Monday, 27 April 2015


Turned up for a dental appointment on the wrong day (It's tomorrow). An embarrassing waste of time.

have had to come back home early because I'm talking to my mortgage company later and I wanted to do it at home. It's quite nippy in here. Small dog has eaten my slippers, 2nd pair in a week. Getting bored with that now.

earlier today I bought a couple of tickets to see 'Have I Got News For You' being recorded in my local theatre. It wasn't hard - you could just buy them online, by phone or in person after 9.30am - we had plenty of warning. They sold out fast - not a surprise. I've spent all day fielding emails from people because I know someone at the theatre and could I get one for them. So far only one person I'm prepared to put myself out for - and I may know where there is a ticket. I'm quite sure that loads will start floating about closer to the date anyway.

Despite being self employed - I'm really looking forward to the bank holiday.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Weekend

I had a couple of friends from London down this weekend, they stayed in the B&B above my studio and loved it. Helped by the owner making them incredibly welcome.

Last night we went for a couple of drinks and a meal in the only restaurant that could accommodate us - the food was actually OK but I hated the place - and I hated the fake Mariachi band who turned up half way through and emptied the restaurant (there were harsh words - I won’t be going back)

My friends are in publishing, we went to see The ladybird exhibition at the De La Warr and the re-hang and Edward Burra at the Jerwood gallery - all good. By some freakish turn of events (bear with me - it’s complicated) I found myself at the centre of a literary intrigue of sorts. Yesterday morning I bumped into someone I’ve not known long in Bexhill who knows my friends - he’s a well know writer. We met up later in the day - he was meeting friends who by coincidence are near neighbours of mine - I know the bloke, his dogs HATE mine and we have to keep our distance, This bloke turms out to be another well known writer - but to make it worse - his wife - who we all accidentally bumped into on Sunday at the Jerwood, is a spectacularly famous booker nominated author. She wasn’t keen on getting to know me. They live up the road. This all sounds contrived, like bad fiction. It was made harder for me because i don’t really enjoy fiction - I was an intellectual outcast. I didn’t let it get me down.

Last night - The Fall played in Hastings, depending on who you spoke to - they were either very good or very bad. One of my friends posted a photograph of what she insisted was Mark E Smith’s vomit on her Facebook page. I didn’t ask any questions. Additionally the band Stornaway played in Bexhill, and an American singer Songwriter called Ryley Walker also played  - and there was a design event I’d planned on going to at another venue - and tonight there are a couple of bands on - all good, but I’m at home - delighted to have spent the time with really good friends and not worn myself out on ‘entertainment’.

A friend just sent me a photo - he’s in a pub in town and a man is dancing on his own in the middle of the room. I’ve mentioned him before - he’s about 50, wears hot pants or tanga briefs in neon colours etc - today he’s dressed as a schoolboy and wearing a red scarf, and pole dancing. That’s Hastings.

Thursday, 23 April 2015


I'm re-watching Gravity. This would be a much better film with a cast of unknowns, or in another language.

Just spent 2 hours buying glasses online - nightmarish experience, had to enter my prescription about 20 times. The things I do for a bargain.

Came home early and after examining the old ceiling joists I saved from the hall landing - I have decided that under certain circumstances they will pass as railway sleepers so tomorrow I'm going to start finishing off the steps up to the garden, or at least make some cosmetic improvements.

I have friends from London in town over the weekend so I'll be busy. I'm taking advantage of a quiet patch to catch up on jobs.

Yesterday I received a cheque in the post for nearly 700 quid. This comprises the PPI I paid for 1 year's mortgage,18 years ago (£400 of that was interest. It's the first result on my PPI challenge. Looking forward to seeing what happens with the other two mortgages and credit card. To be fair - The Brittania (Now part of the COOP) wrote me an excellent letter of apology and didn't quibble. The others may take some months. It was very, very welcome.

The good weather is still here, and a few people I know have caught colds as a result - I may be one of them. Sat on the beach yesterday eating chips. Felt great to be outdoors and warm.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Yesterday was staggeringly hot - at one point mid afternoon I popped out quickly for a pint of milk, and came home 8 hours later - quite drunk and very sunburnt, but more about that later.

Early yesterday as skip arrived to clear the last of the timber from the old shed and loads of other crap - It was a 'hit and run' arrangement - if I can fill the skip while the lorry waits, I don't have to pay £100 for a street license. It took less than 5 mins, I've had plenty of practice and it was all bagged and ready. Additionally - I was able to place it in next doors disabled parking space, as there is no longer a car. Last week I saw Joan being helped into her car by two neighbours. She's about 80, has had new knees, hips and other work - and mentioned recently that she wanted new wrists (can they do that??). She also has problems with her feet that I don't want to go into. She's quite old and increasingly frail - but drives a lot. My first reaction seeing her being carried to the car was 'you cannot be serious - she's in no fit state to drive' - and then I felt rather sad - it's her last bit of independence and she's driven all her life - now she's housebound. Yesterday a neighbour told me that it 'didn't go well' and that the car is now gone - so there is an empty disabled parking bay in front of the house.

Next door are having a HUGE row - I can hear every word, apparently it's because she can't find her slippers.

