Sunday, February 27, 2005

Little to cause blogtastic sensation today. Quietly throbbing Ankle preventing foraging far afield. Fortunately just feeling really happy to be at home.

Anton and Anna called around with Baby Klauds, who is beginning to look like a little girl with such an expressive face. Anton under attack about vegetables and fruit which scare him.

Think MJ should become associate editor of AnotherSun, but was too busy flirting to clarify logistics.

Looking at some old photos today. Found this one of me as Jazz baby proving that I was hip even then.

Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Today I decided to start AnotherSun again. I began it on a complete whim, and now that I finally have some elbow room in my life I will restart it. God willing, I will overhaul the site by March.

Excellent night last night hanging about with Anton in his lavish kitchen listening to tunes and scarfing his dietbuster homemade gormet pizzas and wine. Funny how these simple pleasures are often the best things about a week. An album Anton has called Munka Moon by Brighton's own Alice Russell has a cracking song called Hurry On which we are loving at the moment. Has become a bit of a theme tune for my migration down here.

Lack of sleep left me feeling a tad glum for while this morning and frustrated about not being being able to walk properly. And although horse pills are working, they are making me feel a bit woozy. MJ cheered me up by message, and thoughtfully offered to send me an evil clown picture.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Al's baby Mia -- she just sent me this. Posted by Hello

All is well. Working from home writing articles on incontinence. Life exceedingly glam.

New doctor today, a cheerful direct woman from Capetown. Ankle is to do with ligaments and this will take time to sort out. So it is back to swimming as walking is out for the time being. Reassuring discussion about my general health. She is going to wean me off blood pressure medication and she said get a "true" picture of what's going on. I told her that I was a hypochondriac and she told me that she had seen two people who were dying that day. I told her I was getting to grips with life and not drinking too much... She guffawed and said that Brighton was rife with drinkers.

Picked up horse pills from an attentive young gay pharmacist, who explained with great earnestness how they worked.

Brighton is a good town.

Went into record store around the corner, the oldest established one in the UK the owner told me proudly. Will have to investigate his immaculate vinyl collection in more depth. He was incredibly helpful.

Working from home a nice contrast to yesterday's hobblathon into work and wall to wall meetings. After work I went out to the Stonemasons in an inpromtu fashion with Matty Boy, Katie and Paul. Paul persuading the works bus which goes up to the station to drive on. My ankle is my passport.

Had a brace of cheery beers there and then headed home to flirt with MJ online.

Text from Reuben this morning: Reading Eno book. In your face poetry boy.



240205

I glimpse two magpies
Flap over the thawing fields.
Slow journey into work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

230205

Imagining her
In stillness and long typing.
I notice fresh snow.

* * *

Stars melt in my palm;
Snowflakes in the walled garden.
I pick daffodils.

* * *

Minute grey shadows;
Snow ghosts between white houses.
Now she is closer.

This is my front door. Posted by Hello



Due to bad ankle decided to work from home today. Limped out this morning to take these two photos of my Twitten. It was lightly snowing although you can't see it.

My twitten! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Woke up early with ankle throbbing and found myself unable to stand properly.

Remembered feeling vaguely achy yesterday but went for my evening constitutional with no ill effects at the time. So felt short changed to be hobbling around like the Dustin Hoffman character in Midnight Cowboy all day. Shuffled to the station and missed "my" train. However caught a slightly later one and all was well. The journey beautiful seeing the snowy fields and the chiaroscuro way snow settles on branches and boughs.

Work mostly a futile yapfest. Went for a swim this lunchtime as unable to walk properly. Bad back dictated it was mostly backstroke. Swimming made back worse so considering taking myself to veterinary surgeon to be put out of misery.

Spoke to Mark who is ill so we are cancelling tomorrow, and rearranging for next week. Still really looking forward to seeing him however.

