20/1/2004 - Friday Morning

It’s quiet and beautiful and one forty in the am. In little over eight hours Sarah will come round to collect me and her cimbalom and go to practise. I hold my breath for a second to check that the winter defying bird is still singing outside, but he’s taking a break to watch bird “E.R.”

I just watched Trust again though I swore to myself once that I would never watch it again because I had seen it too many times. I dozed off I think at one point, but that’s ok, because my subconcious woke me up for all the bits that I had to see. The surreal beauty of the Long Island spring, car parks, and dialogue that is as nourishing as oxygen. Hartley writes like a dream.

My piano is another happening thing. Playing it is like playing football on astroturf after gravel, the gravel being my old, dejected honky tonk thing in the next room. I am completely happy in this flat now. Just time for them to build on top of me, necessitating me to move. Dammit.

Now that I’m half way through my ‘three score years and ten’, I have the incessant thought coming to me, to stop being mediocre. To at least try to do something worthwhile, pretty, artistic, ambitious, permanent. Time is running out.

Hartley, Altman, Woody Allen, Truffaut, Cassavetes, Mike Leigh. These men are kings! Leigh is the master. Beethoven and Bach stare down the years, crushing us with their genius and legacy. But these guys can stare back, knowing they’ve done their bit.

I realise there’s been days between diaries. Now I’m back to work, and thinking about a ‘new project’, I might not have as much time to come here. Nothing too much is happening anyway. We’re getting ready to go off, I’ve been making a few new t shirts, we’re demoing a new song for a producer, possibly for the next single.

The ‘new project’ starts chundering its way through my mind, and I stop for a sec and find it curious that I’m quite happy to get on this particular train, because it’s going to have me for a year maybe, and it’s going to be tortuous in places. But there’s simply nothing else to be done. It’s too early to tell you anything about it. I need to get on with it. That’s why I might not write so much in the old diary.


Hi, I’m just sitting here watching 10cc while I’m typing this. “The Things We Do For Love” is a particularly great one. I met Lol Creme in Los Angeles last summer after our show. He was hanging out with Trevor. I had a good old chat with him. He was a little toasted I think, but I wish we could have the conversation over again, because I’ve listening to quite a lot of 10cc since that time. They had some terrific pop songs.

What else is on this DVD? Katrina gave it to me for Christmas. There’s “Up The Junction” by Squeeze straight after 10cc. John played this at the NPL a few months back. Initially I thought, ‘well, I’ll give it a go, but I don’t know if I can dance to the whole song’. By the end of the track the whole place was punching the air, shouting the words, pulling some great moves off. What a song, what a moment, perhaps the best dancing moment of last year. No not the best. Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” wins it for sheer consistency. We danced to that tune all last year, on the bus in particular.

Now Thin Lizzy’s “Sarah” is on, but I’ve got to hide the video player, because the video is a disaster. What were you thinking, Phillip? The only good bit is when Scott Gorham comes in at the end of a big queue of girls and makes like he’s trying to kiss you.

What else have I been listening to? I like the Dido single that’s on the radio just now. There’s been some great tunes on down the cafĂ©, but I can’t work out what they are. The Phoenix tune in Lost In Translation is a great one. I’ve been listening to ACDC, I went to see Lloyd Cole play his acoustic show tonight, I’ve been listening to The Ladybug Transistor (that boy has a terrific voice!) By your hip standards, I’ve got pretty terrible, inconsistent taste. Right? Don’t care.

Today I went to the caff with my accounts and stayed there for too long. So long that I kept getting embarrassed to go up and order more stuff, more tea, more juice. I keep really terrible accounts, in fact I don’t keep any accounts. I think about it two days before the deadline. I don’t keep any records. I turn up at the accountants office and I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

It’s worth it though. I know I lose out on money, but it’s great not to think about it, all year. Everyone tells you to keep receipts and stuff. I worked out this system that I should pay for everything with my bank card, then it will show up on my records at the end of the year. Trouble is, I only remember what the plan was when I come to do my accounts. I’ve been throwing cash around all year, and it’s all accountable because I work all the time, pretty much. But I’ve got no records. Just the ones we make. And that’s the important thing, right? Right on.

Allen came in to relieve the boredom, and we shot the breeze for a while. I ducked into the town, but the office was too busy, so I left them to it, and went to get more acupuncture. I’ve perfected my technique. I’ve just got to go really limp, then you hardly feel the needles go in. Did I tell you he’s started sticking them in the top of my head? That wiped me out, that’s why I came home to watch 70s pop vids before we went to see Lloyd.

Again, I’m getting the feeling that the diary might be a little thinner on the ground for the next while, because I’m going to try and start some other writing. Hope that’s ok.


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