Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Extra Betty

Worked this morning on The New Idea, breaking off to watch Betty being an extra, tossing her hair in shot over the shoulders of actors in the risible TV series Made in Chelsea. Surely shots that will one day feature in some retrospective of the great comedienne Betty is destined to be.

A note from Matt saying he'd liked the lyrics for the song cycle I'd sent him.

Thence to the gym and an afternoon of work. Lorraine cooked cauliflower and potato curry tonight, and revelling in not having to do even more work. Later I slipped off for a late and cheeky beer with Anton in the evening in a half empty brasserie called The Breeze with the all important wifi connectivity, discussing a great deal, including The New Idea, and how if you listen to the audiobook of the Lord of the Rings, while simultaneously reading it on your iPad, you can block out the entire world. Bumped into Simon Scardanelli as we left the Breeze, fresh from the launch of an album he'd produced, bottle of champers tucked under his arm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So it goes

Lorraine up and off to day two of her interview. Meanwhile I had a pretty storming morning on The New Idea, something big fell into place and the whole project feels more robust. Lorraine home at lunchtime, and we loped out into the sunny day and decided to celebrate the end of a huge effort on Lorraine's behalf. We ended up in a lovely vegetarian restaurant called Terra Terra, where we had a variety of vegetable delights, and sat near the back of the restaurant where it was open and drank a couple of small bottles of organic lager. Very cheery.

Returning to find Betty had just returned for the summer, and her pal Kayleigh was there and the girls soon left for the night. Good to see Lorraine on the gold sofa playing Angry Birds on her iPad tonight rather than slogging. In educational circles decisions are made quickly, and she was called and told her application hadn't been successful, but that she had done well. Lorraine almost relieved, and completely philosophical about it as she had learned lots from the process, about the kind of school she'd like to be head of, and about herself too.

When we got to bed, I had an idea for a poem, which I noted before sleeping, Calliope, who every night without fail, comes to have her belly stroked and say goodnight to me before walking over Lorraine, nudging the pen as I wrote in bed.

Monday, May 28, 2012


The hour come round at last, Lorraine sloping off to her first ever two-day interview for a real headteacher post. I meanwhile spent the day placidly, went to the gym, worked on The New Idea and prepared salad-based fare for Lorraine to eat when she returned, and generally tried to be supportive.

A nice letter from Richard today, along with a copy of a Thomas Tallis CD to complement my Hilary Mantel craze.

Cath arrived a little before Lorraine did, armed with a pot of yellow roses. Lorraine getting loads of reinforcement and encouragement from Dawn and Rosie and others too. Then she worked late getting things ready for day two tomorrow. I kept her company working on my stuff upstairs. I really admire Lorraine's capacity to grit her teeth and get on with things.

Spoke to Janet who said an owner of a local gallery had visited her open house on the last day and had liked some of Mum's work, fish pictures and cat heads. Could be the start of something good. Also spoke to Mum, who seemed cheery despite needing urgent dental work recently on a cracked tooth.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunny Sunday

Lorraine up and working hard in what is her last day of preparation for the big interview tomorrow. Dawn, who has just bought a flat in Henfield, came around to give Lorraine help and moral support and make lots of green paper leaves. I repaired to Ken and Janet's house and stayed for some time, having good chats with them as the sweltering heat had made it a quiet Open House day.  Janet said that people are very interested, but is concluding that hard times are making people unwilling to put their hands in their pockets. Mum has sold a few items this time, however, which is good. Also talking to Huss, Ken's son-in-law who I've always liked, and their friend Ray, who works at the University and has a trademark of a long flowing beard. Sat in the conservatory in the back watching them smoke cigarettes.

Later Lorraine and I went for a walk in the park, which looked like an L.S. Lowry picture, but one which replaced Salford with a big green park dotted with people, bicycles, dogs and the domes of the Moscow State Circus. Clare Turner cycled past us with two of the boys, saying hello. Lorraine and I then sidled off to the little walled garden, and we drifted about between flowers, which was the first time I'd seen Lorraine relax for some time. Home, and I cooked, and cleaned an aquarium as Lorraine slogged on.

