Mornings are taking over

In a spectacular piece of hubris I have allowed myself to quietly believe for years that the cold waits until after my birthday.

Despite the fact it was already pretty cold on my birthday – a fact that I was determined to overlook and downplay – it’s brass monkeys today so I’m calling a win for my own false sense of cosmic significance. I wouldn’t want to be on the Heath tonight in this. I’ve spent the last half an hour reattaching my smart thermostat as I might treat myself to a little bit of central heating, humbug.

It was lovely this morning though up there on the Heath. Lou and I had a little stroll.

The lack of booze helped me remember that the days start swapping over now and mornings become all important. In summer it’s all about the evenings, the low light through the trees, the crickets, warmth. In winter it’s the mornings, then evening pools of artificial light spilling through windows into cold night. By noon the best of the day is gone, particularly when they add an hour and make the dark come at 3pm – and that’s only a month away. It’s time to shift my body clock.

Darkness is closing in, as is the global fist of this pandemic. Where can we go? There are only 8 countries without their borders closed in some way. I thought of going home to The Isle of Man, but there’s no way they’ll let me get on the ferry. I even considered going back to Jersey as there’s stuff I need to do there plus it’s the island of my birth and my longing. I’d have to quarantine for two weeks in both directions if I went there, which would be crap and expensive as I haven’t got a roof to put over my head anymore.

So I’ll stay here, in London, and keep my head down. I’ve got a pretty sweet situation living between two properties until I can vacate this one and turn it into money. I’m still waiting on Kitcat to finally leave Chelsea so I can properly rationalise all the remaining stuff in this flat and reduce reduce reduce and throw the doors wide open onto empty streets and another fucking lockdown and no tenants and no industry earnings to pay council tax and service charge and Rishi tanking us to 20% fuckkitt.

Kitcat thought she’d leave this morning but she’s changed her mind now. She’s leaving tomorrow at noon, allegedly. She won’t make it to Glasgow before late even if they try to onebomb it but I’m not her keeper. She can do what she likes. It’s not me behind the wheel anymore and I feel pretty relieved about that. I’ll help her pack the van. Then I can just flounce around the place naked tomorrow morning. Or maybe be in a sunny park watching the live Saturday morning auction at Tennant’s and hoping for good prices while soaking up the vitamin D from the winter sun. Fully clothed. Not that much vitamin D. I’m already in enough trouble with the rozzas from the insurance cock up.

I’m used to uncertainty. But it’s never easy not knowing what the hell’s going to happen next. I’m in a good position here with my choice of roof and my friendly Hampstead snake. The Nissan’s over any day now – I should check tax expiry to make sure I’m not pulled over again. That’s the last thing I need. I’m have to move it on.

It’s quite hard to think past kitcat leaving right now with every inch of space in the flat either filled with her stuff in boxes or with mine. Tomorrow is a brighter day. So long as I get up in the morning.

Enjoy the sunshine if you can find it, lovelies. This is Friday night sober Al checking into his camomile tea.

Calm birthday despite the pasmina police

I’m standing in doorway of The Freemason’s Arms in Hampstead. Wrapped around my face is my silk and pashmina scarf – natural fibers and filtering twice around my nose and mouth. “A scarf won’t do, sir,” says Hitler. “It has to be a proper mask.” I’ve forgotten my mask, but the pashmina is more effective anyway. Emma has to leave, so she takes off her disposable mask and gives it to me. I put it on in front of Hitler, still warm from Emma’s face. It’s made of polypropylene and polythene, almost as bad for me as for the planet. “Is that better?” It’s better for Hitler. It’s neither safer for me nor for anybody else. It just looks like a mask is supposed to look like.

This is a perfect example of letter vs spirit of the law. If it was about safety or logic then Hitler would have been happy with the pashmina. Silly old Hitler.

