Thursday, October 19, 2017

Got the teeshirt

Properly hung over this morning. Went downstairs and discovered I was standing a few inches away from a dried up frog, brought in by one of the cats, probably Brian. Spent time clearing the scraped off wallpaper out of the big bedroom, although bending down repeatedly set my head throbbing. I don't think the dust agrees with me, making my sinuses sore straight after. 


Otherwise, a quiet day. I had send lots of information off to Paddington. Ended up having to take photographs of the documents and then turn them into PDFs, rather than simply scanning them as which took a ridiculously long time.

Today the person whose bicycle had been left on the road turned up. Lorraine's hairdresser Paul had put a message on a Brighton community page. The owner lived at number 111 on our road, and as we are 11 it was a bit strange. The thief had obviously cut through the lock, then cycled it a hundred yards or so and then got off it. Weird, and annoying. 

Lorraine home late, so we made off to the Red Chillies, and purchased a nice takeaway. She has one more day before she breaks up for half term. This, obviously, is when my work starts in Paddington, which is a shame. We crossed the road to the Park View and Lorraine had a much needed beer. I had a medicinal half a Harveys. In the evening I put an ironic post about the Peter Kenny World Poetry Tour, consisting in a reading in Brighton, followed by a reading in London. Kev, my old University friend, posted a picture of this teeshirt.






Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bacon faces

Off to London this afternoon. I'd been doing bits and pieces at home, but not very productively. I did some poetry and managed not to make things worse, which was nice.

To Victoria, and I walked down to Tate Britain, which is becoming my new favourite gallery. There was an exhibition there by Rachel Whiteread, who I have liked for years. She makes invisible spaces concrete. I didn't have enough time to go into the exhibition, but I looked at the big piece outside, which was a hundred spaces under chairs she had cast in what may have been glass or some kind of plastic. They looked like big boiled sweets. The problem I am beginning to have with Whiteread is that everything she does is an expression of the same idea.

I rashly snapped two of the Francis Bacon faces, and enjoyed it when I was looking at Jacob and the Angel by Epstien, which I absolutely love, a two women stopped and sniggered at it, and then one said, "ooh look he's got wings!"

From there I walked along the river, past the houses of parliament, along Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square and into Soho. Feeling weirdly glum but was greatly cheered by Bob calling me. By the time I reached The Nellie Dean on Dean Street, where I met Robbie, who told me that he might be working at the agency I'm starting at next week.  He has worked there before and told me it was a really nice place with good people. This is a relief. Also met Ian, who was my boss when I worked in Hammersmith and I hadn't seen him for years. Pat Norrie turned up and then Barney, and Clare, and I enjoyed chatting to them very much. I got quite drunk drinking on an empty stomach and fairly free with my opinions. Barney is now working with my old pal Reuben who is doing very well at work these days.

Grabbed a cab outside The Nellie Dean, and zoomed to Victoria then home. Cheese on toast after I'd said hello rather talkatively to Lorraine.

Below the Thames near Pimlico, the H of P, inside Tate Britain which seems a bit magical when you elude the crowds. And two Bacon faces.








Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Googlies, cards and starlings

Bowled a bit of googley this morning. Lovely French client has had to pull the job I was working on. Somewhat disconcerted by this. The job I have starting next week is all good to go, so I will just treat the rest of the week as an opportunity to get my ducks in a row. Instead, however, I found myself tidying up the house and then going for a long walk late this afternoon which made me feel far better about everything.

Anton called around this afternoon too with a birthday gift for me, two packs of amazingly beautiful playing cards, called Requiem. He had just been to his rehabilitation exercises, and is looking very healthy indeed.

Lorraine home late tonight. I cooked and we chatted. To bed reasonably early. I am reading a book about stained glass that Lorraine bought me. I am reading it out to Lorraine at night, and it sends her to sleep in about 15 seconds. Amazing.

Below starlings on a mast in Hollingbury, which were looking rather beautiful, and the gorgeous playing cards.





Monday, October 16, 2017

Life Jim, but not as we know it

Disturbed, anxious dreams. Woke up early to a rejection from The Stockholm Review. Up and onto my French work, which was pinged back and forth across the English Channel all day. I went for a couple of short walks while waiting for everything to sort itself out. Dwelling in Facebook all day, lots of women I know using the #metoo hashtag, saying they had been sexually abused.

