Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thinking of Ethan

FaceTime with Toby this evening, who was striding about in sunny Chicago and telling me how everyone was after Ethan's untimely death. A tremendously sad business, as Ethan had touched the lives of an amazing number of people in the school he taught in, and in his community. He was very well known and will be missed. It seems, however, that he died peacefully in his sleep, which of all the ways to go, is probably the best.

Also spoke to Mum who said Betty in Guernsey was now being looked after full time in a hospice. It was good she got to spend some time with her when we were last over.  Mum sad about this, having had a string of unpleasant news this year.

In lesser news, my ankle became excruciatingly painful to step on, and throbbed painfully. Not the weekend I had planned and as a consequence spent much of the day in bed, unable to help Lorraine  do things to prepare the house for sale, and then making a delicious chicken, olives and lemon tagine supper and a tarte tatin made with pears. Rosie and Anton who popped around for their teas and stayed for a few hours chatting which was nice. Creeping agonisingly off to bed not long after they left.

Below Toby, Romy and Ethan playing Starfarers of Catan a few years ago.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Good people

Poor start to the day. Painful ankle and foot, left my wallet in the house, and even when Lorraine kindly drove me to the station I missed my train by seconds. When I at last arrived it was a typical agency Friday, i.e. ramping up to a frenzy to get everything done for the week. Ankle poor, and hobbling painfully. Constantly interrupted from one lot of urgent, if ill-defined, work by someone trying to sort out an even less well defined job.

Heartily pleased to be heading off at the end of the day. And tonight I sauntered down to The Salisbury where I met my lovely Lorraine and Betty who had a day out shopping together. Felt strange and nice to meet them in this old haunt of my London days.

Had  a fast drink in there before repairing next door to the Coward Theatre where we saw a play called Good People, starring Imelda Staunton, who I like a lot. Enjoyed the experience, but felt quite critical of the play and how it was staged. The first half was very static, and made you notice things like the wavering American accents, and the elaborate and slightly unnecessary set design, and the second scene was at least 50% too long.  The second half, however, was far better, and the writing and performances snappier. All very enjoyable, and interesting.

We taxied to Victoria and missed our train by seconds. Home and I stopped to buy an Ace Pizza which Betty and I consumed hungrily once I'd brought it home. Home at last. And the weekend too. Brilliant.

Below Lorraine and Betty before the show started.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


A bad night's sleep. However off bright and early to work, fiddling with new poems on the train. Before rat-racing through Victoria. There is always a big slow crowd waiting to get through the ticket barriers in the morning, and there is something dehumanising about this needless funnelling.  However I have been taking a bus which gets me close to where I work, and this is rather nice. I feel like a sightseer.

Work fine, and some pleasant conversations. Everyone is so young there I feel like a bit of a dinosaur, but at the same time I seem to be a dinosaur with stuff they don't know so I find myself feeling vaguely valued, which is nice.

In the evening, and home to my Lorraine, I managed to get two new poems printed to send off to a poetry competition, posting deadline tomorrow, just doing this one thing for myself felt like a minor triumph.

Below the usual Dantesque bottleneck at Victoria.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Draining day

Feeling dog tired this morning as being overtired the night before I'd not slept well.  Worked on poetry on the way up to London, and the whole day a bit of a slog as a consequence, even though the people are fine and the job is interesting. The office stuffy and hot, and I had to drink strong coffee to stay awake. Found I had left my wallet at home so had to scrounge some sandwich money at lunchtime.

Left work in good time, but Victoria station was hellish, and the journey took three hours as there was someone under a train on the network. As I had no wallet couldn't buy a tea or anything.  Eventually arrived home, but Lorraine out and I realised I had also left my keys indoors, luckily Mark next door had some spare ones.

Lorraine had cooked a delicious chicken stew however, and I ate this food cooked with love before she returned, the best part of the day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Wind Rises

A tiring day, writing poetry first thing, then Lorraine and I working hard, taking lots of stuff off to the dump, and to  charity shops, and moving things around.  The house now extremely uncluttered and far more sellable, apart from the rats Brian is all too frequently bringing in.

