A good day. Warm and sunny in London
, but not sweltering like Monday. Once I'd finished doing the usual waking-up type things, I had a look through the msgs I'd received overnight; I'm trying to get the ball rolling on a science-noding user group on E2 (e2science
), so various new messages had come in expressing interest and discussing details (a writeup or two should be forthcoming to introduce the ideas behind the group when the idea is more fully formed).
After that I spent a while knocking an extract from my MSc dissertation into shape so that I could node it as a boring factual.
Node uploaded, I paid a visit to the craft centre to pick up some new clay models: a guy with wings, or possibly a cape (it's his top half only, so it's hard to tell), and no visible mouth, who I'm fairly sure is some kind of superhero although what he might be fighting for I have no idea; a head with an out-size proboscis, whose expression suggests suppressed mirth; and another alien in the Little Green Men in Black and White series, based on interlocking aliens I invented and spent a lot of time doodling in my teens. I also made a fox, a bust of an anteater in a bowler hat, and a couple of simple but hard to describe bulbous owl/bull/fox-duck things, based on one of my previous creations which got broken.
After this I spent a couple of hours listening to my brother and his mate Davis discussing their Glastonbury plans in great detail; they are going as copper-skinned alien stiltwalkers, and they are still working on their costumes. I don't have a Glastonbury plan yet. This is no good. It sounds like their security this year may be sufficient to actually keep out people with tickets. I don't know what I'm going to do.
At around midnight we all set off for Hampstead Heath; a friend of ours is about to go cycling around the world with her dog, and last night she had a ceremonial fire to burn her old life, or anyway sixteen years' worth of unnecessary possessions. She wasn't the only one there who had bits of their lives they wanted to burn; the blaze went on well into the night.
Walking back past Pirates' Hill with my brother later, we passed a group of about half a dozen people. It was too dark for me to tell if I knew them at a glance, but apparently not dark enough for them not to recognise me - once we had got a little way past them they called out my name so I turned on my heel. It was a girl I met on camp a couple of years ago, with a group of her friends. I stopped to chat; we caught up with news on a mutual friend, and she asked me what I was doing with my life, so I told her: I'm unemployed, programming graphics, making stuff out of clay, taking pictures, writing bits and pieces. 'What have you been writing?' she asked. 'Songs? ...about tea?'
Now, even if you're me, there cannot be much chance of someone ever asking you if you've been writing songs about tea, on a day when you have in fact been doing exactly that...
'Yeah,' I replied, '...oddly enough, just today I wrote a second verse to the Lapsang Souchong song.' I told them I thought it really needed a guitar, but they weren't having it, so I gave them an a cappella version. I stumbled a little on the new second verse, which I hadn't really had time to learn, but they seemed suitably entertained...