Friday, October 10, 2003

Time to start my blog again. Re-entering cyberspace... My ezine is probably dead in the water, as I have been unable to access my emails for months -- and have had no time to build web pages. Unfortunately real life took over.

However since my last post I have separated from my wife, moved into a new flat and narrowly escaped redundancy. It has been a long hot summer, extremely upsetting and stressful -- although with a few great times unexpectedly found too. Posting this, two days before my 44th birthday is perhaps a sign that things are returning to normal.

October the tenth finds me meeting my wife to sign some papers for the sale of our house. Always painful to see her. Our separation has been amicable and we have done nothing to hurt each other. But a big part of my life is with her, and what is excellent is that our separation has not made me feel in any way that our relationship has been in any way invalidated. It was time to move on, and that's that.

This morning also finds me at my desk with a bag full of ice stuffed down the back of my shirt as I did something unspeakable to my back when swimming at the weekend. I have continuous pain down my arm and shooting pains into my head and muscular spasms on my chest and some vile knotty business occurring under my shoulder blade. As a hypochondriac this is of course all providing excellent source material. Went to the chiropractor and my regular one is on holiday. The replacement pulled my arms ineffectually and told me to put ice on it. D'oh.

Blissfully today is a Friday. Oh blessed day. Tonight will see me zooming off to Portsmouth to see Anton -- and the weekend may hold many delights.

Got down a book of WB Yeats poetry last night. The first time I've felt relaxed enought to read anything even slightly demanding for months. Like setting back into a comfortable armchair, and his miserable Maude Gonne poems made cheerful reading for me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Last night went to see 70s prog-rock legends Yes at Hammersmith Apollo with a couple of pals from work. Naturally as we left the agency bar, we were greeted with a measure of derision from our esteemed colleagues.

I confess that my heart sank somewhat when I saw the audience, who all seemed my age or older. Unlike me, however, they were predominantly dressed in YES teeshirts. The show started, the lights gleaming disturbingly from the bald pates around me, but I must say I felt a huge rush of affection for the "chaps" creaking onto the stage.

Their music is unique. Uniquely bad most of my friends would say, but I have always admired the way they have followed a different agenda, and created a style that was uniquely their own. I went also because of nostalgia. I saw them first in about 1974 when I was fourteen. With Roger Dean's cover art, and my obsessive reading of Lord of the Rings it all contributed to rich world of fantasy and escapism. Jon Anderson has always been reviled for his lyrics. But I always liked them. They conjured up strange images in the head. I heard the line last night "dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you" and found it immensely comforting for some reason.



Sunday, June 29, 2003

Dog tired after a returning this afternoon from a family reunion in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Was brilliant to see everyone and to be back in my spiritual home which I miss all the time. As Victor Hugo had put in his dining room when exiled in Guernsey... Vitae exilium est.

The Island Games are being held in Guernsey this week, so all our habitual haunts were booked up, so the family found ourselves staying at a boarding house run by a ghastly crew of Dickensian grotesques. The chief of these was a fantastically patronising woman who was an ex-school teacher. The pedagogic urge has not left her. She spent what seemed like five minutes explaining, with demonstrations, how to use the lock of the room. Me biting my lip savagely.

But mainly there was good food to be eaten, and chat to be had, and walks along the cliffs with my brother and his wife (whose first visit this was). Unfortunately, my mother had hurt her back a few hours before Mrs Kenny and I arrived, and so was hobbling very painfully until scoring some drugs from the local doctor and miraculously straightening out in a day and a half.

My brother had not been there for almost ten years and was surprised how every lane is full of memories.

Shame we was only two days together. The island itself is like a family member, and I always seem to get a tear in my eye when leaving the place. It so small but means so much to me. I promised myself today to return for six months or so to have a stab at writing the great Guernsey novel.

After flying back from Greece earlier in the week I am feeling disoriented and feverish with a powerfully sore throat and a deep hacking cough and loose bowels. Mere days ago I was feeling full of manly vigour. What happened?

Leaving England on friday I was searched at Gatwick airport and they relieved me of my knife Mortel which I'd forgotten I was carrying and then checked my rucksack for traces of explosives. I found myself worrying that they'd find some, which was bizarre. Feeling like a criminal in moments is easy if people are suspicious of you. Today I reclaimed Mortel from the hostage-takers and then brandished it wildly at people all the way home.



Thursday, June 26, 2003

Back today from Samos the greek island. Plenty of news which I will add in drips and drabs. Was pleased to learn this morning that I have had an SF story accepted by an online magazine in the States.

Work busy but retaining my chilled Hellenic aspect. Will report later about Greek adventures later such as seeing dolphins dancing in the prow wave for the hell of it, or visiting Patmos, the seeing the cave where the text for the Book of Revelations was written down.

Must away, but more later....

Monday, June 02, 2003

Thunder last night in London. I woke and found I appeared to have swallowed what felt like a cactus.

Dragging myself around today feeling ratty with swollen glands and sore throat. Few meetings today, mostly slogging at the dratted erections again. I am writing various role-play scenarios of men visiting their doctor. Will this torment never end...

Andy back after the birth of Delilah Grace, and looking cheery if somewhat tired.

A day with little else to recommend it. Bah.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I'm sure I'm omitting all the fabulously interesting stuff, and leaving only the dregs - as I've been too busy to keep this going properly in the last few weeks. Among other things I have been slaving over this huge website on erectile dysfunction. However there is a holiday is in sight -- Mrs Kenny and me are off to Greece in about ten days time for two big weeks.

Have joined a new swimming pool which is actually close to where I work. Have been slipping off at lunchtime or before work and it is helping me relax, although seems only marginally to be affecting the sumoesque nobility of my figure.

This weekend it was my wedding anniversary. Mrs Kenny and I went out to our favourite restaurant, the Glasshouse in Kew Village this lunchtime and had a marvellous meal and bottle of wine. She got me some nice books and a teeshirt, I gave her some perfume that she'd smelled on Loretta last weekend and really liked. Saw a photo of me executing a perfect star jump during the wedding last week, which was quite funny.

Got a new kind of especially swinish spam that crashed my inbox lately so with Mrs Kenny's help have just renewed contact with the outside world again.

Listening to a fab record lately by Les Nubians called One step forward. They are two sisters from Cameroon who live in Paris, and sing mostly in French.

Feel somewhat bitter and twisted about my own output. Work is getting in the way of my life again. I have not done any writing of my own for a long time. AnotherSun is drifting somewhat. One of these days I am going to take a huge sabbatical, and write all the stuff I need to get out of my system.

The amazing weather we've been having broke today. Friday lunchtime had a really nice time sitting by the river drinking some beers. Which is where Matt told me the best story of the week. Apparently Matt had gone on a trip to Cooper's Hill to roll cheeses. This involves flinging yourself down a hill after a cheese, and is plainly mad and extremely dangerous. Matt drove to Gloucestershire but for due to an foreign earthquake which necessitated the cheese paramedics flying abroad the event was cancelled. Eventless Matt and his pal lurked about until a Sky film crew produced a false cheese and invited them re-enact cheese rolling on the empty hillside for their cameras. Matt and his mate flung themselves down in the approved manner -- mainly on his backside -- Matt claimed it was broadcast in the midlands.

And I for one am inclined to believe him.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Back from Anton and Anna's wedding, via a short spell in Brighton. Am finally relaxing a bit.

Mrs Kenny and I travelled to Salisbury on Thursday. Infuriatingly, I realised on the train that I'd picked up an early draft of the wedding poem I'd written for the event. Fortunately I was able to get a copy of the final version from the registrar just before the wedding. Thursday night was spent in Philips House -- a huge house in its own grounds. Walked in the side entrance through and then through a bookcase door into a huge high ceilinged room with many big oil paintings of old worthies, a log fire and a view over rolling grounds fringed by trees and with the distant glitter of a small lake. Here's a photo of the house.

Philips House



Many happy reunions with Anton's family, and I enjoyed meeting Anna's parents for the first time. We rehearsed the ceremony for the marriage the next day. Which involved walking down flights of stairs to a landing where they would be married. This took several attempts to get it right. The couple who were the custodians were running about being very hospitable and serving some mouthwatering food. The host very friendly although later and a bit worse for wear he got over-enthusiastic and started racing about in a Fawlty Towers style and at one point squeezing Mrs Kenny and others in what I thought of as an over-familiar way. Then Nick and Suzie gave Mrs K and I a lift back to our pub hotel. I managed about two and half hours sleep and fell to working on my speech at 4.30 in the morning.

Next day the wedding was not till 4.30pm but Anton was in dire need of attention. Nick and I found him lurking in his bedroom, with Trotski the intrepid cat, looking like he was about to have root canal work done without anaesthetic. Of course when the ceremony was over he was transformed. The wedding went very smoothly, Anna looked beautiful, the ceremony was moving and beautifully staged, and at the end of it I did my poem about them paragliding which seemed to hit the right note judging by the warmth of the applause afterwards.

The wedding breakfast was great although my nerves were a bit shredded by the time it came for Nick and I to do our speeches at 9.20. They went well, especially Nick's, I felt I was slightly under prepared and slightly drunk. Then outside for a wonderful firework display. And chatting with lots of old pals, and Nick and I smoked some fantastically expensive cigars. Particularly enjoyed seeing Loretta again, who I'd not seen for a couple of years.

Next morning grimly coming to concsiousness in the dismal pub Mrs Kenny noticed that the toilet was leaking. This turned into a catastrophic leak which was pouring through the bar below. We got up and later the owner confronted us, and said that I'd told her that I'd knocked the cistern. I'd not even used the cistern and certainly had told her no such thing. She then wandered about muttering about this and making phone calls to people about how I'd "knocked" the cistern and now had denied it. This made me feel furious but Mrs Kenny said I was overreacting. Fortunately there were Brian and Loretta and Sarah and Frase there as we waited for breakfast, as I was feeling vulnerable, hungover and liable to explode.