An unexpected boon from my iPhone is that I can download audiobooks onto it, but because it has some surprisingly loud speakers, I can listen to audiobooks while I am doing chores or cooking. I've now finished Bring Up The Bodies,  a continuation of the Wolf Hall story ending with Anne Boleyn's execution, and an now listening to Andrew Carr's The Making of Modern Britain which is a history of Britain from 1900 till mid century.

Flipped this evening in a low-attention-spanish way between watching two good films on TV. The Lovely Bones, and The Road. Both compellingly grim. I have read The Road, might try The Lovely Bones one day.

To bed, after Lorraine finally came downstairs, gulped a glass of wine, and fell asleep on the sofa.

Below a later copy of a contemporary painting of Anne Boleyn, a wilful character in Hilary Mantel's excellent books.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Adam goes potty

A beautiful hot day. The crowds surging down from the station to the beach like urban lemmings. Worked on The New Idea this morning, as Lorraine worked on the next desk on preparation for her school interview.

Then I took myself off to the gym. Working out for quite some time, and trying to lose the fat suit which has stealthily crept back onto me. Feeling an odd sense of frustration at the moment. I am working hard on the The New Idea, but having to dispel a fresh wave of pessimism every day before I start work. Once I get going things are progressing well, and I believe in the project, but for months I have felt as if I have been driving with the handbrake on and any progress is incredibly hard won. Going to the gym is the healthiest way of getting rid of that feeling.

Other than having a few drinks. As Lorraine was working tonight, I went to see my pals in the Tacet Ensemble play in Hove, conducted by Matt. A really good evening's entertainment, with pieces by lots of modern composers, such as Frederic Rzewski, Graham Fitkin, Morton Feldman, and Howard Skempton. Also a couple of pieces by local student Tom Reid, who was a really nice young guy, acknowledging applause for his premiere in a black shirt with Gibson twin-necked guitars. I found myself sitting immediately in front of the Mayor of Hove, who seemed a nice enough chap. Got talking too to Barry Mills, a composer friend of Matt, also very nice, and complementary about Clameur too, which was nice.

After the show, crossed the road to have several beers till late with Matt, Fingers, Barry Mills, Adam and other Tacit friends and Tom Reid and his proud mum and dad and girlfriend. Feel slightly cringey about this evening, as I was in a funny mood and handing out lots of unasked for opinions, caused by drinking on an empty stomach. I think I got away with it though. Letting of steam I think. Had a good laugh with Matt though as usual.

Below Adam Bushell giving a curiously spellbinding performance of Frederic Rzewski's To The Earth (1985) playing flowerpots and speaking a Homeric poem.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Betty pulls it off

Sweltering day up in the rafters working on The New Idea in the morning, and wasting time in the afternoon, before Lorraine and I galloped off in the sun to the station and caught the train to Kingston. A fast bite to eat, and then off to the theatre in Beth's college to see a production of Daisy Pulls It Off in by Denise Deegan which Betty had a part.

I really enjoyed this play, which was a nicely constructed pastiche of 1920s boarding school girl's fiction full of plucky girls. Nothing deep or profound about it, but that was fine by me. Sometimes a few laughs is all the profound you need. The two leads were very believable, and Beth was funny and confident in her role too.

Off for a quick drink afterwards, with Betty and some of her pals, before Lorraine and I had to dash back to the station -- a shame we had to leave early. Home after midnight.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hitler's Children

Another beautiful hot day. Hot in the rafters of Old Church Hall, and my brain mainly AWOL during my morning's work, so made off early to the gym and afterwards slunk about not doing very much in the afternoon other than eating ham and salad sandwiches, chatting a little to Sonia who was marvelling at people being in the sea, and saying in her country, Bulgaria, people don't swim much.

I watched a documentary Hitler's Children about descendants of Nazi wrongdoers. Particularly moving sequences of Rainer Hoess going to Auschwitz where his grandfather was commandant. He was obsessed by one photo of his own father as a little child standing by a gate in a pleasant garden. On the other side of that gate was a death camp, a door into hell as the grandson called it. Visiting that exact spot was appalling. His grandfather could be snapping photographs of his children in paddling pools, driving toy cars and so on, while being meters away from chimneys spewing death. The grandson returned, appalled to the scene, where he addressed a group of Israeli students. A survivor of the camp, burst into the meeting and wanted to shake his hand. "I tell them you weren't there. You didn't do it." Rainer in tears absolutely shattered, and they hug.

