Carrying things

Out in Hodderston in one of those homogeneous industrial estates that pepper British suburbia is a unit called The Scenery Shop. It’s essentially an aircraft hangar sized room that you can paint and cut things in.

We forget that all of those beautiful sets we see in theatres are slammed together out of recycled bits of other people’s sets and new wood and sweat and madness in places like that shop. They’ve been out there sticking lino to things and building curved flats and columns and walls and so forth.

Brian, Mel and I arrived at about 3. I had endeavoured to dose myself such that I wouldn’t leak all over the stuff I was carrying. It’s for “The Rink” at Southwark Playhouse. Looks like they’re building a great big old skate rink. We just had to shove it in the back of a great big articulated van. I got about halfway through before whatever medication I had in my system had been fully sweated out and I was hacking my guts out. Still, a money-positive day and it’ll go towards healthy food, vitamins and medication. Now I’m in the car being driven back through the evening. I like driving with Mel. She drives like I do. We one-bombed it to Liverpool a couple of months ago listening to music and putting the world to rights. Neither of us needed a wee. It took 5 and a half hours, but most of it was getting out of London. She missions when she drives. Now she’s caning it into town and I’m going to try and fight through the fog to see some friends tonight. I’ve earned some money. Now I can spend a bit. Although I don’t actually know how much I’ve made today. “You’ll be paid.” “Amazon vouchers?” “No.” “Twiglets?” “No. Money. I just don’t know how much yet. But I know they’re not taking the piss.” “I’m in.”

Labouring with friends is not a bad way of spending a Sunday afternoon. I’d have positively enjoyed it if I hadn’t been streaming. My current working theory is that I’m beating this sickness though. Antibiotics antibischmotics. I’d sooner do it the slow way. I think I had two bugs simultaneously plus hayfever. God knows what’s happened to my immune system.

So I’m going to go out tonight. Not big. But out. I might feel rough but that’s no reason to stop existing. And experience tells me that staying active when you feel rough can sometimes help you forget you feel rough. Even if it does prolong the sickness a bit. Screw you. I rested yesterday. That’s enough, surely?

I’m seeing some of my “Witches” tonight. In Alice’s tarot she has a new card called “The Witches”. It’s a card about powerful alternative women in your life who exist outside the way things are normally done. When I describe that card to people I always think about the witches in my life, men and women. Alternative thinkers, remarkable humans, some on the borderline, some in the thick of it. Over the years I have assembled the most unbelievably powerful coven. I never ever lack a source of insightful guidance. I never lack someone to walk alongside and just “be” and mutually mend in the process.

Job done. Time for fun.IMG-20180520-WA0001

 

Drains

Down day. I’m gonna go to the doctor for sure if this cough doesn’t ease off by Monday. It’s shifted down into my chest now and I feel rough as badgers. It’s making me realise how lucky I’ve been with my health for the last few decades. Just little colds occasionally for years. I could still work with this but it would be a slog. I feel heavy and I’ve twice made myself sick coughing.

This morning a parcel arrived. A huge great big plunger from Amazon. We made a successful experiment of moving Pickle’s litter into our bathroom last week. She prefers it there. She goes where we go. She’s part of the household after all. But with the proximity of our flushing cistern I was in the habit of shovelling off her poo into our loo, and flushing it with all the little bits of litter attached. Not smart. Cat litter expands in water. Before I knew it the loo was clogged. Yesterday we had to impose a “No solids” rule while we waited for the plunger delivery. First thing this morning it came. I’ve never been so conflicted about a delivery. “Yay, my parcel arrived. Boo now I have to use it.” Coughing and gagging, I went plungering in my pyjamas. It’s not a fun job. Not at all. At least it was satisfying when the fucker suddenly shifted.