Home and Anton called around this evening. Played some tunes and had three restrained beers in three pubs nearby that we'd not been into, and plenty of chat.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Felt physically better today. Went for a short constitutional at lunchtime. Snowy day, but haven't seen any settle yet. The river bright between bouts of brushed steel clouds and occasional scatters of fine snow.

Work best passed over in silence. Brightened only by MJ sending me a note saying she had put her kids on ebay. Bolted early thinking that there would be problems with the trains but they were perfect. Racing the snow out of London. Met Reuben on the platform at Brighton and had a quick chat.

Had idea on train to create CDs of ambient conversation that you could play in different enrironments to set the tone. It would encourage the people you wanted to be in your establishment because it sort of sounds like they do. After I while I decided it was a really stupid idea though.

Home and just so happy to be here. Went for a walk down to the sea tonight which was really nice if a bit nippy. Stood on a groyne and looked out to sea soulfully wearing beenie hat which makes me look like an idiot. But a warm one, with a warm heart.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Quiet Sunday -- still feeling somewhat underpowered. Matty Boy and me finally caught up with one another, and had a couple of glasses of hoppy goodness together in the Battle of Trafalgar and then to the Eddy for a roast beef lunch. He was looking quite hip and sharp I thought and wandered about my abode making approving noises.

Then in the afternoon did little or nothing other than buy containers. One for spaghetti, the other to put rubbish in.

Spoke to the Boy Toby today and really pleased to hear that he's much happier about work and excited about the new house.

Chatted too with MJ again today about evil clowns. Now it seems really odd that we never talked in four or five years.

Saw Paul after for an hour or so after work on Friday. He has such amazing energy and persistence; a truly amazing networker. Whenever he talks about his son there is an abundance of love, and a reason to persist.

Then a ghastly journey through north London. Trains execrable so got a taxi from Wembley. Driver a keen coarse fisherman and described catching a catfish of over fifty pounds in France with a fifteen pound breaking-strain line. All in the playing the fish apparently.

Had an enjoyable evening drinking wine and then me moving on to some sweet coffee liqueur in an ill-advised way, and mum tucking into Cointreau, and trying to snatch my copy of Eno's book before I'd finished it. It's mine I tell you! etc. Interestingly found in the family vaults two Eno LPs, Before and After Science and Another Green World that the boy Toby must have bought. These I took back to me to Brighton and to play on the turntable Anton gave me.

Sordid this morning but gradully recovered. Long chat with Mase about the Twin Peaks-like California legal case his son is involved with. That disconnected feeling again when I arrived at the Library with Mum. Very cold today. Then Mum's half brother Alex came over as he has been working on the plumbing. Him and Mason crashing and banging and with entirely different mental maps of how the work should be approached. Alex an engaging sort of character although he had no idea of my name, which is barely credible. "Are you the one that's in England?" Glance about wildly, "think so".

Treated myself to a taxi from Mum's place to Victoria. The same driver I had when I moved to Brighton. Powdery snow falling but not settling as we set off. Journey back to Brighton a near epic, featuring a bus replacement service. To Anton and Anna's again tonight, Brian staying with them. Had lovely food and hung about playing records (not CDs) and gormandising and drinking more wine. And much heated debate about foxes. Fox hunting has been made illegal today in England. Anna asserting the evilness of foxes, and that they kill sheep in a way that would brook no contradiction. I think her and Brian had been at the pop most of the day. Brian revealing himself as a passionate royalist.

Victor Lewis-Smith in the Guardian today: "show me the queen's head on a stamp and I'm in two minds about which side to spit on".

Just revelling in being at home now, and ruing a bad day for my diet. Quick message conversation with MJ then this blog and bed right... now.

Friday, February 18, 2005

180205/Lines on a lost sea monster
Anomalocaris canadensis
means unusual Canadian shrimp
but you weren't a shrimp were you?
You were a six foot sea monster
they found you in bits
up a Canadian mountain
which, granted, is unusual
for a shrimp.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Working at home in the last couple of days. Still feeling a bit seedy and irritable so best left to own devices.