In the evening off to buy a train ticket, feed Anton's cats, and then Lorraine and I went to the Kommedia to see a film called The Wind Rises by Hayao Miyazaki. A beautiful animated story based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed planes including what became the famous Mitsubishi Zero. Walked home, dog tired, and late but pleased to have seen this moving and beautiful film, which made Lorraine want to go back to Japan.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Poster girl

A rather quiet day of not carrying boxes and so on. Lorraine, Beth and I lurked about. I finished a poster for Beth's latest play. I seem to have bluffed my way through doing quite a few posters in recent years.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The unsevered finger

All up early and yawny this morning, as Lorraine and I had stayed up all hours (watching the film Bend it like Beckham) ready for the great 'house-poo' purging the house of clutter that might interfere with a house sale. Breakfast with Betty and Mum all sitting about chatting, then Lorraine, Betty and I loaded up the van, and Mum made off to Janet's house to do Open House business. A nice drive off to Kent, with no van aberrations this time, followed by unloading at the other end, speeded by Pete and Pat.

Lorraine, Pat and I were just mooching about looking at flowers in the garden when Maureen shouted for everyone. Lorraine's cousin Kay, who l've not met but lives not too far away had cut her finger off. Beth, Maureen and I were left behind as everyone else drove off to her house and to take her to the hospital. Maureen, who'd taken the call, needing a glass of wine afterwards to calm down. Beth, Maureen and I had quite a good chat afterwards about various dark family matters, punctuated by descriptions of the food she was cooking at the time such as a nice piece of haddock, in one recent crisis and we began the salad and drumsticks lunch Maureen had prepared.

Happily, everyone else returned, quite soon as Kay's finger had not actually been cut off, only cut nastily. Pleasantly sitting about for a bit, before Lorraine drove us back home again, returning the van on time by the skin of our teeth. The house improved and freer now.
After showering and regrouping, Beth, Lorraine and I popped into the Hare and Hounds for a refreshing beer, followed by slipping back to The Shahi for an enjoyable evening meal, chatting with Sabir and Dr Rahman. The slim, and twinkly eyed Sabir said he used to be 14 stone due to excessive consumption of kebabs and junk food. It's all about portion size he said, as we tucked guiltily into our  huge platefuls.

Home and sitting on sofa and found myself at a mere 9:30 barely able to keep my eyes open, as Lorraine shepherded me off to bed. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mum arrives

A busy Saturday, a large breakfast. Beth off first thing to Rodean school for dramatic reasons. Lorraine and I organising the house in preparation for the house-poo tomorrow. Mum arrived early this afternoon, in torrential rain. We picked her up from the station. Lots of chats with her, and some wondering about in some local art houses too. Sat in the garden of one house drinking tea, which was nice. This is the last weekend, and you get the sense that the various artists are longing for it to be over.  A quiet night in, watching Wallender, and eating a rather delicious chicken stew.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A morning poem

Woke up shortly after six this morning with a poem in my head, and simply got up and wrote it. An absolute rarity when something arrives fully formed.  It's working title is 'My notebook has black pages' and is a bit wild and uninhibited in a Dylan Thomasish way I suppose, having yesterday watched a drama about him.  I had written it before 8:30am and, having completed it, felt as if my day's work was done before it had even started.

Lots of work to be done, however, and I am trying to get my social media presence up to scratch and am working on twitter at the moment. Looking too at the pictures that were done by Alex, my grandfather. Posted about those here. I worked in the Emporium Theatre on London Road, and was periodically barged by members of a moot of middle class mummies with their offspring.  Also there was a life class with people drawing, quite a lively place.

Sonya had been while I was away, and I had left a yellow smiley post it note on our new vacuum cleaner (as she had recommended this brand). A friendly message when I got home, having just missing her.

Almost finished The Sound and the Fury now, this afternoon, when I made an effort to relax.  Lorraine returned late from the last of her Governor meetings and an arduous day involving ofsted. I fed her, and I slipped off to meet Anton in the Shakey's Head for a quiet pint or two at the end of the day. Anton astonishingly talking about poetry for a bit.  Lorraine watching noir-ish dramas when I got home, and needed her feet rubbing.

Below the life class scene at the Emporium.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Got up and worked on several of my projects, but with a background of feeling shocked and saddened by yesterday's news.