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Meanwhile my downstairs neighbour had some Airbnb guests that he asked me to let in. Mister Alpha and his terrified family. I arrived to find them gathered out front. Mister Alpha was nowhere to be seen. Family were huddled away from the door, two starving young boys and a haunted woman. We all shook hands and I opened the door for them. “No,” she spat, moving away from it. “We must wait for my husband.” A minute or so passed with me in the open door and them huddled in the stairwell. Then he appeared at the top of the stairs, dark and slow, scowled at me, and walked down as slowly as humanly possible. I cheerfully let him in. He responded monosyllabically, snatched the key and “possessed” the flat. I think he expected me to wait while he slowly “inspected” but I had done my job and I wanted nothing to do with him. “Enjoy your stay,” I said, and left. Since then he’s been sending photos of details to my friend the host. “Do you expect my family to sleep in this?” My friend asked me to go down and troubleshoot. No bloody way. There’s nothing I can do. The guy just wants a whipping boy. I’d only make matters worse by deliberately undermining his power-plays. I’m amazed my friend has lasted this long without a guest like that. He’s made a lot of money renting his flat. But it’s up to him to sort mister Alpha. I’m not talking to the guy. He’s a drain. The first and only guest I ever had was a kinder version of him. And I never rented again.

Better by far to go for a lovely walk through the sun with Brian, and leave behind monosyllabic brutes and shitty drains, for another perfect sunny day in pollentown.

 

 

Market

I’ve started to feel a little schizoid lately. Too many fingers. Too many pies. I submitted the London Adventure to a slightly gobsmacked client. Nothing like exceeding expectations. Then I had two auditions with the same suit on, both of them finished by 11.05am after which the day was mine. Early finish… Too much time for reflection. If the meeting is at 5 you can justifiably have a pint to kill it shortly after. 2 meetings before 11 and it’s a long day eating sour adrenaline.

The first audition was a self tape. Me saying one line into a mobile phone held by a bemused friend who had reluctantly helped me frame it first. Adrenaline doesn’t come into these. You just … do them. Fuck it. The entirety of the part is the one line I threw into my phone while Tom reluctantly held it. He’s called “Politician”. Boom. Yep. When I’d just left Guildhall I’d have been like “seriously? They need it taped?” but with all the blood under the bridge I’ll start again wherever they’ll let me. I’m living by the old adage – all it takes is one job for people to remember I’m good at my job.

Self tape recorded I went into town to a studio where I also remembered – via the casting director – how dumb some actors can be. I was talking about the shot with the director. He wanted a close up of my eye for the client. I was up for a famous engineer. “Oh, they want ” ‘the eye that understands engines’ or somesuch,” I ventured to the director by way of meaningless connection banter. “No!” announces the casting director, using her troubleshooting voice. “It’s just your eye. Nothing else. Just your eye. Your eye. Nothing else.” And I realise that here is a woman who has watched multiple people in this scenario pulling some sort of ridiculous face. And she thinks I might be about to do the same. God help us all.

We are always just one job away from all that shit falling away. That’s what I’m holding on to. Jesus bring me that job so I don’t feel like I’m at the wrong kind of market on the wrong side of the slab. I guess Jesus can’t bring it. I could grow my hair long. It’s me or nothing. Although hi, Ethan and Joel! I check my Facebook fairly regularly or you can go through my agent. I’m the sort of guy you like. Let’s get it on.


This evening I went with Brian and lots of his colleagues and friends to Deadpool 2. Nothing like a bit of ultraviolent escapist superhero fuckery to help you forget the arsehole burrowing that can come from that deadening side of our art – the waiting game. I like Deadpool as a hero trope. Kamikaze invulnerable self-loathing idiot that solves pain with humour.

The weekend means something this time round. I’m not working over it for starters. That makes a change. Plus this week has been pretty full on for the random. I think a rest is in order so I can go back into the mix fresh on Monday.

