We've just had dinner with Ian and Jem up in Friern Barnet. Jem fed us what I reckon was the nicest salad I've ever eaten, imbued with all sorts of seeds, mushrooms, cheeses, blanched carrot strips and other delicious things. Jem and Ian got married in New York just before Christmas, and we looked through their photographs and heard all about their wonderful adventures Stateside. Their stories made me desperate to get back over to New York before the place changes out of recognition. And it is changing. I heard today, for example, that my favourite sheet music shop on Broadway has now closed down. I always thought the grass was so much greener over there, but it seems the arts are struggling as much in America as they are in the UK.
I spent the rest of the day ear-deep in Brass. I've been working on a song in the second act which is sung to the soporific tinkle of a music box. It's performed by a rather angry character called Tats and becomes the one chink in her otherwise highly brittle and sardonic armour. Tats is a member of a trilogy of good-time girls whose names are Tats, Tots and Titty. I think it's time to reclaim the name Titty. And Fanny for that matter. And whilst we're at it, Dick and Lesbia as well!
I had a bath this evening with a fizzing bath bomb I bought in Haworth. It was like lying in a pool of hippy-scented slime, which instantly took me back to a childhood world of joss sticks, home made clay pots, geraniums and wrap-around skirts at Liza's commune, circa 1979.
My arms have smelt like the commune all night. It's a curiously feminine smell, but somehow quite calming in a nostalgic sort of way.