Ok, my rant is out of the way and all is well again. Which brings us to:

Today’s choice. And it is from @AndreaMann. It’s When All’s Well from Love Not Money.

Here’s what I do. I listen to it. I write about it. It’s for Comic Relief. I’m part of Team @tracey_thorn and our aim is to raise a million pounds for Comic Relief through Twitter. If you enjoy this post, or even if you don’t but are just feeling kind-hearted, please sponsor me here.

When All’s Well is, on the surface, an uplifting song of love.

When all’s well/ my love is like cathedral bells

But most of the video takes place underground. Tracey is trapped in an upturned cathedral bell. Ben tries to rescue her. The video cuts of early. I like to think, in his failure to elicit an escape, that right at the end, when the youtube stops, he jumps into the bell to be with Tracey.

It’s a jolly sounding song, like lots on Love Not Money. It makes me think of The Smiths again. In a good way. But listen to those opening words:

We are not true/ We are not pure/ We are not right

You wouldn’t get One Direction singing that.

O but still I’ll steal to you at night/ Too selfish by half/ Too ugly by far/ But when your songs have been sung, come to me

It is a love song. but…

Rumours are rife/ And the winter blows cold/ Reminds me of such wretched times

And we’re back. In hard times. Today it makes me think of the lying former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change who saved the planet by speeding. Would many sing this of him?

And yet all the same? I will never deign/ To think ill of you, when all’s well/ My love is like cathedral bells

We’re back in a song of love and forgiveness. And the beauty, and the love, are found, not just in the joyous melody (that you should dance around the lounge to), but also in the downbeat and upbeat last verse:

Amongst all the dross/ And the lies and the grief/ There are so many things you just wouldn’t believe/ But amongst all the dross/ And the lies and the grief/ When all’s well, my love is like cathedral bells

Cathedral bells. I can’t help but think of Batman and The Joker.Or Judy and Scottie.

But let’s focus on the positives; this film has Ben and Tracey messing with bells. Here’s a line from someone else, but it wouldn’t be out of place in this song:

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

Have a dance, and if you can please give some money to Comic Relief here.

Hopper’s Hands.

December 27, 2008


So yesterday we stood beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It looks in pretty good shape considering only the other night me, my niece and nephew saw it ripped from it’s moorings and carried across the bay to Alcatraz by Magneto in X-Men 3. What? It’s just a film? It wasn’t true? Next you’ll be telling me that our Christmas day treat, Elf, was all made up.

As you walk by Fort Point, along the thick chain fence that stops you falling into the sea…


… but failed to stop Kim Novak in Vertigo


…it’s a good job Jimmy Stewart was on hand to jump in… as you pass this Point, you eventually reach a chicken-wire fence. Here, you can go no further. And on the fence is a plaque, showing Hopper’s Hands. Who is Hopper? And why does every jogger who reaches this point touch the hands before turning and heading back?


The best way to find out? Ask a jogger. The place is full of joggers, running up to the plaque, touching it, then stopping to catch their breath, have a drink, do a few stretches. And most of these joggers are very attractive women in fancy pastel outfits and sun visors who somehow or other seem to run in slow motion. Either they’re the only ones I notice (likely) or they are running in slow motion because they are damned lazy (unlikely).

So, let’s ask a jogger. We approach one who is midst touching her toes. We being me and my niece. When talking to strange women (as in women you don’t know, or, come to think of it, women who are intriguingly strange) always be accompanied by a child. This way they’ll talk to you, rather than think “who’s this weirdo with the funny accent?” The downside? Once they’ve talked to you, they jog off.

So… she stands up, takes out her earphones and we ask her why she touched Hopper’s Hands. Hopper once talked a potential suicide down from the Bridge. And now joggers touch his hands. It’s a tradition, a superstition. And dogs touch the paws below (as in the photo). Thank you. A smile and she’s off.

There’s more to this story. Ken Hopper works on the Bridge. He has stopped over 30 people from jumping to their deaths. And, sadly, on a couple of occasions, he has seen people fall. You can find out more on this wonderful page.


p.s. There wasn’t a plan to make my photo of the Golden Gate Bridge mirror the still from Hitchcock’s Vertigo. If there was I would have been more exact. I’ve only just noticed, a few hours down the line, how similar they are. Doh!

p.p.s. Nor was there a plan to make this look like The Birds.