The other thing that has stopped me writing the last week or two is that I’ve been playing some gigs with a local band, Thelonious Punk, who sort of do exactly what it says on the tin.
I play a number of musical instruments, fairly badly, but with lots of enthusiasm, and the last time I jammed with these guys, I was playing soprano saxophone. But that’s on loan to Emo-san and he’s living somewhere down in Clerkenwell, and I forget where; anyway they asked me to play guitar this time.
Ralph, the alto player, suggested I play tenor sax in future, but in the absence of a keyboard player or until we find another guitarist, it’s me doing the chords. Although I’m left-handed, I play orthodox, and it’s all back to front.
It kills me, playing guitar orthodox, it gives me migraines, but it’s the way I learned.
So anyway, over the last fortnight I did two or three fairly chaotic performances with T-Punk, playing an oddball selection of jazz standards, heavy metal covers, and movie themes, and I have one more set to do on Wednesday.
Then it’s back to writing.
My laptop is three years old; ancient. I got Gav the IT guy to build it for me with the money I got from a Guardian article (£1200 plus £900 every time it got optioned – which was, erm, once) and it’s served me faithfully.
But the battery has failed completely, the track pad is wearing away, and there are bits of peanuts jammed beneath the keys, from where I’d try and write while drinking, and snacking.
Plus the ‘O’ key has disappeared, leaving me with a residual soft rubber nib that I have to push in quite a deliberate way to make it work. Totally throws me off my rhythm, hence my lack of blog entries in the last fornight.
So I have to buy a new computer. Been putting off for months, I know what I want, and how much it is going to cost – all I have to do is visit the Mac shop and open my wallet.
Back in October I hung a few bags of nuts and things in my back garden, for the birds that winter around and about. But they were still there, virtually untouched, when the clocks sprung forward last week.
I guessed that the birds were wary of landing in my garden when Starlight was on the prowl. Still, I thought, it was strange that the birdseed was uneaten.
Then today I saw a bluetit hanging from one of the seed-bags, eating its fill. And another joined it. A pair, a couple even; nesting. I watched them from my kitchen window as they ate their fill; a lovely sight. A joy to watch.
Then I went back to the front living room and back to my writing, which has been going fine the last couple of weeks.