At least there is stirring involved.

Up just after Dani, so whatever time he got up, that was just before me. Then sitting. I have to lie down again, I’ve a headache in the left side of my face, very tired. Then breakfast and I lie down again. I struggle out of bed again at 9:30 and have a shower. Maisying until I go to cook with Mart?n – a sort of stir-fry. At least there is stirring involved. Also frying.

There’s a meeting with the Treasurer at which a cumulatively vast amount of money is requested. After tea but before Dinner I go to the bank and get the money the Treasurer asked for and deliver it to her just before Dinner.

Dinner includes potatoes, courgettes and the latest Pan de Requejo.

After Dinner I wash up with the Ninja team of Mikael and Mart?n, then at 21:00 there’s the dress rehearsal for tomorrow, followed by a meeting to discuss Saturday’s performances. Interesting stuff, not least because I realise that for everyone else the presence of noise and too much echo and being (apparantly) inaudible is a problem. For me, the presence of light and space to move and interesting things to photograph is a boon.

I’m on breakfast tomorrow, which is why I’m writing this quickly, so that I can go to bed, even though we get up an hour later again.

I prophecy that my immediate future has "Zzzzzz"s in it.

I have no idea how he makes this work, but he does

Another dream that I don’t quite remember… Up, sit, breakfast, after breakfast I wonder whether I should do the washing up but it looks like two people are taking care of it already, so I fetch the ironing board from the basement. When I go in to fetch my shirts from the drier, the washing up’s not done. Honest, guvnor, I meant to, really. I’m in a quandary, but go with the course of action I’ve decided on. Ironing ho! After which I L4AAD, which is nice, and then look at parts of Askesis, working on counting them, using the Fritz Creeping-beat-by-wretched-beat method, which is at least thorough.

Then I Maisy for a couple of hours. Next door the League thrum.

P-Lady asks for scannery from me and I assist. There’s also more, different Maisying to do.

I discovered that all those people who told me I wanted Konfabulator were right. Like a lot of OSX stuff it’s what one hopes the future looks like. IMHO. Not the future of Konfabulator, who it appears were royally ripped of by Apple in the Tiger revision of OSX, but then, hey.

After Lunch there’s house work – I sweep the dining room, the bedroom and then Maisy some more.

Christian finds the quick-release plate for his tripod now I’ve ascertained that the one I bought the other day doesn’t fit.

After tea a further League rehearsal – I’m looking into Gallery strategies and then have to cook with Alain. Actually he cooks, I’m the wisecracking sidekick you always hope the villain will kill, but he never does. Boiled carrots and fried eggs. I have no idea how he makes this work, but he does.

An evening off has been declared – after Leo’s birthday cake (and after I’ve worked on the pictures of the cake); the Boys set off for debauchery and I stay in and reset the region codes in my DVD. This is what it’s like when Youth has Faded, lads. Read ’em and weep. I also ascertain that my video camera is more than adequate for iChat conferencing, should someone wish to compound a conversation with me with pictures.

iChatting, late to bed. Also investigating iDVD as potential way of showing slideshows. Actually may work, if I can tweak the wretched iDVD presets somewhat.

wandering and eating, too much of each

Day off. I didn’t really ahve any structure to the day at all – I wandered out, bought a camera bag for the new camera (again – I seem to spend all my days off buying bags) as well as a quick-release plate for Christian’s tripod and a lens-cleaning cloth. Most of the day was spent wandering and eating, too much of each. I wanted to watch a DVD, but nowhere in Kiel could I actually find anything I wanted to buy and watch. The House felt uncomfortable, what I really needed was somewhere with a big armchair and a TV set with some decent trash on… not available. Wandered some more, ate some more. Currently feeling stuffed and wandered out. On again tomorrow. Also corrections came through from Walker as I was wandering so I have to do those too, but they don’t look too onerous. Famous last words, those.

That would be asking a bit much.

Up… late. Sorry. I do get breakfast, though. I ate too much yesterday and had told mysel fno breakfast other than coffee, but the toast beat me over the head and forced me to eat it. Oh, yes. During breakfast Al and Luisa say farewell.

After this I finally ahve an opportunitty to practise the guitar, so I do so, although not as effectively as I’d like. I do successfully ascertain that the fingers work. though, which is a boon. I look at a scale out of my Yusef Lateef book. Feeling clearer about htings, as long as I don’t try to move too quickly.

During House Work, I sweep the stairs and hall and fold and put away House washing that was on they drier.

I set the table for twelve, although there are, in fact only ten. This numerical uncertainty must mean something. Well, everything must mean something, I suppose. Apart from the lyrics to Ma Nah Ma Na. That would be asking a bit much.

After lunch I have to lie down for an hour. The clarity comes back. I iron some shirts. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed ironing, and the stack of ordered shirts gave me a little fillip of joy. One finds one’s fillips where one can.

At tea we are introduced to possible futures, and after tea we explore a particular past (yesterday). many interesting observations, though no one mentions the old man in the Travolta white suit. I’d have liked to hear opinions of him. Anyway, yeesterday was an example of what can be achieved with a combination of attention to quality and perseverance, and in my case what can fail to be achieved with a combination of un-mindfullness and cluelessness, which may be the same thing, but I don’t think so.

