I will be well-rested tomorrow, won’t I?

As soon as I get up I set to trying to finish the Schnittke cover, but find myself incapable of PDFing it, which is a bit of a bore. I have to get to the Guildhall to drop the proofs off for George, and then when I get back I just fall asleep for a couple of hours.

Waiting for the last details of the Macmillan, I finish off the Midsummer Night’s Burn compilation, although most of the Summer references are lost, and so I end up with a bunch of tracks that I think are summery. I suspect I have a very odd idea of summeryness.

My sister calls – she’s in London on a job and has finished a couple of hours early, so we meet at Waterstones on Piccadilly for a raspberry smoothy. I must admit there’s a part of me that finds the bourgeois wonderland of Waterstones quite seductive. Not a very large or authoritative part, though.

And then, when I get home I knock off some carboard sleeves for the comps and go off to Osvalda’s for dinner with her and Dave, which is all very pleasant, but does end in me getting home at half-past twelve. I will be well-rested tomorrow, won’t I?

Usually it’s a lot easier to just let people think I’m rude.

So today I do finish (-ish) the Macmillan stuff. Hurrah. And the Schnittke amends. Double hurrah! And I go along to the jazz jam around the corner with my guitar. (Should we hurrah or not? It’s difficult to tell).

I do enjoy it, although I’m feeling fairly washed out. There is someone there who I have met before a couple of years ago (a woman called Sara Dhillon, who is more or less responsible for the whole thing, although I don’t realise this until later) but who I don’t recognise until over halfway through the evening at which point I’m too embarrassed to say hello. I have the worst memory for names and faces ever. Usually it’s a lot easier to just let people think I’m rude.

I think I do alright. I know nothing of the ettiquette, so just bluster through. I think most of my solos are all right, if a little unfocused, but then I’ve not really done the jazz jam thing before, so I should allow myself a little lee-way. And I hit most of the chords, too and those I miss, I hopefully miss in a jazz way.

Late to bed again.

as I’m very afraid afficionados refer to it

The only thing of any import that I do today is to watch LOTR:TFOTR (as I’m very afraid afficionados refer to it) again. Hum. I’m more inclined to think of it as Accent Wars. Apart from the fact that the hobbits all have different, geographically specific, accents (R.P., mummerset, glaswegian and estuary), there’s the joy of watching Aragorn’s English accent slip (usually in those action moments). He is a bit too much like central casting’s idea of a rock star, methinks, although people are generally very good, and I respect Jackson’s decision to cast as elves people with attractive but nonetheless odd faces. I think about various things – for example, despite the fact that Jackson probably tried to remove the cultural specicifity from the book, when I read it (all those aeons ago), the shire was just the shire, the elves were just the elves, Sauron was just Sauron. But watching the film I’m reminded that the Hobbits are the rural working class, the elves are the aristocracy and Sauron is Hitler. Or something like that. Anyway it does seem more like a social document than I thought (much like Peake’s Ghormenghast, which was written at much the same time).

the very best intentions of Darth Vader, Skeletor or Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Despite my very best intentions (which don’t really measure up compared to normal people’s best intentions, but do stand comparison with the very best intentions of Darth Vader, Skeletor or Ernst Stavro Blofeld) I don’t manage much Macmillanisification. I do, however:

  1. Caffeine myself into an altered, though not necessarily preferable, state.
  2. Write a long, detailed, running commentary on today’s edition of Dead Ringers on Radio Four, outlining everything I hate about it, and then post this on the Comedy Forum. It might have been less work to have "I am deeply sad, and completely insane" tattooed on my forehead.
  3. Fit my G4 with an extra gigabyte of RAM, taking it up to the maximum allowable quantity of 1.5GB. This is an unimaginable quantity, though likely to be considered paltry in a year or so. I also manage to achieve this under the effects of the caffiene (frothing gently at the mouth) and without zapping the motherboard with static electricity. Which pleases me somewhat.
  4. Go to the gym, waddle energetically on their treadmills and lift some moderately, though not exessively, heavy objects. Then sit in the Hot Room before discovering that there is no hot water at all, so that the showers are cold. Usually they are Far Too Hot. Far Too Hot is better than cold, though best of all would be Just Warm Enough, which might be available in some kind of crazy, Goldilocks universe.

