Friday, February 28, 2014

Trouble in the East

More slow and steady progress on the book, then a quick go in the gym. Didn't get so swimmy headed this time, and even had a conversation with a man in the changing room about locks. Lots of eastern Europeans at the gym in the last month or so. Had a new stair carpet laid, by two guys that came around when they were supposed to, charged a very reasonable price and did a good job. Weird when that happens.

When the carpet people were here, I was listening to the World at One on Radio 4, and growing increasingly alarmed at the news about the Crimea. There is quite a strong chance of deadly trouble with Russia over this -- and I can't think when I have been more alarmed by the news. As I happened to be briefly on Facebook as I was listening I put something on there to this effect. Only one person commented, Robbie, who made light of it saying it was like Gibraltar. Facebook is not a medium for debate.

Back to the Nightingale with Lorraine, who'd had a long week, in the evening. We saw the run through of Fat Man a promising play about Orpheus, by the two guys I saw on Wednesday Martin and Alex. Enjoyable run through with some amazing moments. They are still finalising the play and it is interesting to see a work in progress like this. Lorraine and I talking about it quite a bit afterwards.

Lorraine and I then made off to The Basketmakers, chatted to Irish Tom, went for fish and chips, returned and chatted with Matt and John who had been watching Japanese drummers. Rather stuffy and noisy in The Basketmakers so Lorraine and I left for the tranquility of home, after a nice evening.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Working

Worked all day till after 9:00pm. Lorraine home at 10:00pm from doing governor training. And so to bed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cicada and Nightingale

Irritated and out of sorts this morning. Up early and editing a press release for Sophie. Later a protracted conversation with her about a God awful brochure her client was proposing to use. Another call from the bastards pretending to be some kind of windows help desk. Worked on the book of course, and broke off to go to the gym, where I trundled on the cross trainer till my head got swimmy after about 25 minutes. A improvement that certainly improved my mood too.

The Frogmore Papers arrived today containing my poem Cicada. Finally at the fourth attempt this poem reaches print unmolested, albeit cramped on a page with another poem.

In the evening, after a chat with Lorraine, off to The Nightingale Theatre for a theatrical mingle. A small gathering, but interesting. Talking to a young Nigerian writer, an actor called Thor, a producer, and Kick a writer I'd met before, and Jules, who is trying to stage a play featuring Edith Sitwell. Additionally two guys working in the Nightingale's space devising a play about Orpheus gave us a talk about their working process which I found interesting.

After this cultural interlude I met Anton downstairs, who had returned to Brighton late from work and had a cheeky and enjoyable drink with him. Then home via Ace pizza having not eaten this evening. Lorraine still up when I got home, and had one of my slices and listened to me burbling on cheerfully.

Below just one of the distractions of the day: the critters known to the vet as Brian and Calliope Kenny bookending my desk and chattering their teeth at the gulls through the skylight above my head.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A sniff of spring

A better day, and reasonable progress on the book, despite discovering early on that I had missed the poetry meeting last night. Apologised to Robin who organised the workshop. The unexpected good news, however, is that I may have a poetry pamphlet in the offing later this year as Robin is starting up a wee press. More details when this emerges.

In other news spoke to a new contact called Stephen, who is trying to organise rehearsal spaces in Brighton. Otherwise tweaked Betty's poster for her show, spoke to Sophie while driving to her mother's house, who pinged over a Press Release for me to look at this evening. Also talked to carpet people who are coming around on Friday. Heard too from Guernsey exile Marilyn Chapman whose first book is now out as an e-book on Amazon here.

I did unmanacle myself from my desk to walk around the park for 50 mins nosing into the not so secret garden, and walking about in circles listening to a podcast about the Phoenicians a faint sniff of spring about things. Still not feeling perky enough for the gym yet, and cook a tasty tarragony chicken stew of my own devising which, as it had potatoes in it, was a hit with Lorraine who arrived exhausted from work post-ofsted in one of the school she looks after.

I watched some footy on the TV, Manchester United against a Greek team. United were beaten. I used to enjoy hating Mancheter United, but now they have become a shadow of themselves under their unfortunate new manager, I feel sorry for them.

Below the poster for Beth's dissertation piece to be performed in the college theatre. I knocked it up quickly but I hope it will have some standout pinned to the walls of the college. Beth and Emily are taking their show to the Brighton Fringe later this year.

