possibly with fruggish overtones

Very late rise, and a drifty sort of day after that. More decoding than coding, which was fun.

In the evening I watch Attack of the Clones, which, apart from the title being like a medical euphemism ("Ooh, I was laid up in bed for two weeks after a terrible attack of the clones…"); has been unfairly dismissed. Basically anyone who’s going to get too upset at a Star Wars film not turning out as they’d hoped probably takes Star Wars too seriously. Yoda is cool, anyway. And Annakin Skywalker is Darth Vader: of course he’s annoying.

Mariana and Mika make a tremendous dinner – pizzitas, spreads, cake and science-fiction fruit, with Hard Day’s Night bang on the stroke of midnight, followed by many Beatles hits (of four answers to the question "What’s the first song you remember hearing" around the table, three of them were Beatles songs); and twisting, possibly with fruggish overtones. I leave a couple of HNY! messages on answerphones.

Christian and I clean up after the meal (I think M&M were trying to get in the Guinness Book of Records for Most Utensils Used in the Preparation of a Single Meal) and soon to bed.

It’s trickier than it looks

Up at 7:20. My body doesn’t want to do this. Sitting, then breakfast, then practise, then coding.

At 12:30 I sit in the Ballroom for half an hour.

After Lunch, I meet with the Registrar re the site and what still needs to be done. A couple of areas of trickiness I’ve brushed to the back of my mind that I can’t ignore any longer. Continued labours in this area.

A quick dinner, then out for our evening Off, first to Chagall (where Kondor joins us, fresh from travelling); then on to Fun Fabrik, where I have my first experience of bowling. It’s trickier than it looks in the films. The most disconcerting thing is that apparantly (to me) identical movements elicit either a strike or a fracaso total. And assuming the virtue results in falling flat on my face, metaphorically speaking. On the bright side, the balls are all pretty colours and I don’t often have such a glowing opportunity to humiliate myself so totally in front of so many young people half my age. Who don’t, bless ’em, seem to care. Perhaps if I hadn’t been Spider, I’d have done better, Yeah, dat’s it!

or at least not wholly passive.

When we get up the snow is still there:

Most of the day is spent staring into the computer doing the things that I thought I should have done yesterday, mostly menus. No, really, there’s not a lot of interesting detail that I can remember. Time spent in real space can be discussed and measured – it takes x minutes to get from one place to another, for example, but time spent in any kind of virtual space obeys different rules. I suppose what’s different about computer spaces is that they’re active, or at least not wholly passive.

Anyway, time burns away.

I am fetched a card reader, which is very helpful.

The director comes for tea (after which I join the balconeers for a non-smoke) and stays for dinner, a masterful display by Mikael, with Weichbrodt brodt to go with it.

After dinner I do the washing up. and at 21:00 there’s a circle with Mikael – Askesis and some other recent favourites.

I take more pictures in the dark, with long exposures and Photoshop them so they’re as bright as possible.

or more like sketching

Up at 7:00. shower, then into the kitchen to begin Breakfast – as there are only three of us it doesn’t take very long, and I set the table and set out jam and muesli. Then Sitting, then back to the Breakfast, which is then eaten. Mika and I discuss European history.

At 9:15, AAD, then I plug in the MOTU and begin recording ideas. I’m conflicted about this: on the one hand there are a lot of other things I ought to have been doing; on the other I’ve left ideas before and they’ve flown away and I’m glad to have these.

Hernan gives me a gift. I’ll need to exercise restraint.

At lunch a title is presented inadvertantly. After lunch I see whether it’s possible to make the piece to go with the title. Possibly so.

Tea is late, by common consent.

After tea I sort my shelves. As there’s a little extra space, I can spread out a bit.

Between tea and dinner: more recording, or more like sketching. It’s all coming easily and I don’t want to stop.

Dinner is a terrific quiche. and a lot of it. Yum.

Mika calls a circle for 21:00. There’s a lot of bubbling energy around. We work on Askesis. which is a pleasure for me, as I’ve been practising it alone on and off for so long. With counting. I’m amazed that I can count it, at least a bit. Then Mika asks if there’s anything else and I attempt to present Space Zombies! From Outer Space! one of the pieces I was working on today (I suppose I can steal my own title, can’t I?). I don’t do it too well, but hopefully I’ll have another chance.

More listening to the recordings, making notes, soon to bed. The registrar calls to tell me it’s snowing. I’m grateful for this, or I’d have missed it.

I’m not sure what I learned from this.

The first part of the day is a bit of a blur actually, and I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t go into it in any detail. By the time I’m compos mentis enough to regret the lack of definition in the beginning of the day, the beginning is long past.

I spend a lot of time packing, eventually leaving the flat at just after twelve and taking the tube to Liverpool Street. My initial aim was to go to Golder’s Green and catch the bus from there, but I decide to get the train as it’s quicker, if more expensive. However today the train is also a bus, but charged at the same high high prices as the train. It’s all right, though, they haven’t suspended their strict Rudeness and Unhelpfulness policy, even if they have turned into a bus company for the day.