Meanwhile, in the afternoon a weirdly orange darkness descended. Shortly before three I could not make out the numbers or letters on my keyboard, even though I was sitting by my window. Brian and I went outside to investigate, and the sky was thickly overcast, with a faint orange tinge and letting no light through. It was bizarre. The mix of Saharan sand and Portuguese wildfire smoke, and been dragged up by ex-hurricane Ophelia which was currently blowing the cobwebs off Eire. It was unnaturally warm too, for an October day.

I sent a tweet out about it. Turned out my most popular tweet to date would be about the blinking weather. After an hour or so, the sky began to brighten and it grew breezier, and the sunset was a strange purple and pink. My pal Reuben wrote on Facebook: "The women are all talking about sexual harassment and abuse. The men are all talking about the sky. A day to remember."

Spoke to Mum and Mas this evening, then prepared food for my lovely wife, who returned home from school fairly unscathed. Watched the new Star Trek, which I am enjoying. I imagine old school trekkies are going mad though. The characters said 'fuck' at one point, and there was some quite nasty violence, and two of the male characters are in a relationship. It's life Jim, but not as we know it.

Below disappointingly, the weird orangey quality of the light nor the darkness were caught on my iPhone.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Waiting for Lady Fortune

A happily slow start to the day, reading the Guardian in bed and drinking teas. Both L and I started the day with sore throats. Strangely warm day today, and we took advantage of this by weeding and mowing the hirsute lawn.

Had coffee sitting outside, and discussed multifarious plans and schemes about what we want to do with the garden and house. The only thing preventing us is the absence of sacks of cash. Then Lorraine had to do lots of school work, and I tried to do some writing. While I do not believe in writer's blocks, the force is strangely absent.

I feel like I am waiting for a sign. But bitter experience tells me that if you are hoping for a boost from Lady Fortune, it never comes. Good fortune sneaks up on you, often under the guise of hard work. On that miserablist thought, to bed and work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

At The Bottom's Rest

A happy day. Lorraine up with the larks and off to her hairdresser. I did a bit of this, and then a bit of that, and then jumped on a bus and went off into town to meet my lovely and splendidly coiffured wife. Today was a day of trouser buying. I bought several pairs. I seem to buy trousers in batches, and my trousers were all coming to an undignified end. Looked somewhat paunchy in the changing room mirrors.

After an orgy of trouser buying, off to Gars, where my Lorraine bought me lunch to celebrate my birthday. Good to sit down and chopstick down some Singapore noodles. I always enjoy Gars. Home not long after this, and a quiet snooze on the gold sofa before Dawn came, and we three surged out into a taxi.

This took us to The Bottom's Rest, which is a fine pub tucked away in Hove where Rosie had booked a section of the pub for us to celebrate our birthdays. Bottom being the midsummer night's dream character, and not just a place to rest your posterior. Rosie had ordered a buffet for us, which turned out to be excellent. A fine night with lots of lovely people. Rosie and Innis, naturally, and Betty with an eraser which was also a little Kim Jong-un, among other things, and Anton  bringing a selection of excellent cards from himself and the bairns, who are now in Australia. Richard and Maria-Grazia, Hus and his charming daughter May, Rosie's pals Graham and Sam, and a couple called Matt and Jen, and a man called Paul I didn't really speak to, but who was chatting with Dawn lots.

Really cheery evening, and I had been given some lovely presents, mainly books which of course is splendid.

Below Lorraine, Dawn and I were first to arrive. I snapped the ladies while we were waiting.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Working from home

Up early this morning. Had a bit of an ah-ha moment about my forthcoming poetry readings. Simply to position myself not as the great bard giving forth my poems, but remembering the audience are fellow travellers (most of them will be poets) about 35 years of poems including the failed experiments and some of the cul-de-sacs I found myself lost in. On another lofty literary note, finished the Diary of Adrian Mole, which was very nicely done.

I walked down to the gym this morning, but had to clamber off the cross trainer after a while as I was feeling tired and hot, and my leg hurt. Home feeling a bit ancient as a consequence. I also have a flare up of eczema in my groin. The tube of cream has to be kept in the fridge. Luckily I was done applying the unguents to my privates in the kitchen before Sonia let herself in.