Frase asked for a new head when asked what he wanted for breakfast.

Then we travelled from Salisbury to Brighton and looked at lots of houses and stayed with Janet and Ken. I felt a bit of a zombie by then with tiredness. But we saw several houses, one really nice house -- and then went back to Janet and Ken. Stayed up talking about culture, politics and books -- Mrs Kenny heading for bed at the lightweight hour of 9 o'clock -- but I had a second wind and roared till midnight.

Sunday we travelled back home. Finally today I am feeling relaxed. Stupid work tomorrow and another tsunami of slog. But had a massively enjoyable swim today.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Finally a chance to catch up. Very preoccupied with work in the last week, and had to go in yesterday too. Which makes this blog a bit tedious though... I can't really go into what is happening other than tales of trying clients and a deluge of work. Dull reading...

Some respite was provided by going into Soho on Wednesday to work on a TV ad. It was an "adapt" -- overseeing the recording of a few voice overs and then off to another suite to add phone numbers and so on to the ad. You find yourself having earnest discussions about whether a telephone number should appear at 19 seconds or 20 seconds. This is my televisual legacy... A lost second of a telephone number on a tv ad. Fortunately "the client" who was with us, was actually really nice -- and we took her to wagamamas in Lexington street. Tried to be charming etc. but still cringing internally from my remembrance of talking to her one night and she asking me how old she was. I said 40 instantly. I guess she's about 35 so my statement obviously went down like a cup of warm sick. I just don't understand how this happened. I'm usually so good with women.

Today I have to do some stuff on my site, think about work, clean my aquarium, and work on my best man's speech. Went with Mrs Kenny to Sainsbury's for the first time in ages, now she is able to drive again. There must be something a bit peculiar about me because I love shopping for food. I had quite a few years of scraping by on next to no cash, so I still get a buzz from being able to not worry about what I buy in the supermarket.

Had a good night with Young Nick who was down from Manchester and we went to the pub to brainstorm our speeches and this helped a good deal.

Andy's partner Ali is going to have a baby tomorrow -- an elective caesarian. I met her on Friday, and she and Andy look so perfect together it's quite astonishing. Typical of an art director to hook up with someone that completely complements him aesthetically.

While another friend's wife is also pregnant -- they've had to use a sperm donor. Complex emotional area in the last case for my friend which demanded a few beers and a chat on Friday night.

Meanwhile I have restarted swimming again -- and have been three times this week. Went early on Thursday morning when it was very empty. I was treated to the sight of a woman in the communal showers soaping herself with the top of her swimsuit down. She glared at me as if it were my fault when I surprised her, which wasn't exactly fair.

I have done a little cycling too, so I am feeling marginally less unfit than of late. I have invested in a cycling helmet too, which is of course sensible, but looks somewhat uncool. Paul at work has worked with people suffering from brain damage so takes it upon himself to hector people about helmets. It worked.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Survived Anton's stag weekend. Friday night was good -- it just being Anton and I wandering around Brighton dropping randomly into bars and ingesting a Chinese meal in about fifteen minutes. Back to his place and we listened obsessively to reggae and earnestly talked nonsense till late.

Woke up feeling decidedly ropey the next morning, with the sinking knowledge that half a dozen guys were going to want to go mad for it that very afternoon. Anton who was on the phone to Anna had to break off his conversation to hurl up his headache pills. After he and I had drunk lots of coffee, Young Nick and then the rest of the boys duly turned up and we set about drinking our way around Brighton all over again. I find these cat herding sessions quite difficult. Maybe it was because I'm the oldest of the group I appointed myself the sensible one and negotiated for us when the need arose. Fortunately we all made it home safely and I spent the night on a lilo waking up intermittently and seeing with clarity that I needed to not to do this again for a while. And reflecting on how Brian, one of our party, chose the stag to come out to me too -- but there you go. I felt proud of him.

Next day Brighton pier was on fire again and Anton Young Nick and I went to see it smoulder after the others had left. Anton looking green as we walked past a fish and chip shop. Eventually I got my act together enough to leave. As it was Sunday the train appeared to go via Cornwall to reach London. I reached home and Mrs Kenny after what seemed like an eternity. I felt sordid.

I brought an album called happy sad by Tim Buckley in Brighton on a whim and have been spellbound by it since.

Work has been unspeakable since Monday. There has been a rearrangement of my part of the agency. Politically I don't know if this is good or bad thing yet. But where I once had space and clarity, the office has now lots more people in it and I am surrounded by crates full of junk. I feel demotivated. Still, I attended an excellent session today brainstorming embarrassment.

Bicycled yesterday and swam today in an attempt to redress some of this weekend's abuse.

Managed to finish the poem for Anna and Anton in time for the registrar to approve it for their wedding. It must not mention god. Also have a poem on Poetry Superhighway this week in their holocaust rememberance day issue.

Stupid home computer not working properly and have been unable to receive email for some time -- although the server is now dribbling ancient email at me. I'm certain some has been lost for good.

Bed calls now with some force.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Intense four days at work. I discover I have a slightly different job, and am not sure if this is a good thing yet. Otherwise have been clandestinely writing the poem for the wedding -- but have negotiated a few extra days from fierce women in registry office. I am just about to leave for Brighton again to stay with Anton in preparation for his stag night out tomorrow. Liver and kidneys already squirming in anticipation.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Just back from Brighton, where we stayed with Anton and Anna in their new house in Brighton. Such a cool town, lively and artistic. Can't wait to move down there too when someone eventually buys our house in Kew.

Neck glowing attractively as a consequence of lurking in the sun this bank holiday afternoon. Was with Mrs Kenny, Anton, Anna and Trotsky in Brighton. Trotsky is cat. She likes flies, loathes seagulls and enjoys car rides and comes when Anton whistles like an only slightly aloof dog. We spent a couple of hours this afternoon sitting in their back garden watching Trotsky scrabble about clumsily in a almond tree, and trying to decide whether they should go for the blanquette or champagne at their wedding. The decision process involved bottles of each and an inexplicable desire for pizza.

Interspersed between hanging out by the seaside and going to bars and restaurants, we talked about the poem they've asked me to write for their wedding. I think I have a plan now. But although I am an attention seeking egomaniac, I get twitchy at the prospect of stepping into the middle of the actual wedding ceremony and reading a poem. If it is all wrong it will be a minor disaster. I have now four days to write it before it has to be faxed to the registrar. Yikes.

Otherwise I went for a bike ride in the sun on Sunday morning along the Thames. I almost got bicycle rage as I've never seen the tow path so clogged with people and other swine on bikes getting in the way. Don't they understand that this is for me alone?

Then fiddled about with AnotherSun for a few hours. Arghh! It takes so long.

Depressingly I am also ballooning to sumoesque proportions again. No surprise after all the drinking and eating I've been doing lately untempered by any exercise. Thin gruel is what I need from now on, thin gruel with an occasional water side-dish.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Saw my Mum and Mason last night. Mum gave me two CDs full of painstakingly-assembled correspondence and photographs from her father's family -- who were living in India during the days of the Raj. This is a photograph of Mignonette who is my great-grandmother. As a boy I was always fascinated by the exoticism of this photograph -- what's below is a detail of the bigger photo which is of a group of people gathered on a veranda somewhere in northern India about to go to a fancy dress party.

Looking forward to studying all the other pieces -- although Mum said there are some really depressing bits, especially the correspondence of Ella (my Grandfather's first wife) as she was dying of TB.

Mignonette



I was pleased to see Mason bearing up well after his mother's recent death. When someone dies in their late nineties after a full life the fact that there is no sense of the injustice can help.

Otherwise we had a good time guzzling Mexican food and drinking Sol beers. On that note I have put on weight in the last couple of weeks where my heavy cold has prevented me from swimming so I need to get surging about again as soon as I am able.

Have finally found some time to work on AnotherSun again, and slowly have been preparing new material to add to the site.

Mrs Kenny really happy about her book deal -- it's fantastic news. At this stage organising the illustrations and photography is probably the most difficult bit to do.

Monday, April 28, 2003

A day in a daze. Ineffectually wandering about with a horrible cold still. Andy and I doing a tiny amend of some TV ad this afternoon and I found myself vacantly staring at the screen unable to form any opinion about voice overs and when telephone numbers should appear and so on. Fortunately Andy was more switched on than me today.

Kate's birthday today so a bunch of us went for lunch in Riverside Studios where I noticed a minor soapstar and ate lasagne. On Sunday I saw a newsreader. It must be strange walking about with people half-thinking they know you all the time.

Home and Mum called as I began to cook to say that Mase's mother Helen had died at 98. She was until very recently remarkably hale. Mase seems to be okay, although I didn't speak to him tonight. What a stretch of history she must have seen from about 1905 till now.

Arranged to go down to see Anton so I can find out what needs to be said in the wedding poem.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

No blogs lately due to Andy and me being in an unspeakable work frenzy, a very late night and a debilitating cold. I presented our hastily assembled work on Friday to a client who insists on having other agencies sitting around when you do so -- which ups the twitching somewhat. However, I managed to introduce a Heidegger quote into my opening remarks which made me feel big and clever anyway. Seemed to go well, and Steve, heavily pregnant Cait and I were quite cheery in the cab heading back, as opposed to the slightly funereal outward journey.

Hung about in the agency feeling altogethery with everyone, especially after a few beers.

Saturday I cycled off and bought some marvellous Cornish pasties for Mrs Kenny as a kind of elevenses, and then collected new reading specs. Felt sorry for a 12 year old girl who burst out of the testing room in tears as she had just been told she was short sighted. A diverse collection of four-eyed geeks clustered around her assuring her that specs were actually v cool these days, which only seemed to make it worse.

