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Sunday, October 26


I have got to admit that I was feeling the pressure today. I wanted to be able to finish the job that we started yesterday. I wanted to be able to go to my gig without feeling I was leaving something incomplete behind. I wanted to be able to get packing for my trip tomorrow and do so without having to keep any details of what had been started in my head. I have so many irons in the fire in life and I think I was at the elastic limit of what I could keep spinning, platewise.

Just to give you a quick idea of what I mean. Here are the things running round my head on the average sunday:
  • Personal matters - mind your business
  • How to secure the wooden frame into the fireplace and the skirting board to it
  • What time do I have to go to my gig and where is it?
  • Where is my passport
  • Where are the travel details for tomorrow's trip?
  • What about the food that might go off when I go away for a week?
  • What are the details for the gig I'm supposed to do when I return?
  • Will I be able to book the plasterer?
  • How off track is my house anyway and how will I cope with another five days of not making progress with it
  • Does my bum look big in this?
  • Don't forget your guitar
  • Don't forget the things to take with to Budapest tomorrow
  • Will I have time for a shower?
  • How am I going to get the team motivated tomorrow?
  • When will I get time to complete that program I'm writing?
  • What's the best way to do the particular bit of the program I'm at at the moment?
  • "I love toast" - why is this tune I wrote running round my head so much?

In short, I was deeply deeply pre-occupied with everything and really wanted to get going on the day. However, I also don't want to be an uncompromising companion and I was asked for a trip to town, so a trip to town was made. I should point out that the person asking for a trip to town needed to go, offered to buy me coffee, and had devoted plenty of time to working on my house the previous day, which deserves more than a trip to town. I should say all of this because it's fair and also because I think it illustrates that the trip to town wasn't a concession as much as a pleasure.

I digress. Of course.

So, to town we dideth go, and many shops were perused, and then there was some general wandering. I even went into a gallery and almost talked myself into buying a painting. That was a surprise. Then after a bit more bimbling, there was a return to the house for some focussed completion of things.

I would have to say that I was impressed with the results of the labouring. I was less impressed when the skirting board cutting circular saw missed a beat and ended up having to be adjusted. It cost me a few millimetres off the end of the skirting board, but that can and will be covered up with filler. The results of the efforts, which included:
  • Skirting board chopping
  • Drilling and frame fixing
  • Battening
  • Plasterboard attaching
  • Screwing into battens
  • Cinching corners of skirting board together with artful screwing
well, the results were simply splendid. There's a room waiting to be plastered now (once I'd removed the light fittings) and it feels like a bit piece of progress.

As a side effect of the process of removing this fireplace, a lot of soot had been harvested from the chimney and into my nostrils - mmm the black snot - and a lot of my most favourite tools had to be used. This is what DIY is all about. The job was actually completed and then I got to go to my gig. I wasn't planning on staying for the whole gig. I thought I would just do my bit and leave.

When I told you what I wasn't planning on doing you probably got the impression that the plan went awry, and you'd be right and also wrong. Plans aren't always there to be followed, they're a basic guide for life. You have to wing it sometimes. I had planned to park somewhere in Brixton, ideally in the pub car park, but that wasn't hard and fast, in the end I parked on Electric Avenue, which immediately put a song in my head. That wasn't the end of the world. In fact, it was amusing. Then I discovered a friend in the audience of the gig, so decided not to leave before the end - that's hardly cricket. Then I lent my guitar stand to the closing act, and decided that that had clinched the deal - I'd be staying until the end.

So I did.

I didn't do the best of performances of my stuff, feeling again the limitations of the shorter spot. In fairness to me, mind, at least I actually observed the length of spot I had... even though I overran it a touch. Not everyone understands how to do this. No names.

Anyway, the closing act made me howl with laughter - they're great - Pappy's Fun Club, always a treat. I think I bellowed out some of the remnant stress, making me ready for the forthcoming trip. This was probably a good thing. All I had to do was go home and pack!

Packing, interrupted by some late night hot food, was fairly straightforward, with most of my bag space going to the things I needed to bring with. Still, my needs are simple and so am I. I then lost my passport.

I then found my passport, the only bit of paperwork to fall down the back of the drawers under my desk. Typical. Then I found it hard to transfer the travel documentation from work computer to home computer in order to be able to print it. Nothing is ever easy.

With a 4.30 alarm time and 1.30 on its way onto the front of the alarm, I got to sleep, hugging a pillow.


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