Began my period of gainful employment this afternoon, a few hours writing about comforting pheromones for dogs who are left home alone. Had another bout of juggling dates, as my French friends wanted me all next week. Luckily my new Paddington Pals agreed to be juggled. The afternoon working quietly then, with Sonia hoovering around me and telling me to see the German violinist David Garrett, and showing me clips of his violin pyrotechnics on her phone.

Lorraine home quite late, and we walked around to the Red Chillies takeaway, put in an order and went across to the Park View for a glass of beer, and to talk to my lovely wife. Home soon, armed with Indian food, and strapped on the nosebags, and settled happily into the gold sofa.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A bit of Lamb on my birthday

My birthday. Lorraine gave me a book on stained glass, and is going to send me on a stained glass window course, which will be wonderful as I love them and have often talked about this, without actually doing anything about it. Now I shall do something about it.

Dozens of messages today wishing me a happy birthday, most of them through Facebook, but e-cards and, actual cards from Janet and Ken, and Maureen and Pat, and emails and so on, calls from Mum and Beth. Felt very touched by these, and the affection they represented.

And for my business conundrums, everything fell perfectly into place. The folks in Paddington did want me after all. This was reassuring as I was beginning to think I had completely misinterpreted everything. Plus they are happy for me to start once I have sorted out the work I need to do for my French clients. All in all, it couldn't have worked out better.

Heard people discussing The diary of Adrian Mole on the radio the other day, which is a bit Pooterish, and downloaded it as an audiobook, have almost finished it. It is really well done, and made me laugh a few times, and smile many more. It is also quite sad, which is a good undercurrent for a comedy. Listened to this today as I was mooching about in the park this afternoon, just walking and savouring my freedom as this will be in short supply for the next couple of months.

In the evening Lorraine and I drove down to Concorde 2 to see Lamb, a group Lorraine had seen before and loves. I knew a couple of their tracks before I met Lorraine, and really liked them. Nice to be out on a school night, and I like Concorde 2 as it is by the edge of the sea, so you spill out into the night sea air afterwards, which is always nice. Lamb were supported by a young lad called Reuben, who turned out to be the son of Lamb's singer Louise Rhodes, and songwriter whose beats were interesting, although it was a bit like watching a kid in his bedroom. Then a new group called Aya, who were two musical sisters, who weren't bad. Lamb were terrific, really exciting music full of energy with lots of dynamics, slow thoughtful passages with rather lively ones, some lovely Miles Davisish trumpet playing going on too. Lamb are built around Louise Rhodes, and Andrew Barlow, who is from Brighton. It was a bit of a homecoming gig then, and Andrew had lots of his pals in the audience. An excellent night, and we both really enjoyed ourselves. Felt transported by their music at times. If you don't know them, here's a link to a song called 'Gabriel'.

Below Reuben, Aya, and Lamb.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Reaping the wind

Up later than the larks, as Lorraine had a meeting to attend first thing, which paradoxically meant she could get out of bed at 7 not 6. Spoke to her a couple of times during the day. A bit of a tough patch at school.  This morning my lovely French clients got in touch and offered me work next week. This left me with a dilemma. I told Val in Paris that I was waiting for a decision on the job in Paddington, and would get back to her by the end of the day. Val said she was only accepting this work, if she knew I could do it, and needed to know. I messaged the Paddington folks politely pressing them for their already overdue decision.

While waiting for all this to sort itself out, I mooched into town buy some eczema cream, and then I mooched into the Art Gallery as there was a sudden downpour. I took the opportunity to see some paintings by Glyn Philpot, 1884-1937, some of which I quite liked. Including a portrait of a seated woman, called Portrait of Mrs Woolmer. I just loved the colour combinations, and looked  closely at the deft touches of red in the fold of her hand, near the green bracelet somehow made the tawny and grey sing. Lovely stuff.