This broken up nicely with serious cyberflirting with MJ. I prefer meatspace flirting though and am looking forward to April.

Reuben spontaneously dropping by this evening on his way to meet a graffiti artist for the show he is going to curate. Good to see him. He's got some trademark Reuben photos here.

Learnt today from Radio 4 about The Burgess Shale in the Rockies in Canada full of mid-Cambrian fossils, where even the soft tissue creatures left their mark. Had a look at the Smithsonian site where there were all kinds of unlikely looking creatures, evolutionary cul-de-sac. One creature called Hallucinogenia because it looked so odd. My favourites are the so-called unassigned fossils which have no obvious familial allegiance to anything known. They're here. I like the idea of nature experimenting and discarding some of the also-rans. Wonder if some tentacled race in the future will tut marvellingly over the evolutionary dead end that was man.

Working on a newsletter about men's health today. Receiving phonecalls from work and being tetchy for no good reason. I went for a walk in the afternoon by way of a lunchbreak. Lovely to be able to walk by the sea for a few minutes crunch about on the pebbles and listen to the waves. There is a little hole in the wall there that sells smoked fish and I bought a Brighton Kipper which, after cutting its face off, I grilled with toast for supper.

Am listening to music all the time. Went into a shop today called The Classical Long player and left armed with Benjamin Britten's Nocturnes and Les Illuminations which mum has, and a recording of the Brandenburg Concertos the guy in the shop recommended. Yesterday bought St Germain's Tourist album, and Physical graffiti by Led Zeppelin both of which I have been really enjoying between the wall to wall aural furniture of Brian Eno.

And talking of furniture eventually bought a rug for my living room. Wasn't sure about it at first but now am happy. Funny how a rug can make the place seem more homely.

Went for a walk tonight at random, the Pavillion looking nice lit up, and walking along the pier which was still faintly tweeting. Saw a painting in a shop window by a guy called Phillip Dunn I think of sunset over the burnt pier and the flocks of starlings around it.

Am seeing my old school chum Mark next week. He suggested meeting in the Battle of Trafalgar which is about 15 seconds from my front door.

Back up to the smoke again tomorrow. Boo.

Boo too. No random poem today.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's day saw me slug in bed till late. Managed to crawl from my pit at tenish after speaking to a variety of work people. Feeling unwell still.

Had a nice poem sent me by MJ today. I returned the compliment and all is well. Much instant messenger flirting today, which is great fun.

Also spoke to First Matie who was gloomy because Gav was off filming in Thailand and had the temerity to do so on Valentine's day.

Reading Chinese poems with great enjoyment and gave rise to today's random poem.

Also updated my CV.

Feeling very tired which is a pain as I want to keep the momentum up with exercise.

140205/Reply to Su Tung P’o (1036-1101)

Today I found a mirror
inside a book, in a white room,
and in an hour of winter sun,
I imagined the mountains
and the rivers of Wu.

You say office and position
-- remembered power --
mean nothing to you
now that a thousand miles of exile
have turned you to this poetry.

But somehow your indifference
is still to your credit.
For nine hundred years ago
Wise Heaven
did nothing without reason.

Ghost! The politics of Heaven
is still at work, even now
at a computer in an English winter
I imagine the mountains
and the rivers of Wu.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sunday and still have writer's gyp. Tiredness, aching and wussiness. Have just returned from an evening constitutional by the sea. Quite cold tonight. This short walk made me feel tired again, however, and I am going to skip work tomorrow to get better. I am no longer in the business of putting business before my health.

Mary Jane and me, after emailing one another for about four years, actually spoke together on the phone for the first time. I called her up, quite nervous, on Saturday afternoon. She was nervous too. Funny how you can have a penfriendship for so long, but actually talking to each other suddenly made it more real and new. We seemed to have a good deal to talk about on the phone as well as in cyberspace, however, which bodes well for her visit to Blighty in April. She has an exotic voice and is a lovely and interesting woman and I have a crush on her.

