Saturday, March 31, 2007

Beyond Me

I am attending a highly intellectual conference. I have been asked to take minutes and am relieved when handwritten notes appear independently on the page. At the end of the morning session the professor asks each of us to sum up. Everyone offers a short pithy statement. I don't know what to say. I remain silent just waiting for the moment to pass. I privately admit to the professor that I didn't understand a word.

I suspect I am not alone. A woman offers her apologies on leaving, "Goodbye everyone, I just want you all to know how much I love you."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gibberish Hides Real Message

I have just appeared in a play where I forgot my lines and made up a load of crazy nonsense - something about Pender's Gate. I am reminded that I should be more aware of other's entrances and exits. I know that my talking gibberish completely masked the play's message which is to show how reality lies in rural landscape and we play only a tiny part of that. An old etching presents itself depicting two male faces concealed within a traditional landscape of trees and a cliff.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Voicebox Operation

I am trying to clear a man's voicebox by ramming a pencil into what seems to be his isolated head which is the size of a marble. The pencil slips - have I killed him? I look at the counters monitoring his health and am relieved when I see they have switched back to ON.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Poetic Crossing

J is in an episode of Six Feet Under swimming across the river to Corbiere - it has been filmed in a deliberately artificial style with cardboard waves and dry ice. The poetic scene is explained to me in broken french by her mother. Her father has neatly written out her movements in mathematical notation, giving precise map coordinates.
When J reaches the opposite shore she has become a bearded Union soldier from the American Civil War.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Drinking Lilac Water

I am walking with a huge group of people, many familiar to me from my past and present. I realise I have left my bag somewhere so have to go back. Halfway along Holland Park Walk exquisite food has been put out for the walkers. I drink from a jamjar of water flavoured with a sprig of white lilac. The flowers melt in my mouth cold and sweet. A bag just like mine is lying in the corner filled with bits of rubbish.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Big Toe Produces Maggot

My big toe is hurting. I take off my shoe to investigate. Two white berries have grown by the nail - I squeeze them and a thick grub about two inches long oozes out.

(UUUrgh...apologies for this one...)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Concept In Hitchhiking

A novel way to hitch round Britain is for one of you to assume the shape of the country and the other to point to where you want to travel on that person. It is agreed this would be very amusing.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Locked Out

I tell Rosa, the concierge of this block of flats, that I have forgotten my key. "I can't do anything, " she tells me, "I don't know you." She speaks with such a thick Hispanic accent that I can scarcely understand her. I mention some names and gradually win her trust. She allows me to try out a skeleton key on a lock she keeps at the desk. It works. A metal latch detaches itself from the mechanism giving me access to the flat.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Old Variety Actress

I was hitching back home. Dusk is falling and I need somewhere to pass the night. I have found an empty garage with broken down Rolls Royces and Jaguars stored in the shadows. A light in a distant room startles me and I go to investigate. In the corner an old woman is cowering and we are both too terrified to speak. I eventually find my voice. She lives there with a band of old actors who take me to watch their variety show. The main act after the acrobatics is a comedian who performs dangerous tricks with a chisel.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Nation Grieves

I am watching a grand funeral procession commemorating the victims of a terrible disaster caused by State negligence. The horse drawn carriages seat perhaps twelve people each. Some family and friends are sitting in one of them. "Come and join us," they shout, "there is plenty of room." The idea of attending a magnificent State banquet is too much to resist and I climb in despite having other appointments. As we drive off I notice I have dropped my glasses on the pavement.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Red Nose

Look there are red spots all over my nose. And it is getting bigger.
All that drink.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Agile Fireman

A fireman pulls himself up a metal shuttered wall the height of a tall house. There is barely anything to grip onto - it is an amazing feat. Just one foot from the top his colleagues cheer him as they haul him up.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Money Spouting Boys

Obviously feeling that he can act exactly as he pleases, Richard Branson deliberately falls against Tor. I say something cutting to him about his aggressive flirting with women. "Look," he berates me," I am just giving my two boys a good time. So don't show me in a bad light." Far too much money streams out of the boys' mouths. They push past us rudely.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Unsure Of My Entrance

Once again I am waiting in the wings of a theatre for my cue. I know this show well. The dialogue is all familiar. The problem is I have no idea when I am due onstage. I rifle through the untidy pile of stage notes to work out the timing of my entrance. Can't find it - I'll just have to climb up through the trapdoor and chance that I'm not too far off.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Funeral Conversation

Very very vague image. Something about a discussion with Kev regarding his funeral.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Where The Air Is Rarefied

I have travelled alone to meet up with the family in the Alps. I am aware that I am at a very high altitude. The snow is sparse, not at all like the photos I have seen. Somehow I feel cheated and uncomfortable. Why have I come here?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Earthquake Hits London