Meanwhile, gin? Or sleep. Probably sleep, sadly. Gin can wait.

mde

 

 

Radio

Radio is such a hilarious medium. I hauled myself onto a train to Beaconsfield this morning, unsticking my eyes from the aggressive antihistamine that I eventually caved in and used to get to sleep at about 2am.

I was at the NFTS. National Film and Television School. I had blithely assumed it was on the tube network, not in bloody Wycombe. A friend of The Factory teaches there, and they have a module about telling stories for radio. Most of the students haven’t worked with professional actors. I was doing two stories with them. In one I was a journalist in Afghanistan, feeling the need to settle down at 40, falling in love by telephone with a woman I first rang by mistake. That was very much within my casting remit. I spent the morning in a soundproofed box (Kabul) talking to an Australian woman I’d only just met who was in a replica kitchen eating apples. At the end she came into my booth and we danced cheek to cheek. I think it’ll be a romantic moment.

In the afternoon I was playing a psychotic Yorkshire farmer. Much closer to my natural casting. I was glad of the coughing recently as it means I have a great big pit of crackly vocal damage. The thing that’s hilarious in radio is the distance between how the sound is made and what it represents. My friends at Fitzrovia Radio Hour explored that disconnect in great detail, making serious faced women in cocktail dresses smush melons with plungers while a fan blows the juice onto men in black tie “seriously” killing themselves with a lathe.

Today I sat in a corner with a pink towel on my lap while a man I had just met repeatedly put his own head into a bucket of water. I slapped my own leg to give him audible timings while reading my lines and every time I slapped my leg he ducked himself. After the first take, we had someone coming into the studio to check I wasn’t hurting my fellow actor. I was playing an absolute brute. But in reality the poor lad was ducking himself. With vigour. I was just sitting there admiring his attack.

WATER

Hopefully they’ll release the audio. The amount of times I’ve done things like this and never seen the result, never heard the edit – I can’t count anymore. Maybe it never gets finished. Maybe they never release it. Maybe it doesn’t get graded. Maybe they never bother linking in the actors. (One time I sat in a living room in Sidcup telling the camera (in a German accent) how much I loved my dog, while a dog I had just met obsessively tongue probed my teeth and lips like a teenager kissing for the first time. I saw the rushes and they looked great if fucking weird which was the intention. I did it with gusto: “Worth it for the showreel footage.” If it had ever got finished/edited/graded it would’ve been… But I digress.)

It’s a student project. I’m there to do what I do and teach them through being a practitioner. And it was an entertaining day. I met some smart people and had fun. Now it’s bedtime. While I was messing about my agent booked me some self tapes. One of them is due by 10 tomorrow…

Plane sick

I was having a huge amount of fun upstairs in The Globe making sound effects for witches with The Factory when I realised I just had to pull out and get a bus home because I was hacking my guts out every time I exerted myself. I’m still sick with this bloody cough. It’s gone full on consumptive now. I’ll give it a couple more days before I go and screw up antibiotics even further for myself by getting a course of the damn things, if I can get that past my doctor. I’m fed up of it though. I’d never normally consider going to the doctor but perhaps that’s why I should go.

I had a fun audition today at least, and didn’t cough when I was supposed to be talking. As soon as I left I realised how bloody unwell I am. I guess it’s my body telling me to stop running around like a lunatic and to take care of myself, eat healthily, sleep long. I think it might have been compounded by those goddamn ubiquitous plane trees shitting their spiky pollen into our eyes and lungs over the last few days. Great that they absorb so much pollution all year round. But we pay for that work at this time of year when they try to dissolve our faces and choke us.

I’m not going to the doctor tomorrow. I’m working in Beaconsfield all day instead, in a radio studio in front of a condenser mic with this cough. Whoever is on the cans is going to go on a magical sound journey through the inside of my lungs.

I’ll change my sheets when I get home. Who knows, perhaps I’ve discovered that I’m allergic to cat hair. I sincerely hope not. Although I have a friend that gets atrocious streaming eyes and nose whenever he has beer, but he still tanks more than I do on a big night. Anyway, clean sheets will be less dusty and nicer to sleep on. And Pickle will hate me but I’ll banish her this evening.

