Thursday, 29 January 2015


I started the day a little demotivated. I've just started trying to re-score the third movement of a Symphony for Yorkshire for brass band and it's very slow going. I've been putting it off if I'm honest because there's almost nothing about the original movement - all rappers, rock bands and folk singers - which naturally lends itself to the dulcet warble of a brass band. Really, I have to start from scratch, but that's a deeply daunting thought. Shame. The first drafts of the other movements flew off the page...

There's actually only one cure for writers' block, and that's hard graft. You've simply got to start writing, even if you're writing rubbish. You can always go back and rewrite what's bad, but the key to writing is flow, and you'll never find flow if you're not writing...

I chatted to the man from the Arts Council today, who basically had to tell me - in the nicest possible way - that the application I was working on didn't really stand a chance of success. He then said lots of things in a language I didn't understand, which turned out to be the language of funding bids. He was highly apologetic, but I was actually genuinely grateful to him for nipping things in the bud. The Arts Council genuinely couldn't function if it didn't have strict guidelines about the sorts of things it funds. On this occasion we've fallen through a crack. The next time we'll be lucky.

I had another contre temps with an impatient driver today; this time in Dartmouth Park, with a man who beeped his horn four times at me (in a residential area) because he thought I should be driving more quickly. The last straw was when he sounded his horn as I went, rather slowly, through the middle of a pair of bollards which are renowned in the area as being way too close together. I got bored, and stopped my car for enough time for him to pass. Instead of passing, he simply beeped his horn again, so I got out of the car, approached him menacingly, and shouted, "if you think I'm driving too slowly, just drive around me, you silly  tit." It's amazing the vocabulary that decides to pour out of your mouth at times like this!

I then drove down the street as slowly as I could, with him behind throwing his arms in the air. He'll learn.

I got home and decided to pay my tax bill online. Unfortunately I couldn't find my tax code, so was forced to call the inland revenue. Their website is an absolute mess, especially when it comes to working out which of their hidden phone numbers is the right one to call. I entered a hell-zone of automated messages. At one point, I was asked to say, in a sentence, why I was phoning, "for example, you might want to say, 'I am having a baby.'" Why would you phone the tax office to say that? I wondered at that stage if I was actually dreaming!

Eventually the option came up for me to "press 5 to talk to one of our advisors..." And that's when the hell began. Some incredibly loud cheap 1980s funk came on as hold music. An 8-bar phrase was looped over and over again. Over and over. I waited for five minutes. I then put the phone on loud speaker and carried on with my work whilst waiting another five, the looped music going round and round in circles until my brain felt like it had been whisked. A few minutes later, I turned the volume right down. At 28 minutes... 28 minutes... I gave up.

And that was my day really. That, and doing a complete written transcript of Our Gay Wedding the Musical, for yet another award entry. It's amazing how many different awards one film can be entered for. Not that I'm complaining. Sometimes it feels like an honour to just be considered. I know that's what you're meant to say in these instances, but, certainly with the Grierson, I was just happy to have my name read out by Sue Perkins!

No comments:

Post a Comment