It’s fine. They’re fine. Everything’s fine.

Wake up late again – I couldn’t get to sleep last night for itchiness and prickling. Consulting the internet’s finest medical websites all they can offer is a less-than-comforting “Uhh… I don’t know”, but it does make getting to sleep very difficult. Which makes getting up even more difficult. In any case, I really need my coffee this morning.

Shower and dress and leave for work.

Get in at 11:15 and work through lunch, as I’m not eating today. More artworking and finalisation – it seems a lot of things are coming to completion at the moment.

Everything being done for this week by half past three, and many people on the floor being caught up in a frenzy of swapping desks, I do some cleaning up (although I’m not moving anywhere, or at least I don’t think I am). It will, hopefully, but nice to come back to a clean desk next week. I find that the computer doesn’t accept my password when I wake it up to shut it off, so I do it the hard way with the button on the back, a technique which is, as they say, deprecated. I’ll need to have a word with IT about it next week.

As it’s still light, I take the opportunity to walk through the park to Lower Marsh (although they’re doing something involving digging on the bit that would make it a short cut, so it’s more of a long cut, as I need to walk around), and go to the heel bar, where I get some brown shoe polish and some insoles, and then the general hardware shop, where I get some light tan polish and some brushes.

Get home early, then. H is still here, though getting ready to go out. I use the new shoe polish and brushes to polish my brown shoes. Actually, they are tan shoes, although now I’ve polished them with brown shoe polish, they’re dark tan shoes. It’s fine. They’re fine. Everything’s fine.

Turn on the computer and as it’s warming up (my computer has to warm up. I don’t know whether it thinks it runs on valves or something.), I watch The End of the Tour, or at least I drift in and out of it. Jesse Eisenberg is fine, and Jason Segal really catches some of DFW’s idiosyncrasies, but I still prefer the full-length German Interview, which is basically those idiosyncrasies and insecurities writ large. If I have a particular problem with the film, it’s the way it represents DFW’s railing against the mythologisation of The Writer as a means to shore up that mythologisation. Although Hollywood does that a lot – apparantly showcasing a challenging idea from the point of view of the authority the idea is challenging, while appearing to side with the challenge. Naughty Hollywood.

Finally try out the music video camera I got. It uses up battery power really quickly, which might be its drawback. Also, it looks fine on the tiny screen, but what about anything bigger. Also, my playing is rubbish, so I’ll have to work on that.

Realise I’m too bewildered to do anything practical and shut down the computer again. Watch In A World, which I’d been meaning to do, and now it’s turned up on Netflix. Netflix seems to work the way the bargain bin did at Our Price records: I would scour it for albums that I’d not wanted to pay full whack for turning up for £2.99 with a corner of the cover lopped off. Same principle, but with movies and all corners intact.

Looking through old photographs of London and trying to match them up to Google Streetview. Literally hours of fun. For certain values of fun.

but with more flowery language

Up, sit, breakfast.

Write a biog for a show I’m doing in a couple of months. This is something I should just have to hand. I check out other people’s websites to find out what they write, and all seems to boil down to “This person sings and plays a musical instrument. They have done a number of performances”, but with more flowery language. I’m kind of incapable of that sort of thing, so I do my best.

Shower, and leave in a hurry again.

Despite the fact that I managed to get up on time, I get to work late. I do not understand why this is. Well, obviously, time, but you know. I’m convinced I lost ten minutes back there in between the shower and getting dressed. Is my life being badly edited while I wander through it? No. I’m just absent-minded and have very poor timekeeping skills.

Lunch is chicken fajitas, which is a special treat. For me, anyway, as I like that sort of thing. No walking around, but a bit of washing up.

Back to the artworking and also do some scanning.

Home via the shop, where I get lots of vegetables. Remember: vegetables are morally purifying!

Make dinner – roast vegetables and chorizo, carrots, cauliflower and rice. Very pleased. Also, full of roast vegetables.

Get on to the computer. Manage to find the one photograph of me that I can use for promotional purposes. I really should have at least one other, among a number of other things I should have.

Do mixing, which while not mindless doesn’t require the kind of rational thought I’m incapable of at the moment.

controlled putting-order-into-the-world

Overslept again.

Breakfast, shower, dress, realise I need to get money from the ATM, which makes me even later, and arrive at work late.

Late, late, late. Ho hum.

More of what I was doing yesterday, with lunch in the middle somewhere. I don’t go for a walk today, but I do solicit washing up to do. It’s a nice kind of controlled putting-order-into-the-world thing, and also an excuse to put my hands into hot water for a bit and warm them up.

Run out of things to do about 17:30 and I come home.

H is making dinner today, and as she does I polish my black shoes. I realise I need to get the gubbins to polish my brown shoes. I am now a person with multiple shoes. Once I was a person with one pair and they were terrible and I could barely walk. This was because my feet were a size that shoe shops don’t bother with: I would go in to a shoe shop and ask whether they had anything in size 13 and they’d either shake their heads sadly or openly laugh at me. Things are different in the days of the internet and I have several pairs of shoes to polish. Some of them brown, hence the need for gubbins. My gubbins have not kept up with my shoe aquisitions.