After a noodle-based lunch off to see Janet and Ken, and Huss was there too. Ken sprawled out  fast asleep with his mouth open when I arrived, but he perked up after a while, and we all had a good chat, putting the political world to rights. I also explained that my new green wallet was a key factor in the financial stability of the west. After drinking some lady grey tea and chatting in this way for an hour or so I made my way home again via Sainsbury's.

A restless sense that I should be getting on with something. I watched on catch-up a middling slightly cartoonish BBC TV drama about Dylan Thomas, which despite quoting quite a bit of his work, failed to do him justice, I began work on a new poster for Beth for the play Les Belles-sœurs which she will be in next month. I worked at listening to records till Lorraine got home at half nine, after a supper with some of her former colleagues.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Horrible news

Horrible news tonight from Toby. Joan and Dick's son Ethan has died. Toby, clearly shocked and pacing about at home in Toronto, told me that Romy was flying back home from Chicago and they are going up to Deviation Road tomorrow. I feel deeply sad that so many people I love, Toby, Romy, Joan and Dick will be so distraught and are so far away. My heart goes out to them.

This makes the rest of the day's news seem inconsequential. A note from Rhona with an excellent endorsement from her to put on The Nightwork cover, for which I was very grateful.  An offer of work from my old chums at Tavistock Square this morning had to be turned down, but towards the afternoon I was told unexpectedly that I wouldn't be needed till next week so was released back into the wild, with only a few hours of work to do tomorrow. But on balance this has worked out very well, as after as sustained period of slogging on freelance,  on my poetry collection, the big business book, I am feeling a bit drained.  

Once home, and having cooked for us, I spoke to Janet. Ken a little better and has had his medications altered again. His son Rod is getting married for the first time this week, and if Ken feels well enough, he is hoping to see his family in the midlands. I spoke to Mum after Toby called. To bed, worrying about everyone.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bags on heads

Up and off to London. Beautiful day, although there naturally the wrong kind of sun on the lines as train late. Caught a bus into work and noticed from the top deck a crowd of people with bags on their heads posing for a photo under Eros at Piccadilly Circus.  I spent the day rather unexpectedly writing tweets, which rather amusingly makes me a professional tweeter.

All this emphasis on social media rather good though at the time, because I am trying to learn what I can about it social media knowledge. A poetry workshop this evening, which I had to miss getting home too late from London. Lorraine out singing with her choir when I got home.

Lorraine however had picked up a the spiffy new vacuum cleaner we had ordered from around the corner. It is a Miele, which was highly recommended to me by Sonya, who my wife tells me, I always spell incorrectly.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Anton's beer butt chicken

Morning spent moving boxes from one room into another ready for the epic, if inelegantly-named, house poo coming up this week. This stressed me out really badly for some reason.

Off in the afternoon to do more pleasant things, such as visit a few more open houses, and pop into see Janet's Open House again.  Ken still not well, and Janet understandably worried about him. Lorraine and I spent some time chatting with her. Also spoke to Huss.

Then off to sit in Anton's garden where he barbecued a chicken in some species of elaborate barbecue smoker, with a recipe called beer butt chicken, as Anton slid a can of half-drunk beer up its butt as it was cooking. It was certainly moist and tasty. Sat outside eating salad and chicken, drinking a little and relaxing in the afternoon sun. A fine way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Open House, open houses

Feeling the benefits of having had four days to get my life sorted. Up early, wrote a review of the Shakespeare Heptet, went out to buy bread, made tea and a quorn sausage sandwich in bed for Lorraine. I went back to bed for a bit. Then working on the book proposal for the marketing book, which I finally had time to send off today. Another big milestone achieved -- and all before lunch.

Lorraine and I spent the afternoon very enjoyably drifting about our side of Brighton and wandering into open houses with Anton, Rosie and Dawn. A few bits of interesting art, but much generic stuff too. If I saw one piece of ceramic modelled on a flower or part of a flower structure, I saw 100. Some of it beautifully done of course. In the last house we ate scones and drank tea in a beautiful garden. This done, off aptly enough, to The Open House pub where we sat outside in its rather good beer garden and ate food and had a few drinks. Dawn is just about to buy a new project house, a lovely little cottage in Steyning that needs quite a bit of work, while Rosie is looking to buy at the moment too, and saw one up the hill from where Lorraine and I are now.

