I overpack ludicrously

Up, breakfast.

Do a run. The sun is shining. It’s sort of peak doing-a-run weather – bright but not hot. Home, stretch, shower, dress.

Get lunch from downstairs. The simple sandwich I planned when I went down there somehow turns into a lavish plate of pasta, with tortilla and vegetables. But very nice, though.

Go to the post office to get Euros. They’ve changed it around, turning it from an inconvenient convenience store to a proper post office again.

Go out again to get stuff. I probably should have a more specific shopping list than “stuff”. The stuff I end up with includes shower gel, antihistamines and mouthwash which is, luckily, what I need. I also paid 5p for a Superdrug bag. I always feel like I’ve failed in my preparation when I have to pay for a bag.

Finalise my packing. I’m only going to be gone for four days, but I only have one suitcase – which is suitable for about a week – so I overpack ludicrously. I suspect there are clothes in there I’m about to take to Spain and then just bring back again, but perhaps they’d appreciate the holiday.

Go downstairs to get pizza, but there’s no pizza (long, dull story), so I get fish and chips. Weekend starting very early here. Also beer.

Watch more episodes of Iron Fist. I don’t know why. I’ve gone a bit MST3K on it.

When I need to get up at, say, four, staying up too late is earlier than usual, but it’s still too late. Up at four, then.

I should start my list of Things I Really Should Have Thought About Earlier.

Up, coffee, shower, dress.

Into Walker. There’s something I notice on the way in, that I think “Ah, I should remember that for later and write it down”, but I’ve completely forgotten.

Spend the day doing a range of small jobs, which is quite fun. It looks like I’ll have tomorrow free for packing.

Home, then go out immediately to get milk. On returning to the flat I realise I’ve come out without my keys. I try to get H’s attention, and just as I successfully call her, one of the many South Americans who are living in the building appears and opens the front door, so I get in that way.

I calculate that I’ll have to get up at four o’clock in the morning on Wednesday in order to get to the airport. Actually, I could probably take a later train, but I don’t trust public transport in the least. Must remember to check in tomorrow.

I could pack now – it’s only four days, after all – but am frozen. Assume that tomorrow that the something will assert itself and overwhelm the panic, as that’s what usually happens. My suitcase is going to be very large for the small amount of clothing I’ll need. I should start my list of Things I Really Should Have Thought About Earlier.

Fire up Logic – I do a truncated version of one of the sounds I’ve been working on and then noodle with strings and piano. I also spend some time playing with Messaien’s Modes of Limited Transposition. I’m sure there are innumerable more useful things I could be doing, but I’m already pinned in place with a pre-travel panic attack.

a somewhat overdone “Congratulations, you’ve completed the game” tune

Up. I seem to have heat-based problems making breakfast – I heat up the milk twice, so it’s very hot (not that much of a problem, all told) and I burn the eggs a bit. It’s a sign. If only I had the faintest idea what it meant.

The day is spent making more sounds and a somewhat overdone “Congratulations, you’ve completed the game” tune.

Go out to look for something for dinner. That doesn’t really bode well. I do get more apples and pears and I resort to getting a kebab from the shop around the corner. Not health food, really, but never mind.

Watch the first four episodes of Iron Fist. It’s fine, I guess. But it’s no Luke Cage. More to the point, it’s not going to be able to compete with Legion.

slightly more colourful than my faintly ludicrous weekday clothes

Up, breakfast. Still haven’t got the new butchers trained to give me four pieces of bacon rather than two, but then that’s probably exactly one piece of bacon healthier.

Most of the day is spent working on game loops in a slightly dithery sort of way. Partly it’s because I’m working on what I imagine is needed and there will come a point where someone gets back to me and tells me that actually something quite different is needed.

Go for a run. I think I’ve found a circuit that avoids the crowds and doesn’t involve crossing too many main roads. Less enthusiastic than previously. Probably because I’m in Saturday Recovery Mode.

Shower and get dressed in faintly ludicrous weekend clothes (slightly more colourful than my faintly ludicrous weekday clothes).

Watch The Nice Guys and do my ironing. Or rather, do most of it, then need to make dinner, so pause it just before Amelia is apparently about to explain something.

Go out and get a cauliflower and some smoked salmon from Sainsburys. Actually I go to two, and get a bigger cauliflower and cheaper salmon. Who says it doesn’t pay to shop around? Also chips. Actually, mostly chips, but it’s nice to have the salmon.

Watch the rest of the film and eat my dinner.

(for those of us who are gappy of tooth)

Up. Breakfast, coffee, shower, dress. Leave late. Have literally no idea why at this point. I just know I was late.

In to Walker. On the way in, I find a number of cars pulling out unexpectedly in front of me – a veritable unexpected convoy near the Imperial War Museum. It’s my own personal divination system – the obstructions I meet on the way to work as a sign of how the day will go.

As I pass a newsagent, I see that where the Daily Mail would usually be, someone has put the South London Press. Whether this is Direct Political Action by a passer-by or something on the part of the newsagent, I don’t know. It’s nice not to see the Daily Mail, though.