Otherwise have just lain low, struggling with cold. Maddog came over Sunday morning and I creaked around Kew Gardens with him. I'll really miss our regular walks around Kew Gardens when I move to Brighton. MD wrestling with his job options as we saw a golden pheasant, looked at the purple flowers of the Judas tree and a sculpture so on. MD with new camera getting unreasonably enraged with people walking into his shot.

Home and slugged all afternoon, with barely enough energy to irritate Mrs Kenny who got sucked into watching the Eastenders omnibuses all afternoon. I would rather eat a cactus. Instead, I spoke to Mum who told me that she had got unwillingly involved in the private life of robins in her back garden. This has led her to having to extract two dead chicks from a robin's nest with a pair of tweezers. Everyone needs a hobby I suppose. Meanwhile Toby and Romy are okay in Toronto -- and I got a chilled out email from Toby about the Sars outbreak there.

Must go to bed right now...

Monday, April 21, 2003

I woke last night convinced there were burglars downstairs. Heart hammering I clutched my trusty crowbar went in search of them. Must have been one of my increasingly disturbed and paranoid dreams caused by too many easter eggs, though I had to search the house twice to feel certain.

Otherwise very peaceful over the last few days. I've made a couple of bicycle rides and a swim but have felt very tired during them. Otherwise had a haircut, a nice meal with Mrs Kenny at the Glasshouse in Kew, and a family get together for Zara's birthday, and seeing Kate too for a chat and lunchtime pizza.

Have finished a reworking of a short story in my quest for SF publication this year, and fiddling with a poem about glasshouses. A million things not done though, and I'm dreading going back to the agency tomorrow. There is a tsunami of work heading towards me. Have fallen badly behind on the website and will aim to have the new one done by May 1st.

Listening to Bilal "1st born second" album a bit -- some good moments.

Is there such a thing as a sleeping retreat, where you are just allowed to sleep for a week undisturbed? I see it as a kind of bathysphere into which you can climb and descend; past all the freakish luminescent beings; then deeper through fathom under fathom of sleeping oblivion.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Glorious sun. Yesterday I woke up in the morning and realised I was right and I enjoyed pointing this out to people during the day. Enjoyed work today. Snuck off at lunchtime to have my eyes tested for new reading glasses (occupational hazard of scribes). After the tests and people jetting puffs of air at my eyeballs I carefully chose a pair. The salesman said they didn't suit me and forced me to choose another pair which -- admittedly -- didn't tightly grip the sides of my skull.

Then a short nip down from King Street to the River where I liaised with Andy outside the Blue Anchor again for a swift half in the boiling sun. Back to work sheepishly rather late and we sat in an "inspiration" meeting in which Andy and I were right serveral times and ate chocolate biscuits. After work I joined several muckers who went back to the river. Had a top night out with the likes of Kate, Craig, Robbie and Matt. After working our way upstream like spawning salmon, we ended up under a full moon in the Black Lion where we entered the pub quiz. Robbie chose a name for us, which was the "Peter Kenny is always right" team. Naturally, being right, we won the quiz and I trousered the 26 quid and liberally bought pints for us and those on the next table who we'd been bantering with all night -- including Louise, who told us she was interested in breaking into the wonderful empire of junk.

Wrongness dawned on me this morning as I had to drag my somewhat hungover self into work early to compensate for the fact that in being right yesterday I'd done little actual work. Got in for 8 and slogged at a brochure on convergence technology without interruption for 5 hours. After this felt somewhat jaded and moped about eating curling sandwiches salvaged from some meeting or other.

Evening and dozens of agency types spilled outside and drank and chatted in the sun. The best part of agency life is the sudden bursts of good natured hanging about together. The social life is excellent. Chatted to Robbie who told me that, interestingly enough, he'd actually been right all day today. The baton had been passed.

However, the homing instinct kicked in along with the lovely prospect of not working for four days and I headed for home and a curry with Mrs Kenny. God, I will have to swim like fury to compensate for everything I've eaten and drunk in the last two days.

Still reading Robert Lowell on the train into work. He rocks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Unseasonably warm today and in the last 24 hours I have been glancing at Robert Lowell's poems again.

Important never to throw books away. I bought a selected poems of his in 1983 when I was working in Casio warehouse hefting boxes for a living. Hated the poems then, but 20 years later I find I'm really enjoying them. One poem loosened my socks on the tube this morning. On surfing I discovered it was ""Rima LIII" by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836-1870), a Sevillian post-Romantic writer whose lyric verse was published in book form as Rimas a year after his death". Apparently this is a Bad Thing. But Lowell's reinterpretation is knockout -- and if Yeats could do it with When you are old, don't see why the boy Lowell can't do this. It almost edges into cheesey but manages to pull it off...

Will Not Come Back
(Volveran)

Dark swallows will doubtless come back killing
the injudicious nightflies with a clack of the beak:
but these that stopped full flight to see your beauty
and my good fortune... as if they knew our names--
they'll not come back. The thick lemony honeysuckle,
climbing from the earthroot to your window,
will open more beautiful blossoms to the evening;
but these... like dewdrops, trembling, shining, falling,
the tears of day--they'll not come back...
Some other love will sound his fireword for you
and wake your heart, perhaps, from its cool sleep;
but silent, absorbed, and on his knees,
as men adore God at the altar, as I love you--
don't blind yourself, you'll not be loved like that.

So that was the journey into work. Work itself not too bad. Have sore throat and so a bit draggy. However had a beer at lunchtime with the boy Andy by the river in the sun, and this was a profoundly a good thing, although my mobile kept going off and we had to return quickly. Still getting to know Andy. I just think he's a top guy -- and the best art director I have worked with. Shame slogging on junkmail gets in the way.



Monday, April 14, 2003

Seemed to dream all night about writing and designing brochure on, of all things, bicycles. I kept waking up during the night and realising I didn't have to do this, then fell asleep again, and took up the brochure where I'd left off. Intolerable! I woke up exhausted and as if I'd already done a day's work. Work (in the realm of wakefulness) only moderately trying. But, unreasonably, I feel that life has constricted to a pinprick; and I feel very restless and in need of a complete break.

Saw a scuffle on the tube tonight on the way home with everyone packed together like rats. Half a dozen youths jostling about and someone taking offence. Thankfully didn't get involved.

Heard a few days ago that my play Wrong had got a few laughs in Glasgow. But now, as is the way of drama, it is thin air again. Will turn my attention to revamping AnotherSun again this Easter.

Feel a great hunger for reading now. I can't imagine anything nicer than feeling relaxed enough to read ten books in a row.

Best news of the day, Mrs Kenny now coming on leaps and bounds with her leg and admitting to dancing in the kitchen today -- which she demonstrated when I got home.

Also spoke to Maddog who is going for a job at The Red House, the former home of William Morris. I hope he gets it.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Felt optimistic and full of beans on Friday morning. Went out for lunch to celebrate Marcella's birthday in Browns in Barnes. Star spotted former England and Arsenal football star Tony Adams. Trailed back over Hammersmith Bridge and into a typical Friday afternoon agency panic. Then lurked about after work drinking. Home to Mrs Kenny and the usual Friday night curry.

Today I've been unable to relax. Not been able to apply myself to any writing or sorting out the ezine. Eventually I gave up and had another enjoyable walk around Kew Gardens. It's an aborbing place and I always seem to see something new there. Because of the variety of planting and trees it reminds me of other places when I walk around. Felt a bit strange and on the edge of depression but have pulled back from the brink thanks to eyefuls of flowers and gardens and birds and waterfowl.

Have re-read all the CS Lewis books lately. Which is probably why a part of Kew Gardens made me imagine Narnia. Quite interesting reading A Horse and His Boy, and The Last Battle again at this time. Opposing Narnia is Calormen, populated by a dark skinned southern race who worship an evil god called Tash (a manifestation of the devil), instead of Aslan like "proper" fair skinned Narnians. When you read the book you see that Calormen is clearly meant to be Islam, and it is interesting to read this in the current political context. In The Last Battle when Narnia is destroyed and they all go to heaven, one decent man from Calormen is saved.

The religious dimension is so clear in the Narnia books, but when I read them as a child I don't think I understood this. Despite my reservations about the books' racism and not being a Christian I still found the end of The Last Battle moving. I had not remembered the last (oddly punctuated) sentence at all.

"All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."


Thursday, April 10, 2003

Argh. A duck did me in. Went out for supper with my pal Louise the other night, and found myself gorging on duck. Home uneventfully but then became v poor with some kind of food poisoning. A day of vileness, or should that be foulness, yesterday. I read CS Lewis children's book for comfort. Lurched back into work today to find Andy struggling with a cold -- so we were not the dynamic duo today.

Bizarrely it snowed this morning. Mrs Kenny muttering about breaking her other leg as she left to bravely travel across London on her sticks.

Visited Aimee's good blog again, which is called Reflections from a sandy country.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Work toad still firmly in place. Commuted early in a lovely cold and sunny morning. Then by turn slogged and flapped ineffectually until I ran out of energy.

After work I went for a swim at Brentford Fountain which relaxed me a bit. Then cooked a fish and potato curry at home and sat with Mrs Kenny and stared slack jawed at tv.

Anton called me today to call me Fidel on account of my green combats and cigar combo I was sporting on Saturday. Also spoke to my mother who'd just had a tooth out but sounded quite cheerful.

Nothing like as cheery as Mrs Kenny, who is now able to walk about like Frasier's dad Martin on one crutch which is a huge improvement. Also her non-fiction book proposal appears to have been snapped up, which is excellent.

Am worn thin and feel 100 and so must go to bed soon.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The toad work squatting on my life again today.

