Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Listening to the first CD of Tracks, the Bruce Springsteen compilation I don't play often enough, and wonder why I don't. He's telling me how hard it is to be a saint in the city and, despite the youthful posing (this is his audition for Columbia), I believe him. By the time he gets to Growin' Up it's obvious he's more than something special. Once the original incarnation of the E Street Band kick in, we're in the range of the chosen few. And I think he knows it. The exuberance of the early stuff stems at least in some part from the fact he knows he's something remarkable and this is a very special group of players. The seeds of an amazing career are apparent throughout - once the posing stops, or comes under artistic control he'll deal with truths beyond most songwriters - but this stuff is just wonderful for what it already is.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Exercising an Option

Did some reasonably serious jogging for the first time in years after work today. Altogether I completed 8 laps of the track, accompanied by Brian Ng for the last four. In fact it was Brian's good offices that really got me down there, otherwise I think I'd have been likely to have spent the staff wellness time (for that's what it is on Monday) just brisk walking around the school building. Finding the track was a bonus as it's easy to get a drink of water down there and I'd completely forgotten about the need to stay hydrated. I arrived there a bit before Brian, who was teaching later in the afternoon than me, and completed the first 4 laps by taking a break between each. I'm still frightened of doing my back some damage so these breaks were a way of checking that everything was reasonably in order. The big test will be when I get up tomorrow. If things fall off, or apart, I'll know I overdid it. The problem is that my brain still labours under the delusion I am in my twenties. But that's good because it was only four or so years ago that it had decided I would never move quickly again.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Still beginning

11.11: Continuing to begin, I seem to be having problems getting this stuff formatted. Normally I'm a stickler for paragraphing but here I'm just having to go with the flow. Still there's some value in just getting the words down and learning as I go along. Just opening the gates, really.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


13.15: When I was a kid beginning something was the worse time and the best time. The blank pages of a notebook were full of possibilities. The filling of them such a chore, and sometimes a disappointment. And always there was the lure of abandonment. But occasionally something valuable got said. And there's nothing quite as stimulating as the smell of the new. One of the joys of the last few days: dipping into Ted Hughes's Collected Poems for Children. There's at least one wonderful line on every page. Usually more.