Wednesday, 7 December 2016


I am sitting down today. First time in 3 weeks. I'm not particularly comfortable but I need to crack on with work and stuff.

Yesterday I had 3 meetings, the first one was very good - a complex brief that takes me out of my comfort zone. The next was with someone I suspect may be out of their depth and will end up distancing myself from them in the long term and the final was less to do with work and more peripheral, but was also very good. At no point did I make a fool of myself.

A client who owes me money has gone very quiet on me and another has vanished off social media. I'm very keen to tie up as many loose ends as possible and finish this year by emphatically taking it outside and beating it to death. It's been really, really shit. I'm going to have to get all that money in or I'll be in trouble.

A job I didn't take because of conflict of interest has been completed by using a piece of work I did for their architect as a favour, months ago, without telling me. That's typical. Two episodes of being ripped off in one week. I found Monday an incredibly depressing day - apart from being in quite a bit of pain, it all seemed a bit pointless. I've had nothing but grief this year, both at home and in the wider world - I just wanted to spend the day in bed. Bit more chirpy now but really keen on just drawing a line under 2016 and hoping for the best. I have a choice between spending xmas fretting or just hitting the party side hard and waiting until the new year to pick up the pieces. That's what everyone else does. I suspect that, once again - I'll just go home for 3 weeks and pretend it never happened.

I'm supposed to go to the guy who is dealing with my back on Friday - dreading it already, and the cost.

My computer screen is back and I'm working on both screens at the moment - it's not the way I usually like to work, I might give it a couple of weeks but I expect I'll be taking the spare screen home for xmas.

It's unseasonably warm, and damp. But ridiculously dark.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Dogs insisted on getting up and going out at 6.30am. It was cold and dark - but in 3 weeks, the nights start getting shorter again - something to look forward to.

Went to the Illustration festival yesterday, which was good - but not the party afterwards ( I was already in bed). I also went to a vintage fair on the Pier (vintage now means '80's) and later to another xmas fair - mostly craft and art, all of which looked exactly the same. I know one of the stall holders, he told me that despite everywhere being really busy - it was essentially the same people trying to sell to the same people, usually themselves and each other. It was a lovely day so I had a bag of chips on the beach. I met two people both wearing the same highly distinctive 'one of a kind' coat in different colourways - the kind of coat retailers put in the window but never expect to sell. I saw someone I know wearing an elf costume in the Old Town. He's about 7 feet tall so it ... didn't work. Despite not having a telly and shunning most media - I can'y help noticing that it's already full-on xmas in Hastings - 3  weeks to go and I'm already waiting for it to end.

I'm more mobile today but still can't sit down for fear of not being able to get up again. The Mac engineer is coming to the studio tomorrow with my computer screen - it's apparently repaired, which is great. I should mention to everyone that my engineer has had a sex change and they will be used to her as a him. I actually really like Clare and she's a lot happier now. A really interesting person, a munitions engineer, motorcycle enthusiast and the owner of an industrial 3D printer. And a very good Mac support person.

I think I may have sold my spare bike to a guy at work, so I'll clean it up today - I can't cycle it at the moment - I'll probably end up walking it down the hill. I should get enough to pay for my next back session.

I won £10.50 on the Euro Lottery. At this rate - I'll be in a decent financial position in about 400 years.

I'm getting bored and frustrated now - there are things I need to do - but can't. Working standing up might be fashionable - but I'm not enjoying it and I'm less productive - and I'm struggling to concentrate properly. The year is drawing to an end and it's been fairly crap - I've earned very little and there are things I need to do to try and make it better, or I'm 'out of the game'. This back isn't helping.

Friday, 2 December 2016


I'm at home - I was supposed to be at an event tonight - but passed. I'll explain why.

The woman who owns the building I work in is a great friend - she also owns the bar I work in sometimes and she's often a client. Anyway - she made an appointment with the back-person she uses in my name and paid for me, combination late birthday / early xmas and thank you for a few favours. He's not cheap, but apparently very good. There is nothing I can think of that I hate more than the idea of being manhandled by a complete stranger with no clothes on (me - not him). He was very nice, professional, explained a lot if things - spent an hour making me feel either much better or much worse (not sure about that one) and convinced me to come back next week for another session. I have to pay for this one myself. I do feel better - although he warned me that I may feel much worse tomorrow, and could tie my shoe laces unaided after I got dressed again, but I had to grit my teeth all the way through. He told me to take some pain relief tonight - but actually I've bought some beer instead as it really does relax me a bit and makes me feel better. Obviously I'm very grateful and very touched by the gesture - but I'm from the North - whatever injury we have, we suffer in silence until it becomes scar tissue and then it stops hurting anyway. At one point I could feel his thumbs pressed so hard into my back they felt like knitting needles about to draw blood - and I had a red ring around my face where the aperture in the table pressed against my head. He's very busy - hardly has time to eat lunch and is booked up every day - but frankly, I'd be bored to death if I was him (I did work out in my head what his approximate turnover must be, that was sobering.) Through the whole hour we listened to a terrible CD of pan pipe versions of 1970's big ballads. That caused me pain as well. At one point he asked me if I was under a lot of stress. I just looked at him. Apparently the problem is really not that bad. Considering how much pain I've been in - I wonder how bad it could be?

Tomorrow there is a big industry event at my studio - spread over two days (it's called HiFest) and a big party afterwards, I doubt that I'll manage that one. I'm pretty desperate to get back to proper work without feeling pain or discomfort all day, and trying to sit down might help - I've now been standing for two weeks.

I other news, it appears a piece of my work has been copied by a large London venue. I'll go into more detail in another post - but it's happened before and I'm fairly nonplussed.

