A few weeks ago in July Mark (who runs Cooking Up A Quiet Storm, as series of mixtapes provided by a variety of bloggers) asked for suggestions for a collective effort, a summer mixtape, inspired by the picture above. It dropped, as the young folk say, while I was in France. It is expertly sequenced by Mark.
My suggestion was a song I posted several months ago and remains one of my favourite tunes of the year, Mono Life's stunning remix of Sunrise by Humberside band Pearl's Cab Ride, and it occupies the last ten minutes of the mix. Before that you'll find a bunch of mellow summer sounds including Goldfrapp, Laura Nyro, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Antonio Carlos Jobim. If the sun's out round your way, dig in.
The campsite we stayed on in the Jura was massively popular with the Dutch. I'd estimate that 80% of the campers (tents, motorhomes) were from the Netherlands. The remainder were Belgian or French with a handful of Brits. There were Dutch kids everywhere, at least half of them wearing football shirts. The parents, most of whom spoke perfect English, would talk to us about football. Football is an international language, a way in to talk to complete strangers in the sun. They love English football- a Belgian chap from Antwerp a few tents up from us wanted to know about how his countrymen Marouanne Fellaini and Adnan Januzai are seen by us Manchester United fans. His neighbour was a Dutchman who wanted our opinion on Louis van Gaal and Robin van Persie. I mentioned to him that as far as I could see the Dutch kids were mainly wearing, in descending order, the shirts of Bayern Munich, Barca, Paris St Germain and Ajaz a lowly fourth. He became quite animated. 'I'm a Feyenoord fan' he said. 'These kids only follow Munich because of Arjen Robben. As far as I'm concerned if they wear a Bayern shirt, kick 'em off the campsite. If they wear an Ajax shirt, kick 'em off the campsite'. I don't think he was joking either. I got the feeling he may have been a fairly rabid Feyenoord fan as a younger man. He explained that in Holland the fans of all the clubs that aren't Ajax get on quite well- they are united in their mutual loathing of Ajax. Our neighbour for our last two nights was also Dutch. He said the reason they love English football is because 'it's not for cissies'. Our players get kicked and get up again, unlike in Spain, Italy and France. For the record English football shirts were few and far between- in amongst all the Bayern, Barca, PSG and Ajax shirts I spotted one Arsenal jersey (worn by a French boy obvs), a Chelsea shirt and, ugh, two Man City jerseys.