Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A door in the wall

Small improvements today. I managed make it down the road to buy some bread, plus I hobbled in town to drop off a prescription after Lorraine had given me a lift, and even conducting a light spot of horny handed son of the soil gardening. Also discussing some work options that may be opening up for Lorraine.

Working on a new poem based on the H.G. Wells story The door in the wall, which is working out quite promisingly. This is the story by Wells that I always remember, and I was reading on the internet that critics now are saying it was his best story. I'd tried to write one on this subject before, but this is a good deal better. And also re-editing the marketing book for kindle. But there is a lot to be done.

Beth returned from her travels looking slightly brown and relaxed. She has a audition in London to look forward to next week.

Gorgeous sunset views from our back garden.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cheer at sundown

Confined to quarters today. Strapped my foot into a trainer and hobbled down to my office at a variety of things to do with Telltale, billing and so on.  Had to postpone seeing Fingers Capra this evening, who is back in town.  Otherwise a quiet, and quite painful evening, watching a documentary on my laptop about Nick Roeg the filmmaker, and an episode of Humans.

Best moment of the day was in the evening, standing at our Juliette balcony looking out at the clear sky as the sun was setting, at the same level as gulls getting ready to settle for the night. Just a beautiful sight and we were full of happiness to be living here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A hero passes

Due to evil orc foot. I had to phone Mum and Mas to cancel our visit. Instead Lorraine and I stayed in the bedroom, me with leg horizontal and the French Windows open and the cats looking down on the seagulls. So, when not trying to walk, which was excruciating, really rather a nice day with Lorraine talking about tables and life and watching her do her new Pilates stretches on the bed.

Spoke to Mum again later and listened to a radio adaptation of Hawksmoor she had recommended. It's quite a complicated book so adapting it for a 2 part, one-hour-a-piece job was always going to be hard. Remember really liking the book though. We also watched the final Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on my laptop. Excellent series. Mum later forwarded pictures of sheep with telephone heads, that Joan had sent her.

Sad to hear that Chris Squire, legendary bass player with Yes, had died. I have few heroes, but he was a massive one to me in my teens and was always my favourite member of my favourite group. I've seen him play live perhaps six or seven times in my life. The best one was when the Tobster and I went to see Yes at the Wembley Arena (then known as The Empire Pool) in October 1977 on their tour for the album Going for the One. A fantastic show, with incredible laser lights and we had great seats near the front.

Squire was wearing a distinctive harlequin style suit. I worked part-time as a floor housekeeper in the hotel next to the venue and the day before as I was checking a room that was almost completely empty, opened the door of a cupboard and Squire's unmistakable stage clothes hanging in a wardrobe. Falteringly, I touched the great man's trousers and left, wishing he'd been there to say hello to. His bass playing was sublime, majestic, melodic and full of a pagan power. He was born in Kingsbury where we lived when I was a teenager, and sang in the church choir of St Andrew's church, which I used to look at wonderingly from the 83 bus that took me to school. How could Kingsbury spawn such a cosmic guy?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Glass half full

Lorraine off today for physiotherapy on her back, and then in the afternoon some pilates one-to-one session, from a teacher that Tasha had recommended to her. Lorraine says the pilates person said that her problems were all down to her feet, and that they needed regular massaging. By me.

While Lorraine was out I hobbled down to the viaduct and picked up a nice piece of pale blue glass we had created by Stephanie the glassmaker.  It is a pale blue curved piece with bobbles and streaks and is rather beautiful and we have put it on the ledge of a high window on our staircase so the light can shine through in the afternoon.

Hobbled back up the hill and sat in the garden, reading and writing a new poem, in a style which is a bit of a departure for me. Then had a long sleep on the sofa for I was feeling weirdly tired and my foot was a bit hurty.

Off nevertheless into town to meet Matt in the Basketmakers, where I heroically shunned beer. Matt in pretty good form, mad for working on the allotment and off to see his new boyfriend. Irish Tom, Bryn, and John O'Shea also hanging about cheerily at the bar.  Home straight after as my foot needed a rest. Phoned Mum to say we'd be over tomorrow, and then simply watched a bit more of Glastonbury on TV.