In the evening I go off to the Kashmir to see Joan Coffey, Queen of the Dwarves with her band and several other acts (as is the Kashmir’s way), including Carrie Melbourne, a stick player whose website I discovered independently a few months ago, a curious thing when a person on the internet protrudes into real life, although I’m sure that Mrs Melbourne considers herself to have been in real life all along, as I’m sure she has been. Joan rocks, as usual, although with her parents in the audience is unusually jittery.

Anyway I get back unbearably late, with a few late nights ahead.

perhaps it should be called Attack of the Trees).

Macmillanising continues unabated – I don’t know why. Each individual task seems quite quick and painless, but when I check, it’s taken a large chunk of time. Oh, well.

As a displacement activity, I take up a challenge on the Comedy Forum to invent terrible names for bands, and get a bit carried away:




The Kneeless Wonders

The Mr Grübers

Oasthouse of Love

The Panes

The Kuntz

The Wretched Children

The Hot Badgers


Lunching With the Bishop

The Itching Sticks


The Euan Hughes Army


This Is Norwich!

The Polythene Wenches

Torque Torque

The Disqualified

Private Engine Parts

The Sticky Groovers

! (which uncool types will pronounce as "exclamation mark", but those "in the know" will say as "Dog’s Cock")


Overcooked Lasagne

Sophie and Martin (plus one)

The Goatse Guys


The Rubbery Banana

The Coffee-pots of Hate

Out of Bournemouth


The Weaknesses

Temporary Fault


Ghoti (pronounced "fish")

Kicking Grandma

Touch the Rim!

The Whiskery Infants of Old London Town

King Leer

The Snoods

D.I.Y. (Derek, Ian and Yvonne – publicity shots taken in wacky poses holding implements of home improvement)

; (semi-colon)


Brick By Brick

The Outer Garments

The Way Things Are


qoqroche qlusta

The Spatulae


The Helmeted Ones

People of the Edge

The Shimmering Boys

The Secretaries of State

Wheeling Across Berkshire

The Nhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Beast Benders



The Singularity

The Big Committee

The New Wankers

The Young Men of Edgebaston

Gibbous Moans


Glebe Central

You’ll Need a Spanner

Call Me Dorothy!

Ankle Love

The Oubliettes



The Numinous Objects Collective

Maracaracaracaracaracarcarca Ca

The Tiddlers

Composit This!

The No

Looting in Eastbourne

Jan Dildo

Working for the Man

Emma, Emma and Jude

The Farce Bandits


The Tintorettos

The Home Pregnancy Testing Kit

The Rectal Inspectors

More Chords than you can Shake a Stick at!

Tea, Mr Blenkinsop?

The Niff




Snittery Snit

The Cougar Hat

The Wooden Spoons


The M4

Gribble and Snug

The Cooling Bodies

Leicester’s Finest

The Suburban Gorillas

The Desks

Where’s Mummy?

Just Outside Kingston

String Raiders

The Stoats

The Lickers


The Happy Beanz

The Folders


The Thursday Afternoons

Will Work For Food

The Lean

The Soul Hookers

You Glassed My Mate!