Still it was the end of a lovely day and it’s only a pub. Perhaps it’s illogical and scary in all the pubs. Hitler was constantly normalising her extreme neurosis, and telling us it was like this everywhere, and having nothing to compare it with I’ll take her word for it. But just because my pashmina doesn’t attach with elastic around my ears it’s no good? You’re a fucking idiot, Hitler.

Compliance. Tracking. Social Credit. Here we go, boys. The new normal. No wonder everybody is getting out their tinfoil hats. We might need them. I’m glad I’m not drinking anymore. If that’s pubs then I’m happier staying home.

I’m glad I came out for my birthday today though. A very small group of lovely brave souls in a sheltered spot on The Heath. Cold but companionable. Halloumi and strange booze free beverages and candles and good company. Five of us. Lou and I, John, Tanya and Emma.

I was perfectly happy to grow a bit older in such fine company, and Jono arrived and joined some of us at The CagedMasons. We never had more than four in a group and it was calm and kind and fun. Sure I like those birthday parties where you see how many humans you can fit in the room. But these are interesting times, like it or not, and there’s as much fear as there are pathogens, with both being equally toxic.

Much of the conversation was about second strings and “how have you been making money during lockdown.” We are all still trying to flex our hustlemuscles within the constraints we’ve been given. Nobody in our little group has been sitting on our arses.

I’ve got my first load of stuff going under the hammer on Saturday at Tennant’s. There has been a huge amount of cleaning and organising to get to this stage. I am better than I ever thought I’d be at soot removal, and I’ve got a good eye for porcelain now as well. Anybody curious to see what I’ve been up to, or interested in getting their hands on some unusual bits and bobs, here’s the link to the sale:

It starts at 9.30am and they rattle through the lots – there are literally thousands. My lots are: 132 and 154 (shared with Max), 166, 169, 170, 171, 172, 315, 465, 471, 480. There are even a few more in the second half of the sale. Having watched a few of their auctions already it’s astonishing the speed and acuity with which they go about their work. They are turning over vast quantities, and they’ve spent good money on a website that just makes sense. It’s easy to watch their auctions online and far too easy to bid. In fact, if these items sell well, it’ll be hard for me to resist buying in a load of different antiques to replace the ones I’ve just moved on. I’ll manage it. I still have a lot to move on. Loads. Too much. But it’s fun. Not as fun as acting. But still fun, somehow.

Sad before birthday

This time last year I was lying by a pool in San Antonio thinking about the collapse of Thomas Cook and worrying about the UK economy with all the uncertainty around Brexit. Our merry little band of five were jaunting around the USA in a state of perpetual wonder, chasing the end of the summer before winter found us in Colorado Springs.

A year later and it seems like things have changed forever. Six months into this pandemic and it’s still as uncertain and haphazard as ever, with everybody policing themselves and policing each other. Back then we were having a ball. We were in a different state of the USA every week, going into rooms full of cadets and prisoners and old folk and students and kids to work them out about Shakespeare. Now we’re all at home.

I haven’t been following the news so I’m not sure of the specifics but things are feeling bleak. We are past the equinox now. The nights are longer than the days. Darkness is closing in. And it feels that way.

Lots of us feel sad. I’ve got that stomach thing where nebulous anxiety causes a knot in the base of the belly. The change of seasons is sad enough, but add to that the threat of martial law, the threat of a deadly surge of mutated virus, the threat of all of us shutting the doors again and dying of hate in a palace of loopaper, the threat of the economy collapsing totally, riots, burning, a new world order. The threat of getting older. That’s the big one.

It’s my fucking birthday again tomorrow. Today when you read this. Thursday. What’s a man to do? Birthdays in a time of Corona. Half the world has had one by now. It’s my turn and I remember being sure it would all be over by now back in summer.

Only six people at a time. I’ll be near Parliament Hill, no matter what the weather, naturing it up from noon until it’s too fucking cold. Lou has come up, thank God. That’s a comfort. She’s got her feet on my belly and it’s warm.