Stopped off to buy some fish and chips just before they closed at 8.00pm from the local chippy called Jenny's. Nice guy in there who gave us extra everything, not that we could eat it all when we got home. He has a splendid range of Pukka Pies advertising in the shop. I love the one below. How the woman in her little black dress and the man in the sharply pressed trousers in the leather interior of the car and so happy to be sharing a pie and chips.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Slogging my way through a long list, chasing freelance stuff, sorting out some Telltale stuff, writing blogposts, and so on before I get started on my core stuff.  Ended the day feeling I needed to drastically reprioritise on Monday. There never seems enough time to do it all.

Sonia telling me unhelpfully, but with much laughter, about a man of my age who has two glass vases. He has calculated how many weekends he thinks he has left in his life, and has allocated a ball to it. Each weekend he transfers a ball from his full vase to his weekends gone vase, just so he can visualise better how life trickles through his fingers.

Tired by the end of the day, and my pesky foot began to hurt in a way it has not done for six months, just in time for the weekend. Annoying. I cooked however, and Lorraine and I enjoyed a quiet night in chatting, sipping sparkling water made with our own soda stream and watching a bit of music on Glastonbury which has just started.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Up at 6 am and off to Strawberry Hill today, near Teddington to attend a staff conference of the Christian charity I'd pitched to a few weeks ago. It was held on the campus of St Mary's University, which was small but attractive. An absorbing day with everyone there motivated, sincere and positive. They are an organisation of storytellers in the best way and I spent the entire day talking or listening.

It was interesting to observe how prayer was continually being woven into what they do, starting and ending each presentation with a prayer, for example. Particularly struck by seeing two people having what looked like a standard work discussion outside, but ending their informal meeting with a prayer. One nice woman I spoke to called Alice even said she would pray for me. They also sang a good deal and I melted away at the end as they lustily sung the day to a close.

I made my way to Hammersmith where I met First Matie, Matt and Isy, and little Elsa outside the Blue Anchor by Hammersmith Bridge, a familiar old haunt for a few beers and a catch up outside in the hot sun. It also gave me the opportunity to meet First Matie's Nick for the first time. I liked him, and he was from Hull like the Maestro Pollard.

Fond farewells to all, and I made it home quite easily, jumping on a bus to Barnes, and simply training it from there. Not sure why this option never occurred to me when I was working in Glamoursmith, but there you go. Home to my lovely wife. A long, but interesting, day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chocolate chip cookie

Driving myself a bit crazy today working on the marketing book, I keep finding mistakes in it which I am having to correct as I get it kindle ready. Swearing bleakly at it. Lorraine gave me a chocolate chip cookie at one point which she told me would help. And it did help.

Out in the evening for a saunter across the park and ended up in Pizza 500 scarfing  amazingly good pizza, and proper gelato afterwards. Waddled back home across the park, Lorraine talking to Sam, and me talking to First Matie on the phone. An early night tonight, but sleeping with the curtains drawn open half hoping for a glimpse of the Northern Lights which apparently were going to be visible from as far south as Crawley tonight. Saw nothing but fell instead into the light doze of a man who has to get up in a few hours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sharing a strawberry

Working on getting the marketing book ready for kindle. Hard work and dispiriting the amount of editing it still needs after going through it dozens of times. Also lots of various bits of admin and emails, and a chat with Yas and another with Mum, who we are going to visit this weekend.

A walk late this afternoon, listening to a podcast about Jane Eyre and sauntering off to see Janet and Ken for a cup of tea and a chat. Both in pretty good spirits which was nice despite Rossi their cat scratching like a poltergeist at the window pane till Janet feeds it with snacks.

Home again, and one of the cats had left a broken dragonfly on the floor in the kitchen, which was nasty especially as it was still moving its legs. Lorraine and I shared a single plump strawberry from our garden, there are more on the way.