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

From inside the shell

Sluggish and aching. The usual Feb/March antisocial desire to pull all my tentacles back into my shell like an ancient ammonite. Not a good day for work, my already patchy concentration disrupted by waiting for a man to measure up for carpets complicated by the doorbell not working, and various other things. Plus a bogus call from a 'Windows Help Desk' followed a minute later my windows unexpectedly crashing, which made me run various paranoid checks on the computer for malware. Just a coincidence, apparently. The carpet man arrived at five to five and was helped by a curious Brian to measure the stairs. Incidentally, Lorraine changed Brian's name at the Top Cats vets the other day. So he is officially Brian Kenny, step-brother to Calliope Kenny.

Lorraine sucked into an Ofsted, so was late home and had to work on the sofa. Healthy fish and steamed veggies tonight. The Sheltering Sky full of a compelling anxiety and tension. Contacted by someone in Brighton tonight about writing for a fringe theatre production too. We'll see.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Sunday afternoons are made for

Feeling a tad more lively. Betty, who is well on the way to recovery bounced in on us this morning, and lay across the bottom of the bed impersonating a bolster, and forming plans for next weekend when she introduces us to her new boyfriend.

Dropped Betty off at the Station, scored some Marks and Sparks custard then off to Dawn's house in Steyning.  A fun afternoon, with Dawn, Rosie and Anton. It's great to be with friends on a Sunday afternoon eating sunday roast with all the trimmings, lapping up some nice wine and generally putting the world to rights. I like Dawn's elegant living room, which has a view of the Downs.

Lorraine and I drove home in the dark.  Speaking briefly to mum on FaceTime -- before we watched a rather funny film called Bridesmaids, highly recommended by Beth. Hilarious in parts.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Food with friends

Currently achy, tired and prone to sneezing, Lorraine off colour too. We had a low key day, where I started reading The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles, a book I am finally getting around to reading despite buying it as a paperback about five years ago. Excellent so far, though as I am in an editing frame of mind I felt like crossing out a few words.

I also had a good idea about my project this morning. Lorraine and I up for a slow breakfast, and a brief wander about the shops in the sunshine. Talked to a carpet fitter to replace threadbare stairs carpet. Slept deeply this afternoon, and turned down beers with Matt in the Basketmakers.

Sophie and Andros spontaneously decided to bring themselves to Brighton. Lorraine and I cabbed to the Cricketers, which was too full of middle aged folk making boozy eyes at one another. We found somewhere quieter for a quick drink, then went to the vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends. Irritating woman told us that there was a mistake with the booking until Sophie produced the confirmation text - treated as if we were doing a big favour to find us a table twenty minutes late. Good food, however, with a salad of halloumi cheese, with mango, avocado and various leaves rather excellent. Good to catch up with Sophie and Andros who were sheltering from a party that Electra was having. Good to hear Christof is enjoying Oxford and becoming engaged with politics, and is thinking of swapping courses from history to economics. Also took the opportunity to asking Andros, who was an assistant to Stanley Kubrick, about the making of the Shining, and he said that everyone was a nervous that Jack Nicholson had gone over the top in his performance.

After this veggie repast, fond farewells with Sophie and Andros and Lorraine and I jumped in a cab and were soon home a little after midnight.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Not much to report

Up and working hard all day. Beth at home having a day of gold sofa recuperation, and Lorraine off to Basingstoke to see Glenice. I went for a brief walk in the sunny park this lunchtime, to the walled garden and looking at snowdrops and crocuses and other signs of Spring. Then to Arkwrights for a couple of reassuringly middle class arancini for Beth's and my lunch. A particularly productive afternoon ended the week on a high note.  A quiet evening in with Lorraine and Beth, and I slipped off to the Shahi to pick up a takeaway and have a handful of Bombay mix and a read of the Brighton Argus.


Frankly not much to report this week, other than working on the book in a highly focused way. I am getting there.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interspersed work

Another good day's work, interspersed with cat herding this morning, as Lorraine took the cats off to the vet (both fine), chatting with Sonia about Bulgarians, popping into the doctor to discuss ears and wussiness, and so on. Lorraine on a drive to retrieve Betty who has a strep throat and brought home. I finished, The Shining this evening. It was a short book but too creepy to listen to in huge chunks. Seeming to be working well, as long as I have a snooze in the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nice as pie

On ear drops again at the moment, and rather deaf and painful in one ear. Generally under the weather, however this does not seem to impede my work till four when I slept like a baby for some time.