I’m feeling the weight of the encroaching dark. I really am. I always feel sad and slow before my birthday, and today is a particularly hard one as it feels like we are no further ahead than we were in June and now we have nothing but Christmas to bring light and warmth. You can bet all the fireworks displays are cancelled. I had a couple of self tapes, but nothing in the bag. Zip, zilch, nada. So little is being made, so little CAN be made with all the restrictions. It’s a sad sad situation and it’s getting more and more absurd.

We have to find light. If the darkness gets deeper we have to MAKE light.

Kitcat is going up to Scotland on Saturday. It’s been a year and a month since she moved in. She’s paid for a year. Despite the shortfall I’m sad as it’s an ending. It just adds to the sense of endings. The flat is ending too. It’s going to be different from now on. First the work, and then maybe a flatmate maybe not, maybe Airbnb, maybe lockdown. What the fuck is going to happen? Who knows. I feel totally swamped in it.

Anyway, it’s my birthday and I’m going to sober party. Noon I’m starting to hang in nature and I’ll borrow somebody’s zoom and do a Zoom thing late afternoon early evening just to see people’s faces. Probably about 5…? Oh I don’t know. I’m too tired sad and strung out to organise specifics. I just want to cocoon in a little warm ball under a rock like Hex, and come back out when it’s light and we are allowed to play again.


I woke up this morning dizzy. I keep veering off to the sides when I’m walking. It’s been a couple of months since I had any booze so it’s not that, although I totally feel like I’ve been Christmassing myself. I think it’s probably the diet. I haven’t really worked out how to be mostly vegan and still get iron in my diet. I went to Holland and Barrett and told her I was dizzy. Multivitamins for vegans with tons of iron in them were half price. She also sold me some CBD to drop under my tongue. “It’s helpful for people overcoming addictions,” she told me. But is it not addictive in and of itself? And it’s expensive enough even at half price frankly. She’s trying for a regular customer. Still I got out of that place for under fifteen quid which is nothing short of a miracle.

CBD really is the new Snake Oil. I’ve heard people tell me it’s good for everything. It’s like they cold read you and then try and tell you it’ll fix the thing they think you need to get fixed. But usually the thing I need to get fixed is my cashflow and CBD is very very bad for that unless you’re standing the other side of the counter selling it.

I bought some anyway. It hasn’t helped the dizziness. It’s cannabis for crying out loud, of course it hasn’t helped. It’s kind of amazing that she sold it on that basis, or that I bought it. But maybe it’ll help me turn into a kingfisher, or leap tall buildings in a single bound, or get a good price for the Halcyon Days.

I feel terrible about selling the Halcyon Days suddenly as I found an affectionate note from my doting grandmother. She put it in a Churchill related box, and told me she loved me. Her voice and her memory came crashing through the ages in a sharp reminder of her extremely memorable personality. Black Peg, the scourge of The Folkestone Wrens, going on to terrorise many a dinner party in Jersey before getting out that fucking fortune fish and telling everybody they were fickle. It’s partly her fault I’m an actor. I don’t hold it against her. But I won’t be able to sell that pot now. It’ll sit somewhere full of cufflinks until I go join her for tea and biscuits.

Which hopefully isn’t imminent despite the dizziness. If its not iron deficiency it’s more stored toxins leaving my body. The kambo did a good start, hard flushing all the easy stuff, but persistence is shifting some of the crap that’s buried deep after so many years of creative and joyful self abuse.

And so I took the foot off the gas a bit on the selling. Although the first big load of things will be selling at Tennant’s imminently. They’re all up on the website now, about fifteen different lots, without minimum value yet but that’s to come. I’m very much hoping that they’ll sell well enough – despite the market at the moment – for me to be relaxed about refurbishing this place properly. I’ve been lent a small amount as a starter but it’s not enough to get the full work done so it’s down to the sales this Saturday, augmented by the Halcyon Days – (if I can bear to shift any more of them after connecting with my doting grandma.)

