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 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....