At one point we were joined by a tramp. I don't know if "tramp" is the politically correct term. Probably not. "Homeless person" doesn't quite cut it. A homeless person could be someone living on his friend's sofa. This man was definitely in another bracket. This man was so grimy his face was brown of vagrancy. It was terribly sad. He wanted a drink and probably a sit down and plainly didn't have much money on him. He kept asking the woman behind the counter how much things costed and everything was obviously too expensive. He looked at her hopefully after exhausting the idea of being able to afford a can of pop: "how much for a tea?" "£1.30." He looked sad and shuffled away. Bizarrely, my focus went to the woman behind the counter, because I could tell she was embarrassed and I didn't want her to be. It didn't occur to me until the man had left that I should have leapt up and offered to buy him a nice cup of tea so that he could have had his sit down. I'm annoyed with myself for failing to do so. Acts of kindness are so astonishingly important in this day and age and if we can't even look after the poor of our country, how on earth will we ever be able to call ourselves a great nation again?
I spent the next few hours imagining sadness wherever I went! I have this ridiculous habit of sitting in a public place, looking at everyone around me, and creating back stories to match their faces and body language. Today everyone seemed to be alone. I'm sure they were all fabulously happy, but they seemed sad to me.
I faffed today. Sending emails to people about the release of Pepys and sending CDs through the post to those who brought the album from my website. It's worth keeping on top of that sort of thing or else the task becomes utterly daunting. I should be so lucky! I think we sold ten copies today. Obviously if I could sell ten copies every day until the end of time, it would be brilliant, but the sales tend to dwindle rather rapidly over time.
Little Michelle came up to Highgate to see me in the early evening. It was so lovely to see her. For me, part of the experience of this new academic year is seeing friends more often that I don't see enough of. Michelle is high on my list, so today was an unexpected early honouring of my new (school) year's resolution.
We had a lovely write up about the Pepys project today from the journalist who interviewed me on Tuesday night. He plainly understood every aspect of the project and that felt really refreshing. He'd eked out every subtle nuance of what we were doing. So often sloppy journalism leads to massive mistakes, like the Telegraph journalist who once quoted me as saying that Greenham Common was in Cambridgeshire. It's always a privilege to read something by someone who has made it their business to understand your project. It feels polite more than anything else: like he cares about the album m, and values the idea of the rest of the world finding out about it.
If you want to see the article, follow this link... It's a good read.
And then, without wishing to sound too much like a broken record, go and buy the album. What's the worst that could happen? You could give it to your aunt for Christmas, or your mate that's into really esoteric weird shit! A physical copy of an album is a very beautiful thing. You get all the words. You get lots of lovely pictures. A little note from the composer... It's a no-brainer! Buy it!