Sunday, 29 August 2010

Oh, my

I listened to this last night for the first time in a few years.

It astonishes me and, though I was in the company of a friend, it felt like a very singular, private moment, and I quietly wept a few tears.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Negative changes are impacting on the remaining things which I value about work, and indeed which have been the only things making me want to stay there.

They also are likely to impact on things such as free time, morale and so on.

I feel I could do something rash, like resign, which is perhaps not the most sensible thing in the current climate. For the immediate future it's a case of grit my teeth and carry on.

I continue to work on my music a lot more, and I feel that in some respects this is driven by a sense of sheer spite.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


It used to be that I'd go to London with some kind of itinerary, even just a vague one - some record shopping here, a gallery or two there (not least a wander around Cork St), perhaps some sightseeing.

During college days when the Tate was all one gallery (as opposed to Tate Britain & Tate Modern) and when we'd be heading down to see specific shows, a few of us would always eat a big fry-up in a lovely cafe a few minutes' walk away. In the end, eating at the cafe became synonymous with a visit to the Tate.

In more recent years when I've usually headed down on my own, I've followed the same very loose plan: do a couple of specifics and then let the rest of the day just take its own shape. On my return from a stroll round the halls of the Tate Modern, I tend to find myself taking a relatively lengthy walk around and over the river and through Embankment tube station.

There's a nice, fairly cheap noodle bar just near there, takeaway only. It slowly became the stuff of habit - if not ritual - to pick up a carton of deliciously spicy food from this place after such a walk. Summer or winter, rain or shine, I somehow find that I would rather stand up and eat my food from the carton - whether sheltering under a tree or sitting overlooking the adjacent park - than to go to a cafe or a pub and eat sitting comfortably down.

Yesterday I decided, snap decision, that I'd head down to London. On the train journey, I realised that it's reached the point where the only clear thing on my agenda was getting a takeaway from this particular noodle bar, and that was what I really looked forward to.

Straight out of Marylebone, caught the tube to Embankment, and felt utter contentment when I ordered a spicy pork dish with noodles, eating them whilst leaning up against a wall, under a tree to shelter from the light rain.

I was then left to wonder exactly what I was going to do with the rest of the day. Not that I struggled to find ways to fill my time down there, but post-noodle it didn't really matter: I'd had my fix.

Friday, 20 August 2010

The shorter the week = the thicker the treacle

In which I demonstrate my hitherto undisplayed facility for equations.

Well no, not really.
I'm now off work for a few days, but there seems to be a sense of inevitability as regards what one has to wade through in the period leading up to a bout of holiday. This week has been no exception and working hours have left me variously angry, bewildered and tired out.
I'm not going to dwell on that though, the onus is now upon me to do some serious switching off and leaving such things behind for a spell.

What has been a Good Thing this week though is that, following on from my previous post, I've spent a fair few hours in the evenings hunched over my laptop and working on more music.

Not, it has to be said, that I've been able to translate (or transcribe or whatever) the various ideas that were swimming around in my head last weekend - nonetheless, I've been able to maintain a sense of flow, of continuity and of sheer absorption in it all. To dig up many scraps of older, unfinished ideas and to either discard them, or to begin working on them afresh, or to incorporate one piece into another.

I've maintained an environment for myself which allows for escapism and concentration: candlelight only, internet switched well and truly off, other distractions pushed to the background.

It's been lovely, actually, and if a bit of toil at work has pushed me to further engage with the things which make me feel better, then I've done the best I could over the last few days.

I now have a change of scenery until after the weekend, and I'm sure that will help me to switch off too.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Windows to the soul

I like the fact that someone landed on these here pages after searching for dying trousers. I would hope that I need not point out that rumours of my death, or indeed my being dyed, are greatly exaggerated.

I was away to see my mother this weekend. As usual, distanced from laptop/musical equipment and any other such creative tools, the ideas flowed in abundance. Part of me thinks that this is a case of Sod's Law. Separated from the means to create, my brain starts working overtime on what I could be doing.

On the other hand, I know for sure that that's less than the whole picture. What I get from such weekends, in this particular respect, is space: in a literal sense, thanks to a non-urban environment; but also in the sense that, away from the pressing (ha ha) demands of the week, my mind can wander with far less constraint. Thoughtful, reflective at times, but alive, buzzing.
During my art college days I was drawn to landscape as subject matter, which was later to inform more abstract concerns. For so much of that time I felt immersed in such space, and it really fired me creatively.

Though too often buried beneath layers of the stuff of more everyday matters, it heartens me to feel that I can and do still respond to such stimuli. Indeed, I have to - these things are as important to me as life itself.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Chilli for the time of year

I was given a chilli plant.

This was back in April.

I wondered if it was ever going to provide me with any chillis.

How did I miss this?

Sunday, 8 August 2010


I just found out that Tony Judt died.

I only became aware of him last year when I bought a rather sizeable book called Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, he being the author. It's an excellent read, and one which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in modern history . I feel like my perspective has been greatly enriched, not just on past events but also many aspects of very current events.

I began reading it in March last year, and it immediately felt like one of those books to savour, to read at a leisurely pace and to take it in as fully as I possibly could (still plenty of it went over my head, it will merit another read some time). I finished it at the beginning of December, happy to have got through it all but with a tinge of sorrow at putting down something I'd been immersed in for so long.

I know next to nothing about the man himself, except that he became ill with motor neurone disease in recent years. Nonetheless, that one book has had a huge impact on me, and it felt only right to say as much here.

Respectfully then, R.I.P. Tony Judt.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Captain Obvious

I was in a restaurant last night, waiting in the corridor to make a quick visit to the conveniences once they became free. As I stood there I saw various waiters and bar staff coming and going through the door marked Staff Only.

I then spied a gentleman in a chef's hat stroll out of the same door and down the corridor where I was waiting - possibly he was going out the back for a cigarette break.

I'd really enjoyed the meal I'd just eaten, and thought that now was as good a time as any to pass on my compliments.

I've just had a really nice meal - it was lovely, very good food, thank you! I said, or words along similar lines.

Yes, it was me that cooked that food, he said, with an air about him as though he was imparting some insight or nuance that I hadn't actually picked up on.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


I'm struggling with words at the minute. Oddly, I'm finding it easier to engage in various technical processes which facilitate the making of music - something that I often find myself putting barriers up against (and moaning about it on here).
So I'm switching the PC off and the speakers and bits of equipment on, before the urge escapes me.