Good. The people on the bus behind me are talking about the plane trees as well. Pavna never normally has hayfever symptoms and she’s coughing terribly plus her eyes are streaming. Her husband speaks with the certainty of the speculative, but I’ll buy it.” After that heat the plane trees have been shedding so much pollen, and with the low pressure after the high pressure and this wind it’s pulling it all up from the ground.” Ok. Fine. So I’m not necessarily dying of tuberculosis yet. I’m living in an invisible pollen maelstrom of death. I get a little worried when I cough because 12 year old Al lost a year of school to double pneumonia and lung collapse and it was horrid. I spent far too much time coughing at night instead of sleeping. I never want to go back to that. I should probably see if I can get sleepy drink from somewhere that’s open at this time as I’ve got an early start tomorrow and I’m staring down the barrel of a long coughy night. Damn either the plane trees or the spectre of an underlying illness that I’m not acknowledging properly yet. Damn you to hell.

sdr

Jobbing

I declared war with Germany before 9am. Three times. Busy morning. Neville Chamberlain’s declaration of war is not the most stirring piece of oratory. I gave three versions. One that was a Chamberlain impression – his piping voice, his dipthongs, cracks and edges of weakness. His downflections. Then I did another one as if it was Churchill. Deeper, harder and more skilled, but in the same linguistic world. Then one more throwing everything out and going for pace and drama. It’s for a US reality show. They probably don’t give a whale’s arse about historical accuracy. It’s nice having my own studio. The basic fee will pay for the soundproofing. If it gets used then I could buy myself a whole new studio. Or just spend it on cat food.

Recording submitted, I got some writing done. The adventure day still needs to be written out now it’s planned! I tell you what, when it’s finished and done I could resell the thing. I couldn’t tell you my hourly rate now but it’s really low and I care not in the least because I’m still enjoying it. Even the writing. I enjoy writing thankfully. How else could I have have remained consistent so long with this blog?

In the afternoon I went and looked at a black cabbies’ cafĂ© in High Street Kensington. They were just closing up when I arrived – they’re open from 6am to 3pm. All the cabbies can stop and get a bit of food, have a hot drink, chill out and bitch about cyclists and uber drivers and drunks etc. It’s tight in there. I was taking photos to assess it as a filming location. You’d barely get the crew and equipment inside to be frank. But I just send the photos.

That done I got on a bus to Euston, writing all the way, festooned with my crabby handwritten notes. I got off and volunteered at my regular Tuesday after-school club. It’s lovely now. I’m getting to know the kids. They’re coming out of their shells. We wrote a scene where a shop assistant arrested a giraffe for stealing a scarf.

Then I picked up Tom and Matt from Euston Station. They’re staying. They live together in Manchester and work together too. You wouldn’t believe it to see how they unthinking placed themselves when they were waiting for the tube.

dav

Now I’m home, listening to Leonard and writing this while Matt cooks up a storm in the kitchen. When Tom and Matt come they bless the house by tidying. They haven’t cooked before so this is next level, and it lets me get this written. This week is generally extremely random. I’m beginning to feel brainfried. I’d love to be able to justify a holiday in the next few weeks. It would be nice to just have some consistent work again. It’s been so long. I love the jobbing life and I’m good at it. But from time to time it’s good to have a few months of knowing.

Midas

Well, last night was carnage. I showed unusual restraint by pulling out early. It was sort of a necessity. I hadn’t eaten all day and I started drinking at 2. By about 7 I was already pretty much useless. I took myself out of the equation.

I have a robust homing instinct. I’ve been slipped a roofie before and have just made it home, admittedly by emergency black cab and forcing myself to keep awake. That was weird. I’ve never had a headache like the next day.

