Saturday, 3 October 2015


Yet another busy but satisfying week. Managed to get a lot of work done, no disasters!.

A very large graphic hoarding has been erected around a refurbished building this week, it's on Muswell Hill in London and was the biggest one-to-one artwork I've ever done, the photographs were 16 feet long and the boards (and hence artwork) had to be staggered upwards - each board rises by an average of 131.5mm - there were about 90 boards in all. I'm glad it's done!

I'm going to an indoor flea market in Hastings shortly - apparently it's going to be a good one.

I cycled into work every day this week - still not very confident but getting better - I'd forgotten just how bad the drivers are in this town, or how selfish. Mums at school run time are the worst.

The weather has been spectacularly good all week, slightly cooler at night - but amazing for October.

I'm doing my best to ignore the news - it's generally depressing rubbish and journalism seems to have hit rock bottom now.

I'm having another clear out at home later today - getting rid of stuff is great fun. I've cleaned the garden up too so it's ready for winter - looking good but both of my compost bins are full to bursting so potentially I need a new one. I may save money by punching holes into an old metal dust bin and using that instead.

Not a very good correspondent at the moment - still struggling with admin and getting back on track - couldn't remember how to write an invoice yesterday and had to re-educate myself. Additionally - the drama of my mobile phone account is just getting worse, my balance goes from £30.00 to 0.00p and back and forth for no reason and my online account is still locked. I really hate EE.

Yesterday a man was wandering around Hastings in a giant pink rabbit outfit, a skull mask and covered in blood. Nobody was paying any attention.

Saturday, 26 September 2015


(bear with me here - I've left my glasses at work, all 3 pairs)

I'm at home today but I'll be at work tomorrow - I needed a day off, it's full on at the moment and all the work I'm doing is very difficult. One big project, if it comes off properly - will be plastered all over the London underground and is associated with a very big 'brand'. I really need to get it right. Work has actually been OK, still managing to work at a decent pace and churn stuff out that I'm not ashamed of.

I cleaned the house today, and cleared the garden in anticipation of a change in the weather. I even cut a few trees back and made some space - I also cut back a very large tree at the bottom of the garden that actually belongs to my neighbour - it's cutting off a lot of light and I just cleared part of what was overhanging. They should thank me. I did it properly. I've done as much as I can in the house without getting tools out.

I still have a rubbish short-term memory - so basically anything that isn't urgent or written down just vanishes - it's not affecting the way I work - but despite the fact a lot has happened this week - I can't remember enough to write it down here. I should carry a note book around. I'll give it some real thought.

Amused that Farage has declared that UKIP is actually dead - despite leading it - and is really just about leaving Europe - which we all knew, rather raining on the parade of everyone who has tried to claim it's a proper political party. It never was.


Seriously - only in England. It's been a fun week for satire. I never knew there were so many jokes about pigs. I'm a vegetarian so I can, for once, take the moral high-ground from almost every angle here. Despite the fact that many of the allegations in the Ashford book were far more damaging than the story about Cameron's penis in the mouth of a dead pig - it's all people talk about... and that makes me think of the 'good day to bury bad news' episode.  A close friend is a well know and respected academic and vegan activist who has repeatedly tried to point out the grimmer, more complex issues here that relate to expensive research on animal cruelty and feminism - after all, pigs are highly intelligent, sentient animals who are so similar to us in many ways we can use their skin and organs in medical transplants, and no animal deserved to have it's head cut off and then the indignity of that idiot's penis shoved in it's mouth. I enjoy a joke as much as anyone else, and I admit - I've quite enjoyed this one, until today when someone posted a joke on Facebook that would have been funny if only the photograph they used hadn't been taken at the Cameron's child's funeral (nothing intentional - people just don't bother scrutinising things). I loathe Cameron, but it seems that he's going to shrug this one off - people like him always do.


My neighbour at the back has moved - she's one of my old students, her and her husband have bought the house directly opposite - at least twice the size and with a giant garden, a big, posh Victorian Villa on the last street in Hastings before the country park. I expect they will be there for the rest of their lives, they are like that. I have a feeling they did really well with the money side too. They have lived behind me for about 4 years, they have now sold their house for quite a decent profit and moved up the ladder. Progress. I - on the other hand, seem to be slipping down. The new owner appears to be a single man in his early 30's. Beard, horn rims, tattoo on his calf. Total hipster uniform. We get a lot of that in Ore now. I should rejoice but my house in facing the wrong way on the wrong road, so I'll never feel the benefit.

In other local news, when I moved here there was a parade of seriously crap shops, half empty and a pub you would never go into. Over the years we've changed and now have top of the range Aldi, Tesco and COOP, additionally a posh fish and chip shop, a pizza hut, a KFC, a Chinese restaurant and an Indian. We are the fast food and convenience capital of East Sussex. Now we are getting another. Domino's Pizza is opening directly across from me.

I helped someone write an arts council funding application this week, I really enjoyed it. I like writing, in a work context - earlier this month I seriously considered joining a writing course that takes 2 years and counts as part of a degree qualification - one day a week. It was about £900 per year. I'd like to do a lot more writing at work. But in the end I decided that at some point I have to replace the roof, rebuild the bay window, have new heating and redecorate the house. I've also noticed that all the double glazing needs to be replaced - every unit is going cloudy. There is no end to this, everything is a constant cash drain. I'm feeling very 'stuck' at the moment.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


The sun is shining, but it's clearly Autumn already and much cooler.