Spoke to Sophie too while outside. She had sent us a wedding present, but it has gone to the wrong house. I will see her soon.

Home and Lorraine and I sat on the gold sofa, ate oranges and watched Wallender.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Sound and the Fury

Up and working early on poems, and social media posts. Trying formulae such as lists which work quite well.  I wrote a list about aliens in advertising, and also worked a little on the new poem. Lorraine working at home, so we had a comparatively leisurely start to the day, after she'd been getting up very early most of the week.

In the afternoon, off to meet Susan Evans in the Marwood cafe. She was trying to persuade me to perform in something called The Minge Fringe, a Vagina Monologues influenced thing. I felt ill equipped and had to admit that my contribution to minge literature was negligible. I'd met Susan at the poetry workshop I go to and she is an effervescent performer, and generally rather lively. She is writing a new piece which starts with the line "My minge has been through the mill.."

Home and sloped up to The Signalman with Lorraine where she drank a soda water and I had a couple of beers and the sun went in.  A jay about its next robbing business in the trees and ivy as we sat chatting. Lorraine is being super disciplined about food and drink in the last couple of weeks. Home to a small but tasty supper. Beth arrived home after midnight.

Finished The Sound and the Fury. A great classic of American literature. While it was clearly groundbreaking at the time, in terms of using stream of consciousness, and some of the writing particularly in the first section narrated by Benjy, the mentally impaired character, was spectacular. I really did not enjoy it, for the simplistic reason that I had little sympathy for the characters other than Dilsey, the African-American housekeeper. Maybe I read it at the wrong time. Started Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges and am already enjoying it far more.

From The Nightwork to Shakespeare

Racing the deadline for getting the poems ready for The Nightwork, which meant I spent all morning muttering through them while Lorraine was working at the next desk. Finally, after some big (in terms of the manuscript) decisions, sent them off to Robin. Felt good to have got it done and sent off. I hope Robin likes it.  Both exciting and nerve wracking by turns.

Confirmation of more freelancing in London next week, which is good. The Kenny coffers in increasingly good shape. This is directly to do with me buying a new green wallet of course.

Otherwise, focused today. Apart from going to the gym, which was a great mind-cleanser and enabled me to be decisive and non stressed when I got home again. A five o'clock snooze that set me up admirably for the weekend. Lorraine and I zipped off in taxi to The Blue Man this evening to see the Shakespeare Heptet. We had been given the wrong time,  early of course, so we popped next door to the noisy rock venue the Hope where we met Anton, before then went down inside The Blue Man. Good to see the Shakies charging for entrance, and getting quite a good audience who, for the most part, listened attentively and seemed to be well into it. In fact, this next stage of Richard's vision seems to be working really well now. Good to chat to everyone afterwards, Claudius, Dipak, Steve and Richard. Maria there too taking photos.

Lorraine and I walked home afterwards feeling cheery.

Below the Shakies playing with no-holds-Bard gusto.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The last lap

A few really helpful comments from Rhona in my in basket first thing -- and so got to a day of intensive poem tinkering on the last lap. Followed by me making some ratatouille, for the first time in my life, and salting aubergines and courgettes. Yesterday's estate agent called around with his written valuation, but twice called me 'good man' in a matey way. I hate mateyness. I hate being called mate in shops too. I'm 'sir' to you is what I aways sniffily think. I am a fossil.

Tonight, Lorraine and I ate ratatouille with griddled turkey steaks, a tasty and healthy business.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An extension

Up early, as Lorraine has been getting up at six thirtyish. I was phoned to find out if I would't mind taking the rest of the week off from the London job, as the budget had not yet been signed off by the client. This is actually a major boon as it gives me time to work on the poems, especially as Rhona has not been able to give me any feedback yet.

Working hard all day. In the evening another estate agent came around and we chatted. The estate agents are all exactly the same with their valuations, which I suppose is encouraging.