On arriving, after a few days away from the office, I find some packages waiting: a pair of desert boots; a suit that I deliberately underbidded on (so was very cheap); that’s a size below all my others, to test when that size fits me; some extra-large, purple-coded interdental brushes (for those of us who are gappy of tooth), and a CD from France, by La Feline, with a nice note from the artist herself. This is what you get with independent artists. Rather makes my day.

The day is spent doing some artworking for a fiction cover, and then a spot of hardcore Wallifying. In the middle I’m given a sandwich, which is nice. Free lunch, yeah. Generally a day of Getting Stuff, then.

Get home, then go out to get tomorrow’s breakfast (and, in my case, dinner), then home again. Had planned to go out and run, but can’t find a bearable route to run it on – too many people around on a Friday evening. I’ll do it tomorrow. I tell myself.

Try on the shoes (which are nicely green and flashy and relaxed) and the suit, which, I establish, already fits me. So there’s that. Even though I’m now back into obesity again, for sure. After that sandwich.

Edit one song from Tuesday night and post it to Facebook. Interesting experiment, anyway.

As H is out tomorrow night, tonight is Fish and Chip night. I venture out to get them. The weather has decided to snap cold, in case we were getting complacent.

There’s a very interesting Rich Hall programme about country music. I do find the story of country fascinating, but really don’t find myself wanting to listen to very much of it. Hall’s very good, though. I complain a lot about BBC documentaries that are centred on the presenter, and with him I don’t mind as he’s intelligent and funny, and actually tells the story he’s there to tell.

Watch the latest episodes of Legion (which is becoming pleasingly hallucinatory), and of Only Connect (which has reached the higher, unanswerable, stages of the competition).

This doesn’t, in fact, seem like top decision-making

Up, coffee. Some guitar playing and then more coffee.

Get a text to say I’m not needed today again, so another free-ish day. Send mails to possible other people who might need my assistance, and get a font to amend very, very slightly. In fact it takes more time to straighten out the data (names and so forth) so that it will load and not mess up the designer’s mac than it does to make the change. Font’s are basically tiny bundles of bureaucracy.

Do spend some time trying to get audio stuff, done, though not with a tremendous amount of avail. Also, possible idea for CA video, which is similarly unavailed. Not one of my more productive Thursdays, then.

Although someone does get back to me and ask me to go in tomorrow, so there’s that.

At the very least I want to get out of the flat for a bit, but am finding it very difficult to get anything done.

Try plugging in the camera I videoed the gig with the other day with. It doesn’t turn up on the computer. I’m getting annoyed. Then it strikes me that perhaps it only carries charge (it’s actually for charging something) rather than data. Perhaps I need to be not-stingy and get a new cable. Not quite as stingy as Zoom, who were too cheap to include one in the box, anyway.

Shower and get dressed. Put the probably useless cable in my pocket, for later comparison purposes. Decide to wear shoes that I’ve got stashed in their box on a high shelf, which seems to involve making a big mess. Decide to leave tidying up until I get back again and need to return the shoes. This doesn’t, in fact, seem like top decision-making, but I want fresh air.

Finally leaving the house, I walk up to Tate Modern.

I go to the Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition. Glad I didn’t pay actual money for this. I’m sure everything’s thought out conceptually, but most of it is a bit dull. The most interesting pictures are the ones that are interesting from a photojournalism or travel point of view, but the banality of many of the others pulls them down. Maybe I’m just grumpy.

Then I cross the footbridge and walk along the north bank to Waterloo Bridge, climb the stairs and go to Maplins.

At Maplins I compare the cables they’ve got with the one in my pocket, until I find one that matches. Then I buy it and go home.

Getting home, I try the cable. Yes, of course it works. I’m very dim. Good job I didn’t cause a fuss with Zoom customer support, I’d be very embarrassed right now. I successfully transfer the movies, though I still can’t get it to webcam. Maybe it won’t. Such things are known.

Having got the movies across from the camera, I decide I’ll even edit one for possible uploading. At which point Final Cut Pro crashes catastrophically and (pretty much simultaneously) the voices for the sound job I’ve been working on appear on DropBox. I know when it’s pointless trying to make my own decisions (most of the time, actually).

So the evening is spent putting the newly-recorded vocal tracks into Logic and messing around with them and giving them backings. Hopefully this will be accepted, or I’ll be in trouble.

Find myself arranging arrows in a circle in Illustrator. It’s the new Tetris, and somehow even less useful.

I’ve been making them hugely unspacey

Wake up very early, but hungover, so I don’t move very much until it’s quite late. Yesterday’s was the first entry I’ve missed since I started doing the diary again (the one that’s there now I filled in after I’d written this one, even, as I felt so guilty), because I was so drunk when I got back.

Breakfast. Coffee. Get a text from my art director saying she won’t be in today after all, so I have a free day. And a number of things I could do. I just need to make sure I do at least one of them so I don’t feel the gift is wasted.

I don’t know if I have any genuine reason to be displeased with myself, or whether it’s just a side-effect of the beer, but I feel that displeasure. And I certainly had the beer.