Listening to Bring up the bodies which is a tad snappier than Wolf Hall in its pacing and is equally absorbing. Less good name though. I doff my cap to Hilary Mantel generally, though. Lorraine home late, and then we worked till almost 11. Me helping put together a little hand out, and doing an illustration and so on. I will be well pleased when her interview is done and we can reclaim our evenings, poor thing is exhausted.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Remembering Soot

Another long day today. Up early and working on The New Idea again most of the day, apart from taking a constitutional in the park late this afternoon.

Had planned to be in London, but my key meeting fell through, which I was rather pleased about. Mooching about in my newly discovered walled garden again. I love walled gardens. Something about walling out of the rest of the world, to make a contained environment in which you can be connected to nature, but completely alone (if you are lucky). I also enjoyed the book A Secret Garden, when I was a child, despite the book cover saying it was mainly for girls.

Very warm, even late in the afternoon, and found a bench and did a spot of meditating, listening to the birds and the traffic nearby. Mooching slowly about I noticed one of the corners of the garden was lined with Victorian gravestones for dogs. Like poor Soot, who was poisoned in 1884. Quite touched by this. When you think of the millions who have died since then probably without as much as a gravestone, this little marker of someone's innocent love for their pet sustains. Crikey, I am on the edge of a Blue Cross moment here... An former client of mine.

Home and cooked for Lorraine, and after a bit it was upstairs again, with Lorraine doing preparation and me helping where I could. Stopped work at 10:30 drank some wine and watched a little TV before bed.

Below another snap in the garden, and doggy graves...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Salad days

Finished Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, and immediately downloaded its sequel as an audiobook, just released, called Bring up the Bodies. Finding that Hilary Mantel's excellently done Tudor mayhem and wrangling is a pleasant antidote to thinking about about advertising that I am doing for The New Idea. I wonder what the state of advertising was in 1530?

A pleasant sunny day though, and warm up in the rafters of the Old Church Hall where I do my scribing. And felt the sun on my head as I mooched gingerly to the gym. I need new gym clothes, as I feel like a tramp. Not that I talk to anyone there particularly. Then tramping into the supermarket to buy the fixin's for nice salad. I made a pretty tricolore with fresh basil and mozzarella (so simple), new potatoes with chives and mayonnaise and various other leafy wonders. Lorraine home and exhausted, I fed her with aforementioned salads, then she had half an hour on the sofa and was back at work again till gone ten. I kept her company working on the next desk.

Lorraine discovered a parcel for me  from New Zealand that had been left outside our next door neighbours. It was Amanda's two games Raid the Pantry and Komodo. Unpacked them last thing. They look excellent: a completely professional job. Once L had done her headteacher interview, we shall get down to some gaming.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Working in a focused fashion on The New Idea. Happy with its progress, and it is demanding lots of thought. Mercifully the people working on the viaduct were not immediately behind the Old Church Hall today.

At 3 pm took myself for a walk in the park for an hour or so, peering into ponds and photographing some fish, though they were camera shy, almost koi. Discovered a walled garden in the back of the Preston House, which was lovely and quite timeless and a nice place to listen to Wolf Hall. Walked about thoughtfully for some time enjoying this interlude from my desk.

Home and Lorraine home quite early, but with loads to do. She put me to work drawing a picture for her presentation this evening, and after we went out to the Shahi to bolt some grub. Lorraine in a tunnel of work, but we had some respite. Home feeling full.

Below some koi in a pond. Inside the walled garden, Brighton bowling club hard at it, and the folly in the Preston Park.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The snick of summer

Goaded by an all night headache which gradually wore off as the day progressed. Lorraine working again all day in preparation for her headship interview. I worked companionably on The New Idea on my desk next to Lorraine's, when I wasn't reading about Chelsea's victory last night. Dawn came around in the afternoon armed with organic carrot cake, and I left the ladies to education discussions.

