it can be done without

Back to Kingston for final overdubs (final for me, anyway) on the Monique album. I do the African Sun guitars (that I was working on before Christmas), with some success. Then I crow about it being one of the very few occasions I did my homework, which takes some of the shine off it I suspect. Then I get into an argument about the relative merits of Kylie and Madonna, which I am bound to lose. Tch.

I also attempt replacing a track on Rouge before Barb correctly identifies that it can be done without. Perhaps this is an achievement in itself. Perhaps not.

The rest of the day is vocal overdubs, and me reading Needs of a New Age Community and Transformation by Mr Bennett.

They get me a cab to Wimbledon Station. I give the driver almost the right money, then there’s an awkward moment and we part company. I didn’t tip him. I never know how to tip cab drivers, it’s not as if you can just leave the money somewhere.

I get home just after seven, drop off the stuff and then go to meet Maude. She has had considerable vexations recently and will not be able to go to Los Molinos, as she explains to me over noodles in the Leicester Square Wagamama. We have a good long meeting and chat and then we stroll around Leicester Square, over the new Jubilee footbridge in search of a cup of tea, which we somehow fail to find, settling for a diet coke for me and a mineral water for Maude in the cafe at Waterloo Station. At both Wagamama and the cafe I tip more generously than I normally would, hoping to make up karmic ground lost in the cab driver incident.

I would veg out if I had access to veg

To Wimbledon with the guitars and VG88 and thence to Kingston to continue the Monique album. We record three or four more basic tracks and one guitar solo. I always feel that the solos I’m playing on this project are sketchy and all over the place, but then I’d probably spend months on it given the chance, and it’s probably best that I’m not.

I the evening I eat a pizza and too much bread and jam and veg out. Or I would veg out if I had access to veg.

Which could be anything, if you think about it.

Up and Tai Chi again, so a good beginning.

And more books when I get into work.

Somehow a day of vexations, the most of which is that my mobile phone refuses to send (or, I suppose) recieve calls. “This phone isn’t able to send calls at the moment, if you would like to address this, press 1 now”. So I do. I’m put through to an operator with a Glaswegian accent who puts me through to the accounts (!) department. Or at least he puts me through to a tape that plays half of an electronica track I don’t recognise and a White Stripes track before disappearing entirely. I try again and am put through an operator who is either the same person or someone he’s in a voice-share with. After hoo-ing and hah-ing, and much calling me “sir” (which I really hate for some reason) it is put down to human error. Which could be anything, if you think about it.

Back at home I eat an entire packet of cream crackers with jam on. I’m currently in the position of watching my appetite, incapable of controlling it, like one of those harried mothers on a documentary about hyperactive kids – “no, Wayne, don’t eat all the … oh, Wayne, you bad boy!”

Font work in the evening, negatively affected by the fact that software refuses to do what I wish it to. That is to say, work. Pah.

I can’t bend very far, that’s for sure

I manage to do my Tai Chi exercises when I get up, for the first time in…

…well, I can’t bend very far, that’s for sure.

When I get to Walker I find a huge stack of books waiting for me:

by J.G. Bennett:

  • The Dramatic Universe II
  • Transformation
  • Intimations
  • The Crisis in Human Affairs

By P.D Ouspensky:

  • In Search of the Miraculous

Each one, when I open it, has some fascinating point or nugget of wisdom to impart. I just have to find the time to read them. And I have to work out which ones I’m going to give away…

And there are more on the way!

(Oh, and there’s also a Des’Ree CD, but that’s for Vinka. Strangely I don’t get the notification from Amazon that it’s been dispatched until lunchtime, several hours after I received it).

My listening during the day includes the Kylie, Spem in Alium, which I listen to three times and is never less than astonishing, and Brel’s last album. Listening to this “close up” on earphones allows me to pick up details and lyrics that I previously didn’t notice. It’s a stunning record and (considering it was written by someone who knew that he had only a few months to live) one of the most mature records I can think of. I even like Les F…, which has a deranged disco backing (which Tim and Laeticia Stereolab included, sans vocals, in a DJ set they were doing a while ago, I remember).

Back at home, I’m incapable of anything constructive, except eating far too much.

If there’s any doubt about that.

Oh well, back to Walker.

And in the evening sitting staring into space. Nothing is really achieved – spending a day in an office completely rots my brain.

High spots: listening to Sunny Ade and Dichterliebe on my PDA. Low spots: listening to Vanessa Feltz “interview” people on BBC London, sort of like a frenetic monologue with occasional question marks. I want to shriek out “this person knows more about the subject than you do! Let them talk about it!”, but realise that this might mark me out as a potential madman. If there’s any doubt about that.

it’s not actually very complicated

Get up and Sit.

Before going into Walker, I add referrer logs to the CA page. Why is it that I think that I can do a job like programming in five minutes. I manage it in ten, because it’s not actually very complicated. Still, perhaps I should be more organised.

During the day I convince Ben to buy the latest Kylie album (a lot of the backing sounds like Crackdown-era Cabaret Voltaire, but you need to listen hard in order to notice). I suggest he gets something by Rammstein at the same time, and affects his best Oxford don manner while doing it, but we both agree that the shop assistants won’t notice, however bizarre a combination he produces. We’re both past masters of trying to disturb record shop assistants, and it never works.

