Sunday, December 09, 2007


I have found some time and some Internet. Whether I can find something to say remains to be seen, but nevertheless here I am.

I am in my house in Brixton. My housemates and I are sitting in our living room. Candles are flickering, the tiny flames reflecting lazily on the half empty glasses of red wine we are finishing from our dinner, and Ed has just brought out some mince pies from the kitchen. Outside the front door Brixton is slick with rain.

For the last two weeks I have been working over twelve hours a day at my temp job, greedily sucking as much overtime as I can from it to save money for my New York trip. After finishing work at eight in the evening I have been heading to the gym, working out my frustrations and anxieties on machines whilst trying not to get distracted and fall off, or get caught in the steps on the cross trainer, which is a very real worry. I then head for the sauna where I sit in the darkened heat, trying to breathe some calm into my lungs.

A few weekends ago I spent the weekend finishing a song for a songwriting competition . The deadline for it was ten in the morning on the Sunday, so, having left the bulk of the work until the very last minute, I was up all night on the Saturday and rushed in a taxi to the place so I could hand it in. Incidentally I shared a taxi with a lost Portuguese man I met on the street, who asked me for directions. My taxi had pulled up so I just told him to get in and he could come with me to Central London. I dropped my CD off and he took me for breakfast.

That was, as I said, incidental. It does go some way towards demonstrating the sorts of confusing things that always seem to happen to me. In the sauna the other day I got talking to a Bolivian lady who persuaded me to cover myself with a combination of honey, table salt and moisturiser as she told me that the combination is good for toning the skin. I'm not sure how effective it was, but it did lead to some adventures when I was chased by a swarm of bees and a hungry bear on the way home.

The song I wrote for the competition is the first one I have ever written that is entirely vocals. It had ten different vocal tracks on it, and no instrumental. I don't really care so much about the competition (of course I am only saying that because I didn't get anywhere with it), but I am so pleased to have come far enough with my writing that I can make a whole four minute long song with only vocals. It led me to my idea.

Everyone who has heard the song has had different ideas about it. I love that people have had input into it. It was a lonely process doing it all by myself, and I would have loved to have worked on it with other people. My new idea is to post my songs on my website as I am writing them and invite responses and comments. The word on the virtual street is that blogging is becoming outdated (can it be true?) but my idea was to write words and music all on one site, so that people could come and be part of the songwriting process. The glory of it is, of course, that I will have control over the outcome, but that the ideas are not limited to those floating around freely in my head. Especially given that this head is the same one that once considered high-heeled jelly shoes to be a really good idea.

I like this idea. It combines two of my favourite things: song writing and extreme narcissism.

I would, of course, need to work out the minor details like how actually to do it, and force myself to make time to make it a priority in my life. I do feel good about it though.

Now I must sleep. Being at work at seven thirty in the morning is not my idea of good times. Luckily I have found an "I Heart NYC" mug which I use to remind myself of my reasons for the extreme work hours.

Another week in Brixton. Of noise and life and energy. Of tiny glimpses of sunshine and whipping city winds. Here I go again.