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This was to be quite a day. We had an "end of iter...

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Sunday, June 5

Well, I woke up predictably late. For some reason, though, I had the notion that I was snoozing to a perfectly reasonable time. I'm quite good at self-delusion at the best of times, but my temporal optimism is clearly at its peak when I'm actually asleep.

Raising myself from the bed, I sat at my computer with a bizarre task in mind. I had decided to rid my house of some of the junk which I neither need nor really want around the place. There are some CDs that I really don't want to give shelf space to. I had also bought a few things on Friday, one of which superseded something I already owned. So, in an attempt to make shelf space available, recoup some of the money I've already squandered on shit I don't need, and generally play on the internet, I put a bunch of items for sale on ebay. As an encore, I then bagged up a bunch of books which I plan to give to the charity book store that I last attended as a customer. The afternoon was going well. My ultimate goal is to make my home a little more habitable. Some rooms were cluttered up so much that my previous systems of organising things had become submerged in STUFF. My house is full of STUFF. I want this stuff either put away, thrown away, given away or sold. Having said that, I've barely put any effort into the upkeep of the house for many many many months.

As a testament to my carelessness around the home, the pile of Cadbury's drinking chocolate which I spilled last night while carelessly removing it from the pantry, was still there. This cloud of fine powder needed the attentions of my vaccuum cleaner to dispatch it, and the aforementioned device had been upstairs when the incident occurred. I'd not yet made the effort to take it downstairs and sort things out. Not intending to tramp the chocolatey goodness around the house, I went downstairs with my Dyson to suck up the spilled chocolate-dust. The Dyson makes a very satisfying whirlpool of regular dust in its see-through cyclinder. When the dust is a fine chocolatey powder, the miniature tornado is a pleasure to see and smell. The machine did a great job in the kitchen. I was pleased.

As time was marching on and Sunday trading laws are restrictive, I jumped into the car and headed out to do a weekly shop at Tesco. I also planned to get some folders and box files to help me organise some of the rogue paperwork around the house. I spent about 50 minutes in the Tesco and spend an average of £1 per minute. Expensive. However, I emerged with plenty of things to play with. There would be food to eat, something to drink, and recipes to try, with a healthy theme underpinning the whole shopping basket. I'll admit that the headline dish of the day - homemade pizza - was probably not the healthiest of things I could have chosen to make, but I doubt that it was as bad for you as the Domino's pizza which we brought into the house earlier in the week.

I returned to the house and got into the cycle of washing up and laundry which seems to occupy much of my weekends these days. I actually managed to make my principal washing basket empty. Ok, so the clothes I was wearing have now gone into that basket, thus making it non-empty, but there was a moment when its contents were all washed and through the dryer (assuming that they required the drying process). The washing up is now done and put away, notwithstanding three glasses which found their way out of the kitchen at some point. Never mind. You can't have everything clean and put away all the time (if ever!).

My pizza making was an experiment. I was wandering past the flours and bread mixes and saw a mix for sundried tomato bread. I thought this mix might make a nice pizza base. Well, there's only one way to find out. So, I used half the mix, along with a little olive oil to make it behave itself a little better and made a base. I used 3 tomatoes, some tabasco and one or two other things to make the tomato sauce to go on top. Half a garlic, crushed and mixed with olive oil, made for an additional covering for the rolled out base before it was topped. I used some chorizo and low fat mozzarella as the rest of the topping. The cash value of this pizza was about £3. The calorific content is nothing something I plan to calculate. It was very nice. I was pleased with it.

After eating, I watched an episode of Dr Who, which I've been religiously missing every Saturday. It's not a veto, just a habit. I seem not to be able to get myself sat down at the right time to watch it. I'm also not likely to get much benefit from setting the video, since I probably wouldn't watch it. However, I watched an episode from start to finish tonight and enjoyed it. It's not making me jump up and down with glee as I would like it to. Star Wars would probably make me do that (I must go and see it), but this Dr Who isn't quite striking a chord with me. It's well made and quite tightly scripted and performed, but something isn't quite right. I don't know. Perhaps it's just that I've joined the party a bit later than everyone else and have missed the introductions.

After TV I helped my girlfriend with her revision. Then, when that particular section was over, I set about de-The-Musical-ing my dining room. Back in April 2004, I converted the room into a rehearsal space. From that point until today, the room has always borne some responsibility for storing or helping us organise the show. Today I removed the last of the boxes and paraphernalia
that were just hanging around the place. Sure, there are still things in that room which we used on stage, but they're there because they belong there, rather than because I couldn't be bothered to move them. It's been over a year and finally my dining room is a room in its own right and not a dumping ground.

As part of the day's organisation events, some of the bookshelves in the dining room were cleared (hence the intended donation to the charity shop) and I've finally managed to convert the piles of DVDs into ordered and shelved DVDs - there's even some space for any new ones I might happen to buy. I'm pleased with the result, even though it's still a packed room.

As another exercise in dumping unwanted paper, I went through every edition of Micro Mart which I kept, having contributed to it, and removed only the pages with my own contribution on. This turned a massive stack of magazines into a thin wallet, comprising my entire contribution. Hooray. Another bag for the bin.

My home is still full of STUFF. There's no doubt about it. But, I've taken the first steps into removing some of the totally unwanted stuff. Via the gift of ebay, I've even planned to send some of it into other people's homes, having charged them for the privilege.

A quick ebay update. Readers to this site may know that I've had various difficulties with the musical Titanic. I first bought this on ebay a while ago and ended up in a rather unpleasant exchange with the seller, ultimately I had the CD inlay and box and a cracked disc. So, I bought three copies of this CD while away in America and sold the two I didn't want for myself on ebay. Sadly, in a moment of confusion, I managed to switch an envelope containing Starlight Express with one containing Titanic and ended up with two buyers with the wrong discs. The buyer of Titanic was very helpful and returned his incorrectly sent disc. I foolishly forgot to pick up the registered item quickly enough and it went back to him. I also had trouble contacting the person who had his disc, so I eventually gave him my own disc (having first made a CD-R copy of it to go with my cracked disc - I reckon that sort of copying should be allowed, given that I have a box with all the genuine contents and a CD-R to enable me to hear them). Today I contacted the buyer who had the wrong disc and from whom I'd heard nothing. She had decided to keep Titanic and hadn't managed to let me know. Her email was playing up. I pointed out to her that she couldn't just keep it, the purchase having been made on a different disc. She then agreed to buy it in addition to the disc she was supposed to have. So I'm a few quid better off, and I'm not sure I mind having the CD-R version of Titanic. It's hardly going to make much difference to my life. I'm not especially keen on the show anyway!

It does seem that the musical is as prone to catastrophe as the ship it was written about. I have had no end of fuss with it. The purchaser who has my own copy had troubles and the person who decided not to send it back has clearly had her own issues. Weird!

Don't ask me why, but for some reason the most hotly watched of my ebay sales at the moment is a rather poor musical version of Spiderman. I even pointed out in the notes that it's not up to much. well, I didn't, but they hint that it's a pile of shit... that and the selling price.

In a final act of getting ready for the week ahead, I prepared a CD excerpt of one of my gigs back in mid-May. This CD will be sent in to a BBC new comedy competition. As usual, I don't expect to do well in the competition, but a gig is a gig!

Right, now I must go to bed and get some sleep. I shall get more than my revising girlfriend, who went off for a quick three hours just now. I'm glad I don't have exams anymore.


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