I took myself off to walk in the breezy sunshine around Preston Park, and ambled about for an hour or so, pausing to watch a few overs of a Ladies cricket match and feeling like Summer was coming, hearing the snick of willow on leather cricket ball.

Have almost finished listening to Wolf Hall which I have done when not writing or thinking about The New Idea, which seems to be progressing by blurts of writing, and hours of thinking. Cooked a nice meal for Lorraine tonight of my own invention. L is bearing up surprisingly well. Next weekend will be the same, as her interview is Monday week. She needs a holiday. And so do I.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Still feeling off colour, which culminated in a vile headache by the end of the day. Lorraine hard at work on preparing for her forthcoming two day interview as potential head teacher for a nearby school. I worked on The New Idea for a while, and touched up some bits with a thin brush of the painting I had been doing in the bedroom.  Downloaded Miserere by Gregorio Allegri, which I am finding spine tingling. Lorraine and I went out, but only as far as the nearby shops including a greengrocer's where I seized a couple of garlic bulbs so as to leer at Lorraine with garlic bulb eyes. Unfortunately one still had a robust stalk, which almost took my eye out.  Imagine trying to explain that at the hospital.

Maureen had send clippings from local papers about Ken, Derek and Lorraine's sport stories from when they were young. They were a very sporty family, and there were two shots of a willowy Lorraine in two netball teams.

The evening was given over to Chelsea football club. They were playing the European Champion's league cup final against Bayern Munich. By chance the pre-selected venue for the final had been Munich, and so Chelsea were playing in Bayern's home ground. At the end of February Chelsea were having their worst season for a decade, and the so called 'old guard' of their players written off. Since then, and the sacking of their unpopular manager, Chelsea have gone from strength to strength. I won't go into all the details here, but their victory tonight was astonishing, and made me feel very happy, although my celebrations were comparatively subdued due to the vice-like headache. As I get older the charged meaninglessness of football becomes increasingly fascinating. Strange how Chelsea's victory can make me feel a personal glow of happiness, although all I did was watch them from the comfort of the gold sofa.

Below Didier Drogba, Chelsea's imperious, intelligent and sensitive centre forward, says goodbye to Chelsea fans in what may be his last game for the club, after scoring a late equaliser, and the final penalty that saw a frankly unbelievable Chelsea victory. Also Lorraine at 11 as Joseph in a Sunday school Nativity, sporting headgear Pat had brought back from the Middle East.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Avoiding hypochondria

Oddly weak and shaky today, but thankfully succeeded in not turning this into a festival of hypochondria. Worked fruitfully on the New Idea this morning, and then made off to the Twitten to let Alf in to fix the shower. He was almost an hour late, and as it was raining hard outside I sat at my old table and listened to a movie podcast on my iPhone, feeling a bit like an intruder in my old house.

In the evening Lorraine and I taxied off to see John, who has having a dinner party with his pal Wendy, a Glaswegian woman who works in HR for major stores. She was nice. Wayne, Matt, Lorraine and me were the other guests. We celebrated eight years of John having lived in his current flat, which overlooks the sea at Hove the view serrated by verdigris green beach huts extending along the seafront. Lots of tasty food, and pleasant chats - although an undercurrent of sadness from John I think, as he moved into the flat after breaking up from the love of his life, who he has never really got over. Another taxi home and straight to bed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Monkish and solitary, I worked hard on The New Idea and made steady progress. This broken only by saying hello to Sonia who came by for a cleaning bout and by talking to mum about a peskily convincing item of spam. A chat too, with Betty telling me about upcoming rehearsals for a piece she is in called Daisy pulls it off, she also thoughtfully texted me to watch the new episode of Big Bang Theory which I duly did, along with a new US series called Two Broke Girls, which is sassy.