Chicken Support

The Belisha Beaconz

My Large Friends

Ovary and Outpatient


Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob & Bob (with Bob)

The Djembe Orchestra of Camberwell

Smaller than Rice




The Shelves

Tiling For Jesus

The Gurlz

The Disconcerted Hamsters

Jenkins, Davis and Smith

Ribald Remarques

The Recording Stars of Tomorrow


The Plane Trees



The Keepers

The Golfers

The Toes


The Pauls

Opacity Index

The Levers

Nim Nim Nim

Six-Pack Shark Hoor

Peeling Maggie

We Dance on Your Grave

Introspection Overdrive




Sandra’s Leaf

The Hole Earth

The Seamen

The Spazz

Nipple Raiders

The Chairs

Terry Dandridge and his Lovely Experience

The Moderately Challenging Music Collective of Whitechapel

Complexity and Bacon

The Crematorium Cat

The Oafs (or possibly The Oaves)

The Lanky Midgets

The Bursars


The Copers

Rivulet of Syrup

White Copper Sulphate


The Ha-penny Jesters


Dashdotdashdot Dotdotdash Dashdot Dash

It Was Max!

The Bricks

George Burns in Hell

The Box

The Far King of Kent

The Six Belles

Gaseous Eruption

The Dinnermakers



Jam Jah (an improvising reggae band)

Where are my legs?

Kali Simon

Standing on Tracy

Hoarse Attitudes


Is That You, Bobby?


The Rumpled Mummies



Gophering for George


Sinning with Dad

Taped Up and Grinning

The New Mechanism



The World Bank Group


That’s how much I need displacement (sorry, Ken, I’ll get straight back to work). Some of them may serve as song titles and record labels in true early-80s Peel stylee ("And that was The Rumpled Mummies on Bicep records with track one from the Throat EP, called Gophering for George. And this is the new one from The Lanky Midgets…")

I’m perversely proud of that nonsense, too. I really ought to acquire something approaching a life. And finish this damn work.

My father has just returned from his jaunt to the States, and brought with him various stuff – shoes, RAM and DVDs. He gets shoes from those cut-price out-of-town shops they have over there (and with feet my size, it’s actually quite nice to get affordable, quite nice, shoes), the RAM, similarly, comes from B&H in New York. The DVDs include (a less than official) one he bought on the street of The Lord of the Rings. Given that provenance the consumer has to accept what he gets, and the quality is pretty good (Dolby 5.1 intact). Watching it the TV, though, I am very aware of stuff that I would probably been able to ignore given the Magic of Cinema. The D&D structure, for example (a string of conflict-based set-pieces – the Ringwraiths, the Balrog – interspersed with cameo set-pieces – Rivendell, Lothlorien. And of course, this is entirely the structure of the book itself, in fact Jackson has worked quite hard to break it up a bit. In fact, leaving out Tom Bombadil and a couple of other things means that the film isn’t, as the book is, composed entirely of Danger!-Safety-Danger!-Safety. Then again, I’m not that familiar with the book – I haven’t read it at any point during the lifetime of any of the members of Sugababes – and am even less familiar with Part Two (The Two Towers, although perhaps it should be called Attack of the Trees).

Perhaps I should start looking into those far-out 70s films again.

Continuing to Macmillanise. A copy of the film of The Final Programme arrives from Amazon.com and I watch it in the evening. It will probably never be counted as a good film in the same way that Chariots of Fire and Out Of Africa are, but then I hate those movies. I taped it off the television about twenty years ago, so seeing it in a gleaming new print is nice, particularly since it seems that before broadcast the BBC enacted random cuts. Michael Moorcock (who wrote the original film) hated it, but in retrospect it’s interesting to see how successfully the writer/director/designer Robert Fuest managed to catch the tone of the books, or at least what I took to be the tone of the books. The ending is a bit of a problem, but then it would be, and the jaded eye can see how it might have been assembled skillfully to hide the tiny budget. But I’m glad I have it. I was drawn to it when I first saw pictures from it (along with suitably dismissive paragraphs) in big Octopus books of Science Fiction and the like that I got for Christmas when I was young. Of course the thing is that in those days cult movies got their status from being virtually inaccessible, whereas today there is a rolling movement dedicated to rereleasing them all on DVD. One film that probably still retains its inaccessibility is Tomorrow I’ll Be Scalding Myself With Tea, a Czech science fiction comedy, shown once on BBC2 twenty years ago, and never repeated. But we were looking for things to point our newly-acquired video recorder at and so taped it. So there will always be one obscure film that I can be certain no one else has ever seen. Hurrah. Perhaps I should start looking into those far-out 70s films again.

