Apparantly so.

10:30 – Get up. I don’ t know what happened there. Yesterday we got up at 7:00. I’m mildly annoyed with myself.

Sitting, breakfast.

I spend most of the day writing website code – I’m pretty sure I know what I want to do, so I spend some time researching to see if there are better ways of doing it than the one I’d normally choose. Apparantly so.

Dinner is a kind of inverted Shepherd’s Pie by Haruko (very nice), and after dinner we watch last night’s Dr Who again with the commentary from the BBC website. Mostly this is people going on about how fantastic everything is, which can get a bit wearing, although it’s nice they’re enthusiastic. It was a good episode too, which reached back and tweaked my childhood slightly.

During and after this I continue the website stuff.

23:00 – We celebrate the coming of a new month, the passing of an old one and discuss what’s around.

00:31 – Post this. To bed.

Is he merely a convenient fiction, I wonder?

10:30 – Get up. Slipped badly again. Very lacking in energy this morning.

Sitting. Breakfast.

Some tasks done today:

Researching some strategies for different web sites that need to be made.

Phoning up for a claim form for the travel insurance. The man on the other end of the phone was very friendly and helpful, but then he’s just sending out forms.

Phoning up a company to ask why the cheque from ten months ago that I chased up six and four months ago still hasn’t arrived, and does this bode badly for payment for the work I did for them two months ago. But the head of the accounts department is away, as he always is when I phone up to speak to him. Is he merely a convenient fiction, I wonder?

Cleaning up more audio files. Included is a short aside which explains an awful lot of things that happened over the last couple of weeks.

Haru goes out for a walk in the afternoon and returns at 18:30. Dinner is pork and cous cous, and after dinner we eat popcorn and watch Have I Got News For You and episode two of the new Dr Who with the commentary downloadable from the BBC website.

Friday, so a week ago we were in the air over Brazil, probably. Or perhaps the Atlantic.

Soon to bed: 23:54

simmering projects

6:30 – Wake up. Decide it’s too early to get up, but am glad that it’s already this light this early.

7:34 – Get up. Shower.

8:10 – Sitting.

8:50 – Breakfast.

After breakfast and a couple of emails I do the remaining parts of the file for Walker and email it over. Walker ring and ask if I can come in earlier, so I do. Before this, I ring Denise about various simmering projects.

11:35 – Leave the flat.

Still trying out my heels as weight-bearing parts of the body. Once I get over the sensation that I’m going to fall over backwards it will be quite cool.

12:00 – Arrive at Walker.

Discuss upcoming Maisy project in the Maisy department’s new penthouse suite and then go down to their old office, which is now Novelty to discuss the file that (as it turns out) I forgot to attach to the email before I sent it. Still, manage to sort everything out.

Downstairs for a subsidised lunch. Curry, hurrah.

Couple more catching-ups with Walkerites and I walk back home.

Email over the file and spend a while configuring my now-venerable Palm T3.

18:30 – I begin to make dinner: pasta with a sauce based on the white sauce in St Delia Smith’s Cookery Course. Having a recipe book helps and it resembles proper food. Also tastes like it, which is nice.

In the evening I transfer some of the recording we made in Lunlunta and do my best to clean it up. It’s undeniably rough-and-ready but not unlistenable. And very cool tunes. I save a .wav, an AAC and an MP3 and upload them to a mystery location.

Write this. Soon to bed.

with intense sliding

9:30 – Get up. Sitting, breakfast.

Emails to answer.

I have a job to do which involves tracing a bitmap image. I spend some time looking for the right piece of software to do this.

Haruko goes out to another job interview.

More looking and then tweaking. The problem is that the people who made the image didn’t do it in the ideal way for me to trace it. I suspect the chain goes something like this: The artists drew out the edges of a cut-out they want, knowing that in the past this has been hand-traced to make a cutter. Therefore there are approximations and artistic gestures in the line drawing which can not be in the final cutter. In addition, it would have been more useful if they’d done the image in silhouette. But they didn’t, and this is fine as this is the way they’ve done it previously, and an invisible person has interpreted their drawing and everyone’s been happy.

However, now I (a “visible” person, that is to say someone with a name working for the publisher rather than an anonymous person working for the printer) am making a digital line which will be converted to a mask. I am less at liberty to rationalise those approximations, as I will be someone tweaking the art (or at least this is the way it’s worked in the past).

Or alternatively no one will notice and it will all be fine.

It takes several passes with several combinations of software until I get something that I think works. In between I take a few guitar breaks (with intense sliding it’s possible to do four octaves of chromatic movement) and a shower break. I trace the image down the centre of the line and then go through the line looking for glitches and things that won’t convert to a cutter.

Haruko comes home at about 16:00 and we have dinner at just after 19:00. After dinner I return to the cut-out and work on it. I don’t quite finish it before I call it a day at 22:00, but will hopefully be able to send it on ahead to Walker Books when I go in to talk about a completely different job tomorrow.

General chilling.

00:20 – Posting this and to bed soon.

nothing much except resting

8:35 – Rise, sitting, breakfast.

9:30 – I go back to bed.

12:00 – Get up again and H goes out.

A day of nothing much except resting, although I do play the Dr Igor-treated guitar for a while. A pleasure.

Haruko comes back at 17:00 and we have dinner at 19:00. In the evening we watch episode 2 of the new series of Dr Who and then episode 1 again with the commentary downloaded from the BBC site.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more energy than today.


mingling with the dust

12:45 – Get up. Muesli.

