Span singing “Gaudete”. Andrew was a rock snob – pre-punk into The Who and Deep Purple, out of that when punk churned along, and then fond of the Pistols and Parker. Martin, whose previous group performed the theme from Skippy, likes Sparks, The Velvet Underground and Cabaret Voltaire. Dave’s background associates the group with the swift shifts of Egan clubland, has placed them near to the air the cults with names breathe.

“Yeah, I was a soulboy, I’ve done it all, I’ve been everything. I used to like soul and jazz-funk like The Crusaders. I used to go to soul weekends and hang around with the crew from Global Village and I went to, like, The Lyceum on a Friday night.” He got interested in punk, and when that burnt out went back to the clubs for the exotic new electronic fun, the floating fading fantasy of The Blitz and Studio 21.

Depeche Mode were originally Vince, Martin and Andrew, bass guitar and a drum machine. Dave joined up, Depeche Mode became two synthesisers, a drum machine a vivacious front boy. Yesterday…

“We were just a band and we played in front of friends and that… we didn’t start off being a pop group, that’s just the way it went, it was just the music we liked making. We never said let’s form a band, let’s get in the charts, let’s be enormous. We didn’t intend it to be a career, we were still at work until recently. We just never planned anything. We would have signed any deal, we just wanted to put a record out.”

They didn’t anticipate the recent shifts from IRRELEVANT BIGNESS towards mobility, colour, commotion: the newest pop urge to participate more in the bombardment of the senses? Pop in discos: pop as part of the rushing crushing soundtrack for the day. “I think we’re lucky to fit into all that. We have had a lot of lucky breaks.”

MEETING DANIEL MILLER was the sort of lucky break that can be turned into legend. Miller is Normal, Miller is Mute, Miller is ghost, Miller is catalyst. “If we hadn’t signed with Dan’s Mute label we would have signed with a major label and got immersed in all that stupid expense, the big rigs and the 20 roadies…”

DeMode certainly appreciate their fortunate independence: the flexibility. “We didn’t think about it before, but now we run our own thing, plan what we want to do, how and when we want to do it. It could’ve been the other way easily. We emerged just as all the big labels were searching for their “futurist” group.” Depeche Mode appeared on Stevo’s Some Bizzare compilation and were therefore momentarily branded as “futurist”. “We came very close to signing with a major. But we can do anything with Daniel. We could if we wanted do a record that’s just a continual noise for three minutes and he’d release it as a single.”

If it wasn’t for Miller Depeche Mode would have been lost. They would have stood still. Miller has propelled them forward, is helping them see things clearly. His commercially practical yet unconventional vision has given DeMode a properly encouraging context to exploit and perfect their belligerently simple Pop Art. The story goes that at first he didn’t want to help them: when he first heard them they were scrappy and he was in a bad mood. Fate needed to make it happy ever after. “We really were lucky to meet someone like him. We’re surrounded by people we can totally trust. The people he’s got on his label, like Boyd Rice, really are out of order. He puts out a single even though he knows it’ll only sell 1,000. He just does it because he likes it… I still don’t understand Daniel Miller. I don’t see how he’s made any money until us. He’ll make a bit out of this single! But you know we just never really thought anything really. We just wanted to put a single out. Then we did “Dreaming Of Me” as a one off for Mute and that went into the lower charts and we were surprised. Then, in a couple of months, everything’s happened.”

I SAW YOU just before the release of “Dreaming Of Me” at Cabaret Futura and you didn’t move – you were frozen!

Andrew: “That was really terrible… a really funny gig. We hadn’t learnt how to move. It’s very hard moving when you play synthesisers.”

The next time I saw you, on Top Of The Pops playing “New Life”, you were hipping and hopping like puppets with broken strings.

Andrew: “It used to be the main criticism of us, that we didn’t move enough on stage. But it’s really hard, we’ve relaxed a bit now and we dance but we used to be shy and we used to be really young.”

Martin: “We used to be really young! It was only 6 months ago. We used to have this idea of having rails on the stage and we would be on platforms on stage so that we could be moved back and forwards on stage although we didn’t have to actually move! We really want to make our show good but we just haven’t had a chance to sit down and think about it.”

