below a certain threshold the somnia takes over

Wake up at 8:00. This is a shame, as we’d intended to wake up at 7:00. Get up, even. Breakfast. Last night I had terrible insomnia, so this morning I have terrible somnia.

There’s an email containing the most vexing alternative of all the possible alternatives that the recent computer kerfuffle threw up.

I set out at 9:00-ish with a package for the post office, however, when I get there, it’s not only closed, but there’s a giant crane parked outside, and a temporary fence built around it. Fairly assertively closed then. I just have to take the package with me.

Then it starts to rain.

Tube to Baron’s Court.

Ouspensky day at Colet House. Very interesting to discover more of the history of the house, and the groups that have worked in it. At lunchtime I go to Earl’s Court as there’s a post office over the road from the tube station. Sadly it’s a post office that closes slightly before I arrive. I’m given vague directions to another one that might be open (Fulham Road) but I know when I’m beaten.

Back at Colet House I have too much buffet. There’s a notion that one should stop eating while one is still hungry. I have difficulty stopping while there is still food in the house somewhere.

Afternoon very informative, and one speaker is very good indeed. The problem is that if I let my attention drop below a certain threshold the somnia takes over, and I wake up halfway through the sentence with no idea what’s going on.

There are questions after each talk. Actually, very few of them are questions.

Oh, and I’m sitting next to a man of astonishing boobiness. His record for stillness without major movement of some kind was three seconds. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been counting.

After that, the Movements demonstration, again very informative.

Tube home, stop on the way for fish and chips, which we eat when I get home.

Doctor Who: the world ends, and is then unended, as is often the way in this sort of thing. I enjoy it, though.

Evening chill with the TV several Greatest War Films and then the Rockumentary, tonight about Britpop and after. Oasis don’t annoy me now as much as they did ten years ago, but Noel Gallagher seems to have a slightly inflated impression of their importance, in cosmic terms.

I wonder if he ever succeeded in his ambition of living in a plasticene house?

Toast, and conversation until late.

I don’t have a suitable box

Another day attempting to reach escape velocity. Or rather…

Some jobs don’t seem to want to get completed. Actually, it’s more that no job wants to be completed, but some of them have more mass and clinging power than others. It’s not the bulk of the job – the slogging away part – that’s the problem, it’s the endgame, where you think you just have to put it on CD (or in this case twenty-one CDs) and send it off. The more things that I’m able to put in the section marked “really, definitely done”, the more I can concentrate on the bits that are left.

Normally what happens at this point is that the printer or computer die (running out of toner is a very popular gambit, for example), or there’s a power cut or a long phone call from an idiot. I manage to elude these outcomes, and reach stage Completion -2 at 14:00. I do stretching, then, and at half-past three go out and run.

It’s a slightly chaotic run – I go up to Hyde Park via St James’ Park and Green Park. There are police around Hyde Park Corner, making things complex (I find out later that they’d identified another car bomb, so they have a reason to complexify things). I run along to where last time I turned right over the Serpentine, and this time turn left towards the Museums.

Getting back involves negotiating the maze of roads between Hyde Park and Vauxhall Bridge, therefore. I’m not sure where I went, but it didn’t feel like proper exercise, more like a high-speed ramble. And I’m not sure that Kensington is a good place to be, sweating in an old t-shirt and embarrassing shorts.

Returning home I have a shower, and then vegetate on the sofa.

Dinner is curry udon by H. Mmm!

After dinner I complete the CD printing, then realise I don’t have a suitable box. So I make one, with bits of a card and a stapler, which impresses Haru, and me, to a certain extent. The package is now wrapped, addressed and waiting to go to the post office tomorrow morning.

Watch some TV, eat hob nobs, play with some web page styling. Soon to bed.

wasteful but fine

Usual morning timetable, with stretching.

Carrying on the work from yesterday – I do manage to start to claw out the beginnings of an aim, which I should have had from the off. I also begin to eliminate tasks, which is useful because I can then concentrate on those tasks which, frankly, bewilder me.

Actually, more of the same tasks, but some of them play nice and some of them are just strange. So from thinking they were all done yesterday I get to half done, half not, but the ones that are done are actually completed.

Oh, and I generate a pile of coasters, which is a shame, as there was nothing wrong with the actual CDs.

Useful situation in a way, as I’m often finding myself going through the motions of doing something that I’m not altogether clear about. Then when that process is complete, I can use it as a clue for what I’m supposed to have done. This is wasteful but fine when it’s burning data CDs, definitely not fine when it’s a meal for thirty people.

Over lunch and while I’m doing some tasks in the afternoon, I watch some Seinfeld.