Slept in till gone 10 this morning, which is the latest for months. This despite the fact my mobile went off at about 5:00am with masculine sounding heavy breathing on it, which was a) disturbing, and b) inappropriate.

Listened to ambient music. Bought another exquisite CD by Brian Eno (with Harold Budd) called Plateaux of Mirrors. It is very beautiful, and I spent time writing today's random poem this morning while listening to it.

Then Anton Anna and Clouds dropped by for a cup of tea. Clouds, dandling on Anna's knee, decided my key fob needed a good licking and attended to the matter. Returning later from the store I bumped into Janet in my twitten who was hurrying off somewhere.

This afternoon I ironed clothes and generally felt sluggish. Shouting in a solitary fashion at the television this afternoon as a woeful England let an at least as woeful France beat them at rugby.

And then MJ called me, which was great. Talked again for a long time and this made me feel exceedingly cheery, and forget that I was supposed to be feeling ill. A bit concerned as she wants a photo of me and there is no such thing as a good photo of me. And I don't want to send her one with a child-scaring face.


130205/foxhole

Soundtrack; your name in the gamelan
Of rain-struck leaves;
The whistle and pop of bullets

Baby, baby, baby
Hold your M16 and drift
Into the jukebox of dreams.

Left-handed, you snatch
At mosquitoes
By the oil-rainbowed river.

In nine slinking months
The birth of ghost patrols
In the forest and the plain.

Yesterday's dust off, the dead
Stowed inside dragonflies
Returned to your prehistory.

Dawn, exhaustion like a trip,
You watch an angel wade towards you
With something in her hand.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday morning finds me cheerful but aching and illish. Anton popped by this morning made him listen to some Brian Eno. Still liking the idea that you can live in a place where friends can drop in on you for a cup of tea after going to the shops. Reminds me of being in Guernsey as a child, dropping in with my Grandfather on relatives nearby.

Had a bit of a works bash on Thursday night and flirted my way around the room full of banter and witty ripostes. A few old faces there which was good. Friday found me feeling hung over and rough, and some of my witty banter seemed less big and clever in retrospect. Went for a lunchtime constitutional with Pat, both of us getting very muddy in the process. He is now my boss, but I won't hold this against him. Nice bloke, which is a blessing. Felt mysteriously shattered after this exertion.

Cried off going to see my Mum's half brother's opening night of his exhibition. Was on my way but felt decidedly poor and claustrophobic on the tube. Despite feeling selfish about this, I headed back to Brighton instead. As the mob of commuters crossed the road outside the station a cabby was manhandling a drunk commuter who had kicked the side of his taxi. Language quite colourful and volume high. But the cabby appeared to be content to drag the rag-like commuter about a bit by the lapels. I surprised myself by not becoming involved.

Home, ate a small supper. I realised that I have been in the habit of cooking substantially for myself in the evening as a way to relax. I am not really that hungry but I end up gorging everything. I seem to be eating about two thirds of what I used to in the evening, without even noticing it. This must be a good thing.


120205

Let me paint with water
Let this memory bleed
into itself again.

Unstretched, the paper warps
Time dries into itself
Let this memory bleed

An irregular room
A memory: two beds,
Notes of woodsmoke in sheets

Two beds, breathing and rain
We are separated
from the wildest morning

Stinging, horizontal
Rainstorm, the window
contracted by time

And storms like this
To a manageable
Square of reality.

Let me paint with water
Let this memory bleed
into itself again

And leave no pigment
Except this paper warped
By time and your passing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Last night with Kate and Gavin in Wandsworth, after going out with them and Fraser to the White Cross in Richmond. Frase up and about and looking fine again after his Christmas hospitalisation. He also dropped the bombshell that Sarah was pregnant again… So it goes 2003: baby, 2004: open heart surgery & new job as CD, 2005: baby.

