rashbre central: November 2009

Monday 30 November 2009

Santa sighting 2009

santa sighting 2009
I almost forgot that Santa does a test run through our neighbourhood at this time of year. He doesn't bring the full sleigh, just the sporty little number, which has a really good acceleration, considering its only 1rp.

Yes, early evening there was a loud knock on the door and I could hear faint music. Bizarrely, I actually thought "I wonder if its Santa? If so, he's a bit early this year" as I headed for the door.

And sure enough.

He seemed to be adding me to the 'Nice' list.

Elves were also present.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Poles Apart at Rich Mix

Poles Apart
Poles Apart was an excellent theatrical experience on Saturday evening.

Our little group arrived at Rich Mix with just enough time to round up a few drinks and settle into seats before Polish tunes heralded the start of the show.

It was Hardgraft's presentation of Mark Whiteley and Daniel Hoffmann-Gill describing their reverse immigration experiences as two Brits seeking work in Poland. A 2000 or so mile job hunt adventure from Oldham to Warsaw mirrored the journey that thousands of Polish people have made to the United Kingdom.

And what a trip! Dan's defective car stranded him somewhere in France calling upon Wizzair (Yup, its real) to get them to what proved to be an almost job-free zone.

The action was cleverly constructed and whilst engaging and downright funny, there was a strong back story and narrative throughout. Amongst the humour was much poignant description of the European relationship to Poland, through terrible war years and including the horrors of Nazi and Russian occupation. War, Genocide, Poverty, Expatriation. All topics were handled and in a way that fully and sometimes literally engaged the audience.

What also came through was a genuine delight and positivity about the Polish people that Mark and Dan had met. They may have found it tough to get work with their badly written letters of introduction and stuttery speech, but they commented positively on the people they had met, their kindness and sense of humour.

They also described the feelings they found as two people isolated as non-workers outside of a community and the inevitable arguments and stress between them that this created.

Both players were strong performers and able to move into improvisation, whether with volunteers on stage or handling unexpected questions from the audience during some of the interactions. The set was minimal but effective and the two actors filled the stage with a confident presence and a wealth of moves that also ensured no slowing of pace throughout the entire show.

There were some additional scenes woven in to this performance, which reminded me of the cut-aways sometimes in Lorca or Brecht, to add side bar commentary. Recent UK immigration developments with election of MEPs from the BNP drove the points being made, involving a variety of denial scenes with musical accompaniment. Funny, but in that bitter sweet way reminiscent of 1930s German burlesque.

I was impressed with this show. Two fellahs on stage dressed in suits and white trackies, wouldn't always work, but here the performance skills, the foundation storyline and agenda as well as a willingness to go 'off-sausage' during the performance kept us all entertained throughout.

Well done and thank you.

Poles Apart from Hard Graft Theatre on Vimeo.

Saturday 28 November 2009

the eyes have it

As if I'm really posting this at 23:59. I'm not even home yet.

After a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and evening, the sideways rain arrived like bullet shafts of water mingling with the electric lighting from the Cinema in the Kings Road. We'd already run from this apparent shelter to an adjacent bus stop after seeing a Number 22 disappear in the opposite direction with one of our number.

Meanwhile we'd entered the Twilight Zone of Night Buses and the thought of water mixed with electricity for a second time was more than any of us could bear.

But let's wind back a bit.

Brick Lane, late afternoon. A quiet errand to pick up a copy of Glitter and Doom from Rough Trade, and to drop into the Hidden Arts Fair in Truman's Brewery. All to plan and a chance to catch up on gossip from artydesignerfriend Linda.

Linda makes vibrant joyful designs on fabrics which I think should be placed in frames as proper artworks.
Then, via the salsa dancing in Spitalfields to the Commercial Tavern for the next stage.

I'd arranged to meet a small gang there ahead of a visit to show in the neighbourhood. The slight trouble was I wouldn't recognize one of our group.

I was first to arrive, listening to slide guitar blues, watching for an empty table or for any of our group to arrive. I knew train works meant the whole area was a total exclusion zone for tube connections so everyone was likely to be late.
P1000757 Meet
Then she arrived, alone, eyes scanning the room, looking for someone.

