Fitful sleep. Revellers returning at 4:30, revelling and then lapsing into silence; supposed tent-mate returning at 6:00, peering into the tent, thinking better off it and scarpering (later discover he goes and finds a sofa to sleep on, which is very sensible indeed); There’s something tremendously noisy with geese. Can’t be more specific than that.
At 7:00 I roll up my sleeping bag and walk back to the house. Coffee and croissants, then some clearing up and washing up. There is an attempt to light a fire, though sadly the chimney isn’t very co-operative and the house fills with smoke, causing some consternation and very impressive lighting effects. More coffee, then sweeping floors.
People slowly appear, and the house comes to order.
Dismantle tent, which I’ve not done before. So there’s one skill I’ve learned over the weekend.
Hanging out, then departures, mostly to the local Country Fair. Dan gives me a lift to the nearest station. I’m on the verge of crashing, and feel some dissent in the digestive department and would rather get going as soon as possible. Miss the train by four minutes and go back to the pub I waited in yesterday. Landlord asks me how the party was. Due to time dilation effect, it doesn’t seem like yesterday, but much longer ago.
Back on the train. Change at Swindon again onto a train that’s hugely oversubscribed. Paddington, tube, home. Long hot shower. H makes hamburger steak for dinner, then I catch a couple of performances on the feed from the open-mic at the Stage Door. Generally feeling very tired.
Up at 7:00-ish, shower, complete packing and out the door at 8:00-ish. To Paddington, get a ticket and some cash and on the train, which leaves at 9:00. With no -ish.
Change at Swindon. When I was at college and going between Newport and Oxford, I used to do this all the time. So I have some point of connection between then and now, which is quite appropriate, as the event I’m heading for is a reunion of people who were at that college together.
Arrive at Stonehouse, call to see if anyone’s at the venue yet, find they aren’t and slip into the Wool Pack pub. Have a pint of the least potent local beer and conversation with some of the local characters. The main topic of conversation being the guitar, as I’m carrying mine. There is some admiration expressed for Hank Marvin and Bert Weedon. And Gene Krupa, come to that.
After my pint, I call for a cab and get taken to the venue, a lovely old rambling house off the main road. The taxi driver is audibly impressed by it, which is a good sign. I’m the first to arrive. Then Titus, Dan and others begin to appear. I assist with the erection of the tent I’ll be sleeping in tonight. Food is placed on the table and a PA is installed downstairs.
So I’m meeting lots of people I’ve not seen for twenty years, something which I approached with some trepidation, but which turns out to be increasingly enjoyable. On one level it’s instructive in terms of the way one’s character is consistent (and separate from the more transient elements of the personality). This kind of helps me come to terms with me-from-twenty-years-ago, someone I’ve had fraught relations with over the last couple of decades.
Anyway, I eat lots of food, perhaps too much; drink some wine, perhaps too much; play some songs, hopefully not too much; party some more. Before the dancing really kicks off, my feet carry me to my tent and, having been carried, I take the hint, lie down and go to sleep. It’s extraordinarily dewy out there, but with an incredible number of stars visible.
Up at 6:00, sit, breakfast and H goes to work. I contemplate going and running around for a bit, but decide against it. My foot has no objections, thought, which is big of it. I do have big feet. The main thing is the amount of time I have available between now and going in to Walker, and having something to finish off. Which is what I do, though I don’t get in early, rather not late. Something peculiar happens to time between about 8:30 and 10:30, and usually, having entered that period at a leisurely, optimistic pace at the beginning, get spat out into a panic, lurching towards 11:00. Or something like that, anyway.
So in Walker, doing stuff.
At lunchtime go to the cafe-in-the-art-gallery with Denise. Food very slow in arriving, but well worth it when it does. Having panicked somewhat, a torrential downpour (and it was bright sunshine when we went in) keeps us standing at the door for fifteen minutes, peering out. Eventually, when the pressure of weather relents, I make a run for the bus stop, bus to Elephant, pick up a repeat prescription from the doctor, try to get it filled at one chemist (who don’t have any), then get it mostly filled at another, then get back to Walker. I’d originally planned to be back for about 2:30, but it takes an hour longer than that. Time, again. Misbehaving. By the time I get back, the sun is shining again.
Chat to Ben after work, and get home about 20:00; home, dinner. Finding out how to beat map tracks in Logic. Quite a slow process, actually, or at least fiddly, though the result (matching inappropriate drum beats to tunes) is entertaining, to me at least.
Up… later than I’d like. Strange dreams, which I decided to hang in with. Don’t remember any detail, except that one had the skeleton of a fly in it. Little bones, arranged fly-form. Think on that. Apparantly I don’t know basic stuff about animals and their anatomy when I”m asleep.
In the morning – again don’t get things I’d like to achieve done, but do pick up a parcel that was sent to H, so not entirely useless.
In the afternoon go to Walker, do some Maisy stuff. Get slightly out-of-sorts because the situation, which had been defined, drifts into something approaching chaos. I should remember to make specific notes. Or something similar.
In the evening home, then continue working, including some photographs of pieces of folded paper. Not going to stun the world with my folded paper photography, that’s for sure.
Up, startlingly, just before six. Sit, breakfast, then after H goes to work, I go for a run, which my foot appears to be allowing me to do today. Why do I require my foot’s permission to take simple exercise? Good question.
Home, shower. Don’t get the things done that I thought I would today, but I do reconnect with a number of tunes that I may have to play in the near future, and work out how to play the solo from the version of River Rise on Another Time in OST (as it was played on an NST electric guitar), and practise it lots.
Looking at reviews of moderately expensive gadgetry on the internet. And buy tickets to see Adrian Belew play on my birthday. He doesn’t know it’s my birthday, I mean that wasn’t his motivation for playing that day. Just a happy coincidence.
In the evening watch the VAC open mic, which it appears I wouldn’t have got to anyway, on account of the tube strike.
It appears someone has put footage of me on YouTube. I’m slightly appalled, but generally am when I see images of myself. I can see why that chap in the pub a couple of weeks ago suggested I take my jacket off when I play, as I look like an overweight hunchback with slightly random dress sense.
I put the video on the jp.com site anyway, because…
I don’t know why. I just do.
Up later than I’d like.
The weather’s very pleasant, though – that September trick of having a few days of nice weather before plunging us back into cold, wet and rainy.
I pop out for a sandwich and end up having a long chat to Tony and a neighbour, partly complaining about the usual subject. The neighbour, who has been studying at South Bank University, tells me how rubbish it is – essentially cram them in, take the fees and devil-take-the-hindmost, with overcrowded classrooms, inadequate timetabling and terrible mismanagement. This doesn’t surprise me – as I point out, this was an organisation that allowed a building they wanted rid of to collapse onto a bus stop. That there was no one standing at the bus stop at the time was merely luck.
In the afternoon to Walker for a meeting. I like going to meetings occasionally as it makes me feel like a grown-up. Also deliver the job I did for Ben. Then Tesco to buy some bread, then home to make lentil-and-chorizo soup and wonder about video cameras.