Not easy, but useful, I hope.

UpSitBreakfast. During the sitting I manage several moments of some kind of consciousness which was good going compared to recently.

L4 AAD – lots of calisthenics and scales, a bit of the new Bartok although I’m finding it difficult to get it into my fingers.

At 10:30 there’s House Work – I sweep the Ballroom, then play the guitar some more, attempting to apply a nifty left-hand exercise to scales rather than contiguous frets. Not easy, but useful, I hope.

Martin arrives.

Lunch is at the Big Table.

At 14:45 I go with Ruth, firstly to the supermarket (to buy a few last supplies for pre-Pl?n) then to a dentist that she’s kindly found for me. I’m booked for one cleaning session but a long drawn-out discussion results in my having a cleaning session today (Bliss! post-sess, a kind of hell mid-sess). Now I have clean teeth. I miss tea for it, and Ruth sticks with me for which I’m hugely grateful. At times like this I realise how little German I actually know.

On return to the House I look for the current RyanAir prices to London for a trip for her.

There’s what appears to be a T-Mobile promotional red plastic raincoat (on the properly arranged duvet) on the bed. I am at a loss to work out what this might signify exactly. That I’m wet perhaps.

I assist Dani at dinner, peeling, chopping and standing around looking shifty. This last is something for which I have a natural talent. After completing the kitchen with D, I dry up for Ignacio. Then a cup of (Hurrah!) Yogi Tea.

There’s an open circle with Mikael at 21:00. I almost actually fall asleep, suddenly feeling tremendously energy-less. More energy for the Performance Rehearsal – weak during the first five minutes, but it builds. A lot of fun and very productive, but I appear to have forgotten C major and get terrible giggles. Need to watch the leaking energy. All the same, who knows, this set list might stick…

After this I assist Christian with a small Enhanced CD issue he has, have a short MSN chat and write this.

Looking potentially cosy in there.


OK, so far so good.

After breakfast I lie down for fifteen minutes and wake up at ten o’clock. So oops, there.

A parcel arrived for me during the Sitting (sorry guys); which turns out to be a package from Walker containing a Hard Disk which they specifically requested be delivered tomorrow, but did so in English on the packaging, so…

Anyway, after I wake up I unwrap it and cut the box up into little pieces for the paper bin and plug the disk in. It works fine, but the files have been encrypted and I haven’t got the encryption key. D’oh.

The shed now has a fake-Tuscan-farmhouse floor. That is to say the whole effect is fake, it’s not the floor from a fake farmhouse, I think. I take photographs, anyway.

The household is swelling again – we’ve moved onto two tables for lunch, which I’m setting up for. After lunch there’s a meeting with Hern?n to discuss L4 practicalities and then a performance team meeting with Mikael, solidifying further the set list etc. And Mr J leaves also.

At tea there’s some discussion of the Theme work. And biscuits. And then personal meetings with Hern?n, one of which I have, which I find very useful.

And more House Work, finishing off the Shed, or at least beginning to, although we find that we need to wait until after dinner to complete the task.

Dinner is salad and soup and more salad and soup and dressing and other dressing and dessert and the other dessert. So that’s all right then.

And then we complete the work in the Shed, before the Money Matters meeting. Looking potentially cosy in there.

At nine, Mikael leads an augmented Circle – circulations, all sorts of things with a live-tape-loop jam to end with. And then we have another Performance Team meeting.

After this I go out to get more money for the Treasurer, although this turns into quite a lengthy walk. I buy a big bar of chocolate, take it home and eat it all. Bed late, after I’ve had a shower.

leaping from one tall building to another

Up, Sit, down, breakfast, down, Shed,1 Lunch, Shed,2 Tea, Shed,3 cook Dinner,4 eat Dinner,5 practise with Ruth,6 Guitar Circle,7 Break, Guitar Circle, practise with Alexis,8 practise with Ruth,9 down.