Enjoyable time with Kate and Gav. Broke food free diet by eating some pizza and drinking beer at their place. But good fun. Slept like a narcoleptic log.

Woke up early and played Gav’s nice guitar till they got up. Kate making me laugh moaning about “the beer badgers” who had moved all her stuff around in the night so she was now unable to find anything. Gavin walked me to the bus stop, saying that he and Kate might live in SA for a while.

Work… was a mind numbing 6 hour meeting with three of our clients to create a five year strategic plan for their business. Despite recent events, still having to play the creative director. Blah blah key performance indicators blah blah blah creating brand champions blah what do you think Peter? Yikes! Er… Blah blah.

Home and not much achieved. Tidied up a bit sorted books in study. Decided to put dodgy SF books into a box and secrete them somewhere till I get some proper shelves built.

Returned Anton’s drill. Gallingly Anton has lost half a stone thanks to a vomiting virus and was parading about looking decidedly slimmer. He made me a cup of tea and then said he was only going to drink water as tea was so fattening.

Irritatingly didn’t have a moment to write random poem today.

Had to stand most of the way back from London tonight, reading the Brian Eno book which I am enjoying a great deal and despite the glazing of people’s faces when I talk about it, I am recommending strongly to anyone who will listen.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Just got back from my lunchtime constitutional by the river. Misty and bright. Feeling intensely cheerful today. I realised that I had been disillusioned. But in the proper sense of having illusions removed, and this has curiously given me a feeling of elation. I have spent the last two years trying to make something work without the genuine support of people about me. I feel like I have had a great weight lifted from me, and now I am free to do other, immensely more rewarding, things.

Am buzzing with ideas today. The Eno book is goading me into thinking again. Today's spontaneous poem:

080205

Unfinished; the sketch I made of you,
lines; adumbrations
you moving too much
changing so much
I suspected you were many people

Or that I'd superimposed
Others on you
Like counters stacking up
On a number on a table
And me hoping, by chance, for a win.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Good day today. Happily re-reading A year with swollen appendices by Brian Eno on the train this morning. So packed with ideas that it is hard not to feel shaken awake by it. Work not too hideous. Went for a lovely walk at lunchtime along the river to Putney Bridge beautiful springlike day. Felt curiously carefree and cheerful.

Listened to a guided meditation tape yesterday before I slept and I had a very peaceful night because of it.

Had nice phone chats with Liz and Paul in the evening. Paul still awaiting payment from a Chinese charity he did lots of work for last year, and is broke. Liz and I made peace after falling out somewhat lately.

Went for another walk too down by the sea. My new pedometer tells me I have walked over eight and a half miles today.

I decided today that I was going to write something, anything. I took a line from the Eno book where he mentions as an aside that he'd drempt he was a song. I decided to adopt a completely different strategy and force myself to write something instantly with no premeditation and no need for consistency and logic and so on. I am going to do one of these every day for a while and just see what emerges. Here's today's one.


070205

I had a dream I was a song.
Beneath the acropolis,
Airborne, I climbed the turns
Of the sugar cube town.

Clarion was my calling
Like one of the seraphim
I slipped through windows
And tore open curtains

My song was like dawn itself
I joined the chorus of the morning
I soared in the jazz of birdsong
Paradiddled on shut doors.


* * *

White cloth on a wooden table.
My laptop on the white cloth.
My cup of tea on the white cloth
I swear my song was apple green.

Green fire against the gloom
Emerald dragonfly in the motile
Margins of a leaf lit chalk stream.
My dream song was evergreen.

* * *

Jesus hardwired in your head
O head on a stone pillow
O mouth of singing age
Blathering revelations


In Patmos with your scribe
In the appalling cave
The constant fits; the seven stars

Prochorus! What makes it stop?