Grey and coldish in London, but I had to go into the agency for several hours. Andy and I trying to make some headway. Enlivened by Aimee who's in Dubai (on what is a workday out there) sending me a link to her new blog. I'll put in the link here tomorrow. She writes really well.

Mrs Kenny sent me a link to a fabulous site Weebl gets pie which (oddly enough) is about pies. Which is a subject dear to my heart as I went through a piemaking craze last year, quickly proclaiming myself the king of pies. The crazy animations on this site are inspired lunacy. Well worth a visit.

Had a good Saturday though. Went for a swim then met up with Anton and Brian in Soho where we had a few halves outside the French Bar and then off to wagamas for noodles. Anton had been mincing about in Paul Smith looking for a suit for his wedding. Brian had flown in from Dublin that morning to be a second opinion. Had a great time with the boys.

Then in the evening went with Mrs Kenny to a dinner party held by an old University friend of Mrs K's called Sarah, who is now a barrister, with one of her legal eagle mates there and his wife. An interesting and enjoyable evening as I know little about the law other than having read Bleak House, and having known a clerk to the lord chief justice. Ted was an excellent man and he showed me around the Old Bailey one day. I'd failed my A levels and he got me an interview, which I also failed, for a job. It all seemed to me at the time artificial and anachronistic. Felt horrible about it too, as he died about two weeks after this.

Hey ho. Going to watch futurama on TV now. I love that show.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Little stupendous to report. Work spent writing and holding forth about trucks, erections, computers, and telecommunications. But a day when I felt comfortable in my skin and in what I was doing. Had an enjoyable drink after work, and reached home late tonight having scored cod and chips twice for me and the long-suffering Mrs Kenny en route.

Fish suppers are a guilty pleasure. I bought them in Hammersmith and tucked them inside my rucksack. They provided warm and comforting smells in the train coach all the way to Kew.

Went out for lunch today to the Blue Anchor pub on the river at Hammersmith with Andy and Steve. One of those pubs where there are interesting paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling. Such as tricycles, canoes, and historical pictures of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race which will occur this weekend between Putney and Chiswick. Personally I would rather watch a cactus grow than spectate at the boat race, but it is part of the sporting calendar. I say sink the toffs.

The war still goes on, and there is always a news programme about the war to be watched. I feel dreadful for everyone there. They are imagining that it is nearing a conclusion now they are at the outskirts of Baghdad. All I keep thinking about is the treaty of Versailles.


Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Still maintaining a postive mood despite having to put in quite a few hours. Finished off the day yesterday with a pint with Paul in the Distillers. Only then did I remember that April the first was the day that my play Wrong was getting an outing in Glasgow. No idea how this went or what the reaction was, but nice to think that somewhere hundreds of miles away people were seeing something of mine.

Mrs Kenny this morning doing strange leaning against wall exercises.

Spooner phoned me this morning to request I send him an important stone he'd left on his desk.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Blue sky and sunny this morning in London.

In a much improved mood despite a ghastly journey to work. No trains at all from Kew Gardens but was told there would be some at ten o'clock. Deciding not to be stressed by this I enjoyed a coffee and a read of my paper as I foolishly waited for the Kew Gardens station to reopen. I returned to the station where they said they actually meant one o'clock in the afternoon when they said ten earlier. Then walked to Chiswick Park after an empty bus zoomed past me despite my waving at it in the approved manner from the bus stop. At Chiswick Park there was no staff and only one machine worked. One guy after queuing for his ticket got to the gate to read about how half the line wasn't working and shouted "I fucking hate the tube" and looked like he was going to burst into tears. Such is the stress travelling places on us from time to time. And the funny thing is that it is so familiar to everyone that travel stories are like hearing about other people's dreams -- really boring.

Bike saga continues. Someone had given my bike six punctures as it was chained outside the pool. Spent an hour repairing it on sunday afternoon only to have it puncture instantly as soon as I put it back on the bike. Grrrr. Felt a John Cleese moment of wanting to stamp on it repeatedly. Have overcome this -- for now.






Saturday, March 29, 2003

Reading more about multiple personalities. Don't know how I can use this properly yet, but absorbing anyhow. Experimenting with a story where the protagonist is someone who has "alter-personalities". There's some interesting links to be made with the business of being a writer, but I'm not sure yet how it fits together. When you have someone like Charles Dickens who created hundreds of fully drawn characters... you have to wonder where they call came from. Maybe writing itself is a way of legitimately unifying many different strands of personality -- or at least giving voice to certain sub personalities. Someone like the poet Pessoa who invented a series of poets through which he wrote was probably doing this.

Other than that, and spending more time in Kew Gardens I have done little.

Managed, however with the help of Alan, Mrs Kenny's foster brother, to free my bicycle at last. The angle grinder went through the bike lock like a hot knife through butter. When I get my mobile phone replaced (again as the first replacement was faulty) the repercussions of the robbery will have finally stopped.




Friday, March 28, 2003

Went with Maddog to see The Adventures of Hamza exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum. Hamza is a legendary figure and hero of an epic, which I think is partially lost. The illustrations were commissioned by the third Mughal emperor Akbar.

Even though Maddog and me were both feeling ratty we still enjoyed the exhibition.

One of the first things you notice is a nice faintly spicy smell in the air in the exhibition rooms.

The illustrations were fantastic, with a cast of heroes in all kinds of situations. Lots of people getting their heads cut off, and one unfortunate actually being split in half by a single sword blow. But they were incredibly beautiful nevertheless, with landscapes, bizarre animals, "devs" (strange ogre like spirits like the one emerging from water below) foliage and patterns that you could lose yourself in.

The first few pictures were more classically Islamic, with breathtakingly precise patterns and the most minute patterning that I could barely make out with the naked eye. The bulk of the exhibition was the Hamza pictures, which were comparatively looser (although still mind-bogglingly detailed) and more expressive.



After this, off to Strand on the Green to the Bull's Head that was my local pub at one point. Then after a beer on to make bid to free my bicycle from outside the swimming pool with a hydraulic jack. Naturally this failed too and the bicycle saga drags on like that of the boy Hamza.

Then went to the City Barge on the river for the first time in years, and discovered that an old friend Eric Gilchrist was playing saxophone there. He kindly gave me a copy of his CD which I've not yet listened to. MD and me phoned Martin from the Barge and he then joined us. We drank beer and generally caught up, as lots of blokes got to jam in a mild mannered way at the end of the evening. Good fun though.

Inspired by beer and Moguls we went off to eat an Indian meal just before midnight. MD and I then had an inflamatory row about the war. Maddog stormed off for a bit into the night before either of us had forked down a grain of pilau only to return shortly after, and of course we made up. Home later and Bob stayed the night, we played some jazz and I retired to bed and a sleeping Mrs Kenny.


Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Just found out by idly surfing that a friend of mine, Victor West died one year ago yesterday. He was 82 but I remember with some fondness seeing him at countless readings and sharing many a beer with him. I'd not seen him since about '93. But I had a lot of respect for him. I remember a night in Chiswick at a group called the Wooden Lambs where I was hosting the night, and I said to the people there that of all the poets in the room that we would one day be proud to tell people we knew Victor. He was already quite old then, but I never felt he got the respect he deserved. But his obituary in the Guardian last year by Alan Brownjohn did him some justice.

After yesterday back at work -- and the least said about that the better -- I am back on holiday. Spent it thinking about writing stuff and doing some research on multiple personalities for a story. Oh and wasting hours playing snood.

My ambition to have an SF story published this year took a step closer with a note from the editor of The 3rd Alternative saying that a story I'd sent him was "very (underlined twice) tempting -- very nearly accepted it" which is excellent. Naturally I wish he had accepted it, but at least my ambition doesn't seem too ridiculous in one editor's eyes. He said the writing was good and so on and added "but instinct tells me to wait for something -- the next story you send hopefully -- that'll really blow me away. But if I took this , you might not send that." Got to come up with something cracking soon then...


Monday, March 24, 2003

Cheered by an email today from Andy Duncan in Glasgow, who is a drama student and is doing a piece of mine called Wrong for his drama exam. Apparently the big day is April 1st where it will performed to an audience of about 50. He said his tutors had enjoyed it too. He contacted me after seeing the piece on my sixthfingers site. The Internet has the capacity to bring people together like nothing else.

In the afternoon I went for a walk in Kew Gardens which was beautiful. Banks of daffodils and crocuses, and in the Princess of Wales hothouse dozens of spellbindingly ornate orchids. Read on a note that one orchid grew best in graveyards, and one was collected by a mad Victorian actually still attached to a human skull.

Sat in a cafe feeling more relaxed than I have done for quite a while. Pleased to be out of work, and out of the house. Being in glasshouses sparked off the beginnings of a poem too, which I wrote in my brand new Molskine notebook.

Have a bad back, but the swim I had didn't make it worse. Still investigating how to free my blasted bicycle from outside the pool. Spoke to a man today about hiring an angle grinder and extension leads and other bits and pieces. The whole business drags on. I was let in the pool for free though, which was nice.

Mrs Kenny meanwhile had been to her first physiotherapy session, and returned able to put a little of weight on her foot for the first time which cheered her up.

Back to work tomorrow -- for one day only. Marvellous.



Sunday, March 23, 2003

Woke up grinding my teeth. The sun shone, but I resentfully wrote about trucks for work. Fabulously, however, I have tomorrow off as a holiday -- so am cheery for a Sunday night.

Spent the day listening to the radio about the war. Very incomplete information. Otherwise a somewhat disappointing day creatively. Lethargy rules. Confined myself to laundry, cooking and taking care of Mrs Kenny a bit. Someone let off some fireworks nearby. Thought for a moment it was a real explosion. But didn't sound like the IRA bomb in Ealing I heard quite clearly a couple of years ago.