  1. Painting the walls again. There’s a yellow stain that, no matter how many times we paint over it, always finds a way of bursting through the white. It’s quite inspirational in a way. At some point in here, Sylvain arrives from France.
  2. Scraping the beams and ceiling and painting the same. I’m trying to approach it as an opportunity to be mindful aware of all sorts of things. To try is to fail.
  3. See 2.
  4. Roast potatoes, salad, fried mushrooms. I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it with the potatoes, but everthing appeared at exactly the right time. There ended up being an awful lot of garlic in there. I liked it though.
  5. There was no dessert, but Ruth ordered a bar of chocolate to be produced. And so it came to pass.
  6. Scarlatti, mostly. Almost there, but not quite, and the difference between there and not quite there is as critical as it would be when leaping from one tall building to another. Also I’m digesting quite energetically, which saps energy for anything else. Yes, I should have thought of that when I was at the trough, yes.
  7. Integrating Sylvain, demonstrating Scarlatti in a tragic-building-leap stylie. Defining the Team, solidifying the set list, that sort of thing.
  8. The "vocal" of Taxman
  9. The brand-new authentic Russian Folk-song.

Sisyphus weeping and asking for his boulder back

Up at 7:15 and I make breakfast, summoning what ever presentness I can. At about 7:50 I go back into the bedroom to put some proper trousers on. So: breakfast (too much toast – this is definitely too-much-bread day) and completing breakfast takes until about 9:00. Then I do some AAD, sitting in the Dining Room – Fernando says chao on his way through.

At 10:30 – House Work: the shed continues. More painting with Mikael. This occupies me until way after the completion.

At 12:45 I set up for lunch, made by Mikael, putting out too much bread again.

At 14:45 there’s a circle with Mikael – the first with Alexis in, so we introduce him and some of the material we may be performing.

Tea and conversation with the Director, then I go off to Bauhaus to buy a bigger paintbrush and a paint tray. I approach a friendly-looking fellow behind a counter who appears to be trying to be helpful. "Bezahlen?" he says (or at least a lengthy query that includes the word "bezahlen"). I nod my head. "In that case you’ll want the check-out" he says, but in German, or at least that’s what I assume he says. He points. I feel vaguely embarrassed and slightly tricked.

On returning to the house I join Mikael and Alexis in the shed where the painting continues and will continue until we’ve worked off several thousand lifetimes of negative karma. It’s the sort of job that would have Sisyphus weeping and asking for his boulder back.

We complete so that Alexis can begin dinner, but of course completion or not, the work goes on tomorrow. I have a long hot shower. The weather is cold-to-the-bones. In the shed I was thinking that it felt like October in England. Perhaps in October it feels like January. Perhaps in January it feels like the planet Hoth.

Setting up for dinner is even more complicated – ten places (although it transpires that there are only nine people).

At Nine there’s another circle that goes through to eleven or half-past with a break, defining the team and solidifying material. Some of it sounds very solid indeed.

Afterwards, I assist Mikael trying out a new idea before this and doing The Recline.

then they can get straight on to the rioting

Up, Sit, Breakfast, AAD. I’m supposed to be on Coffee and Tea, but Sissi is on the case, so I assist with lunch – Rice and sauteed onions and tomatoes, baked courgettes and onions entirely masterminded by Mika. We make one too many, but then Alexis arrives after lunch to eat it, but by this time I’m unconscious on the bed. I’m awake for the guitar circle, at which it’s decided to play for dinner.

A fuller House for tea.

I mop the kitchen floor, sweep and mop the bathroom (clean the sink and toilet also) and then mop the entrance hall and the staircase. Just saying.

Dinner is a Caligaris production with Mika support and me on set-up. The Ruthless gather in the Ballroom and play If You’re Feeling Evil… to a full house, then eat the dinner. Yacare is on.