In the evening: I don’t manage to do a great deal. Dribble. Long chat with Vinka, short “hello” with Mariana O. Horrific realisation that thousands of books are going to fall down on my head. I’d better read them.

definitely a comment on Rock and Roll and growing up there

No sitting today.

I spend a couple of hours looking at Bennett/Blake websites, researching enneagram stuff (number/structure systems rather than personality profiling) and buying a lot of Bennett books from AbeBooks. Probably too much, but…

Also interested in the duVersity, particularly Anthony Blake’s work on systematics. As with Derrida’s The Order of Things, it’s the sort of thing that I feel would be incredibly useful if only I understood it.

At times I can feel the top of my head lifting gently off.

In the afternoon off to Clapham where the Tom Robinson Fan Club annual concert is happening. Phil Jeays is performing and, therefore, so am I. I take the Godin/VG88 combination, as Mr Jeays has requested the pseudo-string sound on … um … Mr Jeays, that I did at the Christmas Party for a joke. There should be a moral lesson there for me…

I get there to find Jezza sitting on the steps talking on the phone and the doors closed. He’s talking to Phil, who arrives soon after with Geoff. And then we find the side door.

Mr Robinson is sound-checking as we arrive, and then we do the same, and it all goes swimmingly-ish. It’s like a normal gig, but everyone is very nice. There are tables groaning with CDs that Mr Robinson has cleared from his attic and is giving away to make room for a loft conversion.

And there’s definitely a comment on Rock and Roll and growing up there.

So Mr R does some songs and then we do Great War and Mr Jeays to great and clamorous acclaim (with cries for “more” indeed) and we clear off again. Then after the first half (which is where he puts Glad to be Gay and 2-4-6-8- Motorway, if you were wondering) we clear our stuff off, so as to enjoy the second half.

Patrick L and his partner (and her sons – my entire Welsh fan club, apparantly) and sister are there as are Phil H and his sister and Min, so I’m not unrecognised.

Phil sells out of CDs. This is unprecedented.

And being an afternoon gig I get home by seven. Then I do some font work, buy some more books and watch Batman Returns. I’m surprised by how much better than the first film (which was on TV last week) it is. Or at least much more.

As I’m writing this, Power Lady gets in touch on the MSN thing. Isn’t modern technology wonderful!

sort of dribbles away

More Maisying – I get in extra-early just in case the package is delivered before I get there. It turns out, though, that they don’t deliver until after lunch.

The evening sort of dribbles away, apart from an hour’s NST practise. I feel good about this, but am unsure as to whether it will last. I certainly have a lot to relearn.

more than I deserve

Again up at 7:00, with a Sitting but today I find myself getting into Walker late, largely because I find myself giving Hernan un-asked-for, unsound and probably un-needed advice on Meta-tags and site design.

The Stomach Lurgi has distributed itself among the department and the world. Spooky.

My new copy of How We Do Things by J.G. Bennett (with the last two pages included, so I can see who did it this time – I’ve suspected the butler all along) is delivered to Walker – that’s quick! – and my accountant calls to say that she’s working on my accounts. She’s a life-saver and more than I deserve, although I think there are those who drop off boxes of unsorted receipts on January 27th and expect it all to be ready five minutes later.

Today is the first day back when I get that familiar brain-full-of-cotton-wool-and-gently-bubbling sensation behind the eyes.

When I get home I eat far too much (a whole packet of ryvita for example, and a pot of jam) and listen to a learned discussion of Alien on Radio 3.


(Incidentally, How We Do Things is a discussion on the application of various energies in our day-to-day lives. The butler reference was a joke.)

I suspected that I had started to hallucinate

Up early again, but then today I have Stuff To Do. I realise that going all the way to Walworth Road is going to be pointless (and then have a terrible time finding my wallet, put at the bottom of a pile in yesterday’s Ruckus) so I take the accounts to the Post Office. It’s not over now, but they’re out of my hands.

Then a day back at the Maisy face. A call to a delivery service over a package that was undelivered is answered by someone who is not only helpful but also friendly, informed and intelligent. I have to share this information, as I suspected that I had started to hallucinate and was Hearing Voices. It is possible, though unlikely, that I had merely been speaking to a helpful, friendly, informed and intelligent call-centre employee.

After work I walk up to the Building Society branch on the Strand to pay in a cheque, with a glorious version of Berlioz’ Symphony Fantastique on Radio 3. I take my camera with me.

There are lights in the trees on the South Bank appear to be mist machines. Very good things to have in the middle of winter, hoses spraying water everywhere (sarcasm alert…)

On the way back I poke around a couple of back-streets and find that the King’s College gym is, theoretically, open to non-students (although I don’t know how much it will cost) and that there’s an interesting-looking place called The Warehouse (classical/orchestral rehearsal studios, but they do have occasional concerts).

The place where my old gym was is now a gaping hole. I wonder whether I should bother feeling sad and decide against it. It was always a bit smelly and horrible.