Thursday, March 31, 2005

Fortunately scary hatchet-faced woman turned out to be an impostor. At this point, however, nerves completely took over and I ordered an emergency gin and tonic.

After my first sip I glimpsed a dark haired woman dressed in black walking towards the bar and I stood up. It was MJ and she looked beautiful. Had mental flash of Byron poem...

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

I just smiled at her and held out my arms into which MJ stepped in what was a stylish and unhurried way. It was an entirely movie moment. We hugged for ages and kissed each other. It was without a doubt one of the most romantic moments in my entire life.

It is a strange Internet age we live in that you can know somebody so well over so many years without ever having looked into their eyes. And she has lovely hazel eyes. Meeting MJ after four or more years was one of those moments that will imprint itself on my memory forever; being in a swanky hotel bar in Manhattan and holding this beautiful woman who I would have travelled twice as far to meet.

And of course the smell thing was banished. That chemistry which is so unpredictable could have tripped us up. But I have to report that MJ smelled extremely nice.

Both rather keen for G&T. After looking at each other, absurdly quickly we started to feel relaxed and ended up laughing, bickering etc. as we found ourselves a sofa and sat on it together as if it were something we'd done every day for years.


Friday 25th March saw me in Manhattan. First impressions were extraordinary. Setting off early from the hotel I found myself on Broadway, and in a song. The immensity of the buildings initially provoked a kind of agoraphobia -- the place didn't seem to be on a human scale. But after a while you adjust, and as I did I realised that Manhattan is an extraordinary place.

I spent about six or seven hours walking. First I went to the site of the twin towers, Ground Zero. The immensity of the site is so powerful, it brings alive again the atrocity of the attack. I now believe that before anyone can attempt to understand the current psyche of the US, you have to stand there. Extremely moving. I took a few photos, which I may post here later.

Then I began a long walk towards central park. New Yorkers are friendly people I think, more so than Londoners. One or two spontaneously greeted me as I walked through places like Time Square, past Madison Square Gardens, popped into Maceys to buy a big box of chocs for MJ and on and on finally to the park. After all those skyscrapers the open space was like a prayer. I kept thinking of Max Ernst when I was in the park. The copses of trees dwarfed by the immensity of the man-made landscape rising sheerly behind was quite surreal.

Then, with aching legs and feeling the jetlag, I went into the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. The place is crammed with spectacular work, and things I have only seen in books. Was startled by three pictures I have never seen. Joan Miro's Vines and Olive Trees, Tarragona 1919, was brilliant. Miro has never really floated my boat before but this was a gorgeous piece. Victor Brauner, who also I don't know, was represented by a piece called Prelude for a Civilization, which I though excellent. Jules Breton, The weeders, painted in 1868 was also a showstopper. Need to investigate these guys more.

Caught a yellow taxi outside the museum back to the hotel. Or I would have but the bloke was going such a random route that I got out of the cab in disgust quite near my destination. Carl called while I was en route, and it was really odd to be talking to him in Manhattan (although pretty damn cool I thought).

Then back to the hotel for a bit of a rest. Wanted to sleep for a while but was too excitable. Received a call from Diane, aka Weezer Junior, MJ's sister saying that MJ would be late. MJ shouting instructions in the background.

This gave me the opportunity to try on various combinations of the clothes I had brought me for approximately one and a half hours until I was teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I opted for the first combination and went down to the bar to await MJ.

Not wanting to drink, I was sipping mineral water in the cocktail service bar and was giving myself a permanent crick in my neck looking in the direction from where MJ would hopefully appear. Growing increasingly nervous I began to wonder if I would even recognise her.

Then a hard-faced brassy woman appeared at the door looking around her in every direction as if searching for someone. My heart quailed and I smiled feebly at her...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

From Moleskine notebook : Friday 25th March 7:15 am Soho Grand hotel New York.

"Opted for chemical and booze free flight to JFK New York. However, after three hours of unspeakable turbulence a gin and tonic became an irresistible notion. Felt waves of claustrophobia too squeezed into the back of the plane with its rancid, germ-filled air next to another gentleman of generous girth. Actually quite a nice guy from NY and had some chats with him, and he was useful in giving me an idea of how much I should be paying for cabs and so on. Information which allowed me to sidestep the usual rip off merchants on arrival.