Halcyon Days

Calm days.

Ceyx was the king of Thessaly in ancient times. This was back when the Gods walked among us more openly. Aeolus, the wind God was one of them – a minor deity blowing around sewing his wild oats. He fathered a few kids with mortals.

His daughter Alcyone fancied a bit of Ceyx and decided to marry him. She was very happy with Ceyx. She loved Ceyx. I can only assume he was well named.

These old stories about Ceyx and all that though – they never end well, and this was no exception. Ceyx drowned. Oh no!

Alcyone was distraught. “Without Ceyx I am nothing!” she likely howled, rending her clothes, tearing her hair, pausing a moment to pose for a pre-Raphaelite painter from the future, and hurling herself into the Aegean sea to drown with Ceyx.

Problem was her dad was a minor God. She didn’t drown. She transformed. Specifically, she turned into a kingfisher. She was then blown by her dad the wind to where her husband was flapping around having also turned into a kingfisher instead of drowning. This is not a regular occurrence in the Aegean Sea – or anywhere. If you want to be a kingfisher, this isn’t the way to do it. I’m not sure there is a way to do it anymore but it’s not drowning yourself. If anyone knows how to turn into a kingfisher let me know. So long as I can change back, it might be fun to occasionally be a kingfisher. Especially at the moment.

Alcyone the kingfisher was happy with kingfisherishness for sure. She had Ceyx again. Lots of Ceyx. Inevitably she made a nest and laid some eggs. This was around the 14th December. 7 days to lay and 7 days to hatch. 2 weeks in the run up to Christmas.

In perpetuity, her dad tries to go easy on the wind for a fortnight in December. Two weeks of calm for Alcyone. A good time to go fishing and stock up on food for a feast in the dead of winter. The Alcyone Days.

Folklore goes that if you hang up a kingfisher carcass it’ll predict the wind direction with its beak because of this ancient storylink between the bird and the wind. Don’t go killing kingfishers to find out. Folklore says a lot of stuff that just turns out to be a bit stinky and unpleasant. Why use a dead bird when there’s an app?

Of course you give a story to the oral tradition and it changes. People quickly forgot the time of year, and started noticing calm times and calling them Alcyone Days, then Chinese whispers made them Halcyon Days.

We could use some Halcyon Days right now with all the pandemic mad panic and the quiet simmering rage.

I’ve got some. But the ones I’ve got aren’t the ones we need. The ones I’ve got are just branded enamel boxes “by appointment to the Queen”, made to be collected by people who have retired. I’m listing them on eBay gradually over time. This is why I’ve been thinking about the phrase, its origin, and how nice it would be to be a kingfisher.


Last night was the first time I have ever found myself evangelising about being sober. I need to watch that. It was solicited on this occasion but it’s a slippery slope, that sort of thing. You can very quickly get very boring when you start to talk in detail about your lifestyle choices and the little thoughts and habits that imaginatively separate you from the rest of those other people over there.

“I’m sober.” “I believe in Jesus.” “I work out.” “I watch a particular TV show obsessively.” “I take drugs.” “I’m an actor.” “I’m a sex addict.” Your choices don’t define who you are. They’re just a part of the web.

With that in mind, I’m going to evangelise about being sober on my blog for a while and bore the shit out of you.

But it’s just saved me some money. It’s almost nine on a Sunday night and I’ve just realised I left my iPad and microphone in Hampstead and I’m filming tomorrow in Chelsea and need them. I’m not pissed though so I can drive over and get them. An uber is usually about £20. So that’s money saved.

Not to mention all the money I’m not spending on wine and beer. That’s the practical bit. I’ve already saved loads by not spending.