Saturday, March 22, 2003

Saturday lunchtime and have been hacking away in the agency for the last couple of hours -- making up for the time I lost this week drinking with Spooner. Unfortunately my will to work has evaporated and I will soon walk out into what is a beautiful spring day and damn the torpedoes.

Yesterday quite lively as S the old gargoyle left. Had to send strong men to extricate him from the pub to give him his leaving present and card and so on. Given his infinite capacity for difficultly this was fine. I found at the last minute that I had to give speech to him saying how top he was and so on. Which of course he is, but it doesn't do to actually tell him very often. Ended up somewhat later pouring said S into a cab having a nice quiet Thai meal with Paula and Marcella.

Otherwise I have been lurching through a fog of tiredness. Home now. Ah I have a mobile phone and some days off. O joy. What mischief will I get up to free as a bird to wander where I will?





Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Hurrah! hot water at home at last, and Mrs Kenny has first shower since she broke her leg. I also got my crime number from the police. A sense of slight movement. I will get a new moble phone soon too. Amazing how essential it has become.

Blakey showed me the finished version of the cartoon today. It was top and will be launched to the agency tomorrow. Otherwise today spent looking at copy about trucks and erectile dysfunction and trying not to appear as exhausted as I felt. Decided on taking some time off next week.

Meanwhile the dogs of war are being unleashed. Horrible feeling. First time that there has been military action by the UK since I've been alive that I have seen not one shred of justification for. This will start more trouble than it can possibly hope to finish.

Left for Birmingham and the train stopped on the track en route for an hour and twenty mins without moving. Tried to use the time usefully to write poetry but there was no Adlestrop moment.

Sitting in the Virgin train no such luck. No gasp of real air or any sound of a bird, only people moaning intermittently into their mobile phones.

Arrived in a sweaty dishevelled state. Then wandered into a vast stale soulless caverns full of blokes in suits talking earnestly about trucks and vans. Later went out with Catherine and Nerissa to fork down a Chinese meal laden with msg and talked earnestly about anything other than trucks and vans. Had set up meetings in the evening but they didn't happen. Instead had a pint of mild in the sordid station bar. And chatted to the girls. Very nice they are too, C with a dreadful tale of a spate of crime against her. A robbery, an intruder in her house, then another robbery by a crackhead who left a bloody teeshirt there, and was then caught through DNA tests. All in the space of a three months. Finally a stone was put through her window. She is very resillient.

But the best thing about Birmingham is leaving it. Preferably at high speed. Finally got back to Kew where both N and me live, at one in the morning. Our cab driver exploding into such a spate of comedically heartfelt and violent swearing at the fact our road was blocked that we couldn't help laughing. An apt end to tiresome day.


Monday, March 17, 2003

First moment to myself all the sucky sucky day.

I look out of my window and it is beautifully sunny, mocking the utter gloom and madness on the news front. This is a black day for the UK and the world.

Anton phoned me to talk about turntables. He will not rest until I own one for some reason. Mrs Kenny and I spoke about the boiler. The right part is still elusive -- but then I don't even miss hot water and heat now. They are but bourgeois trinkets.

I am going to pause a while on my way home and sit by the river and have a glass of cold beer. The very notion of it is a thing of beauty.

I learn that tomorrow I will have to travel to Birmingham tomorrow for the Commercial Vehicles show. O frabjous day! Birmingham, the big battered skip of the universe filled with whiny adenoidal miseries. What a hole to be stuck in when WW3 kicks off.



Sunday, March 16, 2003

Disappointed with my output this weekend.

Was put off my stroke by the robbery. However, I recovered my rucksack and fleece from the sports centre today -- minus mobile phone, keys and one or two other bits. But unable to free my bicycle from outside the pool. Phil, the helpful centre manager tried sawing the bike lock with a hacksaw to no avail. Also had the locks changed on the house as a precaution -- as I can't be sure there was nothing with my address on it with the stolen keys.

Saw the boy Bob this morning. Started in the Pagoda Cafe with a pleasantly slimy breakfast, then walked for a couple of hours in Kew Gardens sorting the world out. As we did so, the world got on with having itself a beautiful spring day and the crocus carpet was in full bloom. Bob seemed much cheered having spent a few days cycling in the countryside with his wife.

Otherwise did little of use today. Had a long chat with my mother -- who now is grappling with a new temptation: jigsaws.



Surfed for a bit, thinking about the cover art of Bitches Brew by Miles Davis which I remember my mother bought in 1970 when I was ten or eleven. Read more about the artist Mati Klarwein today -- and a good article about the cover here. Amazing cover. I'd love to have a print of it. It includes with some of the mirror image stuff that Miles Davis often played with too.

I need a holiday I think.

Just watched an extraordinary film called Atanarjuat, the fast runner on TV. A struggle of good and evil set in Igloolik which is apparently a community of 1200 people located on a small island in the north Baffin region of the Canadian Arctic. A legend about the danger of putting your interests above those of the community.

Went for a swim looking forward to a lengthy shower in hot water afterwards too -- as still rubbing sticks together at home for heat and hot water.

Returned to locker to find it broken into and my rucksack stolen. Fortunately I realised later that I had left my wallet at home, but my mobile phone, keys and all my clothes apart from my ancient trainers were all gone. I'd cycled there and so my bicycle is now firmly locked outside the pool with no means of unlocking it.

Luckily the thieves left me my towel so at least I could dry myself. The people at Brentford Fountain were quite helpful, although I didn't enjoy waddling around the place in trunks as they searched in a futile way for things, till they took mercy on me and found a tee-shirt that was very tight on me, and a pair of bright green tracksuit bottoms. These gave me the look of a partially successful transsexual. Minced home in this get-up in the freezing cold, fetchingly offset by a sodden towel. Particularly pleased there was a traffic jam along most of my route, so afforded bored drivers an enjoyable distraction as I walked over Kew Bridge. I had phoned Mrs Kenny and told her (erroneously) that my wallet had been stolen so she was already cancelling my cards by the time I reached home.

I didn't even get the hot shower... And of course I'd also been carrying my whole get up along with me, razor, deodorants, hair wax, various shampoos and shower gels. I am now left with a toothbrush and a strong aroma of chlorine. D'oh. Then the tedious business next of phoning the police and cancelling phone and so on... And also we have no spare key for the back door so we'll have to get the locksmith in. Grrrr to it all.

And now blogger's frozen so can't even paste this it's actually 12:50 am and a new day awaits.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Stopped ranting now for a bit about the forthcoming war.

House still cold and with no hot water. Amazing how easy it is to get used to comforts like central heating. Probably for the majority of my life I've lived in houses with no central heating -- but I've got soft. Coldness and damp is really depressing and I'll always remember waking up for the first time in a dank room in Leamington Spa and turning my head to see a large brown slug on the wall a few inches away. I was rereading "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury at the same time. I reached down to pick the book out before I got out of bed and a bright orange earwig slid out of it onto my chest to compound the whole thing.

Have been busy at work, in meetings and then hacking away at copy in between and into the evenings. I've been forcibly reminded this week that I work with some really nice people. Have been getting in early so I can use the office showers too. Have been very work focused. Been listening a lot to What's Going On by Marvin Gaye. An almost perfect soul album, and somehow right for the state of the world at the moment and how I feel.

More later I think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Too cold to write much now. Turns out the boiler in our house had caught fire last night and we are plunged into cold water and cold nights. Mrs Kenny free at last from her cast but bemoaning the fact she cannot have a shower or a bath because we have no hot water.

Work busy but a very good day in some ways. My big problem is being apologetic, and I am trying to move away from this.

Was my penpal Mary Jane from New York contacted me to say that she and her poet mates were against the war too. I am delighted.

My disgust with Bush and Blair grows more incandescent every day. One is an evil terrorist fool and the other is a follower of an evil terrorist fool which has to be even worse. Both will soon have the blood of the innocent on their hands. My disappointment with Tony Blair is profound. I held him in so much regard, and had so much goodwill towards him when he was elected. And now he has disgraced himself, disgraced Britain, undermined the UN and the EU and disgraced the Labour party. As a lifelong socialist, his fanatic's warlike arrogance disgusts me. My prediction is he will shortly be forced from office. Perhaps replaced by Gordon Brown, who has sensibly kept a low profile in the whole matter. Blair has thrown himself away like a Shakespearian hero.





Tuesday, March 11, 2003

When I reached home tonight the house was smelling of a mysterious burning. After bloodhounding it about the place I isolated it to the boiler, which has subsequently died. Which means no hot water. Particuarly irritating for Mrs Kenny, who is going back to hospital tomorrow to have her plaster removed. Which of course is great news.

A bit jaded today after an excellent night with work chums featuring an enjoyable burst of spontaneous salsa dancing in the agency bar before settling on the OSP on Fulham Palace Road. Learnt that a nickname for me seems to be "the care bear". Not exactly sure why, something to do with a brown fleece I wear a lot I think. Homeward bound, and was so absorbed in squinting at my new palm pilot that I gallingly missed my station.

Crept into work today to discover Blakey is doing a fantastic job with the Marvel-style comic we are working on. Otherwise another bout of discussing the feedback from focus groups on copy I'd written about Erection Dysfunction. Apparently a bloke didn't like the word "action" in one of the headlines. That whim results in folks in the agency sitting about and stroking their chins for hours working out what to do about it.

Slipped out for lunch with Damian to the Riverside Studios where I ate a fortifying bangers and mash. Fine fare. D interesting company as usual. He was talking about his daughter Isabel who is too young to be able to tell the time. I've never thought about what a step that is. Tell the time and your world can never be the same again. It's a step towards recognising your mortality.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Art Garfunkel hair controlled by Nicky. I've been going to her for about eight or nine years now and she's never put a scissor wrong. Because we know each other quite well I get the feeling that I go there for a chat, and the hair is a pretext. I liked her from the moment I walked in and she pointed at my head and said "hair bear bunch". She was only 19 at the time and I feel like I've seen her grow up. Funny how you find yourself telling your hairdresser so much -- must be the fact they're grooming you that lulls you into feeling of ape-like security.

