Has anyone alerted the authorities?

Again with the secret project.

In the evening I trek down to Putney and the Half Moon, where Mr Quillin is giving a performance that I’m required to hold down the bottom end of. If you see what I mean.

A pleasant enough stroll (pleasant enough for what? I hear you ask).

When I arrive, someone introduces himself as the drummer. He was half an hour early, I’m ten minutes late. Mr Q is nowhere to be seen as yet. We hang around and wait until the other bands have finished soundchecking, then are encouraged to try out our stuff. I’m playing through a borrowed amp that’s satisfyingly knee-throbbing in volume and bassiness.

Mr Q arrives after we’ve been doing this for some time and runs through a few of the songs with us. Then we abandon the stage and head to the bar. Then we head back to the venue and begin to play to the frankly unpopulated room. People filter in, though, which manages to prevent it from being merely a very involved rehearsal.

It’s quite a fun thing, though. As bass player, I hardly ever have to play more than one note at a time anyway. Afterwards we sit in the bar and chat until I head home (I’m sure my departure doesn’t kill the conversation. It’s just that I play no further part in it).

Getting home I buy some food from the corner shop. I’m shocked to discover how many calories junk food has in it. I never suspected such a thing was possible. Shocking! Has anyone alerted the authorities?

secretly projecting

I continue with feeling somewhat below par. Since this is a return-to-work day, though, I do some of the Secret Project.

I do not do the Jazz Jam, on the grounds that I feel like having a day off. Anyway, I’m not sure that I can deal with the complications (like having to negotiate with the ringer. I don’t think I could negotiate with anyone). A cut down version of Excel came with the new Palm, and I’ve starte using it to keep track of everything I eat and buy. Not that I’ve bought anything today, preferring to lie on the sofa when I’m not secretly projecting, but it was very interesting to see what I would have eaten were it not for the fact that I would have had to write it down and then later justify to myself the eating of, say, three King-size Mars bars.

That, though, is it.

Another day of crapness, though slightly less crap than yesterday. I do right the shelf, fixing it to the wall in the process, and put many of the books back. I do manage an hour of practise, although my concentration slips occasionally. I still eat far too much (I ate far, far too much yesterday, but didn’t mention it. Even I can only countenance so much moaning together in one place).

That, though, is it.


I spend the day moping around, partly because I’m angry at my stupidity and disappointed with not going away, partly because now the fatigue has caught up with me it’s not letting me go. So I spend a lot of the day asleep, and when I’m awake I don’t do anything noteworthy – I try to practise, but can’t even hold the guitar without feeling overwhelmed.

As I’m walking down the corridor, the bookshelf, which has been threatening to collapse for a very long time, finally relinquishes its hold on verticality and falls to the floor, depositing a large pile of books in the corridor. I don’t have enough energy to fix the shelf, just enough to put some of the books into boxes and clear enough of a space so that I’m not, at least, stepping on them.

Yes, I know, pathetic. I make a note, though, to try to remember that though such inactivity seems inexcusable in retrospect, in the grips of a torpor such that I’m currently experiencing it’s inevitable.



I get up late on account of the late return yesterday, managing a sitting-ette.

Most of the day is spent rushing around trying to get the Britten book finished, although I do dash up to Oxford Street to get a new PDA. Apparantly most shops don’t bother to stock the things they purport to sell, though eventually I get a new Palm m130 from one of those disreputable-looking shops.

I also buy a copy of Confederacy of Dunces, roundly recommended by Barb on the way back from Brighton last night, and, because they’re running a two-for-ten-pounds offer thing get a copy of Thinks! by David Lodge.

Work on the Britten continues into the night – I finally finish at about 1:00, getting to sleep at 2:00. And I have to get up very early indeed tomorrow to finish it off.

That may help, or not.

The day is spent finishing off some Secret Project bits and uploading them to Walker’s FTP server, from which Ben downloads them and tells me that I need to provide them on CD anyway. So Doh!

Then when I’d normally be thinking about going to bed (9:30, but then I’m old and pathetic) I have to go out to support Mr Jeays in concert at Madame JoJo’s. Not, I hasten to add the usual bill of fare they have there but a sort of alternative cabaret night.

I announce my presence to the man at the door and he shrugs and lets me pass, presumably because if I had brought along all this gear (Godin, VG88 and amplifier) just to blag my way in, I’d probably earned it.

I locate Jeays and we head backstage, where a number of people are dressed in peculiar costumes. One of these people is dressed as a ringmaster. They are all drunk. They troop out. We sit there, regaled with fine but perhaps a tad overbearing playing from a Korean violinist and her flamenco-ish accompanyist. The strangely-costumed people troop back. I assume they have performed, though I can’t say what they’ve performed. I’m wearing jeans and a grotty shirt and feel very out of place.

The violinist and flamencist go out and return.

We then go out onto the stage ourselves to set up. I get all my gear set up and ask for electrical sockets, though none are provided initially. There is a terrifying drop in front of the stage, a large mirror opposite it and an audience milling around, if anything drunker than the performers. That may help, or not.

The chap in charge of the sound is not wholly complimentary of the organisational abilities of the people in charge of this evening. In the end, though, we plug everything in, it works and the Ringmaster strides onto the stage to announce Phil. I make a noise, or rather I go through the noise-making motions and no noise appears. Eventually (and the cat-calling starts indecently soon after the problem arises, I think), it is discovered that the Ringmaster kicked out the mains lead for the amplifier when he strode onto the stage. Apparantly that happens a lot.

Anyway, a hideous fifteen or so minutes at the end of which we do Geoff and refuse to encore despite the calls for it, though I don’t know why. Probably because they’re people who think that they can be as rude as they like during a performance as long as they clap enthusiastically at the end.

I get a lift home with Phil. It’s half-past twelve. Too late. Guh.

Some very embarrassing winging-it decisions

Bank holiday monday. Still fail to achieve anything of value (that is to say work or Jeays overdubs). In the evening to the Jam. Because it’s a Bank Holiday, the night is quiet and a bit strange. None of the songs seem to go right, there’s always some wierd mistake or wrong note, and I lose it completely a couple of times and fail to get it back. Some very embarrassing winging-it decisions in there.

large for one person

Easter Sunday. More nothingness. Oddly, despite my hideous chocolate addiction, the day is devoid of chocolate eggs, although it does have a large (well, large for one person) quantity of Indian takeaway food in it.

leaving my karma in tatters

What did I do today? Nothing as far as I can remember. Very sad. I had such high hopes for the Easter weekend, but then I always do. Oh, alright, then, I get caught by a LimeWire download frenzy, leaving my karma in tatters and my CD wishlist scrolling out of the door and down the street.

The cause of this is the story that the new Radiohead album is supposedly available on all the file-sharing services and I want to find out whether it’s true. It is. It sounds quite good, although not a huge departure from the last two.

Mostly, though, I look for things I already have on Vinyl or cassette that I don’t want to buy the whole CD for. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to hell, though, obviously.

I also manage a couple of overdubs for the new Jeays extravaganza, although only DI’d electric bass as they’re drilling outside again. Don’t know why. Possibly because they haven’t for weeks now and were missing it terribly.