Dinner is an excellent Japanese meal. Hooray.

I sit down at the computer to try and do something technical, but realise that my brain isn’t going to work, so I just do more mixing. Which is nice in its way. Which keeps me up late. Which, I suppose, means I’ll oversleep againg tomorrow. It seems I can’t learn my lesson.


my brain and eyes no longer wish to collaborate with me

Up, sit, coffee.

In to Walker.

As I’m not eating today, I have a long stretch of artworking to do, removing characters from one place in an image and reinserting them somewhere else.

At 18:00 I realise that my brain and eyes no longer wish to collaborate with me on this and that it’s time to go home. So I go home.

Sit around and drink tea for a bit.

Do alterations to a website for someone, making pages posts and setting up the blog feed so that it actually works.

As a victory lap for achieving something on my To Do list, I fail to do the next thing on my To Do list, instead opting for doing initial mixes for the next Cultural Amnesia album but one. Which is quite nice, but not as pressing as things that are needed in the next six months.

Bed. Fail to write this. There’s a conundrum for you.

pleasingly bonkers

Not a terribly eventful day. There’s breakfast, and mixing CA tracks when I really should have been doing other things. And cooking dinner. And watching Sherlock, which I think is pleasingly bonkers, and which I suppose is going to infuriate people. But if it’s going to infuriate them, why do they watch it unless they somehow enjoy being infuriated. And watching the first couple of episodes of the Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events, which is also pleasingly bonkers, but by channelling a cocktail of Wes Anderson and Pushing Daisies.

I really should have done those other things.

I’m braced, in any case

Up late.

Breakfast. I list and weigh all the things that are in it and enter it into the app I use for keeping track of that sort of thing. Holy moley, no wonder I’m fat.

My list of Things To Do gets postponed a bit in favour of doing something with pinging noises in Logic and washing and ironing my shirts. H gets home and I elect to walk up to Islington, where we’re to see Knifeworld tonight, as I’ve been at home all day and could do with the exercise. She’ll take the tube later like a sensible person.

It is nice to walk, though, and the weather is very bracing. “Bracing” being the glass-half-full equivalent of “cold”. But I’m braced, in any case.

Meet up with H outside Angel station. We have dinner at the Indonesian place on St John’s Street. I choose something with lots of raw vegetables in it, and also have an apple and carrot juice, so I feel very virtuous. Interesting that moral purpose and greengrocer’s produce can be so easily confused.

Find a place at the front and side (so Haru can see, as it’s music that seems to attract tall men, who usually stand in front of one) to watch Knifeworld. Interesting that acoustic means also sitting down. In any case, they’re their usual awesome and it’s quite lovely.

Decide not to stay for the Admirals Hard set, but instead walk home.

Stop off at the supermarket and get smoked salmon (for tomorrow’s breakfast) and apples (for any other time, I suppose).

Watch Terminator 2 (the best Terminator, accept no substitute) and eat some of the apples.

I do love my shiny objects.

Oversleep a bit, though not as badly as yesterday. Breakfast and coffee. Checking email shows that several things are On at the moment, so I need to keep an eye on myself to make sure I stay on the ball and don’t get distracted by shiny objects. I do love my shiny objects. And everybody else’s shiny objects too, come to think of it.

Pick up the guitar and find a couple of ideas. I bring the laptop through to the bedroom to record them. Shower and dress and out. Carry an umbrella, even though there’s really no reason for it today. More of an affectation. I forget to check the green area that was being mangled yesterday to see how it’s looking today.

Into work a little later than usual, then. But it’s Friday, and I’ve been prebriefed on what I need to do so less pressure.

Long session artworking. Don’t really stop for lunch, just work through. As before, it’s actually quite relaxing, though after a few hours my brain starts to bubble behind my eyes and it’s probably a good idea to call it a day, lest I make mistakes that will take even more time to solve.

When I leave, I’m the last person left on the floor, possibly the building. Walk home via the shop, where I get tomorrow’s breakfast and possibly also Sunday’s dinner.

Home and depressurise as much as I can.

Go and get fish and chips, which we won’t have tomorrow as we’ll be out. For some myterious chip-shop-based reason, there’s a couple of cod waiting to go, so I don’t have to wait, which is even better. Mmm. Fish and chips.

Evening with the TV – Only Connect (which we normally watch on the iPlayer, so it’s a novelty to watch it “live”. I thought it was on on Tuesdays, though), the thing about musicals, the Bowie-at-the-Beeb thing, then looking for stuff on YouTube (including the RedLetterMedia chaps waxing enthusiastic about True Stories, which is nice – I do like watching people talking about things they like, rather than moaning about things they don’t. Although they don’t mention what I’d have thought to be an obvious thing, which it’s a sort of ancestory to Wes Anderson’s movies).

Stay up a bit later than I ought after I pick up the guitar. Every time I pick up the guitar everything else afterwards gets later. On the other hand what displaces it is usually more fun. Turn on the webcam and capure what might be another song if I put my mind to it. But which is, for the moment, filed alongside the hundreds of other passing notions I’ve caught over the last few years.