Went out this evening with Anton for a beer and a bite to eat in the newly refurbished Hare and Hounds just down the road at Preston Circus. They serve Mexican street food, which was tasty and fresh.  Their beer prices are a bit on the high side, and there is also a  microbrewery in the pub, but this beer is sold scandalously expensively. I paid £4.95 for a pint of their poor, golden-syrupy lager.  Still, the Anton and I had a good laugh and enjoyed the evening. Home reasonably early to sleep like a baby.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A day of nightwork

At last a bit of time to work on The Nightwork, which I am supposed to deliver shortly. Rhona has been delayed in coming back with comments which is making me slightly anxious. But otherwise a great day. At lunchtime off to the gym for a trundle for the first time in quite a while. It felt good to be back among the unsmiling narcissists.

Good news from Beth, her show had received a review in the Brighton Argus, which I thought was both fair-minded and encouraging. Excellent that they got a review at all.

Lorraine working from home this afternoon, while I attended to the massive accumulation of correspondence and other stuff I have. Heard too from Nev, a former art director, who is back in the UK seeking gainful employment.

Then a lightning tidy up before an estate agent arrived, for we are going to put the house on the market again. This estate agent, James, proved to be one I didn't instantly want to punch in the head. Lorraine asking him searching questions, while I eyed him coldly. Actually I rather liked him.

Spoke to mum on FaceTime and otherwise sprawled about indolently for the rest of the evening with my lovely wife.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy on a Monday?

Lorraine up early, and me not much later. Off to London for a one-day week, which makes it altogether less frightening. A mooch about at lunchtime, before ducking into Blackwells browsing happily and buying a book by Jean Baudrillard called Passwords, to continue my occasional skirmishes with recent continental philosophy. I seem to be buying hard copies of things again. I quite like reading real books, and read them faster than I listen to them.

Left the office as it started teeming and I scurried onto a Victoria bound bus. The sky immense and foreboding as the train trundled over the Thames. Listening to podcasts and browsing Baudrillard and reading bits of The Sound and the Fury on the train before I arrived in a sunny Brighton.

Lorraine out singing in the choir, where they are doing a version of Happy by Pharrell Williams, the pop tune of the year.

Below Seven dials in London in a sunny interlude at lunchtime.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Magnetic sofa

Another slow start after a lively night in which I drank a good deal. Another massive breakfast with actors, and after a good feed the boys all left, Emily went out with her parents, and then returned to collect Beth and go back up to London, having done very well indeed over the weekend, and grabbed the production by the scruff of its neck and made it all happen.

A blissful quiet had descended, and the gold sofa was unusually magnetic.  Lorraine spent a good deal of time under a quilt. And I sat on it watching the football results roll in for the last day of the football league. Manchester City won this year. I bite my thumb at them of course, but not with much venom or enthusiasm.  Spoke to Mum on FaceTime, and then to Janet mainly about Ken who had needed the doctor this weekend, and has had his medications swapped about.

Otherwise some pottering and non-drinking and returning to virtuous ways, and preparing for my day in London tomorrow -- before two days working from home on the Nightwork, which is something greatly to be looked forward to.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Desperate: day two

Up late, after John had brought Lorraine and I a cup of tea in bed. He's a good man.

Lorraine then got up and drove Beth off to her teaching job, then returned to cook. A long and chatty and rather large breakfast with John, Emily, Bradley Marty and Matt. The three boys I didn't know and I enjoyed chatting to them. Marty from Ireland with a love of Japan, Bradley who is also a writer as well as an actor from Liverpool, and Matt who had done science A levels but is now doing what he wants in acting. His dad who came to the show tonight and he had never seen him act before, so it was quite a day for him.

They all went out for a bit in the afternoon, and Lorraine and I popped off to a nearby open house. Before Lorraine came back and started cooking a vast Spag Bol to feed the masses.

First Matie arrived too, and sat with us while things were milling about, swapping gossip and telling us about her new boyfriend while we sipped some sparkling wine. This consumed, we all travelled back to the Purple Playhouse.  Everyone set up and First Matie and I snuck off to the pub for a chat before returning with some lettuce which was essential to the production.

Over fifty people at tonight's show. A big step up from last night, and the performance was smooth and consistent, and the audience laughed a good deal. I really like the venue too, and it's putting some ideas in my head. But chiefly delighted for Betty and Emily. Great to round off with a strong performance.