From there, I walked through the puddles to the pier and peered from the end of it out to the wind farm, a little on one part of the horizon. It was a windy day, and sea was foamy. But the wind farm isn't working yet. I am looking forward to seeing their arms circling, and hoping I will learn to love this addition to Brighton. While I totally approve of harvesting the wind instead of, say, fracking up the countryside, there is something about a horizon which suggests in the sensitive poetic soul the notion of infinity. If the horizon is cluttered it spoils this. On balance, however, I'd rather they were there than not there.

Walked home, through town and the park, and took stock. By the end of the day the folks in Paddington had still not responded. Spoke to Lorraine, for a quick reality check, then called Val and accepted her job. Otherwise I could have lost both, and my gut tells me something's awry with the Paddington biz. As soon as I had made this decision and had spoken to Val, I felt like I had taken control of my own life again, and was no longer in limbo.

Cooked a rather good, predominantly vegetarian chilli, and served it up to Lorraine when she got home. A quiet night.

Below the Portrait of Mrs Woolmer. The colour hasn't come out properly. If you enlarge the sea pictures you can just spot the wind farm on the horizon.









Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Limboish

A bit of a stale, limbo-ish day where I was conscious of having to wait for a decision on the meeting I had yesterday, which did not arrive. Also nothing back from the book I sent to the agent. The only dribble of feedback was a standard-issue poetry rejection yesterday. Rosie has now read The Second Kind of Darkness and seemed to like it, and has a few comments which will be interesting to learn.


I went to the gym through the autumnal park which was great fun. Later I spoke to mum and to Betty who is working in London tomorrow. Poor Lorraine didn't get home till really late after some parent teacher event. I cooked her a late snack, and she watched Great British bake off to decompress. 

Richard sent me this link to dolphins near herm, makes me miss Guernsey lots.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Room with a view

Lorraine and Clem the next door neighbour found an expensive bicycle abandoned in the middle of the street this morning. It has been reported by the police and is in our house now.

Trying to work on my own stuff today, but very preoccupied by the meeting this afternoon in London with agency I've been negotiating with near Paddington station. I seem to be going to Paddington lots lately. The meeting was bumped for an hour and a half till 4:30. Having to wait all day for it gave me plenty of time to brood, especially when the pop-in for a chat with the head of copy, turned into a semi formal three-person interview. Waited in the lobby for 20 minutes too. However the folks I met were all really nice. I escaped just before six and came straight home. I will find out tomorrow if I they want me.

Lorraine and I watching the new Star Trek this evening, and drinking hot chocolate. Then to bed early. We're so rock and roll.

Below while I was waiting for the interview, having been brought up to the room, I had to snap the view out of the window as an exemplar of uninspiring city views. Also snapped the London street called London Street.



Sunday, October 08, 2017

Ultimate blackjack

Lorraine a little sadder and wiser after enjoying fizzy wine at Beth and John's place last night. I however, was a little brighter, and bought some bread and took her up a breakfast in bed. Then I made off to Preston Park's Rotunda cafe. There I met Andrew, to talk about my accounts. On the next table Jess was having an Italian conversation lesson. I kept thinking it was a bit like a spy movie, bending over a pad, while Andrew did bits of maths, and I signed a piece of paper and took away another sheet carefully folded. Meanwhile their cockapoo scuffed excitedly between the two tables. Andrew and I then took a walk through the park, and shook hands near a parked car. All very suspicious. Enjoyed chatting with Andrew, and felt reassured about accounts and so on. He has a heart operation in Sussex Hospital in the next couple of weeks. He is understandably keen to get it done.

Lorraine still in bed when I got home, but showing signs of life. A few cups of tea and coffee and Lorraine and I walked across town to Anton's house, for a Sunday lunch. He and Anne had cooked poussin and lamb with Persian spices, and couscous. All rather delicious. Although, in the 'where on earth do they put it all' department, Klaudia and Oskar microwaved themselves a curry an hour or so after we had all finished.

Interleaved with the meal came ultimate blackjack, which Anton taught Lorraine, and I was supposed to learn by spousal osmosis, it is a bit like Uno, but with added explanations. Enjoyed playing this, once I learned the rules. Klaudia strangely excellent at ultimate blackjack, which is all about putting cards down in the right sequences. Klaudia boffins her way to victory. Oskar and Klaudia off to Australia shortly for a couple of weeks, which is rather exciting. Enjoyed chatting with the bairns and with Anne.

