Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hairy cornflakes

I’ve just returned from a run. I jogged to Muswell Hill and Finchley, and then, via the Bishop’s Avenue around the side of Hampstead Heath and back home.The Bishop’s Avenue is where people with lots of money, but no taste live. It’s full of the most ostentatious, ugly houses, many of which look like mausoleums. I love running past them, imagining the oligarchs who live there, and their grotesque, scrawny trophy wives.

This is a typical example

I woke up this morning to the news that the inspirational Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi ,was “given a lifeline” by Dave Lee Travis’ request show on the BBC World Service during the 15 or so years that she was under house arrest. The Hairy Cornflake apparently made her world “much more complete.” I don’t know why I find this news so touching. Perhaps it’s because it seems almost pathetic; that a woman of such extraordinary value should be saved by something so curiously inane. That said, my brother often talks about the importance of The World Service to ex pats, and I myself remember a very lonely period when I was living in London for the first time. I didn’t have telly, or many friends, and I used to listen to one particular show on the radio before going to bed. I found myself investing wholeheartedly in the programme, enjoying the relationship between its presenter and her producer, who never spoke. I was wildly disappointed on the nights when I tuned in and found an imposter in my favourite DJs place. That’s the power of the radio, I suppose. It fires the imagination and soothes a troubled, lonely brow.

Fortunately, the weather has been good again today, and that familiar lime green glow has descended on the trees outside, telling me that the sun is setting on the longest day. From now on the nights are slowly drawing in, which is a somewhat depressing thought for a man who feels he’s rather treading water at the moment. I’m busying myself with this Requiem, but there will come a point very soon, where I simply have to start earning money again. Part of me wonders what I’d be up to today if the symphony project had come off. It’s the first time in my life I’ve had “what if” thoughts and I don't like them.

I’ve been writing minimalism all day. When I write minimalism, I often wonder if I’m copping out. All that sitting on the same chord for bars on end. Simple, but effective? Or lazy? I guess, when the only lyric for the entire movement is “Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison” one has to wonder whether Jesus himself wouldn’t have opted for minimalism. Thank God for the gravestones!

Friday 21st June 1661, and Pepys went with his father to The Sampson in St Paul’s churchyard for their morning draught. A pub in a churchyard? Surely dear Mr Cromwell would not have approved? Pepys ate some bacon, and then pottered off to find some fabric for the curtains in his parlour, opting for some green say; a form of serge, I'm told.

Not normally one for cute shots of pets, but this is cute, right?

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