less noticeable slapstick than I

The reason I came over to Kiel earlier is that I am assisting Christian move the last of his stuff out of his Hamburg flat. Or rather, I’m helping him do so. There is rather a lot of slapstick comedy in my work today, with Christian as the unwilling straightman, looking on and wincing. Poor Christian. He’s already tiring himself out with work on the house, has driven a truck all the way here and now has to watch me manhandling his goods down what seem like a hundred flights of stairs.

Also David, a crafty who was at Grossderschau, is assisting, more ably and with less noticeable slapstick than I.

When we get back to Kiel we pick up some of the last of Mariana’s things (or at least things that are coming with Mariana) and stick them in the back of the truck, then to the Yellow House, then back to the Harrey Road flat for the last of it. There is drama and police intervention. I shall draw a veil over the procedings.

Then we have pizza (quite an undertaking in itself in Kiel at 11:30 on a Sunday night) and I assist Christian in assembling the Kitchen table. Then Bed.

I’m hideously grateful for this.

I’m writing this on Mariana’s powerbook (with an Italian keyboard, as far as I can tell), standing in her room in the Yellow House. I have just been presented with my key in a short but moving key ceremony. And I’ve seen a little of Kiel.

Some of you might be needing some explanation here.

I got up at 6:00, having got to sleep at 1:00. Consequently the notion of Bright-eyed-and-bushytailed-ness doesn’t enter into the equation anywhere. Any time benefits I might have gained from getting up early are lost by my standing under the shower for half an hour trying to wake up.

I repack into a smaller bag, leaving out several items of clothing that (a) I do not like and (b) would not wear. The only reason for my taking them therefore would be that they had long harboured ambitions for foreign travel.

I check my itinerary and the National Rail website and discover that I need to leave and hour later than I thought I did, and then realise that I need to pay my phone bill. I always end up paying my bills in the last several minutes before I need to leave the country.


I get out at just after 8:00 and struggle up to Liverpool Street and thence to the cattle trucks that are laid on to transport the feckless poor to Stansted Airport. I also encounter my first pointless queue in a day comprised largely of standing in long pointless queues. On the way to the airport I listen to Promenade by the Divine Comedy. It helps.

Stansted Airport is a sort of high-tech shanty town north of London. I suddenly realise why people choose to spend all that money on airline tickets: to avoid having to go to Stansted Airport. The RyanAir departure desk is a hideous scrum of what I’m going to call (as I’m in a good mood and trying to be charitable) humanity. So: Long Pointless Queue II – Longer and More Pointless. Eventually I get a boarding card and am allowed to enter the hallowed turf of the departure lounge (as long as I can stand another long pointless queue on the way there).

Reader, I’m not overwhelmed by its splendour. I do get a large cup of coffee, though, my first of the day.

At the gate there is not one but two long pointless queues, one for people with check-in numbers up to 65 (this includes me, a rare inclusion in an elite for me) and one for the other scum. Strange that an airline like RyanAir has to institute a class system, and such a strict one. I avail myself of the opportunity to make my traditional Departure Gate call to Ben and (realising that at this moment I’d be having an AT lesson) I text Maude to tell her I’d much rather be AT-ing. She replies immediately with instructions that I should allow my neck to be free so that my head can lead forward and upward and my back lengthen and widen. This also helps, even more than the Divine Comedy, though not as much as the actual lesson. But then I’m going to Kiel, so I shouldn’t complain.

Eventually we get on the plane (I’m allowed to take my guitar with me, and strap it into its own seat, a disturbing level of anthropomorphisation. At least it doesn’ have a name), and eventually we take off. My inflight music is Elgar’s Cello Concerto. You might be interested. Probably not, though.

We get to Lubeck a bit late, I pick up my bag and get some cash and find a taxi driver whom I give the impression that I want to go to Kiel Hauptbahnhof (a considerable way and thus a considerable fee). I give him this impression because I tell him. When I correct my mistake he is annoyed and moans audibly throughout the journey. He also asks me why I didn’t take the bus. I respond to this by overtipping him. Go figure.

Lubeck Haubtbahnhof is swarming with punks, many of whom wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1976. The train is clean and arrives promptly and doesn’t insist I queue pointlessly and at great length. I’m hideously grateful for this.

Christian and Mariana pick me up at the station and take me to the Yellow House. Which is where I began this entry. So here I am, home. Christian is whipping up some food. Hurrah.

This probably seems slightly mad.

Finding it difficult to get up again. I manage a sitting, but only in the literal sense of the word. My body is present, fairly correct and doing what I’m asking of it (broadly speaking, nothing, but not falling over either). My mind is off with the pixies.

Into Walker to attempt to get the rest of the book done. I’m in a very bad mood all morning, right up to the time I ring Maude’s doorbell at 2:00-ish and declare that I’m in a bad mood. However after a session of AT, I’m in a much better mood, partly at least because the AT has given me insights into how to deal with the bad mood.

It’s the usual sitting/standing up/lying down, but each time the process gets a little deeper.

I see the un/subconscious at work in my body again – Maude takes my arm and asks me to let her have the weight; I do so; she asks again as I haven’t given her all the weight, and I realise that there’s another “mind” holding the arm. I also have to tell this one to let go of the arm. She asks me to say something and when I do so, the arm seizes up – that second “mind” takes control of the arm unless I direct attention to the shoulder telling it to let go – the speaking distracts me. I’m dimly aware of a third mind somewhere in there as well, but I don’t know what it is.