Fuck me I still miss a good glass of red though. But I’d have one glass of red and then neck the rest of the bottle, look for another bottle, have a whisky toddy to sleep with, finish it wide awake and have a second. Then I’d sprawl open mouthed until morning snoring my dreamless face off. Then I’d wake sore throated, dry and heavy with a nameless indignance at the very existence of the world and the fact I have to interact with it.

I reckon it’ll be a good year before I can fully reprogram my brain, and it might move to longer if I discover that I truly am powerless, like the AA lot are encouraged to admit. But I don’t like being powerless so I’m gonna see.

Right now I feel good and I’m making change. It’s slow but it’s happening. There’s much to do, sure. Kitcat is still very much in the flat so plans have been pushed back. She’s on track to be gone on the 26th which is only a fortnight after her extended deadline without a whisper of rent. It’s good that I’m saving my boozemoney. I’m looking forward to having the place to myself a while.

So yeah. For me it’s a strange magical adventure, sobriety. I’ve been mostly drunk in the evenings and weekends for the best part of two decades. Turns out I can still have fun when I let myself feel things. The first month is far and away the worst bit. Thankfully I had good influences. Lou and her joyful sobriety. Tristan putting himself through the booze free wringer too. And then there’s Covid making sure that all the tempting parties and press nights and shows where the audience buys you a drink are off the table.

On which subject, I’m having a birthday party on Thursday, but only if the weather is nice. Because it’ll be outside on Hampstead Heath. I’m gonna just show up there at about noon and bring my book and make little friends out of sticks and mud if nobody appears. I’ll stay until it’s too dark and cold. I’ll be hideously wonderfully sober, watching sticks or people booze and carouse safely in the outside world. I’ll join in the wassailing if there is wassailing. I’ll drop a pin on my Facebook and share it with anybody who fancies rolling up, and I won’t be incomprehensible by 8pm.

Somebody might even bring a frisbee.

Chickens and cars

It’s rutting season in Richmond Park, so they’ve closed the road through the middle to cars. This made it awkward for Tristan and I. We were following a pin he has dropped leading to a suspected Chicken of the Woods. Not to take, mind you. Foraging is illegal in the royal parks and I am a law abiding citizen your honour. We just wanted to identify it, m’lud. For reasons of curiosity and personal growth through knowledge of the natural world, guvnor. Nature red in gill and spore.

We walked half an hour to the thing, thankfully without getting attacked by horny stags. It wasn’t a chicken. It was some sort of polypore but it was so old it had mostly gone black and it definitely had no desire to be plucked and cooked had we been of the inclination which of course we aren’t, your majesty. Jethro hazarded a very old beefsteak fungus and maybe he’s right. Either way it was a delightful walk in the early evening through the largest of the Royal Parks.

Spot the deer

Back in the day, when the world was less complicated, I used to go hacking once a week through Richmond Park, out of Stag Lodge Stables. I still know exactly where my jodhpurs and chaps are and I still find myself longing to get back on the horse. It’s on my CV – horse riding. I believed it might help me get on the plane to play minor aristocracy in some BBC period piece set in Somerset and shot in Bulgaria. But I literally just don’t know enough casting directors, it seems. A minor oversight. I didn’t think it important at the start of my career

I should probably pay to do some of those “meet the casting director on zoom” workshops but it always seems to be too needy and I wouldn’t be friends with someone who paid to meet me. Still, if I get to say “Shall we go hunt, my lord?” from the back of a beautifully trained Bulgarian steed, before wheeling and galloping off into the sunset then it’ll pay for some of the lessons and be lovely and worth the pride hit. When the industry wakes up fully again.

I’ve got my small part in a Netflix coming out soon and I bloody hope I’ve got a shot or two left in the edit. If I only sorted out my dreadful showreel I might get that sunset shot. But first I need the footage so I can sort out my showreel so I can get the footage. Round and round we go.

Meanwhile Tristan and I went to Waitrose and paid money for some chestnut mushrooms, which was the plan all along and not influenced by the inedible state of the suspected Richmond Chicken which we weren’t going to eat.

