Monday, 19 December 2011


I’ve spent the day transcribing some of the interviews we did in Hattersley. There’s a lot of them –which means a lot of words. I hate the process – not only because I’m not the fastest typist in the world, but because listening to the interviews involves listening to myself interviewing people. I drone on in a monotone, slightly lisping, patronising voice - getting through half a question, and then changing my mind. I can’t imagine why anyone would bother to listen to any of the questions I ask!
It’s this stage during any project that scares me the most. It’s a very slow process of pulling stories together and finding the conversational sound bite that will trigger a decent lyric. I feel like I’ve been in a box all day, plugged into my computer, Mancunian voices bouncing around my brain like a metal marble in a pin ball machine. I haven’t really spoken to anyone all day, which means when Nathan returns from work I’ll be taciturn, which might upset him.

I went to the gym earlier on. I’ve been pigging out on all sorts of unsavoury food stuffs for the past month and can feel unsaturated fat limping through my veins. I very much need to get the blood flowing properly again. The experience of running on the treadmill felt worryingly unfamiliar – and I got a bit anxious at one point. Absolutely proof positive that, in the words of Olivia Newton John, “I better shape up.”

350 years ago, Pepys’ wife dressed herself up to go to the christening of Elizabeth Hunt’s child. In the interests of killing two birds with one stone, she was ushered to Mr Savill, the painter’s studio, for a lengthy portrait sitting. It was whilst they were at the Mr Savill’s, that Pepys’ boy, Wayneman, arrived to pass on the news that the christening had been postponed for a week. Pepys and Elizabeth returned home but "in the way I took occasion to fall out with my wife very highly about her ribbands being ill matched and of two colours, and to very high words, so that, like a passionate fool, I did call her whore, for which I was afterwards sorry...
I’m not surprised. What a ridiculous argument to have picked!

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