Breaking off from adjusting the hair shirt, I read Wolf Hall, which I think is a wonderfully sustained piece of work. Otherwise little going on. Lorraine out with some of her pals tonight.  Richard sent me a poem about Zombies, which was thoughtful. I think zombies get a bad name.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Knowing your onions

Vaguely out of sorts and feeling lethargic. After some writing, I put another coat of paint on the wall. Weirdly this paint when it is drying smells of sick, and inhaling its sicky fumes may have added to my wooziness. Mum told me that my Grandmother used to cut an onion which somehow absorbed the fumes. When I remembered this I put a bit of an onion in the room to see if it would have any effect.

Went to the gym, I went through my routine but was underpowered and my ankle felt sore afterwards.

Listening, as an audiobook, to Wolf Hall, which justifies all the plaudits it has attracted. Richard has listened to it too lately. A believable historical reconstruction: the scenery doesn't wobble.

Lorraine thinking through her ninja two-day Head Teacher interview. We went to bed in the room which still smelled sicky. Lorraine soon began coughing and saying something was catching her throat. Beth is allergic to raw onions, and they make the end of Lorraine's nose itch sometimes.  I quietly removed the onion from its resting place on top of the radiator, and we repaired to Beth's room to sleep.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yellow dinosaur

Another rainy day. I love the music of rain falling on the velux windows. It mitigates against the heavy machinery grinding away on the viaduct above my head. I noticed, however, one of the bright yellow cranes is called a Bronto. Perhaps I should learn to love them, lumbering about in the rain as they do.

Watched a TED talk today, which are often brilliant gobbets of interesting stuff. Susan Cain was talking about The Power of Introverts, despite being really good at things, are not really catered for in modern school and workplace environments. She said at one point "there is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas", which I rather liked. I am close to the middle I think. I loving mingling with others and can happily take centre stage, but also I crave bouts of solitude.

Such as spending a productive day making big strides with The New Idea. This is not going to be a massive project, and so I can invest a few weeks in it, and then have something to tout around. Because it is a worky type project, it will prove useful in earning my daily bread too, so I cannot lose. Worked on this continually till Lorraine came home. Lorraine now having to prepare for her big interview so after I fed her sat on the gold sofa preparing on her iPad.

I listened to Rachmaninov's 3rd Symphony tonight.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lorraine is big and clever

Up working on The New Idea for most of the day, and thinking about it in the gym during my workout. Very broadly, the New Idea is about the business of creative concepting. It feels a bit like a copywriting job too, more of a chore that my other writing, but I hope it will be of practical use and therefore be sellable. Sell like piping hot cakes in fact.

On my way back from the gym, I got a call from Lorraine excitably lurking in a corridor saying she had an interview for the job she had applied for. Getting an interview with her first application is an excellent achievement and when she came home we had a glass of bubbly to celebrate. I am proud of her. Mum called this afternoon too.

Then a stroll around the park after supper for 40 minutes, really nice just to get out. Plants and roses all luxuriant with having had so much water.

I find myself watching too much TV these days: mainly The Big Bang Theory, and footie, but this needs to change. When the Olympics are on I can safely ignore it. For me the Olympics is a yawnfest. I try to be interested in, say, who can run around in a big circle faster than everyone else, but I just can't.

Reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel this evening. A proper Tudor page turner and no mistake.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Beth pops up

Up early and in a frenzy of tidying up and activity. Sun pouring in through the velux windows this morning galvanising Lorraine and I into a frenzy of tidying up and activity including painting the last remaining mauve wall white. Why does anybody paint mauve onto a wall other than to signify their own moral degeneracy?

Lorraine told by Beth to expect a surprise delivery at 11:30 today. And the delivery proved to be of Beth herself and three pals from college, Olivia, Liza and Emily. Lorraine and I had arranged to meet Matt and Wayne in the Bath Arms for a late roast lunch, and the girls came too. Beth's friends proving cheery and likable - although Olivia had just lost a friend in a car crash so was putting on a brave face.

Beth took her pals off to look at the pier, where two had their fortunes told, and went on various rides. Matt needed some shoes, so L, Wayne and I went shoe shopping with him. As we were leaving the Bath Arms bumped into Mark Gandey, who had just missed meeting Beth. Then to a shoe shop with a sale, where Matt bought a pair of red trainers, and I found a bargain pair of soft gold shoes, with green laces. We both wore them out of the store. A quick coffee in the Marwood before Lorraine and I went to the seafront and pier. A fresh sunny day, was beaming down, the beach teeming with people, and it felt like summer.

