I'm returning to Highgate from Wandsworth of all places, which, it turns out, is miles away from civilisation. Nowhere in London should only be accessible via a combination of three transport methods. I took a tube to Waterloo, a train to the hideous Clapham Junction, and then a bus to Wandsworth. I wouldn't have minded, really, had Clapham Junction not been part of the equation. I feel very fortunate that I don't have a regular routine which involves passing through that particular station, which I believe is the busiest in the UK, if not in Europe. It's horrible. Dirty. Crowded. Full of rude people all of whom spend their time deliberately walking in the opposite direction to be way you're going. Okay, so that's embellishing the truth a little bit, but I did seem to be rather swimming against the tide. Strangely, and somewhat presciently, I'd spent most of the day working on a song called Against The Tide. It's from Em and I'm actually really pleased with it. It feels like a hit song. But what do I know?! It's certainly made me want to keep raising the standard of the songs I write for the show, and that has to be a good thing.
The quiz I was working on went well tonight. It was the longest evening in the world, but it was all for a very good cause, in the form of a local hospice. A representative from the charity came along and showed a beautiful animation they'd commissioned to demonstrate what they do there. It was unbelievably moving. I suppose I don't really think a great deal about hospices. Why would I? But the film really made me think about how I'd deal with the sudden knowledge that I was going to die. No ifs. No maybes. If that news came, how would I respond? How would I want other people to respond? What would I need?
There was an auction and people were extremely generous with their offers. Auctions make me panic. I look around at everyone trying to outbid one another and worry that someone in the mix, carried away by a tide of adrenaline, can't really afford the money they're offering. I also panic that I'll have some kind of spasm which will mean I end up buying something I wouldn't have wanted under any circumstance. A woman today bid on a doll by shouting "yes" when the auctioneer said that the hand-crafted clothes the doll was wearing were very beautiful. She won the item. She'll regret that in the morning!
Or will she? It eventually struck that the people there tonight weren't short of a bob or two. £2000 to a top lawyer is nothing is it? Yet for the money they raised in the auction today, I could write a musical and pay for the musicians and singers needed to record two albums. Ho helium.
The tube home smelt of musty bibles, laced with biscuits, radiators, a hint of exotic perfume and a whiff of stale alcohol. It wasn't an unpleasant smell. In fact, I rather liked it, which is why I spent so long attempting to dissect it. It felt nostalgic and reminded me somehow of my Nana's house, which was odd because I believe she was tee-total. It was very potent, however, and I couldn't for the life of me work out where it was coming from. Maybe old Miriam was trying to send a message from the other side. I hope she's proud of me. I'm about to work with Llio on a song entirely in Welsh.