Thursday 25 February 2010
Today is the brightest morning yet so far this year, not that you would know it from the way in which I emerge into proceedings. Once again I stayed up far too late last night and now with two scheduled nights out in a row ahead of me this isn’t looking good.
Unsurprisingly I am on the drag after leaving the flat this morning, so what better time to choose than now to be sorting my Fall CDs into chronological order. Where the hell do the origins of this distraction come from? Unsurprisingly as a result of this when I jump into my car it becomes apparent to me that I have forgotten something. After a quick rummage about my being I realise that I have left my iPhone (my Tricorder) back in my flat. Without this I am lost, without this I am dead.
Eventually I find myself speeding towards the station running the risk of missing my train. Typically today is a red-light morning, as when I approach each light it turns red, just for me.
Once on the platform I manage to easily catch my train but things fail to improve as a guy cuts in front of me when boarding the train and he steals the seat I had mentally earmarked. Fiend.
From here the journey calms down although as we near London the fucking thing yet again beaches just outside of Liverpool Street. Why and how does this happen? What are we waiting for?
For a second morning as I walk across Liverpool Street station towards the tube platform I pass the lady that looks like the spitting image of a character from Avatar (albeit not blue). Is this a symptom of Pandora Depression? Have I been suckered? Hand me some blue Prozac now.
On the tube platform I miss Bellalike this morning, which is a drag considering I feel I got a smile to work on/with yesterday. Instead today I just get stuck with balloon people taking up too much space on the tube.
As I emerge from St Johns Wood it is with some kind of pained gusto and the knowledge that the wheels of work are about to begin rolling again, pending the receipt of a set of journals from the consultant. As I step into the building I am listening to the Westwood podcast. Its funny and all but how bad must his show suck if from the three hours broadcast they can only muster between 5 and 10 minutes of highlights.
Once in the office and at my desk I attempt to get some writing done before the start of play. I am currently labouring over the three toughest Facebook culls, the ones that will potentially cause most trouble. Once into the nineties those will be the vicious culls that come with a grudge but for now these marginal entries are almost too close to call.
Today the Filipino brings in more biscuits including special controversial Filipino biscuits from Spain for me.
Frustratingly the consultant has not come up with the journals. This leaves me slightly holding my dick on the work front, unable to progress. I stagger through the morning and give it until lunchtime for him to come up with the information and adjustments. Ultimately the morning turns to afternoon and the adjustments fail to arrive resulting in my not having much work to do. Why do I spend my working life having to wait on other people?
For lunch I opt back to penne with full knowledge that tonight I will be out and probably won’t be having dinner. Now is the time to fill up.
In the afternoon despite not getting the consultant’s adjustments I decide to roll the accounts and finally begin work on January, when in reality they should have been long since completed by now.
After a late surge 5.30PM arrives and with it rain pouring down outside. This evening I have a ticket to see BILLY CHILDISH at the ICA where he is doing a talk and introduction to a series of cine-8 movies he and his friends have made in Chatham. With this weather however I am in no rush to leave the dry and warmth of the office. Neither is the girl who has now apparently been burned for lateness a couple of times recently.
When I eventually decide to brave the elements and leave the restaurant I get the tube straight down to Green Park where I emerge out into even worse weather than when I went underground.
As I slowly get drenched I head across Piccadilly towards the Circus. For an extended spell I hide in Waterstones flicking through books that I will later purchase online at a cheaper price. For the brief respite from the rain however I do feel obliged to buy something so I get a beginners guide to screenwriting. Curiously I have no intention to write a script. What kind of mentality am I exercising?
Beyond overstaying my welcome I leave the shop and head back into the rain where the night only appears to have worsened as I head towards Trafalgar Square and somewhere to go in the form of the galleries around there. Typically as I arrive they have just closed. There was me thinking art and culture in this city stayed open until 8PM.
With the night still young and options feeling limited I wind up at Leicester Square where for some reason the square is completely rammed. For a moment I wonder just what is up but then I look up and clock that it is the Alice In Wonderland premiere. As things worsen and become busier before I have a panic attack I turn away from the throngs and escape seeking refuge elsewhere.
I remember that there is a Café Nero just around the corner from Leicester Square tube station so I head straight towards that. The first and last time I came here was with my American Friend on a night where she was complimenting me with sweet nothings, telling me how she wish she had a skill, talent and ability like me (to be a qualified accountant). Truly alarm bells should have been ringing back then. She was telling me I was great but obviously not that great though.