I’m not sure what I learned from this.

However, the bus gets me to the airport so early I get Pass #1 again, largely by the expedient of correctly guessing the check-in desk that they’re going to use. So, hurrah, I suppose.

Then the long queue into the sanctum sanctorum, some very expensive coffee and then I take my position at the front of the queue. Actually, for a very long time I am the queue. In the wrong bit (in the #66 and over bit, not the #1 to #65 bit). It doesn’t really bother me, and all works itself out in the end. I board the plane and get a seat not really any worse than that I would have had, had I been at the back of the queue, although next to the window. This is a mixed blessing as I get to see the bags being stowed.

The chap stowing them is obviously not happy about having to work on Boxing Day. He has a pained expression on his face. More the point, he’s wrenching the bags from the wagons and throwing them with some force onto the conveyor belt, sometimes hoisting them above his head. This has several results. Firstly, many of the bags bounce off the conveyor belt and have to be retrieved (one particularly recalcitrant, dark green case tries to escape four times) which results in more swearing and martyrdom on the part of the packer; secondly, I suppose some christmas presents were pulverised (I worried for my hard disk, which I’d packed in my case, although by the time he got to my case…); thirdly, he was exhausted by the time he’d half completed the job, and was visibly upset by the final wagon, though physically incapable of inflicting the punishment on the bags that he obviously thought they deserved, which just seemed to increase his resentment. This is where my luggage came in, which is why they were only dropped from a height of about eight inches rather than hurled forcibly.

His orange vest said "Team Leader" on it, which makes one worry about the rest of the team.

Uneventful flight. Many small children chatting, chirrupping, and, throughout the landing, screaming. Can’t say I blame them. The upside of being next to the window is that I get to see the lights glittering below me, which I always find delightful. There’s a very curious lighting strategy around Amsterdam, that I can’t describe, let alone work out.

Dash to get through passport control as fast as I can (or at least as fast as the chap will allow me – he spends a very long time looking at each passport. I swear they live in hope, here, that one day they’ll apprehend an international terrorist); and then wait for my luggage to appear, hopefully unharmed, on the conveyor belt.

Bus to L?beck (this top my Mum gave me for Christmas is jolly good protection against the cold – thanks Mum!); then a wait for the next train (I usually arrive at the station as the previous train has left, if you see what I mean); then the train to Kiel, then walk up to the House, arriving at the House a bit out of breath with Metaphirosity going on in the Dining Room. I say hello, then go out to have dinner at Bambule.

Back at the House I set up the computer, listen to the CA final mixes again (Ben’s done a marvellous job with them); chat to the other two and soon to bed. The hard disk is unharmed, as the biscuits appear to be, so that’s alright then.

random foodstuffs

Up at 8:00. and then Sit. At something-or-other past 9:00 I go out, first to the building society (impossibly long queue for what I want to do); then to the supermarket where I buy random foodstuffs (no, really, I can’t imagine what the check-out chappie thought I was up to. But then he took great care to pack my bag to the brim, rather than leaving me to do it. Then while he was playing with my debit card, I unpacked it and repacked it in two bags). After returning home, I go out to the middle of town to buy my last two Christmas presents. This takes longer than all the others put together. The last one usually does.

So in and out of various bookshops, including Watkins where I find a book I’ve been looking for on and off since my return to London, but whose author I can’t keep in my head when I go shopping. I simply look on the shelves until I find the book.

The shops are all playing christmas records, mostly hideous ones, even a record shop that normally rocks hard is today pumping out what appears to be a Chas and Dave Christmas Album. It’s all that I can do not to run screaming from the shop. And to begin with the shops are so quiet that I suspect the public has taken the threat of Chas and Dave seriously, but by the time I get to John Lewis it’s getting scary. Luckily, that’s me done and I return to the flat, only to set off again to the Tesco in Kennington, for necessary supplies. Whole shelves have been cleared out.

Return home, wrap presents, eat sandwich, fall asleep on the sofa. While I’m asleep Juan begins dinner. We eat and chat, then I set off to my father’s to deliver the presents and pick up some more in the other direction.

When I return we watch Topsy Turvy, which is probably my favourite film about the creative process, though it’s a bit difficult to explain what’s going on. Juan, tired, goes to bed as they’re about to begin rehearsals. Yum Yum is singing The Sun Whose Rays as I write, and I’ll probably to sofa shortly.

Revels goes flying everywhere

In the evening I go to meet Ben again, and give him his present – a copy of Playtime. We eat at Wagamamas and go to see I Heart Huckabees. No ideological worries there. I love movies that bewilder people. There are muttered conversations about what might be going on, and the couple behind us begin to make their own entertainment. A bag of, I think, Revels goes flying everywhere.

Terrific movie.

We go for a coffee afterwards, and sit outside a Cafe until closing time. Do I want a loyalty card? Well, no. A chain of coffee shops would be a bit of a waste of loyalty.

I walk home over Jubilee Bridge again. My iPod gets a perfect mix, ending on my favourite christmas record of all time, the Cocteau Twins’ version of Winter Wonderland