Managed two blubbery swims over the weekend. Maybe it's the war business, but there seems to be a current of madness in quite ordinary people at the moment. Even in the pool people were being agressive and strange. One man looked like he wanted to murder me simply because I asked him to step aside so I could use the mirror to apply the necessary hair wax to my fine new bedhead.

Zoomed home on bicycle after swim on Sunday, pausing to steal bay leaves from a neighbour's garden and got into lengthy conversation with nice people from next door who were struggling with their plants in the garden. Turns out Janet was on the peace march too, but Phil declined having some rugby to watch. My mother and Mase came around and I cooked a big chicken. Made schoolboy error of drinking too much wine as I cooked and it was only hours later I discovered cold and unappetising spinach on the side where I'd left it rather than simply serve it with the rest of the food.

Even Mase, who is an ex US marine has no time for Bush. Otherwise had fun with my family. Then snuck out as Mrs Kenny slept on the sofa and had a beer with my pal Martin in the Ship at Mortlake which fine pub though it is was a bit morgue-like on a Sunday. Then home to watch a programme about Phillip Pulman and his dark materials trilogy. He is probably the most important writer in Britain today I'd say.

Unaccountably I found myself eating chocolates and chicken sandwitches at midnight. This has to stop.




Saturday, March 08, 2003

This morning I altered the look and feel of this blog. In so doing, I obliterated all the links and so on that Mrs Kenny had sorted out for me. It's strange with this online stuff. It's a time vampire. After about two hours Mrs Kenny, who was sitting next to me and is good at all this stuff, felt moved to violence as I stared blankly at the html, opened and closed all the wrong windows and so on.

Reflecting this morning how my job is occasionally fantastic. Yesterday I found myself working on a four page Marvel comics style strip cartoon with Pete Blake and then progressed to the pub at lunchtime and conducted an enjoyable interview for our internal rag with Matt and Paul who are spearheading cause related partnerships for our agency. It's a simple idea: you get a business and a charity to work together for mutual benefit and profit. Sometimes with all the stress and deadlines I lose sight of how lucky I am.

This morning I was sent from a bookshop in Berkeley CA the edition of Leopold Sedar Senghor's Selected Poems/Poesies Choisies. This is the version I've been looking for and it arrived in a matter of days. I am never going to lend my books to anyone again. I can't stand it. I lent this edition to someone ten years ago, and as it is completely out of print I've had to pay $60 to get a remaining copy shipped from the States. And I bet the swine never even read it.

Just about to get my hair cut as the Art Garfunkel thing is happening again.


Thursday, March 06, 2003

Basked in some sunlight this morning waiting for the tube at Kew Gardens Station and realised that my unspeakable miasma of depression had melted away. Likeable day at the agency where I paraded about like a fop. Then shot off into town with Spooner, Mel and Steve. Had a good lunch and hectored two guys in a meeting afterwards for having the barefaced cheek to offer us some good advice. Spooner particularly glinty-eyed with his little red "devil" badge pinned on his denim jacket pointing out a greengrocer's apostrophe in their copy as an icebreaker.

Walrussed about again today in the swimming pool, as my inner sumo is trying to express itself. It's climbing into a 25 metre pool and seeing the water level rise that upsets me.

Listening to Mahler fifth symphony -- the wonderful adegietto.

Went to my mountebank on Wednesday morning and they are going to give me a 24hr blood pressure test. Boo. Being a complete hypochondriac I have white coat syndrome so every time my blood pressure is taken it is higher than it should be. This makes me feel even more stressed when they take it, which contributes to an escalation of neurosis on my part, which feeds into increasingly ridiculous readings. So they are trying to find out what my real blood pressure is like, and I will probably spend the whole 24hours stressed.

Mind you my doctor is the best GP I've ever had. Empathy is a great gift in almost every profession and she just makes me feel calm. Empathy for a writer too, of course, is essential. And I can tell you've had enough of this now.




Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Vile and unspeakable day. Things which were speakable: swam tonight and watched a documentary about Frieda Kahlo and it pleasantly reminded me of being in Mexico City. Must go back one day.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Poor night's sleep. Tubed it to work this morning, I felt a strong sensation that my brain and body were barely on nodding terms. Not a feeling I liked. As this was going on I was reading (aptly enough) the first few pages of The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. I've been trying to write something about visiting his house in Lisbon early last year. I've not connected to his poetry particularly yet, but he was a fascinating guy, and fixated with Astrology (as I once was) too. As you walk into the museum they've made of his house you find yourself standing on his horoscope which is carved into the marble floor. He famously wrote poets, not poems. He invented several poets with very different styles -- and cast horoscopes for them all too.

The first section of the Book of Disquiet is called A Factless Autobiography. Actually not a bad description for a blog.

Odd coincidence: Anton called me this morning and mentioned in passing that he'd found his signed copy of Tim's book that had been in storage for about 4 years.

The toad of work squats on me. I feel disquieted. But I have done one good thing today, which is apologise to two friends I have been shoddy to recently. I feel better for it. One was Reuben, and the other Bei Li -- to whom I made a very wounding remark about a month ago. Every time I have seen her since then I have felt ashamed. Making a proper appology over a cup of coffee and a carton of Ribena this morning was a very good thing to do, and she was graceful enough to accept it.

This is the story so far on the Pessoa poem... Bit of a holiday snapshot really.

Pessoa's house
Your shoes eclipse the leo moon
In the doorway; a stone starchart
And you step from his own tenth house
(Auspicious for enduring fame)
Into the poet's empty museum.
Traveller, you stepped from your tram
And you climbed up this hill to observe
His remains, but instead you disturb
Fame's deadness and poems you dislike.
Horoscopes web the outside wall
Not the product of chance and fate
But three careful calculations
Cast for these imagined poets:
Caeiro, de Campos, and Reis.
But there's nothing here to speak of
Nothing upstairs when you get there
But yourself and the character
You have constructed today
Who may or may not be you,
And might already be forgotten.


Sunday, March 02, 2003

Listening to Nick Drake. Not ready for Monday yet and Nick Drake's depressing loveliness is spot on.

Got an email today from someone wanting one of Timothy Gallagher's books Narcissus Goes A-Courting. There is an chapter from it on my site called To The Lighthouse (Prison Spell), and an appreciation of Tim by me too. It brought some of the memories of him and his death back to me today. It is always tough when one of your best friends dies young. He had an amazing lust for life, and there was so much more to be written. Once the book was published I think he gave himself permission to die.

Remembered hanging out with him at the London Lighthouse (refered to in the title of the piece above). Afternoons drinking coffee and making up incredibly complicated plans and schemes, which would result in our fame, fortune and literary immortality. Unfortunately I've not yet been able to do much to assure that for him and I do feel guilty somehow. I wonder what he would have done with the years I've had that he never did. Maybe fate took the wrong writer.

Otherwise another quiet day doing next to nothing. I had a swim and small bike ride to wake myself up a bit and sent some poems to rival but v. cool website called Zuzu's Petals. Also laundry and shopping. Otherwise I felt somewhat empty and devoid of inspiration. I need to do something interesting SOON.

My long lost schoolfriend Shaila who now lives in Hong Kong sent me a story by her son Chris, which was an enjoyable parody of Lord of the Rings. I read LotR young too, but to me it was a kind of sacred text the idea of parodying it wouldn't even have occurred to me.






Saturday, March 01, 2003

Having a brilliant day lazing about reading papers, cooking, chatting to Mrs Kenny and dozing.

Went out last night with Anton. Top to see him. Had a few drinks in various pubs in Chiswick, and a Chinese meal. One of the pubs we strayed into a nice friendly place called the Birdcage. We were so engrossed in our coversation that it was only after we noticed two rather unconvincing transvestites at the bar did its nature sink in. Actually I suspect we fitted right in... Two guys engrossed in an earnest discussion of watercolours and the glories of Brighton. After scarfing some nice Chinese, we went back to my place to listen to some jazz as Anton's suddenly getting into it. Played him some Bill Evans which he seemed to like before he began snoring.

Earlier he'd shown me, on the screen of an ultra slim digital camera, some of his new paintings. These were surprisingly good. He's been doing a watercolour course and is apparently the star pupil.

Meanwhile an ambition to have a science fiction story accepted this year still remains unfulfilled. Got a rejection from Interzone magazine this morning (in fact I had to go to the sorting office to pick it up as the stamp had fallen off). This was the second of two cracking stories, both of which have been returned with a standard rejection slip. Being an excellent sf mag they must be inundated with top work. Left to reflect that it is probably good for me as an editor (in a small way) to get a rejection from time to time. But I won't give up for a while. Although I've no sf track record, writing the stories is great fun.

Took me years to be able to get a rejection without feeling upset about it. These days apart from a few seconds of momentary irritation it doesn't affect me. It's to do with making a distinction between who you are and what you make. Invariably as a writer you will write loads of things during your life, and some of these will be better than others; some will be accepted others rejected. But what is being rejected is the work and not its writer.

Sometimes it seems a poem has its moment, which might not be immediately after you write it. Last year I had a couple of poems published in Poetry London one of which I'd written about fifteen years ago. That was quite satisfying.








Friday, February 28, 2003

Stolen moment from work before the joyful surge into Friday night starts. This is the best moment of the week in many ways. Although last night wasn't bad. Spent it with Marja, Snaairs and Fraser visiting us at home. Ordered a copious delivery curry and we all willfully gorged on it. Snaairs now visibly pregnant which is nice. Top to see them all. Mrs Kenny also appreciated prison visit and the company of people that she wasn't married to.