It takes until 8:45 to complete all the washing up and the kitchen itself, after which I wander down to the town with Mikael, leaving him at the Bahnhof to watch the football, while I wander around Kieler Woche listening to Series Two of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on my iPod. Very good, actually, I think I prefer parts of it to the first series, it’s just that when it came out originally (one episode a day for a week); it didn’t seem as good as the first, which people like me had listened to over and over on cassette for a year. Second album syndrome, and radio comedy series as Rock and Roll.

Kieler Woche is still composed of grim-faced and determined people who are looking for where all the fun has been hidden and falling-down drunk people who think they’ve found it. And it’s raining. There are two fat skinheads (heads totally shaven) in black jumpers with "Aryan Youth: Kiel" on the back. They look like bad-tempered babies and probably are.

I wander back to the House via the gas station, where I buy a large bar of what they call Aero (not like what I call Aero, but very nice all the same); and back to the House to eat it, iChat to Ben, MSN chat to Vinka.

England lost. On penalties apparantly. They have a habit of doing that. As I said to Fer, they should cut out the match altogether, go straight to the penalties, then they can get straight on to the rioting.

It’s very late. I must go to bed. I’m on breakfast tomorrow.

…evil… and a couple of other things

The usual events: rise, sit, breakfast, AAD, then House Work (making up the Studio for our next visitor).

Another day without any energy, and very little to report, really. I did lunch, or at least I began it, but Mikael needed to come to my rescue: they were potato pancakes and I really didn’t know how they were done. I did the washing up, and during it felt completely drained of energy. Very strange – I needed to lie down.

There was a meeting of the trio at 17:45, when we continued work on …evil… and a couple of other things.

Hernan came for dinner, after which we had a meeting regarding the web site, then I swept the stairs and entrance and felt a little more energised, so I practised in the bedroom until loud guitar playing outside the door summoned me to a Circle meeting that I’d somehow missed on the schedule (because I’d been in the bedroom practising when it was written up there). Again with …evil… and a Stereolab song that Mikael has been looking at. Mariana appears and we give her an impromptu performance, then after the Circle meet on the Balcony for puchos and conversation with a bit of wild keyboard playing thrown in.

We are only graced with our own presences.

The day has a persistent feeling of bleaugh, tiredness, lack of energy. Perhaps I could blame this on eating a pizza so late at night, but I’m not sure. I don’t make the sitting. In fact I hardly make breakfast.

Meals: I make lunch: Pasta with tomatoes, olives and a dressing. I make too much pasta and too little dressing, and we are unexpectedly graced with the presence of PowerLady and Jabato.

Mikael makes dinner. It’s cold lentil-based squird with a side salad. We are graced with the presence of Yacare and sit outside afterwards discussing matters of great importance.

Tea is by Ignacio; biscuit frenzy. We are only graced with our own presences.

Housework: In the morning session I reattach the lamp I disrupted on Sunday night, sweep and mop the bathroom and kitchen floors. In the afternoon session I join in the epic shed-painting endeavour.

Guitar circles: In the morning we have Ruth and work on the quartet stuff. At 20:45 we meet as a trio – Ignacio is detained so Mikael and I jam somewhat, then when we sit down to work on …evil… Ignacio joins us. We worry away at that for a while, then begin work on a new piece, then drift into improvisation. We resolve to a D.

There’s a short silence. I do a Sitting, read a bit of internet, write this and go to bed.

And the authentic caterwaulers.

Day off. I spent it doing my usual dithering and wandering, which I find quite restful under normal circumstances. However, at the moment it’s Kieler Woche, which aren’t normal circumstances. I do take a while to leave the house, and when I do I set off in search of something to eat. Now, there are hundreds of stands selling various kinds of very-bad-for-you foods, but none appeal. Partly this is to do with my being a vegetarian, and Kieler Woche being, as far as I can tell, a sausage-eating festival, but by the time I meet Ignacio, Mariana and Mikael on the way out from the House, I’m actually quite hungry.

