Friday, 2 December 2016

Friday

I'm at home - I was supposed to be at an event tonight - but passed. I'll explain why.

The woman who owns the building I work in is a great friend - she also owns the bar I work in sometimes and she's often a client. Anyway - she made an appointment with the back-person she uses in my name and paid for me, combination late birthday / early xmas and thank you for a few favours. He's not cheap, but apparently very good. There is nothing I can think of that I hate more than the idea of being manhandled by a complete stranger with no clothes on (me - not him). He was very nice, professional, explained a lot if things - spent an hour making me feel either much better or much worse (not sure about that one) and convinced me to come back next week for another session. I have to pay for this one myself. I do feel better - although he warned me that I may feel much worse tomorrow, and could tie my shoe laces unaided after I got dressed again, but I had to grit my teeth all the way through. He told me to take some pain relief tonight - but actually I've bought some beer instead as it really does relax me a bit and makes me feel better. Obviously I'm very grateful and very touched by the gesture - but I'm from the North - whatever injury we have, we suffer in silence until it becomes scar tissue and then it stops hurting anyway. At one point I could feel his thumbs pressed so hard into my back they felt like knitting needles about to draw blood - and I had a red ring around my face where the aperture in the table pressed against my head. He's very busy - hardly has time to eat lunch and is booked up every day - but frankly, I'd be bored to death if I was him (I did work out in my head what his approximate turnover must be, that was sobering.) Through the whole hour we listened to a terrible CD of pan pipe versions of 1970's big ballads. That caused me pain as well. At one point he asked me if I was under a lot of stress. I just looked at him. Apparently the problem is really not that bad. Considering how much pain I've been in - I wonder how bad it could be?

Tomorrow there is a big industry event at my studio - spread over two days (it's called HiFest) and a big party afterwards, I doubt that I'll manage that one. I'm pretty desperate to get back to proper work without feeling pain or discomfort all day, and trying to sit down might help - I've now been standing for two weeks.

I other news, it appears a piece of my work has been copied by a large London venue. I'll go into more detail in another post - but it's happened before and I'm fairly nonplussed.

The Zac Goldsmith thing wasn't a surprise, there will be more. Labour losing it's deposit wasn't a surprise either. I think the LEAVE lot are going to get increasingly fractious and angry as they realise that the other half of the country suddenly don't just cede into agreement with them.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Thursday

Today started badly. I was forced to break open a packet of soap with a hacksaw out of sheer frustration. Let's see how today develops.

Yesterday I made the mistake of going into central Hastings - I've forgotten how awful it is when people are xmas shopping. In WHS - a very odd woman in her thirties, the type who looks trapped in a low ranking administrative role and thus angry with the world - was harassing a member of staff because the desk diary she had already bought for next year didn't have the required number of 'notelettes' she was expecting - nor did it have a wipe-clean divider-come-ruler.  She was talking in a very loud, monotone voice that lead me to think at first  it was a staff training exercise, but catching the eye of the assistant - I saw real fear.

Later I went into Waterstones - and another equally threatening and bizarre scene. A middle aged woman in a Barbour (there is a theme here) who clearly didn't work and had too much time on her hands, was aggressively talking to a staff member - "I just don't have the time to go home and get my reading glasses, I expect YOU to take me to the well-being section and talk me though your stock so that I can find something to interpret my dreams". I honestly don't make this stuff up.

My back still hurts, so later today I'm going to give 'Deep Heat' a go. It can hardly make things worse.

I pulled an expensive, stainless steel catering bench out of a skip yesterday and have just re-organised my studio space around it. I'm very pleased with myself.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Tuesday

Went into work early today, managed to convert my desk so I can stand up while I work. Two people pointed out (one with some alarm) that I have lost weight. I know, I’m quite happy about it. Despite my earnest attempts over the years to bulk up - I’m a naturally thin person trapped inside a thin body. It doesn’t suit my face, but nothing does.

It appears that my busted computer screen can be saved - the water is drained out and the engineer is going to replace the power button and another component that is named after a group of random initials, both destroyed by ferrous action of the water or something (I think it’s called ‘rust’). I may get away with as little as £30 in costs - or at least the guilty party who over watered her plants upstairs will. We’re glossing over that one.

Did some more work for techno DJ’s today - they are very happy, didn’t get around to dealing with money - keep putting that off, made a point of avoiding a couple of meetings about local planning issues and had some more enquiries about the Creative Quarter project. Tomorrow - I have to do difficult stuff.

One thing I’m really struggling with at the moment. Intelligent spelling and grammar correction on the computers and browsers, constantly re-wording all my correspondence in random ways. It’s exhausting.

