Heavy eyelids through lack of sleep, distorted vision, hope in times of resignation, the weariness amplified by unkept promises, the disappointment of another night without joy and the guarded optimism of the coming day when the world is awake and not perverted by the promise of the weekend. Reality breaks through the haze of reverie when the clock strikes 7AM on a Monday morning and the working week begins. The hotel receptionists replace the night porters, the bus drivers are already on route from an earlier call, the plumbers’ day begins in earnest and the first job is always the early one for the night owls – the musicians, the nightwatchmen, the sleeper ward nurse. Find the ones who are up all night and make an appointment nice and early. Arrive and fix four days of trouble in 15 minutes and despite a hefty price for doing it on the first day instead of the fourth, fail to be seduced because the seduction of the weekend was already in full fling.
Something so small, in this case something simple, something trivial, something overlooked, something so minor causing so much trouble. At least there’s no deaths but to think that a plastic handle that is only glued and comes off in your hand can sit there, a ticking time bomb for 28 years since its installation and nobody thinks that when this does actually break it could possibly cause some major damage and flood a whole building. No safety precautions at all, no failsafe, make it cheap, make it insecure and when it fails be gone. I was trying to think of an example on a grander scale but anything cheaper, done cheaper, made cheaper, made to be affordable might question the wisdom of its purchase where quality endures. Something of higher quality might also fail but this looks like it was guaranteed to happen. So, water and toilet and the whole building back to normal, except for the thought that if one of the other offices in the building had an issue then they wouldn’t be able to get into the studio to turn the water off, then what? Especially if the plumber doesn’t come for four days.
Going to bed late, getting up so early, having to explain to the other people in the building why they had to close their office for a day and being simultaneously relieved and stressed at all the hoo-hah. I had a swimming appointment booked today, so I waited for the man with the spanners to come from 7.30AM, he got here at 8.30AM, was gone by 9AM. Three hours to wait till swim time, I was already up, no way I was going back to bed. Would I be able to swim a mile with little sleep and a weekend of upheaval? It was a lovely day, hot in the sun, cool in the shade, a soft breeze, so I decided to amble up to the leisure centre instead of marching in steady strides, I had time. Somehow I managed to get there in the same amount of time as I usually did, despite walking slower. It must be something to do with mornings, time definitely moves at a different speed at different times of day. At the pool, I realised I’d forgotten my goggles, a disaster if you are swimming freestyle but on digging through my bag I found two other pairs, one broken and a functional spare pair that I didn’t even know I had. Sometimes when I dig through my swimming bag I find all kinds of things, secret manuscripts, carburettors, feathers, doorways into lost civilisations. Today the medium lane was initially busy and one woman was really slow but she was too fast for the slow lane, how many grades of speed can you have? It’s like notes in the scale, in the west we think there’s 12, in the east they laugh.
Back at the ranch, I had sessions, I spoke to Kadeem in London and Chris in New Jersey and Boydy and Derek returned my calls from yesterday. The new MOAT track Gone By Noon was released in the early hours through The Big Takeover online magazine and we’ve had some nice feedback. Tomorrow, Wednesday (not Tomorrow, Wendy), the track will be available everywhere – under your bed, behind the fallen statues, in the tunnels, near the beach, in all VW camper vans and free in every cereal packet. In October we will be doing a crowdfunding campaign to try and recover the cost of making the new MOAT album and the costs of manufacturing it, more on that soon, but it’s nice to have new music out. The pandemic has really messed with everyone, everything, schedules and plans have been lost to fate. But we continue to be creative and it looks like we will have a backlog of new material, Space Summit, Salim Nourallah’s album as well as what I’m doing with Jerome Froese. There’s another Noctorum album started and Olivia and I hope to record too, perhaps some songs from our live set so people that don’t know us can buy a CD at gigs if there will ever be gigs again. Also this month on the second Record Store Day, Nightjar will be available on scary red vinyl. That’s it for tonight I have to sleep now, it’s been an exhausting few days and it’s studio tomorrow so I’m going to drift off to the soft and subtle sounds of the great Harold Budd.
Music today and Song Of The Day is Harold Budd – The White Arcades (1988):