My response to all that fried food ought to have been to buy or make something healthful. In fact it is to buy a jar of Nutella and eat rather a lot of it. Then I need a lie down.

At 8:00 I decide to give it another go, so I borrow Mikael’s umbrella (the rainfall has been extraordinary. I’m so glad I decided not to go to that festival, Pixies or no Pixies) and venture out again.

One thing that strikes me is the drunkenness – perhaps it’s a Northern European thing, the quest for single-minded obliteration via the medium of alcohol. There are people who have achieved that kind of drunken stupor when it gets into the bones, men in their fifties staring solemnly into the middle distance. So very many drunken people around. There are lots of stages dotted all over the place. The very largest are at the end of the docks (where the Pink Floyd covers band were playing yesterday) and by the Rathaus. This afternoon a group of people of all ages in what I assume was national costume were engaged in Authentic Caterwauling, many reading the words from a large book. I stayed long enough to stare through the authenticity to the badness beneath. All the other bands appear to be covers bands, kind of adequate but all the same not inspiring. The most enthralled audience is that for the England v. Croatia on a big screen by one of the main stages. The audience-free duo were preparing to take to the stage again as I passed, so I assume they have to do it a number of times. Perhaps they all do, and if I’d been in the right place at the right time I’d have missed the U2 covers band and caught the Queen covers band. Perhaps there are, in fact, only five bands, working twelve-hour days. And the authentic caterwaulers.

It’s the opposite of a fiesta – The organisers have gone to a lot of effort to make sure that stuff is happening and there’s enough entertainment and fried food for everybody, but the result is oddly dispiriting. I’m not sure how much fun it would be even if it wasn’t raining heavily. I suppose it’s the bees knees if you’re into sausages and beer though. Once I was, heavily, but not now.

On the way back I stop to say hello to La Gauchita in her fetching new uniform. She has been flung into the sky several times and is still looking for people to be flung into the sky with. Sadly, my response had to be "No, no, no, no…"

I stop off at Bambule and eat a pizza. I’m the only customer. The Kieler Woche appears not to be good for business for everybody.

Back at the House I catch up with typing. I may go to bed soon.

(England won 4-2, by the way)

It was I that hit the lamp.

Up, Sit, then develop a cough about ten minutes into the Sitting and have to flee. Breakfast, shower, Stuff.

At 11:00 there’s House Work: I sweep the stairs, entrance hall and, because I’m getting carried away, Ballroom. There is some small work on …evil….

I set up for lunch, then we eat it.

After Lunch there’s House and Garden Work and I have to weed, concentrating on an area where I find it difficult to tell which plants we wish to keep and which to eradicate. I begin with the definite non-keepers, but the area is still diversely green. I look at the areas that Ruth and Christian are working on and they’re almost weed-free. Hmm. I learn mainly practical things from gardening, such as that that thing they say about grasped nettles not stinging isn’t true. Perhaps I misunderstood that one. I have to go in and weed on a lettuce-by-lettuce basis, which is a bit slow.

Tea; biscuits; conversation.

At a quarter to five we have a Circle with Mikael, and then a short meeting with Ruth.

We are seven for dinner, as Mariana has appeared, as has the Director. The team gathers in the Ballroom and go and perform for them. It was I that hit the lamp.

After Dinner I wash up the dishes, although by the completion we are all in there with the exception of Christian, doing something. An instant different dynamic on the evening off, even before the dishes are dry.

I attempt to return the lamp to the wall. I do not succeed.

After this we set off to see the Kieler Woche. It being Sunday night it’s not packed out, but there are many stands selling food and alcohol, a few rides (one of these involves strapping two people into a gigantic catapult and jettisoning them hundreds of feet into the air. because the number of riders is so small this apparantly costs a lot of money. My verdict? "No. No, no, no, no, no; no no no. No? No." There is also a platform attached to another crane which people are bunjie jumping from. My verdict? See above.