I may splash out

Macmillanising. Very dull, particularly considering that I’m feeling ill – (a sore throat started last night, feeling queasy today, had to have a bit of a lie-down). Consequently I don’t get to the new VAC once again.

As I do stuff I listen to the performance of Tristan and Isolde on Radio Three. An interval talk on Wagner in popular culture includes a section on Ken Russell’s Listztomania. I’d kind of like to see it again – the presenter describes the action of the film and one can almost hear the jaws of music-lovers across the nation dropping in disbelief. Not currently available on DVD, but I may splash out when it is.

copywriters shouldn’t be allowed stimulants

Dash to Guildhall to deliver George’s set of the pages, then back again to send a cover to Tim and then finally get on with the Macmillan job.

In the evening I meet up with Ben and we walk up to town to see The Royal Tenenbaums. First we eat at Wagamama and just drift around, including a coffee at Coffee Republic until the music got too loud (I wish I could remember some of the slogans they had, they gave some every good reasons as to why copywriters shouldn’t be allowed stimulants), and then Our Price next door (it suddenly struck me that it reminds me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where people are replaced with things that look like people but aren’t – Our Price resembles a record shop but isn’t in some indefinable way. Possibly because it’s actually quite difficult to find a record that one actually wants).

The Royal Tenenbaums is a wonderful film, but I’m probably not the first person to have noticed this. Not sure that I have anything to add, other than it’s the sort of thing that one really ought to see if one likes that sort of thing. If it has a genre, it would be classed with Harold and Maude or Brewster McCloud, I think.’);

The Guy Who Comes Every Week and Just Blows

After yesterday’s headache and incapacitation, I am catching up with myself. Firstly, finishing off the Guildhall thing and getting it in the post to Sara, then the covers for Tim. I also get to the Place of Moderate Exercise and Hot Rooms, where I get to see boy-band video after boy-band video. Then back again to carry on with the work.
At 8:30 I go to a jazz jam thing up the road that Chicky told me about on Saturday. I’m careful to neglect taking my guitar so thst I can go back another week and play. It’s quite fun, especially the build up to The Guy Who Comes Every Week and Just Blows. That is to say he has one mode of playing – fast and noodly – and he does several choruses with no sense of build or anything. I think he’s trying to intimidate or mate with the other sax players, so in that sense it’s the equivalent of peeing against a tree for dogs. I leave before the singers (from Morley round the corner) get started. Some other week, perhaps.

I’m amazed that it works at all

The alarm in the other room goes off and goes on for what seems like hours. I don’t get up, though. I finally roll out of bed at 9:00, and on going downstairs am transfixed by the television again, watching pop videos for a couple of hours.

("pop videos" – ugh. Get me my pipe and slippers now. Mmm. It’s got a good beat.)

There is an absolutely astounding one to go with an otherwise undistinguished song by The Doves, and I notice that a lot of the others seem to look as though they were made in the 1970s, so much so that I suspect that it’s my brain rather than the videos themselves.

On the way home I begin to develop a headache, which is fun. After checking my email and having some lunch I go and lie down to try to fight the headache somehow. Thus I fall asleep again, waking up at 4:00.

I still have the headache, but I predict (accurately as it turns out) that it will drain away slowly leaving me bright and breezy at 11:00pm, all set for a night of insomnia.

At 8:00ish, I check Jeays.com and discover that the DNS servers have reset and it’s my quite quite blue Jeays page that’s now displaying. We have to rewrite a lot of the content and add streaming music, but otherwise it’s there. I call Phil to tell him and have to confess that I’m amazed that it works at all. I always am. Still, that’s something, eh.