Last night I met someone I'd been aware of since I was in my teens, I once bought their records and have seen them in concert. Generally when people have some cultural purchase they live up to their expectation in a small way, at least. But not this time.b I should have known better.

I'm incredibly tired today, after a wasted weekend and difficulty sleeping, I'm really struggling to get my head straight at work. I might finish early and go home. I'll try and re-work my week around a half day.

I have a lot of really awkward stuff to do this week that I've probably been putting off - I expect it's psychosomatic.

At least it's not raining. Damp is just one more thing to deal with at this time of the year. The kitchen patio has already turned green with algae and mold. Once it's dried out a bit I can clear the garden for winter and possibly do a bit more moving around. There are a few jobs in the house that need dealing with before long, things I had hoped to sort earlier in the year.The roof is still leaking, the bay window is still leaning and the inside of the house is a mess. I sometimes think about giving up on it - there are sharks that buy houses in any condition, and just walking away.

Loads of building work noise outside again. An early finish is increasingly likely.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


I spent yesterday in London, seeing a client and picking up some really interesting (and challenging) new work. It rained all day, everywhere was really busy, people walking slowly with umbrellas being a particular problem. I quite enjoyed being in London, although so much is changing. The area around Tottenham Court Road / Oxford street is rapidly evolving. Large buildings have vanished where the big HMV was, to be replaced by rather poor and ugly retail space that does nothing for anyone. I spent time in Foyles - I'm in two minds about the new store. It was interesting that all the 'niche' interest areas were packed with people, and you could wander from one bookshelf to the next finding something new and unexpected - but fiction was empty and impossible to navigate.

There was so many people in the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery that I had to leave both as soon as I arrived.

My train ticket - after the reduction from my travel card, was about £17 - in all I spent about 4 hours on trains yesterday. When I got back to Hastings it cost me £9 for the 3 mins it takes to drive up the hill in a taxi. I was incandescent with rage.

My client (they are publishers) gave me a book about John Peel and his relationship with British Culture over 35 years, it's published next month - it's one of the most fantastic books I 've ever owned - I spent the entire journey home devouring it - a really brilliant book. I cannot recommend it enough.

Being away for a day - I totally bypassed the entire 'pig gate' episode until I arrived home. Much merriment aside. Pigs are intelligent, sentient animals - and really don't deserve this. Cameron, however, can  fuck off. He's played the 'nice guy' card too many times and taken the moral high ground to shut down debate - I hope he's suffering.

I have to help out with an event later so I'm going into work late. earlier I walked the dogs along Edmund road, and as I was cleaning up after the senile greyhound an old woman who looked a lot like Barbara Woodhouse came out of her house and gave me a load of abuse - apparently it's the 2nd time (in 8 years) she's seen my dog go to the toilet - and although both times (obviously) I cleared it up - that's not enough and I should 'drag it into the road'. There was an exchange. She won't be talking to me like that again.

I feel really tired today - it's the London thing. Having thousands of people around me is exhausting, and so many changes everywhere. We had a quick drink afterwards - it was £5.50 for a pint of lager and £3.00 for a class of coke. I had trouble getting past that.

Monday, 21 September 2015


I have a meeting in London later, I've come into the studio first. I'm also wearing better than usual clothes. I think it's going to rain.

My cold is much improved, although I was pretty groggy when I woke up - which meant that my early morning stumble through social media with a coffee was made all the more surreal by the information that our Prie Minister once put his (presumably/hopefully ) flaccid penis into the mouth of a dead pig. For fun. I don't make this shit up.

The weekend was a total write off, I found that frustrating and annoying - I had considered working on Sunday. I have a lot on this week... better get cracking.

Quite looking forward to being in London today - have not been 'up town' for some time. I'm expecting it to look different again.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Saturday PM

Brian Sewell is dead. I had no strong feelings about Brian Sewell. He could be clever, waspish, camp and inspired - and sometimes crass, snobbish and cruel. So, basically, just like everyone else, in one way or another. He was a critic, and critics are interesting because they 'can't' and hate those who 'do' so their opinion is worth much less but they can redeem themselves by dressing it up as something fun to read. He was a complete shit sometimes and hated the north - but kind to animals, a big dog lover and had a voice for radio.

I have a stinking cold - I spent half the afternoon asleep. I haven’t had a proper cold in at least a decade. Why is it always on a weekend?

I’m avoiding much social intercourse at the moment. Corbyn-mania is at it’s height and I have decided not to get involved. It’s reaching nonsense proportions now. I loathe it when people plaster Shakespearean metaphors to situations, but looking at the make-up of the shadow cabinet, such as it id - I’m minded to anticipate the newspaper headline - “Et Tu, Burnham?” - I’m sure it’s already been written.

I updated my iPhone as demanded. I no longer understand how to use it - and I keep getting locked out of my account. It’s absurd. Happens every time. I’ve not bothered topping up the PAYG either for a few weeks - it’s incoming calls only. I am perfectly comfortable with that.

I watched ‘An Inspector Calls’ on iPlayer the other day - new BBC production. It was very good indeed.

It’s the Hastings Seafood and Wine festival this weekend. Another jolly for the town, 2 days of stalls and drink.

Due to my now epic short term memory issues - the dogs have started taking advantage of the new reality by demanding to be fed repeatedly - and as I can’t usually remember if I’ve done it - they are probably getting extra meals every day. All of which I have to pay for.