Jubilee night

This morning the sky above London was full of helicopters. They flew in formation over my flat, heading dead south. It was my first real wake-up that something was going on. Too organised for invasion. Must be pageantry. Ahhh lovely jubbly! Of course. It’s the platinum jubbly. Her majesty. Let’s all celebrate her. She’s starting to delegate responsibility to her son. King Charles III… I have a feeling that the Charles thing will alternate in terms of successful realm to unsuccessful realm. Long live Queenie for now. The edge is approaching.

I went to Kirkaldy Testing Works. I met with a clever woman who creates things out of thin air. I tried to show her how I can do it too and be differently helpful. She appeared satisfied with my paltry attempts to match her genius. She exists in real places, where her characters have names such as Brian and Colin. Mine are people too, but called Snapdragon and LostHalf. We parted galvanised in one way or another by each other’s work. I can see an amalgamation where her Colin merges with my Snapdragon. I can see a simple shift where her Brian ellides with the LostHalf – misplaced ambition eaten by mysticism… Soon now, as the edge of autumn falls, we will have a party at Kirkaldy and there will be a happening and breakages will be explored. You will all be invited and some of you might even come. ’twill be a delight. About apartness and togetherness and loss and splitting, what it means to be severed, to be twisted and smashed. I was profoundly moved by a moment in My Octopus Teacher SPOILER ALERT interrupted by a photo of broken and torn steel. That was how it split… STEEL. But it has to give somewhere.

So. My Octopus Teacher is a very thought provoking Netflix documentary about the power of doing something every day. It follows an obsessive human and an octopus. There’s a lot about breaking points and endurance. I am one of many thousands who used to enjoy octopus and will never eat it again. Squid though? Fuck those guys. But there’s a moment where we see an evolved destruction mechanism – a shark, knowing it has part of something in its teeth that is hiding under a rock starts rolling itself. If the shark can roll faster than the octopus can roll… it will take what it can get or maybe pull the whole octopus out. There’s a terrifying logic and inevitability to seeing this ripping by rolling. There can be no other result. The shark has instinct. The octopus has clever… But the instinct of the shark teaches it to just roll and roll and keep on rolling…

And so do the machines at Kirkaldy work. They work in legato. Slow and terrible and constant. Inevitable. He wasn’t messing about, Kirkaldy. He needed to record the breaking point of the hardest materials in the world. He smashed and crashed and mangled, but he did it slowly.

So yeah. That was my Jubilee. Examining a place where things that are solid as steel can be pulled apart. Looking at the instruments.

We are gonna have a thing.

I left and drove to Camden to drop off the bed at last. Now I’m in Nottingham and its past midnight. I am supposed to be here tomorrow morning and literally couldn’t face the drive up and down again on the same day so booked the cheapest bed in Notts. I’m in a single bed in a cold mill.

I unlocked “Genius level 2” on booking.com which allegedly qualifies me for a free upgrade. I dread to think what I had actually booked if this is the upgrade, in this vast empty building full of rooms in Nottingham. It makes me think that perhaps the Genius levels on booking.com are … unlikely to be honoured by the establishments.

I don’t care though. I’m just gonna crash. I booked this because it was cheap. Likely I’ll add it to my invoice. A bed is a bed. And I’m sinking into this one.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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