I began to think I should have chosen a pub that wasn't famous for always being completely dark and candle lit. I paused and introduced myself, except something was wrong. It was the eyes. They didn't look quite right.

"No, thats not me", she politely replied, before going to stand at the darkest corner of the dark bar fiddling with her phone. I glanced a few minutes later as her companion joined her and thought their shadows moved upstairs.

A few minutes passed and I noticed her arrive again through the front door. Alone. Except something was different - it was the eyes - they looked recognisable.

She headed purposefully to the same corner of the bar and continued chatting to the man, who somehow looked different in the dim light. But I noticed her disengage as my phone scuttled across the table. I stood, turned as she turned towards me. It was Ellie. We'd met, but both intercepted other people first.

The complicated wonders of blog-world.
Of course, we needed a full gang to make the trip to the next venue work - plenty of whooping and hollering would be required. So a few minutes later, John and Melanie appear and then a little later our last team member, Beth. With an umbrella.

We left Hoxditch and headed back into Brick Lane. Choice of food...Why, curry of course, complete with street corner negotiations and a somewhat compressed time to chase down Cobra beer, poppadoms, curry and rice.

Then the speedy stroll through the length of the area once wandered by Jack the Ripper, before arriving at the evening's venue.

More of that tomorrow...

Friday 27 November 2009

over 50k words on nanowrimo

chai beats scissors
Bleary-eyed, surrounded by reference books and unwashed coffee cups, Thursday blipped over 50,000 words on the NaNoWriMo project. To be truthful, it surprised me. To be even more truthful, the coffee cups were clean and I use the internet for reference. But I was bleary-eyed.

It surprised me to be at that point before the last weekend in November. When I tried using the 'official' word counter instead of the one in my software, my word count actually went down again. I probably needed to add some more weather descriptions to bulk out the word count.

But I'd written a couple of sections separately on another computer, so when I finally combined everything it suddenly jumped to just over 51,000 words. I ran it twice because I didn't believe the numbers the first time. I was sure I'd need a few more evenings to get to the number.

There's a couple of big things to do though. Firstly, although I think I know how to wrap things up in the story, I will need to write another 10-20,000 to get to that point. Secondly, there's a plot change that I thought of part way through and I need to re-apply to all of the front part of the story.

I don't think there is any danger of getting this finished in the next few weeks and I suppose it would be wise to create a gap before re-assessing for an edit.

Thursday 26 November 2009

quiet day at the office

Oxford Circus
I can still remember when $60bn was a lot of money. Today, the interest on it would only buy a couple of new Formula 1 circuits.

So when the news about Dubai defaulting on interest payments popped up today, most of America was on holiday. And the middle east is getting ready for their long weekend celebrating Eid.

I know the London Stock Exchange ground to a halt. I know it was explained to be for 'technical reasons'. But its probably nothing to worry about.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

wrong kind of shopping

the whole value chain?
I'll admit that the first of my seasonal shopping has started, although this year there are some quite noticeable High Street changes. One is the narrowing of stock from certain retailers.

Its okay for generic items, but some specific items are not in the stores. There's a difference between, for example, 'a book' or 'a CD' and one with a specific title. I suppose that is an internet impact.

I tried to obtain at least three different items using traditionalist "walking into shops" methods, but was unsuccessful. I also walked into a shop which then asked all of the customers to leave because their computer systems had crashed and would take twenty minutes to re-instate.

Inevitably I'm moving my searching across to the internet, but if my experiences are commonplace, then it does sound a warning bell for further high street stores.

Update Since I wrote this, I see one high street book chain is having some trouble.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

glitter and doom

whats he been building in there?
Tom Waits only did his last tour to the towns where people owed him money, so most of us have to put up with the album.

Form a disorderly and sprawling line at your record store after you've listened to the rare gift of a seven track Tom Waits preview of glitter and doom via the link below.

