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.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

After leaving work, swimming, cooking and watching with Mrs Kenny some fantastic road-crash TV called Wife Swap -- which swaps the women from two families and stands back to see the ensuing mash-up -- I stayed up late last night reading A House for Mr Biswas. Second book by Naipaul I've read recently, the other being An Area of Darkness his less than flattering description of India in the sixties. There's a sort of tough grim honesty that comes through in his writing that I really like. Mr Biswas is a marvellous character: unpleasant, confrontational and yet you can't help but root for him.

In a self-referential, postmodern yawn-inspiring way, I've been thinking about this blog. There is something shallow and attention-seeking about it. Obviously its doesn't have the privacy of a diary which means I can't be entirely honest so what's the point. Actually the description I unthinkingly put of my blog as being "fragmentary observations" is just about right. Why on earth would anyone be interested? Does it matter eitherway? Other people's fragments.

When you have a poem published it is a distilled utterance that you are happy to show to the world. This is more stream of consciousness -- and that can be tedious. Perhaps though that is better than mawkishly self-conscious.

Worked late last night on a poem I've been trying to get right for a while called The Silence Transmitter.

Better stop this now. I'm boring myself senseless. I need to do something fresh.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Spooner showed me a terrific website today called Liked the photos a lot. Spooner said he'd been seeing entrances to hell everywhere since looking at it.

They were a bit similar to my doors into nothing photos. I'm always interested in closed doors, or openings that appear to lead into nothing. It makes me think of Buddhist contradictions like the gateless gate. And that great story by HG Wells The Door in the Wall.

Otherwise I'm snatching a few moments in an unremarkable day, and trying not to fiddle with my new Sony Clie palm pilot. These were dished out at work yesterday. Ungratefully trying to discover why using something that takes you five times longer to write a sentence with than a pen or keyboard is somehow a good idea.

Having a rubbish writing day today, with my erections copy being flacid and ill-constructed.

Monday, January 13, 2003

It's Monday. And despite two vigorous swims at the weekend I feel more sumoesque than ever.

There was the launch of a new process today at work. Had a helium filled heart-shaped balloon saying Cube it! floating above my chair. And a cube-shaped stress squeezer in a box on the desk.

Later we trailed down to an agency-wide meeting about cubes, where people (some of them my friends) talked uninspiringly about cubes and what a good idea they were.

You couldn't make it up really.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Mex and I went out with our ginger pals Kate and Mark. We scarfed a fast pizza where we discussed houses and our respective moves to Brighton and Scarborough. Kate said she'd had her first poem published and was pleased about that. She'd also just started kickboxing. She said that she'd never punched anything in her life and it felt strange.

Then to the Headliners comedy club in the George IV pub on Chiswick High Road. The venue was already crowded when we got there, and the only free seats were right next to the stage. Naturally we were picked on -- me within 30 seconds of the first act. A redhaired Scot. Managed to evade too much ridicule when he asked me what I did. I stole Nev's (my old art director) line, which worked a treat...
"What do you do then?"
"Paint yellas."
"Paint yellas."
Comedian momentarily lost for words.
"Double yellas and single yellas."
"You paint lines on the street? I don't believe you, what do you really do?"
"Paint yellas."
Comedian turns to Mrs Kenny.
"What does he do really?"
Mrs Kenny: "he paints yellas."
Which had the effect of stopping comedian in tracks.

Funny how when you're in a comedy audience you are recognised for your baldness, or size, or married status when you are being targeted by a comedian. It's refreshingly uncomplicated, and gives you a real shared experience with the rest of the audience. Quite a friendly vibe afterwards. Or maybe that was because Mark and I had tucked into a several pints of London Pride.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Good day today. Have been working on AnotherSun and finally getting around to updating it again. It's been such a long time since I've been able to give it proper attention.

This morning I cycled off to the swimming pool and swam again. Feeling increasingly healthy these days, despite a lingering cold which undoubtedly signifies something altogether more sinister.

People came around today to look at the house. The first ones to have done it while we've been in. Feel torn between the desire to wildly join in the estate agent's patter and tell them to get orf moi land.

Friday, January 10, 2003

If January is the Monday of the world -- at least it's a Friday today. Lunchtime now, and lots of people in the agency have slid off to a pub. I stand firm in not drinking like some Victorian teetotaller. But my new regimen of little or no alchohol and eating sensibly and swimming seems to be working. I am becoming marginally less sumo-like and noticed some ribs under my dugs the other day.

This first full week of work hasn't been too hideous -- been writing about erection problems again though for work. And today I write about computers.

Life in fact today is quite sweet. The thaw is upon us.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Feel pants today. Today's hypochondria/symptoms feature a mysterious and painful headache and shoulder stiff from yesterday's enthusiastic snowballing.

On the way home yesterday I walked down the busy Fulham Palace Road with Kate towards Hammersmith tube station. Encountered five youths attacking a man by various methods such as jumping on his leg and punching. I think the fracas was snowball-related. The man had a cut on his nose. The scene was a bit like a wildlife documentary with a wildebeest being attacked by jackals. This wildebeest looked scared and shocked. And this being Fulham Palace Road people nearby naturally ignored the situation -- just like wildebeest that have not been singled out from the herd. I intervened and told the man to go away and turning to the youths literally roared at them. Sensibly they opted to run away from large roaring nutter. Well four of them did. The other stayed to observe that he wasn't scared of me and that I was a f*cking c*nt and so on from a safe distance.

Kate off work vomiting today so she is selfishly unable to inform colleagues of my masterful braveness nobility feel a bit short changed. I mentioned it to Andy and we invented a streetfighting computer game. The hero is a fat copywriter with the streetname "Wordsmith" -- whose weaponry includes cutting remark and ironic eyebrow.

Read on Jonathan Cainer's website how Earth is closer to Mars than it has been for 73,000 years. And how a lot of blood is going to be spilt this year. I've thought about writing an SF story where the protagonists were born on Mars -- and there was something in astrology, which resulted in strange patterns of behaviour. Maybe I'll write it soon. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Snowing quite heavily today in London for the first time in years -- Rick said the first time since his daughter was born nine years ago.

Dozens of people in the agency piled out to "teletubbyland" ie the grass between our office and the river. Mad free for all. Snowballs everywhere. People pelting each other randomly, or whizzing them at the odd taxi or lorry that ventured to our site. One lorry driver got out to fight back, then climbed back into his cab and, driving off, almost skidded into a nearby wall.

The snow intermittently removes the horizon. Hammersmith Bridge and the Thames appear to be part of the sky.

I'm pink faced and hot now that I'm indoors and looking from my window down to teletubbyland below. It's dotted and tracked with green like an abstract painting, where people have skidded or rolled balls for snowmen, or grabbed up handfuls to chuck at their colleagues.

Left home this morning, noticing again the For Sale sign in the front garden. We have potential buyers looking today. At least there won't be a mouse to worry about. The trap having worked its evil snappy magic last night.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

This morning thin snow.

I set traps for a mouse in the kitchen baited with half a stale brussel sprout. The last residue of Christmas.

I wear my big boots and slide to work. On the tube I read my notebook's entry for the 2nd. It says...

A huge flower of oil on the tarmac by the station
a psychedelia of copper and purple
everything else: the newsagents, the cafe on the corner
a smudgy tonal study blurred back by the puddles.
A few new year commuters bent like spent matches in the rain.

I decide I hate the psychedelia reference.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Begin at the beginning.

Frozen faced by the river Thames. Sun down and the sky is on fire behind the Harrods furniture depostory. The water moves with a special cold sluggishness.