The day before, Klaudia had made a playlist for me on Spotify, which was all the UK and US number one singles on my birthday since I first yelped out into the world. Starting with Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard, and Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin. We listened to this during the afternoon, and it brought back lots of memories. And it's always the unexpected songs, like The Last Waltz by Englebert Humperdink, which I detested at the time but found it made me think fondly of my grandmother.

Lorraine and I rolled out of Anton's house full to bursting as usual, having had a good time. Reflecting on the hospitality shown by Anton's family to me over the years with Lorraine as we took the short walk down to the station and caught a cab home. Neither of us ready to start the week tomorrow, and so we got sucked into watching the X-Factor for a while before bed.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Flatwarmer

Slept long and hard. Lorraine needing loads of sleep. I made teas and breakfast and it wasn't till after noon that we got up finally. We went for a walk to the shops at five ways. Dawn came around, and Lorraine cooked us  a delicious fish curry. Then off in Dawn's car to Beth and John's flat, where they had invited a few of their pals around as a flatwarmer. I wandered down to the co-op chatting with John, and bought a few beers, John using his magic discount card.

A really cheery evening. Beth said she felt all grown up coming out of the bathroom, and realising all these people were friends she had invited to her own flat. I enjoyed chatting with Beth's pals Sarah and Suzie, and Ainsley and Milly, Laura and her excellent boyfriend Brahim. James there too, and it was good to catch up with him. I enjoyed enjoyed meeting Alex who teaches with Beth again, and I had a long chat with his partner Luke from Sydney. Good to see Rosie and Innis too. Rosie has almost read The Second Kind of Darkness, and said she was loving it. Given that Rosie's work is all about Children's books, I was chuffed to hear that.

Fond farewells to everyone. Lorraine and I hopped into a cab at the end of the night, and were spirited rapidly home.  Betty and John happy in their new home, and that makes Lorraine and I feel happy too.

Friday, October 06, 2017

A symphony of delights

Up this morning, and after a pre-Sonia tidy, a spot of work, I zoomed up to London, and travelled to Maida Vale to meet Mum. Had to go on the Backerloo line for a couple of stops, which is one of the noodle thin ones that give me claustrophobia. I managed it, not having done this for a while, and came out and as I was unfeasibly early had some coffee. When Mum came we walked off to the BBC studios there for more music.

A long queue which we had to stand in for half an hour or so, chatting. It was a recording of four contemporary British composers. Into the recording studio, which seemed immense and was miked up for the full BBC Symphony Orchestra.

For long pieces, the first called Endangered written by Rachel Portman was a bit film music like, and was about endangered species.  The second piece by Edwin Rozburgh, Concerto for Piano and Wind Orchestra, was more challenging  between a dialogue between a pianist, playing a bazillion notes, and the wind sections of the orchestra. It had percussion too. Full of interesting tones and moments. After a break, there was a piece by Sally Beamish, called Diodati, written with Mary Shelley in mind.   All these pieces really worth hearing. The last piece was by Gordon Crosse, called Symphony No. 3, 'Between Despair and Dawn', which was rather spellbinding and moving. Both Mum and I liked this the most. They are going to be broadcast on 27th October, 3:30 pm on R3. I'd like to hear the Crosse piece once again. Rachel Portman, Edwin Roxburgh and Gordon Cross, were all there. Both of the men were 80, and there was something I found particularly moving about seeing these older guys receiving acclaim for producing work of such amazing quality.

I really enjoyed seeing mum and going to this concert with her. We enjoyed dissecting it on the way back to the tube station.

Then I zoomed home as Lorraine, and we went straight out to the Preston Park Tavern for a bite to eat. I had missed her lots over the week, especially waking up in the middle of the night and only seeing cats and no wives. We had some food, and a quick drink. Heard about all her adventures on the Isle of Wight with the children. She was exhausted, but it had been a really good week with loads of rewarding teacher moments from the sound of it.

Home to watch this week's new Star Trek episode. The new series seems a lot darker and edgier, and I am enjoying it. Lorraine absolutely exhausted, however, and we both crept off to bed really early.

Below a photo Mum didn't want to be in, with me featuring flaking eyebrow eczema, sitting in the back row of the small studio audience. The BBC symphony orchestra getting ready. The lighting was a bit cold and bright, but the music was fab.