We sail tonight for Singapore,
We're all as mad as hatters here
I've fallen for a tawny Moor,
Took off to the land of Nod
Drank with all the Chinamen,
Walked the sewers of Paris
I danced along a colored wind,
Dangled from a rope of sand
You must say goodbye to me

We sail tonight for Singapore,
Don't fall asleep while you're ashore
Cross your heart and hope to die
When you hear the children cry
Let marrow bone and cleaver choose
While making feet for children shoes
Through the alley, back from hell,
When you hear that steeple bell
You must say goodbye to me

Wipe him down with gasoline
'til his arms are hard and mean
From now on boys this iron boat's your home
So heave away, boys

We sail tonight for Singapore,
Take your blankets from the floor
Wash your mouth out by the door,
The whole town's made of iron ore
Every witness turns to steam,
They all become Italian dreams
Fill your pockets up with earth,
Get yourself a dollar's worth
Away boys, away boys, heave away

Monday 23 November 2009


Sloane Square
Twinkly Sloane Square rendezvous, then downstairs to the bar, before early supper and onwards to a concert in West London.

For one amongst us, there's a tour in full swing, and for the rest of us, there are varied mixes of folk who converge and provide support.

This time it was onward to Hammersmith, but instead of pre-gig Tex-Mex or Tapas, we'd made the most of the Sunday tradition of Oriel's before hitting the District line.

Sunday 22 November 2009

aspidistras, anyone?

do the don'ts
What was I thinking yesterday? Staying in to watch shabbily constructed television? Writing an almost negative post? There must have been a temporary fault in my reality. Maybe its because I was abandoned yesterday evening whilst others took a sports car downtown for merriment.

Far more positively, alongside my lone rainy foot expedition to the Tandoori, through 90mph horizontal car-wash storms, I also completed a private project and have bundled it all off for its next stage in Germany. That's alongside the work project which is in its last stages too.

I also somehow clocked another couple of chapters for "The Square", although it seems to be accomplished in rather small units of time this year. Not quite Gordon Comstock, but parts of it have appeared whilst hanging around at bus-stops. The last piece I wrote featured the upper deck of a 137, so it is all getting a little weird.

I'll figure out how to knit it together. Once I've found a use for the secret underground elevator.
London leaves

Saturday 21 November 2009

newsflash : trash television is unwatchable

Chelsea Bridge Wharf
I nearly watched some ordinary television this evening, at the same time that it was being broadcast. My first attempt was during the 'X Factor', which I watched for about 2-3 minutes. The Irish guy was arguing about the rules and the one with the centre parting was saying "You know what" and claiming credit for influencing a smiling but slightly hapless looking singer, who had apparently given one hundred and ten per cent. I think it might have been a repeat because I recognised all of the elements.

I couldn't stay tuned.

Later, I flicked onto another normal channel and found Jordan being asked to eat raw? blue offal, but quaintly refusing. The two little guys who used to be on X factor were quietly egging her on, but I decided even faster to leave this moribund selection. I think it was that show about celebrities marooned next to a five star hotel in Australia, but I actually thought that Katie Jordan had already done that show. Surely not twice?

I've decided that my normal technique of preselecting a few programmes on Sky+ is probably still best, although I might miss the joy of watching shows at the same time as everyone else.

In truth I'm saddened that we've managed to drive prime time weekend television to such a low level. So bad I couldn't even stay for the adverts to know which products to boycott.

Its a good excuse to be out somewhere although I think some more writing might be an option.

Friday 20 November 2009

the hazard of missing keys

There was much confusion on the way to the Decemberist's gig. It could have been from their own lyrics:

And remember how you found the key
To the hide-out in the Pyrenees
But you wanted to keep the secret safe
So you threw the key away.

I'd arrived at the agreed meeting place early, with a key to let myself in to wait. Except it didn't work.

So I headed for the river for to wait a while for liberation
stars for a roof above my head shining

Except, when my liberator finally arrived on the 137 bus, she too was keyless. Much scuffling as we waited for others to appear from the public transport system. And finally, we were able to let ourselves in, to retrieve the tickets to the gig at the Coronet.