We spend the day clearing stuff out from under the bed, in three tranches. I sneeze a lot, as the cold I brought back from Argentina is mingling with the dust. In the last step we put a lot of it back, hopefully temporarily and hopefully in some kind of order. This is at about 21:00. I have a shower and go and get some Indian food which we have just eaten. Probably to bed fairly soon, but I’m not sure when.


no one knows what for yet

6:35 (local time) – land at Madrid airport. Say goodbye to Alain and go to our gate for the transfer to London.

9:15 – After a delay, we fly to London. Passport control and baggage reclaim are painless. I realise how crappy an airport Heathrow is, compared to something like Madrid Terminal 1 (which must be older) The journey from the airport to the flat is hideous – the Heathrow Express is down, we take the tube and change at Green Park. Walk from Southwark tube.

Home at around 13:00. It appears that our neighbours have been arrested again (last night), but no one knows what for yet.

Make the bed, unpack and wash clothes, eat crisps and chocolate and drink tea.


I upload my diaries from the course. Haruko is currently sleeping and I’m thinking about food.

wonderfully rude

7:30 – We oversleep but get up at this time. I have a shower, and then we go to breakfast. After breakfast I sit at the same table and answer my email – in real-ish time it’s halfway through the day in the UK, from whence a small job offer has come. I accept their offer, mentioning that I’m writing the reply over breakfast in Argentina.

I order a taxi.

Back in the hotel room – the toilet overflows. I wonder if there’s a sensible reason the toilets here don’t really work properly.

We check out and catch a taxi to the airport. Check-in is painless, we have coffee at the airport coffee bar, then go to the gate to wait with Rob R and later both Alains join us. Long chat. We worry about getting our connections. Plane arrives, everybody gets on, we leave.

Flying over the Andes again, and a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. Memo to self – one day I must meet the Pacific Ocean in person.

We say adios to Alain P and have the time to stroll over to the flight to Madrid.

Uneventful. Ignore (indeed sleep through) Walk the Line and the Argentinean movie. Watch An Affair to Remember and The Producers.

The Iberia flight attendants on our aisle are wonderfully rude.

further debriefing

7:00 – Rise. To the Ballroom for the sitting.

8:00 – Breakfast. There’s no milk, and, as I might have mentioned, oatmeal and yoghurt is somewhat intense. There is bread and dulce de leche, though.

Final packing.

9:30 – House work.

Outside, Igor is working on guitars in the sunshine.

10:30 – Recording session with Leo and Ignacio and with Haruko, in the Hall of Aspiration. People walk past. We record several takes of the Lighthouse Keepers tracks, I do Fairies with Haruko and Evil with Haruko and Ignacio. I’m sure the quality isn’t up to much, but it was a necessary completion of our work – the latter two had to be dropped under pressure of the inundation of performances. We should have done them early on.

11:45 – To the Bus. Farewells. I’m very glad that the Mendoza Three are coming to Europe this summer.

12:00-ish – The bus sets off for the town. It drops Paul M and us in front of Hotel Carrollo. We walk to Argentino and check in. It appears a number of crafties are in or about to appear in the hotel. Paul also appears in Argentino, as Carollo have lost his booking.

To the room. Nap and debriefing.

We go and have lunch in the restaurant on the corner looking out at Plaza Independencia. I see Gabriel with his luggage. After the meal we run into him again. The Mercury Effect. Then back to the room.

We go out to the shops again and I buy underwear for tomorrow (why not?) and a roll of masking tape and a marker pen with which to mark our luggage.

Channel-switching and then out to dinner at Florencia again. Superb food.

Back at the hotel we have toasts with (very generously poured) brandies and meet with Paul for further debriefing.

To bed very late.

It clouds over.

6:00 – Rise, short sitting in the Dining Room.

6:30 – Begin preparing breakfast.

8:00 – Breakfast is served – I remain in the Kitchen preparing supplies, which are immediately consumed by the voracious hordes.

9:15 – I have a bowl of muesli.

9:30 – We complete, and are told there’s a Kitchen Team meeting in ten minutes.

9:40 – Kitchen Team meeting.

10:00 – Inaugural meeting.

10:45 – Break

11:00 – Inaugural Meeting Part II.

11:45 – Break

12:00 – Inaugural Meeting Part III. I declare my aim. It has been a useful task for me recently working out what I meant by my aims. This one is a doozy.

12:45 – I lie down for a bit.

13:15 – Lunch.

I shower, wash my clothes and hang them to dry. For some reason there’s only one clothes line this year.

It clouds over.

15:15 – Alexander session. One day with careful coaxing I may be able to stand up straight. Perhaps not.

I also play guitar for a bit. This is not helped by the fact that I’m tired and dispersed. There’s a lot of dispersion around.

16:00 – Tea.

17:something. I play with the Mask for a while.

I track down H and we play guitar for a while.

19:00 – Dinner. More arrivals during dinner. Comments and observations concerning love for vegetables. Dessert: creme caramel, without creme, but with dulce de leche. A meeting for the Kitchen Team is called for 21:30.

I end up playing with Luis C, Juan P and Gabriel C in the Caballeros toilet.

We get to the meeting. A bit of a play of classic hits. Haru, Victoria, Mask and I slip away to play The Stick. Breakfast tomorrow, possibly.

00:07 Writing this in the Dining Room. To bed soon, I think.