Thursday, 20 October 2016


It’s been a long and eventful week - and quite stressful - hence the silence.

As an aside - we have LED street lighting where I live - which is great, I love it - but walking the dogs in the dark mornings and evenings is a nightmare  - as I can never see where they have ‘been’ and it’s let to a few accidents already - I’ll start carrying a hand sanitiser. I also HATE the dark mornings - I wear mismatched clothes and socks and more than once have been to work in odd shoes or with my jumper inside out - I don’t see my house in daylight now until the weekend - it’s depressing.

My stress levels over the last couple of weeks have been pretty high - I was approached and ask to be course leader of a design degree with an almost immediate start - (Monday, actually) but after some digging about and some straight questions - I found that it would never really have been the job they described, the money would have been terrible, it wasn’t something I could ‘fix’ - no matter how hard I worked - and the politics would have been immense. I would probably have to turn down more work than I could afford (It’s a Part Time position) and ended up financially much worse off. I also think I was being taken advantage of, because people are used to me bailing them out and saving their bacon. Getting a bit pissed off with that now. My finances are a disaster and I have very little money coming in - but I’m not prepared to ruin my health and mental state to paper over the cracks of someone else’s disasters.

All this week I have slept badly and eaten rubbish as a result of the stress and uncertainty , should have been a clue to me that it was really a non starter. I would have loved to do the job they described - but that wasn’t the reality. Not even close.

If I’m a bit quiet at the moment - I generally post on Instagram most days  - link over on the right.

Monday, 10 October 2016


Last week was long and hard - but good.

I did some bar work and managed 12 hour studio days - it’s now that time of year when I no longer see the house in daylight. Work is going well and I’m getting by. The packaging I designed for Dyke and Dean has arrived and it looks fantastic - really happy with all that. Additionally, I designed a brand for a kids character accessories range called ‘Glitzy Glamour Puss’ - 2 degrees and 20 years experience - and hell yes, I’m proud of this.

Some of the packaging inshore

On Saturday - I went to a wedding, sort of - I was invited, but I usually hate weddings and nobody likes single people at events like that - I’d have had a very depressing time and probably got drunk - it was the son of the couple who own the building I work in - and the bar below - I work with him quite a bit - he’s one half of Dyke and Dean, and his girlfriend, who was one of my students a few years ago. Her dad played bass for David Bowie and her mum was a model who can be seen in the Film Tommy as The Queen Of Hearts.  Additionally, when her dad left music he went into carpet fitting, became the ‘carpet fitting king’ and even ended up being the first contractor in the real ‘Hotel Rwanda’ after the conflict. So, as a compromise - I ran the downstairs bar for them - the wedding being split over 2 floors - they actually got married in the alleyway outside, creating an actual church with aisles, an alter etch and a grass floor - with a lot of shrubbery and lovely lighting. It was probably the best wedding ever - a really happy occasion with a lot of very, very happy people. The grooms mother - who is a great friend - cried for about 4 hours straight. In a good way. I think everyone cried at some point. The bar was absurdly busy - I worked from 2pm until midnight. Best day’s work I have every done. Including the part where the bride claimed over the bar to kiss me. They are two of my favouite people - so for one, a happy ending.

We’ve already been talking about xmas drinks in the studio. We’re having a ‘bonding’ drink on Wednesday.

The weather is still fantastic - cooler - but the sun is still there. It's bonfire night here on Saturday.

Monday, 3 October 2016


Today - despite being clear and sunny - was a very cold morning - followed by glorious sunshine, unless you were in the shade - where it was still cold.I should have worn gloves to cycle to work. A mistake I’ll try not to make again.

I had stomach cramps again today - the only time in my life I’ve ever had stomach cramps was when I was out of hospital and they gave me an anti-inflammatory called Naproxoren and I didn’t go to the toilet for 3 weeks. I never want to experience that ever again. I also had a terrible headache - mid afternoon I began to wonder ‘is this how it ends’ and then I realised it was more to do with the cold morning and vague memories of neuralgia.