Lorraine's colleague Tanya around this evening, and I left them to talk incessantly about work after griddling some chicken and eating it with salad outside in the back garden with them. Found myself listening to Joni Mitchell and the eponymous album by Martha Wainwright, which I love, although not my usual thang.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stood up

In horny-handed son of the soil hat on, I was pleased with the rain that fell all night and for quite a bit of the day too. The garden looking lovely this evening, with everything standing to attention.

Feeling a bit sluggish today, and struggling to get work done. Wasted time this afternoon in my preparation to go to a writer's group and talk about advertising and poetry in Lewes.

Made off to the appointed place, a pleasant pub in Lewes I'd been to once before called The Dorset and waited for everyone to turn up. None did, and a the nice folks behind the bar had no knowledge of the meeting. Nursed my pint of Harvey's for a bit (it seemed rude not to drink it as the brewery is a little more than a stone's throw away). Made my way home again after a bit and received an email saying I had been emailed about it. I hadn't. So rather a waste of time. But I'd quite enjoyed a little trip there and my pint, and the organiser Gilly was apologetic.

Home, and a quiet evening in with Lorraine.

Below: a couple of snaps at Lewes station. Gorgeous light.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Almost converted

Received a text from Betty wishing me "a happy (evil step) father's day", which was kind of her.

Neither of us was feeling particularly ebullient, but we rallied to visit Jess and Andrew in Cuckfield. Had a barbecue outside in their excellent lawned garden, with Winnie their cockapoo dog hilariously zooming about after footballs and tennis balls. A highly relaxing way to spend an afternoon with lovely people and eating a good amount, we went for a short walk into the country with the Winnie, who almost, almost converts me from my lifelong prejudice against dogs, but not quite.

Home late in the afternoon, and went straight to bed and slept for two hours. Then in the evening watched the excellent sixth and penultimate episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was a cracker, followed by an episode of the rather good Humans.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Gorgeous evening

Lorraine up early and off to physiotherapist and then to the hairdresser. I felt rather sluggish and did sluggish and unproductive things till she returned, and then simply fell asleep for an hour.

Then off to Steyning this afternoon to see Dawn, and enjoy the delights of her garden and meet a couple of her pals Matt and Charlotte. Sat in her little back garden, looking over the low wall out onto the common and then then up to the Downs. Beautiful. Matt and Charlotte were both runners, and had lots to say to one another. Matt also gives talks in Lewes about the pubs and drinkers of Edwardian times.

The barbecue went out, so Dawn cooked the stuff indoors, but it kept enough of a glow to keep us warm as the temperature dropped. Eventually the view got to me and I climbed over the wall and walked off into the green enticed by the sheer loveliness of it..

A group of schoolchildren were crossing it singing "When the Saints Come Marching In" rather well.  Lorraine feeling grim and sore throaty by the end of the evening, so we drove home a little after it had got dark. The new moon rising with two planets in conjunction in the general spooky direction of Chanctonbury ring, which Toby had photographed down in Panama.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Chick in the sunset

Lorraine up early this morning, and I got up too. Feeling a bit tired after the previous day's shenanigans. Still I had a sense that I'd had an interesting week. Gilly Smith who I'd met on Wednesday night invited to me to come to talk to her writer's group in Lewes about poetry and advertising next Monday for a small fee. An interesting opportunity to meet some new writers, and learn something back. As the I Ching says, it furthers one to do something. Sat in the back garden working for a while which was nice. Lorraine working this afternoon from home. I simply had the luxury of a late afternoon nap.

Spoke to Matty boy and I am up to London next week for an all day session with the folks we successfully pitched to. Looking forward to that. Also spoke to First Matie who is on her way down.

Off to Sainsburys then collected Beth and sat outside in the garden scoffing the trout that Lorraine had stuffed with parsley and almonds which we ate with salad and Jersey new potatoes, and a glass of white wine. Lorraine and I with a sense of how lucky it is to be able to sit in our little garden with bees biffing around in the flowers, and the cats sprawling about on the decking. And us watching the gull chicks on the nearby roof.  Beth excited as she is off on holiday tomorrow. Lorraine delighted to have reached Friday, and I was just happy with the week and looking forward to the weekend.

