Wednesday, 6 March 2013


The day started with an all-too familiar announcement at Highgate station. “Due to signal failure at East Finchley, we are experiencing severe delays on the Northern Line...” They weren’t lying. 20 minutes later, still no train, and a second announcement informed us that a “faulty” train had now been taken out of service. Meanwhile, more and more rush hour commuters were flooding onto the platform, crowd surges were developing, and I was losing the will to live. The trains eventually started passing through, filled to the rafters, the doors opening and closing again with no one being able to get on. It took me an hour and a half to reach Moorgate; a journey which ought to take under 45 minutes.


From then on the day took off. I was in Moorgate to visit the London Museum, where, rather randomly I was being photographed as part of some kind of in-house “this is what one of our archetypal visitors looks like” brochure. Someone had spotted me on my previous visit to the museum and identified me as a stereotypical example of one of their “cultural professional” visitors. It’s ironic for someone who prides himself on being one of a kind, to discover that he’s actually a stereotype, but if the cloth cap fits, wear it with pride, I say!


From the museum, I made my way along the central Line to White City, and spent another day on the estate in beautiful early spring sunshine, meeting residents, looking at recording studios, wandering through markets, chatting up cafe owners and trying to persuade one of our favourite contributors that taking part in the film wouldn’t compromise his religious beliefs.


The blossom has started to appear on the trees in the estate and I’m beginning to get the sense of a place which will look really rather pretty in the summer months.


I found myself in the ghastly Westfield Shopping Centre in the late afternoon, looking for a new pair of headphones. The place made me feel instantly uncomfortable. Everything is shiny, bright and over-clean. I could see my reflection everywhere I looked; in windows, on the walls, even on the brightly polished floor. It’s a horrifying temple of consumerism, and it made me feel physically sick; a sensation which was enhanced tenfold by my walking into the ladies loos by mistake. I was somewhat confused as to why there weren’t any urinals, and after entering a cubical, and hearing two women enter the space, I realised what I’d done. I sat in silence, sweating, as the women peed and chatted and peed and chatted, wondering if I should jump out, shouting “surprise” or pretending to be trans. I got myself into a terrible panic with the thought that a steady flow of women could actually lead me to being trapped in the cubical forever. Fortunately, the women’s voices finally disappeared, no new ones appeared and I bolted out of those loos, and, in fact Westfield, like shit off a shovel!


From West London, I headed east on the weird pink line and spent two hours in a cafe in Baker Street rewriting my Four Colours composition for our recording in May. Re-writing a composition which has already been performed is a luxury which doesn't often happen and I intend to make the most of the process so not one quaver of orchestration is wasted.

It was Matt's birthday tonight and the old gang were finally back together again for the first time really since Kevin died. There was a palpable sense of how important it felt for us all to be sharing a meal, and how much we'd missed the golden days, when everything felt like a glorious, sunny adventure.

I sat next to Sultana and it was just lovely to reconnect. The two of us have vowed to go and visit Kevin's grave together. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know where it was, and even more ashamed to discover he's with some of my London Requiem family up on Hoop Lane. I could have paid him a visit so much sooner.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely that you were all together with the one exception! I hope you had a nice meal and were able to reminisce about the good times. Good luck with the new recording. xx