seemingly out of nowhere

8:00 – Get up.

8:15 – Sitting.

8:50 – Breakfast.

In the morning I make a font, or rather five fontlets, each containing only numerals.

Then back to the lettering job.

H goes out.


Stretching exercise.

H comes back with an August-to-July Year Planner and I go to the bank where I pay my tax bill and also pay in a cheque.

More lettering job – my computer is moving very slowly at the moment. I’m worried for the hard disk.

There is a stand-up fight outside between a driver (who is very angry) and a cyclist. An appreciative audience appears, seemingly out of nowhere.

19:00 – Dinner.

Back to the lettering job. It looks like I’ll have to carry on doing it tomorrow.

10:00 – Toast.

23:59 – Posting this. Soon to bed.

impressed and faintly appalled

8:00 – Get up, sitting, breakfast.

9:45 – Go to the supermarket. As is usual, the check-out person spends some time (while I’m waiting), packing the first few items into a carrier bag. I then empty the things out of the carrier bag and repack them the way I want them. I have the opportunity to observer myself being annoyed, and, whilst thinking “this really isn’t worth being annoyed about”, my sudden desire to do something rather than accept an imposed state of affairs not to my liking seems clear and decisive and real, so I go with it.

The packing stuff for the customer is something that I presume the management tell them to do because the customer likes it, whereas in fact as far as I can tell, the customers hate it, but most just let it go. Strange thing – it purports to add value, but in fact is clearly a gesture to deprive us of control over the very few areas we still feel we have control (the way that people arrange the shopping on the conveyor belt is very instructive and well worth the study, especially as it seems to be totally ignored by the checkout people, who just reach for the first five items and dump them in a bag in any old order).

10:35 – Back in the flat.

Shower. I manage to bugger up the archiving I set going before I went out, and so set it up to go again.

11:45 – To Southwark tube station, to wait for my sister and her partner, who are, it turns out, severely delayed by a bad case of Tube Weekend Crapness Syndrome. I use the time to prune my text-message inbox, which is quite full. When they arrive, we repair to EV (Turkish cafe) around the corner – big plate of mezes and then baklava and Turkish coffee. A hit.

14:30 – Back in the flat.

I do some Walker work .

We decide on chips for dinner. I go to the nearest chipshop (not the good one, which is closed on Sundays). The guy asks me if I want salt and vinegar on my chips, and say just salt, he puts salt and vinegar on. I say “no vinegar, please”, and he’s so shocked he discards that portion and gets another one. Who is this person who demands his chips the way he want’s them? Pushy, yet authoritative. I’m both impressed and faintly appalled at myself. Huh.

After fish fingers and chips, watch some Dr Who-related stuff (documentary / puff-piece stuff thrown together by BBC3, none of it new, but fairly entertaining, and there are Old Doctor anecdotes and footage of Daleks in it), then The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball, a film of an Amnesty International charity concert from the early 80s with Pythons and Rowan Atkinson and other comedy luminaries in it. The best thing is a comedy fan-dance – called They Are Naked and They Do Dance, performed by three men in dinner suits, with pieces of A4 paper to hide their modesty.

Twingeing in my foot. Another possible gout attack. I usually manage to head these off at the pass, but one day I won’t catch it in time.

23:39 – Posting this. Imminent horizontalisation.

(How can I be the first person to have posted today? Is there something wrong – please tell me, the webmaster (at) guitarcraft dot com of there is, because it’s working perfectly for me)

Or perhaps complacency

7:20 – Get up, shower.

7:45 – Sitting.

8:20 – Breakfast.

9:30 – To work – the Americanization project I picked up yesterday.

10:00 – H goes out.

13:45 – Stop doing that and look for all the bits to do an archive to DV tape of completed projects. However I can’t find the mains adaptor for the video camera.

13:30 – H returns.

14:00 – Denise arrives, we repair to the cafe downstairs for lunch and sit in the yard out the back. We move tables once because of the sun/shadow movement, and do most of our discussion there.

15:30 – Back to the flat and begin working on the site.

17:45 – Tea and cake (from Konditor and Cook).

18:20 – Denise leaves.

18:45 – We go to the Samye Dzong for Shinay, arriving on the dot of seven. I rush to sit down and take one cushion too few, which results in pain in my back. I don’t know whether that is the reason I find concentration difficult or whether my mind is all over the place anyway.

20:10 – Leave the Buddhist Centre, return home.

Snack foods for dinner, then watch the film version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy again, because I really need to watch something.

