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Watching the opening scene of Avenger’s Endgame and Tony Stark is lost in space, looking out into the endless frozen eternity of the universe, and he’s never getting home.

I’d love that. To be floating in the void, staring at the stars, lost forever.

And I’d never want to phone home.

curiosity kills

Sometimes I like to type random numbers or letters onto my web browser and see what I get.

Today I typed in some random numbers and got an advert for BMW 3-Series sunshields, something Russian, then a house for sale on Staten Island. I tried again with letters and got duty-free from Dubai, skincare, and an investment company.

I clicked on one page and accidentally downloaded some random stuff from a random page, which wasn’t smart.


The thing about creativity is, if you write something, or if you paint something, or write a song or something, it didn’t exist before you made it exist.

But Pythagoras’ theorem existed before that old Ionian ever discovered it. Science discovers things, by inches, and sometimes it loses sight of things too, but the fact is, those things were already there.

Before William Gibson wrote Pattern Recognition, the character and the story didn’t exist. Ok, he drew together concepts that were already out there, but the novel didn’t exist until he wrote it. Before Andrew Wyeth painted Christina’s World, the painting didn’t exist. Christina existed, her house and outbuildings existed, but the painting came from a place that didn’t exist before he made it.

There are questions that stem from what I’ve just said, and I’ll maybe return to this.


Got to the church to practice my sax yesterday and in the room I usually use to practice there was a bunch of people giving away food to the poor. So I went into the church itself to practice.

The acoustics are lovely.

My sax is lovely too. She’s a cheap Chinese knock-off, cost a tenth of a top end instrument, but I think her very flimsiness is part of the sound. Lightweight instruments often resonate better than heavy-duty, well-built instruments.

She’s flighty, bright and a little wayward. I’ve called her Sadie.


Planning to go up to the Caledonian Canal and cycle from Fort William to Inverness with my pal Wilson. It’ll be a close-thing though, cos firstly I’m not quite fit enough to comfortably cycle 60+ miles cross country and then do the same again the next day.

But also, the lockdown rules are a bit opaque at the moment. And my asthma flare-up hasn’t quite died down. So I’m not sure we’ll do it before Autumn, and while cycling across Scotland in the autumn is a lovely thing to do, it’s touch-and-go as far as the weather is concerned.

My bike’s in the shop at the moment, getting a new set of forks, so it’ll be a lot lighter when I get it back. I was thinking of going from three front cogs to one as I only ever use the big cog anyway, but I’ll leave it for now.


Today’s thousand was fairly easy, but it took an effort to begin.


I write all this nonsense, and I aim to write well, but then I hear a song like Wichita Lineman and it brings me to tears. There’s something direct about music. It goes in straight and true.


I was watching Doctor Strange when, for some reason I left the room and forgot it was on. Returning, I realised I’d missed about ten minutes of the action and was about to skip back. Then I realised it didn’t matter where I was in the film. It was all pretty much the same thing.


I came across a book by Pattie Boyd, and though the biogs of famous people aren’t really my thing, as is my habit I picked it up and began reading it. What struck me was how shallow were the lives of the characters she described. Very famous people lived the lives of indulged fifteen-year-olds, insulated by vast quantities of money, waited upon and serviced by acolytes desperate for reflected glory.

She found herself living in a gorgeous house with a successful, wealthy husband and, while she wanted to live a normal happily-married life, he was upstairs meditating for hours and hours, or being fawned upon by less-famous beings. She left him for an equally famous man who existed in an equally unpleasant haze of drugs and alcohol.

Their lifestyles reminded me a bit of schoolyard cliques. The popular kids, the less popular kids. The tough kids, the hangers on. The glorious, and the lesser who bathed in reflected glory.

I disliked it when I was a teenager. To read of adults behaving like that, and believing it was real, was laughable.

I think one of the by-products of the overwhelming growth of social media is the death of celebrity. Maybe it began a couple of decades ago with Big Brother, maybe it began with Twitter four years ago, or maybe the side column of the Daily Mail every day, but people just aren’t as impressed by fame as they one were.

I take that as a good thing.

One element of her story that came through was that, though she was a gorgeous girl from an affluent family, and though she was surrounded by famous people, all of them fabulously rich, all she wanted was a normal life. If her first husband had stopped with the drugs, the chanting and the groupies, or her second husband had stopped with the drugs, the brandy and the groupies, she’d have been more than content.

But they couldn’t. The venality on offer was impossible to refuse. It seems to me, reading the book, that the fame they enjoyed became a velvet cage. And saddest of all, it muted their creative output to a point that they never really recovered from.

To be fair, she did inspire two of the greatest love songs ever written. And a really schmaltzy song written by a drunk.


I try and write 1000 words a day. Some days it’s easy and I can write 2000 or more words. Some days it’s a hard 1000.

But it’s still a 1000.