Beth came home today, with her pal Emily in tow, to do some work on their dissertation piece. Lorraine helped edit and transfer the music they are going to use for their show onto a CD. The show is now called Relationship Status: Desperate and I took some photos of the girls for a poster.

Lorraine cooked us an astonishingly tasty chicken, bacon, tarragon and leek pie for supper.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday tagine

Lorraine out for much of the day at a meeting, and I worked on the book, full of renewed intent. I also spoke to Mum on FaceTime. Otherwise a day of quiet application in which I did not venture out beyond the local shops where Lorraine and I went to get the fixin's for  a tagine which my lovely wife cooked. Beautiful it was too, with loads of fresh coriander, parsley, pickled lemons, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and saffron and chicken and red onions. All rather delicious. I love half terms.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Leeds to Brighton

The mornings spent shopping with Lorraine. Shopping for me as it happened. For I needed a new watch and a new wallet. I have very clear criteria for the sort of wallet I needed. It had to be green, although a green wallet cannot be had it seems. More successful in buying a nice Danish watch with numerals called a Skagen. A real pleasure too to wander around town on a rainy Monday with Lorraine and Sam, who we met in Cafe Valerie.

I really enjoyed visiting Leeds this time, and particularly seeing Sam in his northern haunts. Leeds is an amazingly great place to shop, with affluent arcades, malls and converted industrial buildings all crammed with shops. There's brass in Leeds and no mistake. After hours of shopping I had my nice watch, and we had said goodbye to Sam. I was really pleased Sam and Lorraine got time to spend together.

Eventually we headed off to the station after stopping for an hour in a cafe to chill. Passed a young man walking his ferret on a lead, which was not something you see every day. Train to London was fine, and I finished the excellently readable On Writing by Stephen King. Then we walked across to St Pancras where a delayed Brighton train was waiting on the platform for us. Climbed aboard. This train crawled home though, taking almost two hours. However this was an improvement on the morning's commute, with bus replacement services and diversions from Brighton to Lewes and so on.

It is a really nice thing to return home and feel so happy about it.

Below the carved pillars outside the Metropolitan Hotel in Leeds, which were rather nice. Various shops in Leeds. I seemed not to have taken any photos of people, as I am not carrying my camera around at the moment, as it is kaput. Mr Arkwright's Tool Emporium seems too good to be true for Yorkshire.





Sunday, February 16, 2014

An afternoon with Carl

A slow paced morning with a hangover of my own devising. Had slept really badly too, having experienced a psychic call for help from Calliope. I think Calliope has The Shining. However off to the University, by cab with the driver telling us he was descended from Genghis Khan. Here Lorraine and I had a late breakfast and coffee with Jade and Sam in a cafe called Opposite.

After breakfast Jade kindly called me a cab, which took me on a scenic rather roundabout route to the Station and then off on the Trans Pennine Express to Manchester.  Here Carl was waiting, in a beany hat and reassuring me that he knew Manchester like the back of his hand. We wandered through the City Centre, me having to gulp a litre of water as I was feeling faint and dehydrated. Every time I visit Manchester it seems to become more impressive, busker singing Wonderwall and all.

We ended up in a pub and had a slow pint before he took me to a commercial art gallery. Going to art gallery's is always lively with Carl as He Knows His Own Mind when it comes to art, having got a degree in Art History. Then, for nostalgia's sake, we went to a Pizza Express, rather like the one that Carl and I used to go to Notting Hill when we were lads.

It did my heart good to see Carl.  Its funny how with old friends you just pick up as if you saw each other last week. Bit of a pivotal time for Carl at the moment, with changes in the business he set up and so on. Young Ellie, an astonishing 16 now, is going to study design at college. A good thing I think as she is passionate about her art and drawing.

