Sunday, 28 June 2009

everything's going jackanory

So I'm watching Blur at Glasto on the telly, and they are very ace. And in addition to being ace, the whole thing is kind of transporting me back to the mid-90s and it's all a bit weird.

I had a look through some old diaries the other day. I tend to remember the good bits of being a teenager. It was quite instructive to remind myself how gruesome and painful it all was. For every 'This is a Low' there was a 'Country House', if you will.

But when I remember the olden days of the 90s, I remember it in vivid colours. I remember feeling very, very alive.

And there was this point, later on, when everything went crappy for a while. There were some very dark days in Peterborough, when everything was grey and monochrome and dead.

(I fucking hate Peterborough. If I ever write a play and I want a metaphor for something very shit and depressing and deathly I will call it Peterborough. I could say 'no offence, Peterborough!' here, but I think I do mean some offence.)

And thankfully, living in London has kind of helped to regain the colour. Some of the colour. And yes, I have less energy than I did when I was a youngster, but I am also now much less reliant on snakebite during my leisure time.

I don't know what my point is here. I'm not sure I have one.

I'm writing again, a couple of pages at a time. Trying to remind myself that it doesn't matter about being good - not in the first draft - it just matters to do something. Not very profound I know. Still true.

Good God, are they really playing Country House? Yes. They are. Yikes.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Earlier this year, I decided to give up the booze for a while. This was for various reasons, but in short the hangovers were getting worse and worse, and the alcofrolics were getting less and less entertaining.

I imagined leaping out of bed with boundless energy, enjoying instantly fabulous health, and eliminating all those idiotic things I say and do whilst under the affluence of incohol. Not to mention getting up to do charity work with orphans before breakfast, running the odd half-marathon of a weekend, that kind-a thing.

Obviously, this has not happened.

Unfortunately, it turns out that alcohol is not the primary cause of saying idiotic things in social situations. The primary cause of that is me, plus nervousness, plus people. Which covers most going out scenarios.

Alcohol is also not the reason I'm shit at getting up on time. Or the cause of staying in bed till midday of a weekend. I can do that just fine on my own, thanks I think, to the excellent sleeping genes I've inherited from the Irish side of my family. (Who are champion sleepers. Honestly, Olympians.)

Alcohol is not the thing that stops me getting up and doing all those London things I mean to do, but instead get as far as the local coffee shop for papers perusal.
That's just laziness.

So, what is different?


Well. It's nice not to have hangovers. (I found myself getting nostalgic for hangovers the other day. Weird weird weird ness.)

And it's nice to know, I suppose, that if something fuckwit comes out of my mouth it's entirely on my account, and not the fault of the Malbec I've been inhaling for the evening. Just for information.

And, ok, I don't have boundless energy - who does? But more than before.

I realise I'm not selling the whole giving up alcohol thing. But four months in, I'm aiming to do it a while longer, and hoping that at some point I will feel unbearably, smugly healthy. (A friend who gave up the booze for two years has assured me the benefits are cumulative, rather than instant.)

Till then, on with the substition of alcohol with other vices!

(Mainly coffee, sadly. Dammit, why aren't I better at vices?)

(Note to self: work on more interesting vices. Maybe develop a crack habit. That's well renowned for renewing artistic vigour. I think. )

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Open mic

I wandered past Tate Modern recently, and there was an open mic thing going as part of some kind of art installation/performance type thing. It was very nice:

A group of Egyptian tourists got up and did some dancing.
A cool New York hipster did some very nice singing (to some awful sub-Alanis Morrisette song, but you know, excellent voice).

I stood by the side for half an hour - genuinely, half an hour - listening to songs on my ipod and trying to work out if I dared to get up and sing.

I really, really wanted to.

There was a moment when there was hardly anyone around, and the compere was entreating people to come up and bring their ipods and perform in some way. And there was this golden opportunity to get up and sing some obscure Broken Family Band song and it would be this really brave, interesting thing to do.

I paced. I listened, again, to various songs to see how caterwaulingly bad it could be if I tried to sing. I paced a bit more. I got within about 10 metres of the stage.

And... I didn't do it. I walked away. So the tourists stolling by the Tate Modern were spared from my delusions of musical ability. Which is probably for the best.

Now I'm going to do an awful tenuous link to writing (bear with me):

I keep thinking about writing and not. I keep thinking what's the point of writing something if it's not going to be good? And so, I don't write. I sit around, not writing. And it's all a bit depressing.

Never mind, eh.