We had another driving lesson, with the poor Nissan, which will be no more than a pile of scrap metal before long. Somehow I’m going to get some better wheels now. A car that people can roll their eyes about affectionately. “It’s his pride and joy,” they can say, and they might be right. Problem is it needs to be a transformer, as I want one that is an attractive sleek jaguar type number that turns into a Luton van for moving lots of things and also into a big talking robot. And a kitten. That’s what I want. I might have to compromise on something…

Who am I kidding though? It’ll come down to what I can find that’s in whatever tiny price range I set for myself.

Fires in the trees

I’ve got one tiny glimmer of something akin to hope attached to the fact that there’s a front of rain moving into California. It burns me to hear of those huge ancient trees on fire. Driving through the redwoods on Labor Day in solitude and contemplation last year, I felt the weight of their years. I didn’t know how lucky I was to hit them on a public holiday where I could be alone. Sure, I couldn’t find food or water easily, but I have always felt an affinity with those trees after the boarding school I was sent to aged 8 had one in the grounds. I got to spend a flash of time with them before they underwent more hardship.

Most of the papers are quick to inform us that it was sparked by a pyrotechnic device at a “gender reveal party”, where expecting American parents tell their friends what gender their baby will be and fire a crap firework. I’m not sure why we need to know the cause – it’ll be shit for the kid growing up and I don’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy. Knowing how it started might help to make accidental firestarting more possible to people who think of things like gender reveal parties as commonplace. “Fires are easy to start,” might be the message. “And not easy to put out. Don’t be a tit.”

Walking in the hills last year around this time, looking down on San José from a wood of new growths I commented on the amount of dry birch bark by the sides of the path. “Surely just a cigarette could start a blaze,” I said. “It has before,” said Lisa, and she showed me a chimney tree. Redwoods can survive pretty well in fire, as they become their own chimneys, but nothing could survive the fires I’ve been reading about. And a firefighter lost his life today.

It’s one thing after another at the moment. And now the unkempt sock puppet is starting to close bits of the North and everybody is talking about lockdown again and I really can’t bear to contemplate it happening all over again but colder. At least I’m better now at building a Green Screen with distance and perspective. I can have fun with boys toys. But I’m worried sick about money plus I’m about to speculate on Airbnb. Kitcat is packing her stuff at last. We are gonna try and fit it all in the Nissan and shoot up to Glasgow next week. London to Glasgow. 8 hours. I drove longer than that through the redwoods and thought it nothing…

Corgi Dinky bits

Now it’s toys. I’m learning about toys. While the blacklight torch and the special polish arrive in the post I’ve turned my curiosity, the internet and my Worthpoint subscription to Uncle Peter’s fucked collection of Corgi and Dinky toys from the sixties. Playtime with Peter appears to have involved a vice and a crowbar judging by the state of some of them. I’d be surprised if I picked up much value here, but it’s something to do when I’m not doing all the other things.

I also found – with the help of Max – some potentially very useful pieces of paper. It’s yet another plate to start spinning, and I’m up for it.

Up until recently, the bulk of the things I’ve been sifting through haven’t had any personal connection to me so it was easy. Now I’m handling the childhood toys of my poor departed uncle. It’s sobering – quite literally when you contemplate the means by which he made his exit.

You wear many hats as an actor. My antique dealer hat is getting more and more comfortable. I’m not yet at the level where I can walk into a room full of stuff and go “that one,” I still can’t identify bakelite as I’ve never knowingly handled it. I’m as useless as ever at furniture. But piece by piece my understanding of the different markets is growing. I think it’s the hunger to learn. If I’m playing an astronaut, I’ll geek for weeks about astronaut things. I love researching characters and background and making it live. But the hand of Covid on my industry has shifted my practice into one of the only potentially lucrative roles that were available to me – picker through boxes of random stuff.

