a protest or a celebration

9:45 – We get up. Strangely there’s been no supermarket-related phone call this morning. Breakfast.

I do website bits and H does the recycling. Outside the cleaner vacuums the stairs, the first time he’s done so since July. Sadly, he charges for cleaning once a fortnight.

At 15:30, having successfully got my site to list the tracks in a particular album, to play them via a flash player if one button is clicked or download them if another button is clicked, I go out for a run.

Lovely weather – slightly chill, but sunny. I run up along the river to Battersea Bridge, then across the bridge and back along the north bank. About halfway between Battersea and Vauxhall bridges I have a tremendous sense of clarity and balance, though as soon as I’ve noticed it it disperses and is difficult to get back. I’m sure it’s hyperventilation, although I’m not actually hyperventilating. Anyway, something similar strikes crossing Lambeth Bridge. It feels like a cruder form of energy has been burned off allowing a finer form of energy to flow, but what is that supposed to mean, eh?

There are a lot of Tibetans around. I suppose there’s been a protest or a celebration somewhere. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell.

Back at the flat I solve a final riddle re my website, then have a shower, then have tea and biscuits, then do some more bits. I knock together an ambient thing in Logic and have it looping as I”m working.

Haru makes Japanese food for dinner. Then we watch some TV (programme about Superman, programme about Stephen Fry), then we plan next week and then we have our monthly toast. Didn’t September go quickly?

the world is changed slightly

Oversleep and get up at 7:20. Breakfast and H goes to work at 8:00.

I do manage to do the final bits of the current round of McCabe. I also manage to write an important covering letter and post it at the same time as the McCabe proofs. I’ve been prevaricating about this letter for over two years. Once it’s posted the world is changed slightly, and there’s someone in here holding me back from that. I hope I know more about what I’m doing than he does.

After posting the packages I go to the Salvation Army shop near Oxford Circus and buy a suit, a winter coat and a shirt.

Getting home, I press the trousers of the suit.

After dinner I had worthy activities planned, and end up exploring MIDI files. Bah. On the upside, there are some fairly solid tracks for at least three songs. On the downside again, I need to write the lyrics for one of those.

it would look kind of needy and wierd

Oversleep again, so up at 7:10, breakfast and H goes to work at 8:00.

Shower and dress, then start work on the Shifrin, which is quite a long way from anything I”ve done recently.

Walk to Walker’s in the rain in the clothes I bought yesterday. Ben briefs me on some more Alex Rider, then we have lunch, then I do a tiny Maisy correctionette and go to Victoria to the Red Cross charity shop there (quite costly, but good quality. Nothing I want, though), then catch a bus across town to New Bond Street. The bus goes past Roger Moore, or someone who looks very like him, or at least very like I imagine his Tussaud’s waxwork look.

Up and down Bond Street until I find where the Oxfam shop was until last February. I’m on a bit of a charity shop jag at the moment. I’m just around the corner from the shop I went to yesterday, but I don’t want to go in there wearing the clothes I bought there so recently, partly because I already know what they have, partly because it would look kind of needy and wierd.

Catch the 159 bus to the Imperial War Museum and walk home from there. And back to the Shifrin.

Haru gets back at 18:00.

By 20:00 I’ve got a headache, but I also have a sample chapter to upload.

Make myself some dinner and watch television – the India documentary, The IT Crowd, Newsnight and some of Mock the Week.

Also listen to the new Cardiacs single as broadcast on the Marc Riley show.

a hoo-hah at Oxford Circus

6:35 – Get up. Sitting, breakfast and H leaves at 8:00 as usual.

I shave, shower, dress (wearing the suit I bought in Mendoza in 2004) and leave the flat, getting to Walker at about 10:00.

I also manage to get briefed on a job for Novelties downstairs.


At lunchtime I go out with Ben to find a sandwich and have a chat.

Then back to the Maisying. I have to do something about the point in the afternoon where I grind to a halt and fall asleep at the computer.

At about 16:00 we agree that that’s that (barring some corrections early next week) for a couple of weeks, which will give me a chance to work on an Alex Rider / Fairies cocktail with the novelties job in there as well.

I set off for Windsor Road, but there’s a hoo-hah at Oxford Circus (the train’s delayed, eventually I get off to find another platform, but can’t find the one I’m looking for, by which time the delayed train has left and I get on the next one) and I take an unnecessarily long route between the tube station and the house.

Although we start early, the session isn’t provided with much material (I’m too tired, for a start). We do two sections, then Ben arrives back and we have a long chat, with musical examples. I eventually leave at about 22:20 and catch a number 4 back to Waterloo. Takes longer than it says it will on the timetable. More fool me for believing the timetable.

Back at the flat, don’t have anything to eat. Hang up the suit.

a bit too dead on time

6:3-something. Get up. Sitting, breakfast. H goes to work at 8:00. I put all the camera stuff in one place, making space in the case for the new lenses; then I iron shirts; then I shave and shower and get dressed and go to work.

Today I’m working downstairs. Still Maisying, though.

Lunch at 13:00. Spicy food, to which I add spicy sauce. Spicy, then. Also, I have to use a knife and fork in addition to the chopsticks I’ve taken, so it all looks a bit affected.

Then back to the Maisying.

It’s decided that I don’t need to go in tomorrow.

Leave at 18:15 and arrive for the Movements a bit too dead on time.

With the beginners’ class downstairs I’m back at the bottom of the class again. This will take some adjustment. Challenging, though, which is good.

9:45 – Leave for home, arriving at 21:25. Eat delicious Japanese-style stew and watch part three of Comics Britannia, which throws together (rather uneasily I thought) Viz, Action, and Alan Moore.

