Sunday, 3 April 2016


Yesterday was almost like the first day of summer - despite a little rain later - it was hot and sunny, I wore a short-sleeved shirt for the first time in months. It was a blessed relief.

Earlier in the week - I had a call from a friend who is a gardener, he was working around the corner for one of my posh neighbours and had to clear part of their garden,  - did I want a 9-foot date palm? Of course I did. There was some comedy in moving it to my house - hanging out of the back of a van with me walking behind, like a hearse. I had a really good position for it next to a couple of compost bins so the soil is good and well nourished - and it's in full sun all the time - I just hope it takes - it's 50/50. It looks fantastic - and the effort was worth it.

Too big to fit into a single frame

The trunk is about 6 foot tall

Yesterday I went out and was 'social' - met up with a load of friends and played cards - enjoyed myself - but a bit exhausting. Too many people talking at the same time really wears me out.

On Friday I finally got round to watching 'Steve Jobs' with Fassbender and Winslet - the Danny Boyle film. It was so much better than I expected - really brilliant performances and filmmaking - clever and beautifully written. I rented it online - I wish I'd bought it - it's the type of film I'd watch over and over. Reminds me a bit of a David Fincher film, had the same writer as The Social Network - which probably explains why.

Every day this week I have managed to fall out with someone - I think it has more to do with not tolerating any crap from people rather than being difficult. I don't have the time of patience for bullshit anymore.

Completed my 2015/16 accounts and will be ready to submit them this week - as soon as the website is live. They have started making changes to the Revenue site to bring it into line with the sites - I couldn't find my way around it last week. I earned roughly what I expected - and after allowances and expenses - after last year's disaster etc, I certainly won't be paying tax - I already paid tax on about 4k worth of earning so that 'should' be taken off what I already owe.

The fact that there is more daylight now has made a huge difference to my mood and general feeling of well-being. I have a couple of new jobs next week to start - nothing major - and I think I'm just happy to see the back of last year - I always think in terms of financial year anyway. I can focus on going forward - earning money - not losing my house - getting out of debt and potentially having some quality of life, after everything that's happened I think I deserve it.

There was a meeting about the building next to my studio that was attempting to get planning permission for a 7 storey extension - now that the University of Brighton has pulled out of Hastings, they have scaled their ideas back to a more simple design of just two extra floors of flats. Thank goodness, everyone is very happy about that. Let's hope they are being honest about their intention.

Two of my 'falling out with people' incidents came about because of the current slew of celebrity deaths - one because of Ronnie Corbett and one because of Zaha Hadid. The Corbett one came from a ludicrous article in the Daily Mai that suggested poor Ronnie had been forced to sell his house and move into a bungalow to save his children from inheritance tax. If they bothered actually reading they will have discovered that actually - he sold his massive 10 bedroom house THIRTEEN YEARS AGO because it was just him and his wife living there - he bought it for about 20k and sold for 1.3million, and I'm quite sure he had plenty of other assets. The person I remonstrated with thought it was perfectly OK to find ways to avoid paying taxes when you were rich, but unable to extend the same courtesy to the poor. My other 'falling out' came because someone failed to read something on facebook properly and presumed it was about them (they do that a lot). My post, the in question, and how I followed up is here.

I was never a big fan of Zaha Hadid - work-wise - but had huge personal and professional respect for her. I thought she worked incredibly hard and was remarkably gracious considering how shitty, patronising and misogynistic her peers, the press and the BBC were. I'm sure that they will resolve and revisit that now she's gone.

Followed by -

There is this stupid phenomena when some people in the public eye dies - for the sarky comments to start rolling out - especially if they were a bit difficult or 'complicated' - I've already seen a few about Zaha Hadid - It reminded me of the time the BBC did a film about her - a sort of 'fly on the wall' and she agreed to be filmed at a meeting with about 30 other architects and designers - when she entered the room - in her studio, around a giant table and chairs that she had designed herself - the one chair that was left for her to sit on was from a different office, totally out of place and with a stupid high back - so she remonstrated 'what is this doing here, why would someone do this?" - obviously they filmed it and broadcast it as evidence of her 'awkward, anal, OCD tendencies' - actually - they were just trying to trip her up and take the piss, kick the woman down and make her look a fool - I expect she had to deal with that every single day of her career. I've had people tell me that she was from a rich and privileged family - suggesting she didn't deserve her success - really? She wouldn't have built more than a garden shed if that was the case - Architecture isn't a game for fools. Even a few weeks ago the BBC humiliating her over the stadium safety scandal that had nothing to do with either her nor her practice, just bad journalism - really pissed me off. I didn't like her work - it was too big and too gestured for me - but it was still brilliant. I'm not just sad about her death - I'm actually quite angry.

Make of that what you will.

I was out with the dogs earlier in the week and tried to take a photograph of a magnolia tree - by accident I set my camera to facing back and took a picture of my face instead. My iphone instantly broke. Yesterday, small dog spied a cat under a car - and pulled me under in front of my neighbours. It was very embarrassing.

They are using a big falcon type bird to clear the pigeons from the roof of my studio and the buildings around us - I found out this week that the large bird of prey in my neighbours shed is a 'Harris's Hawk' and he's trying to remove it, which is a relief.


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