Below a gull chick on a roof with its fluffy coat in the sunset.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Poetry and a blast from the past

A few chores this morning, and chats with Betty before boofing up to the smoke this afternoon to do a poetry reading in The Poetry Cafe with Robin, Sarah Barnsley, Tammy Yoseloff and Sue Rose. Arrived in good time with Tammy and Sue already there, went downstairs and started organising the microphone and chairs. Not long after I returned upstairs, when Kev Holmes, a friend from Warwick University who I had not seen in the flesh since then, simply turned up larger than life from the mists of time. Not seen him in the flesh for over 30 years, so it was quite a surprise.  He'd not changed much in has manner or indeed his face.

The readings were interesting. We also had a reader from the US, Laura Donnelly who I'd invited at the last moment. Sarah read really well, and with some emotion. Robin read brilliantly, and Sue and Tammy, who had struggled out of her sickbed to be there were both excellent. I read first and kicked off with two poems entirely from memory, which went down well.  I decided to read an untried longish new poem as the final thing, but wished I'd hadn't.

Into a nearby pub for a fast drink, with all the poets and Kev after he'd been co-opted into taking the team photo of the poets, and helped tidy the chairs away.

Tammy, her artist friend Dave, Sue and her partner, Robin and Sarah. Then the scramble for Victoria, taxied off with Sue, Sue's partner, Robin and Sarah and Sarah and I got the train and chatted all the way to Brighton. Hopped back on a train to Preston Park and home at a little before midnight. Kissed Lorraine good night and came back downstair for a snack as I hadn't eaten anything since lunch.

Below the post reading photo taken by Kev. Robin, myself looking strangely small, Sarah, Tammy and Sue.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opera and academia

Off this afternoon to see Helen in Hove. She played some sketches based on the words I'd given her last week, and then we spent a couple of hours discussing the overall structure of our Centaur-based opera and adding to pieces of paper I'd typed up for each section. This very helpful to both of us.

Then I left Helen and went to Starbucks to lap up a coffee and work for an hour before heading off to Sallis Benney, where there was an early evening talk organised by The University of Brighton by Ken Eklund who creates games that make people think about future climate issues, which was interesting. It was one of those events that due to the seating it was impossible to escape from. I found myself among academics and sitting next to an academic and writer called Gilly Smith, who I chatted with a bit. The talk itself was fairly interesting, and I liked the speaker's ideas but I found myself a little underwhelmed by creativity others seemed amazed by.  I did another post about that here.

Home to my lovely wife, to tell her all about it and and eat a couscous-based fishy delight. Laura around this evening, and her and Beth in double act mode, which is always good value.

Today was the Tobster's birthday, and we chatted last thing for half an hour or so, my end mostly watching meaty the cat washing herself while we spoke. He and Romy are heading down to South America again soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The privilege of shandies

One last idea sent off and the plight of European dogs, was no longer my affair for a while. Feeling oddly twitchy and out of sorts this morning, but the day fairly productive nevertheless.

Beth off teaching in a local school this afternoon and she called me on the way home, wondering if I fancied a pint in the Preston Park Tavern. I examined my soul and discovered that a pint of bitter shandy in the sun at 5.30 was actually exactly what I wanted. So good in fact I had two more over the course of a couple of hours.

While we were supping it we saw some guys working on the scam where they go door to door with a bucket of cloths and domestic cleaners at an inflated price and claim they are on a work experience. One of them was swearing unpleasantly at a shopkeeper across the road because he'd asked him for ID when he wanted to buy drink. His mate, having seen that we had noticed what they were up to, walked past and as I glanced at him shouted that I couldn't see what was in his bucket. I do feel sorry for the people finding themselves doing such dodgy work. Vans came to collect them shortly after. What a life. I felt sorry for them, and the exploitative sods that employ them.

