Several muesli frenzies

Get up at 7:15 – didn’t really sleep last night. Poor Haru has to go to work. I spend the day crashed on the sofa. Several muesli frenzies. I field a few phone calls. I seem to have energy reserves for one phone call at a time.

H comes home at 18:30, and eventually we have chips. I don’t really have the energy for anything else.

I also show a few of the bits and pieces that arrived during San Cugat, and perhaps bits for the future.

Later on we toast while listening to the CDs I brought back from Sant Cugat – the Italian Circle project, Martin Schwutke and Harald Rey playing Bach and Gadget #2.

Bed soon, and hopefully rest.

pigeons and dogs

Day off in Sant Cugat. Get up, shower and wander into town in search of breakfast. I effectively say to the waiter that I want something to eat but I don’t know what and his face is a picture of despair. After breakfast I sit in the square and watch people going past, take some pictures of pigeons and dogs, sit in the Monastir until someone comes with keys to throw everyone out, wander about the town, have an ice cream and take pictures behind the Monastir and sit there for a couple of hours.

There’s an elusive cat, but I fail to get a picture.

While this is going on I listen to Britten’s Second String Quartet, some Tortoise, some Beethoven, Desperate Straights by Slapp Happy, various tracks by various people and the first half of Sing to God.

Meet Alain and Victoria as they’re finishing lunch. They go home, I walk around for a bit and then have my own lunch, then another ice cream and then back to the House.

I call Haru, have a shower and collect my email. It’s currently 21:09 and I’m considering dinner.

“Well, that’s it, then”

6:30 – Rise, stretching.

Sitting, breakfast and then begin Tea and Coffee. I have a sick headache so I don’t go to Tai Chi.

At 11:00 there’s the final meeting.

Then there’s housework. I clean toilets (downstairs).

At 13:00 Lunch. Dr M has to share the head table with… well, with people like me.

More housework – Sweeping the first floor corridor and balcony.

Then preparing Tea with Sylvain. We help Victoria serve her rice tart. We forget Hot Milk, but it doesn’t matter because soon we will be Off.

After tea there’s the Completion Meeting (much shorter – it could, but probably shouldn’t, be reduced to “Well, that’s it, then”), some T&C completion and then a shower followed by hanging around – firstly on the balcony, then napping fitfully, then in front of the building – before setting off for town.

First cava and frittes at the Meson, then dinner at the Moroccan place, then the Mexican place, then a club where the DJ plays the most bizarre selection of Pop music. I suspect this is not eclecticism but something more . I give up and go home after three.

Because we’re vegetarians here.

6:30 – Get up. Stretching, shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

Then I make the bed. Not literally construct, obviously. Ignacio did that yesterday.

8:15 Breakfast.

Guitar playing.

10:30 – Housework – I don’t clean toilets. I do move baggage and sweep the top corridor. Then I do sweep the stairs.

More guitar playing.

13:00 – Lunch; Pasta by Ignacio and Tywi.

More people have arrived.

After lunch the real Roberto Duse arrives. A quick chat and I leave him to unpack, taking my guitar down to the Ballroom. I play for a while, then fall asleep on the floor. It’s very hot. Sane people should be having a siesta, and I take my cue from them for a change.

Lie on the bed for a few minutes.

16:00 – Tea. Chat to Mike about Scott Walker and Jacques Brel.

Quiet jam with Roberto, then at 17:30 begin dinner preparation with Victoria. Soup. I fry a large amount of onions and leeks, and boil a fairly large amount of cauliflower and broccoli (to be added to the soup at the last moment so that it doesn’t turn to mush), and Victoria denudes a fair amount of salad of its fauna. Because we’re vegetarians here. For the next week, anyway.

The bell rings slightly after 19:30. There are more empty places at the table than we thought, included Tywi, who’s not officially absent, but asleep.

As I’m getting him his soup, silence descends.

It turns out we need three volunteers for the washing up, rather than the two I asked for. After completing the kitchen, I help Chris and Alain with the washing up, then hang around waiting for the last arrivals.

End up leaving the Kitchen at about 22:00. Go to the Office and use the internet to collect my email and post the journals up to now. It’s possible that something else might happen tonight. I intend to phone Haru, put some clothes in to soak, maybe shower, do whatever I can to dissuage Cousing Mosquito and go to sleep. But who knows. The world might get more exciting.

all sorts of interesting faces

Up later again, but at least today I get up before Haru.

I finish up the McCabe typesetting – I missed the discography before, and think it won’t take me very long, but he’s made a lot of recordings. After this I upload PDFs to Sara’s FTP site.

I go out and walk up to Charing Cross and get anti-histamines in the Boots there, hoping that it will have an effect on mosquito-bite-allergy.