I’ve seen people vainly try to imitate Dave’s daft dance but they can never do it.

Dave: “Did you see Razmatazz yesterday? We were on it and all these little girls in the background were trying to imitate me – copying me weren’t they? I didn’t know when we were doing it but they were there doing exactly the same dance – like you go through loads of times before the real performance and the girls must have perfected it towards the end.”

Do you like appearing on television?

Andrew: “It’s alright. At first I felt a bit like a prune. Like pressing a keyboard and pretending you’re really doing it and singing into a mike with a lead going nowhere – half way through you think God what am I doing here, looking like a prat in front of millions of people. We’ve got used to it now.”

Second nature.

Andrew: “Yeah, it’s just funny now.”

THE INTERVIEW in the sun fades away after about 40 minutes. Depeche are obviously bored, and so they should be. We go boating. DeMode are recognised by almost everybody sunning by the pool. Now that they’re FACES are they into glamour? Shrug, stare into space, laughter.

“There’s no glamour. We drive around in Dan’s Renault… we don’t now because it’s broken, so we get trains. Don’t know about glamour. Nothing’s really changed. We might have a few more pennies in our pockets, and when I say pennies I do mean pennies, but same friends, same places to go to. You always think wouldn’t it be great to have a hit single, but when it actually happens nothing really changes.”

They seem remarkably unaffected and unimpressed by their success: likeably irreverent. “Oh, it’s great fun…” Glad to hear it. The three muscle men who hire out the boats recognise the local goodies Mode. One of them chats to the boys as he helps them into a boat. “What number are you this week then?” “Fifteen” “That’s the way – go get ’em!” He points out the group to what looks like his dad. “Hey this is Depeche Mode, they come from around this way.”

“Never heard of them.”

“It’s really odd, at first you think God, imagine being on TOTP, imagine being in the top ten, but it all changes when it begins to happen. When we got into the lower charts we thought it was good for a while, but then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 40. Then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 20…”

Depeche finish their boat ride. “All the way to number one!” shouts a boat man. Depeche are confused about what they want, why and what for, and are just beginning to work out guidelines. They intuitively realise that there is MORE than Radio One recognition: the charts the glossy magazines will unusually form the background to a hard artistic growth. Depeche Mode are casual but not silly. Would they mind the mythical mishap of ending up as one hit wonders? “I don’t think it would put us off in any way – although some people in the papers would love it. We’ve done a lot already, we’ve learnt a lot, but I hope we’re not one hit wonders!”

I walk around the pool as Anton focuses. Two little girls ask me if I’m in Depeche Mode. It’s nice to be asked, but I point at the threesome. Two early teen lads come up to me and ask me what paper the articles going to be in. Are Depeche Mode local heroes: “Oh yeah really well known!” The two lads argue about whether Stiff Little Fingers are the other Basildon pop stars.

Dave walks the NME back to the station: the deal was all over inside 90 minutes, as it should be. Do they get recognised a lot in Basildon?

“Quite a lot… it’s funny. The people round here sort of think that if you’ve got a single in the charts you’re going to be driving round in a Rolls Royce, but we still use buses. They see you in the chip shop or the Wimpy and they think it’s really odd.”

Is his mum excited? “Oh yes. Mum says to my aunts – make sure you see them on Razmatazz! She’s been really good about it - she’s kind of let me have my own way. She could have been harder.”

She had a banking career in mind? “No, no… I went to college doing Design and shop display, but I left. The College were pretty good about it. They sent me a note the other day, saying congratulations on the success.”

Detached Dave quietly says goodbye to the NME, and straight away seems to have forgotten about them. What did I do today? He might wonder later that night. Tomorrow is just another day… but the day after? Depeche Mode can make intimate and challenging pop art out of routine and insecurity! Dave walks off towards sunsets and sunrises and certain surprises. Depeche Mode will grow and grow. Tomorrow… all the time in the world.

Glitch In The Matrix Stories #21

Adirondack Town’s Glitch

My girlfriend’s sister is getting married later this year, and she is having her bachelorette party this weekend in the Adirondacks. We drove to the hotel yesterday and stopped at a gas station for snacks about 4.5 hrs into the drive.