Work was a nightmare - very difficult day - Monday’s often are. To top it off, I had an email later in the day from an old client suggesting I meet up with a new designer that are using and have taken under their wing and give them a ‘leg up’ and introduce them to useful, successful people. I get that a lot - it really, really pisses me off. I might as well just give them my house and access to my bank account

I had a meeting with someone a year older than me who’s career is literally about to end (senior software developer) and he’s considering anything that comes his way. Not something I am looking forward to.

Tomorrow I’m helping out at a student fair - from 4pm until 11pm spread across two floors of our building, I’m looking forward to serving drinks to 18 year olds about to embark on a huge personal debt and an almost worthless qualification - in the vague hope that one day - when they hit 50, they may be serving drinks to students for £8 per hour.

My main task tonight will be to somehow pay a years council tax. I will need to concentrate for that one.

Sunday, 2 October 2016


I know - another break. It wasn’t intentional - but I’ve had an awful lot on recently. Working hard on multiple projects and working nights in the bar - I’m pretty worn out and spend my free time staring at a film without taking it in, or just sleeping. Like this weekend -just sleeping all day.

I still have a terrible short term memory so if I don’t get it written down straight away - it’s usually gone or impossibly fuzzy.

I’ll die my best to remember the last few weeks.

Lost my temper after a client repeatedly too the piss by asking me to do difficult, high profile work for no money. So I’ve burnt my bridges there. And I’m pleased about it.

The weather has been great, only just starting to cool down a bit now that it’s October, but still clear and sunny all the time - very little rain at all.

A few people around me have had very bad news - including a colleague whose close friends 13 year old son fell from a balcony by accident and died last week - it’s impossible to rationalise things like that.

I’m planning on buying some new running shoes and starting to run again now that I’ve lost a bit of weight and the cycling is going well - I’d rather run at night when it’s dark and I just need to up my stamina levels a bit - I’m OK from the waist down but could do with a bit more help in the lungs.

I’ve been getting stomach cramps - which I suspect probably has more to do with my mattress than
anything else - I really need a new one - but I’m not really in a position to pay for it right now.

The Turner prize entries are far worse this year that ever before, they are pretty terrible. I think probably the Turner should become Bi-Annual now - close friends who are artists themselves decry the crassness of it, and how it seems to be and club for an ever decreasingly small circle of in-crowd artists.

I was in London during the week - met a couple of clients - and came straight back to Hastings. London on a Monday seemed strangely empty - and as I’ve mentioned before - almost totally white. Additionally - being at the junctions of Charring Cross road and Oxford street Tottenham art road is now really strange - it’s a vast open area with new buildings and huge gaps where older buildings used to be - all the familiar signs are gone. Centrepoint is being turned into luxury flats - which kinda ruins it’s new aspect at the centre of London. There are still small blocks of shabby social housing directly behind. I wonder how they are going to hide them?

I have made a slow-cooked vegetarian sausage casserole for later - it looks a bit grim, really.

I still haven’t been able to sort out the electrics downstairs or the bay window or the garden fences - I’m being careful with every penny and work is too volatile - I have other bills on the horizon too - including the homes and contents insurance that’s due next week and I have to find money for from thin air.

On the political scene - my morbid fear of Trump winning in the US is growing and everything here on both sides fills me with dread. I’ve had to mute almost all my friends on Facebook for fear of them talking about politics, and generally talking rubbish. I’m also amazed by the number of quite intelligent people I know who seriously believe in conspiracy theories.

I’m avoiding going out at the moment, partly because I can’t afford it and partly because most people I know drink too much and it’s something I’d rather avoid.

This year, for the first time in years - I actually remembered my sisters birthday and got her a card.

A neighbour up the road from me has totally remodelled their mid 50’s detached house in a new England style over the space of 2 weeks - it’s becoming a common theme here - lots of plastic wood effect shuttering and pastel colours - the new ‘fake half timber’ - they have done a good job and the new roof is nice, but they seem determined not to put up any curtains - early in the morning I’ve caught his near naked wife drop to the floor to hide as I walk past with the dogs. They have a massive TV the size of a small car on one wall of the front room - it’s like a cinema.

I need a shave later - in truth, I still look much healthier now that I’m ‘off’ dairy - and feel it too - I’ll just have to try and make sure I fill any gaps in my diet.