Into the Basketmakers on the way home, before the girls caught their train. I had a couple of lime and sodas, feeling dehydrated and a wan. Home to watch the nail biting end to the football season, with Manchester City winning the league in the fourth minute of extra time.

And so to bed.

Below bargain gold shoes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday feeling

Waking early again, but not able, this morning at least, to accuse Lorraine of infidelity with Bear Grylls which was nice. Spent much of the day revamping and simplifying my website. It now looks like this, which I think is an improvement. Even if I say so myself, I particularly like the use of a photo I took in Japan for the homepage.

Had to reorganise plumber for the Twitten and then to the post office, sending off more CDs of Clameur to the US. Then to the gym. Having felt as wan and feeble in the last couple of weeks, I was pleased to survive, albeit in a slightly oversweaty way. Lorraine home early, and we scooted off to the Shahi with Cath. The ladies mostly talked educational shop and I applied myself to two pints of cooling lager, basking in a feeling of quiet satisfaction with the week as I forked down bhuna jhal.

Below Jane has been at her lookey-likey business again. Here she is having had a day of pampering during a secret project, with a Kate lookey-likey Gabriella Douglas. Crikey.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Drifting clarifier

Woke up convinced Lorraine preferred TV adventurer Bear Grylls to me after a vivid dream. The fact that L and I know little about him only added to the strangeness of this. 

Got to work accompanied by the screeching of bricks being cut in half under the infernal viaduct.

Spent the day working on revamping my personal website. My cyberpresence has been a long-running sore, unfocused and confusing. I realised this is because I am eclectic in what I do and this should be seen as the defining thing. I love Brian Eno's description of himself as 'a drifting clarifier'.

In the afternoon off to Marwood cafe to meet Anna for a long chat over coffee and a slice of cake each. Then home via Sainsbury's to cook a vegetarian chilli for Lorraine. Also prescribed chocolate for Lorraine.

Below: the rain continues unabashed. Quite like the murkiness this brings. Brighton is hilly, so the tops of streets disappear, and individual roofs penetrate into the mist as in the top left of the snap I took below.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Appalling dreams full of violence, except I was the one doing all the atrocious stuff. Woke up shaken and feeling slightly disturbed for several hours into waking. Lots of archetypal stuff going on, battling with my shadow. Appalled by the unspeakable violence latent in my dreams.

Off to London again. This morning the train trailing through a foggy landscape, and I listened again to the biography of Dickens which I am greatly enjoying. He appears to have been obnoxious to his wife when be decided to leave her, and guilty of incredible hypocrisy with his pathos laden depictions of children, while he coldly farmed his sons off to a second rate school in France only seeing them in the summer.

Had expected only to work half a day today, but in fact worked a full day, slinking out for a gossip with First Matie as we bought sandwiches for lunch. This spell in Tavistock Square excellent for catching up with folks, not to mention the boon to the Kenny coffers,

Only five minutes delay on the trains today, the Downs shrouded in rainclouds as we approached Brighton. Home to my lovely Lorraine for supper, and then out to see Glen "Fingers" Capra and Steve Cartwright in the Evening Star. Steve sitting with Lorraine Bowen when I arrived, who despite having met and talked to me half a dozen times, and her being at 'This Concert Will Fall In Love With You', had no idea who I was.

Interesting evening. Steve's band the Sumerian Kyngs have started playing a piece called Horses based on lyrics I gave Steve some time ago. Long discussions with him about shooting deer, and with Glen who told us about his mother who died when she was 40 of a brain tumour, and he was the age of his twin daughters, who began university last year. A lot of rain has fallen in Glen's life.

Fingers and I popped into Sing Li, the fish and chip shop at the bottom of the Twitten. The stern faced owner was wreathed in smiles to see me, which was sweet. Home to Lorraine in the still-teeming rain.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Deer in the rain

Ghastly night's sleep, and when I did fall asleep I woke up in states of anxiety. Off to work in the murky morning, missing my train by around ten seconds. Saw a deer bold by the trackside from the next train north and had an overwhelming desire to get off the train and follow it into the woods.