Yellow cab to Manhattan. Quite misty and foggy and not much to be seen and then... pow! What a beautiful sight! From afar there is almost a fairytale quality about all those glittering colourful towers. Then almost straight away this made me think again about how immense the twin towers must have been.

Hotel found satisfactorily. Check in took well over an hour, however, as the hotel had no record of my booking. So tired that I managed to keep calm and not to rip people's heads off. Once in, however, the Hotel seems fine and quite a funky place downstairs where MJ and myself will meet later today.

Spoke to MJ for an hour on the phone till about midnight local time. All getting scarily close now -- and I think she sounded quite nervous. Apparently she is having a hair cut and "color" before we meet. Sometimes it is easier to be a man!

Now I am here and have got over the horror of the flight I feel relaxed and positive. Sometimes I think I am very Buddhist about things. I have conducted myself as well as I can and the rest is beyond my control. But I feel I have done my part.

So... Have just guzzled some room service porridge aka steel cut oatmeal with berries and will shower and set off into the wild unknowns of New York."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Spoke to my mother last night who said that my blog needed more cliffhangers. So I write this with one hour to go before I leave work. Next stop New York...

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Just grabbing a few minutes before I zoom off to Soho for the voice-over being recorded on a bumper ad -- which will be run before and after a cable TV programme. Work better today. Article I wrote on Taboo has been well received, and me and Mike's brand ad work we are doing for pets charity mentioned in DM bulletin today.

Feeling like a cat myself today. One that needs to go crazy and run around the walls with my claws out. I am flying to New York TOMORROW! I will meet MJ on Friday!

Had an excellent night out last night with Matty boy, French Bloke, Max, and work gang. Was part II of Carole-Anne's leaving bash. Went to the splendid Anglesea Arms and we boys ate oysters which are good for gentlemen due to their zincy goodness. Watched Max and French Bloke have a hilarious slow motion argument with each argumentative utterance delivered with all the ritual of Japanese tea ceremony. Honour preserved on both sides.

Ended up staying with the boys, had a sentimental nightcap with Michel telling each other what good mates we were. Then out to the famous pimpmobile parked in their drive where I slept blissfully all night on a double bed.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Decision to instate Anna and Baby Klauds as personal shoppers proved inspired. Ended up with bags of clothes and had a really good time. Anna determinedly cheerful and goal oriented. And Baby Klauds pointing decisively to stuff she liked too. After a couple of hours of happy progress we tried Food for Friends vegetarian restaurant where the food was nice and service friendly. Baby Klauds engaged in stabbing plates with knives. Greatly refreshed, we resumed shopping and met Anton who was sulking and was taking photographs of changing rooms, apparently for Miasma.

The four of us then went to the Tin Drum for Polish beer. Then home and brief chats with Mum and MJ went back up the hill to babysit as A&A were out with Christian and Jane to see mind bender Derren Brown.

Luckily Brian was there too and we phoned in for pizza and had a good chat. Baby Klauds a model of behaviour till the last hour of intermittent grizzling when I had to go up and sit with her. Very pleased to see Anton return to resume rightful baby soothing duties.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sunday morning. Beautiful day again.

Yesterday spent a cheerful few hours lurking in town with Anton happily slipping into music shops and book shops, and stopping at every clothes shop en route. Haul when I returned home was one tee-shirt, a second-hand, pocket-sized edition of Shakespeare sonnets and a some trendy Brighton record featuring Alice Russell, which when Anton and I played it we couldn't work out whether it was to be played at 33 or 45. Sounded rather good at both speeds.

Can't seem to find clothes in my size. In desperation went to a shop called High & Mighty for taller and more corpulent gentlemen but I seem quite a bit too small for everything in there. Sadly a decision had to be made. By mutual agreement it was decided to free Anton to seek fresh challenges as personal clothes shopper, and I have instated Anna and Baby Klauds as on a consultancy basis. They are coming to collect me this morning.

Afternoon spent recovering. Still frustratingly weak and shaky in the afternoon, but enjoyed watching Wales deservedly win Rugby Grand Slam on TV.