A new low.

9:00 – Get up. There’s no muesli so we have left-over fruit and nut for breakfast. A new low.

Thence to the supermarket and back again.

And then to do McCabe corrrections, which I do almost all of. H goes out for a walk.

I need to find some software bits in order to complete the McCabe, and it takes a while. I also go out for a run. There’s been some kind of pro-cycling event which has closed a lot of the roads to motorised traffic. Amazingly this doesn’t stop some cyclists from riding on the pavement.

Back at the flat, shower and some more installations.

H makes Japanese food for dinner. After dinner we watch the programme about British Comics, then a programme about Moebius and then Tron. I’m glad I never had any of whatever drugs it was that the makers of Tron were on.

explicit meat-slapping

10:10 – Wake up. Breakfast is excellent croissants and pain au chocolat that Haru bought at Maison Bertaux yesterday.

I mean to get on with the JGB , but the current one is extraordinarily daunting – it’s almost all hiss, get rid of the hiss and there’s nothing there. I was meaning to switch to another one, but get distracted by bossa nova MIDI files, and ended up spending the day recording a version on Gravity – H helped me out on the vocal takes, and I put in a doubled three-part harmony bit on the bridge.

At 20:00 go out and get celebratory (H had been in the country for two years now) chinese meal, also wine from Mendoza and a bottle of port. After dinner we watch 30 Century Man, the documentary about Scott Walker. It leaves me with the same kind of warm feeling I felt after watching the BBC edited version last year. Looking at the people commenting and thinking “Yes, that’s it, that’s exactly right”, though I can’t work out why they left out ’til the Band Comes In or a mention of the James Bond movies song he did (for Goldeneye, I think – mention-worthy because it’s a curious move, in between Tilt and The Drift.

And of course, scenes of explicit meat-slapping.

Then I listen to Gravity again and tweak some bits, then listen to the vocal-less Free Time and the mix of Jimmy that I found a few months ago.

chips, television and chocolate

6:34-ish – get up. Sitting, breakfast and H goes to work at 8:00. On the other hand I dither until I go to work just before 10:00.

Curious phenomenon number one: the more people who comment that I’m dressing smartly, the worse-dressed I feel.

Maisying, listening to the Cardiacs’ back-catalogue again. I’ve become quite addicted to them again.

13:00 – Lunch and long chat.

14:00 – Back to work.

18:30 – Wrap up. Curious phenomenon number two: on the way out I have a banterish conversation with someone, who – fully joking – makes a very clear and straightforward comment on what may be my blind spot. In fact, sitting here now, I think it’s a pity I didn’t write it down. Very good, though.

Walk home. Evening off, involving chips, television and chocolate.

increasingly noticing the onset of autumn

6:30 – Get up, which is increasingly an achievement in itself. Sitting, breakfast and Haru goes out.

I vegetate for a while, then shower, dress and go out to Walker, classical guitar in hand.

Maisying, again. The chap whose computer I usually use is in, so there’s some dithering. However, as it turns out I use his computer and he goes off somewhere else.

Lunch, then a much-needed lie-down, then back to Maisying. I listen to more Cardiacs – I’m currently very taken with the early, mad stuff and A Little Man, A House and the Whole World Window.

Leave Walker at 19:20 and walk to the Duchess, which is a pub in Battersea, where there’s an open mic. I’m early for a 20:00 start. I’m especially early for a 21:00 start, which is what it is. I sit in the garden, increasingly noticing the onset of autumn.

The first on is a chap with a flute, which sets the atmophere in an interesting way. It’s a challenging job, to be the person who does something left-field. I go on after and do Gravity, Care and 100 Horses. Good performance, and it seems to be getting through to people, although there’s a barrage of noise. This doesn’t actually bother me, as I can more or less hear myself. The noise can actually be quite comforting, as it allows a lot more space. Only one actual deviation-from-the-text bummer, though I wouldn’t want to claim it was a flawless performance.

I stay and watch the other performers. Very high standard, especially technically. People appear to be able to sing and play the guitar better than they used to. Perhaps it’s the X-Factor generation coming to fruition.

I leave at 10:30 and get a bus home. Gratin and leftover stew from yesterday is waiting for me. Long conversation about stationery and challenge.

So we’re into a war of attrition.

6:30 – Rise, sitting, breakfast. Etc, of course. Already it’s dark getting up – this is something that’s happened over the last few days.

After H goes to work, I begin doing something Rhino-related, before realising that it’s not necessary. I dither for a while, then do some ironing and prepare to go out.

10:00 – Leave to go to Walker’s. People comment on the tie, and I have to keep explaining. I say that I’ll continue wearing it until people stop commenting on it, and someone says that they’ll keep commenting on it until I stop wearing it. So we’re into a war of attrition.

Anyway – Maisying, then lunch, then more Maisying, and I stop at 18:10. During the afternoon I listen to a lot of Cardiacs. Wonderful stuff, and I’m beginning to get into the Garage Concerts stuff (very early tracks performed live in 2005, rather beefed up, making an odd hybrid).

Then to Windsor Road, getting there just before 19:00. There’s an Arsenal match on tonight, making the trip slightly more chaotic than usual.

Chat and extemporise, then chat again. I leave to go home at 22:10. It’s cold and rainy – Autumn is definitely here, then.

Long wait at the bus stop, for a bus that’s not going to arrive. Walk to the tube station, and take the tube. getting home at 23:15. Meaty stew waiting for me. Watch YouTube videos, where someone has dubbed very bad guitar playing onto video of shredders. Bit longwinded, but very funny.