Work is quite difficult and frustrating this week - a couple of things hovering about in the background I could do without, including dealing with someone I don't like - despite never having met them - they are making my life difficult so I've disengaged. Possibly not the right thing to do - but I've dealt with people like that all my life and they just bring me down. Seeing another client tomorrow - but potentially heading towards another cashflow crisis at the end of the month, too busy to worry about that today.
There is an exhibition in Hastings for the next week about the International Times counterculture magazine - curated by one of the founders - it's only a small thing with some archive prints, there will be a large glass cabinet (borrowed from the De La Warr) full of original copies from my collection - mostly late 1960's but some from about 1977 with a more punk feel. They were hidden in the house when I bought it - along with some old copies of OZ and Rolling Stone, and some late 70's pornography. The porn is quite tame (Men Only, Penthouse etc ) but does contain one illuminating photo story set in a gymnasium with a pre-Darth Vader/Green Cross Man David Prowse getting in some extra physical with a naked brunette. I have a feeling they were the property of the man who set fire to himself in my front room in 1985. My collection includes one particularly well thumbed copy that contains the infamous pictures of a naked jackie Onassis, with the staggering headline 'Million Dollar Muff' - the copywriting throughout is rather... unsophisticated.
Last night - I watched 'The Queen' - the Helen Mirren film about the... erm.. Queen. First time I've seen it since it came out and to be honest, I thought it was a bit clunky and superficial - full of really heavy handed metaphors - but very well executed (no pun intended). What really struck me was how absurd the whole scenario was, that mass hysteria that swept the country and idiocy of some people. Looking back now - I remember quite a lot - going to work on a Monday morning on a train full of silent commuters, people sobbing in the street, the flowers at Kensington palace near my office (they stank, honestly) and that lurid funeral. I didn't have any strong feelings about Diana other than mild bemusement and some irritation, now I can see her as both tragic and a bit pathetic. I'm not really sure if she was either famous or just a celebrity - I suppose a celebrity would have had better management.
Talking celebrity - Tony Blair, Philanthropist of the year... really...
In a neat segue - in that film, Blair was played by Micheal Sheen - who honestly looks nothing like him, as far as my face blindness allows me to register a man who just looks like a smile with no soul - his wife was played by Helen McCory - who I may, or may not, be seeing live streamed at the cinema in Medea tomorrow night. I'll let you know. Helen Mirren was on the radio talking about her performance in 'The Queen' which I also saw live streamed - that's transferring to Broadway - I liked it - and I think it will do well - it's better for the absence of Blair, who already gets too much press, and I suppose Sheen needs a break, although Mirren did suggest that Sheen might be happy to spend two hours on stage as Blair, if it was just him.
Interesting article in the New Statesman that suggest local newspapers should be reinvigorated in the light of scandals like Rotheram to create a more aware community - I agree - my local paper and it's associated website is shite and fails miserably - there used to be a daily paper in Hastings, now it's just a weekly property pull-out with some whitewash - even the once great Evening Standard is just adverts for rich people. It's inconceivable that they have allowed themselves to become so irrelevant in a digital age rather than embrace it and all communities are poorer for it.
I may have made a terrible mistake. I prepared and painted the front door, first with a decent undercoat - and then - the first top coat. In the DIY place - I couldn't find the correct shade of grey (or anything close) but I did find something in floor paint that was guaranteed 'diamond hard' and capable of taking a lot of punishment - or so it says on the label. As the front door is constantly being bashed - I thought this might be a good option - and it was exactly the right colour. I have to be honest - first coat looks a bit 'off' - the paint seems thin and covers unevenly and I'm worried that, basically, I've fucked up. Anyway. Colour wise - it's good - as you can see. Almost exotic.... for me.
There is a depressingly obvious shortening of the days now - it seems that we have 20 mins less daylight every day. As a result I've already gone into winter mode - just wanting to sleep all day and eat biscuits. It's not ideal.