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Tuesday, May 30

A Weekend of Letters

I spent the bank holiday weekend inside mainly. I was most commonly found in front of a screen, though I watched fairly little TV. I wrote several thousand words and my girlfriend did her revision. In one sense, it seemed a waste of the opportunity a bank holiday offers to get out and about and enjoy the world. In another sense, the weather wasn't so good and I was quite happy to do things the way I did them.

Here is a breakdown of events which shaped the weekend.

I'd booked an appointment with my bank on Friday lunchtime to talk about mortgages. I liked what they had to say, but they took long enough saying it to seriously cut into my work time.

I left work before completing my full weekly hours. I did this to be back at my girlfriend's place in time to go out for dinner. I would have to go back to work on Saturday to make up the hours.

Dinner was very nice. Chicken. Always a good meal, in my opinion. You can't go wrong with a chicken, unless you're thinking of marriage or dating, in which case, try a human.

Friday night was spent working on my World's Worst 100 Websites article.

I woke up around 10 on Saturday, drove to Farnborough, checked my mail at my rented accommodation and then headed into the office. Having not been into the office on a weekend before in this job, I wasn't quite sure what to expect of the experience. For my troubles I received a very quiet office and the chance to put in some serious concentration on the task in hand. I worked for longer than I planned to and didn't quite complete what I'd intended to.

I left a bit stressed and my mood lowered.

Returning to my girlfriend's, I helped her locate some revision notes and then set about continuing the gruelling task of reviewing websites. I enjoy writing, though, so the gruelling was complemented by the opportunity to make words do my bidding and express ideas of some sort.

Saturday passed by largely without incident, though we did break off mid-evening to go ICE SKATING. I've been ice skating once before in my life, when I was very young. My experience as an adult was similar to that of a child on the ice:
  • I realised that I can't skate
  • I realised that I'm not "a natural" and so will have to spend some time learning it - I won't just pick it up overnight
  • I felt slightly over-awed by the other kids... er... people... on the ice who could clearly just skate
  • I joked my way through the moments where I was clearly making an arse of myself
Unlike my childhood self, who would be frightened of falling over because it hurt and was embarrassing, I was loathe to fall over because I didn't want to damage myself or my jeans. Other than that, the potential embarrassment was lessened by not really giving a damn, but intensified by the loss of control it would seem to suggest.

So, I played it safe and didn't fall over. As it was, I one tenth skated, nine-tenths grappled my way along the wall of the perimeter of the ice rink. I think I might enjoy knowing how to skate, but whether I'll ever get myself up to just-going-for-it enough to learn-by-falling-over how to avoid falling over, I don't know.

I slept deeply and long, which was nice.

Sunday was principally occupied with gathering the images for my article. This basically required going to 50 websites, selecting something to represent that site, pasting it into a graphics program and cutting off any detritus. It's the work of a couple of hours.

I also spent a fair amount of time searching for people to contact about gigs. I've realised that I need to put the effort in to fill my own gig diary, despite having the services of a part-agent. I have, on average, four gigs a month, which is enough to keep me in practice (just) but not enough to keep me improving as I've done in the past. There comes a point where too many gigs is not enough to keep me sane/in a relationship/in a stable job, but I don't need to worry about that limit at the moment (though August will be hairy!).

There's not much else to say about Sunday.

Woke up, got on the computer and spent the day typing/mousing. Hardly a surprise.

The day was punctuated by testing my girlfriend on her revision, and a short trip I made to the nearby shop for supplies, which was at around the exact time that it started to rain quite heavily. Still, I got some fresh air into my lungs, and some rainwater.

There was, as always, a purpose to my computer time. The purpose was two-fold. Fold 1 was the production of some publicity for a show I'm doing in Camden (at the same venue where I previewed The Musical! in July 2004. I produced flyer, poster, lengthy blurb and photographic jiggery pokery for this thing. I suspect I'll want to bleat about it more in later blogs.

The second purpose to my computery-time was a task I've been meaning to do for the last 21 months. I've finally managed to complete the write up of my show watching from both 2004 and 2005's Edinburgh Fringes. I know this doesn't sound important, but I wanted to preserve the record and memories of those shows in some shape or form, and I've now done it. I will post links to the updates in a separate blog entry.

So, I spent a lot of time in front of a screen. I sent several emails, wrote a few thousand words and manipulated about 60 images. I came back to work today rested relaxed and ready for more screen-related behaviour.


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