Monday, 17 February 2014


Wow - two posts on consecutive days... I'm spoiling you.

Spent Sunday working on the house - and by that I mean knocking all the loose bricks off the kitchen roof and tearing down the dining room dry lining, or rather wet-lining. I actually quite like it. There was a lot of water behind the panels - hopefully it will dry out now, the ceiling is still wet. I went up into the Loft and the whole gable end and chimney breast are soaking. Roll on Friday and the insurance assessor.

In an idle moment I looked up a little house in Whitechapel I almost bought back when I was about 28. It was in a terrible state and was on the market at £30k, I applied for a grant from the local authority before I committed myself - in those days they threw money at people bringing unsaleable housing stock back into circulation. It was tiny, literally one and a half up and one and a half down. The garden was filled with rubble - the house next door had taken off their slate roof and replaced it with a flat one, and just chucked everything over the fence. It was a simple Victorian cottage - flat fronted, very small. I decided against it in the end because the neighbours looked a bit racist. I looked up the house on Google Streetview ( Hadleigh Street E2) and you can pretty much tell they are still there.

I mention this because, waiting for me when I got home was this years mortgage statement. I now owe a little under £89K, which is a fucking obscene amount of money - but the smallest amount I've owed in 15 years. I suppose that's a triumph of sorts.

One of my better friends has decided to sell their house and move back to London, it's a fantastic place and just a little bit beyond my means.

In addition to all the house stuff, I did a lot of work over the weekend - client loved it but wants all the colours changed, can't really process that one now - it will wait until morning.

I was in a pretty good mood yesterday, despite everything - but for some reason I managed to give myself a headache and came home early - and then, after getting my head around the mortgage thing, managed to work myself up into such a panic over money and debt that I can't concentrate on anything and am going to go to bed early. As I walked home it seemed that almost half the houses on the hill are having their roof repaired, by the time the insurance people get round to me they will have run out of money.

I have an exhibition of work through the month of March in a restaurant in Hastings - I've only just realised that I need to spend about £150 on frames before the end of next week, and still no washing machine - starting to run out of socks no. The prospect of hand washing fills me with an overwhelming sense of failure, as soon as I'm paid I'm getting a same day delivery - and that can't come too soon.

Last night I watched two films - Showgirls, by Paul Veerhoven - which was tacky, flawed, ill conceived but very entertaining and luridly fascinating, and almost a good film - and 'The Notorious Bettie Page' - with Gretchen Moll, which was just fantastic, a really great film. Both films were essentially about female nudity - Showgirls was full of women who looked plastic and lifeless, like shop window dummies - and Bettie Page was full of women who looked like... women. Quite a contrast.

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