Eventually after a good deal of walking about in the centre of Manchester we went to a pub that Carl had been to with Bob. I was by then however still feeling dehydrated and wussy, so simply had two pints of water. The landlady rather scornful of this the second time I asked for another glass of Adam's ale.  These made me feel a good deal better however. While we were in this bar one of an older group of Mancunians fell off his stool onto his back, but seemed non the worse for wear.

Fond farewells with Carl at Manchester Station, as he went back to Runcorn. I stood the hour  to Leeds in the crowded train reading the hugely enjoyable On Writing by Stephen King.

Lorraine and Sam met me at the station, and we went off to have some Mexican food, which was really tasty. Really nice time, relaxed and just hanging out and trying to guess the music playing in a within a few bars.

Back to the hotel a model of deportment and sobriety with my lovely wife, and grateful for bed.

Below Carl outside the Corn Exchange in Manchester. The view from our hotel room in Leeds. Proper northern view.




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Off to Leeds

To Leeds today. Up early and we met Betty at the station, who thoughtfully stopped to buy us coffee, before heading off to teach. First leg to St Pancras, and we'd left very early  contend with delays in the after another stormy night. But we made it to Kings Cross with time to spare.

Caught our train and we had a pleasant journey, Lorraine found our Japanese boiled sweets, and I read On Writing, by Stephen King. About 25 minutes from Leeds the train stopped dead, as the overhead power lines had failed, due to the rain. An hour there before we made our way back to Doncaster. By the time we had reached there the problem was sorted, and we boarded a train which took us on to Leeds. A two hour delay in total.

However all good when we reached Leeds. Sam met us from the station and took us to the nearby Metropolitan hotel. It was really good to see him. A cup of tea in the room, before sloping off to a nearby pub. A few drinks there, before being joined by Jade. Eventually we made off to have a curry, in a strange half-finished sort of restaurant, where the doorknob had fallen off in the gents for example. An enjoyable evening, with lots of discussion about philosophy. I had a lengthy and slightly drunken (on my part) conversation with Jade about what is imaginable.

Home via the original pub, where we forced down another and entirely unnecessary pint chatting with Sam and Jade, before Lorraine and I repaired to the hotel.  

Below: Paused at Kings Cross to take this photo. There was a queue of people waiting to have their photo taken too. Many of them Japanese.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Death of the love cricket

Valentine's day. My Valentine and I swapped cards this morning, and Lorraine additionally gave me a heart shaped red stone, and a green solar powered cricket, which after we had admired I set down by the side of my bed. Lorraine and I worked upstairs in the office all day. Although in the morning I heard a non-specific scrunching and discovered that Calliope had bitten the cricket's head off.

Lorraine and I worked at home all day to finish all her reports before we set off for Leeds. I surged out in the evening in the rain to the Shahi to get a takeaway. This was a very happy Valentine's day for me.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

An interlude

So eventually an interlude where the rain and was replaced by rainwashed blue sky. Quite a long chat with Sonia this morning, who told me to get back to work upstairs so that we could continue to employ her. After some hours of work, I slipped blinking into the outside world, and via the Real Patisserie, where I had something of a consultation about the comparative sweetness of tarts, up to see Janet and Ken, drink tea and snap into the tarts.

Janet and Ken on pretty good form, and Janet's slow but steady recovery means that she felt well enough to go up to London to see the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern. I must see this before it is done. A good deal of breeze to be shot.  Janet is already beginning to prepare for the Open Houses later in the year.

Felt curiously wan and as if sickening for something a bit later. Lorraine was working at home late this afternoon, and simply slept for an hour as she worked before took Lorraine's London Hospital cure all of a cup of tea and two paracetamol. Seemed to work. Then Lorraine cooked me spaghetti and I lay there propped on the gold sofa like a potentate. All well.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nothing but the wild rain

All day at my desk, working really fluently and happily on the book. The rain and hail of the outside world did not tempt me. Instead I worked or Noah-ishly listened to radio or internet clips of the flooding. Things are getting bad for lots of people including the French Bloke and Bouncy Max who have been islanded in Chertsey Meads for some time. But - touch wood - but everything seems fine in Brighton and Mum and Mas fine high up in Edgware. Pleased when Lorraine got home from driving around the county. All good, except for the cats, who are depressed by the rain and tetchy with each other.Spoke to Mum via facetime, and to Janet and Ken, who I will visit tomorrow.

In the bleak but beautiful words of Edward Thomas.