Lorraine called, and soon joined us. We ended up eating in the sun in our sunglasses looking down the road towards the sea. This was rather nice, and for Lorraine felt naughty to drive home and go straight out for a shandy and food. Reflecting on how lucky it is just to be able to have my lovely, privileged life while others have such a struggle.

Home to water the plants, essential business, and good fun. A nice evening.

Started reading  Silence, Lectures and Writings by John Cage last thing at night. An amazingly original mind.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bitten by literature

Monday and at my desk early for more canine capers, the results of which I sent off to Paris this afternoon. Little else to report. Made off to the stanza poetry workshop this evening, some more interesting work, and a guy of about 26 called Peter had suddenly been bitten by literature after falling in love, and had been reading John Keats and Charles Bukowski avidly.

Robin was handing over the baton of organising the workshop to a male Robin. I read a new poem about W.B. Yeats and myself being bitten by literature, and Tess Jolly suggested an edit which fixed it for me, which was great. Straight home afterwards as I was feeling tired, Lorraine and Beth upstairs I sat in the garden for a few minutes at 9:30 and it was still light and birds were singing, and the few clouds looked lovely and I had a sense of all being right with the world.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Butt stuff

Ruefully hungover leading to a virtuous tea-sipping kind of day. A fulsome late breakfast helped. But Lorraine on a bit of a mission so sort out the water butt we had bought recently which involved sawing and struggling with guttering.

Beth returned after being away for a couple of days with her pal Laura, and much general hilarity about struggling to drill holes in butts. Laura looking really skinny after going on a protracted diet. In the end Lorraine and I repaired for a little sleep instead. Before going back to lurk in the garden, planting and watering beans to supplement the few that are growing.

A bit of destination TV this evening. The Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell series, which I am still liking a lot, and then a new series called Humans, about androids set in the very near future also quite promising.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

City Barge

Lorraine up early and off to get some physiotherapy for her lower back. The therapist lectured Lorraine about looking after herself better.

Then L and I walked down to Preston Park from where we travelled up to Strand on the Green. Matty boy was having a few drinks for his birthday, with his pal Ian who has a similar birthday, in The City Barge. An easy journey. Nice and a bit weird to be with Lorraine in Chiswick. A cheery afternoon and evening. It was good to see Matt and Isy, and and their little Elsa and Tasha and Steve and their Freddie who is of course little Elsa's cousin of almost the same age. Not a massive baby fan, but found Elsa to be a superior baby in lots of respects. Poor Isy having a tough time with her second pregnancy, and feeling rough most of the time.

I also got to chat with Craig and Mel, Robbie, who I'd not seen for a long time and who has just moved to Bristol. Also chatted to Andy, who I'd worked with in Tavistock Square who has been working on virtual reality hearts lately, which sounded very interesting. Also Stephen Buckley, Lucy and Sean, Sylvia and Sarah, Ian, and an interesting chap called Brett with whom I had a long conversation as he is a serving airforce pilot who has been in Afghanistan and other exciting places. Apparently they play battleships against the crew of another plane while they are patrolling. I found him very interesting.

Home fairly painlessly, and dozing on the train home. Back at around 1 o'clock thanks to the spirit seagull who guides you home from London late at night.

Below I spent a good deal of time playing with Elsa, below, and Lorraine spent a good deal of time playing with Freddie, pictured at the bottom with Tasha. Both rather nice babies.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The plight of European dogs

A day bending the mighty Kenny creativity to the plight of European dogs. Before I could fully do this, however I had to walk up the road to buy a pen as the faeries had taken mine and I was unable to work without it.  The rest of the day working.

Sonia making me laugh, especially when she was explaining that it's common knowledge that Greeks are lazy and cheeky. Although this opinion seems to derive from the fact that she is Bulgarian, whose traditions demand a dim view of Greeks.

Lorraine home fairly early and we went straight out for a good walk and talk before drinking a pint of beer in a pub called The Fiveways, which is nearby. Perfectly okay pub, but was a bit barn-like with a TV so an 'in extremis' only boozer I think.  We had one beer then and went off for dinner at a sort of wine bar restaurant called the Hop and Vine for a bite to eat. Also a tad disappointing meal, though everyone pleasant, but attention to detail in the food not good for the price. First world problems.