23:00 – It appears that the servers at my web host are down, including the DNS server for this site and other sites that I work on (including the ones I was working on with Denise today). I can connect by FTP without problems and the email seems to be working, just DNS and some MySQL servers. Very annoying, especially as there’s nothing I can do except pre-emptively email some of the people who I know will soon be emailing me to tell me that the site’s not working. Impotence can bring one equanimity. Or perhaps complacency, sometimes it’s (famously) difficult to tell.

23:37 – Write this. I’ll post it when I can. Soon, hopefully.

0:00 – It’s come back. I post this.

When I’ve invented this particular wheel

7:04 – Rise, shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

8:10 – Breakfast.

After breakfast I redesign a website of mine – not a very complicated one, it has to be said, but it goes together very quickly.

Conversation with my sister about the Mahler job and typesetting in general.

The first thing I do is finish off the cutter guide and send it off – actually this first thing takes me through to lunchtime, as I’m basically redrawing it. Why I didn’t see why this needed to be done at first, I don’t know. Technical skills seem to hang around from job to job, but often if there’s a long break between similar kinds of job I find I have to reinvent the wheel, as it were, each time.

Lunch is Soba. Hooray!

13:40 – Walk to Walker to pick up my next job. As I’m wearing a jacket, I’m very damp by the time I get there. Get briefed on the job – actually it’s very straightforward, I could have picked it up remotely, but it’s nice to meet people for a change.

15:30 – Back in the flat.

16:40 – Begin work on the new job – essentially it’s a book with text scribbled all over it, and I’m extracting a black text plate from it and then amending it in accordance with the editorial demands of the American publisher. When I’ve invented this particular wheel it’ll be fairly straightforward.

Two calls – one booking me for Tuesday through Friday next week to do Maisying, the other about a fontlet that I need to do. And a call from Denise about Website work, and a meeting tomorrow.

Busy boy, then. I actually like it that way.

Dinner is Italo-Japanese crossover food – delicious! Followed by ice-cream with raspberry sauce.

Back to looking at that website, in particular cool solutions for transparently streaming audio from it. I need a nifty little Flash player.

22:56 – Posting this. Soon to bed.

it’s a skilled job and I’ll get paid

7:06 – Rise, shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

8:10 – Breakfast.

9:30 – Begin today’s cut-out session. Essentially, going through what I sent over yesterday and smartening them up. I soon realise that this will mean redrawing a number of them. It’s quite difficult to convince the computer that an almost-straight line is actually a straight line rather than a not-very-wiggly line, other than erasing the line and drawing in the one I want.

I also send over the coloured-in picture again as I got the wrong email address yesterday.

13:00 – Lunch – pasta by H.

I begin doing some typesetting for fun. What an odd boy I am.

I call the credit card company, and ask them to get my money back either from the Hotel or from the Agency. Preferably the Agency as it’s more money.

Back to work, this time doing more of the coloured-in picture, and a lot more redrawing of cut-outs, swapping back and forth between them. It’s always a shock to look back and realise how much of my day has been spent doing these things. On the plus side, it’s a skilled job and I’ll get paid.

18:00 – Both jobs put to bed.

19:00 – Juan arrives.

19:30 – We play for a while – tune, warm up, circulation, then looking at a Bach circulation. The Bach makes everyone happy.

20:45 – Snacks and chatting, then pannecotta and more chatting.

22:00 – Juan leaves.


23:30 – Post this. Soon to bed.

this one is post-asprin

8:00 – Get up. Sitting. Breakfast.

I finish off the final cutter guide for Walker. This takes longer than I thought it would (which seems to be normal behaviour). Haruko goes out to see if the bank will give her an account this time.

After doing the cutters I have lunch, then in the afternoon I begin another colouring-in job. I’m following a previous job by the same illustrator, but it doesn’t look right at all. I send over a PDF and the editor calls me to say, well, it doesn’t look right at all. I recolour everything and send it back. This is good in itself – the previous colour scheme was like looking at the picture with a headache, whereas this one is post-asprin.

Dinner by H – lamb chops.

In the evening, after mailing over the post-asprin illustration, I find myself making the soundtrack to an 80s cop movie in Logic. It sounds like the kind of thing that someone who wants to be Michael Kamen would do. Probably waiting for someone who wants to be Eric Clapton.

Not a terribly detailed day.

23:00 – Write and post this. Soon to bed.


7:45 – Get up. Shower.

8:15 – Sitting.

8:50 – Breakfast.

Today working on cut-outs for Walker’s – the images (very christmassy pop-up) have been provided as drawn silhouettes and I have to convert them to vector drawings and then go through and make sure that the lines are smooth enough to be made into a cutter. Also receive a lot of calls throughout the day and download the files for tomorrow’s job.

