Having had some unexpected downtime, I used it to visit the Tates – Modern yesterday, Britain today. Of course the big exhibitions have either just closed or are about to open, but my favourite of the three I did see was the Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern. Not a stellar name (she only warrants a six-page card leaflet for a start), the best of her pictures are colourful abstracts (with an unexpected lurch into big-eyed portraits at the end of her life). The other two I’m probably just not the target audience for – Whiteread’s stuff seems to be mainly about the story that can be told about them. As objects they’re quite banal, indeed the display outside in the “free” section (Untitled (One Hundred Spaces)) seems like a range of prototypes for bollards. But she’s very well-liked by people who like that sort of thing, so it’s obviously me. Similarly, the Queer British Art contained a lot of perfectly-all-right-but-that’s-about-it stuff. One of the pleasures of Tate Britain for me is that there are often things appearing that are unexpected and delightful – today it was the Ray Harryhausen and STAN FIRM INNA INGLAN: BLACK DIASPORA IN LONDON, 1960s-70s. But disappointingly nothing in the Queer Britain, although I did like a reference to Cecil Beaton’s “use of soft focus”. I think he was just, at that time, not very good at focusing. We take focusing rather for granted these days, as our phones do it for us. A phrase that would be wonderfully confusing to any 1930s photographer, I’d have thought.
Up, breakfast, shower, dress.
Into Walker, and do the normal retouching stuff.
At lunchtime walk to the local Tesco and get a punnet of strawberries and a cauliflower. Not a shopping expedition I’ve overthought.
In the afternoon eat the strawberries and the cauliflower (I’m not sure that I’ve eaten an entire cauliflower before. While it’s not an experience I’d warn against, I’m not sure it’s one I’d recommend particularly either), and carry on with the work.
Call at the shop on the way home. I go via the park, which is a long cut rather than a short cut, on account of building work. That said, it is more scenic and the weather is lovely so I don’t mind. In the end all I get at the shop is meatballs.
Dinner is the meatballs and rice, followed by delicious Japanese cakes that H was given by one of her friends.
Watch the first episode of the new season of Better Call Saul, which is going for the superlatives again.
In order to keep the TV momentum going, watch the documentary about 60s psychedelic music and one of those Pink Floyd retrospectives.
Up, coffee, a bit of guitar playing, more coffee, shower, dress, into work, dropping off a couple of suits to be dry-cleaned on the way. I think I’ve dressed in a faintly absurd summer sort of way, with which I have no problem, but which might have a comedy aspect to it.
Spend some time transferring text from Illustrator to Indesign.
Home again, dither, then go out for a run. Somehow I manage to skip from Week 6 of Couch to 5k to Week 9, but manage to complete it anyway, so perhaps Week 9 is where I’m supposed to be. Home, stretch, shower, then get dressed and go to buy some milk.
Listen to some new CA tracks that Ben and Gerard have been working on. No idea what I’ll do for them. Perhaps I’ll find out at the weekend.
Dither, write a very long post on Metafilter, soon (late) to bed.
Spent the day not doing very much, which was all very nice, but…
I did make a shoe rack, will that do? I’ve been planning how to do it for a long time. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, although there was more sawing than I’d have liked. Although sawing is the only, or at least best, way of making bits of wood into smaller bits of wood.
Anyway, of the several things I really should have done, all I managed was a shoe rack.
Up, breakfast. Vegetate.
Morning fiddling about with chromatic chords, which are still alluring, plentiful and bewildering.
Shower and dress.
Go out in the sunshine to deliver the final, signed document to complete my father’s estate. Which ought to be it, but if the rest of the process is anything to go by will take a while.
Walk along to Somerset House to see the Restless Spirit Projector that Viv’s been building, and for which I’ve done sounds and music. It’s very fine, and quite unusual. Partly because it doesn’t appear to involve any technology at all – just hand mirrors. Go for a coffee with the fellow who coded it, and find myself doing conversational ineptitude again – for some reason the conversation becomes about how I don’t play games rather than about how he makes them, which would be much more interesting. I really need to stop doing that.
Find myself going to the Apple Store, where I inspect and buy an Apple Watch. I’ve been receiving Apple Store gift vouchers for some time, and I felt the urge to cash them in. The sales assistant is very, professionally, nice and I end up with the thing, but feel again that I’m doing human interaction wrong.
Walk home in the sunshine via the shop where I buy tomorrow’s breakfast and tonight’s dinner.
Get home and unpack my new purchase. I spend some time setting it up and fiddling with at, finding out what it can do, as it’s not as if I’d put any prior thought into the purchase. Some apps I thought I’d be using a lot are a bit underwhelming, but it looks like it will be very useful.
This makes dinner late, but it’s very nice, but not of the excess levels I’ve come to expect on a Friday. Have to rush out to get an avocado, which isn’t a sentence I ever thought I’d construct, and get to try out using the watch to pay for it. That felt a bit futury.
Seems to be Depeche Mode night on BBC4. Can’t help but feel that my generation is moving into the position that Fleetwood Mac’s natural audience occupied a few years ago.
Do some practise. I think I’m getting the hang of chromatic chord progressions, but I’m not sure. It feels like I understand it, but can’t quite get my head around it. Sounds nice though, so perhaps the whole head-around-ness isn’t completely necessary.
Shower, dress, into Walker to do stuff to hares.
Go for a walk around the block – or at least over Lambeth Bridge, past Tate Britain and back again over Vauxhall Bridge – after lunch.
Afternoon very tough – feeling very sleepy, which hasn’t happened for a while, and also a bit grumpy. Trying not to show this, as it appears to be just something that’s happening in my head, but still. Want to sleep.
Walk home, stopping by a supermarket to get milk. Head bubbling somewhat.
