Tuesday, 1 July 2014


Up early - needed to be in the studio before 8am and onto a train to London, in 'nice' clothes. I also intended taking a sack of bagged up cherries to work to distribute to everyone. Couldn't get a cab (seriously... all the cab drivers here do is moan about not having enough business) so had to perform the difficult and unwelcome task of cycling to work in a suit jacket and ironed shirt, very good, but very stiff new shoes, a helmet - and with two very heavy bags, including a laptop and the aforementioned cherries.

Train was on time - but hot and airless. It goes through all the posh parts of Sussex so there are lots of very rich kids going to very posh private schools. All the small station car parks are full of black BMWs and 4 wheel drives.

I had the misfortune to be hemmed into the table area by the kind of woman who thinks the whole train is her personal space, she spread all her paperwork, phone, laptop and personal stuff all over the table - had no discretion (she works for a production company, has access to the National Theatre Secure server and is working her way through a £68,500 budget ) and was really keen that we all knew how important she was, lots of very urgent calls and texts, barking orders and giving instructions to minions. The effect was ruined when she did a bit of personal paperwork - she has at least 10 store cards and credit cards and wrote a cheque, very carefully, for each one - totting up the total as she went, all for the minimum amount (all cards maxed out) - which kinda tells me, she's about as broke as it's possible to be. Listening to Front Row this evening - I had more than an insiders perspective on the production that opened last night - I could probably tell you what the cast had to drink afterwards.

The train was late getting into London, the theatre woman was determined not to clear the table and let me out until she was the last person on the train (she was 'that' important). Coming into London I was struck by how ugly the skyline is now - even Canary Wharf seems more cohesive and composed - the 'Cheesegrater' is phenomenally big and crude - the whole of the city looks like a sketchpad drawing by a failed first year architecture student.

London was hot - but not as busy as usual. I had my 'important' meeting - which either went really well or really badly - I'd picked the cafe at the Welcome Institute in Euston - really like it there - think it was a good choice, after my meeting I was very fortunate to be able to catch my friend Jon as he came into Euston station after his holiday in Berlin - so had lunch early with him, and then another meeting, and lunch again - at the same table ( I was hungry). The staff must have thought I was strange.

After that - I spent some time in the new Foyles, which I liked very much - but noticed that they haven't managed to get the signage up - lots of printouts stuck to the wall with blu tack. Ruined the effect. The staff are all very good looking and very clever.

When I am in London, I am so comfortable that I forget I don't live there anymore. At the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford street - much of the building work on the new tube station is finished and you finally get an idea of what it's going to be like, quite fantastic.

On the train home - same story - posh kids from posh schools, and a family with 5 small children who appeared to have been eating sugar all day. They were horrible kids, the parents were tired and very bad tempered, and I wanted to be anywhere else.

It was impossible to cycle up the hill wearing brand new Loakes, so I pushed the bike. Had 2 egg custards for dinner - and now I'm having a virtually alcohol free beer. Next door are having a massive row. I worked out on the way home that I'm the only single person I know.

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