Anyway - in the afternoon I had some errands to run, met some friends and ended up in a pub garden underneath a bower full of nesting sparrows drinking cold beer in the blazing sunshine. I did say that I felt guilty about doing this on a work day - to be reminded that 'this is the whole point in working so hard, to be able to do this sometimes'. Bizzarely - after 10 mins I noticed some smoke in the air - a massive fire had broken out on the gorse of the west hill, 20 foot flames reaching into the sky - quite exciting. Whilst we sat there one of the pub employees painted some giant sunflowers on the garden wall with spray paints. They weren't very good. One of the party went to school with (and is still friendly with) Colin Firth - and most notably looks exactly like him, which is disconcerting (I wonder if their parents knew each other... I'm thinking car keys in the ashtray) - they are so alike that they could use him in stunt double situations. He's a cameraman - it's all sounding too incestuous to be true.

I'm waiting for a couple of small deliveries so I'm working here today. Tomorrow we are having leaving drinks for the guy I share my part of the studio with - he's built a studio at home (Photographer etc) and at the weekend friends in publishing are down for a couple of days. This all makes me sound very media and swish - but I'm not. Publishing is literally "dying on it's arse" at the moment so I expect we'll probably just talk about doom.

It's still a lovely day - amazing how much better I feel after just a little bit of sun.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Sorry Guys

I've been massively focussed on other stuff over the last week or so. The change in season has also galvanised me to 'get on with things' and got out of the habit of blogging. Partly  because I used to blog mostly whilst waiting for it to get light enough in the morning to dog-walk, and now I can just 'get out'.

I spent yesterday clearing the garden - this included facing up to the fact that one of the compost bins had split and was about to collapse - so I took advantage of the situation to move all 3 to better positions. This included emptying them out - the stench!!! I know what people mean by 'the sweet smell of death'.

I've been really busy with work - nothing interesting - sold a lot of stuff on eBay - more than I expected. Lost money on about 50% of all transactions, underestimated how much I'd have to pay in fees and fell out with a few people I've never met. They were idiots.

I have a half sized Skip coming in the morning to hopefully clear the last of the crap from my garden and loft - I'm STILL digging up stuff that was left from the war and just buried in the garden, I actually think it's getting worse. Next door have also done a bit of basic gardening for the first time in 7 years. Half heartedly. I know they are thinking of selling.

The bloke across the road has left his wife. She's clearly devastated and has been forced to rush out and have a 'cougar' style makeover. The hair alone is a marvel. Am reminded of the Oscar Wilde quip 'turned quite golden with grief"

I just managed to fall down the stairs whilst on the phone to the man I was ordering a skip from, he didn't seem too fussed.

Raft of the Medusa

In other news - my friend Richard Heslop completed a film for the BBC that was shown online as a partner to a new Radio Play by Simon Armitage on Saturday - it's available to view online here. You get a few glimpses of Richard in there too. The BBC are ecstatic with it. It was edited by Tracy Granger - who I have mentioned before and has the most impossibly famous parents in the world. Richard worked with Derek Jarman for some years and the film is partly a tribute to him.

I promise to blog more often - I may even post a picture of my slightly less desolate garden.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Monday

Nice weekend at home - mostly catching up on stuff and watching bad films, nothing beats a triple bill of 'Masque of the Red Death, Pit and the Pendulum, Fall of the House of Usher'. Did Vincent Price EVER have time off?

There is a tangible turn in the weather - most welcome. The extra daylight is also very welcome.

Gave away an old 50's chair yesterday and someone is coming to collect a set of school chairs today - the loft is almost empty. I have about 30 parcels of ebay sales to post this week already - I have run out of cardboard boxes - that's going to be a problem for me.

The news is fill of the changes in law to allow people to spend their pensions. Great - that has already lead to an increase in advertising by cruise operators (true fact) - as everyone spunks all their money away - and in 10 years it will be 'Oh, nobody told me I wouldn't have any money left, that's so unfair - I must have been mis-sold - I want my money back, and yes - I have a lovely cruise, thank you".  It's just like 10 years ago when everyone was raiding their property equity, 'unlocking' the money to piss away on luxuries. I actually know someone who came to the end of their fixed rate mortgage and was HORRIFIED to learn that they hadn't actually paid any of the debt - and this is someone who runs a business. It will just create a mini spending boom that the government will say is proof of a successful economy - and 'please vote for us - you are getting richer because of the tories'. I - of course- have no pension. I've been through 3 recessions as a self-employed person, bailed out half of my friends, paid my mums mortgage and now find myself selling my stuff to pay a tax bill. Actually I made about £1500 on ebay last month - all of which will go to the revenue, and none of which I shall miss. Getting rid of stuff is quite liberating - I'm only keeping what I value, and getting rid of anything I fall over in the dark.

I have a bit of work to do today, some washing, a few other 'bank holiday' style jobs. Yesterday I delighted myself by fixing together 3 medium sized coir rugs from Aldi to create a very large one that fitted my hall - no more muddy paw prints everywhere. Every time I go to Aldi I see something I didn't realise I couldn't live without.

The papers are full of David Cameron feeding a cute little lamb for Easter. He's also recently been photographed enjoying a lamb dinner at home with the family. Seriously.