Elephant and Castle. Tunnels. Fast moving line. Metal detectors. Corridor. Sharp Left. Bar. Murphy's.

And then to take position. We had plenty of time whilst Pink Floyd's albatross was hanging motionless upon the air. I seemed to be the only one that knew the track. Meddle. Echoes.

Then a shimmy to the side and we took position for the band.

Who opened with the entire Hazards of Love album, played non stop, as one piece, complete with multiple instrument changes and all manner of swapping around on the stage.

Amazing- a complete tour-de-force. Energetically played, a kind of modernist folk story. I've heard the album many times, but as a piece played live it seemed to really come together. We all thought the same; as we sipped drinks before the second half, we chatted about how much more defined the story was for seeing it in a live performance.

Similarly the textures, from quiet mandolins and acoustic guitars, to all out whammy bar chunks of air power chords. And a great mixture of front man Colin Meloy and the rest of the band including the extra singers providing a yin and yang of styles.

Part 2.
P1020759We decided to be right at the front for part 2, which meant getting a wriggle on. We abandoned middling and used the old RHS technique to get to the very front and struck suitable seafaring poses in preparation for a second half. Which turned out to be a sort of greatest hits section, complete with good crowd conducting and the appearance and disappearance at various stages of an inflatable whale brought by some of the onlookers.

I managed to catch a small video snippet from the guitar and hurdy-gurdy of Eli the Barrow Boy

It worked though, because the band decided to play Mariner's Revenge in this section, which is seldom heard live on these fair shores.

We all screamed in the right place and could have become plankton, although fortunately we'd all prepared suitable gig names in advance so I think I became an idler roustabout.

So what do I think? They are excellent fun as a band- I'm not sure they quite knew where they were....East London seemed to be the stage consensus, but we all know it was down sarf.

I've listened to them for years and love their lyrics which create entire often edgy novel plots in a few sentences. Their front man Colin keeps a sparkle in his eyes as they perform and their whole band energy and counterpoints are quite infectious.

Tonight they are on Jools Holland performing a small piece from The Hazards of Love - during which they all beat drums. Just remember they all play dozens of instruments. Demand a full showing of a concert on our television.
And they played sixteen military wives.

related posts:
we both go down together
the hazards of love video

Thursday 19 November 2009

hazards of love - decemberists video trailer

Will post about the excellent gig when I get my voice back from the second half special effects at the Coronet, with the Decemberists.

Meantime, here's the trippy advert for the film of the album, if you know what I mean.

Oh, and that St Martin's video of the Rake's song.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

blue is the colour of four knocks

I've been chained to my desk again today and I'm just about to start my evening shift. I did take a short break for food and watched the Bowie base on Mars being attacked in Doctor Who.

But not by spiders. The Waters of Mars.

There were water based organisms that made people into smiling cracked faced Zombies.

The Thing meets Shaun of the Dead.

It was quite an enjoyable episode, with plenty of references to other movies. Silent Running's hydroponic garden, a rather cranky Meccano robot that could have been from Short Circuit or Wall-E. A joke about dog robots.

A colony with a chain of modules that looked like the main space ship from 2001 dug into the dirt.

Some blippiness in the soundtrack from 2001. Come to think of it, an 'open the pod bay door' kind of moment.

Some pulled back scenes that could have come from Thunderbirds.

Running through lots of empty hangers whilst talking about the cost of shipping bicycles to the planet. I was wondering how much metal there was in the apparently wasted space they had to run through. It would have made a lot of bikes. And shorter corridors.

There was also some good ensemble wobbliness in the first part. Kind of ancient Doctor Who acting. Wooden handshakes and a few long pauses. Like a live show where someone has almost forgotten their lines. I'm sure it was some kind of homage.
mars attacksAnd the really cool ray guns and walky talkies, like something from Mars Attacks. Water pistols that fire death rays.

Of course, it turned into a proper story about moments in time. Fortunately, the Doctor has a perfect memory and could recall the exact web pages describing the doomed fate of the fledgling space colony.


And he knew it was one of those moments, like Pompeii, that you are not supposed to change. Not even as a Time Lord.

