It's peaceful, by the river. Only the dirty great dual-carriageway disturbs the silence. Oh, and the railway line – primarily freight traffic, containers, aggregates. Of course, the nearby airport doesn't help. Ok, ok, so it's noisy here!
But we live in a noisy town, so we locals are used to the constant swish of traffic, burst of train horns and accelerating jet engines.
Take all of that out of the equation and it's peaceful by the river.
I'm listening to headphones while Duggie digs for worms. 'Black Sabbath' by Black Sabbath. One of the great rock debut albums. Cancels out the background hum. The album begins with 'Black Sabbath': rainfall, like the pitter patter you get on the roof of a conservatory, then a riff and finally Ozzy, slurring, “What is this that stands before me...[then stuff about figures in black pointing, black shapes, Satan smiling, flames, you get the picture]...Oh no, no please God help me!”
The song goes into a chugging riff, the drums crash in and Tony Iommi's back with a wailing solo, kind of bending the notes off the human scale, twiddling and twirling, and the song ends in a final burst of guitar.
Second track, 'The Wizard', is a whole lot more blusey, with Ozzy playing a harmonica as well as singing. It's upbeat...rather than a black figure and Satan smiling, there's a wizard walking by, “spreading his magic”.
Me and Duggie often debate the pros and cons of 'the Sabbath'. He's coming back now, with a shovel full of worms.
“You still listening to Sabbath?” says Duggie.
“Yeah, their first album.” I say, “Great riff, that opening to 'Behind The Wall Of Sleep' [Track 3], ground breaking. They invented heavy metal,” I say.
“Shame that Ozzy is such a dickhead,” says Duggie. He can't get over the fact that the finest vocalist in rock history is now a kind of mainstream figure of fun. It's like when something you're into get's popular. It becomes annoying.
“I'm more into the Dio stuff now [Ronnie James Dio – Sabbath lead vocals from 1979 to 1982] like 'Live Evil' [1982 live album].” says Duggie.
“Get out of here! 'Live Evil' by Miles Davis, maybe!” I say. Guaranteed to wind Duggie up. He's not into Jazz.
“Miles Davis, you're winding me up! [see, told you] When did you last listen to that?” says Duggie.
“Didn't say I wanted to listen to it, just given the choice I'd rather listen to Miles Davis than Dio.” I say. That's gotta be that.
And, indeed it is. “Well, sod it,” says Duggie, “Life's too short.”
“Just like Dio [Ronnie James Dio – Height reputed to be 5' 4”]” I say. Don't know why, I've never been 'height-ist'.
And Duggie tips the shovel full of worms over my packed lunch.