In 1985 the writers of the NME put together a list of the best albums ever made. I was still too close for comfort to that part of my life when The Wombles were my favourite group and I was slightly surprised to see that they had Marvin Gaye at the top of the list. No matter I went out and bought What’s Going On and now know it for the work of genius it is. Second on the list was Van Morrison and Astral Weeks. Almost thirty years later I cannot remember if I had bought Astral Weeks by that stage. I was a big fan of Moondance and I think that I probably had it. Scary now to think how old the album appeared at the time just 14 years after it had come out and now we are all another 28 years down the line.
I have been listening to it again over the last few weeks and this evening I had it on as I cooked chicken with lemon and sage. It has been a Friday evening and there was that moment when I was able to put the drudge of the week behind, the door was open and I turned it up loud so it could echo a bit round the garden and annoy the neighbours if they were listening.
I cheated with the chicken and it was packs of legs and thighs from the supermarket. Fried in olive oil until brown, add a finely chopped onion and garlic and the juice of 3 lemons. The sage came from the garden. There are two bushes outside the back door – purple and green. They are obviously loving the lousy summer and have gone bonkers over the last few weeks with a profusion of blue flowers. Somewhere nearby there must be a hive full of sage flavoured honey as at any one time there are half a dozen bees at the flowers.
We will have it all with new potatoes and green beans and a plateful of salad. I might try and dig out Moondance to listen to.