I've been out to lunch with my Financial Director who is also my official mentor. I like being mentored, especially by people who understand numbers and so on. I have had some real mentors in my life, and this makes me very lucky.

Mrs Kenny sent me an annoying link to a site called yournotme.com and claimed there were 150 Peter Kennys in the country. I hate the idea of other Peter Kennys, which she knows. I might need to use my full name which is Peter St John Kenny. But St John is the sort of name that encourages people to throw stones at you.

Vain wittering. I will pack it in.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Virtuous early start today. No hangover and a stern resolve to do the right thing.

Had a meeting with my boss first thing. He projects an amazingly positive personality, and I always come out from a meeting with him feeling motivated. I've had so many dreadful bosses in my time it feels weird to have one that is someone you would aspire to be like in some ways.

Mrs Kenny emailed me to say that the vacuum flask of tea I prepared for her this morning had a problem. No actual tea bags in it.

Just momentarily revelling in the fantastic view I have from my desk. By some fluke I think my view is the best in the agency. The windows are floor to ceiling and if I turn around in my chair I can see Hammersmith Bridge and the bend in the river. And beside me is a big window that overlooks the Thames and the sun is sparkling on it. Reminds me of when I was a child in Guernsey fishing from the White Rock. Spent hours looking at the sparkle of the sun on the water on warm summer days. Happy days.

As I write this I realise that I am unaccountably happy, must be the sun. This is one of those moments where there is no major crisis going on at work, I'm looking at the river, sipping a cup of green tea and listening to Mary J Blige on my headphones. Of these components a transcendental moment is made.




Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Shamefully hung over this morning. Also consumed cigars last night so feel utterly polluted. Was out drinking with some amigos from the agency and things became a little messy and as usual I liberally shared my opinions about things. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to return home reasonably early only to discover that Mrs Kenny had cooked for us for the first time since she broke her leg. Being drunk I was however in a state of profound wrongness so I didn't comment on this.

Woke up in the early stirrings of the morn with a despicable headache as all manner of winged fiends chattered in the street outside. Blasted parakeets especially noisy. When I looked at Mrs Kenny I knew I was still in a state of wrongness which I remedied with a cup of lemon and ginger tea and some sort of apology.

Felt as I travelled into work on the tube that everyone seemed cleaner than me.

Work... And my partner Andy is now on holiday, so everything a bit more pants than usual. I've been enjoying the converstions he's been having over the last week which all go like this:

Person: "So Andy, where are you going on your holidays?"
Andy: "Canaries."

The more I heard this the funnier it got, but I find birds inherently quite funny. Don't think I mentioned the other day as I was helping Mrs Kenny into a taxi to go to hospital that in the tree across the road I witnessed the outbreak of a strange and noisy new airwar: parakeets vs herons.

I joined the blogging brits ring and looked at the blog of its founder called Bacon Cheese and Oatcakes -- and she mentioned this blog in her own, which was a nice surprise. I really liked this page a lot as a way of summarising a life in 100 points.





Monday, February 24, 2003

A good day, but quite long. Started work at 8, slogged at some grim copy till lunch then was driven off to my pharmaceutical client to discuss erection problems and how to tackle them in print. Bizarre life at the moment. Went with Belinda and Alice. B, who is from Australia, entertaining us with a vocal impression of a disgruntled koala bear as we drove.

Meeting grew tiresome as they began to discuss invoices and, as I was scared by an invoice as a child, I escaped and called my mother on the phone to see if Toby had departed safely. Then I called the boy Bob who sounds as if he needs a beer and a good shaking. Then Alice joined me in the lobby and we disussed Buddhism for a while. Her parents are both Buddhists apparently.

We were too late returning to London for me to swim, but instead I grilled mackerel with abandon and invested the house with a penetrating fishy smell.

Mrs Kenny complaining as she was unable to reach some crisps I'd put up high in the kitchen. I enjoyed mental picture of her waving her sticks at them. Otherwise she remains remarkably positive.

Anton called this morning and has set the day for his wedding, which will be an excellent opportunity for me to give a speech and get him back for years of torment. I was explaining to B and Alice today as we zoomed towards our client that Anton is the kind of friend that, knowing you are a bad flier, will send you emails of particularly famous plane crashes culled from his favourite books Air Disaster 1, Air Disaster 2 and Air Disaster 3. Or when you fly off to your beloved Guernsey hand you a German phrase book in a complex and insulting reference to WW2 collaborators. The day when revenge comes will be a sweet one.

As I type this I am listening to the magnificent sugababes. Sometimes only pop music will do.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Miraculous recovery from mystery virus this week, am now in reasonably robust form. May even venture a swim again tomorrow.

Spent the day with Toby my brother chatting and wandering about in London. We stopped off in the French bar in Soho for a while. Amazing to think of General DeGaul writing his speeches there in the war. Toby told me about one of his friends in Canada who is fascinated by toilets, and that the only picture on the walls of her flat is of one. Then we talked about family things over a brace of large pizzas in the restaurant around the corner.

I was sad to say goodbye to Toby at Leicester Square station. He's off back home to Toronto tomorrow, but with any luck will see him later in the year.

Bought books on Paul Celan and Fernando Pessoa. But I have absolutely fallen in love with the poetry of Leopold Sedar Senghor again. I have just got a second hand collected works after lending mine to someone years ago. Negritude poetry was brilliant, and I think I'll write something about it again soon. I once wrote an essay on Negritude that was published, but I no longer have a copy of it. I must learn more about him. It's extraordinary that he was the first president of Senegal too. You could almost say his agenda was created through poetry -- although his poems never stray into propaganda.

Home and Mrs Kenny waiting like a chick in a nest to be fed.



Monday, February 17, 2003

Monday and reading my book Mindfulness in Plain English by the Venerable Henepola Gunaratana on the tube. I haven't meditated for ages and certainly feel the need at the moment. This book is a great way to enthuse myself again.

I used to meditate with a group of friends once a week for about two years. Yesterday afternoon I tried again, focusing on my breath and managed a good twenty-five minutes. Although one of the enemies of meditation -- sleep -- was calling me. After I finished I slept like a baby for an hour. Reading more of the book this morning and feeling cheery and detatched and remembering to observe the world. People when you look at them on a Monday morning look so careworn -- they walk along the street sometimes muttering to themselves. I'm sure I do it too. I think we would all be surprised if somebody was secretly filming our faces as we conduct our monday morning interior monologues.

Felt tired, dizzy and hungry today. The hypochondria in full flow. Otherwise spent today discussing things like online strategy, genital herpes, management stuff and writing computer copy. Life quite good really apart, of course, from my nearing demise.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Yesterday I went on the stop the war march in London. I joined the march at Westminster and shuffled along for hours afterwards. Actually was quite cathartic to do so -- I wanted to register my abhorrence of the current warmongering.

I've never seen so many people in my life. Estimates vary -- but some sources say there was up to two million people on the street in London -- and I could well believe it. Regardless of the figures this is the largest demonstration ever seen in Britain. What was impressive was that it was very peaceful, and good humoured too.

I felt quite strange marching. Made me feel like a student again. But one thing emerged for me: I am not a natural protester. The sheer weight of numbers was making me feel claustrophobic. It was also very cold, and the movement of the march was extremely slow. It took one hour to walk down Kingsway -- a short street in London that you could normally walk down in two minutes. And the fact I went to the march on my own meant that I had nobody close to share the experience with.

Interesting how may issues were shoehorned into the one march. Near where I walked near a group whose main agenda was clearly about freeing Palestine. Although these issues are completely linked. Having said that there were all kinds of people protesting. When I boarded my train at Kew Station I was pleased to see a group of whose average age was about 65. A middle-aged couple near me had portable folding stools, so they were able to sit down when the march grew stationary -- that's what I call forward planning.

The march seems to have tempered the tone that Blair is taking. I don't think it will change the world, but it was a good reminder to those in power in the UK that something like 4% of the country's entire population took to the street in London and elsewhere to oppose the slide into war.

Saw my brother Toby last night. Was great to see him. He said he watches a lot of CNN and other US stations in Canada, and that the propaganda there is incredible on the media. People are not getting both sides of the story.

It's all desperately sad. And I really like America and the Americans. My family is partly American, and it is terrible to see such a marvellous country -- that has for so many people around the world has been a beacon of democracy and personal aspiration -- being led in this way.


Friday, February 14, 2003

The pleasant end to a bad-tempered week. Took today off as a holiday. Spent time with Mrs Kenny, and went for a swim, and worked on another short story. My Valentine's present was a hamper of nice cheeses and a small bottle of port. Had an impromptu french lunch with her scoffing them.

Got two emails today by people offended by an email I'd sent out which said -- as I usually do -- "if you think AnotherSun sucks, then I would remind you of the virtues of discretion and keeping your wrong-headed opinions to yourself". This was intended to be funny but in these people had taken offence.

Spoke to my brother Toby who arrived safely from Toronto despite the swarm of surface-to-air-missile sporting maniacs supposedly dodging about the perimeter fences of Heathrow Airport.

As of tonight plan A is to go on the anti war march in London tomorrow.

Contacted by my pals Anton and Anna who have moved to Brighton -- where I'm trying to move as soon as I can. Can't wait to join them.



Thursday, February 13, 2003

Getting increasingly furious about the way we are all being maniuplated. The first casualty of war is truth -- and we are not even at war yet. Ridiculous sight of light tanks at Heathrow airport to "reassure" people. What on earth could a tank do in the middle of Heathrow airport? The deployment was designed to make the general populace feel more under threat -- so as to water down enthusiasm for the mass peace march on Saturday. Does the Government think we are all stupid? I can't believe it has been reduced to scaring its own people to get its way. I am disgusted that a Labour government could do this.