I don’t know how I got home last night but I definitely did and it definitely wasn’t uber because I haven’t installed the app. And my head was fine the next morning. I reckon I passed out at about 9, and was up and fighting all of 11 hours later, feeling hungry but rested.

Today I did admin in the morning. Sexy. Then in the afternoon it was back on the worst hourly paid job ever, but I’m still enjoying it. Putting together this adventure day for next Saturday. All the pieces are now in place. It’s become an excuse for me to walk around looking at fun stuff when I’m not working.

I know this town so well now. There’s always more to learn, but part of the reason I’ve spent so much time doing this is because I have been enjoying challenging my knowledge and filling in the gaps. It’s a good way to spend the unallocated time.

The strangest part of the day came when I had to get the number of a specific moving statue. A company I work for spotted her a few weeks ago and wanted to employ her to do a bit of filming. All I had to work with was “The bronze lady in Piccadilly Circus.” I saw this person in front of Eros. Dropping a pound in the jar I took this photograph.

sdr

“Is this the woman you mean?” I send. And then I wait for a reply. Meanwhile she is, of course watching. What she has seen is a man come up, drop in a pound, take a photo and then stand for ages looking at the phone, close to her. Eventually “Yes that’s her.” Great. They want her contact details to offer her some filming.

So now the guy who took a photo and then spent ages looking at his phone looks like he’s plucked up the courage to talk to her. She thinks I’m hitting on her. I have no business card or anything to make me look official. I’m wearing a loud summer shirt. I’ve been standing there watching her for ages and now I’m blithering on about filming. “What sort of filming?” I hear her worry. I try to derail her concerns with my usual genial schtick and generally not being weird, but she still husband-bombs me three times and watches me hard for a reaction which I don’t give. She eventually gives me her stage name: “Violetta, The Gold Lady.” She gives me a mobile number, which may or may not work. I give her my employer’s mobile phone number. Hopefully she’ll make some money out of this interaction, for very limited work.

Meanwhile Charlie Chaplin takes an interest. He’s looking out for his friend. They’ve been speaking asides to each other in the time I’ve been waiting, punched through the air in an unfamiliar, glottal language. They stand about five feet from each other. Come to think of it, I’ve seen them together many times before. They share the same makeup. I bet they help each other get ready, go on breaks together, make jokes together and sort stuff out together. That must must make the days bearable, up on their hot podium. “Look at this twerp.” “Reckon’s he’s got the Midas touch.” “Thinks his first name’s Erno.” “Film fan – likes the golden globes?”

As I give Violetta my number Charlie Chaplin appears behind me like he’s going to bop me with his truncheon. “What’s happening here?” “Oh, um, I don’t think they’re looking for Charlie Chaplin but err it’s just to do with some filming… I’ve got the number now.” She placates him with unfamiliar language and he returns to his podium with a look of suspicion. I thank “Violetta” and wander off on my way feeling like I’ve just successfully hit on someone. Although the number I gave her is for a 7 foot tall bald northerner who looks like Buzz Lightyear, and who knows who the number she gave me is for.

Brian’s 30th

It’s Brian’s 30th. I was meant to be at The Factory but beautifully they found people to replace me. That’s the joy of that company. So many people ready and willing to play. A community company. I love how nurturing and challenging my Factory community is. And my home life is the same. Nurturing and challenging. Everything is possible and everything is welcomed.

We live very well together, Brian and I. There’s almost always someone sleeping on the sofa. Food and clothes are shared as much as space. We both suck at laundry. There’s almost always lots of laughter in the living room. There’s almost always fancy food in the fridge. The last few years have been a happy and generative time in my life and in his. The flat has been a launch pad for ideas, risks and fun. We eat well and share well, and people drop in and out of that existence gloriously.