After Haru gets back in the evening, I get back to addressing the just-strange ones. Having whittled them down to about twelve, and having identified that there was something odd about them makes my work easier as I can just mark the folders and work my way through them systematically.

After I’ve done that I write an email and then this. and soon I’ll go to bed.

North African in most contexts

Trying and failing to catch up on a big job I’ve let slip for a long time, I find myself in a situation that’s come up a lot recently – not exactly sure of what I’m doing, or how I’m doing it. And of course a lot of mistakes ensue, which I then have to go back and deal with. I’m also not really clear about what I’m supposed to be doing, which doesn’t help. Oh well.

I take the bus up to Windsor Road, which is possibly a mistake, as it takes a very long time. On arriving chat with Juan, then we do another two hours of playing, though I doubt whether there are fifteen minutes of good stuff in there. The Unpacking is very strong though – three notes each, all different notes, taken from a scale of all natural notes with Db and Ab, which sounds North African in most contexts, but here sounded Ancient Greek.

Catch the bus to Angel, then tube back. In a minute I have to go out and buy milk for the morning, then to bed.

I’d have thought I’d benefit from distraction

Successfully wrench myself out of bed at 6:30 – hurrah! Sitting and breakfast follow after that, and Haru leaves at the usual time.

I do a bit of dithering and leave for Walker’s at 9:40. I only have to copy a file, but it appears that I’m needed to do it. I also deliver an invoice. It seems that (apart from the corrections to the house) there will be more Maisying in the autumn.

I get back to the flat at about 11:30 – I intend to go out for a run, but also want to miss the lunchtime rush, so I change clothes and then do stuff around the flat – bits of work, some accounts stuff – until 14:00, when I go out.

I buy another URL

Again, to avoid the crowds, I set off for St James’ Park, which involves more streets and road-crossing than I would have liked.

The weather is cold and overcast, which is actually the perfect weather for this sort of thing.

Anyway, my route takes me up St James’ Park, past Buckingham Palace, along to Hyde Park, around the Serpentine and back again via Archbishop’s Park. All in all it’s 80 minutes. I leave the iPod behind, and actually it’s a lot easier that way. I don’t really know why, as I’d have thought I’d benefit from distraction. Apparantly not.

Back at the flat shower, and get dressed again.

H comes back at 18:00. She cooks Japanese dried fish for dinner, as bought at the Japanese fish market on Saturday. Mm.

I get back to finalising the JGB talks, which have been put aside for too long. Call from Sara regarding other stuff. The shape of the next couple of months seems to be falling into place.

I realise that firm plans from this morning have wandered away like sheep. I really should write these things down.

considering future action

I oversleep slightly. I appear to be going through a needs-more-sleep period. We have breakfast, H goes off to work and i find it very difficult indeed to get down to anything – I manage to do the corrections and amendments to the font and get that off, then my brain goes off somewhere, grabbing whatever displacement activities it can. I eat too much and avoid doing anything of any lasting value, which is a shame.

I do spend a lot of time considering future action, though at the time it didn’t feel like I was doing anything. Still, while it might have amounted to me working out how I was to do things I need and want to do, in retrospect it seems more like me trying to talk myself out of doing them.

Haru comes home at 18:00, and I make some bacon sandwiches later on.

Late evening I go out and pass by the Three Stags to see whether the Jazz Jam is still there, but it’s evidently long gone.

Website glitch appears and is fixed. Another raises its head and seems to be an almost intractable problem, at least for this site.

armed with sharp implements

Get out of bed at 8:30. There’s about a serving of muesli left, mostly dust, so we forgo breakfast and just have tea.

At 9:45 go to the supermarket with my father. Today I get round very quickly (it transpires that this is because there are a lot of things we forgot to put on the list), getting home at 10:30. H has done housework and eaten muesli.

I convert last night’s Doctor Who (which I downloaded overnight) to a format the iPod will like and, after a struggle with the computer, iTunes and the iPods, go out for a run. As I leave the flat it’s raining, and I think I can just put up with it. I ditch the shuffle in my pocket, worried about it in the rain, and run without a soundtrack, which is interesting, and far less difficult than I thought it would be. Over Southwark Bridge, and towards Tower Bridge. I’d hoped the rain would have kept down the tourists, but instead they’ve come out with umbrellas. Hundreds of clueless people, bunching together and armed with sharp implements. It settles down before I reach the bottom of Tower Bridge, but they don’t put the umbrellas away. I go the long way round on the south side of Tower Bridge, then go along Upper Marsh, across the road at Westminster Bridge, double back and through the park and home.

Shower, then lunch. Then watch Doctor Who again – we’d intended to watch with the commentary, but after a few minutes ditch it and just watch the episode again. Stay glued to the TV for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. There are a lot of programmes about British history on, and I get to point at places and things (St Govan’s Chapel, halfway up a cliff in Pembrokeshire, or the chain of locks at Devizes) and say I’ve been there.