The streets of London are heaving with revellers after a carnival with little to look at. Suddenly someone shouts, "It's an earthquake!" TV images show County Hall,
a little way downriver, has taken a massive hit and the repercussions will be felt all the way to the south coast. It doesn't feel too bad, I reassure myself. And then the river floods. Is this it? Will the tide sweep me away?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nurture not Nature

Two identical girls - in fact they are the same girl - but one they say lives in Christ, the other is a devil child. They beat the devil child severely. You treat someone badly they end up bad, is what I say.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Glass Injecting Addict

"I sometimes inject Uranium," a wild theatre director tells me. "That can be quite heavy. I always go over the top. Usually I take Moranium (Morandi) glass. Have you ever tried it?" "No, I'm lucky. I've never got addicted to anything." "It's a terrible thing," he says. Even so I can't help admire his willingness to explore all aspects of life.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cleaning Rampage

Mum has just been saying she thinks my work is too gloomy. All around my studio she has quilted every single brick with an antique gold and raw umber silk patchwork. It looks really good but she wants everything in the room to be as clean and tidy. To my horror she has just sprayed Flash on my painting and wiped off all the paint.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Emotional Farewell

After months of anti-authority espionage, involving intense friendships and wild sexual encounters, I am finally tracked down by the Russian police and compelled to leave the country. I take leave of my friends who, like me, are male and in their twenties. A pile of presents await me downstairs in the local cafe. Here I will spend my last hour with my special gender defying friend and his/her young daughter. I sit clutching my head and weep melodramatically.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Case of Mistaken Identity

There is the sense that this is the final scene of a very complex story. A man, framed for the kidnapping of children, is finally revealed to be someone of great charity and wisdom. A trust is set up in his honour. The real culprit, a huge mogul dressed in white, storms into the room and in a brutal scene assaults the charitable man. This thug has however been cleverly duped and, in an unexpected twist to the tale, murders himself by mistake. We are thankfully spared the violent details.
My contribution was set and costumes.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Edited Version

I have just met some enthusiastic teenage students from a workshop I ran a few months ago. Hang on, I say, I have something I wrote about you in my diary - let me copy it out for you. The diary turns into a comic with action hero adventures. I copy the relevant text, furtively editing out the bit about my fancying one of them. As I do so I question the whole process. Why am I giving it to them? Why on earth should anyone want to read these edited notes from my diary?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

School Chorus

A hazy group of primary schoolchildren stand in a row wearing my old uniform. Why are they there? Are they posing for a photograph, or about to perform on stage?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Savage Lover

A man maybe a little younger than me wants me to come to his room. He has something to show me. He begins to fight wildly with a small leopard but they are practically making love. He kisses it passionately on the jaws. The man's handsome boyfriend looks uncomfortable with his partner's obsession.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Animals In my House

I am looking after a cat and a fox, or maybe it is a cat and a racoon, or is it a fox and a racoon? One of them, anyway, was wild but I've managed to tame it, and now the two are bedfellows.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Son Visits The Fair

I am at the tail end of a Christmas fair with my young nine year old son. How will he react to these tatty old decorations I wonder. He shows much more interest in watching the miniature planes in the sky. "Do they have pilots in them?" he asks.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

There Are No Observers

"Get out! Get out now!" the guard shouts at me when I attempt to enter a room of the house. Inside I recognise some of the prisoners - some are from my special needs group. In the kitchen I meet all the ordinary people who have become jailers. "It's horrible being a guard," one woman tells me, "Before long everyone will be in thumbcuffs chained to the pavement." I ask what the prisoners have done. "Hardly anything," she answers, "But we have to restrain them for the slightest thing."
Everyone is now a suspect. You are either prisoner or guard. Which am I?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Martial Law

I am about to leave for home after my stay in an artists' squat in Bosnia. In the distance we can hear the military music of the British troops preparing to march through the town. White American tanks drive down the streets clearing a path. An announcement is made over the loudspeaker that all occupants of certain buildings should report immediately to army headquarters. There is confusion - do they mean us? We know it is not safe to go to the authorities. I tell everyone to follow me - we can hide in the empty factory next door. We will be safe there for a while.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oblique Advice From Insects

A group of people are standing in a garden. The ground is teeming with thousands of identical insects - a cross between leatherjackets and bees. I am talking with someone I hardly know from my secondary school - can't even remember his name. I have just been offered some work on a new project which I have no time to do. Because I show no interest in it the insects leave me alone.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mobile Phone Protest

I am in a small junk shop talking on the mobile phone to Mandy. There is not really anything of value on display. I am pretending to be one of those irritating people who walk around the supermarket getting instructions from someone at home telling them what to buy. Being deliberately loud I bellow, "Yes, what was it you said you needed?"