In the evening msged the delightful MJ and among other things we discussed the La Gran'mère du Cimétière in Guernsey. I had spent some hours looking for some nice photos I had taken of the "grandmother of the cemetery" to no avail, so I copped one from the internet to use on a web page I was building. The grandmother is a stone figure, a menhir, which sits on the edge of the consecrated ground by the gate leading into St Martin's Parish church in Guernsey, and a short walk from where I used to live.

Used the photo on a story called La Gran'mère, featuring the old girl, which I have added to Sixthfingers site.

Friendliness of Brighton Part II -- a woman called Gabi who is studying psychology, and who lives next door to the guy Tom who I met the other night, called around in the evening with a hello card for me. This was very pleasant -- and makes you very much part of a community.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Beautiful sunny morning in Brighton. Seems to be intermittent thick sea mist and lovely warm sun. Just had immense breakfast of kippers and toast and now gulping coffee number two. I am girding loins to go shopping with Anton. At least it will be bloke's shopping: clothes so as not to repel MJ or be not pelted with stones in New York, cds (me), records (anton) and books (both) plus whatever Anton's craze du jour is.

Have been fiddling with poems again. These are not random poems rather two poems that have been hanging about unsatisfactorily.

I used to come to Brighton a lot many years ago when my friends Tim and Rosa lived here, and I passed near where they lived the other day in Hove. Yesterday found this unfinished poem about their wedding day. Unfortunately both are long dead now from aids. I have written poems about them which have been published. But this one has never been finished.

It is a bit odd but it derives from the fact I was best man at their wedding and knew they were both dying.

The wedding guest

From the margins of their loving I went
Out into the field spattered with mercury;
The toxic mix of moisture and the moon.

Your wedding night, and the right sorts were there
Those artists and writers untouched by fame
And I shook -- the full unblinking moon blaze --

I shook with 2am cold and I prayed
Spilt my beer with the shaking and the prayer.

While warm in the farm were people on form
Joking, holding forth, nobody remembered
The need for a prayer, but me the pessimist

Crouched in the mist in the shit of the islanded cows.
For a joke's length I kneeled apart from those drunks
Who, drunk, accepted life as a fact that would last.

And there in the field I howled up my prayer,
Like a dog, lost in the tarot of the Moon.

This next one was a leaving poem for a colleague who had the power to completely paralyse me with anger in about three seconds. After several fights and having to work hard together I found that I had developed a grudging affection for her. Started to write this poem as a leaving present, but she enraged me yet again so I never finished it. Her plan was to ride across India with a film crew for charity. Plans which were downsized, which is another reason I never finished the poem. Yet another fragment...

A ride across India

They say that owners of diamonds are your sponsors
And that there will be a film crew in your train, but

Allow me this; a poem that goes where it wants to go,
Like a riderless horse waiting to be whispered to.

Regal and dangerous, green-eyed you regard me
Arrogantly glinting in a room by the river.

I’ve watched you panthered in the cages of your day.
And, at last, now you’ll go where you want to go.

Boldly, anachronistically on horseback, you’ll search
For your perfect Mughal garden, or a personal goal

Not entirely spiritual, but something that will advance you,
Somewhere just ahead, to glimpse the tyger’s tail.

Let cameras capture your crowning moment, this poem says,
Combing your black hair, your horse thirsty at the stream.

Friday, March 18, 2005

A burst of happiness.

After cringing at home for most of the week with this damned virus I just went out for an hour. A bit of warmth at last, the sky blue and the air clean and fresh. Walked down into the lanes popping into a few record shops and infinity foods to browse among their mystifying selection of organic and vegetarian foods. People happy to be in the first warmth of the year and full of Friday cheerfulness. Bought myself a celebratory copy of Hejira by Joni Mitchell.

Wending my way home full of happy thoughts about seeing MJ in New York next weekend, bumped into Anna and baby Klauds queuing outside the patisserie (whose bread sells like hot cakes). Realised how lucky I was to be in Brighton and to be so close to people I care about.

Suddenly my gloom has abated and, with a burst of happiness, I realised how lucky I am that I belong to my own life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An evil clown from MJ. Posted by Hello

Beautiful day in Brighton. Warmth in the sun as I yet again I strode down into the lanes to the doctor's surgery to flickers of recognition from receptionists. Saw marvellous and thorough South African doctor again. She told me she thought I had a virus and told me to take the rest of the week off.