Dinner by H – cous cous and vegetables.
Go to the computer and finish the final pair for Restless Spirit Projector. Upload same.
Record my voices for Restless Spirit Projector after some prompting from Viv. Interesting how quickly it goes – I’ve obviously sharpened up my speed editings skills. But I’m not getting to bed early, that’s for sure.
Up and coffee.
To give H a chance to have breakfast between cups of coffee, I pick up the guitar. I promise myself I’m only going to play through previously existing, though unfinished, songs. However, I inadvertantly managed to write another one, to add to the teetering pile.
Then more coffee, shower and dress.
Into Walker very late, but then I’m on my own recognizance today. The morning is spent putting together Hares artwork, creating new pictures. The afternoon is spent trying type options for Fiction, which also makes a nice change.
Go for a run, which is probably all that I’m good for on a Thursday evening. Well, of the available options. I go down the South Bank, which will probably be impassable until the late evening, soon.
Stretch and shower.
Watch the last episode of Legion, which is kind of stunning. I do hope other series try to compete with it, because that would be fun.
Up late again, watching videos on YouTube. It’s like there’s a compulsively-watching-YouTube me that only comes out after everyone else has gone to bed. All those years he spent staring into space long into the night, waiting for YouTube to come into being.
Up really early and go for a run. Or jog. Or, to be honest, stumble. I was going to redo the last one before the big leap to twenty minutes, but I’m still asleep and forgot and then the programme is on, so I do the twenty minute run. The first time I did Couch to 5K that was an impossible-seeming leap, but I’m quite blasé about it now. Home, stretch and shower. Then breakfast.
Get in to Walker early-for-me-but-not-for-a-normal-person.
Morning spent firstly redoing a picture I did yesterday (as I did the wrong one), then stuff with Hares.
Lunch, and do final amends to the page I got wrong. Then give the impression that I’ve done the wrong one again (though I haven’t). May be entering a slapstick phase, where I find myself walking headlong into walls for the entertainment of workmates and passers-by. Not as much fun to do as to watch.
Afternoon doing things with Hares, again.
Home via the shop – I buy some prepared marinated chicken and a bunch of vegetables.
Make and eat dinner. This could be an acceptable ready meal alternative for me, though I really ought to be capable of chopping things up and soaking them in stuff before stir-frying them. It’s just a question of working out the quantity and types of stuff for the soaking. Anyway, it’s very nice.
We listen to Concrete Desert by The Bug, Earth and Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou. I think very different, but then what do I know.
Struggle with making a small WordPress site. I’ve noticed that every time I try to install WordPress somewhere, I have to do it twice, as the first time something goes wrong. Tonight is not an exception.
Go and make some more sounds for the game/show thing. I really need to get more of this done either Friday or Monday.
Up at 8:40, rather than at least an hour earlier, which is what I was aiming for. I had a strange dream, which I remember thinking made sense at the time, but afterwards less so. The clearest detail that stays with me is that my unconscious affects to convince me that various soul classics were sung by someone I’ve never heard of, and probably made up. Why would it do that?
Coffee, shower, dress.
Into Walker. I arrive at the time we currently designate as “on time”. I’d have liked to be a lot earlier, but I’m not. Which comes from waking up late, of course.
Morning spent making a paperback cover. I’m supposed to be doing the insides too, but there’s a perplexing page-count conundrum to which I don’t get an answer, so I move on to another job.
Lunch. Actually stay down in the dining room for a chat, today. I must be in a post-course good mood.
Afternoon spent doing more transferring of text from Illustrator to Indesign.
Home. Try on the suit – which fits a bit snugly, but hopefully I’ll shrink into it.
Dinner by H – pasta with an excellent salad that incorporates nori and salt-and-vinegar crisps. Wash up and make tea.
Go up to the supermarket and buy a cauliflower. I’m struck by the banality and specificity of that. I happen to like cauliflower as a snack food, but still. Oh, and get some cash to pay for lunch tomorrow. That too.
Get back to doing voices and sounds – the deadline will be coming up soon, scarily…
End up staying up late trying to render something I’ve been working on. Amazing the way computers know to slow down when you’re in a hurry, isn’t it?
The taxi driver we end up with is openly skeptical of all the information we have, with the possible exception of the name of our ultimate destination. Possibly even that.
We get tickets. As there’s a lot of time before the train departs, we elect to have, in my case, breakfast. We wind up at the outside tables of a brasserie on the local rambla and eat pizza and discuss stuff. The pizza takes long enough to arrive that we have to eat in a hurry before we make our way back to the station and get on the train – definitely the right one, I checked the departure board and everything. Well, perhaps not everything, but lots.
We sit on the train until twenty minutes after it was supposed to have departed. Then we notice that everybody else has got off, possibly to get on a through train to who knows where. Mika goes to ask what’s going on. The guy at the ticket office isn’t able to tell us what’s going on, but does suggest taking another train which goes near our destination, at which point we need a taxi or a bus or something. We get on the train he recommends. At approximately the right time it begins to move, and it seems to be going on the right direction. I begin to drift off to sleep. I occasionally need to get up and rescue my luggage, which is a bit restless in the luggage area. A few stops before the stop we need to get off at, several folks we already know get on – Jaxie, Al, Sebas and Dev. On reaching the town, Dev stays with us to get a taxi and the others walk to the house. So it is walkable.
The taxi from the station to the house is a lot more straightforward than the one from the airport to the other station. The impression I’d constructed of the house as a bit spartan and challenging is contradicted by the place itself. Which is good. Better, anyway, than the other way round. I say hello and then unpack and make my bed. Best to get that sort of thing over with at the beginning.
17:22 – Sitting in the Dining Room. Dinner will be at 19:00, I expect.