Tuesday, 5 July 2016


It was back to the grindstone with a vengeance today: osteopathy, gym, songwriting, form-filling... I spent hours trying to make sense of the Arts Council's new application system. Talk about separating the men from the boys. I thought I was in an episode of the Krypton Factor! I have seldom seen a more confusing or badly laid-out website! I'm told it was made in Canada. 

It's been suggested that I shouldn't run on the tread mill at the gym any more. Apparently it's much better to run through the streets because there's a forward motion with on-street running which counter-balances the up and down pounding motion, which is the thing which is bad for my back, and the thing you get a lot of on a treadmill. Actually, I reckon sitting on our sofa at home is mostly the reason why I have a bad back because it makes my spine fold up on itself in a weird way. Anyway, I used the cross-trainer at the gym. It bored me rigid. 

There's not a lot more to be said about today. I had lunch in the local spoon and stuffed Quorn mince into Yorkshire puddings for tea. 

The lovely Emma Barry from the original cast of Brass came over tonight to sing through a new song I've written for my musical, Em, which she's going to sing at a cabaret. Her sight reading is phenomenal. It helps that she has genuine perfect pitch, but her rhythms are spot on as well. It genuinely felt like a scene in one of those films where a singer gets handed a manuscript and is able to perform the number without making a mistake. I half expected her to put the music down half way through the song and finish up with a huge dance routine. It was  quite extraordinary. 

I took her home to St Albans this evening. Bizarrely, it's only half an hour's drive away from Highgate which is a heck of a lot closer than a lot of my friends who live in London. We got in the car and were immediately almost knocked out by the stench of rotting strawberries. I had packed Nathan a little Tupperware box of strawberries to take with him to his Uncle's funeral today. They'd been left over from his birthday and were a little bit fizzy when I packed them, but he plainly left them in a hot car to go royally off. The smell of rotting strawberries is a singular one. A bit farty. Extremely sweet. And very, very pungent. We drove with the windows open, but by the time I'd parked the car in Highgate again at the end of the trip, the smell was as strong as it ever had been. I'm not quite sure what to do. I once worked with a girl whose car always smelt of mildew and leeks. I never knew whether to mention it or not. Perhaps I'm destined to become one of those people! 

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