So we moved from 'base under attack' to 'fatalistic ending - it has to explode'.

The Doctor should leave. But he hesitated in his special crash helmet and came back.

Maybe he could be a god and change everything? Even when he wasn't supposed to. Could he rule time?

Then we saw the countdown of the space station's inbuilt bomb. And how cool were those graphics? Someone had a lot of time on their hands to make the numbers look so interesting for people about to be blown up.

Of course, with a single leap, they escaped.

Kind of. We see a blue flash as the base captain kills herself (we assume!?) to reset time. The Doctor is clearly on the edge of going dark.

What finer than a snow bedecked setting for a few ghosts to appear and four knocks to sound the end of this particular Doctor?

We shall see.

At Christmas.
new doctor who

Tuesday 17 November 2009

we both go down together

A tenuous set of links...

From yesterday's post - with Debra - who used to live in Amsterdam and has just returned from Portland, Oregon

To today, with a post of Colin Meloy from Portland, Oregon, performing a song in an elevator in Amsterdam.

To tomorrow, when I'll be somewhere in London seeing Colin and the rest of the Decemberists teaching about the Hazards of Love and other important things.

Monday 16 November 2009

sparrow pits and dove holes

novel twist
I'd never need an excuse to divert on travels through parts of the Peak District, but we were afforded an excellent opportunity on the way back from Manchester.

This was a result of being on the home patch of Debra, who writes a fine word, clicks defining photos and knows the best routes around plenty of high places.

Much better than my own navigational skills, which resulted in her needing a search party to guide my car to the right location.


A visit complete with one of those conversations where we both know random additional things about one another from our on-line linkages. It's great to put more of the pieces together and share news in real time.

Hours whisked by, before leaving a countryside serenity to return south to my own particular hubbub.

Sunday 15 November 2009


P1000504 - Version 2Sunday could also have a Thirteen I suppose.
1) We finally arrived in Manchester, later than planned, but in time for a good dinner with some fancy wine.
2) Being in the area around Piccadilly meant there was much noise and general partying into the night.
3) But somehow we managed to be around again in time for breakfast, which was served until a moderately realistic eleven o'clock.
4) Then to the city, with vague lists of early festive shopping, and several stores trying almost too hard with the music and spray tester fragrances.
5) Surprise good news whilst in the basement of one store, where we heard on fuzzy cellphone of the arrival of Henry, son to Kate and Neal.
6) Hooray for Scorpios.
P10206737) Then by evening out to meet friends, swap papers and in my case be a supporter, whilst a certain pop star sang away in the Apollo.
8)Back in a new found friend's car to the hotel, where a real life drama involving paramedics and police was unfolding. We were asked to go into the bar, instead of past the thankfully well-assisted scene.
9) Quite a good plan for us, involving some pretty fine cocktails. Shaken and muddled.
10) Sometimes I think I am also shaken and muddled
11) Yet another blink and it was already Monday.
12) Creating planning and modest logistics for a thoroughly enjoyable detour into the countryside
13) And a whole other story...

or six.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Thursday Thirteen (V47)

I know its not Thursday and this probably won't be thirteen items, but hey.
1) I've spent since Thursday morning chained to a desk and was starting to think I haven't been doing much stuff in the last few days.
2) Then I realised I've probably been operating at a blur without somehow noticing.
3) SInce November started, there was my little rainy day trip to Edinburgh
4) And working in the South of France for almost a week - it was even sunny for most of the time.
5) Various nights in hotels and another one later today.
6) We've all been to a lovely restaurant to celebrate my birthday.
The Trafalgar
7) And several pubs and bars, including that one with the tree downstairs and all those twisty rooms.
8) I've been writing that NaNoWriMo thing for 2009.
9) My first book, "The Triangle" was launched at the Miami Book Fair
10) A few of us had a blast at The Comedy Club
11) I met a good friend for an evening, someone I haven't seen for about two years
12) I've been back and forth on the Tube system to various office meetings; I'm deciding that Jubilee is my most used line.
13) And later we pack for the weekend in Manchester.