Sit down at the computer to do more loops, reread the brief and realise they should have been spacey all along. I’ve been making them hugely unspacey. Do some loop twiddling.

Somehow manage to distract myself with a fretless bass for a while.

H goes to get some food and gets some sandwiches for lunch. Then I get back to the computer and finally export an archive of a website I should have done six months ago.

Go out for a run. The amount of time I spend running has increased such that I can’t just go around the block, but I don’t realise this until I’m halfway around. It’s against my meagre principles to go back the way I came or repeat any part of it, so I have to improvise a winding alternative route to make up the time. I’ll need to rejig my route next time.

Home, shower, dress.

H makes dinner, then I wash up and do tea.

I overdress enormously, considering the circumstances and go out and get a cauliflower, some apples, some pears and some batteries (to replace the one in the kitchen scale that’s run down). I’ve found a circuitous route up to the middle of The Cut, which might not be a short cut (I should maybe check), but is pleasingly indirect.

Spend time making loops, which I hope will be appropriately spacey.

One day I’ll absorb that important moral lesson.

Up, breakfast. Some practise.

Get in to Walker and do some work, on my own recognizance today. Once again, aiming early seems to get me here on time. One day I’ll absorb that important moral lesson.


Finish up the work and go home.

Have a cup of tea. Run through the set again. Change and get my stuff together, including a tiny camera I got for the purpose. Sadly, however, the tiny camera needs to be on a big tripod, thus hugely impacting its portability. The tripod is one unwieldy thing to carry.

Walk up to Islington, arriving maybe a little later than I ought. Line check, set up the camera, hang around until Show Time.

Perform. At the time I felt it went rather well, apart from the fact that I just talk complete bollocks when I deign to talk at all. Now I wonder whether I might not have been paying attention, or might have been paying attention to the wrong thing. I need to do the same setlist (or one very similar) again, as I think I flubbed a couple of things I wanted to try (partly because I’d forgotten there was going to be an audience there, which as performance mistakes go is pretty much the cardinal error, worse even than forgetting to put on trousers, or getting very drunk and insulting the audience).

Stay to watch the other performers – The Grey Man and the Rob Thom band. All very nice. Drink beer, which I’ve not been doing recently, but I appear to have some room for it in my food-intake budget.

Walk home. I decide to take the scenic route. I know not why. I expect it adds to the journey, but I’m listening to interesting podcasts, so I’m happy enough. I’ve worked out how to hook the tripod onto the bag strap so it doesn’t get in the way.

Stop off at the corner shop to get milk and something I can eat.

Get home and eat crisps and tuna fish. I really wouldn’t call that a recipe, more a coincidence of foodstuffs.

This is something which, if you could see me, you would intuit immediately.

Up and have coffee.

Because I get involved in a necessary discussion online (and yes, for once, actually necessary as it involves a job), which occurs just as I was about to get ready to go out, I end up being very late.

Spend the day (without a break for lunch, so one long session) working on fish, with a side-order of hares.

Go out and do a run. I’m still at the stage that I can basically go around the block. It will get to the point where I have to either go along the South Bank (and the crowd-based-madness that entails) or cross a lot of roads (and the endless standing on the kerb waiting for the lights to change that that entails). But for the moment it’s straightforward.

When I get back, H is about to make tea, so I have a cup before I stretch and shower. I’m sure that’s not recommended by fitness gurus, but then I’ve never really paid any attention to fitness gurus. This is something which, if you could see me, you would intuit immediately.

Render most of the loops I’ve been working on as MP3s and upload them to t’interwebs.

Run through my set for tomorrow night. It over-runs very slightly, and I don’t know what I want to drop, if anything. I’m leaving out the chat, for a start.

Also another protosong happens. I’m really going to have to start writing lyrics. Yes, I know, I mentioned it before.

no obvious candidate in the fridge

Up and have breakfast.

A lot of Sunday is spent collating musical (or music-like) ideas for something I’m working on – nothing I can share, sadly and slightly frustratingly. It would have been good to have been able to have something to show for it.

Also spend some time running through and adapting what I think will be the set list on Tuesday. I realise I’m probably going a bit over the top, but sadly I need to do excessive preparation in order to compete with normal people. In any case, I feel a lot better about it after the third time I do it.

So by eight o’ clock, it’s clear we need dinner, and there’s no obvious candidate in the fridge. Sunday night dinner is always a bit of a risk – I usually end up cooking something at the last minute that seems like a good idea, but turns out not to be. Today I walk up to the Waitrose at the top of Blackfriars Road and get a pie (and get a cauliflower from the Sainsbury on the way back), so that at least I made the commitment of getting a Waitrose ready meal. As it turns out, it’s quite nice.

Also, it gets me out of the house, which is a good thing.

Birdman has turned up on Netflix, so finally get round to watching it. One of those films it might have been better to see in the cinema, without the distractions of the internet, the fridge, the kettle and so forth. But then it has the distractions of people talking, using their phones and inexplicably eating popcorn.

There’s a point back there when I could have called the day quits and gone to bed. But still I dither unnecessarily on.