Feeling cheery after a successful week work wise one way or another. And good to be out and about with Lorraine. Home fairly early and all well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In credit

Took a brief this morning from my lovely French clients. I shall be thinking about dogs for the next few days. The good thing about concept work is that you don't have to think at your desk, so I had to go off and buy some pads, and also popped into the gym at lunchtime, doing some cross training and time, gingerly, on the rowing machine for this didn't feel altogether comfortable and the 'missing' bit of muscle was quite apparent above my knee. Back home to do the desktime until this evening. After a cooling can of lager, I prepared salad and a little chicken and Lorraine and I had dinner in the garden. It really was hot, and our plants were gasping for water.

On a day when I read about Virgin Bank having Sex Pistols themed credit cards, The old Barclays Bank building at Preston Circus has become the Radical Bank of Brighton and Hove, or so I learned on Facebook this morning. When I walked past it the person I saw was a young woman self-consciously posing on a wall with a cowboy style scarf over her face, which kept slipping down. More power to them anyway.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making music

Got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. Grumpily got on with kindle-readying the marketing stuff, and sending some more words to Helen.

Mood a little better, in the afternoon I made off to Helen's place on the bus, which went down along the seafront again. Lots of folks on the beach lapping up the sun that arrived this afternoon.

Helen and I working on what can now only be described as an Opera. She played me the first 12 or so minutes of the first section on Sibelius, and it sounded very good, organically whole and effortless. I was very impressed. Another section, which is a Love duet is done too and a similar length, and Helen has other sketches and bits. Then we had a lengthy discussion about content of the next section, and of pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides whose thinking Helen is rather keen to bring into proceedings. My challenge is to do so in a stabby, fighty, passionately operatic way.

I walked home to find Lorraine at home. Feeling irritable about the plight of The Shakesepeare Heptet I wrote a piece on my notebook blog for what it's worth. I even picked up my own guitar for over ten minutes of twangy fun for the first time in months. My playing is rusty.

Brief through from the French folks. After Lorraine and I had pottered in the garden, and watered it throughly and even drank a small G&T in it, I cooked spaghetti for supper. Betty arrived having chaperoned a child actress to Salisbury and back. All well.

Below being a little early in Hove I popped into The Mad Hatter for a cup of coffee. Remembering that Adrian Turner has been taking photos of coffee cups lately, but I copied him as I kept thinking of the tea garden at Icart Point.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Not quite the End

Up and at 'em this morning. Pleased to get a call from Val in Paris saying they are going to brief me on something later in the week. Otherwise I'm working hard getting my marketing book kindle-ready, and re-editing it. Time is a great editor.

Beth recovering eating dry toast and later sipping miso soup and noodles. She still managing to surge off and teach a drama class this afternoon, and return looking a tad wan.

In the evening I walked down through the park, where there were outbursts of cricket and rounders, to London Road and The World's End pub to see Richard and Dipak in the latest version of the Shakespeare Heptet performing in the corner of the pub.Richard's wife Maria Grazia there too. Nice to catch up with them. Rather wonderful music, despite the car or shop alarm going off nearby and the boozers roaring at each other in a pearls-before-swine manner.  Their latest incarnation has two women singers, which was interesting and led to new arrangements.

Felt rather sad that such great music has to fight for attention. Felt a bit gloomy about great art being thrown down, though it wasn't the end of the world, just life in The World's End. For my 'review' of The Shakespeare Heptet go here.

Monday, June 08, 2015


So up early, and on with work. Wrote a swingeing to-do list and began working through it. Also made time for a walk for an hour and a half at lunchtime, heading out of Brighton.

A call from Matty boy: we had won the pitch, and that the feedback was our creative was head and shoulders above the other agencies who had pitched. Hopefully this will generate some sorely needed income for the Kenny coffers, and it was a confidence boost to boot, and I look forward to working with the team and that client again. Yas sent me an email with GGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!! as the subject line. Success and failure are impostors who should be treated both the same of course, but I bloody like winning once in a while.

