Reflections

Westminster Bridge, down by the Thames at midnight, surrounded by my friends, listening to Big Ben chime. Staring out across the water, at the reflections of the the lights on the Embankment, not saying very much, just thinking…

I love my life.

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Anti

Good fucking grief, what is this? “Assume Alasdair’s a miserable sod night”? Walking home this evening from seeing Amelie (about which more another time) Andrew observes that I seem kind of tightly wound, which confuses me slightly, and then I get home to find a flood of e-mails saying that sitting about my room moping isn’t good for me. I’m touched by the concern, kids (and slightly less touched by the “It’s no wonder you can’t get laid if that’s how you spend your time” mail) I can only assume it’s the bit about “songs of loss and regret” that’s got everyone calling me a miserable sod.

So point the first – I defy anyone to listen to a song with lyrics like:

“I made a golden promise

That we would never part

I gave my love a locket

And then I broke her heart

And it’s such a sad old feeling

The fields were soft and green

And it’s memories that I’m stealing

But you’re innocent when you dream”

and tell me that’s not a song about loss and regret. Were I in another sort of mood, yes, it could set me to sitting about my room, moping.

But fuck that. Sideways. With knives.

Point the second – I spent last night attempting to write a love story. Or at least, the pitch for one. Every time I try and write it, it twists and turns on me, and I put it aside for a while. So every so often, I come back and spend and evening locked in mortal combat with it.

When I am trying to write this story, I have a very mixed playlist. I mean, if I’d written that blog entry earlier, I would have had Voice of the Beehive, or maybe the Pixies playing. As it is, I wrote it after I’d downed tools for the night, and was unwinding, and just letting the playlist wind through.

The candlelight, whiskey, and listeing to the rain: I *like* all those things. They help me relax. What, you’ve never just sat and listened to the rain? Are you even human?

So once again: I am not a miserable bastard, you fuckers. I suspect that what had Andrew asking was that I seemed kind of distracted after Amelie, partly because I really enjoyed the film and was being all soppy where no-one could see (or something – you must have some idea what I mean), and mostly because I was trying to nail down an idea in my head that I’ve been incubating for the last few weeks. I still haven’t managed it, but y’know, I’m sure it’ll come to me.

I mean, I’d be lying if I said my life has no down points at the moment – I’m a little worried about finding a new flatmate, because my oldest friend and former flatmate has just left the coutry. But y’know, if the worst thing in my life is that one of my best friends is going away to get married and live a happy life, then yes, I do know just how lucky I am.

So don’t you fucking dare tell me I’m miserable. Or I’ll smile at you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to light some candles, drink whiskey, and listen to songs about murder.

Which probably makes me a sociopath, according to you people.

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Introversion

It’s Saturday night. I am not out partying. I am instead lying on my bed, in a room lit only by a couple of candles, sipping whiskey and listening to the rain fall outside my window while Tom Waits sings songs of regret and loss on the stereo.

Because sometimes, staying in on your own is much, much better than partying.

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Switchback

So the weekend just gone:

Friday: Huw’s leaving do. Clubbing at the Underworld. Suprise encounter with WEF clubbing people. Good laugh.

Saturday: Went out to meet up with WEFclubbing people for trip to Uptight. Complete non-attendance of WEF-clubbing people, and Andrew and Andrea have my heartfelt gratitude for saving me from an evening of kicking about in town doing nothing, as we went for food and drinks at Garlic’n’Shots followed by cherry beer in the dutch pub that I can’t spell the name of. They sodded off at about ten, leaving me with an hour to kill before Uptight, so I went for coffee.

Went on to Uptight, met Dan and Sarah who I hadn’t seen in ages, so that was ace, but frankly, the club was shit. The music was less interesting than last time I went, and the crowd were older. Dull, dull, dull. Won’t be back. We left very early, and I spent a few hours wandering about town on my own being depressed. Which I really ought to have learned not to do by now. Got harassed by random drunk people who had evidentially decided that they didn’t like my face, which did nothing to help my mood.

