Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Brighton gales

I'm currently walking through the incredibly windy streets of Brighton. The weather here is deeply unpleasant; winds bordering on gale force, and puddles as far as the eye can see. Tomorrow I'm doing the first  of two final days' mixing on Brass. We're working in a small studio down here with a big sound system which will enable us to hear what we've done so far with more subtlety.

Brighton feels a bit edgy tonight; full of drunk, homeless people who seem to pop out of darkened doorways looming and lurching. It's all a bit Victorian. I'll be relieved to be back at Fiona's.

I spent the day in London manically doing admin for the Brass soundtrack, the filming, and Saturday's quiz. Our artwork for the album has been completed, and looks really professional. I'm really very happy, not least because it's another thing less to think about.

I'm now studying the weather like a lunatic. It's like looking at reviews, or what trolls have said on the internet; you know there's no point in doing it, but that hideous little voice in your head says, "perhaps if I look again, the weather won't be as bad as it was the last time!"  At the moment the weather is set to be fair on the day itself, but rain is forecast the day before, which could turn our trench system into a quagmire! I might have to buy a load of bed sheets to put under the lads' feet!

I did a ludicrous thing in the high winds this afternoon, and attempted to take a group photograph of all the placards that Little Welsh Nathalie painted with shorthand characters from Pepys' Diary. I've been taking individual portraits of the singers holding them for the past few months, taking the twentieth and last of Jem, the night before he left for the States.

Anyway, I thought how nice it would be to have a photo of all the cards together, in order and without people, for the back cover of the Pepys album. My concept was always to attach them to an old brick wall, but chose the windiest day in the world to do it. The first attempt (using masking tape) was catastrophic. The placards dropped off the wall and flew around the garden as the man who lives in the basement stood and watched, periodically adding to my frustration by asking what each of the symbols meant. I felt like a bad plate spinner. As soon as I'd attached a new card, the old one fell off.

I gave up and stormed down the Archway Road to the little shop which sells random cleaning products and only opens if you ring the doorbell. I'd remembered seeing some hard core Gaffa tape in there when I last went in. He's very reliable, that little man. You'd be surprised what he sells. Though quite how he stays afloat I've no idea.

Anyway, the Gaffa did the trick, and I attached all the placards to the walls and photographed them just before a huge gust took one of them into next door's garden.

As the day wore on I became progressively ratty. By the time I reached Victoria I was in a foul mood. The woman making incessant announcements at the train station got under my skin so badly that I wanted to ram her electronic voice up her virtual jacksy! It didn't take long for me to realise I was hangry... That combination of angry and hungry which turns even the most reasonable person into a drooling spanner. The relief I felt to be out of the noise and in a lovely quiet train carriage was spectacular. I ate my Marks and Spencer's sandwich, had a lovely cup of tea, and all was well in the world again...

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