As we walked out, a man held the door open for us before walking into the gas station himself. About 40-45 minutes later we were driving through a surprisingly populated town, and guess who crossed the road right in front of our car.

The guy in front of our car was wearing the same outfit as the guy that held the door for us, was built the same, and had the same face and beard. I have a hard time believing there was someone that looked the same and was wearing the exact same outfit just a few towns over. I also don’t think there was a way for him to get there before us, as we took a direct route there, no one passed us on the way, and he was entering the gas station as we left.

Credits to: Stormreach19

Vanishing Cafe At Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (London)

I first read a post about a cafe that wasn’t there on the Digital Spy forum. Basically, the OP was having some kind of emotional trauma and went into a cafe in the underground station. She went back to find it a few years later and it wasn’t there and there had never been a cafe there!

It’s made me think that reading about such things causes them to happen to you?

A couple of months ago there was a 1950s style cafe down there - by the ticket machines. It’s quite a big, circular area before you go down the escalators down to the platforms. There’s a newsagents and juice bar there too. It was quite a small cafe but a proper sit down cafe with nobody inside. I thought I hadn’t seen it before but presumed it was nothing supernatural and I was in a rush so got on with my day.

I googled it when I got home but nothing.

Anyway, I was there again today and walked around twice but no cafe - just a section of wall where I thought it was! I asked one of the customer assistants if there had ever been a cafe there and he had worked there 20 years and said “nope but you aren’t the first person to ask me that.”

Credits to: polarbearflavour

Impossible Phone Ringing 

I was probably around 14 or 15 at the time. My Dad is a self-employed builder and back when mobile’s weren’t the best they could be (probably when I was about 12 - 13), my dad set up his computer in the box room and hooked up a phone line to it with it’s own number for professional calls. He actually rarely used the phone from what I can remember. Anyway, a couple of years later, the phone lies on the window sill (still there today) even though it’s never used and nobody really uses that room now.

I was walking out of my parent’s bedroom probably after bothering the cats when the phone on the window sill rang. And I stood frozen staring at it. It was the phone in that room. Figuring someone had an old number or something, I walked over and it was definitely that phone ringing. I picked it up and there was silence on the other end for a bit so I just hung up. It was only after this that I noticed that the phone wasn’t plugged into anything. Probably hadn’t been for years. It was just a dead old unconnected phone sitting on the window and it rang.

I just remember it freaking me out really bad and of course my parents didn’t really believe me when I told them later. It’s never happened since and I don’t know how it happened in the first place.

Credits to: Rembit

Rapidly Approaching Headlights In Mirror But No Vehicle Passes

I’m posting this on behalf of a friend, he knows I am keen on this subject and said I could post it. It’s not a very complicated one…

Tonight he was driving home from the shops (in UK, it’s already dark). He was on a 70mph dual carriageway approaching a roundabout. He was slowing down from 70mph in anticipation of the roundabout when in his rear view mirror he saw two headlights approaching him rapidly, which is why they caught his eye. He thought to himself “They’re doing some pace”.

As the lights left his rear-view mirror and the vehicle should have been passing alongside his car, he looked round and no vehicle was there. There was nothing next to him, behind him, or in front. He even stopped his car at the roundabout to make sure he wasn’t tripping! The vehicle just vanished.

We’re at a loss to explain this.

Credits to: Fanta206

i’m dogsitting for a pal, and she’s so strict with her puppy (like weighing out food, no scraps, only goes outside for 20mins an hour in one part of the garden, only allowed on some sofas) it’s barbaric. my cats go where they want, when they want, even if they want to walk on the duel carriageway or live in the woods for a week

‘Dirty Old London’: A History Of The Victorians’ Infamous Filth

Historian Lee Jackson spoke to Fresh Air producer Sam Briger about what it was like to walk around Victorian London:

The first thing you’d notice if you stepped out onto the streets would be the mud that lined the carriageways, but of course it wasn’t really mud.

The air itself was generally filled with soot and smoke. It was famously said of the sheep in Regent’s Park — there were still grazing sheep in Regent’s Park in the mid-Victorian period — that you could tell how long they’d been in the capital by how dirty their coats were. They [went] increasingly from white to black over a period of days.