I wander off with Ignacio.

Lots of bands, all of them tribute/covers bands, except perhaps the salsa band. I couldn’t tell, really. There’s the 60s covers band near the Halle 400, over the footbridge in the main town there’s a Queen group (the singer is a 6/10 Freddie Mercury, with the teeth and everything, the guitarist looks like he’s been rejected from a hair metal band, but has the right kind of guitar, the keyboard player just looks like a reject from a hair metal band. The bass player is dressed as a gladiator); There’s the Bad Bobs, playing Stevie Wonder and soul covers by the Bahnhof to an audience that might generously be called transient and less generously called totally uninterested; There’s a duo playing unidentifiable material to absolutely no one in one of the town squares. The woman is playing a black Ovation, but I think that’s as kindred as I’m going to get.

Back again near Halle 400, there’s the highlight of the evening: the Pink Floyd covers band. Not really a tribute band, except in a confused way (the "David Gilmour" looks like Tony Levin; the "Roger Waters" looks like… well a standard bass player in German heavy rock band, I suppose. He’s got Waters’ vocal technique down very well, though, which is quite a strange thing to expend energy on). There is a saxophone player intently scanning the crowd for some means of escape. While we are there, the play one of the tracks from the most recent album, Wish You Were Here, Us and Them and a bunch of tracks from The Wall. Oh, and Money, with the frankly unexpected reggae section. On the whole they manage to convert Pink Floyd material into wholly uninspiring generic rock. The audience seem to be enjoying it, though, depite the fact that you can see your breath in the air (ah! these balmy Schleswig-Holstein summers!). Behind us a large man and a small woman are involved in an attempt to suck each other’s life force out through their mouths. Or perhaps it’s esoteric dentistry.

At the front of the crowd someone is waving their crutches.

We walk back to the House, then go to a local kebabberie, where Ignacio has something with meat and I have something without. Then back to the House, again. I drink a cup of tea and eat a Bounty bar.

Then to bed.

brushing firmly

Up, Sit, Breakfast then L4 AAD – DoA, C major, Gmajor, cross-picking with chords, In Yugoslavian Mode. At 11:15 there’s a House Work meeting, in this case Ignacio and me. It’s my turn to have a go at the Shed. I spend until Lunch cleaning the walls, brushing firmly and occasionally sanding and vacuuming them. I’m not sure how much it helps.

At 12:45 I go to set up Lunch.

After lunch I lie down for a while, and then take a long shower to get all the Shed wall out of my hair.

At 15:00 another Circle with Mikael – the piece we began last night, circulating Mirada, The Stick, Children’s Dance, after which I work on the lead for Children’s Dance with Ruth (and also a bit of the Brand New Authentic Russian Folk Dance). Then we meet up again, dispersing with just enough time to get Tea ready.

At 17:30 there’s more House Work. This time I clean the bathroom, which is more my level. An inadvertant moral lesson… And also it takes a long time for me to clean the shower: the shower seems to take as long as everything else put together. Perhaps that’s my imagination. I leave the bathroom to dry as we complete.

I call my sister to wish her a happy birthday. She’s off for an evening of amaternal behaviour in Bath to celebrate. Bath being the party town of that part of the world. Just ask Jane Austen.

I join Mikael on a Popular Standard and we also begin to find a new piece, which I decide deserves the title If You’re Feeling Evil…. Definitely evil something. We also work on Children’s Dance and it is resolved that we play it for Dinner. We lurk in the bedroom until it appears Dinner is underway and then hit the Dining Room.

Another Circle at nine, continuing with some pieces, looking at new stuff – Ruth and I remember the Scarlatti duo we were playing a long time ago, and the Popular Standard is suggested. This work continues with a break until very late. Also, Ruth and I work on the Scarlatti and the Brand New Authentic Russian Folk Dance (which is really called Pochemu and is a lot of fun).