Listening to the Claire Tomalin's Dickens autobiography. Really enjoying this book. Increasing admiration for how much sheer bloody work Dickens did.

Lorraine made me some filled baps to take to work, which unfortunately I ate before 11 in the morning. The day dragged a bit, but a nice chat with the FB about a telecaster he is about to buy before close of play. He has got wildly enthusiastic about guitars in the last six months or so, he is approaching his music methodically learning chords and scales and so on.

Train home delayed and crawling southbound. The homeward journey taking almost two and a half hours. Rather good to be home despite it being late. Lorraine and I had a much needed early night.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Applying ourselves

A bank holiday today. Lorraine spent it working on her exhaustive application for headteacher for the local school, and I helped her with it for the day. We did break off, blinking in the light, to go to the Supermarket and to drop keys off so that Dawn could kindly let Alf the plumber into the Twitten tomorrow. Having done this, was messaged to say that the problem seems to have righted itself, so unbooked the plumber and so on.

Spoke to the Tobster in the evening, as he sat at his desk before starting his evening work. Looking forward greatly to seeing him at Romy in July. Another deluge starting in the night. April was the wettest or second wettest since records began, and this month is not much better. But still we are told the drought continues as the land is so compacted that the water is running straight off it.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Divas and old pals

Woke up annoyingly early, and started some writing just after seven. As yesterday, off to Arkwrights and was just enjoying the sight of an enthusiast leaning out from the kerb to photograph vintage buses coming down the street where I was accosted by a rude man wanting directions, and when I was formulating the answer, he barked ‘don’t you know?’.

It is good, occasionally, to take an instant dislike to people as it saves time.

Walked Mum up to Janet's and hung about chatting with folks at Diva II for some time. I walked with Ken down to Seven Dials, who gave me the benefit of some lively opinions about politics. Home feeling rather wan, my throat is closed up and sore. Spent the afternoon lounging about feeling rather ill while poor Lorraine slaved on her application form for a headteacher role in a local school. Then we drove up to collect Mum and bring her home for cups of tea and tomato soup before walking her off to the station.

Lorraine and I then went to the Cricketers to Anton and Christiane, Anton’s lovely cousin who I'd not seen since she had moved to Australia. Her husband is a big ‘didge’ player, and has some sort of didgeridoo band. Anna joined us too once babysitters were in place, and after a cheery drink we went to the Vietnamese restaurant nearby called Pho. Fairly nice food there. Home by taxi and Lorraine and I slumped happily into bed.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Brighton life

Woke up at at 8:30 which amounts to a massive two hour lie in. Had a nice leisurely morning. I got some provisions from Arkwrights and made Mum and Lorraine a scrambled egg and fried vine tomato on toast breakfast. Also spoke to Alf the plumber about the Twitten.

Off into town then,  Mum up to Janet and Ken's place and Lorraine and I caught the last minutes of the children's parade, the final samba marching band, and the last school. Luckily the rain had declined to drought it down for a few minutes.  Lorraine and I stopped off to have coffee and discover an amazing bead shop, which made me want instantly to create small bead murals. They were amazing things, and Lorraine was laughing at me getting worked up about them.

Then off to see Diva II, at Janet's house. Lots of good work there, and Janet and Mum's work looking fine. Lots of good work to see there, and well worth a visit. I am going back tomorrow armed with my wallet.

In the afternoon I went to the Basketmakers for a long catch up with Matt. Excellent to see him. This new German connection looking promising, and I was pleased to tell him that CD Baby had been in touch asking for more CDs. Discussing a range of things including Paul Wittgenstein the one armed pianist, and brother of the philosopher.

Home and a lovely supper cooked by Lorraine, and trying to watch the FA Cup final, but couldn't as Chelsea were playing quite poorly. However certainly enjoyed the highlights later, able to watch being knowing they had scraped a 2-1 victory. I know it is only football, but they really have had a remarkable turnaround in fortunes since March.

Nice chats with Mum this evening too.. A nice slice of Brighton Life today.