Almost all my neighbours have their xmas decorations up. Many will leave the lights up until at least Easter. It gets earlier ever year - First decorated house was November 12th this year. I think people are just looking for an escape. I don’t blame them. It’s also very, very cold.

Last night I bought the entire 1980's 'Day Of The Triffids' series from the BBC store for £2.99 in their sale - digital copy etc. Really cheered me up.

I’m feeling a bit lazy - so I’ve decided to cut and paste a couple of random Facebook posts I made today - rather than go to the effort of re-typing them. I like Facebook, it’s taken me years to curate my friends list to represent people I actually like and talk to. I personally think we middle aged types should start reclaiming social platforms for our own purposes, the internet is wasted on the young.

so… from today -


Just walked the dogs quickly, 6.30am - pitch dark, freezing. young couple holding hands emerge from a wooded path leading to the country park - she's wearing a black mini dress and high heels, he looks like he's wearing a dinner jacket. Carrying silver and gold helium filled party balloons. 'good morning'. Hastings. *rolls eyes*


I was in a local junk shop today - I won't tell you which one - but it's not hard to guess. The owner was being monopolised by a woman of about my age and her elderly mother. The mother was quite sweet "do you remember me, I came in here about 2 years ago and we had such a nice chat". The Daughter (blonde highlights and a Barbour) was really keen to talk about herself, and how she had a warehouse full of amazing stuff that the shop owner would just love - but she was doing 'simple' now and her home was practically 'Zen' - this went on for some time - when they finally left, the owner - who had actually been very nice and chatty to both of them turns to me and said "did you see that woman, she keeps her poor mother in a rotten flat in St Leonards that's practically a squat - forever moving her to cheaper and cheaper rented accommodation - and yet she just bought a fucking Rothko for her front room. She makes me sick". I was very close to buying him a pint and giving him a hug.


Just been in the Tesco in Town - very obese man at the till explaining to the man behind the counter that he was stocking up because society is about to collapse and the apocalypse was coming. That's nice.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Monday. I should have stayed in bed,

Got up early, made the effort to stumble into work. Arrived at about 8am. I saw that the coaster where I put my coffee cup was wet and assumed someone had been sitting at my desk - then realised everywhere was wet. Desks, notebooks etc - all the electrical cables and sockets - and finally the computer screen - a big apple cinema display, which was flashing on and off and shorting out. It later transpired that some water had flooded from upstairs, a totally innocent accident, they hadn't realised how much or what damage was done. So. I'm down a screen.

So, I have to go home and collect the one I use to watch films and TV etc. I walk back - on opening the front door I didn't have the dogs welcoming me, just silence - then I noticed that the water bowl was upside down in the middle of the kitchen, and then that the dining room doors were open.

It transpires that someone has tried to get into the house - and been confronted by the dogs - who obviously did 'dog' stuff. Afterwards, in their hysterical state - they destroyed all the soft furnishings, dragged all the covers off the chairs and tore a large hole in my mattress - after stripping the bed. I found them hiding upstairs, very distressed.

I really wish I'd stayed at home today and just hidden from the world. If the dogs went into the garden unsupervised, I'll probably get angry communication from the woman next door later.

My back still hurts, not that anyone gives a fuck.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sunday

I really needed to get on with stuff today, so I swallowed my pride and took some more pain relief. I can quite seriously see how people get hooked on this stuff - I never normally take medication of any kind - but about 5 mins after taking a couple of Co-Codamol, I get a hot flush and that feeling you get when you have a glass of wine on an empty stomach, and then I cheer up - a lot. The pain doesn't go away - but I don't care. I find it hard to accept that I took this stuff for 3 months last year without realising how much of an effect it had on me. Anyway - I now have the worlds tidiest kitchen and did 4 loads of washing, after plumbing the machine back in, and later I'm going to change the bed. I've been wearing the same clothes for a week so I need to sort out my stuff for next week. I'm going into work first thing and will hopefully manage at least half a day.

Caused quite a 'heated debate' last night on Facebook, all because of the Joe Corre thing, watching the film or his 'gesture' it was quite obvious that he didn't burn £5million quid's worth of stuff, nothing like it. It was also clear that nobody could see past that number - it was all about the money - not the actual value of the stuff, whatever that might be.

I remembered that I had a stool in the loft so braved the stepladder and brought it down, can't decide if it's any more comfortable.

Tomorrow I have to do some more artwork for a techno DJ, go though my finances and look at some labelling for a skin cream - mostly the bit on the back that has complex chemical names in tiny letters - but has to be word, grammar and punctuation perfect. If I have time, I'll be looking at the Creative Triangle project - and running some errands. I also need to set up a work related Twitter account, and Instagram, and probably migrate my website to a new URL that's more 'on point'. Or something like that. I also have quite a bit of new work to add, and I will be refreshing the whole site over xmas - which is now very close.