Basic but good dinner. More TV.

the army of waitresses are ruthlessly efficient.

Last up again. There’s only two of us, so coming second is losing.

We go out for breakfast to Perdoni’s, an italian cafe round the corner from the Imperial War Museum. I used to go there for breakfast on Saturday morning a long time ago – at least fifteen years, as I used to drink lots of tea and smoke cigarettes after my bacon and eggs. In those days the air was blue with smoke, now there’s one solitary smoker at the next table. In a couple of weeks there’ll be none.

The only things that have changed are that the seats have been re-covered, and the army of waitresses are ruthlessly efficient.

From there we walk up to Piccadilly, via St James’s Park and the ICA bookshop. There’s a Japanese Fish sale on today – a family of Dutch fishmongers, with perfect Japanese (language and manners). Haru buys fish, while I drink a chilled green tea. Then we go home on one of the number 12 bendy-buses. H eavesdrops on a couple of Japanese students, who are asking why they’re always digging holes in the road in England. It’s a good question.

In the afternoon we watch Hot Fuzz with more commentaries.

Doctor Who: The Master takes over the world. Next week, vast quantities of explosions, one hopes.

I go and get fish and chips, and we watch the Rockumentary: American Indie Rock. After that, it’s footage from Glastonbury. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by Arctic Monkeys, today faintly appalled by The Killers: indistinguished bombast with a frankly terrible lead singer, sort of like a drunken karaoke singer. I switch over to Naked Gun 2½ in desperation.

a series of absentminded snacks

Somehow Friday has been added to the weekend.

Although it’s Haru who needs the rest, it’s me who finds it difficult to shift myself from bed – I finally wrench myself free at about 9:00, and we have breakfast.

I sit behind the computer and… I’m not sure that I remember, exactly. It has to do with websites, anyway, mostly uploading the archive for this diary.

Haru goes out to get her hair cut and collect a parcel that wasn’t delivered earlier this week, and I carry on doing what I’m doing.

I don’t really have lunch – more a series of absentminded snacks, which I’ll freely confess isn’t good.

I watch last week’s episode of Doctor Who with the commentary, then Hot Fuzz with one of the commentaries (there are four in total, in addition to the other extras. The people who made this film are obviously excited by the medium – of film, and of releasing it on DVD. It’s actually quite exciting to be around such things coming out. And the quantities of blood…!)

The phone rings – and there’s no one there. Then the door buzzer goes, and it’s H testing it. The phone call was her, too.

I play with Logic for a while before dinner, trying to turn a strange cover version that I’ve had plaguing my brain into reality. Not quite there, yet, but a good start.

Dinner is chilli, and after dinner we watch a documentary about the Raj, and more of the usual Friday TV. Arctic Monkeys from Glastonbury, and I find myself warming to them somewhat, probably to do with the loping rhythms and twangy guitar, both of which are listed in the “Good Things” section of my book.

in some strange way, related

A dream I had involved me realising that the number of tuna fish in the world is finite. I woke up and worried for a while, about the world running out of tuna fish, before falling asleep again. The alarm goes off at 6:30, as expected. We actually get up at 6:45, which might be expected, but is less than desired.

Sitting, then breakfast, and Haru goes to work at 8:00.

I listen to the recording of the last-but-one Wednesday recording, that I picked up last night.

I write a timetable for myself, but it doesn’t really go to plan – I do some corrections to the font for Walker, and then get caught up in copying old archive CDs onto my computer, so that I can then put them on DVD or tape or something. This absorbs my morning, which is a shame, as I have proper work to do.

It’s entirely possible that the “morning being swallowed up” and the “having proper work to do” are, in some strange way, related.

Lunch, after a fashion. Tuna fish, with toast.

Nap, after a fashion. Listening to the Wednesday recording again.

Looking at website stuff.

Haru comes home, and I chop vegetables for dinner. Then I go out and run around.

Up to Southwark Bridge, then along to Tower Bridge, but it’s up. This hardly ever happens, and I’d forgotten that it did. Rather than stop, I go back along the river to London Bridge, cross there, along to Millenium Bridge, then along to Westminster and home from there. A lot of dodging, and in a couple of cases nudging, tourists.

When I get back, there’s an email from Mariana, asking whether I’d done the deed re the GC Journals. I’d intended to do it at midnight, but on reflection that was against the wording of the instruction. I do it after showering and dinner. It’s not the 21st in Japan any more, though. Sorry, Japan. Fracaso.

Watch the quite extraordinary Hot Fuzz, which appears to star the entire membership of Equity. And then a bunch of the features, which means we get to be late.