Friday 13 November 2009

working bluesky gone black

no leaves left
Its almost Friday as I write this and I'm wondering where the day has gone.

I feel as if I've sort of erratically orbited the planet, with a combination of conference calls with America, Malaysia and Central Europe.

It somehow disorientates the sense of time, with morning meetings when other people are just finishing their days and then much later sessions as different folk stir their breakfast coffees. I know I'm not the only one to have multiple time zones along the edge of my work calendar and have to do those EST-1 and CET+7 calculations when talking to people.

I've actually been working since daybreak and realised a few minutes ago that it was almost time to shut down for the evening.

A home-working day today, which I think I took too literally, somehow not noticing the changes from dark, to light to dark and the appearance of rain. In some ways I've been very connected today, but in other ways it can be very disorientating.

Thursday 12 November 2009

pay the fiddler off till I come back again

new statue in trafalgar square
Now we've had Halloween, Guy Fawkes and a couple of days where the night has dipped into low single digits.

This year, November sunshine lingered around trees and leaves held resolutely in place. But now, wind's stern speeches and rain's applause cajole the change.

Only the early dark big moon evenings provide a real clue to the passing season.

I clear intruder rockets from the garden and curl my toes to anticipate the acceleration from November into the next year.
autumn in the big city

Wednesday 11 November 2009

quiet time

Thanks for the varied greetings...I also managed a small amount of quiet time this morning by way of a birthday gift to myself.

I'd awoken at 6 o'clock in order to be in position for an early morning meeting, but before it all started I had time to take in the view above and pause a while, without even a phone call or email to send.

Later, at eleven, my busy office meeting also paused, for the two minute Armistice Day silence.

This year my birthday is on one of those cusps, half-way through a personal decade. Therefore, it's the start of a new range that marketeers use when they classify people in surveys. They claim it is supposed to be more tactful than starting ranges at the ten year boundaries.

If such classifications can ever be considered tactful.

I suppose, by their reckoning, I move into their start of a new category.

Junior again.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Spy kit

quick pub stop
I suppose it was inevitable that someone would give me a spy kit at some point.

The brown illustrated paper bag included a reference card providing advice about handling various dangerous chemicals. There were two sticks of what I assumed to be bubble gum but was most emphatically told they had an entirely different purpose. Also a solar powered calculator with a reflective back.

I think the shine was so I could be rescued if stranded in the desert (Stay near the crashed plane and use something shiny to attract attention - don't start walking).

But probably the most important content, once I'd got past the orange triangular cut out and the two peg warning, was a ticket to see Lee Simpson and friends at the excellent and raucous Comedy Club - which we've secretly attended.

Incognito, of course.
comedy store

Monday 9 November 2009

action, camera, lights

So yesterday lunchtime was pretty chatter-filled as we heard of a few recent electrifying and superheroic events.

By the time we got to the indeterminate but possibly quince flavoured truffles with the coffee, we were all feeling somewhat full and perhaps a little boggle-eyed too.

I think the little man used as a logo by the restaurant is a sort of symbol of what may happen.

But that was just the beginning of our adventures as we then made our way towards the King's Road, finding the Trafalgar where we conversed whilst one of us travelled on a most extraordinary route to pick up a few items from a carrier bag.
sloane squareWe rendezvoused again at Sloane Square (I favour the fountain as a meeting point) and that led us into the evening section. Peter Jones was already Christmas bright, but the Sloane trees in their elevated positions on lamp-posts are not yet ablaze, unlike their more commercially minded cousins to the east in Oxford Circus and Regents Street.

Sunday 8 November 2009

fog bound in Soho

soho - blue post
I may have to describe Sunday in stages. We'd started rather opulently in Chelsea and edged our way via a few stops and some zig-zags across into the west end. The man in the dark coat didn't seem very happy to see us arrive or leave the one pint underground drinking establishment.

Of course, we made up for it at the raucous club around the corner later.

This was the bit where we were in the alleyways around the back of Soho. It's before the freezing fog arrived. Oh, come think of it, that was after midnight, so technically it was already Monday.