Lots of chatting after the show, met John's mum Chris and sister Josephine, and chatted lots to Kate before she had to leave. I walked her towards the station, and returned to chat lots to Steve Cartwright. Lots of friends there again, Betty's old friend Amy. Nice to see her now she is just about to graduate. Huss zoomed in to see the show too.

Lorraine and I left the pub, where we had a section reserved, around midnight.  Home to cheese on toast. A lively night.

Below the actors Bradley, Marty, Emily, Beth Grant and Matt.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Relationship Status: Desperate

Feeling brighter this morning, and full of cheer about the weekend. Due to the way the work is flowing, I have two days where I can work from home next week, so at last I will be able to put in some proper time on my poetry collection. Since I came back from Guernsey I have earned lots of money, and the welcome sound of money tumbling into the Kenny coffers. I have earned enough to compensate for avoiding freelancing at the beginning of the year as I was finishing the big project and paid for the Guernsey holiday. Also had to turn down two offers of work this week too.

A good day's work with some lovely people. Tried to leave early to get back to Brighton but was thwarted at the last moment.  The journey home fine however, and I even had a can of beer on the train. Rushed out to get a taxi to take me to the Purple Playhouse where Beth and Emily's play was on. Lorraine on the door, had to zoom off because she was doing the tech stuff.

I sat at on the door for a bit before stealing into the play 10-15 minutes in. Nice venue, and had not been there before. A good audience, with of course lots of familiar faces too, a posse from the girl's college, and our chums like Dawn, Rosie, Helen, Matt, John, Glenda & Richard, Jess & Andrew, John, Gary and Sophie and two of their friends, and Beth's old pals Kayleigh and Becky P.

The play Relationship Status: Desperate went down well and was an entertaining hour of fun. For the girls it was a step up from doing it in front of their college audience. Naturally I am biased and so was most focused on Beth. She has the capacity to be herself, but more so, on stage and comes across as relaxed and natural. Gary and I were chatting about this afterwards, and he said how proud he was of her. Rosie said that Beth seems to collude with the audience, which I think is spot on.  Emily did well too, and I think her writing is strong. The boys in the cast were a gamut of difficult or obnoxious dates, and had lots of fun with that.

After the show Lorraine and I drove some stuff home, and jumped in a cab to go to The Good Companions pub for a much needed booze with Beth and many of our pals. A regrettable Ace pizza on the way home but, in my defence, I was starving.

Below with all the freelance I've been doing, not to mention all the offers of work, this headline today seemed to say it all.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Home to moths

Up after the sleep of the dead, feeling heavy and exhausted.  Reading The Sound and the Fury on the train to work, got off at Victoria and felt a bit peculiar and panicky for a few moments but pressed on  to work.  The day's work went well however. It's a bit of a slog but on a really interesting project where artists have collaborated with people with medical conditions to produce art pieces.

Enjoyably listening to the guardian football podcast on the way home. As Lorraine was training governors again,I popped into Sing Li as I couldn't be bothered to cook. Klaudia's little friend (whose mum and dad own the place) said hello to me. Her dad always remembers me too, which feels nice. Walked back through the station full of shouting football fans, and scarfed fish and chips at home very grateful to be there.

Several small moths flying about. Worrying.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Foyled again

Off this morning up to the smoke again, reading a few poems by Simon Armitage. He will never be my favourite poet, but some of the poems are nicely done. Raining in Victoria when I got there. A day of slogging, albeit on interesting work. Slipped off to buy a copy of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner to continue with my American reading. Foyles is far too close not to lurk there at lunch.

Otherwise not much to report. The cover of The Nightwork has been slightly altered -- the mysterious arms on it have disappeared. Some correspondence with Robin about this. Also a cyberchat with Mandy in New Zealand who is now going it alone on her games company.

Home listening to podcasts and reading Faulkner.

A nice evening at home. Lorraine cooking baked sardines which were rather tasty.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Back to work

Dire night's sleep, and back to work and off to The Smoke. A pleasant enough day. Off to Foyles again at lunchtime to browse the business section briefly. So much bunk and dullness. Listening to podcasts and so on on the train. Home slightly late, and Lorraine later having been at a school governor's meeting. Spoke to Mum who has been to Alex's funeral today.  Good for her to get it over with, but short on laughs.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Enchanted by a mockingbird

A bank holiday. Doing some billing, and generally tidying up my desk. The afternoon spent sorting out the narrow strip of a back yard and repotting things.

