Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday 24 January 2011


Monday 24 January 2011

I wake up ahead of my alarm this morning.  This exit of my neighbour appears to have lifted some kind of weight from my being.  That said I still feel exhausted.

When the alarm eventually buzzes I flip on the television to Daybreak to catch the news.  There is no news.  If there is any news the content has been watered and dumbed down to inconsequence that has rendered it easy to ignore.  What there is however is a hot media lawyer addressing the Andy Coulson phone tapping story.  That’s what you want from morning TV news, something to address your morning glory.  Unfortunately I am only half joking.

Beyond this I am soon up and running, getting ready before exiting the building where the debris of the Trash Humpers remains.  Before leaving Caroline Geary truly left her mark on the building.  This will be her legacy.

The drive to the station is OK however as I near the station a red light briefly appears on my dashboard suggesting that it maybe about to cut out.  In the end it doesn’t but it definitely feels like a warning.

My winning streak doesn’t last long as upon stepping onto the platform it soon becomes apparent that the trains are fucked this morning.  Before long Information Jimmy tells us to go to platform 2 (a platform usually employed for trains moving away from London) where we wait in hope with doubt.  At 7.07AM our 6.57AM train finally turns up in the form of a mixture of mongrel carriages and correct ones.  Finally at 7.11AM it pulls off, only fourteen minutes late.

On the train this morning is a Karl Pilkington lookalike.  This fails to amuse me even though he is the spit of Karl.

At 7.25AM the train dies just outside of Witham.  Eventually Information Jimmy announces that this is due to overrunning engineering works.  This is not surprising.

When we finally get to the Chelmsford the time is 7.45AM and as 8AM arrives we are only just crawling out of Shenfield when really we should be pulling into London.

Finally the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.25AM which is almost half an hour late, half an hour of my life I will never see again.

Things fail to improve when I cross to the tube platform only to witness more bedlam.  We are going nowhere.

After a few minutes wait the wanker train arrives as I don’t even bother to attempt nearing the platform let alone consider boarding.  Swiftly another wanker train arrives at which point things clear slightly but not really enough.  By this stage there is absolutely no sign of a Metropolitan Line train coming up.

Eventually I board a tube and as 9AM passes I am only just about at Baker Street where on top of everything else, the Jubilee Line is also screwed.  Is this bad luck Monday for public transport or something?

In the end I arrive into the restaurant about fifteen minutes late with the only people present on our floor being the Filipino and the operations manager.  So much for stressing and worrying about being late.  Even The Girl beats our boss into work this morning, a real rarity.  Why bother.

From here the day rolls out fairly smoothly.  Happily there is no peep out of the auditors as I proceed to nail the December accounts for the new(ish) company starting by finishing off the bank reconciliation and finally knocking some figures into shape.

When lunchtime rolls around I ditch my usual Monday pasta in preference to fish.  I need to sort myself out; I really cannot afford to go up another size.  Luckily the chargrilled salmon now comes with Siciliano sauce instead of Hollandaise sauce which is healthier and proves a minor revelation.

In the afternoon I continue to make ground on the new(ish) company as I am left alone to get on with things.  With this I prosper.

With a sense of relief 5.30PM arrives.  Tonight I am heading to the Bloomsbury Theatre to see KRISTIN HERSH perform songs from her latest album Crooked and readings from her new book Paradoxical Undressing.

As ever I arrive at Euston with time to kill so I head over to PC World on Tottenham Court Road in the hope of getting an internal disc enclosure.  This it turns out is a tough thing to find inside the store but when I do it is only £25.  However I am unsure as to whether it is for a desktop or laptop disc.  Confused I sought assistance in a PC World employee but when I find one unfortunately he appears barely able to speak English.  So he’ll have been employed here mainly for lifting then.  From here he finds someone else that might be able to help me as a dumpy black girl with a drooping face is insistent that this is not the enclosure I require and that I will need to order mine online.  She is the anti-salesperson, a trait I would ordinarily celebrate and encourage.

In the end I leave the shop empty handed instead heading to the nearest Starbucks on Tottenham Court Road where I get my gold in the form of a comfort venti caramel macchiato.  I can’t help but love the manner in which I do not need to bother to cross the road for the first Starbucks because I am positive that there will be another on my side of the street within a few minutes walking distance.  This is modern world and this is why everyone’s slowly turning into the same person.  With coffee in hand from here I stagger towards the Bloomsbury Theatre as I soon finish my huge coffee like it is nothing.

As I step into Bloomsbury Theatre beyond collecting my ticket I do my now customary thing of checking out the great Chinese products in the cafeteria.  Their taking over the world will be tasty to us all.

From here I take my seat in the theatre where a lonely stall sits on the middle of the stage.  It is quite noticeable as to how many people are on their own here tonight.  I guess HERSH really is a solo experience.

Eventually her manager or publisher steps out onstage to make introductions before KRISTIN HERSH walks out with her guitar and a weirdly tough vulnerability.  From here she commands the room mixing as expected readings from her new book with tracks from her new record Crooked.

On such a large stage she looks tiny, fragile from not getting any younger but remaining ferocious for a living.  Prior to each song she gives background to the passages as she reads describing a horrific origin and tough beginning.  She speaks in a matter of fact manner, taking things on board, often on the chin.  Its about moving on.  The readings are on the whole very explicit and telling seeing HERSH bearing her experiences on her sleeve even if its not her heart.

Coupled with this her playing is faultless.  She does not miss a beat as her voice carries and fills the room.  When she performs it is a frightening sight as she stares into the distance without blinking exhibiting a painful intensity.  This is her trademark and very much a look that could kill.  Coupled with this every now and then she does a neck wicked twitch which resembles something of a reload.  This is not to be crossed.

Throughout the set she seldom smiles and when she does, it appears and feels sarcastic.  The dryness of proceedings seeps through as she expresses a distinct lack of emotion and gratitude.  Perhaps I am reading the situation wrong but she definitely does not come across as an approachable person (which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the book signing after the gig).

As the set nears its conclusion she plays “Mississippi Kite” (the highlight of Crooked) before closing with “Your Ghost” which prompts me to well up and shiver in goosebumps.  The experience genuinely stirs me as it is chillingly delivered and displays a cold, pained emotion that holds perverse beauty.  It screams of the unwanted necessity for a life lived solo.

With appropriate applause and call for encore she returns where older songs, including Throwing Muses material, are aired.  It’s a strong finish.

Then the night comes to a conclusion as we filter out through the entrance where HERSH is holding the signing session for those who have not been frightened away.  As I pass I look over to capture a glimpse where she is just about smiling, in almost psychotic manner

From here I quickly step towards Euston Square as a tube quickly whisks me to Liverpool Street and onto my train back to Colchester.  On the train home, a lad in Kangol appears to be having the angriest phonecall in history.  His knickers are definitely in a twist.  And with that I am relieved to get off the train tonight.

I just about get home before midnight.

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