Rain

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hard at work

Two days working hard in the company of Calliope. Broke off for a couple of quick visits to the gym, and then back to work.

Spoke to Anton whose mum has the flooded Thames lapping at her driveway now in Staines. Feeling very lucky that even though we are in the lowest part of Brighton and the rain is incessant, we seem to be okay.

Below Calliope, having sat on my desk for much of the day, trying to mind control me to go downstairs and feed her.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Matt's Birthday

Toast and tea, before First Matie and I had a walk down to walk about in the gale on Brighton Pier which blasted away any cobwebs. We saw the waves were breaking far out to sea. The tide quite low when we were there, but some of the waves really large.

Then we met Lorraine, and embarked on a short shopping spree, Lorraine buying me some socks, and we headed off to The Eagle for a Sunday lunch in celebration of Matt's 37th birthday.

Lots of pals there, including Anton, John, Tim and Guy, Tanya, Irish Tom and his pal Natasha, Bryn and Nas, who I'd met the other night, most of us strapping on the nosebag for a roast lunch. A few happy hours chatting. Eventually people had to head for home. Fond farewells with First Matie, who it had been great to have down. Lorraine, John, Matt and I headed across the road to the Basketmakers for an absolutely bloody final drink before Lorraine and I mooched home to spend the evening reclined happily on the gold sofa, eating apple pie.  

Below a gorgeous snap of me taken by First Matie, and First Matie taken by me. Lorraine and Matt in The Basketmakers.




Saturday, February 08, 2014

First Matie arrives

Lorraine and I up cheerfully this morning, and off at lunchtime rain dodging into town to do a spot of shopping. To the Sussex Yeoman where we met Betty after two, and were soon joined by First Matie who had come down from London. Good to see Betty who seems incredibly busy, but pretty cheerful. She had to return to London, after consuming a Yeoman burger scooby snack.

Jolly good to see Katie, good to get her news and drag her home, where we inflicted Japanese photos on her and fed her a delicious Spanish pork and beans dish that Lorraine had cooked. Carefully avoiding horror films, we instead selected a movie called The Call, which was a horrific thriller instead, which had everyone squirming on the sofa and feeling wan and shaken.


Friday, February 07, 2014

A happy Friday

Worked happily from eight till three, overcoming the latest pocket of nonsense in the book. At three o'clock I sloped off to the gym for a decent workout. It wasn't raining for once and my cheeriness is unabated.

Walked home listening to The Shining audiobook. The main character Jack's struggle with alcoholism and madness is very well done. My baby had just got in from work when I got home, and Dawn came around for a chat, before Lorraine and I sprinted off to the Shahi. Much to the amazement of our friends there we went off piste and ordered different things to usual. A pumpkin dish was one.

Home and an early night, with Betty calling just as we went to bed, on her way out for the evening. Makes you feel a bit old really.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Neroli

Another deluge, worked hard on the book all day. Talking briefly to Mum and Mas and to Sonia. I have reached another pocket of nonsense in the text which needs some unpicking. Struggling with this for much of the afternoon.

At around 4:30 I decided to think about something else for a bit and put on one of Brian Eno's ambient pieces called Neroli: Thinking Music which was bonging pleasantly and I was listening to the rain on the roof, which went nicely with the music, and suddenly I found myself feeling incredibly happy and at one with myself and the world. Just to be able to sit at my desk and listen to the rain falling seemed an incredibly lucky thing. Looked up what Neroli was, and it is a kind of a sweet smelling plant oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree.

Lorraine teaching school governors this evening, and I went out with Anton. Met him in the Great Eastern and then we went out into the deluge to The Mash Tun where Anton's research led us to two delicious burgers and fries (mine was chicken with Spanish sausage called a 'Titty Twister') for about £7 which was a bobby bargain.

Thence to the Twin Peaks-like Northern Lights, where we drank Tuborg beer and some strange Nordic vodkas tasting of salty licorice, and another smoky one which tasted of the Famel cough mixture of my youth. As ever a good deal of breeze to be shot on many and various subjects with Anton.

Below a striped Anton returning from the bar in The Northern Lights.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Some good news

Up early and off to the quack first thing to have a conversation about my blood pressure. Turns out that the high readings I always have in the surgery are not the full story. Over my 24 hours it turned out the average was fine. We'll take that as good news, my nice doctor said. And so I did.