I was feeling a good deal better today, however, and ended up working fairly hard at home to try to make up some ground for yesterday. Am also writing a piece for a pharmaceutical magazine about taboo -- for which the deadline is tomorrow.

I am defining taboo as the collision of an uncomfortable emotion, with social structures and convention. And often, when this collision occurs, the result is silence. For example most men who experience erection problems or incontinence don't ever go to the doctor to seek help, and they prefer to suffer in silence. I am describing the ways of breaking down these taboos so that people can ask for the help they need.

Got an anonymous posting yesterday about this blog from someone who detested me so much that, after a lengthy and detailed character assassination, ended with the suggestion that I shoot myself. I found this a little extreme, and still marvelling at how such a mild-mannered blog could attract such hatred from a complete stranger.

A neighbour called Tom knocked on the door and introduced himself this evening. Keep forgetting that Brighton is not London and people are far friendlier here.

A plethora of conversations with MJ again today. Apparently her poor bullied sister (known as Weezer Jr.) has a platypus as her spirit animal which rather made me laugh. Was also sent another email full of evil clowns. Something sinister going on here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Dreadful nightmares last night. Tsunami dream where I first saw a huge wave engulfing Brighton, and then was indoors again, realising that I lived up the hill and might be okay. Opened a window to discover my house had moved right next to the water and a vast wave was rushing towards me.

Next one was that I was at a computer and my inbasket was full of email with no subject or sender. They appeared as black bands across the page, I clicked on one and the screen went black. I knew then the email was about death. I started awake, certain in my half asleep state that I was about to die that minute.

Woke up this morning feeling extremely rough. No idea what is wrong, perhaps some sort of chest infection, feel completely drained and have intermittent fever. Went to the station and sat in the train waiting for it to leave. But after a few minutes I felt very poor and dizzy. Got off the train before it left and returned to bed and slept for several hours. Worrying about work and the deadlines I am failing to meet, had a few negotiations with work people during the day -- but fortunately was left alone for long stretches.

One thing is sure: I am heartily sick of this procession of minor ailments.

This sort of day makes me fatalistic and introspective & I despise myself when I am fatalistic and introspective.

And it makes me think of astrology. Fortunately I know that I am towards the end of a lengthy square from saturn to my natal sun and mars, a transit classically supposed to lower vitality and frustrate progress. I know this because I can cast horoscopes, a skill which promotes fatalism and introspection. I hope however that this frustrating influence is on the wane, perhaps soon I can stop whining on my blog and do something interesting.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Had an apointment at the medical centre today so shunned the smoke and worked ineffectually from home.

Efforts to avoid hysterical white coat syndrome involved listening to relaxation tape and being sent white light from New York.

Delighted that blood pressure is now more or less normal -- and I don't need pills. Tranquil nurse called Jill was excellent. She implied she was famous for her calming personality so I asked her for her photo to carry as a dark ages charm. This was refused. But the experience was so much nicer than BUPA anxiety factory and of the low weasels that worked there.

Otherwise I worked steadily towards my goal of becoming most boring man on South Coast of England.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lazy Sunday. Woke up really early and still managing to feel tired. Downstairs went onto my computer to discover by msg that MJ and Kate were up vomiting in the middle of the night. Later, and almost against will, ended up speaking to comedic Tenerelli about stealthily punching pensioners on the Paris metro for being French.

Back to funky furniture place this afternoon with Anton, Anna and Baby Klauds. I scored an L shaped couch and a red Chinese cabinet. Owners capering about helpfully and doing good post-decision stuff about cabinet saying that it was a good choice etc. Couch is a goldish colour and will be delivered in April. What a relief!

Anton managed to cram cabinet and a large chest he and Anna had bought into their big car which was impressive. Lift home with chinese cabinet, which even hours later I am still pleased with.

Anton claims to be creating the world's first novel (called Miasma) to be written on a mobile phone. Only problem is he keeps forgetting word miasma.

Spoke to Mum this evening about rats which, according to her, laugh when tickled and when squirming in ratty mobs. Knowledge of this is making her and Mase a tad thoughtful as they are trying to poison a rat for snickering inappropriately under their birdtable.