Saturday 7 November 2009

competitive binding with Elisa

mRNA Writing "The Square" is proceeding quietly in the background - I really should count the words and add them into NaNoWriMo.

I had a sort of breakthrough today when I randomly introduced a new character. I needed someone to help me tie two story lines together and so I sat in a coffee shop talking to an Isreali scientist. She helped me make the connections.

It's worked brilliantly, because even parts of the story that I thought I understood are now different from the way I was planning to tell it.

The fascination for me is having these random characters parked around one's head and then having them reactivated. I can learn from my earlier foray with "The Triangle", but I'm starting to feel that "The Square" is getting its own good plotline which is being partly written by the characters.

Friday 6 November 2009

kiss the night

Sometimes I think Captain Beefheart was right.

Singin through you to me; thunderbolts caught easily
Shouts the truth peacefully Eeeeeee-lec-tri-ci-teeeeeeee

High voltage man kisses night to bring
the light to those who need to hide
their shadow deed

Go into bright find the light and know that friends
don't mind just how you grow

Midnight cowboy stains in black
reads dark roads without a map
To free-seeking electricity

Lighthouse beacon straight ahead
straight ahead across black seas to bring
Seeking eeee-lec-tri-ci-teeeee

High voltage man kisses night to bring
the light to those who need to hide
their shadow-deed
hide their shadow-deed

Seek electricity...........

(This one's for Sparky)

Thursday 5 November 2009

duck or grouse

quackers gets a boost
Back to the UK and a chance to replenish my toiletries bag with a new duck. I'm not sure what happened to the last one, but it had raised the occasional smile whenever my luggage was searched until its tragic loss somewhere in Canada a year ago.

Perhaps it thought it was a goose?

Actually, there has been something of an overload of shampoos and toiletries at this hotel, with 7 bottles containing different substances, plus a complete separate set of massage oils and soaps on some sort of mixing slate,

And don't get me started on the other soaps in tins or the array of sponges and special salts in the bath rack.

Wednesday 4 November 2009


Unusual for me, but I've reached that point where I'm planning when I can get the next decent sleep.

Normally, I can get by with just a modest amount, but I've got that slightly fuzzy head feeling that is not quite a headache but could so easily become one.

I know its not intake related but more a function of continued output. Even with my gappy travel plans today, the downtime won't be long enough to fix it.

I'm observing that it seems strange to be planning the next sleep, rather than the next party. Checks and balances, I suppose.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Rue de Wakening

Another early start today as my blackberry alarm prised me from sleep at what seemed way too early.

Tea before sunrise and then off to meetings.

It was only by early evening that I realised I'd only grazed on a croissant and some fruit for the whole day.

I remembered I'd stashed some leftovers from a huge carrier bag of take-away lunch yesterday so picked through that before heading to an evening 'dinner' which had somehow been converted to an evening drink and nibbles.

Back in my room, I've acquired a snack and now working in the hotel dressing gown I'm wondering if opening the doors to the balcony was such a bright idea in the evening. Some little buglets have squeaked their way in and although they don't look like mosquitoes, they seem very attracted to the white of the dressing gown. I tried diverting them by squirting some expensive hotel cologne in the far corner of the room, but they seem to prefer colour over aroma.

Will need to check ankles for signs of bug damage in the morning.

Time for zed.

Monday 2 November 2009

novel location

The rain kept me awake last night. I'd opened the door to the balcony but the scree sound from the gulls gave way to first a gentle tapping and then a later thudding of rain against the glass and the floor. Later there was also a rumble of thunder from the nearby hills.

Luckily I was sleepy enough for it to only mildly disturb me although I did wake again just before my alarm was due to ring in the early morning. Still enough rain for me to select both a waterproof jacket and an umbrella before leaving the hotel.

Fortunately, the sun decided to arrive around mid morning and creates a wholly different tone.

Sunday 1 November 2009


Morning. Airport. Baggage. Security. Lounge. iPod. Plane. Nice. Passport. Bag. Car. Hotel. Meeting. Evening. Sleep.DSCN1188