Watching the squabbles of NATO this week has reminded me forcibly of Yeats' lines "The best lack all conviction, the worst/Are full of passionate intensity" from the Second Coming.



Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Much better mood today despite a raw throat/hypochondria bout. Paula back from her holdiays in Mexico, and a few of us went for Thai food for lunch. She had the memory of sun clinging to her in the English rain. I think I am getting SAD with all the greyness. Like my pal Mad Dog who seasonally adjusts into being Sad Dog in the winter and sits next to bright boxes of light to keep sane.

Reading Mindfulness in plain English by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana today. I want to start meditating again and I came across this book on the web. Seems pretty good.

I've found its usually easier to do it with other people. It sort of amplifies the process, so I may have to hook up with someone soon.

As there is next to nothing happening at the moment judging by this blog I may as well make the most of it!

My brother is flying in from Canada on Thursday. Unfortunately Heathrow airport has been ringed with troops and armed policemen today because of a supposed tip off about a rocket being launched at a plane. My bro is not the best of fliers (like me) so I worry if he's going to twitch all the way across the atlantic.

As for the mysterious summoning of troops, that couldn't possibly be a political move could it? Surely there would be no advantage in stiffening the resolve of the British people by making them feel more under threat all of a sudden? I am so cynical at the moment. The unbelievably shambolic handling of the current situation defies belief.

Monday, February 10, 2003

No parakeets today but woke up in a foul mood. And little about today did anything to amend that.

Unbelievable stuff occurring on the world scene. Nato breaking up, the world dividing into two halves. I'm beginning to feel that my article in AnotherSun The Evil Empire -- my part in its downfall was quite prophetic.

Watched a marvellous TV drama over the last two nights called the Second Coming written by Russel T Davis about the second coming occurring in Manchester.

I slept in late and was woken by the screetching of Ring Necked Parakeets. Noisy things they are, and they appear to be breeding across the street from me. I think they originate in India, but have taken hold in pockets of the South East of England. I still find it bizarre to see parakeets squabbling over the next door neighbour's bird table on a rainy February day in London. Especially when the sparrow --ten a penny when I was a kid -- is now a rarity.

Otherwise an incredibly lazy day today. Did a bit more on AnotherSun admin and emptied my in-basket for the first time in two years. Otherwise mundane as anything. Went shopping again, did the laundry, and cooked a roast chicken. Mrs Kenny quite cheerful most of the time. I think she's doing well. I'd be going a bit mad by now not being able to leave the house. She sleems to be sleeping a lot though which I hope is a mending kind of thing.

Also put the finishing touches to a short story A little quiet time I've been working on which I will post to an excellent sf magazine called The 3rd Alternative tomorrow.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

I'm staying close to home these days because of Mrs Kenny's broken leg. Have been running around a bit shopping, cooking and so on. But mostly I have been working on AnotherSun -- reducing the immense backlog of correspondence that had accumulated. Feel psychologically much better because of that though. Discovered a great piece sent me by Dr Amitabh Mitra about meeting a holy man in Bhutan -- which should be added to the site very soon.

Listening obsessively to Electric Circus by Common. It has so many musical textures in it for a rap record -- and it has a who's who of top contemporary RnB singers guesting on it: Erika Badu, Jill Scott, Mary J Blige, Bilal and even Prince plays on one track.

Otherwise my blog has turned a bit introspective with nothing astounding to report. Going through one of my bouts of reading children's literature. I guess it is some kind of comfort reflex. Just completing reading the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. The christian allegory went way over my head the first time I read it. But have been reading the scene when Aslan the lion is allowed himself to be killed for the sins of others. And then comes back to life again.

It does give the whole thing a powerful moral resonance. Interesting how Philip Pullman -- author of the His Dark Materials trilogy of children's books -- which I rate greatly, is rather disparaging about CS Lewis. He particularly doesn't like how one of the children in it Susan is banished from heaven in the last book because she has got interested in men and clothes and so on. Loss of innocence is punished in CS Lewis. Pulman's characters actually are allowed to have sexual feelings for one another.






Due to the s**tness of this f***ing computer and system the blog I have just spent 20 mins typing has just been obliterated. Makes you wonder just how much brilliant work (not that my blog was brilliant) is lost that way.

Otherwise not a bad day. Felt well enough to go back to work, where Andy and me applied ourselves to some tv scripts. And then drinking in the evening as lovely Amaryllis left work today.

Later, we went next door to our neighbours Janet and Phil. Had a great time and some lovely food. Quite funny afterwards manhandling Mrs Kenny up the steps back to our house.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Listening to a fantastic CD. Electric Circus by Common. Ordered it from Amazon and it got delivered this morning. A cracker.

Still feel pants and sorry for myself. But just briefly got onto my computer. Some really nice digital art sent to me by a guy called Siefried Schreck. A cool sense of colour. That's one of the best things about having your own website. People just send you interesting things right out of the blue. Will add it to my site if Siegfried agrees. Just what I needed actually, as I've had no visual art sent in for a while.

Going back to bed.

Blurg. Feel ill today. Temperature and feeling wussy. Staying at home. But wussiness still outranked by Mrs Kenny's broken leg. D'oh.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Thinking about last night on the tube to work today. I guess I was feeling uncomfortable as seeing a contemporary after such a long time makes you want to provide some kind of account of your life. What you end up doing is swapping a few headlines -- although there's all kinds of non-verbal signals that communciate so much more. But it's strangely unsatisfying in a way. Unless the events of your life are understood in some sort of context you end up presenting a caricature of yourself; a snapshot of the way you see your life at that exact moment. For a writer it is inevitable that a degree of self-consciousness would creep in when you find yourself accounting for yourself.

Slugging about at work again. Feel tired and a bit disconnected. Andy had a good idea on the pitch work and this might sort our tv proposal out. He is full of ideas.

Just been on the phone to Mrs Kenny who has just returned from hospital. She was driven there by Sharon who apparently was good, and not evil as usual. Although she did laugh at Mrs Kenny's sock and sit in the disabled parking spot smoking a fag rather than let someone else park there. Mrs K now tired with all the hopping and shuffling about.

Our tickets came through for St Lucia in this morning's mail. Which is poor as we have had to cancel the holiday.

My application form for the Royal Society of Arts came through this morning, with my pal Janet having kindly nominated me. This was important because Mrs Kenny was invited completely out of the blue to be a member, which left me feeling bitter and resentful.


Tuesday, February 04, 2003


Cool. Just published the Golden Apples section of AnotherSun. There's a good selection of UK poets which pleases me. American writers have really colonised the web more than their UK counterparts. It's quite nice to have been sent good work by people over here too. Although the whole idea of nationality I suppose is a bit redundant on the Internet.

Went out this evening for a meal with Shaila -- an old school friend. We hooked up again through friends reuinited. She was looking great in sexy thigh boots. I wasn't sure what I expected her to look like after all these years. I felt a bit shoddy myself, as I'd just crept away from a somewhat uninspired day at the agency. We'd not had a proper chat for about twenty years -- so there was plenty to catch up on. We went to the Gate restaurant in Hammersmith and forked down some top vegetarian grub.

She now lives in Hong Kong and has retired (as she keeps saying) at 43. Learnt a lot about her that I never knew tonight -- about the difficult circumstances of her childhood. It's funny how you think you know people so well when you are in your teens, but there is usually a whole load of baggage people only feel comfortable enough to talk about when they're much older. Shaila's happily married, and has made lots of money as a successful accountant, and had two sons she is having privately educated and will send to posh English private schools. Which considering her parents were not well educated is a massively inspiring success story. She has a great spirit, and it was top to see her. And nowhere near as awkward as I thought it would be.


Sunday, February 02, 2003

Right... Just decided I am going to persist with this blog. I'm going to attach it to AnotherSun's editorial page which will motivate me to keep going. Until now I doubted there was any point to the thing -- especially as I'm not about to share my most intimate secrets online -- nor will I particularly talk about my work. There was something in the papers about a guy getting fired for blogging. Crazy...

So what since the last entry? Lots of travelling around. I won't do a boring precis of my life. Chiefly occupying me today -- apart from getting AnotherSun sorted at long last is waiting hand and foot on Mrs Kenny who broke her leg on Friday skidding on the compacted snow and ice of a pavement. She is hobbling about the place on crutches and dragging herself upstairs on her bottom.
Fortunately it doesn't seem too painful for her -- though our long awaited holiday in St Lucia will have to be cancelled. Which is a bit galling.

Anyway... Back to AnotherSun....



Saturday, January 18, 2003

Saturday and off to brighton this morning to look at houses.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Went out yesterday lunchtime with the Dell team, plus Andy and Kate. Sat next to Paula to experience her special power of being human radiator woman. She also did an excellent impression of waves hitting Chesil beach. Interestingly during a discussion about Star Wars, Miranda disclosed that as a girl she had fancied Chewbacca. Apparently the hair was good.

We all ate lots and I drank copious amounts of wine and beer. Nothing big and clever about this of course, but it was great fun. Lurched about for a while at work giving people the benefit of my frankly-expressed opinions and then returned to the pub in the evening. Worse for wear I went home to annoy Mrs Kenny at about 8:30.

Woke up feeling a bit rubbish this morning. Had to get in early to work to discuss ethnic minorities and cause related partnerships. Brought all my memories of working with BEM VOs (Black and Ethnic Minority organisations) back, such as being shouted at outside Southhall Black Sisters as I approached the place to conduct a pre-arranged interview. I don't think I've been made to feel more unwelcome in my entire life -- but I'm certain they had some extremely good reasons.

Despite being hungover I feel better than I did yesterday morning, when I had a bizzarely hyperactive mind -- but totally non-productive.