Saturday saw me springing up from bed with a song on my lips to head down Trafalgar Street to the marvellous Patisserie. As I emerged from my Twitten I bumped into Anton and Baby Klauds returning from said patisserie. Anton and me sporting identical hoody tops. Sometimes I catch him copying my mannerisms and walk too. He worries me.

Reaching the place of baked goodness I saw they had some little madeleine cakes so I bought a couple as I’d never tasted them. Having once read required chapters of Proust I wanted to understand how their taste could bring about a moment of being whisked back through time to an unconscious memory. Although clearly never having eaten one this wasn’t going to happen to me. They were nice but far too buttery and sweet to sit well with current health neuroses. Chewy brown bread on the other hand excellent and manly.

Returned home to book a flight to New York for Easter, for these days I am the sort of Peter Kenny who does such things. I have been invited to Easter party by Mary Jane complete with Easter bunny, an offer that was hard to refuse. I have long wanted to go to New York and now I will, although I suspect the place will be crawling with colonials.

After this I surged up the hill and spent the bulk of the day on Anton’s banisters. A whiff of homoeroticism about this but I don’t know why. Keith, Anton’s step dad, also helping. Nice to
see him and Anton’s mum too. Broke from inhaling noxious fumes and dust cloud for heroic bacon sandwich at lunch. Adoration of Baby Klauds during this break. I enjoy her imperious special baby-signing hand waggle to signal the need for drink. It works really well on her parents and I resolved then and there to use it next time I am in a pub with them.

After this Anton drove me off to somewhere called Martha’s Barn which has lots of sofas and furniture in. I swear I go shopping more with Anton that any other human. I’ve never met a man who likes shopping as much as he does. Anyway lots of good stuff in there and I had lengthy chats with woman there and came away with measurements of sofas and scraps of fabric.

We drove after around town a bit, the sun setting over the sea, and Brighton looking really lovely. Returning home spoke to MJ briefly to discuss my trip. Was late to Claire and Reuben’s place so I got a cab at the station. Driver clearly never been to Brighton in his life and had no map. Fortunately I had my pocket map of the place. Felt guilty as I bit his head off, and so was nice to him afterwards to compensate.

Good to see Claire again, I have not seen her for some time but she looks exactly the same. She is a really good person I think and her and Reuben are a strong and loving couple. They now have three boys too all under five which has to be a handful, the middle boy has had a diagnosis of Asperger’s too which clearly demands extra dedication and attention. Reub and me enjoyably sat up late drinking wine and putting the world to rights. He is a good man.

Magic random taxi zoomed me home in a twinkling. Sleepily messaged MJ. All in all a very good day.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Two nights in Ealing. Last night sleeping on a sofa at Michel and Matty's place after a works night out in a restaurant called the Tyrolian Hut, where everyone got involved with much stein quaffing and worrying at weinerschnitzel.

Manic drinking cheerfulness. Reminding me of this from

After attending to these matters, and particularly enjoying Aron's rather good essays at Russian dancing, left the restaurant with the French bloke, and caught a sherbert dab to Ealing to sleep soundly.

The night before I had also found myself in Ealing sleeping on a futon with three cats. Had been out with Louise in Covent Garden and strapped on the nosebag in a pleasant French place. Was very sad to hear about her having had an ovarian cyst removed in November, and she became quite upset telling me about it. Still, it was very nice to have our annual meal and catch up, despite being glared at by people in the restaurant for making her cry.

This morning at work very early after having a vile greasy spoon breakfast. Looking forward to a day of moderation and being back in the sea air tonight.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This morning's random poem.

090305/Qwerty madness

Father, let us drag these antiques to the sea
The Ionian seems right, its pellucid water
Filled with classical mullet and blenny.
Let’s give these typewriters no quarter
Monstrous and clunky, with missing 'P's
And ribbons that won’t work like they oughter.
My business keyboard is appealingly grey
Never to distract my eyes from the screen.
I honour my workstation every day
For work makes free as one of the team
With every chance to socialise and play.
Sometimes I get this interrupting dream:
A strange qwerty question of RSI
And whapp exactly happpppens when you ppie.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Jarred ankle painfully this morning as I jerked violently awake from a dream about antique typewriters being thrown into the sea. Got to the station with 30 seconds to spare, a shorter train than usual meant I had to stand most of the way, trying to keep weight off dratted ankle and reading Freud.