Seriously - not much else has happened, just work, dog walking and sleep - I still feel quite detached from things outside all of that. I have a few things coming up that will potentially make life more interesting - I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Sunday - 9/11

I’ve had an incredibly busy couple of weeks - working days and often at night in the bar - so apologies for lack of updates.

Event wise, apart from the Fringe festival stuff - some of which was good - some very bad - there was a laser light show on the pier last night that was a bit underwhelming but very popular - despite the rain. We’re about to hit a week of very good weather -probably the end of the summer - so I didn’t really mind. I also worked on a very expensive but equally underwhelming burlesque event that I think was over priced and political a bit rocky.

I have had a lot of work on, mostly small projects, quite complicated and generally badly paid - but that’s life.

Today, 9/11 - I decided to watch ‘Man on Wire’ rather than anything to do with the other events of that day - I never got to see the Twin Towers and I’d rather remember them positively than anything else. It’s also a great film (the documentary - not the new biography).

15 years have passed since 9/11 - like most people - I remember everything in detail from that day. 15 years actually doesn’t seem that long - an awful lot has happened and my life has changed many times since then - I was living in Brighton and commuting regularly to London - since then I’ve lived in Liverpool and now hastings (9 years - the longest I’ve lived anywhere) - and I’ve been to several weddings and several funerals. I have hardly any of the friends I had them - in a lot of ways I’m much happier and I’m far better at my job and more expert than I was then - but work is much harder. The world is a very different place. I think people are different too. I was 35 then - but I didn’t feel it. I certainly don’t feel 50 now - whatever that’s supposed to be like.

I painted my front door and replaced all the door furniture - it looks great, even though the house is falling down. The day after I finished the top coat, a large scratch appeared across the front at head height - I suspect it was the postman’s bag scraping it - I had to touch it up.  fitted a ledge to the top of some panelling in the dining room so I could prop pictures up on it rather than have them wallowing in storage, took less than an hour - I’ve been meaning to do it for a couple of years. It took 10 mins to fit a new front door know that I’ve had in a draw for 2 years assuming it would be much more difficult.

My dairy intake is now down to about half a pint a week, pretty happy about that and feeling well - starting to lose a bit around the middle too.

Apparently - and I have this on very good authority - but no direct evidence - someone I consider to be very, very ‘big’ had bought a house near me. I can’t say who - but lets just say I’m in the Happy House, she’s probably going to cultivate a Hong Kong Garden and I’ll codename her ‘Christine’.

Facebook has been acting up recently - I can’t make head nor tail of it for some reason, I think they are introducing changes etc. It keeps trying to suggest new friends somehow harvested from my past. One of the ‘friends’ keeps suggesting is my X, which is odd - as we have had no contact for a couple of years - and they were adamant they would never join Facebook - but here they are, with a little profile picture. The disconcerting thing is the actual photo - I realised straight away that it was taken outside a theatre before a show by Kate Bush - as a friend who lives local has an identical profile picture taken from exactly the same spot. It just added to my distress and discomfort at seeing the photo. Could have done without that.

I have a heavy workload next week - there were things I wanted to do today but as I had 3 pints of lager last n night - it’s been a complete write off. I have zero tolerance for alcohol now.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Last night I worked behind the bar at a hastings Fringe Festival event. This included ‘dulling’ poets (terrible) a couple of improvised music performances (not great) and Christian stand up comedy….. I’ll just leave that hanging in the air. It was everything you could imagine, and far, far worse.

We had a wedding at the bar on Saturday - I worked 10 hours and as a consequence spent half of Sunday asleep. But it was a great wedding and everyone was lovely. A coupe I’,m friendly with also married on Friday. There must be something in the air.

I’m working again tonight - more fringe festival stuff - I may just zone out. It’s actually very boring when the bar isn’t busy.

The weather is still very good - but I have a feeling it’s about to end.

I did a bit of cleaning and gardening over the long weekend - and painted my front door a darker shade of grey. Looks terrible - really streaky - I don’t know why. I’m really disappointed. Another coat is in order.

I have a lot of work on at the moment. All really bitty and complicated - and I’m constantly having to stop to sort stuff or wait for feedback and further instructions.

I have to go home early and return to work behind the bar tonight - I’m actually thinking of going now.