Working hard this afternoon, having decided to bite the bullet and publish the marketing book through Amazon kindle. Having been timidly rejected seven or eight times for being too niche, needs to be out there, if only for my own sanity.  Lorraine back this afternoon to work from home, and before we got back down to it a quick survey of the garden. Betty home this afternoon after staying in Hove and having to get up to very Wembley while chaperoning a child. She was later violently sick as a dog poor thing.

Facetimed Mum this evening who was tired from having visited Diane in Saffron Walden, where she is living before buying a new place, with Mason, Robert and Tanya.

Lorraine bought a new tap adaptor for the hose and I happily watered the garden this evening, thinking of Joni Mitchell's line about 'the hissing of summer lawns'. Lyrically she is far and above anyone else I can think of. Then to the tiny front garden where Lorraine was planting petunias.

A happy Monday.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Happy day in the sun

Beth cooked breakfast for everyone this morning, after John had got up and sourced some sausages.

Lorraine and I, apart from going to dump several heavy bags of garden stuff in the recycling centre, and popping into the hardware store and buying a hose (though sadly no doublets were available) spent much of the day in the garden with the cats cavorting about around us. Everywhere flowers are emerging, such as an aromatic purple rose at the bottom of the garden. Garden now something close to spiffy. It is hard to describe the satisfaction we are getting from doing all this.

Aching and having had lots of sun, we ate a good Sunday dinner, and later watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell again. Rather good it is too, although it could be a lot scarier. The central performances excellent. All in all, simply a happy sunny Sunday.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Stanzas and squids

Up fairly early for a Saturday and off to Lewes where I called around on Robin, who drove us off to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens near Sevenoaks. It was a chance to have a long gossip with Robin about all manner of things related to Telltale and poetry in general. Seeing Richard last week, and working with Robin is definitely good for me. It is so easy to feel a bit crazy scribing away on poems to an indifferent world. At least there are other people who are doing it too. For an account of the Riverhill business go here. Enjoyable day in a self-styled Himalayan garden, very nice place, which included a Yeti. I also got the start of a half decent poem from it too.

Robin gave me a lift back to Lewes and I was home in a trice, sitting in the back garden with Lorraine who had just stopped work having been manacled to her desk while I was away. We had a good evening however. Lorraine and I off to a place called The Urchin in Hove, which was a nice-enough boozer selling seafood and craft beers. Friendly staff and the food not bad and a squid starter particularly delicious.  Anton was already there when we met. We were wearing very similar clothes for some reason. Anton telling us about his trip to see Mari in the Chicago, not least the ghastly delays getting across the pond. Then Rosie arrived for the Urchin was her discovery, and John and Betty arrived a bit later too. I seemed to have a thirst for beer, moules and fries tonight. All good. Home in a cab with Betty and John, and fell into a dreamless sleep.

Friday, June 05, 2015


Matt said the results of the pitch would not now be in till next week, but I had rather a productive and businesslike day nevertheless, and also found time to take myself for a long mooching walk around lunchtime to Withdean Park, a place I'd never visited before, a park on the side of a hill, with quite a few trees. Listening to my audiobook of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters while doing so, and really enjoying it. In the evening, feeling tired and end of weekish, Lorraine and I went to the Preston Park Tavern for a bite and a cold beer and met Betty there.

Thursday, June 04, 2015


Up early with Lorraine. Sent off some poems this morning to an interesting website called The Island Review as I wrote to Helen and started picking up the threads after yesterday's brain lapse.

While at the gym, gingerly starting to rehabilitate the thigh, I was called by Matt who told me that the potential clients we pitched to needed a few extra questions answered. A promising sign.