After this was done, I simply read the last 200 pages of To Kill A Mockingbird. Found myself absolutely loving this book. Some American Gothic touches that reminded me of Ray Bradbury a little. But this is just so well written, and the device of narrating it through the eyes of the little girl Scout, another Bradburyish move, just so incredibly well handled. So impressed. Quite nice to be sitting on the gold sofa reading and listening to music with Lorraine who was doing embroidery. A fine Sunday afternoon, even if it were a Bank Holiday.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Open houses

A fairly slow start, and I made off to Janet's open house for about one.

Meanwhile Lorraine had started a diet today, joining slimming world. We ate slim things for the rest of the day, which was good. Both of us rather bloated.

I ended up sitting upstairs having a long chat with Ken, as well as a few laughs over old times. He had been feeling quite poorly with what I hope is a bug over the last few days. Janet's open house Diva 4 quite crowded downstairs, and lots of people out enjoying the good weather. As I was leaving Huss gave me two bottles of Italian Rose, which was rather nice of him.

When I got home, Lorraine and I popped up to the nearest Open House from us, actually some studios. Found myself coveting having my own studio.

A restrained night in of non drinking, but some smiling.

Below Lorraine being menaced by a recycled owl.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Poems then drinking

I had a much needed day working on The Nightwork manuscript till around 4, and then sent the results to Rhona. This meant I missed The Children's Parade, which Lorraine and Mum saw, before Mum went off to Janet's place. Lorraine then met Betty and Rosie and went to Janet's open house. Anton also went there.

Just as I'd finished work, Toby face timed me for a good chat. Then this done I made my way to the sun garden of the Battle of Trafalgar where Lorraine, Betty and Anton were sipping cold beers. We managed to move to a sunny spot and were then joined by Mum, who had enjoyed her day at Janet's place. Then Anton and I scooted home to collect Mum's things and met them all in The Cow at Seven Dials. Co-incidentally Ken, Janet and Huss had gone there too, so we had quite a gathering, which entirely compensated for the monastic scribing of the day.

Mum had to catch a train home, so I walked her down and bade her a fond farewell before returning to The Cow. Had a really nice evening with Huss, Lorraine and Anton. Did not need to be rocked to sleep tonight. Nor did Lorraine who had been out of the house all day.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Mum in the Shahi

A hugely welcome Friday. Up to London again today. Lorraine gave me a lift to the station, and I worked on my poems on the train. Walked up from Embankment station to work, slowly and gingerly. Arrived completely shattered and feeling weird, which was partly due to being very dehydrated. Five glasses of water later and I felt somewhat better. Nice people in this office, and all was well. Except I was desperate to get home all day, feeling rather unwell still.

Home thank God and found Mum and Lorraine home, Mum having spent the morning helping setting up at Janet and Ken's house.  Off to the Shahi, where Sabir and Dr Raman were extra attentive and cheery, and Mum enjoyed herself being told how young she looked, and being given free extra Cointreau. Had a really nice time all together there.

Home,the gold sofa spellbindingly attractive, as was bed. I was exceedingly tired.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Mum arrives for the open houses

Working from home today, feeling somewhat brighter. I really like working from home when Lorraine is with me. We walked off to Arkwrights at lunch, and bought some long mauvish alium flower heads which attracted Calliope a good deal.

After the afternoon's work, and a quick doze for me, we drove to the station this evening to pick up mum, arriving with a bag of her cat head masks and her top hat on askew, having been out for a drink with her pal Pat, instead of going to watch a concert featuring Taverner which was their plan A.

We took Mum straight to Janet & Ken's place, having previously loaded up the car with Mum's art. We dropped the stuff off there, pausing for a good deal of chatting with Janet, Ken and Huss. Nice to see Huss again. Janet was in the throes of getting stuff ready for her Diva open house, and Mum is going to spend the day with her tomorrow to help get things sorted out.

Home again and a fairly early night, after Lorraine cooked some of her delicious curry and dhal combos.