I iron until I am reminded to do the set-up, then after dinner go for a long walk. Returning via the Garage, where I buy a bar of chocolate, quick iChat, soon to bed.

my Theory of Average Cultural Sophistication

Up at 7-ish, then Sitting, best wishes, Breakfast. After Breakfast formatting tapes and preparing stuff to go to the gig, packing cables into my big rucksack. Loading in at 11:30, departure at 12:00.

On the way we stop at a garage for a regroup, a toilet break ("Hand the key in at the counter") and supplies. I buy a packet of onion flavour corn snack things (not one of my top all-time decisions); a large bar of chocolate, a packet of dry-roasted peanuts and a pack of Spunk. I’ve seen this in shops for a while and wondered what it was. It turns out to be licorice. Four of my English readers are probably giggling at this point. Non-English readers can rest assured it’s a puerile reference. Still, packets of Spunk will make bona stocking fillers for my puerile-minded chums, of which I have a large and thriving circle. Perhaps I can get business cards from Assman to go with them.

Then we make our way to the venue. It’s sunny when we arrive, which is the weather lulling us into a false sense of security. We unload and load into the green room, then Sylvain and I go down to the sound booth and begin to set up.

It’s a bit confusing for about an hour here, but I do formulate my Theory of Average Cultural Sophistication, which states that a country that has given birth to (for example) Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner will inevitably produce (for example, and plucked from the air) groups consisting of two accordionists and a bassist/guitarist in unconvincing "folkloric" garb and playing yodelling songs and klezmer standards with backing tapes to make the average standard of cultural sophistication even out somewhere in the middle, at about the standard of a Len Deighton thriller. There was also a woman in a long dress reading announcements from a piece of paper.

After the confusion came the chaos, and after that came the performance. At first it rained a lot, then it rained a bit, then it rained a lot, then it stopped raining so I could take photographs. By the end there was a devoted and enthusiastic throng, which is always good to see, and numerous characters, also good to see. Mr Golden might be amused to hear that there were three young men standing in exactly the same place, and with exactly the same "I could do that" body language and facial expressions as the three men in L?beck.

Then we took all the bits apart and put them back in the bags and boxes they came from.

Back in the cars back to Kiel. There was bread waiting for us in the Ballroom, which was allowed to join the circle, then we dispersed. Alain went to prepare Dinner and I went to set up. After Dinner I lay down for an hour before the Circle at 21:00 where an arrangement of Forbidden Colours (a.k.a. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence was introduced.

Then I looked at the few pictures I managed to take today and wrote this. Currently staying up too late listening to Purcell songs. He da bomb. When I Am Laid In Earth is a blues torch song to give anything by Bessie or Billie a run for their money. I’ll go to bed when I’ve got the shivers out my backbone.

not so much a situation as an ADAT

So up, sit and then breakfast. Then looking at the ADAT situation. Actually it’s not so much a situation as an ADAT. Then the LCG rehearsal, with me sitting there as I would be if I were recording anything, which I’m not. Then House Work: I sweep the stairs and the hall and then clear weeds from between some of the flagstones outside. Then a bit of emailing and completing a job for jeays.com that I really should have done a year ago. While doing this (uploading mp3s for the Fame album) I listen to some of the tracks – the Mandolin Orchestra on Down at Harry’s really works.

Then there’s lunch.

In the afternoon I have to go back to the dentist for cleaning. Today I have no translator. It all goes swimmingly-ish, except I have to go back in a couple of weeks for a final check-up. I return to the House via the shops – I buy mouthwash, a small mirror and a cheap wristwatch with a stopwatch function.

At 18:15 there’s a League rehearsal, which I would have recorded if I’d known how to switch the record on, but as I didn’t I jsut sat there like a lump. Very much like a lump, actually.

Dinner is pizza, a al Bruno via Milano. Or so. Dessert is delayed until after the dress rehearsal. I record the dress rehearsal and take some pictures, although given the low light conditions and my unwillingness to shatter the vibe by moving around, they’re quite grainy. Some of them buff up arty in Photoshop, though. To bed quite late for an early night…

Impresionante, as they say.

Up before the alarm that I set as an emergency stop-gap (with all the other alarms going off from 6-forty-something onwards, I only need it as a red alert signal) goes off, then into the Ballroom to find space amongst the League set-up for the Sitting. After the Sitting, breakfast. I notice that the yoghurt is about to run out, then realise that it’s no longer any of my business. There’s a new gros fromage du cuisine.

After breakfast I Maisy pretty solidly until Lunch, which is Leo’s resurrection of the tortillas. Excellent. I think that the Brutal Sauce should go in the Yellow House Cookery Book.

I sit in and watch the League rehearsal: there’s a wide and impressive field playing for this year’s Kahlbutz Memorial Award for Guitar Craft Face. One member of the team looks as though his dog died. Another member looks as though he killed it. A third looks as though he ate it. Impresionante, as they say.