Thursday, October 05, 2017

Make it funky

So I happened to watch Theresa May's speech today. I am occasionally drawn to watching big political speeches. I remember watching Neil Kinnock's electrifying speech in 1985 when he threw Militant Tendency out of the Labour party, which was electrifying. With the embattled position of Theresa May, I thought it might be interesting political theatre. The resultant speech, which I watched about an hour after it was made, having caught a snatch of chat about it on Radio 4, was as other people have said an appalling anxiety nightmare of a speech. First being handed a P45 by a comedian who is then gives the thumbs up to Boris Johnstone saying 'Job Done, Boris.' Then the struggles with her voice began, and she almost lost her voice completely with 25 minutes to go. Her chancellor having to hand her a throat pastille. And then, the inane slogan on the set behind her beginning to shed letters towards the end of the speech. None of these things were within her control. She looked as if she wanted to cry afterwards. It was compelling.

In other news I fiddled with bits of my own writing, without making enormous progress, did some wall scraping, and appear to be on the way to securing a big chunk of freelance work up in London, which would be excellent for the Kenny coffers.

In the evening I walked over to Hove where I met Beth in the Wick Inn. Really nice to see her, looking glowy with general happiness. A fast beer in there and we were soon joined by John. The three of us went down to The Brunswick where in the cellar bar was a funk jam night, a night organised by Lene's new finance. Lene was there, sparkling from the finger. Her finance was a funky saxophone player. On the way down, Beth and John said they were there to watch and they wouldn't take part. Beth was bullied by Lene to sing, and she sang Son of a Preacher Man, very nicely indeed. And then John sat in, and did absolutely excellently on drums. Just a very cool scene with lots of funky stuff being played by a revolving cast of musicians. Including a tap-dancer, who I think was the same bloke I saw here, and a slender young woman who jumped out from behind the bar to absolutely let rip vocally, before scampering back to the bar.

Walked home from Hove after the gig was done, and much more my scene than the ear-bleeding one I went to yesterday. Fond farewells with Beth and John in Hove, and then I walked home to make sure I got my ten thousand paces under my belt for the day. Sat up and watched a political show about the day's events before heading for bed.

Below, Beth 'I'm absolutely not going to sing' singing Son of a Preacher Man, and John, 'I don't really like sitting in' sitting in on drums, and playing a blinder.



Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Nightlife with Anton

Up early and working on poems. Back to the gym fairly early, then to Starbucks, but couldn't settle there to work. Home, via Sainsbury's. I also did more work and more scraping. In the evening I walked down to see Anton at the Joker, where we had woof woof wings to line our stomachs, and from there we decided to go off piste, to a pleasant time warp of a pub on Baker Street, called The Mitre, where I had a glass of mild and felt like I was drinking in a pub that had been untouched by time, apart from people looking at their phones and iPads. Then a hundred yards on to The Druid's Arms, where we left quickly as there was nothing to see there. Next we drank a beer in The Great Eastern, and then decided to go to The Green Door Store, which is a music venue under the railway arches which Anton has haunted quite a bit, and I never have. I followed Anton sidling into the stage room, all shiny brick and a solitary doorframe standing in the floor where a small room would have been, the band were doing a sound test. Soon they started charging folks and stamping the hands of folks to come in, so we had managed by the powers of looking old and unchallengeable, to get in free. The band I think were called Meat Meat Meat, and were extremely loud indie rock. I had my fingers in my ears, and although they weren't terrible (they had a good crowd too) we left.

But only back to the Prince Albert pub, where there was a band playing. It was £3 entry, but Anton could only find £4 in his pocket and blagged us in. The band were anonymous, and at least not far too loud. After watching these for a bit, we simply went home, top hats slightly askew. I had phoned Lorraine during the night, with Anton taking the phone and shouting, "I love you Lozza, I've always loved you Lozza."

I arrived home safely, and sat on the gold sofa with a large glass of water, turned the TV on and fell asleep. Only to wake up an hour later and shuffle off to bed.

Below: inside the Green Door Store.


Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The season of poets

A call from Lorraine first thing this morning. The cats wanting food. I had a good day's work today, and broke it up with a long walk listening to my book about octopuses. I'm a sucker for it. Did some scraping today too. Spoke to Beth while walking through some woody bits by the side of the golf course, and then down and through the park. Bright day, with lovely autumnal smells in the air. I love this time of year. It is the season of poets. 


Otherwise, the luxury of tinkering with poems, and eating the apple crumble Lorraine left for me. Also rescheduling the poetry reading for Wednesday 25th October, and not 2019. A quiet and blameless night indoors sipping tea and sparkling water. Missing Lorraine.

Monday, October 02, 2017

No wife, no cats

So up with Lorraine this morning, and waved her off not to see her for the rest of the week. She is going to the Isle of Wight today with a couple of dozen children in a coach and a boat.

So left to my own devices this week. Certain photos taken of me last week at the poetry reading I went to, cropped up on Facebook. In these photos I look a bit like Friar Tuck. I began a two-pronged attack on this, going to the barbers late this morning to make sure the ratio of gleaming pate to hair was a bit less medieval. Then to the gym for the first time in ages, for a mild mannered half an hour on the cross trainer.  From there to the non-ideologically sound Starbucks, where I worked for a bit on my laptop, before sauntering off to The Marwood where I had arranged to meet Catherine and Alex, as I thought they should meet as they have much in common. Nice to drink even coffee and chat with them for a couple of hours about all kinds of things.

Then home, where I did a bit more work. I am simply focusing on poems at the moment, but it is slow work.  Cooked myself a small but muscular chicken curry, and wrote to my old pal Tracey in California before going to bed. Going to bed without Lorraine felt unpleasant. Weirdly the cats, normally mobbing our bedroom, decided to boycott it completely. I slept alone, wifeless and catless. Or more accurately I did not sleep. Some trifling matter about rescheduling the poetry reading I am supposed to do at the end of the moth, to 2019 was playing on my mind, and eventually I got up at 3 am, made a cup of chamomile and did some email, before finally dozing off, rather missing Lorraine.


Sunday, October 01, 2017

Scraping, therapeutically

A pinch and a punch on a rainy, dreary Sunday in which Lorraine and I had a perfectly nice time pottering about indoors. Funny how being at home together doing ordinary things can be exactly what's needed. We did some protracted scraping in the big bedroom, which is now almost done, but it seems parts of it will need to be re-plastered as the previous layers had concealed a world of horror. Doing this sort of thing can be quite therapeutic I find. Lorraine zooming about getting ready for her trip to the Isle of Wight with dozens of schoolchildren all next week. I am going to miss her. We've not been apart for so long since I went to Chad. I'm hoping the Isle of Wight might be a bit less gruelling.

Thankfully, I am feeling a tad more lively today, than I have felt for a while. Spoke to Toby via text for a while, as he was marking books in Creamer cafe.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shoeing and cooing

An excellent morning after Lorraine and I got up. Lorraine into town, to meet her pal Sarah for a long coffee, and I worked on some poems, and in that hour had something of a breakthrough on two substantial poems I have been working on. This made me feel like I hadn't completely lost my writing mojo after all, which was pleasing.

Then into town to meet Lorraine. We stopped for a coffee in one of Brighton's innumerable coffee places, and then went to a recently opened shoe shop where Lorraine had just bought some rather cool boots. The Italian manager was cooing excitedly over Lorraine when we returned, and I ended up being given a small discount on a nice pair of tan and green suede numbers. I like shoes.

Then a bit of shopping around town. A kerfuffle just outside Churchill square, and more cooing. People were taking photographs of two dyed doves, which had settled on a ledge just near one of the main entrances. I snapped this below.

After some shopping, including a spell in Waitrose, Lorraine and I bussed home. In the evening we drove out to Lorraine's pal Carolyn's house, for supper with Carolyn and her brother John and his new husband Peter. A very pleasant evening. Carolyn is always up to something artistic, such as painting and embroidery, and is involved with charities supporting Nicaragua at the moment. Peter and John told us about vast gatherings of seals on the Lincolnshire coast, which I'd never heard about. They are running, mostly for fun, a guest house. I asked if it had a seal of approval.

Drove home in the rain, after a cheerful night, and were happy to be indoors.