A little branding work this week for a client close to home. Not entirely finished, signed-off and delivered just yet, but enough that the customer (and I know him so well) is both happy enough to have it shared as a visual, and to have it broadly declared as an intent of action and ownership. We both of us like how the handsaw’s a little tangled in the vines. Additionally how we’ve eschewed our near-trademark blues – duck-eggs and celadons – for a deep-blooded port and some lilac riot, prettily.
The woodshop itself (really, tiny) is planned and all-but cleared out for the fitting of fixtures. Chisels (one set) arrived in the post today.
For it is our birthday as we write.
In the first window of the charity shop there’s an acoustic guitar. A make I don’t recognise and the price is just a little high. In the next few steps I think about how Dad’s going into care for a short while today: will be about this time that he’s being helped into the car and not knowing what the little suitcase is for. In the second window there’s another guitar; wide-necked, casual classical. It answers the brief I wrote in a note to myself last year (the year before?). In the next few steps I think how my godson’s getting married today. And that I have a guitar down there, where they are in France that answers the brief very well. And how we’ll see them, just married, in sunshine next week. I step onwards to the cash machine. Feels at the moment that the whole world’s just taking the next few steps. Like getting rid of the guitars.
I think about the Larkin poem (closed-book recall, Aubade?) ‘Postmen, like doctors, go from house to house’…
We’ll drink our toasts at the end of the day; end of the week.
I made a painting of Dad.
Before I start anything, I say (referring to a grand project for a very small workshop), the door will need to open the other way. Coming up on ten years this has been a nuisance. It’s funny how we let things ride. But it’s nicer how we know when it’s the time.
I’m happy that I get to use the same old hinges, even most of the taciturn screws. The ghosts of hardware.
The air is trying to breathe
Morning is tangled.
I wanted to capture in some way the knowingness of wisteria. Hints in its name. Wistful hysteria. A social climber climbing when your back is turned. How in bloom it can’t resist the camera’s eye, yet won’t be caught: both amorphous and self-aware. Hanging around old houses; of the age, the East. In May’s green rain looking in at me, knowing that I’m home. Sucking the air, upwards.
Another 5am start. B. to NYC. Fine rain (fine, rain) sets in
I light a candle, tobacco-scented, blow it out
The wisteria in bloom looks like a round of applause
Pick a year and invite the Then Me, ask me anything
Rationalising the contents of the little brick sheds. In the opening scenes, a Tennents Lager ashtray hits me soundly on the head. Slapstick or hospital drama. There are boxes on boxes of old branded glassware: some for brands which barely saw the Light; others for beers now handed over, handed on, and handed on. Jeez, I kept a lot of stuff from the job. Mice have been at mostly everything. I do not mind the nibbling; the confetti they’ve made of my memories – but the invisible piss that’d doubtless soaked into it all, I could pass on. A pile grows in the yard where in time I’ll reverse up the truck. Waiting to be loaded for the long ride to the tip. God, I hung on to some crap. A sweetly boxed kit for growing a bonsai is spared. I’ll give it a go and it will be a miracle if it comes to anything. It’s twenty years old before it’s even begun. Has its ki perished? Data cables and connectors from a past life, far planet, dead star, writhe grotesquely in a bag from a bookshop that doesn’t exist. Keys, ridiculously, from a company car; long and green, long gone. Over-complex technologies on the sudden cusp of usefulness. Binned. The council refuse centre is busy with men – for they are all men – bringing and receiving and pointing at various graves. Which they fill. Full.