The Zac Goldsmith thing wasn't a surprise, there will be more. Labour losing it's deposit wasn't a surprise either. I think the LEAVE lot are going to get increasingly fractious and angry as they realise that the other half of the country suddenly don't just cede into agreement with them.

Thursday, 1 December 2016


Today started badly. I was forced to break open a packet of soap with a hacksaw out of sheer frustration. Let's see how today develops.

Yesterday I made the mistake of going into central Hastings - I've forgotten how awful it is when people are xmas shopping. In WHS - a very odd woman in her thirties, the type who looks trapped in a low ranking administrative role and thus angry with the world - was harassing a member of staff because the desk diary she had already bought for next year didn't have the required number of 'notelettes' she was expecting - nor did it have a wipe-clean divider-come-ruler.  She was talking in a very loud, monotone voice that lead me to think at first  it was a staff training exercise, but catching the eye of the assistant - I saw real fear.

Later I went into Waterstones - and another equally threatening and bizarre scene. A middle aged woman in a Barbour (there is a theme here) who clearly didn't work and had too much time on her hands, was aggressively talking to a staff member - "I just don't have the time to go home and get my reading glasses, I expect YOU to take me to the well-being section and talk me though your stock so that I can find something to interpret my dreams". I honestly don't make this stuff up.

My back still hurts, so later today I'm going to give 'Deep Heat' a go. It can hardly make things worse.

I pulled an expensive, stainless steel catering bench out of a skip yesterday and have just re-organised my studio space around it. I'm very pleased with myself.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Went into work early today, managed to convert my desk so I can stand up while I work. Two people pointed out (one with some alarm) that I have lost weight. I know, I’m quite happy about it. Despite my earnest attempts over the years to bulk up - I’m a naturally thin person trapped inside a thin body. It doesn’t suit my face, but nothing does.

It appears that my busted computer screen can be saved - the water is drained out and the engineer is going to replace the power button and another component that is named after a group of random initials, both destroyed by ferrous action of the water or something (I think it’s called ‘rust’). I may get away with as little as £30 in costs - or at least the guilty party who over watered her plants upstairs will. We’re glossing over that one.

Did some more work for techno DJ’s today - they are very happy, didn’t get around to dealing with money - keep putting that off, made a point of avoiding a couple of meetings about local planning issues and had some more enquiries about the Creative Quarter project. Tomorrow - I have to do difficult stuff.

One thing I’m really struggling with at the moment. Intelligent spelling and grammar correction on the computers and browsers, constantly re-wording all my correspondence in random ways. It’s exhausting.

Almost all my neighbours have their xmas decorations up. Many will leave the lights up until at least Easter. It gets earlier ever year - First decorated house was November 12th this year. I think people are just looking for an escape. I don’t blame them. It’s also very, very cold.

Last night I bought the entire 1980's 'Day Of The Triffids' series from the BBC store for £2.99 in their sale - digital copy etc. Really cheered me up.

I’m feeling a bit lazy - so I’ve decided to cut and paste a couple of random Facebook posts I made today - rather than go to the effort of re-typing them. I like Facebook, it’s taken me years to curate my friends list to represent people I actually like and talk to. I personally think we middle aged types should start reclaiming social platforms for our own purposes, the internet is wasted on the young.

so… from today -

Just walked the dogs quickly, 6.30am - pitch dark, freezing. young couple holding hands emerge from a wooded path leading to the country park - she's wearing a black mini dress and high heels, he looks like he's wearing a dinner jacket. Carrying silver and gold helium filled party balloons. 'good morning'. Hastings. *rolls eyes*

I was in a local junk shop today - I won't tell you which one - but it's not hard to guess. The owner was being monopolised by a woman of about my age and her elderly mother. The mother was quite sweet "do you remember me, I came in here about 2 years ago and we had such a nice chat". The Daughter (blonde highlights and a Barbour) was really keen to talk about herself, and how she had a warehouse full of amazing stuff that the shop owner would just love - but she was doing 'simple' now and her home was practically 'Zen' - this went on for some time - when they finally left, the owner - who had actually been very nice and chatty to both of them turns to me and said "did you see that woman, she keeps her poor mother in a rotten flat in St Leonards that's practically a squat - forever moving her to cheaper and cheaper rented accommodation - and yet she just bought a fucking Rothko for her front room. She makes me sick". I was very close to buying him a pint and giving him a hug.

Just been in the Tesco in Town - very obese man at the till explaining to the man behind the counter that he was stocking up because society is about to collapse and the apocalypse was coming. That's nice.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Monday. I should have stayed in bed,

Got up early, made the effort to stumble into work. Arrived at about 8am. I saw that the coaster where I put my coffee cup was wet and assumed someone had been sitting at my desk - then realised everywhere was wet. Desks, notebooks etc - all the electrical cables and sockets - and finally the computer screen - a big apple cinema display, which was flashing on and off and shorting out. It later transpired that some water had flooded from upstairs, a totally innocent accident, they hadn't realised how much or what damage was done. So. I'm down a screen.

So, I have to go home and collect the one I use to watch films and TV etc. I walk back - on opening the front door I didn't have the dogs welcoming me, just silence - then I noticed that the water bowl was upside down in the middle of the kitchen, and then that the dining room doors were open.

It transpires that someone has tried to get into the house - and been confronted by the dogs - who obviously did 'dog' stuff. Afterwards, in their hysterical state - they destroyed all the soft furnishings, dragged all the covers off the chairs and tore a large hole in my mattress - after stripping the bed. I found them hiding upstairs, very distressed.

I really wish I'd stayed at home today and just hidden from the world. If the dogs went into the garden unsupervised, I'll probably get angry communication from the woman next door later.

My back still hurts, not that anyone gives a fuck.