This morning we went geocaching in Battersea Park, as much for the joy of gamifying the walk as for the detail of finding the caches. Geocaching is basically the most modern reworking of playing golf. Making a walk into a game. “A good walk spoiled,” as Shaw had it, because yes it’s good to know you can walk and appreciate beauty without a reward mechanism. But I don’t think it’s a spoil. I like the game of it, just as I reckon I’d enjoy golf if I played it more. There’s a Geocaching app that you can pay a monthly subscription to. People hide things in public places. You get a description and a gps. You have to be cunning and stealthy to find the things without alerting the “muggles” who might blunder in after you and remove the cache. “Hey I found a box full of paper. Weird huh. There was a toy in it.”

Geocaches come in many forms. Boxes. Fake rocks. Magnetic containers. Fake screws. There are many that I’ve failed to find. They aren’t meant to be easy. You find them if you can, sign the paper, return them, and log it in the app. Today we were looking for boxes full of weird stuff hidden in random beautiful places around Battersea Park. We didn’t even bring a pen to sign the logs. But it was delightful. Although we couldn’t find one of them, dammit.

Now I’m in a bar in Victoria, hanging with some other people who love Brian and are free today. It’s early yet, but I can see where this is going. All I have to do tomorrow is send a letter. I thought it wise to take myself off and write this before I get hammered.

Happy 30th, Brian you fucking legend. Thanks for coming into my life. I’ve had so much fun the last two years thanks to you. More good times to come. But right now I’m missing out on your party and your friends in order to make sure that this blog – that you catalysed – goes out. And about ten minutes ago you came and looked for me, to check I was okay because I’d taken myself off. On your birthday. You went checking on your friend. I love you. We took this, but I was already fading:

dav

I’m coming back to the party now. But yes, mate. Oh yes. You’re the best. Keep on just being. Glad you’re in my life. Welcome to old age, you anciently old old man of 30. Winning.

 

Adventure day

Second recce day for this “adventure” I’m planning for a stranger and the rain came. Nevertheless we had a brilliant and full day so I’m glad it’s not weather dependent  – so long as you’ve got an umbrella. I’m knackered now but happy. My friend Marie came with me to acid test it. We’ve done a lot of walking and ended with a dance.

I tried to let her follow instructions rather than chip in live and direct her. We didn’t get lost. We started at Chalk Farm for breakfast, and then up Primrose Hill. The blossom is out at the moment although the wildflower meadow hasn’t taken yet so it’s still just a load of plastic. Still, a nice view over the plastic, and a good walk.

Then into the thick of it and Marie managed to avoid buying a tempting red hat. Camden on a Saturday is always noticeably eruptive. But before long we are in Hampstead walking up a glorious hill to a pond where we meet Dominique. She’s an artist from Detroit. She’s heard about a “secret garden” but she can’t find it. “Believe it or not that’s where we’re going,” I venture, and our happy two becomes three. But as we arrive, the weather sticks an oar in. There’s a chalk proposal for someone on the steps, unravelling as we enter. One step: Her name in pink chalk. I honestly remember it as “Shaniqua” Next step: “I love you.” Next step: “You are my soul mate”… You get the picture. All the way to “Will you marry me.” So romantic. Marie squeals when she sees it. And the rain starts falling. We still have a good stroll round the garden and it’s great. Dominique gets out her canvas but she’s clearly slightly thwarted by the rain. We tell her where we’re going next. She knows it. “It’s beautiful.” “You know it’s only 15 minutes walk from here.” “No way!” Marie and I strike out across the heath. Miraculously we don’t get lost. The rain is annoying but it’s not a game-breaker. We make good time and see beautiful things, and eat under an umbrella in the garden. I take this photo with what little battery I have in order to aid recommendation of where to sit. The guy hilariously thinks I’m pointing at him and I don’t notice until I review it later.

dav

Then it’s into town for the urban section, seeing some sexy free art and checking out some old stuff. Everything next to everything else, as is the London way. We walk too far. My client will be on the bus but I had some places I needed to see on a Saturday in case they were mental. And I’m glad I did. One of them is off the list after we met a queue around the block. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve got the whole thing planned. Marie said “You’re going to a lot of effort for this.” I said “I don’t do things by halves.”