I am ashamed to say I have never read anything by Freud until now. I hate the way he writes, or maybe it’s a small brain thing but I seem to have to reread the sentences so many times that I lose interest. And when I do join up the thinking I profoundly disagree with what he is saying.

For example where he is discussing various routes to happiness:

“… the way of life that places love at the centre of everything and expects all satisfaction to come from loving and being loved. This kind of mental attitude comes naturally enough to us all; one manifestation of love, sexual love, has afforded us the most potent experience of overwhelming pleasure and thereby set a pattern for our quest for happiness. What is more natural than that we should go on seeking happiness on the path where we first encountered it?”

Idiot. Can’t remember my Plato too well but back in about 416BC they seem to have realised that love comes in different forms, eros being one of them; agape so-called “Platonic Love” being another. Freud seems to focus on eros as the motor for all the others. Surely the love a child feels for its mother is not erotic? Everything seems to be sexualised in his writing, probably a product of repressive times.

Work poisonous and grindingly dispiriting. I have to leave asap. Did have a nice chat with Mike my art director. He is a very decent guy, and despite being in the same boat as me was trying to reassure me which was unexpectedly nice of him.

Also had a 15 minute walk by the river today, as I was leaving the building and bumped into Tracey who came with me. She is in love with a guy she does fighty tai chi with, but the relationship is somewhat brittle. Yesterday she was radiant with happiness, today she was sickled o’er with the pale cast of thought with the dilemma of loving someone you want to change.

MJ sent me a truly excellent poem this morning called First Anniversary. Also sent me a picture of a poisoned clown cake to cheer me up at work, this an other items had me snickering at my desk like a madman.

Got a mystifying text from Reuben on the train home: Eno is a pervert and a bore. Naturally I asked if had been drinking but it seems he hadn’t. Despite this oddness he and Claire have invited me to supper on Saturday which I am looking forward to.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Slow tumble into tiredness today. Little to recommend the day, which makes me feel irritated. I don't like nothing days. Work unspeakable. Commuted, and wrote random poem. Life better at home: messaged lovely MJ and cooked spaghetti.

A while ago Phil came over to my desk at work and said "will you look after this" to me, handing me a piece of paper. On looking at it I discovered he had typeset "this" on it. Sadly that sort of thing makes me laugh hysterically.

A few days later in the bar, he thoughtfully stuffed about a hundred similar pieces into my wallet. Fumbling in my wallet for a credit card in Marks & Spencer yesterday one of these came to hand. I offered it to the cashier, "do you take this ?" which I at least found funny. Telling Andy about it today he suggested that we should launch a credit card called "this" and promptly mocked one up on his mac. Then we decided to steal the idea from Phil and not cut him in. You read it first here!

Glum random poem:


Nothing has been sedimented.
There are no ammonites in me
To be slowly chipped from the rocks
With their blind chambers full of stone;

No sign of something having died.
There's nothing stern; it's soft tissue
A single-chambered heart, perhaps,
Nothing but a fold in cold time.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

dinosaur  Posted by Hello

the old pier Posted by Hello

Day of quiet and enjoyable contemplation. In a bit of a dream. Visited the market by the station and bought leeks. Made leek soup to own recipe which for some reason tasted like swill but was healthy.

Spoke to Mum who was busy doing Spanish homework.

Went for a walk, with ankle standing up to things quite well now, and looked at the old burnt pier. Thought that it looked like a dinosaur, and when you got close it becomes abstract and full of crazy lines.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Zombie dawn, very little sleep and hungover after lost agency afternoon yesterday. A chorus of seagulls in yarping competition outside my window. Sat about feebly this morning drinking green tea and feeling something less than splendid. Received a nice note from a discerning Under Another Sun reader in Kew, however. Funny really. When I write this blog it is so easy to forget that it is actually on the Internet and people sometimes read it. Much more fun than writing in a diary and leaving it in your desk.

Painted things white again in the afternoon. Today it was bits of the bathroom and my teeshirt. Anton dropped by and we drank green tea and mineral water. Poor Baby Klauds has new vomiting virus which Anton is hoping to catch for diet purposes.

