Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Why do so many people write blogs? Are they lonely? Do they want some kind of recognition, having been bullied rotten at school and made to lick lavatory seats? Is this all part of our instant celebrity society where being famous is actually more important than the talent that should get you there? I don't know. Being a professional performer I'm used to applause if I do something well in front of an audience. If I do it badly, I'm the first to tell myself. In short, I don't feel I lack attention but certainly enjoy compliments regarding my various pursuits, one of which is having articles published regularly in one of London's leading dailies.

I was cock-a-hoop when the paper told me they'd publish the first piece I submitted to them and couldn't wait to tell as many friends and family as possible. Now I see my work in print and don't even mention it to my nearest and dearest. It's quite curious in a way. After all, it's my hobby; the thing I really wanted to do professionally until music took the upper hand. When you're young,though, concerts generally attract more comment and advice than a decent short story composed for your English Language class, so music it was, ever more marketable and obvious than a life arranging words on a page. But isn't it the hobby that should stoke my fire, provide me with a canvas to express my oh-so-important thoughts? Maybe, maybe not: I just know that writing is what I enjoy doing and I get a lot of pleasure re-reading this blog and remembering what happened when. So much daily trivia can conspire to keep your mind blank for months on end that it's rewarding to put down a few yardsticks from time to time and have some form of documentation of your existence.

This has quickly turned into a ramble. That's because I don't have anything of note to say. Then again, that's relative. I spent the entire day working with an extremely talented and, in some cases, very well-known group of artists, but since this is normal where I work, I don't mention it. It's a privileged life and having a daily outlet of musical expression followed by the liberty to compose random thoughts in the manner I choose late at night (hey, I'm married with children, so midnight IS late for me, these days) is vastly satisfying.

There's still too much noise from upstairs. Doesn't matter how accomodating and understanding you are, how much you empathise and seek a mutual solution, the fact that the neighbours know there's a problem yet continue to entertain every night of the week until late suggests they don't take the issue very seriously. Mrs. Fingers calls them actors, and I think she's right: they'll pay convincing lip service to your concerns and then laugh behind your back as soon as the door is closed and continue as before. I've decided that the dialogue phase is over and, if we don't hear back favourably from the owner within a week, will contact the police and the housing authority. The joke's over, as is our patience. I'm sick of writing about this and, if there's anyone actually reading this blog, I'm sure you are, too.

It's Fingernail I's birthday tomorrow and she'll be 6. I had to take her to have her present fitted this morning: a riding hat. Can't really surprise children with that kind of present in case you get the size wrong, so the puff's gone out of her special day a little. There'll be a cake for her after school, so there's that to look forward to. In any case, we're reducing Christmas and birthday presents to one good quality item instead of the tons of Made in China crap one accumulates so readily these days. When I was young it was 'Made in Hong Kong' (plus ├ža change...) or even - I kid you not - 'Empire Made'. Seriously, I had toys with that stamped on them when I was young and I can hardly remember England winning the World Cup.

Readjusting to France after ten weeks in Germany and Austria has been slow. I'm not at all up-to-date on the country's politics, a subject I absolutely love for its 'Planet France' factor, suffice to say that the Socialists are as much, if not more, of a shower than they were before we left in June. You have to say something for the place's dinosaur tendencies, though: had they been so willing to embrace every new fad of US origin the way the British do, the country would be feeling the effects of the recent credit squeeze far more strongly than they are. House prices have levelled off but the market is still healthy which is more that can apparently be said for the price avalanche in the UK, not to mention Gorgeous Gordon's strolling band of incompetents spreading confusion and mayhem wherever they choose to fire off an ill-conceived directive.

Beddy Byes.

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