I returned home and after a ham sandwich, and a chat with Beth who was off chaperoning a child actress into London I had another think about the pitch bits. Once this was done I took advantage of a really gorgeous day to work in the garden on a poem, with the cats cavorting about. Later I was joined by Lorraine who was in need of a gin and tonic after work. I cooked some food which we ate outside too, the first meal we've had outside.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Unexpected cuddling

Up shortly after Lorraine this morning, and on with the day picking up the threads from a couple of weeks ago. I also went for a brisk walk for about an hour or so. Being back in Guernsey has reminded me of the outside world. In fact in the afternoon I took my laptop outside and sat under the lilac tree, still managing to get reception from the wifi. Lots of stuff going on in a garden if you simply sit quietly for long enough. The cats sitting either side of my feet. Then an interesting stand off. Brian went onto a wall right next to me, and on the other side of it was a small fox. Brian stared it down in a surprising show of toughness.

Not that I did much, and I found myself a bit devoid of inspiration and in need of a down day. Beth off this afternoon teaching, an when she returned we sat about in the garden noticing stuff like an enormous green beetle, a ball of tiny yellow spiders and so on not to mention the various flowers, plants etc.

Lorraine home and all three of us in a kitchen frenzy: a salad made with orzo pasta, which I started and Beth finished. Rather delicious, plus Lorraine was cooking honey buns and chocolate brownies for a meeting tomorrow. Delicious once sampled.

An amusing phone call from Maureen who was having trouble with her iPad. It was playing music at her, and the screen was disconcertingly displaying 'two naked men, one cuddling the other round the waist'.

It was difficult for Maureen to hear Beth's instructions at first because the music. Eventually, with Beth's guidance, the volume control was found it was then a detective job working out what needed to be done.

It turns out the U2 album which is automatically downloaded to everyone with iTunes had mysteriously started playing and showing Maureen its cover. Rather a fabulous dialogue going on while this being resolved however. And Lorraine snickering as Beth sorted it out. Finished the evening by watching Bridesmaids, a film I find rather funny.

One of our clematis flowers.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Pitch day

Up early in Stanmore and downstairs for a bleary eyed bagel and toast with Mum and Mas. Hadn't slept particularly well as I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the pitch and various other matters. Walked to Stanmore chatting with Lorraine on my phone, then to office in Turnham Green, and then out to meet a local printer to look at the proofs for the adcepts we would be showing later. A purposeful and reasonably calm morning as we readied for the pitch, Yas and I rehearsing our double act for the creative presentation before joining the others for a few sandwiches and a run through.

Bundling into the car, occasionally noisy with pre-pitch hysterial laughter and off to our potential client. I really like pitching. A wait in reception where I wasn't alone in feeling twitchy but Betty sent me a picture of Calliope looking weird, which prompted Matt to bring up a picture of his bizarre Gremlin who can out weird any cat I know.

Then pitch itself. Everyone in our team did excellently, Steven making everyone laugh and creating excellent rapport. Matt absolutely bankable, and one of our potential clients being moved to tears by one of the executions Yas and I presented which is always a good sign. and afterwards we chatted, we all came away feeling we'd love to work with that client. We were told that the creative work was the best they'd seen, so let's hope the other stuff stacks up for them.

A cheery car ride to Kew afterwards talking to April on the phone, to the pub in the station that I knew very well when I lived there. A quick couple of drinks though Yas of course on apple juice, Stephen, Matt and I in need of something a little stronger. Fond farewells with everyone, and back home to Brighton. A delicious meal awaiting and chats with Lorraine and Beth, whose audition this morning hadn't gone to plan and was home early. A creative life has its challenges.

Monday, June 01, 2015

London Monday

A poor night's sleep but up to London first thing, arriving in Chiswick at a reasonable time despite the train I catch being cancelled. Did a little work for my French client on the train where I could. Later I sent off what I had and this went down well.

A day of preparation for tomorrow's pitch working closely with Matt, Stephen, Yas and April over the phone. A busy day, but an enjoyable one. A quick pint in the Tabard with Matt afterwards, it's really nice to be working with him again, then to Edgware to see Mum and Mas and consume spaghetti bolognase and chat for a few hours before sloping off to bed.