Shaila called me today about to watch her son play hockey somewhere freezing. She is still being matter of fact about surviving tsunami, which I find curiously unsatisfying.

Spoke to the exotic MJ again today on a variety of top-level and pressing matters. Learnt today, for example, that she wrong-headedly doesn't like trees or woods due to bugs, which are a type of American insect.

Am dog tired and am looking forward to sleepathon tonight.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Marvellous night out in Brighton with Mark last night. It did my heart good to see a friend from my younger days. He is a decent, honorable man who has succeeded in corporations, but has remained a very human being. Curiously he feels a sense of failure, or at least work to be done, despite reaching levels which in other people would represent ultimate success. This is because his horizons are wider and not now all about work.

Met in the Battle of Trafalgar and drank within sight of an open fire as it was a cold night. Then off walking into town to eat tappas. Tellingly he was phoned by an underling at 10:00 pm and had to step out into the cold to have some top level discussion or other. I recommended a sabbatical.

Travelled to work through rain and snow reading Freud's Civilization and its Discontents which I find horribly slow going and disagree with something on every page. At work attended a meeting about personal development. Then off to the pub to celebrate Carol-Anne's sacking and reprehensibly spent the afternoon there. Amazingly MJ called me on my mobile during this and thus collapsed my worlds in the best possible way.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

down by the sea today Posted by Hello

Thursday morning finds me working at home again. Room is full of winter sun and I'm feeling good. Decided not to put on the radio and the world today, instead listening to Joni Mitchell's song Sweet Bird. She is the poet's choice of songwriters.

Yesterday began with laboriously rerouted journey to work. Quite snowy near the coast and it gave me the opportunity to write a random poem. Reuben texted me to say that he and Anton were on another part of the train. Contented myself with texting back a commiseration to Reub as it was too crammed to attempt to leave my seat, despite the fact I was sat between two unspeakable bloaters.

Went for a swim in the afternoon after working through lunch waiting for a meeting that never happened. Enjoyed this although only able to do backstroke with any persistence, and my various injuries made it through okay.

Had a small-brain attack this afternoon as I was convinced I was meeting Mark. Consulted diary ten minutes before meeting (after standing all the way back from London on the train) only to discover we were meeting the next day. Instead, and quite tired, I enjoyed lurking in the warm and talking to the exotic Tenerelli.

020305/Winter train

We cannot fall out of this world
But we can fall into each other.

I imagine printing your name
On the paper-white fields

Or piling snow into runways
Seen as totems from the air.

The train slides through whiteness
Commuters drift into themselves

My face is fixed in a window
Wanting something like Spring

But never ending.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Jerked awake in a Pavlovian style at seven, despite having forgotten to put my alarm on.

Hobbled downstairs for hurried porridge and simultaneous scan of email. Joan had thoughtfully sent me a photo of Ontario's favourite intrepid feline.

MJ in a huff with me so had to reply to an email, which compelled me to employ stumbling but rapid orc-like shuffle to make it down the hill to catch the train by the skin of my fangs.

Irrationally quite bitter on the train about absence of servants. Reflecting how extraordinary it is, now we have reached the 21st century, that the t-shirt I had to fling on the floor would still be there when I got home, as will the washing up.

Best practice re food and drink abandoned today. Michel back from snow boarding in the alps with Max. Over a nice lunch of seabass (me) and brill (French Bloke) and a bottle of wine he was very funny about how his Winnebago (aka the pimp wagon) still has a breakdown ratio of more than one per journey. He said he had briefly contemplated setting it on fire about the fourth time it broke down in France, Max made him drink heavily instead. Thirty miles from home in the UK at 1:30 last night a tire burst too as a final insult.

In the evening after work I met Katie briefly in the OSP for a brace of beers and a chat. Blurting stuff out to her about MJ, and hearing about her trip to South Africa next week. We left hurriedly as the pub quiz was starting.

Journey home fine and was reflecting cheerfully how my ankle and back seemed somewhat better today due to horse pills. As Joan said in her note, I am too young to be falling apart. But you are never too young to be a world class hypochondriac.

Spoke to MJ tonight. Sigh. She certainly is a Peter Kenny favourite.

Pinkie the wondercat -- pictured relaxing at home having put on a bit of winter lard. Posted by Hello