Tonight is a much more sombre affair, a more drench affair/visit. Luckily inside I manage to snag a decent seat at which point I take stock of my drenched situation. It doesn’t look good. I don’t think anything more than Gap combat trousers displays wetness to the naked eye.
While sitting typing misery into my iPhone Derek Pringle gingerly comes up the stairs and sits on the table next to me. Quite frankly I am impressed, this is quite a spot. It would appear that he immediately clocks me clocking him and he proceeds to curl up, reading tonight’s Evening Standard in the most defensive and guarded fashion. Later when I recount this moment to Ben he tells me that Pringle was a bit standoffish when he encountered him.
Eventually I step up and brave the rain once more even though my coat has already soaked up the rain like a sponge. As I gather myself together I get one last gawp at Pringle still all curled up and trying to hide from his celebrity.
Walking through Trafalgar Square the traffic remains insane as huge puddles gather on the roads and overspilled drains begin to resemble pools. These are accidents waiting to happy. By the time I get to the ICA it is with a huge dose of relief and gratitude.
Ahead of the films and poetry I check out the current BILLY CHILDISH exhibition and it is grand stuff. His paintings are astounding, vast and peaceful. He has really taken on the hat motif now as it is now a distinctive part of identity with many of the painting featuring himself emotionally displayed in his favourite headwear.
Moving upstairs on the exhibition the rooms concentrate more on his recorded and written output with a wall of record sleeves and a couple of cases dedicated to his various publications including the Penguin title from the book burning last month. With another glimpse of the book I again curse my manners for not picking up a copy when I had the opportunity.
After something of a wait in the entrance we take our seats in Cinema 1. The queue certainly brings out the ratty in the older members of the audience tonight, a couple of which have even adopted the CHILDISH look in a big way.
We take our seats doing so with the old chap himself holding court in front of the cinema screen and once everyone is in he kicks off with his reading. As with the book burning he does a wide selection poems interspersed with background information and anecdotes pertaining to the compositions which lend a lot to their delivery proving the real gold and entertainment, all of which suggests that he is actually a really pussycat of a person. His funnies that come attached to the reading seem to serve almost as some kind of disclaimer in order to display/confirm his sanity and wicked sense of humour.
CHILDISH looks and carries himself as if from another age. He sure is keeping with the hat and wartime look, which is by all accounts a brave one to be taking out into public.
During part of his reading two women towards the back of the cinema appear more concerned/interested in their own little conversation. Why have they brought it along to this event? At one point CHILDISH even has to pause his reading but in addressing the ladies he just responds too apologetically. Despite this tonight he seems on good form, appearing genuinely grateful to the audience and happy to accommodate and provide.
The 55 minutes of Super-8 movies from the Chatham Super-8 Club turn out to be varied and entertaining. The movies are filmed using old fashioned cameras that I have no idea about but do use stock film that is incredibly expensive to buy and use, which lends these films as a real density and sense of value.
The first movie of the programme is “The Artist On His Way To Work” which shows CHILDISH getting himself ready and prepared to head out and paint his latest master work. As he ties the canvas to his back and carries his palette while battling the snow and elements very quickly he paints a beautiful scene in front of our eyes as one medium captures another medium recording the vision and view.
From here we get treated to some grainy music videos for “Troubled Mind” and “Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot” coupled with playful moments such as “The Flying Mustache”, “Smoking Yoga” and “The Impossible Shoulder – Leap Of Death” which all look like home videos from a lighter era when everything wasn’t recorded for posterity and chucked up on Youtube, when there was some value to such treats.
The final movie documents a wartime route recreation on the continent where fully garbed enthusiasts pay tribute to the people that lost their lives during the war. Apparently this movie was shot on a particular film stock (reconditioned I think) that gives it an even more grainy feel.
After the screenings CHILDISH keeps up the appreciation with a very accommodating Q&A during which he demonstrates a very open and self depreciating attitude, not least when faced with not exactly the best line of questioning. As ever though the questions regarding his influences are the most illuminating ones.
Soon it all ends and I find myself storming towards Charing Cross station in the rain. From here I change at Tottenham Court Road and hit a busy Central Line on a boozed up Thursday night.
In the end I catch the 11.18PM Clacton train home. Almost immediately after I board it, it fills with squawking women.
At 00.10AM the fucking thing beaches at Witham while Information Jimmy tells us nothing. I just want to go to bed. Eventually I get home around half past midnight.
When I get back to Bohemian Grove there is a car parked in my space. I want to kick off but I have no direction to aim it.