Wednesday, 14 January 2015


I shuffled out of the house for the first time in two days today and felt my pale face drinking in the sunlight like a ghastly parody of a scene from Death In Venice!

It was only a visit to our local Sainsbury, but the trip was made a little more interesting when I passed the sylph-like figure of Chris Moyles in the street, and then narrowly avoided a workman as he vomited on the pavement right next to me. The two events weren't linked. I'm not suggesting the workman vomited because he thought how thin Chris Moyles was. I'm sure he simply vomited because he has the same stomach bug that the world seems to have right now. But how smug did I feel to be two days ahead of him?!

There are certain foods I can't stand to look at right now, top of the list of which are crisps, which seems a bit weird. I think my body must know they include a type of fat which it wouldn't be able to digest in my somewhat sensitive state.

I drifted into a mini-coma at the till in Sainsbury's. The lass behind the counter asked me a question which took me an age to process. It was all rather embarrassing. She looked at me like I was a freak.

My brain is definitely not functioning quite as well as it ought to. I went to bed ludicrously early last night and lay there, wide awake, trying to work out why I could hear a faint electrical buzzing. I got out of bed and tried to work out where the sound was coming from, but it always seemed to be at the same volume. It was when I put my hands over my ears that I realised the sound was actually inside my head.

Tinnitus is not something a composer ought to have, and I genuinely can't imagine having to deal with that particular noise for the rest of my life. I sat in the sitting room and watched television until about 4am, trying to sleep with the sound on, so I didn't have to hear the strange noise.

I woke up with the sound continuing, and couldn't get back off to sleep again. I phoned the tinnitus society, who were delightful, and told me that it could well be a product of the illness and that I wasn't to worry unduly. I was glad I'd told her I was a composer, else she'd have thought I was very odd. My Mum also put my mind at rest by telling me she has the odd similar incident.

I read today that a French comedian has been arrested for tweeting a sort of play on words which could be viewed as a defence of one of last week's terrorists. That he's been arrested concerns me gravely. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and must work both ways. If we can publish pictures of Mohammed, we must also be able to make jokes which defend the other side. We must not pick and chose what we deem correct for people to say. There's a huge gulf between making a joke and inciting terrorism.

This evening we battled our way through London gales to the cinema on Holloway Road where we saw Into The Woods, which I very much enjoyed, with the possible exception of James Corden who lacks the emotional range, and, in fact the charisma to play The Baker. The female cast, however, was stunning. Little Red Riding Hood lacked some of the sarcastic New York sassiness I've come to expect from the role. I didn't understand a word Jack said. And why did the princes bother with the terrible English accents? Sometimes I wonder on a film like this why one of the English cast didn't go up to the director and suggest perhaps a different accent might be chosen!

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