If you were a respectable person, you had to wash your face and hands several times during the day to make sure that you looked half decent. … You had the stench from blocked drains and cesspools below houses. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience.

Picture: 'Dickens’s Victorian London’ by Alex Werner and Tony Williams via Telegraph U.K.

Man escapes with minor injuries after crash with a broken down vehicle near Birmingham Airport. 

Emergency services were called to the A45 Coventry Road in Solihull, near Birmingham Airport (BHX), at around 3.30PM on Monday afternoon (15/06), following reports of a RTC. 

On arrival, Firefighters from Hay Mills Fire Station, Police and Paramedics found a Citroen Xsara Picasso with extensive rear end damage, which had broken down on a corner on the dual carriageway, after being struck by a flatbed van carrying tree trunks.

A spokesperson from West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Fortunately, the occupants of the Picasso were on the verge and were uninjured.

It is more than fortunate that they were out of the vehicle. Anyone who had been in the rear would have been very badly injured as everything up to the driver’s seat, essentially disappeared.

The driver of the van, a 20 year old man, was taken to Heartlands Hospital with burns to face from the airbag and chest bruising from seatbelt. Thankfully the injuries were relatively minor.

The van itself had suffered considerable front end damage from the collision.

If anyone ever wondered why you should get out of a broken down vehicle, this is it. You can see the level of damage involved. It doesn’t bear thinking about what would have happened to someone in the back.”

(Image: Hay Mills Fire Station) 

Tumblr Tuesday: Rule, Britannia!
In Honor of Great Britain, we are celebrating Tuesday on a Monday, as our neighbors across the pond do.

Fay Freshwater
Bits and bobs of the English countryside. Bits and bobs of castles and phone boxes and quid and ha'pennies.

British Vogue
It’s like Vogue, except the paper is probably A4.

Fuck It and Travel to Britain
Also feast thine eyes upon the author’s side blogs, fuckitandmovetolondon and fuckitandmovetobritain. Fuck it all, that’s the spirit.

Start 2 Start
Currently riding Shanks’ pony (British for “walking”) the entire length of GB, north to south, avoiding carriageways. Titchy details like, “Today I put my new shoe laces on my boots looks cool.”

Oxford Academic
The largest university press on Tumblr, with the widest global reach and the absolute shortest facts.

Photo via start2start

Wife Dumps Her Love Rat Husband With Giant Billboard on Roadside

Hell hath no fury like a wife scorned, it seems.

This was the scene this morning as a woman dumped her love rat husband by announcing it on a huge roadside sign.

The wife, known only as Lisa, forked out hundreds of pounds for the giant 15ft x10ft message - so that husband Paul would see it on the way to work.

But thousands of other motorists saw the bold sign too - which was placed alongside the Sheffield Parkway, a major commuter route into the Yorkshire city.

The sign, which was visible for three hours between 6-9am read: ‘To my cheating husband Paul. You deserve each other. When you get home I won’t be there.

‘Enjoy your drive to work! Lisa.

The sign went up around 11pm on Tuesday night by the side of the dual carriageway, which runs off the M1 for five miles into Sheffield.

Posting on Twitter, Samantha Townend wrote: ‘This sign has appeared on the Parkway in Sheffield. Oooops :-)’

Marieb365 added: ‘Saw the sign on the #sheffieldparkway on my way to work! Good for you Lisa!’

Mark Catterall, from advertising agency Kong Media who sold Lisa the advertising space, described how Lisa had requested the near 19ft billboard.

‘She just wanted it on during rush hour’, he said.

‘The Sheffield Parkway is always jammed as it is the main artery in and out of the city in the morning and the client wanted on while her ex-partner was driving to work.

‘It is the most recognised billboard location in the city, so I wouldn’t like to be the partner scorned by this.

‘I think there will be a few calls made this morning to a few Lisas and Pauls.’

He added: ‘It is the first time I’ve seen a message like this on a digital billboard in the UK. I know it has happened before in the US.

‘But she used the flexibility of a digital billboard and I think it was an interesting idea by the lady.“

‘It’s a professional approach to dumping someone, but we are happy to carry marriage proposals as well’. 

(Picture: Ross Parry)