The first weekend of 2008

It’s been a good weekend.  I had a quiet night Friday, cooking for a couple of friends, then set out early the next day for London.  I started by visiting the Jeff Bark exhibition, Woodpecker.  The images were incredible, the lighting making the scenes dreamlike.  Sadly  I didn’t have the £10,000 I’d need to buy a print so didn’t linger lest the gallery figure that out.

I walked from Chelsea to Tate Modern along the Thames.  On the way I passed by Tate Britain and popped in to see whether the Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke was currently on display.  It was: the painting is much smaller than I expected, but incredibly striking.  In particular the faces on the fairies are strange and wonderful.


When I reached the Tate I wasn’t much in the mood for looking at pictures, and spent the time catching up with a friend I’d arranged to meet instead.  I then headed back to Brighton, spent a couple of hours writing, then turned North again for a ‘Fake New Year’ party.  I caught up with some old friends, met lots of new people and had a thoroughly good time.  Photos will probably turn up on flickr somewhere.

Sunday has been quiet.  This morning I went to the playground with my godson and discovered I’m a little too wide to comfortably go down the slide.  In town I went shopping, where I found a copy of Murakami‘s Norwegian Wood for a pound.  I didn’t like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles (the aimlessness of the main character annoyed me) but I’ve heard some interesting things about this one.  I also found a copy of BS Johnson‘s novel (although 20,000 words stretches the definition a touch) Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry.  The introduction to the book was incredible and deserves a post of its own.

I’m now settling in for a long slow Sunday evening.  I have nothing else left to do but writing and prepaing for the week ahead.

Happy New Year, War is Over

It looks like the war on terror is over, in Britain at least: "The words "war on terror" will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country’s chief prosecutor said Dec. 27 …  The Director of Public Prosecutions said: ‘We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language.""

New Year

I decided to start the new year with a swim, so joined Mr. Spratt at the beach yesterday afternoon.  The water was cold, but not as cold as I’d expected.  We didn’t stay in long before retiring to the pub, and I was only at the pub for a while before retiring home to bed – the 5am finish the night before had sapped my strength.

Everything is now back to normal after the Winterval celebrations, which means focussing on my goals for 2008.  I’m hoping for a very good year.

The dissertation

On Friday I dreamt I had another dissertation to do, ten thousand words before Easter.  Walking through town yesterday, on the way to Olive’s birthday party, I was thinking about the one I wrote for my MA.

Only four people have read the whole thing through.  I delivered a paper based on the critical section, and Katharine read the creative section.  People had told me about this before, but it still feels strange: the longest complete piece of writing I’ve done has only been read as a complete work by four people.


I spent the Christmas in Derbyshire with family.  I travelled up on Christmas Eve morning with a friend of Rosy’s, then settled in for the holiday.  It’s been good: fantastic food, seeing my neice, watching In the Night Garden with her, and enjoying being out of signal much of the time. I received some fantastic presents including chilli drinking chocolate, the noisiest cup in the world, spy equipment and The Rock’s autobiography.  Wrestling biography is a genre I’ve not encountered before, but it’s very well written.  Boxing Day I entered a small-scale run in the Diseworth village (up here they take their running pretty seriously).  I had a good session, and seemed faster than normal, despite training less lately.  Heading down the M40 back to Brighton now.  Lots to do once I get back.

What is a man?

Different groups have different standards for masculinity, as shown by the following, found in an article on the Moscow Boat Fair:
"Inside models drape themselves over more boats, Bentleys and helicopters.  "What kind of man buys a yacht without a helicopter on the deck," asks Sascha, a media magnate.  "Such a person is not even a man."

Beth’s AV Club

My friend Beth has organised a video screening – as seen on upcoming:

"In November 2007, dozens of international videobloggers and artists 
made a film every day for 30 days.  The result: over 1000 beautiful, 
intimate, funny, experimental, observational, moving, interconnected 
short films.  NODE 101 (UK) invites you to a showing of highlights 
from the first (Inter)national Videoblog Posting Month (NaVloPoMo).   
Join us at 2:30 on January 12th at the WERKS in Hove for an afternoon 
of art, intimacy and international connections.  The screening will be 
followed by a short party with the chance to meet and learn more from 
pioneering British and American videobloggers and NAVLOPOMOers.


I meant to post a few days ago, but somehow time slipped by me.  Went to Short Fuse on Wednesday.  It was an unthemed night but the stories seemed to have a similar mood.  The last pieece of the evening was by a writer called Mark Savage.  It was called I will if I have to, an odd piece about words and numerology, based around counting the letters in sentences and one of the best stories I’ve heard read in a long time.  On the way out of the Komedia, I was lucky enough to run into some of the Future Platforms crew, who were on their office party.

Friday night I went with Lou to watch CSS at the dome.  The gig was amazing – the support bands, Metronomy and Joe Lean and the Jing, Jang, Jong were really good.  CSS put a lot of work into the show – fake snow, balloons, coming onstage dressed as presents.  Sadly the gig ended early when someone hit Lovefoxxx in the face with a shoe and the band walked at the end of the song.  Something of a down ending to the night.

The rest of the weekend is being lived at a slow pre-Christmas pace.  Saw Santa Claus yesterday afternoon.  Last night I went to a party and chatted with some artist friends-of-friends visiting from the North.  The house was on the top of Whitehawk Hill: great views, long walk home.  Not much planned for today.