As the sun was shining (or making such a good attempt at it, that it would be churlish not to give it the credit for trying), we go for a walk. We end up at Tate Britain, and see the Picasso exhibition. Find that I’m most impressed by his drawings – his line in particular. There’s also a Patrick Keiller exhibition in the main part of the gallery that I’m going to have to go back to catch properly. Try to explain Patrick Keiller to H, with no real success.
Decide to walk back rather than on, making a detour to the Beaconsfield Gallery for excellent cake and coffee. It appears that the kind of coffee I’ve been looking for is called a Flat White. Not sure about the exhibition they’ve got on (it’s video installation in the arch out the back and I’m not sure that the extreme reverberation is a part of the presentation. Also it’s quite cold in there and H came out without a jacket), but the coffee was excellent.
Then go to the Tesco on Kennington Lane, and home.
Almost immediately I go out to Robert Dyas. I have some strange notion of getting an egg boiler, but in fact get a frying pan, a work lamp, a small teapot and a telephone. Not sure how, exactly, anyone came to be setting up a shop that sells that sort of combination of goods, but I got them anyway. Small frying pan and teapot to replace perhaps excessively large frying pan and broken small teapot; telephone to replace one that won’t keep a charge (so whenever I do actually need to use it to make a call it’s annoyingly run down); work lamp to supplement or perhaps replace photography lamps, which are a bit of a bugger to carry around and anyway, I broke one of the bulbs recently.
Use the new frying pan to cook dinner.
After dinner I do the admin for a website I should be putting together, while watching numerous episodes of In the Night Garden. Realise, with a shock, that I’m approximately forty-five years too old for it. I think it’s the natural successor to The Goon Show, myself.
Overslept a bit. Then staggered into life.
Spent the morning preparing to try to buy tickets to see Elizabeth Fraser at Meltdown. Preparing psychologically, that is. There’s nothing I could have done physically. Possibly training my fingers to press phone keys neatly, that’s about it.
The phone lines and website seemed to open at 11:56 (four minutes early), because that’s when they crashed spectacularly. I frantically poked at both the website (which never really responded) and the phone line (which went from a flat “try later” to trying to connect me but giving a dead-line tone to actually connecting me) for what seemed like eternity but was, in fact, about thirty-five minutes. And then a very nice lady took my details and sold me a pair of tickets.
To keep myself occupied I whined extensively and pathetically on Twitter.
After my triumph, I had lunch, then went in to Walker to deal with Stuff.
After work I walked to Greensmith. The weather has decided to taunt us with a few blue skies before the freezing grey comes crashing down again.
Home, find that although I successfully set the time for the rice cooker, I forgot to press “go”. Also that I’ve killed the electric scales somehow.
Throughout this, I continued to upload videos, which I wrote extensive notes on.
Up… oh, well, it’s a bank holiday so we lie in. I go up to Sainsbury’s and get not quite a substitute for Greensmiths bacon and egg for breakfast.
I do the exports of the edits I made over the weekend and convert them to uploadable files.
Instead of lunch I put a bunch of things in the slow cooker and plan to go out to John Lewis to get a fancy rice cooker, something we’ve needed for a while (and if I’d not dithered at the duty free in Kansai International Airport five years ago we’d already have). On the bus up there, get the device and a couple of jackets in the Salvation Army charity shop (I’ve worn out a lot of my jackets), then home on the tube.
Realise on reading the instructions that I have exactly the amount of time it will take to cook the brown rice before I need to eat dinner if I want to get to the VAC this evening, so that’s strangely neat. I do so. It’s all fabulously delicious, but very gadget-reliant.
Out to the VAC. I’ve not been for months, owing to work, flu and being in a convent. And work again.
One of the acts taps his foot slightly fast than he’s playing, so he keeps going in and out of phase with it. Try to imagine how difficult it would be to do that deliberately and it hurts my brain rather.
When it comes to me, I ramble on about In the Night Garden rather, to give the young people who’ve come to see the previous act a chance to leave the room. As it happens they leave the room quite quietly during my second song, so. I play Learning to Crash and The Rest of Our Lives, and realise I need new songs and to have practised the slightly less new ones.
Bus home, check the upload, soon to bed.
Up, sit, breakfast, etc. Tea this morning…
I’ve been trying to remember what was going to happen on May 3rd, and realised this morning it was the mayoral election. Slightly disappointed, as I thought it was going to be a party or something.
I meant to get in to Walker really early, but found myself delayed until … well … not really early, then realised I didn’t have enough time to make lunch, or any money to buy it, and decided to go to the cash machine after I’d voted, then remembered that the cash machine near the bus stop in Vauxhall was closer to the stop there than the stop and machine were from the Polling Station, got there and it didn’t have any money, so I had to walk miles anyway, resulting in my “not early” status. After that there was all sorts of kerfuffle with coffee, which I won’t go into, as I’m sure you want to hang on to the little will-to-live you still retain. Anyway, a morning of blockages. And I’m unlikely to have helped topple Boris Bloody Johnson, which didn’t really improve my mood. Three polling papers: a yellow one and two shades of pink. Not confusing at all.
Various work stuff, interrupted by lunch.
Walk home, go to the shop, buy vegetables, go home, cook some of them, admire the new coffee grinder which H very kindly went out of her way to go to John Lewis for, then… dither and dribble until bed time. I make a strange funky, dubby loop. If there were a market for tracks three seconds long, I’d be doing OK.
I somehow oversleep a bit – up, shower, sit, breakfast, fail to get to work early. But get to work, nonetheless. Leg behaving a bit better. Take a lot of photographs and a proper paper engineer tells me that a mechanism I was worrying about was backwards. Which explains that.
At lunchtime I become a member of the South Bank Centre in an attempt to improve my chances of getting a ticket to see Elizabeth Fraser.
Have a lot of enthusiastic conversations. There must be some energy erupting somewhere.
Stop by my father’s on the way home to collect some post that he’d received for me, including the very impressive vinyl edition of The Chap’s We Are Nobody.
Get home, make dinner.
The Braun coffee grinder dies of a fall in a tragic walking-past incident.
After dinner I convert some .doc files to HTML. Yes, I know you can save Word documents as HTML, but machines are not efficient in the way they do it, tending to put hundreds of unnecessary tags all over the place.
Up, after a fashion, shower, sit, breakfast and attempt to gather photographic stuff to take to Walker. Also remember I have to put stuff in to wash and make myself lunch. Somewhat hampered by my knee suddenly deciding to give me pain, which means that I can’t bend my leg and tend to goosestep. As I’m trying to goosestep downstairs (which is actually quite difficult, something that should have impacted mid-20th century geopolitics), my knee collides with the bag containing the lights and breaks one of the bulbs.
Go to the tube station to put money on my Oyster card, catch a bus, get in to Walker, somewhat dizzy from the endorphins the knee-pain is causing to whizz about my system. When I finally get my head together and set up all the photographic stuff, I find I’ve left the camera on for a few months and the battery’s died, so I have to take it all apart again.
It’s one of those days.
I spend the rest of the day doing a different job and set a reminder to charge the battery.
Get home, drop the bag with the MacBook in it, pick up the other bag and set off to the Bennett Group.
Get back from that at quarter to ten, eat dinner H has prepared, then do the toast. Hoping tomorrow is easier.