a quick update

Just so you know, I haven’t began ignoring my blog. It’s been a hectic few days. Last night I went to a burlesque show with charlotte, and I’m about to go home for the weekend. Last night ruled – photos will be on facebook soon.

a double caricature?

I must admit to feeling a little sorry for Stephen Hawking. Not because he’s a cripple, or anything like that, but because he’s not one but two figureheads. He’s like a double caricature; the personification of two communities. Think cripple and most people think of hawking; think scientist and most people again think of hawking.

Many VOCA users, myself included, kind of idolise him; for the general public he’s the archetype of a physicist. Its almost as if the poor man can’t just be himself. I’m glad he’s there though, standing up for us voca users.

My brother Luke sent me this article by Hawking today. It’s about his relationship with ALS – quite illuminating really. It seems to have fallen to him, or perhaps he has taken it upon himself, to become the spokesman for disabled people. he seems to explain everything concerning his disability as if to a child. As far as spokespeople for the disabled community go, I can think of far worse, but in a way I still kind of pity the guy. After all he didn’t ask for that position.

bond in mexico

Check this out. It’s an unusual article on bond, written from a Mexican perspective with respect to Mexican culture and literature. I find it a somewhat fascinating example of how one can engage with film, and use them for self-reflection. Mind you, that’s more than what can be said of most of the current journalism on bond.


Yesterday was a buzy day. Well, that’s only half right – yesterday morning was spent catching up on t.v on iplayer. There was a time when I liked nothing better to park myself in front of the telly and watch whatever was on. These days I’m more selective, and the great thing about iplayer is I can just watch the programmes I like. These happen to be both on America – one by schalma, the other by fry.

Yesterday afternoon was, of course, rehearsal. Rage is coming on nicely, I think. It’s fascinating to watch Ricardio in action: he is, to be honest, quite a strange guy, but it’s a strangeness that comes with intelligence. Many people just don’t get him, and think he’s an ass, but I’ve liked him since the moment I first told him to stop talking paranoid crap. Thus he has an odd ability to get superb performances out of people.

His master’s thesis was on rehearsal techniques. These days I’d maintain that in many respects the long slow process of rehearsing is far more interesting than the final play – what the audience see is only a minute part of what goes into a play. It reminds me of Christopher Tolkien’s ”History of Middle-Earth” which enable the reader to see how JRR Tolkien arrived at Lord of the Rings by a long process of drafting and re-drafting. I love seing how things evolve; how they are distilled down to the end-products. You get that in film, too, with making-of documentaries.

Anyway, talking of thesises, mine won’t distil itself.

what a lovely day

My girlfriend Lyn came today. I find the fact that she comes all the way up from London just to see me amazing, but I also feel ashamed that I haven’t tried harder too go to see her. I mean, she and her p.a come up, at no small cost, on the train, just to stay for two or three hours, then go back. I need a way to return the favour.

Lyn frankly amazes me. She is one of the most unique individuals I have ever known, and I feel I am fortunate to have her as a partner. I feel it would be great to introduce her to my old university friends, and indeed to the guys at Onevoice, as she uses a lightwriter and would be a great, if unusual, role model.

Anyway, I’m going to bed happy and for filled. I hope Lyn and karolina get home safely. The thing is, though, I can’t help thinking I’m not doing my fair share in this relationship.

please say I was never that young and aimless

Perhaps yesterday was not the best of ideas. I know my parents would certainly say it wasn’t, but it was certainly worth it.

On Wednesday I went to see a show called ”That’ll be the day” with Esther and her family. It’s quite a cool little show – sort of a compilation of tributes to singers from the fifties, sixties and seventies mixed with sketches and bawdy jokes. Utterly proletarian; very cool. Esther invited me to go to see it, and, on many levels I’m glad she did. Esther is one of my best friends, but I do feel I kind of neglect her!

After the show, I stayed the night at her place – I’m now quite adept at the art of sleeping on sofas, even short ones. The next day, though, Esther had to work at south Cheshire collage, and, as I suspected that organising a lift home would be logistically impossible, I stayed the day at the college before Esther took me home just before teatime. I had bought a book to read – mulvey’s ”Fettishism and curiosity” [pause while my brothers snikker] – but the college proved to noisy to read. In the end, I spent the day trying to find people I knew, and watching the students (please say I was never that young and aimless). In all, I guess it was a good day; I just didn’t get much work done.

return of gospel choir

Gospel choir is back. It seemed to die last year – it disappeared into obscurity under Dom, and I didn’t hear anything about it. But this morning, I noticed a flyer for auditions stuck to the door into the Wes, so I thought I’d go along, just for old times sake.

The new guy, ryan, is quite good. He seemed able to get a tune out of the random mix of first and second years, from all over campus, pretty quickly. But he seemed to go about it like a job; it was as if he was only doing it for the extra credit. This may be my bias, but Charlie, when she was in command of the choir, seemed quite passionate about choir, caring for it deeply, organising extra concerts etc. the new guy seems currently to lack that enthusiasm. I think this is a shame, but then those mystical days of two years ago are long gone: this, in a way, isn’t my university any more. I miss those days as I miss the people within them.

Worst part is, the guy seems not to have heard of Bedouin Soundclash. Seems I have work to do.

shame to loose a good coat

Shortly after posting this morning’s entry, the lady came to give me breakfast. When the time came to put my coat on to go to the wes, we realised it wasn’t there. Nor, it turned out later, did rob have it. I must have left it in the pub.

I decided to go myself. Rob offered to drive me there and back, which would have been quicker, but I wanted the challenge myself. So I caught the 20, this time the other way, to stoke.

Despite being only about a hundred metres away from the bus station, I got lost finding the pub, and had to ask a bobbie outside the potteries shopping centre for directions. When I found the pub, there was a nasty little step which I didn’t notice last night, but which defiant couldn’t get up, so I knocked. The barman came; he recognised me, and I asked for my coat back. Luckily it was still there, as were a few bits of paper my friends had forgotten. He helped me on with it, and I set off home…but not before a spot of window shopping,

save the coachmakers arms

As part of our work on Roadwork, a steven King novella about the negative effects of urban regeneration, last night I went with Rob, Jo and Mark to meet Ricardio at tthe coachmakers arms, Hanley. Initially, we were going to meet a potential musical director there, but he didn’t show up. The coachmakers is doomed for closure. They’re going to build a whopping great car park in its place, but the pub is fascinating. It was unlike any other pub I’d ever been to, composed not of a big central bar area but four smaller, more intimate rooms. They have an enormous range of beers, changed as and when they run out. And by beer I mean good real ale.

I usually like new things, but surely to knock down such an historic place – 150 years old – is a herasy. We attended a meeting of their customers, who are trying to save it, and I got a real sense of community, and of that communities anger. We’re going to try to help them by adapting Roadwork so it’s more specifically about this pub; I hope it works; I now see why Ricardio is so interested in such issues.