Sunday, February 06, 2005

Anton and Anna have decided to jump on my weight loss bandwagon. Yesterday Anton competitively bought a book called French Women Don't Get Fat and is planning how to gormandise himself to slenderness. We three talked about dieting on Saturday night as we got stuck into fisherman's pie and some fabulous apricot patisserie.

Oddly I have not lost any weight over the last few days.

Shared this news of Anton's new approach with MJ who as a refutation sent me a photo of an unnamed French actress who was clearly no stranger to pies.

MJ asked me what I think will happen when we die. I said that part of me believes in a place inhabited by everyone I have loved. And they will be their perfect selves. And everything will be safe forever. She said she also believed that. If one has to believe something, and of course what happens when you die is unknowable, why not believe something comforting.

John the Plumber finally sorted me out and I have a functioning washing machine now. Have washed industrial amounts of clothes.

Have been quite active anyway over the last two days. Walked over six miles yesterday and today had a bicycle ride for an hour and a half along the sea front. Went to shoreham which was a bit of a dump although the run down dock areas would be good to photograph. Nevertheless it was great to have the sea breeze and a bit of fresh air. When it is sunny you notice the quality of light being different to London.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Worked from home yesterday, and spent some time writing about heart attacks and strokes. If I were to chose any subject I'd least like to write about it would be those. However had an enjoyable day. Today I felt better disposed towards the world in general. In the morning on the London train I was scribbled these bullets in my moleskine:

  • Bob was saying the other night that he thought that most of his problems were not existential but spiritual. He has said this to me several times now.
  • Perhaps I should celebrate my obstacles.
  • Attaching yourself to your work is futile and potentially harmful. It is also crowds out the things that one would prefer to do.
  • My world has shrunk. This has been reflected in my blog and my lack of creativity.
  • My notebook has lain dormant.
  • Time to wake up.
  • Stop doing the same things.

After writing all this I felt a strong feeling of freedom. I had cut the bond between myself and my work and now I am free to move on. Also realised that reactions to all this stuff is entirely in my control. Also felt a massive urge to stop being so wrapped up in myself and my own reactions to things. No wonder I have nothing to say creatively. It's all "me me me".

"There's no commitment in this meal. Nothing died." Michel eating the remainders of other people's food including some vegetarian ravioli at Catherine's 40th birthday lunch.

Went out with Phil and Ash and others to celebrate Phil's birthday this evening. Ended up having a curry. Phil making everyone laugh with accurate impressions, and a story about his mother giving him a complex as a child about the filthiness of coins, handled by men who did not wash their hands.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Woke up with a sore throat and coughing this morning. Fortunately I was on a later train to go straight to the medical centre. Anton had poked through a thank-you card from Baby Clouds wearing her "I am 1" hat which I took with me on my travels.

Had full and thorough medical today. They found I have high blood pressure and that I need to lose weight -- lots of weight. First reading was astronomically high, due to white coat syndrome. Second was still high but more reasonable. Felt like Woody Allen on a bad day going to the clinic, but the nurses and South African doctor were pleasant. The doctor said that the issues I had could be turned around. He showed me a chart where the average for a man of my age is an 11 per cent chance of having a heart attack in the next ten years if things remain as they are now. My score was 10 per cent but if I lost weight it would significantly reduce.

It was a good thing to have done and I have a clear picture of what I need to do to keep healthy. Still made me feel somewhat gloomy. Intimations of mortality and yet another difficult accommodation.

Travelled back to work in the afternoon. Being treated like a ghost by many there, though not all. Quite interesting time from a sheerly observational viewpoint.

Had a good laugh with Hazel -- whose idea it was for me to go there. Had nice chats with Matty boy and Maddog on the phone too.

Otherwise arrived back home to Brighton quite early and went out with Anton having small glasses of beer in a variety of splendid boozers and bars.

Will start the new hair shirt health regime tomorrow.