Then I walk up to Argos and check out there supply of suitcases (non-existent), then the little luggage shop at the top of Charing Cross Road (existent), then take a bus down to John Lewis (existent, but more expensive than the little luggage shop, but not in any way that goes against their “Never Knowingly Undersold” pledge), and back to the little luggage shop, where I finally buy a suitcase. Short chat to the shop owner, who’s very nice and interesting to talk to, about the differing qualities of suitcase. Also buy a couple of cheap iPod covers.

Wheel the case across to Kingsway and catch a 188 home.

Quick font tweak, which has to go backwards and forwards a few times.

I realise that it’s Friday the 13th. Oooh.

H makes Japanese food for dinner. Mmm!

After dinner a bit of packing organisation, fix a couple of websites for IE and watch television – Alastair Campbell diaries; first night of the Proms (featuring Walton, Elgar Cello Concerto and Beethoven’s 9th). The lead cellist makes all sorts of interesting faces while he plays.

After that watch Newsnight and Newsnight Review, which is also about the Alastair Campbell diaries, which I’ve not been interested in, really, though it’s quite scary the way that things I remember from the news have now become History.

Also watch some Flash animations of Alan Watts talks, or bits of them, or at least the more entertaining bits.

As I said, rubbishness.

6:30 – I assume the alarm goes off, but as I sleep through it and wake up at ten past seven, I can’t be sure. Pre-course rubbishness: whenever I’m about to go away on a course, however good my intentions the week before is marked with sloth, overeating, no exercise and rushing to finish work.

Breakfast, and Haru goes out at 8:00. I regenerate fonts and send them across, then iron my shirt, shower and leave for Walker’s.

I thought that what I had to do today would only take a couple of hours, and am surprised (and a little dispirited) to discover that it takes all day, until 18:00. With a break for lunch.

Back at 18:30. Don’t really invest anything into the evening – chips for dinner, watching less-than-optimum comedy on the TV. As I said, rubbishness.

strangely intractable problems

6:30 – the alarm goes off, and we get up seven minutes later. Sitting and breakfast, and H goes to work.

I send some fonts over to Walker.

I do some stretching, have a shower and walk to Walker.

The proofs for the Maisy house have come in. I declare myself “astounded” that it worked, and spend the morning looking at bits and pieces to be done.

At lunchtime, Ben and I go to the cafe across the road. I’m trying to work out whether it’s the same people who used to run the Courtyard Cafe. I’m still not sure, but it was very nice, substantial vegetarian food. With carrot cake.

In the afternoon, more of the same, and I come home at about 16:00, having a conversation with Sara on the way. There are problems with some of the fonts I sent over this morning and I have a look at them. I cannot make them work. Another of those strangely intractable problems I’ve been having recently, where it seems to be impossible to work out what the problem is.

Eventually I move on to the other business – exporting the McCabe book as PDF and uploading to the internet. Then back to looking at the font.

Dinner by H – pork chops with stir-fried vegetables. After dinner, watch Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Newsnight

Unconscious most of the afternoon

6:30 – The alarm rings. Haru turns it off. We get up some time later and have breakfast. And Haru goes off to work as usual.

I spend the day being ill, with some work. Unconscious most of the afternoon. Juan comes round to collect the G5, after I’ve retrieved the big disk from it.

Working on a JGB.

Haru gets home.

Dinner.

Watching the TV.

Bah. I’m rubbish, and a waste of one of my few days left before San Cugat.

a lot of pestering and attempted up-selling

6:30 – Get up. Interesting dream, which I immediately forget, save that it is interesting.

Sitting, breakfast and Haru goes to work.

I do stretching and get back to doing the McCabe book. Also trying to make a website to manage the files related to the book.

Early lunch, which is, in fact, toast and jam. Possibly a mistake.

Calls from Donna and Sophie at Walker, and Sara at… well, at Sara.

The old-new computer makes another appearance. I wonder if it will work this time.

At 17:00 I have a shower, and at 17:30 set off for the Royal Festival Hall. As I near the building there’s a clap of thunder, and as I arrive arrive the rain starts.

After some negotiation (or at least dithering) we have dinner at Wagamama, which has jumped the shark, as they say. I distrust establishments where the staff are instructed to ask whether you’ve visited said establishment before, and also there’s a lot of pestering and attempted up-selling. And the food’s nowhere near as good as the noodle place we went to yesterday.

We eschew the very busy coffee shops in the RFH and go to the very quiet coffee shop in the QEH.

Then to the gig: First up, Byron Wallen and his trio, who’s very good and all that, but perhaps more professional than inspiring.

Ornette Coleman is extraordinary, though. Full-on assault with three bass players and a drummer. All that bass makes for a very interesting sound. It’s like normal jazz put through a shredder and then set in jelly. Legendary stuff.

We walk back home, drink tea and I show Haru the clip of Spinal Tap at Live Earth, performing Big Bottom with every bass player in the known universe.