I shaved off my beard, after checking nobody wanted to hire me as a Bad Santa this year (actually - I can easily grow another one by Xmas).

It did occur to me today, that regardless what happens over the next few years, Theresa May is doomed. She supported the Stay campaign, but now has to deliver Leave - and she's trying to be very robust about it - which will be increasingly difficult. If she succeeds - it will be a mess - as more and more people realise what a total farce the whole concept and referendum were, and if she fails - she'll have to shoulder the ire of the brexiteers, mostly her own party. Her relationship with Europe is going to go from bad to worse, regardless - and nobody in their right mind will be getting cosy with America for at least 2 years - probably more. She's politically and ideologically isolated - has no philosophy, no ideas, no real support, nothing. I'd like to think that the time could be spent by Labour to galvanise some form of effective opposition, but they are a shambles. I said weeks ago that Trump has caused irreparable damage to the Republican party - and I still believe that, they may have won the election, but have saddled themselves with someone who is already dragging them into the pit. It's almost ironic that they have to be their own opposition party to gain any credence. When people at the ground level who voted for trump finally realise it's all a sham and the man in the gold tower neither cares about nor understands them - it's going to be grubby.

Today might be the last day I can get away without heating.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saturday

Started bright and sunny - cloudy, cold and dull now - it’s going to get much colder next week so hopefully I’ll be back at the studio, and it’s excellent heating.

Feeling a bit better today, but taking it very slow - standing up and lying down are basically all I can do. Being uncomfortable makes it hard to concentrate - so i can’t read or focus properly on anything. It’s been a waste of a week and I’m getting quite pissed off.

I have to complete a couple of outstanding jobs on Monday and then look at finances and planning - I need to be able to think straight. Last week I was turned down twice for jobs because I basically didn’t want to work for free. They were both well funded commercial retail / food operations - but the owners couldn’t get it into their head that I couldn’t just throw together a brand and a website in 10 mins in exchange for a plug on Facebook or something. I actually strongly suspect that at least one will fail  quite quickly, so shabby has been their approach to everything.

Hastings has started to gear up for xmas, most shops and quite a few homes already decorated. It’s already becoming annoying. I have even less interest in xmas than usual this year, so I’ll be bypassing the whole thing. I certainly don’t intend spending any money.

I need to work on the way I present myself professionally and possibly do things I don’t actually like to make myself more attractive to clients I wouldn’t normally contemplate - but I need the money. It’s all a bit grim. People who I don’t rate are making a lot more money than me with work I frankly think is rubbish - and industry people I know are fawning over fashionable work that offers nothing but a thin layer of ‘now’. It’s all crap.

I had to cancel some rubbish collection last week because of my back - I need to get that sorted as soon as I am mobile again and get it done - and start trying to figure out how to deal with the front of the house. I’m going to have to really think on my feet there.

I have no strong feelings whatsoever about Fidel Castro.

Anarchy in the UK was released 40 years ago today (Castro would have been the same age then that I am now - that’s my only nod to his passing). I have read a couple of fairly crappy articles about Joe Corre deciding to destroy his Sex Pistols arc hive (He’s the son of McClarren and Westwood). Every single article has been critical - and all have pointed out it’s value (apparently up to 5 million) - which is kinda the point he’s trying to make about commercialisation. It’s only worth that money if people want to buy relics of the past to make themselves look good - otherwise they will spend it on something else. It’s dead, the past, over - I have friends who still own stuff from that time (One friend has a large collection of newspapers from the 70’s he bought as a child that cover all the key episodes in punk) and at least they have personal value - but turning stuff into icons is pointless - it’s all well recorded. If Corre wants to burn everything in a petulant huff. It’s his to burn, we’re not talking about golden statues of Buddha, here. I went to an exhibition of Malcolm McClarren’s stuff in Manchester about 10 years ago - there was something a bit uncomfortable about seeing it all presented as ‘art’ - even his shopping lists pinned up in glass cases. Perhaps by destroying it all, it gets to live forever - and not in the archives of the rich.

Weird anecdote warning. I know someone vaguely who lives next door to a colleague - she recently posted some photographs of her father on Facebook at a family party. It was Windsor Davies. He looks good.


I had an email offering me the chance to buy the official labour party 2017 calendar. It was on the theme of great moment in British socialism over the years. The past. All about the past. nothing about the future, just nostalgia and mythology. Sepia toned memories. Nothing about going forward. Typical.

PS - sorry if the type displays strangely here - there is a reason.