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Splat

Going to be one of those days. I have a not-quite-hangover, just enough that I’m feeling a bit headachy and dry, not enough to actually qualify as a proper hangover and I could really do with a few more hours sleep. Nothing’s working as it should, and all in all, I just want everything to fuck off and leave me alone.

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I still have flashbacks to the egg thing

Long and tiring day yesterday – London’s open House weekend is on, so I spent to tramping over town with my friends seeing things like the Mason’s Hall, The Guildhall, and a couple of churches. Should be off to do Christchrch Spitalfields today. After the tramping, because the club I’d be planning on going to was cancelled, I went to see a marvelous and strange cabaret. Some acts better than others, but a very entertaining night.

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Theme

Oh, fuck. Fuckety fuckety fuck. My eyemodule has packed up. I am this close to tears, right now. I know it’s sad and geeky of me, but my visor and all the associated kit I have for it is pretty much my most prized possession. To find that part of it is no longer useable is just rotten. This is made worse by the fact that I need the damn thing in order to do everything I want with Electricana.

What do I do now?

Fuck.

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London Surprises

I love living in London. This will come as a shock to no-one that knows me, but it’s nights like tonight that make me remember how much I love it.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the cafe at the Royal Festival Hall, where I’ve come to the second in my set of “three artists I must see live before I die” – Diamanda Galas. I’ve already seen Nick Cave, and have yet to see Tom Waits. From here, I’m drinking a coffee while watching the sun set over London – a Waterloo Sunset. Not a perfect view, and the sky’s pretty murky, but it’ll do. I have a need to see one of these every so often, and this’ll tide me over for a while.

Because I knew I had time to kill, (and also knew that if I went to the pub with my friends, I wouldn’t want to leave), I got off the tube a couple of stops early, and walked the rest of the way, down along the river from Embankment to Westminster, over the bridge and back down on the other side, stopping frequently to admire the view. It’s sad that so few Londoners take the time to appreciate their city, which really is the finest city on earth.

A final note, before I get on with something more important – the elderly crew opposite me have just surprised me by complimenting me on my “Jesus hates you and so do I” T-shirt. I’m used the shirt getting compliments from my generation, but from the older one is a little unusual.

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Flashback

I wrote this on Saturday afternoon, intending to post it via my phone, but the batteries died, and I never got around to it.

God, I needed this, after the stress and the strain of the last week. If I could, I’d bring all my friends here. I’m sitting here, at a picnic table, looking out over the sea toward Rathlin, wind blowing cold and hard, but the sun shining, glinting off the foam as the waves crash over the rocks. Dramatic might begin to come close, I suppose.

I’m sipping a pretty rotten coffee, now, but I was round the Bushmills distillery earlier, trying some very fine malts, including the one only available at the distillery, the 12-year-old, which is very fine and smooth. Good for the soul.

It’s a little slice of Iceland, this, part of the same basalt plain that’s out there across the sea, the same expanse of hard black rock. It’s a bit better covered wih soil, and much greener, but the same basalt. More mythically, it’s part of the Scotish folk-kingdom of Dalrida, and the geography here is certainly something you could mistake for Scotland – the winding road through the Antrim glens is beautiful, and I’ve not seen a coastline to come close anywhere on the planet.

It’s nothing short of wonderful, after the horrors of the last week, to come somewhere like this, where it’s just impossible to be down at all. I said earlier in the week that it was hard to see the wonder and the light. Not here it isn’t. Like I said: if I could bring you all here, I would. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m done with my coffee, and I think I’m going to take a walk along the shore…

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Yeah, OK

An evening round at Ryan’s, because the poor bastard is unwell again. Pissing about divining the future for his “Book of Answers”, a book with a load of vague (and indeed, not so vague) answers to any question one might put it. Now on the one hand, I am a sane and rational human being who knows that this is a load of old bollocks, but when it *consistently* produced (different) answers to my questions that basically said “you’re going to die alone and unloved – you bollocksed up your one chance, mate”, well, while I don’t believe it, because I’m not stupid enough to think that a collection of pen and ink can tell me anything about what happened yesterday, never mind tomorrow, it’s still the sort of thing that lodges somewhere and has me thinking “what if that were true?” and generally indulging in all the cliched single-person’s-neuroses.

Bugger.

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