Which is just wrong.

Up at a sensible time, sit, coffee. A bit of playing the guitar and writing emails. Shower and dress and realise I should have left about ten minutes before.

As I’m cutting through an estate, I see a council operative cutting the grass. In January. In the rain. He doesn’t seem to be noticing that wherever he drives his motorized lawnmower is being churned up into mud. It’s difficult to work out whether this is incompetence,

I get in to work frustratingly late – this has been happening a lot recently. I need to straighten out my relationship with time.

As I’m not eating today, I work through what would be lunchtime – getting another book ready to go to print.

Late afternoon, I pop downstairs to look for a package that was reported delivered this morning. Can’t find it anywhere. Check with the person who was supposed to have received it (who hadn’t seen anything), all the places it could be. Eventually, I contact Amazon support who will look for it. Feeling a bit grah and helpless in the face of bureaucracy.

I finish up the artworking and print the book out. When I return from collecting the printouts the package has appeared on my desk: it appears that it was trapped under a pile of books all the time. Now, having got used to the fact that it’s gone astray, I feel angry that it’s turned up. Which is just wrong.

Walking home in rain that’s not quite cold enough to be snow (indeed occasionally turns into snow), but easily cold enough to be pretty nasty.

Lots of emails have come through raising issues I need to respond to. Everything seems to happen at the same time. Anyway, I spend the evening at the computer dealing with them.

Watching interviews on YouTube while playing around with what turns out to be E major with an added C natural for juice, which I think is what a CA track that I’m trying to learn is in. But I could be, and invariably am, wrong.

I think I may be doing my new year rebirth thing a week late.

Up and breakfast. Later than I’d like. A lot of things at the moment are later than I’d like. Because I didn’t get much sleep on Sunday night, I think my body was keen to get some extra today.

Become engrossed in the process of gathering old diaries and so forth. That terrible sense of vertigo you get realising that an event that you feel just happened is, in fact, a very long time ago. On the other hand, events that seemed vague and distant, can become much closer and come alive on reading an account. Perhaps that doesn’t make sense. Time is like that.

I realise I’m running so late that I’ll need to take a bus to work – normally I can walk, but the bus is much quicker. As it turns out there’s enough of a wait that the time difference is negligable. I appear to be having a time problem at the moment.

Begin artworking a book so that it can go out to print – the artwork is assembled quite quickly and in such a way that it can be changed easily. What I need to do now is go through it and get rid of inconsistencies and uglinesses. I used to do this one way, and now I’m doing it another. A boring job, I quite enjoy it as it involves beginning at the top and working my way through a list until I get to the bottom. The predictability of it is quite gratifying.

After lunch I go for a walk, once around the block, just for the sake of it. Hopefully it will wake me up a bit and I won’t do an afternoon slump. Also, it will make up for the bus journey this morning.

In the afternoon back to artworking. It seems to be taking a long time, but I’m just cleaning everything up. This should all have been done at an earlier stage, but to be honest I don’t know which one. Worth noting that for the other books in the series, though.

I have three custard creams, a biscuit with ginger in it and a piece of panettone. Not all at the same time, but still.

Before leaving Walker I clean my desk using the antiseptic wipes that have been provided for the purpose. I think I may be doing my new year rebirth thing a week late.

Haru’s made dinner – Egg and chicken donburi. Yum.

Ben’s noticed something that needs to be changed on Super Whippy so I make the changes and re-render. The album. Almost there. I think. I managed to get it all synced to DropBox, finally.

Reading through old diary entries, I realised that I’d have nothing like that for the last few years since I lapsed. However long that is. They’re actually quite useful. So I’ve been moved to write another one. I don’t know whether it will stick.

Modest hallelujahs.

Oversleep ridiculously. I don’t know if there was an alarm and I ignored it, or there was no alarm, but I wake up at 9:30.

Have breakfast and a shower. Because of the lateness there’s no opportunity for anything else, so in fact I leave on time (whereas I’ve been tending to be at least a little late because I get distracted by Stuff).

Walk to work.

Spend the morning working on fish books (that is to say, picture books with fish in them) – these projects have been pushed aside rather, so we need to get them out of the way to clear space for the next project. Again, a pleasingly straightforward task.

Again I go for a walk at Lunchtime. It still seems like a good idea. I’m not used to things that seem like a good idea turning out actually to be a good idea, so something will probably go wrong at some point.

In the afternoon carry on with the Fish Preparation.

On the way home I stop off at the shop – I get some jars of curry sauce for evenings (such as tonight) when neither of us would be up to any proper cooking), and some vegetables from Greensmiths.

I make chicken curry. Well, the jar demanded twice as much chicken than we had, so it became chicken and cauliflower curry. Or as an expert on Indian food would call it “What the hell do you think you’re doing there? What are you doing with that cauliflower?”. With brown rice, to boot.

After dinner I do a final tweak Ben has requested to the last track on Super Whippy, make final tracks and finalise the video. Gerard will deliver later this week. We have a new album. Modest hallelujahs.

Linger too long at the computer, perhaps looking for something else to do, when Going To Bed was a perfectly good ambition.