Haruko goes out at about 13:00 and returns at about 17:00 – Job interview.

I between I work, eat too much bread and iron a couple of shirts. I lose an hour somewhere in here as well. Scary.

As I’m going out, one of the neighbours asks why the electricity bill isn’t addressed to me. I’m not sure that it’s any of his business.

Continue working.

Dinner – Soup and salad by H.

In the evening I play the guitar for a while. Handy, the way a 6th chord is also a minor 7th chord, isn’t it?

23:47 – Posting this. Very soon to bed.

powerful, but impenetrable

8:00 – Get up, sitting, breakfast.

9:45 – To the supermarket.

10:30 – Back in the flat.

I spend the morning changing this website. If I did it properly, you’ll hardly have noticed. That sort of change.

[All the people who wrote journals today did noticed, as their paragraph breaks mysteriously disappeared. Sorry about that.]

My email is down all day, which is annoying.

Still recovering, so not a lot done, although I find myself being drawn into TeX, the typesetting software. It seems to be powerful, but impenetrable. As with Lilypond (the music notation software that’s inspired by it), I like the magical effect when the marked-up text is compiled into typeset documents.

Chips for dinner.

More looking at TeX.

23:00 – Post this and to bed.


Get up after noon. Spend the day recovering – feeling very tired.

Try to find out about higher mathematics, but my brain isn’t up to it. My reading around the course was David Foster Wallace’s Everything and More, which is about ∞ and particularly the work of Georg Cantor. Wallace is very good – on the surface quite flippant, but he knows his stuff, or at least appears to. The book is entertaining enough without understanding any of it, but I wish I understood at least a little of it.

My ignorant-person’s take on mathematics is wonder at the way that the world echoes mathematical stuff (don’t want to use a better-sounding word there, for fear that it might actually mean something completely different in mathematics), despite the fact that Maths is entirely abstract and, dare I say it, made up.

In the evening, after excellent soba by H, watch Kill Bill Volume 1 and eat popcorn.

New Stuff out of the air

9:10 – Get up, decide I’m in slob total mode today and write the journal for yesterday.

10:30 – Leo and I walk into town, have coffee, visit the Church, wander some more, buy something for mosquito bites (which turns out to be ammonia, and also doesn’t appear to do anything, but it does hurt like hell and that’s the next best thing, isn’t it?), have lunch in the Mexican place, get called by Mariana to see if we want a lift back to the House (but our food is just arriving as this happens, so no, but thank you), then have a coffee and then a gelato. Then we walk back to the House. More or less a successful morning off, then.

The area around the House is actually fairly fully sketched out – I’d thought that after three years it was still wilderness out there, but in fact there are streets (that have names), and even a municipal square. But no buildings yet, mostly. In my experience of these matters in the UK, things like squares or parks are what is left over when they’ve made the buildings. Perhaps this is a better way.

14:45 – Back in the House. I shower quickly. Discover I’m on Tea and Coffee with Carolina.

15:15 – House meeting.

Ignacio has decided that we should perform Bicycletta / Raton Acido for Tea.

15:45 – Begin Tea preparation.

16:12 – Run away to collect my guitar. Ignacio has decided that it would be better to perform Savannah (cortada).

16:15 – We do so. It is underwhelming somewhat. The Director coughs at the right moment to inform me as to what is underwhelming about it.

Complete Tea.

House work is going on, but there is currently not a task for me, so I go to the room and rework Savannah with Leo.

Barbara comes up with a task for me – making the beds in the rooms prepared for tomorrow’s new arrivals.

After this I go back to the room and work on Navajazo with Leo and Ignacio, then back to the kitchen to prepare T&C for Dinner. Then back to the room, which is also Green at this moment.

7:35 – We enter the Dining Room and play . It feels fairly solid. The reception is not wild, but it doesn’t feel like our fault or the fault of the piece.


21:30 – There is a meeting to present the second part of Lunatica. I sit in to observe, but it splits into small groups fairly quickly, so I repair back upstairs, eventually joining Ignacio and Leo to pull New Stuff out of the air.

22:30 – Meeting to present Invocation, the Third Relation exercise and Asturias culminating in a playthrough of Asturias.

0:00 – Lighthouse Keepers meet in the Ballroom for a recapitulation session – Urgente, Savannah, Bicycletta, Raton Acido, then Ignacio calls Evil, then El Navajazo, Tiki and finally Zombies. The latter two work very well in spontaneous trio arrangements. I did enjoy hearing Orchestral Tiki over the past few days, though.