This Sunday I’ll list a load of Halcyon Days eggy box type things and whatever I can salvage from this mangled pile of 1960’s metal vehicles that are currently on the bed in Hampstead. Then I’ll go home and make more space in the flat so I can rent it to anybody that wants to come live in central London right now when the world is teetering.

With unnervingly bad timing, service charge has gone up. Now I’m paying the equivalent of a healthy rent payment monthly in service and council tax just to stand still before bills – and with theatre in the bin, it’s completely untenable.

But it’s my birthday soon, and beforehand I get to pick through all these lovely strange goodies. And we keep finding nice little things that neither of us remember. And the only time I’ll ever regret this is when I move into a huge house in the country and realise I haven’t got enough stuff for the space. But when that time comes I know enough now that I can just nip to the auction houses and snap up a few lovely pieces and bish bash bosh.

I even put up a chandelier today. Cor blimey.

Accordion practice

After many years of hacking sounds out of my little squeeze box, I’ve gone on the internet and bought myself a book. It’s time. I want to know which buttons correspond to the numbers people like to shout out while playing music. Music is about spirit and sound and joy and connection, but it’s also about mathematics and practice. I’ve got the abandon bit of it sewn up and in these new careful times it’s probably worthwhile to see what it means to look towards the mathematics. If I can write this every day, I can practice every day as well. I think I’ll earmark the morning and see how it goes, and not consider it broken if I miss a bit. I might even start taking grades so I can put things on my CV for when we emerge from the ruins of our industry in our blasted motley and painted smiles to tell mournful stories to the ones who still have souls.

Right now it’s painfully slow. I’m going through the beginner exercises and practices and having revelations about how quickly the dots on the bar can transfer through the brain to an impulse to move the correct finger. Slowly, piece by piece, this old dog is going to learn an old trick properly. Hell, at least I’ll have something to work towards if we go back into lockdown. And as the owner of two accordions – one for travel and one for stage – it would be a waste to continue to be as clueless as I am about it. Besides, the medicine told me to play. At Medicine Festival, loads of the practitioners brought music into their ceremonies, and later in Glastonbury there was music at the heart of the night we spent awake in the circle. It’s one thing to be a folk musician and play by ear, but I want to be more reliable in my music than that so I can safely play tender pieces without jamming into a complete discord because my fingers are in the wrong place. If we somehow manage to put Christmas Carol on again I want to be able to talk and play at the same time without my eyes rolling backwards in my head. Time for some facility with it.

Although I’m juggling too many plates as it is right now. I’ve got dinner plates to sort out and maybe sell, I’ve got this flat to turn around, hex to take care of, all the random bits and bobs in the world to move around and rehouse and sort and catalogue, plus lines to be easy with for the 21st. Plus I’ve got Kitcat who is clinging like a limpet to London and yet has already paid rent to somebody else in Glasgow. She says she can’t pay me now. I’ll likely have to run her up as a swansong for the old Nissan just to get the room back, although frankly she should just get a Megabus and have done with it. It’ll be like an adventure for her, so long as nobody is throwing up.

All that plus my birthday coming on the 24th. I’m hoping it’s going to be good weather as I’m planning on dropping a pin on Hampstead Heath and then sitting there with a rug and seeing who shows up. It’s outdoors, and it’s lovely on the Heath and there’s enough space that people can sit miles away from each other and shout things.

With all this to do you’d think I’d be motivated, but today I’ve been pretty low energy. I’m confused and a little upset at Kitcat being so willfully oblivious to my needs over her own. I went to the Chelsea Physic Garden and sat on benches in the sunshine under arbours enjoying the heat and distracting myself from the frustrations. There’s so much to do… I have learnt by now that big things get smaller by chipping away, but for today I retreated a little in contemplation of the size of it.

You learn an instrument by playing scales regularly. You solve a mountain of stuff by doing little things often. I’ve been effective this month. Time to switch back.