Having a big dump

another braindump…

My weekend trip to Granada is *still* not finalised; I won’t go in to the reason, but the source of the problem isn’t me.

If I don’t make it to Spain this weekend, maybe a trip to Ace Cafe on Sunday morning, on the Bandit, for one of their world-famous All Day Breakfasts?

Who knows.

Also, I still haven’t decided which gig I’m going to see tomorrow evening.

Besides, if I have a tough day at work, all bets for hitting an evening gig on a schoolnight could be off anyway.

I had a very late night last night; as well as being a late night, there wasn’t too much by way of restful sleepage going on when I did get to bed.

It was, unsurprisingly, very difficult to get out of bed this morning.

The 4.45am alarm played pleasant music and, you know, it was just great to lie there and gradually wake up, listening to excellent sounds.

The 5.10am alarm got switched off and…

My mattress continued to get some pressing exercise.

At 5.40 my conscience got the better of me; I was in the shower and, having shaved and dressed, on my way to work.

Bugger breakfast, I ate at the office.

Like yesterday, today was another massive day at work.

Like yesterday, by the time I switch out the light this evening, today will have been another 20-hour day.

There is so much work-stuff going on but I can’t talk about it, obv.

But I can say that this weekend is phase one of a big thing, and members of my team will be working all weekend.

And next weekend is phase two of  a big thing, and again, members of my team will be working all weekend.

So things are busy.

I’m still considering riding the Bandit to work tomorrow.

We’ll see how that thinking looks in the cold dark of a new morning.

Two days good. Four days bad

I can not be the only person in the country who is itching to get back to work, surely?

Yes, I’ve had a lovely break – in a fantastic city and a gorgeous hotel with a truly lovely person – but I’ve had enough time off.

I’m bored.

I need to be back in the office.

I need to be busy.

I’ve already tidied my loft (yes I know!) and rearranged the studio.

And done three loads of laundry, changed the bed linen, done lots of guitar practice and sorted out ‘summer’ clothes for my wardrobe.

And I’ve only been back in the country 27 hours.

Maybe we could aspire to a few more three-day weekends spread throughout the year, rather than this four-day weekend malarky?

In other news, a new series of Big Brother starts tonight. I shall try to keep my addiction for rubbish television under control.

Yeah, right.

Magic, carpet

Monday:
4.30am alarm, in the office at 6.20am, leave the office at 7pm, work like bonkers between arriving and leaving.

Tuesday:
4.30am alarm, in the office at 6.17am, leave the office at 5.10pm, work like bonkers between arriving and leaving. Get home at 7.10pm, guzzle a quick cuppa, leave the house at 7.20pm. Get back home at 9.00pm.

Wednesday:
4.30am alarm, in the office at?

Cruisin’ down the internet superhighway

My home broadband connection has been upgraded. In an improvement from the previous 5Mb download and 250Kb upload, I’m now getting 29.75Mb download and 2Mb upload.

I recognise that for some people in other parts of the country/world, even these new figures might be seen as being pretty pathetic, but for here, in the primary town of our Prime Minister’s very own constituency, these are strong numbers.

I had a nice chat with the Openreach engineer as he was doing his stuff.

He looked at the guitars, the music stand, the music, the writing-in-progress, the photographs of me and the horses and said ‘Is there anything you don’t do?’

‘Loads!’, was my reply. ‘Absolutely loads’.

And now, as I have the day booked off as leave, to celebrate the stupendous broadband upgrade I shall…

Go to work.

No, me neither.

An early night

It’s been a busy weekend.

In the last few days I have been sent five CDs by bands/artists, music agents, PR companies.

Or not.

I say ‘or not’ because one of the CDs arrived without the sender’s details, without a business card, without a compliment slip, without a briefing note.

So it might have been sent by any of the above-mentioned people, or it might have been put in the post by a friend of the band.

Oh well.

I listen to every CD that is submitted; it would be rude not to. And unprofessional.

Last night we went to a gig at a bikers pub in the next village. It ended up being a very late night.

The band – Rock Doctors – are a 70s/80s covers band. Most of their work was comprised of obvious choice music; The Who, Free, Stevie Wonder, The Band and more.

The band’s Big Closing Number was Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’.

It was, without doubt, the best live version of ‘Comfortably Numb’ I’ve ever heard.

It was even better than Pink Floyd’s own live version, which I’ve heard Pink Floyd perform twice.

We didn’t leave the pub until stupid o’clock this morning.

And finally got out of bed just before noon.

Today has been busy; I came home, have ridden, practised guitar, listened to work, wrote work, edited some audio work, edited some video work, cooked, ate, washed-up, tidied, washed and dried one of Vin’s lightweight rugs and practised guitar again.

I’m currently watching one of the things I recorded last night (Transporter 3), whilst writing this.

It is 7.30pm.

I shall be in bed by 9pm, and asleep soon after.

Except I will get a phone call around 10.15pm.

I had quite a choice of things to watch this evening. I have already watched one of the many episodes of ‘Suits’ I have stacked up on my PVR.

