Like half of the people in Europe, I was glued to the edge of my seat at midnight (UK time) last night waiting to see the final outcome of this year’s Eurovision. Like almost everyone watching in the UK—plus a few migrants elsewhere, like my friend SJ who moved from Yorkshire to Mexico—I was in a state of shocked disbelief that we were actually doing rather well at it all. We won the jury vote and came fifth in the popular vote, pushing us up to an overall second place. Really quite a surprising result compared to some previous entrants; see, we can do well in Eurovision if we actually take it seriously.
Of course, most of the songs I liked myself really got very far, but I’m used to that by now. Here are the ones I liked enough to make notes on, in roughly reverse order:
- Finland I thought would do better, but clearly fans of The Rasmus didn’t turn out and vote for them.
- Serbia—I rather liked their 19th century medical aesthetic, aside from the song being pretty decent too.
- The Netherlands were the only one of the many many ballads this year to really make an impact on me, which was all down to the tune and the performance. For some reason, there’s something about the particular shape of the melody that I really liked. It helped a little that I know enough Dutch to pick up a handful of the words.
- Moldova had an interesting modern take on The Ramones, almost like a mirror-universe Helen Love with a bit more folk violin. Apparently the song was something about trains.
- And finally France were my favourites, with a Celtic rave that turned into some sort of summoning ritual along the way. I bet any BDSM people watching were looking at all the triskele symbols in the staging and going “hmm, I bet they’re kinky too”.
OK, two of my favourites (Moldova and Serbia) genuinely did also do well in the final results, and the Netherlands were middling, but France in particular came absolutely nowhere, which I thought was a terrible shame. Oh well, if my favourite song ever did come first, I’d start to worry about myself.
I seem to have got the stupid thing working sort-of reliably now, by unplugging the old Windows hard disk completely. Well, I hardly ever used it. It’s not crashed at all since I did that.
Saturday night: I wasn’t impressed by the Eurovision result, but I wasn’t impressed by the songs generally. Ah, well. It’s always a big disappointment, I think: the song you want to win never does. Slovenia were working on the right lines by going for a complete camp-overload—isn’t that the whole point of the thing? Jessica Garlick would have done better if she’d worn shoes that matched her outfit, I think. And why did Malta do so well, anyway, when it sounded just like the music from Wish You Were Here? I kept having visions of Judith Chalmers.
Dimitra said she wants to forget all about this year’s song content so she can forget the Greek entry ever existed. It was definitely going into “so bad it’s good” territory—I couldn’t keep a straight face through it.
Well, it’s still broken. Sort of. I managed to get it running again most of the time—I’m not sure really how—but every so often the disk drive starts making nasty clonking noises and the whole thing just freezes. Actually, it did The Noises just then, but for some reason kept on working.
Because I’ve not been writing things down, I don’t seem to have anything interesting to write down. I quickly got bored of going back and forth to an internet café every two or three days to read all my email (I know, too many mailing lists). I was planning to take up lots of exciting new activities—and especially, get some more things ready to type and put up elsewhere on this site. But, um, I haven’t. I wrote a letter to a friend in the US, two poems to post to one of the many, many mailing lists, and that was about it. Oh, and I managed to get two friends’ computers online. No self-interest there, of course. One of them paid me in cake, which has to be a good thing.
If you go to Not You, The Other One, you can read all about what students at my university were like. Not me though, of course. Everyone else seemed to be Dead Posh. When I worked in the library, behind the counter, we could see what the students’ names were when their matric cards got scanned. There was a frightening number of people with names like “The Honourable James Twistleton Ponsonby-Smythe”. I had friends whose flatmates thought a nice weekend in the middle of term was a quick flight to Switzerland, for the skiing.
Oh, of course, I have to remind you that it’s the Eurovision on Saturday. My friend W (the actor) would be terribly disappointed if I didn’t point it out.
Update, 27th April 2022: Not You, The Other One no longer seems to be online these days, although its writer is still around and about on social media.