Below some of Mum's cat heads, and Matt and John from the pub.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Very welcome Friday - a bank holiday on Monday too. My six day week arduous due to sore throat. Listening with increasing enjoyment to the Claire Tomalin's Dickens biography. He sounds half inspirational wonder, half massive pain in the neck. Work fine, broken only by a walkabout at lunchtime talking to Anton on the phone.

Home a little before eight to find Mum and Cath with Lorraine. Soon joined by Rosie and we sloped off to The Shahi where Lorraine had booked us afor a nice curry. A cheery night out, followed by a fairly early night. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Copy Shop Reunion

Started listening to Claire Tomalin's biography of Dickens this morning. Covering his time in the blacking factory and playing Zombie Gunship as I listened. Found out the French Bloke plays it too. When I closed my eyes after playing it for half an hour or so I saw ant-like zombies with little target boxes on them. Slightly disturbing.

Work fine. I had a good chat with one of the people in the office who has written a TV series, as yet unproduced. The amazingly long drawn out years of haggling and negotiating sound quite soul-destroying. Being a writer is a masochistic business for the majority of us.

A copy shop reunion (CSR) this evening. First Matie and I bussed down to Waterloo and met Reuben in the Stage door. He was drinking a pint with some gusto after a hideous afternoon at work. This rapidly improving though, and we repaired off to one of those greasy spoon cafes that serves cheap and decent Thai grub in the evening. Green tea here (Reuben, with mock smugness: 'I'll have Jasmine tea') and after that a quick sharpener in a nearby pub, Kate left and Reuben and I train hopped to Brighton. Nice to chat, though both of us were really tired. I felt very yawny and shattered by the time I got home. Great to see them both though. It's about sixteen years since we first worked together, amazing really that we are all still friends.

Found a sleepy Lorraine and Calliope in bed.  Dawn staying overnight too after an evening in with Lorraine. Really tired tonight.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Bubble wrapped

The day's work revolving around inflammatory bowel diseases, and writing up unsurprising research. Who would have thought, for example, that having Crohn's disease might make your working life more difficult?

Contacted by Janey an art director I met at Craig's wedding - and we may do some work together in future. The freelance horizons are looking brighter for me. The office as freezing today as it was Turkish bathish for the last few days. I had to wear my coat most of the day, and Keith sitting next to me fashioned a kind of medieval tabard out of bubble wrap. He asked me if I liked it, and I replied it was okay until someone has a pop at you.

Had a ten minute nose around in Skoob books at lunchtime ferreting about for books about Jung. Several copies of a collection of essays addressing Jung's 'anti-Semitic shadow' struggling with the thorny problem of Jung's antisemitism. Very thorny when you consider that he had long term Jewish lover, revered (albeit only for a few years) Freud as a mentor and father figure and had loads of Jewish friends and employees.

Home and met Lorraine on the street and we drove Mum's art around to Janet's place. It was a flying visit however, with only the briefest of chats. Anton was coming around for supper, and to impart iPad lore to Lorraine. Looked at a book about the coast-to-coast walk he is planning in the summer. Lorraine had cooked a nice meal, and chatted a good deal to Anton about his current challenges.

Very tired tonight. Greatly looking forward to the weekend. Although absolutely delighted to have had this work, I'm finding a six day week with lengthy commutes fairly challenging.

Below not very good shots of the Shard this morning through the train window. Another murky day, but more of the Shard visible than yesterday.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Shards and stools

The Shard spearing into low murky cloud this morning. Spoke to Hamish, a freelance designer at the agency, was telling me that he had worked on visualisations of the shard dropping computer generated images of it into the surrounding landscape, so whenever he goes past it, it still surprises him to see it unfinished.

A pleasant day at the agency. Popped out to buy lunch from the  King of Falafel with Nicola.  Then an afternoon writing a report about how Inflammatory Bowel Diseases impact people's working lives. Although I am finding there is only so much reading about loose stools  I can do without wanting to think about something else.

Home reading Jung and shooting zombies. Lorraine cooking surprisingly delicious roast vegetables and couscous, and later skyping on her iPad with Betty.