Last night, while I was out, I recorded a bunch of rubbish television, for mindless evenings such as this.

Transporter 3, John Tucker Must Die, The Princess Diaries, Muppets From Space and an episode each of Dr Who and Winter Wipeout.

Because when you’re as tired as I am, you only want mindless pap on the television.

And believe me, I am tired.

But also good.

Updating/Repairing/Teaching/Learning

Updating:
Has it really been a week since I wrote anything?

Soz.

The hiatus is not an indicator that things have not been going on; things have been. Going on. I have been mentally busy.

The new contract brings challenges, involves working with some very interesting, capable people, and it shows signs of being extremely positive and worthwhile.

Repairing:
Yesterday evening I helped rescue a damsel in distress who needed an urgent repair to her saxophone, as she is gigging tonight.

And I managed to squeeze in a visit to a new Chinese restaurant, in between the saxophone repair facilitating to-ing and fro-ing.

The key word there is ‘facilitating’; I didn’t do the repair. I just knew of a man, who lives in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside, who could repair it. And he did. At 7.30pm on a Good Friday evening.

There were smiles and was much relief all round.

I have been invited to the gig this evening.

Teaching:
I have a new mobile phone. It is another Nexus One.

My last one had an unfortunate coming together with gravity and concrete, which resulted in it not working.

Vodafone sent it away to be repaired, but they didn’t fix it, they just sent me a new one.

Because of the way the Nexus works, all of the data I had on my old phone, my global contact list/address book, my emails, the photographs I’d taken in Texas, applications I’d installed…

They were all still there!

Yay!

Unfortunately the user dictionary had to be taught all of my key (and every-day) words and phrases.

I do a lot of my Tweeting from my phone, so I had to teach it phrases and shortcuts such as:

  • David Cameron
  • total wanker
  • fucktard
  • useless waste of space
  • incompetent buffoon
  • utter cunt

Learning:
I did my Prince 2 Practitioner re-certification last week.

It is a requirement that holders of the Prince 2 qualification have to take a day-long series of tests, every few years, to determine whether or not they are fit to do the job that they do on a daily basis.

I scored 100% in every paper, which is nice. It means I can carry on doing what I have been doing for the last ten years.

Texas-bound

which actually sounds, when I read that title back, just a little – you know – BDSM-ish…

So I am en-route to Texas.

This means I’m sitting at Heathrow waiting for my United flight to be called. Or it means I’m actually sitting in an aluminium tube at 33,000ft. Or it means I’m desperately trying to kill the horribly-long layover at Houston. Or it means I’m actually in Austin, but haven’t got around to updating this blog yet.

I’ve thought long and hard about how I’m going to play the social media thing while I’m at South by South West (or #sxsw if you prefer the Twitter tag for it).

Muso-related output will, I have decided, go straight on to the This Reality Podcast website. This output may be text, video, audio or a combination of all of these things. There will also be muso- and SXSW-related tweetage on the podcast Twitter account.

This blog will carry random Texas-related text, video, audio or a combination of all of these things. And possibly non-Texas-related thoughts too. There will also be random tweetage on my personal Twitter account.

And that’s it.

The bad news is that I may have to cut short the visit, as I have been offered a contract, but it is a contract term that I start work on Monday 19th March.

This means that I’m probably not going to be able to make the Softball game that I was going to get slaughtered play in.

Oh well.

 

Crashed out (16/29)

If you added together the hours I have worked for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, you’d get 49.

Forty-nine hours worked in three days (not counting travel time which, if you’re interested, at six hundred miles driven, comes to 12 hours. And if you add the travel time to the hours worked and divide that by three, you will get 20 hours a day which is terrifyingly accurate).

No wonder I’m knackered.

It’s just a shame I’m not paid by the hour, eh?

Last night (Wednesday) I got home just after 6pm.

By 6.30pm I was in bed.

Fast asleep.

Without stopping to eat/drink anything.

And that’s the reason you’re not reading anything more interesting than this summary.

Soz.

I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

What a difference half a term makes (15/29)

It is the weirdness that we call Half-Term.

What that means is that my commuting time is slimmed down to a mere fraction of what I laughingly call ‘normal’.

Like, in what twisted world could it even be considered remotely ‘normal’ to take an hour to travel twelve miles?

In a car?

Apart from on the A40 in to Oxford, obv.

The downside of the Half-Term phenomena is that a bunch of people take the week off and I find it almost impossible to reach any decision-makers.

That’s a win-win, then!

 

Back to school

My alarm is set for 5am because, you know, I enjoy lounging around in bed so much that I choose to set an early alarm just so I can go back to sleep.

Not.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work since 23rd December.

Today has been a mentally busy day; I don’t have a list of New Year Resolutions, but I do have a ‘to do’ list of tasks/jobs/projects that I want to complete in the next 12 months.

I had a good stab at kicking off the list today.

Which is why, at 1am, I’m banging away at my laptop, as my brain spins down and my body prepares to sleep.

Until my alarm goes off.

In four hours.

Oh well!

How was your Christmas/New Year break? Ebay’d all your presents yet?

ps: How does the new design look?