During the break I realise that Mika and Mari, in the photos I took last night, are, actually Space Zombies! From Outer Space! One of the few occasions where both exclamation marks are absolutely necessary.

The weather is once again solidly Mordoresque.

Alain and I work with Alessandro in the upstairs dorm, and then we go to the Kitchen, where Mask is now the master sans pareil and I assist him with mashed potatos, eggplant and a combination of leaves from the garden, cucumber, banana and guile. Fernando appears to assist, the undoubted Pei Mei of this particular kitchen. So then Dinner, and then an evening off, which I spend wandering around town, listening to Radio Johnny on my iPod. Two people on the team ask me what it is. I’m kind of surprised. For some reason the iPod thinks I want to listen to Theusz Hamtaak, and on this occasion it’s wrong. It’s right about the Johnny Cash, the XTC and the Kirsty Maccoll, though.

Home, shower, bed.

so the bass gets buried, which is often a pity

I wake up at 8:00 but decide to stay in bed until 9:00. It’s a day off, after all. Or a morning off. After I get up I reheat some of the coffee that was still in the coffee machine from last night (surprisingly pleasant) and settle down to work on Maisy. As it’s a morning off I can listen to non-course material – League of Gentlemen, God Save the King, Cardiacs Guns, and some tracks by me, mainly from It’s Amazing What Some People Can Believe, constantly surprising myself as I pick out things I played (it was recorded on four-track, and the drums, bass and rhythm guitar were all on the same track, so the bass gets buried, which is often a pity).

I spend half an hour playing my old material on my old nylon-string guitar, and am surprised by how much I can remember and how well I can play it.

At around 12:00, Ignacio comes to collect me and we go to Bambule for pizza, returning in time for the League rehearsal. I mop the kitchen floor.

After I go to the supermarket with Alain and do another big shop – my second in four days, with a top-up on Saturday. My shopping is getting inefficient. My original thought is Alain’s masterful polenta for Dinner (possibly in less quantity than last time); but as no polenta seems to be available go for roast vegetables instead.

It is very informative to hear the replies to Al’s questions at Dinner. After Dinner I have a meeting with the Registrar and a chat with Al about the Kitchen, and feel much cheered by both.

At 21:30 there’s a meeting of the Kitchen Team – Al, Alain, Sylvain and myself. We work on circulating an ESC tune. It’s the first I’ve played in a very long time apart from the circulations, EOTN and Asturias on Sunday. Ah, yesterday. Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday was yesterday. Doesn’t time fly. 23:40. I should be in bed, I think.

and all that

Bam, here comes the Middle. Around the middle of the middle of the L3 (maths is beyond me at the moment, an unlucky trait in a Kitchen Co-ordinator); right at the beginning of the middle of the L4. During House Work I clean the refrigerators with Hans. Once everything has been taken out and rearranged and the unwanted stuff discarded it’s suddenly obvious how little there is. This sets up a chain reaction that has me on the verge of panic by Dinner, which was supposed to have been prepared by Leo and I, to use up the tortillas. I go out to look for sour cream and cheese, and can only get fresh cream and very expensive cheese from the Garage, because no shops are open. It’s like England in the 70s out there. That was after Lunch but before the Circle.

After we cleaned the fridges (this is back to the morning); I cleaned the rest of the kitchen, sweep and mop the floor, removing glass to the recycling box. and all that.

What was lunch? It’s not to my credit that I can’t remember – oh, yes, it was another of my cooking challenges – make these ingredients appear to be a meal. Brilliantly done, I though, considering. The Cooking Challenge schtick may be wearing a bit thin. I’ll actually have to think about proper recipes.

Dinnner was cooked, heroically I thought, by Alessandro and Luisa. I think they were nonplussed by my "can you do anything with these ingredients?’ routine, and I was kind of panicking at the time. You could taste the panic in the dessert I made – cream with lemon juice over pineapple pieces and biscuits soaked in orange juice. Too much, too sharp.

An evening off. I Maisy for a bit, then walk to and from the petrol station with Ignacio. After this we watch A Matter of Life and Death. Favourite films suffer in the company of others – I noticed where it dragged and wanted to zip to the scenes in Heaven and a few other set pieces.

I can’t stop chipping in

The first thought I have is that I should not go to Hamburg this evening, assertively enough to be an instruction.

During the Sitting I keep losing track – right elbow, left shoulder… buh. Shame.

After breakfast there’s still some unfinished business to attend to, but I find that my contribution is done, although I can’t stop chipping in.

There’s also kitchen business,a and juggling these begiins to be tricky. For Lunch I plump for basic pasta with tomato sauce, under the baton of Sylvain and Ignacio.

After lunch we have and lose resolution several times before the team finally set off to the gig. I do a lot of pottering in the kitchen as well and discuss Lunlunta and Photography with Vinka Q.

So nothing much happens for a very long time. Apart from Maisying.

Good long conversation with Suricata and Yacare, Master Turtle joins us later. We retire to the balcony.

As I’m washing the cups, the team return from Hamburg – at ten to one!

Half an hour after that I’m writing this, which might explain why I haven’t written much, as I really want to go to bed.