I have the sense that the “I” I refer to as “I” is somehow not in the body whereas this second mind definitely is. It also puts me in mind of a servant, patiently going round picking up after the flightier “I”.

This probably seems slightly mad.

My impression of the second mind is of something that isn’t deliberately trying to cause me problems – in fact it seems eager to help – but it’s not very bright, and consequently gets in the way a lot.

A lesson in the fact that relaxation is intentional, and also the uses of habit.

I realise that when I’ve heard about “The Use of the Self” mentioned, I’ve thought it referred to the body. D’oh! I really ought to read it.

Back at Walker I almost – but not quite – complete the book.

At home some small things are achieved, but not a great deal. Post-work brain burnout. The mp3 links on the CA page are now red. So that’s something.

in much the way that an enthusiastic Great Dane might

Maisying again, of course, and I get the CD in the post to Peter Cadle, only about two years late. Is this a new record?

Ho ho ho.

After work I don’t have the energy to do anything. I’m aware of the fact that my visit to Kiel is advancing upon me in much the way that an enthusiastic Great Dane might, but on the other hand am not sure what I’m to do to greet it. There will be an almighty crashing on Saturday morning, that’s for sure.

I do have a long chat with Ellie, currently at work on the long-awaited Road Movie II, which is a good thing. And I listen to The Great Valerio by Richard and Linda Thompson. Possibly the highlight of my day, that.

(or the ears)

Maisying, and then in the evening I reboot in OS9 to get a mix of the tracks that I recorded with Peter Cadle all that time ago. They sound a bit squished, and I’m not happy with them. I’m not sure I have the equipment (or the ears) to do it properly. Ho hum. I produce a set of mixes, but in a half-hearted way.

Whoop de doo.

I get up late, still wondering whether the incipient cold is enough for my raging hypochodria to work up into a life-threatening disease. Probably not.

Sitting and general distribution of good will. My concentration is shot and I forget Japan. Sorry, Japan. I do like you, really I do.

I spend some time attempting to insert order into my bedroom, or at least (more to the point) remove disorder. With only a limited amount of success. None at all, actually. Stuff has been put into black bags, but I’m not sure about putting the black bags on to the street, so I just clutter the place up with black bags. I may be officially crap.

Another pleasantly surprising telephone call.

I successfully manage to install Virtual PC XP. The most important aspect of this is reminding me why I use a Mac.

I also watch some episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm Cruelty has never been such fun, particularly the Aunt episode. In an interview on the DVD, Larry David says that, like with diving, comedians should get extra points for difficulty, and the Aunt episode and the incest survivors episode certainly show insane bravery in the face of good taste.

So now I can run PowerTab. Whoop de doo.

I’ve spent a large amount of my life specialising in (b) and (c) alone.

So there’s the Walkerising, Maisification and so forth. You know.

Afterwards I go up to Golder’s Green for my first official appointment as Maude’s student. This is quite successful, I think, although I’m kind of falling asleep. We schedule the next appointments for during the day next week, which will hopefully fit with the above-mentioned Mouse Business.

I have a sore throat, perhaps a cold coming on. So asleep and slightly (possibly) ill might not be a good state of being to enter into the AT process, which largely involves (a) standing up, (b) sitting down and (c) lying down. I’ve spent a large amount of my life specialising in (b) and (c) alone. So if I can move into (a) my life will have broadened immeasurably.

Again with the MSN, again with the too late to bed.

thrashing and diminishing plumes of fire

With my digestive system trying to work out how to cope with the divers goodies I put into it last night I crawl out of bed at 8:00. No breakfast, no coffee.

I get into Walker at 9:45, which currently counts as “early”. Hurrah! The apparantly unending Presents book that has been going since (checks diary, bloody hell!) September (that is to say, before I went to Mendoza, which to me is like another century), finally draws to a conclusion. That’s not to say that this particular dragon is vanquished entirely, but St George (ahem, me) has got his lance in and the rest is thrashing and diminishing plumes of fire.

After work there are drinks on the top floor (where I’m currently located) to celebrate Daniel’s birthday (which was last week, but what the hell), so I sit around and eat cake and drink ginger beer. When I was nine, sitting around eating cake and drinking ginger beer was essentially all I wanted from life, as long as access to Lego could be maintained.

At home I don’t really do what I intended to (because this would necessitate rebooting in OS9, which I’m increasingly loath to do). At 9:30 the telephone rings. While it rings a list of people I really don’t want to talk to runs through my head, but when I pick it up I’m delighted to discover that it’s Power Lady from Kiel, responding to my email about my visit. Could I go over earlier (probably not, but I’ll see what I can do)? Stuff is discussed. My first (almost) real contact with The House. Hurrah!

MSN chat and then bed. I’m currently digging up all sorts of obscure tracks to go on to the iPod.

So it’s actually begun now.

I get up late, still stuffed from last night. This is a shame as the rest of the day revolves around eating – there’s a potato-heavy lunch with cake, then cake for Ben’s birthday then in the evening I go off to visit Dave and Osvalda and their New Addition, Julius.

I talk a lot about Kiel – I think it’s my only topic of conversation at the moment.

It’s a great evening – Phil Jeays is also there and we eat a lot of food (with home made dulce de leche as dessert), and I get home after midnight even more stuffed than I was last night. Blp.

When I get home I buy tickets to visit Kiel at the beginning of next month. So it’s actually begun now.