Since it was early, I went for a walk down by the sea, which was in the teeth of a gale, which turned into a lashing rainstorm later. The skeletal remains of the West Pier were further damaged, which made the local TV news.

Spoke to Carl, who was talking about the tender his business put into the local authority, which has had only partial success. Strange politics afoot in the local Government it seems. I hope to see Carl shortly.

Otherwise a good day's work. In the evening, after I cooked supper for Lorraine and myself, I wandered up to The Foundry where I had a drink with Matt, and we were joined by others including Irish Tom, who is highly excited by the notion of a new cooker being delivered on Friday and is planning feasts cooked on something that he did not have to salvage knobs from a dead cooker in a skip to use.

Below glimpses of the whitened sea this morning, very difficult to hold my iPhone steady in the wind.





Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Calliope and the crow

Working hard today. My Lorraine came home at lunch time and simply went to bed with a chamomile tea and a bad stomach and sparked out for two hours. Not something I have not seen her do before. She felt brighter later, and able to fork down some mashed butternut squash, potato and carrot. Mashed potato is No. 1 comfort food for my wife.

Became enraged trying to book tickets to Guernsey on Auringy's website (dealing with being a frequent flier, under Lorraine's name, which has changed to Kenny). Then going outside with recycling boxes in a howling gale that simply blew them over scattering their contents. Having packed it all back in the boxes brought it back to our house. A wild night, and Lorraine and I listened to the lashing rain as we fell asleep.

Below Calliope not much of a one for TV, but there was a BBC programme on tonight about the intelligence of crows, and Calliope watched it avidly. Here she is below, looking at a crow's brain. I wish I was as discerning about my viewing.


Monday, February 03, 2014

Little or nothing

Booked rooms at La Barbarie this morning for April. Happy days. We are going to go with Mum and Mas, plus Maureen and Pat. Otherwise a solid Monday's work, broken only by a gym visit late in the afternoon, and a listen to The Shining audiobook which was creepy. Lorraine off singing in the choir tonight, and I worked a bit more in the evening before she came home and shared a bottle of beer with me to sooth her melody parched throat. An industrious day, but not much happened. Wishing I could write faster...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Spray dodgers

A slow start to the day, doing homey things. Eventually we were drawn out into the outside world, given that it wasn't raining for once. Off to Rottingdean where we took a spray dodging walk under the chalk cliffs with waves at high tide slamming into the sea wall. Afterwards went to Smugglers Fish and Chips for a portion of chips, and ate them on a bench looking out to sea in the sun, planning our trip to Guernsey.

Then we went in search of aquarium plants, and bought some in the pet shop in Baker Street. Bought some Java fern on bogwood, and did some aquarium business when I got home. A quiet evening.

Below, shots taken with my iPhone. Loving the sculptural shapes the water takes on.








Saturday, February 01, 2014

Basketmaker beers with Phil

A slow and cheery start to Saturday. Off to Maplins, which is catnip for Lorraine, to buy a box which allows videos to be turned into DVDs via a computer.

Slighly unbelievably off to The Basketmakers again, where I introduced Lorraine to an old pal of mine Phil, had a really good chat. Lorraine left after a while to pick up a Video player for £1 from an ebayer in Brighton. (She has been busy looking at old videos and transferring them across formats. There are lots of videos of Beth dancing and performing as a child, which need to be transferred.)

Phil meanwhile talked about his first stand up comedian performance recently, and had a really good time doing it. and has also taken up boxing, which he also enjoys, for some reason. He says when people hit you hard you see stars. All a bit tough and macho for me. As a hypochondriac having people punch you in the head until you see stars is something I would run a mile from. He also told me about having run the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer fan club in their early days. A really interesting chat.

Enjoying a quiet beer there, Irish Tom (miraculously repaired) and Matt came into the pub, and I had a cheeky half with Matt after Phil left to go onto meet another friend.  As my top hat was already askew, and it being only 5:30 in the evening, I returned home and slept on the gold sofa for an hour. Lorraine then cooked some delicious food, and we sat happily watching TV in the evening.

Below a selfie taken by Phil of us the Basketmakers. Not exactly flattering of either of us.