We then jumped to Waterloo from London Bridge. My “adventurer” will be going to immersive jazz age theatre in Borough. Marie and I went to Rock’n’Roll “Teddy” at The Vaults. It’s an extremely cool show. High energy grit. There’s a ridiculously cool actor-band fronting the show – Johnny Valentine and the Broken Hearts. Some huge joyful play going on with those musicians, and they are totally in charge of their medium and in tune with each other. Then there are two actors in a very different worldscape storytelling hard with their hearts and bodies engaged. There’s not a show like it I’ve seen and I loved it. It’s hard and soft and naughty and nice, a hymn to the darkness in the Teddy landscape, a generation before I was born suddenly feeling very alive.

Great day. Now I’m walking home down the river. My feet hurt.

Friday brain dump

Today I’ve been bouncing from friend to friend, enjoying the fact that my work is done for the week. It’s been a good week for craziness, and a good week for random jobs. In a month I’ll be very glad of this week. Right now I’m still a bit broke. I want more weeks like this one. As random and unusual and strange as ever, but properly remunerated.

The most impactful event this week in terms of this blog is that Iona posted me her old handset. It’s about 7.3 million times better than the brick I’ve been using. I can write with it. I can install my banking apps. I can blog and edit without fear of losing everything I’ve written. God Bless her little cotton socks. IF THEY REALLY ARE COTTON SOCKS.

Iona’s old phone is why my last 2 blogs have been a little less chronological. I don’t have to just spew. I can spew and then wipe it up if it stinks.

Yesterday I was down on tech. I was using my new found technological freedom to rail upon the very device that was giving me that freedom to rail. I do that sort of thing a lot. Like my habit of killing dayjobs and then kicking them until they stop twitching. I attack the thing that helps me. I’m getting better at not doing that but man, self-sabotage is a seductive mistress.

Today I’m fond of tech. And that’s fine. I’m allowed to change my opinion as much as I want. I’m allowed to change my behaviours. We all have that privilege. We should be able to shift. Often we see journalists telling someone “You said this 5 years ago. Are you saying that you’ve changed your mind?” As if changing our mind or our outlook or our behaviour is somehow transgressional. This is further cemented as a received notion by the old echo chamber that I rail against from the inside, where it tries to feed us opinions we agree with. It’s perplexing. It can only narrow us down.

And yet in my social media echo chamber alongside me I see some remarkably diverse opinions and backgrounds. People on both extremes of the right and left spectrum, although mostly on the libertarian side of the authority gorge.

We all need to be careful not to entrench. Politics, religion, human affairs – there is no absolute. We are hacking this together as best we can communally. Over here in my opinion we have a swamped leadership and a divided opposition, haunted by an inevitable shift into an isolation that feels like poison. We have an increasingly secular populace despite much of the land belonging to a church that is trying perhaps too late to shift with the times. We have a campaign of accountability that is already being marginalised as the product of my industry, whereas in fact it’s present in every single walk of life but the people aren’t yet ready to speak out. But that’s my perspective.

There are people I admire who think Theresa May is strong and stable. Who think Brexit is a shining hope for the economy. I have many very strong beautifully faithful Christian leaders who I count as friends. They are effecting massive positive change in their communities, whatever another section of my friend-base might have to say about their beliefs, almost as if those beliefs were not hard won and harder kept. Faith is unbelievably difficult and I admire them hugely. And I have friends who would say “Oh come on all this #MeToo stuff is just attention seeking.” And I’d engage with that. Because we can’t just decide we are right and other people are wrong no matter what our emotions yell at us. We have to isolate from the majority and assess things coldly. Or at least that’s what I’m thinking today. I can change my mind. I probably will.

Goodnight from Hampstead.

dav