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.