This Side Of The Looking Glass, 2013

“That’s for later. If you want to get away with this, you must go back to your flat. Make a pretense at normal life. Leave only when it’s believable to do so. When you do, go to this address.” He handed her a folded piece of white paper. “The police will come in the next couple of days, so get yourself prepared for that.”

Tipping the ash from the end of his cigarette, he said, “Sorry I wasn’t there for you. Something unexpected -”

“Forget it,” she said, and stepped from his car onto the rain-slicked road. He had not actually betrayed her, he’d only let her down.

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This Side Of The Looking Glass is the fifth track on Peter Hammill’s 1977 album, Over. The album’s about a break-up and is considered to be one of Hammill’s most intensely personal works. It’s a complex piece and he spares no one (least of all himself) as he skillfully dissects the situation the protagonists find themselves in. Over is passionate and at times crazed. This Side Of The Looking Glass was the only track to utilise a full orchestra. There’s a fantastic video of Peter Hammill performing the song on, (I think) French TV here.

*

So, I begin my travelogue at a desk, where I ate two ham sandwiches and stared at a computer screen. Not the most auspicious start perhaps.

*

Pass the ear-trumpet! This post is dedicated to Andy, David, Jeff and Simon.

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