Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I agree to help the seventies impressionist Mike Yarwood , now a Jack-of-all-trades . On June 4th I start work decorating a house in exchange for some legal documents he has handed me. The whole project has something to do with community policing.
Monday, November 26, 2007
A bullish man, the father of a man with learning disabilities, is given a psychology test. It is clear he is incapable of answering even simple questions like differentiating pictures of a panda and a zebra. His son seems confused and worried- is he being taken away from his dad?
The father has an epiphany when he finds a friendly dog that he had previously attempted to kill and his son returns looking radiant. We realise we have to make allowances for the father's bad behaviour because he is disabled too.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Tracey Emin has been asked to paint a portrait of the Queen, but nobody has seen it because it has been banned everywhere. The initial sketches are like something by Rosemary Trockel: closeups of the pattern on the Queen's Aran sweater. Then I see the final image- it' s painted in a kind of impressionist style and shows a young girl wearing a three quarter length dress, dotted with scarlet flowers. She looks like Frida Kahlo but there is a crouching Paula Rego woman to the left eating a pile of cakes. I think she's Ruby Wax. The painting is criticised because it lacks any originality and is nothing more than a hybrid of styles.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I've got a show in this big old warehouse. Water is streaming down walls of about three floors. We need to fix it. We need to turn it off. The water is pouring into the huge electricity generator. It's all going to blow.
"Everyone get out NOW!" I can't find the levers for either the water or the electricity. "Get out now!!!"
I wake up and then when I fall back to sleep the dream continues. I discover that a boy of seven, his name Robin, is responsible for the breakdown of this system.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I have become quite attached to the flying ants crawling over the sheets on my bedroom floor. I notice how they all cling to the cotton when I lift it up. I scrape off their sticky gel, a precious life giving substance, and carefully store it in some lace. Penny is a bit shocked at what I am doing. "The place will be swarming with ants, you should get rid of them," she says, "They can get really nasty, a swarm of ants." I am a bit hurt that she should want me to destroy the fluid but concede that she is probably right. Everything will have to be bleached.
Monday, November 19, 2007
A film director plays back the last scenes of some footage she has put together showing what appears to be a busy Californian road. In fact the film is an illusion, a carefully constructed model. An earlier scene shows two sets of high divers, male and female, and although the setting is pasted in, the diving is for real. I am one of the male divers- I'm not the best but I'm ok at it. I climb a steep bank removing my clothes, and in front of an uninterested crowd I look for the male diving stump. Although I have made this dive a few times in the dream I cannot recall the actual diving sensation.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Yet another bomb attack somewhere in the Middle East. Each day more blood is shed. It's like a wave rolling over that unhappy part of the world growing in size swallowing its victims leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. This is World War 3, Mum says, and it will keep growing until it engulfs the whole world. I see an image of the word SURGE as the wave moves back over Europe in years to come. I know that now is the time for us to intervene and stop it from happening.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I am in the midst of a battle in World War 1. All around me my colleagues are being shot at. The enemy seems to be far fewer in numbers now. This has to be the last battle before the end of the war but how would we know that? We don't have the luxury of hindsight. Suddenly Ed is shotand collapses to the ground. Surely it's just his leg, but no, he's been taken out. I weep for him singing that blue grass song "Will you miss me (miss me miss me) when I'm gone...?"
Friday, November 16, 2007
I have just joined an experimental theatre company famous for its naked productions. I am quite excited about it. In the initial encounter session some performers are role playing and whisper to me so that I can scarcely hear them. When I answer back their voices become even softer. I understand this is an exercise and I sit back passively observing. As the workshop develops I realise that although certain rules apply to the company nobody has instructed me so I can (and perhaps should) react exactly as I choose. I speak loudly and mock their actions. I don't need a script. The session flies by - it is very enjoyable. I tell them I would like to be challenged further.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This is told like a great nineteenth century Russian novel, so it's a bit longer than usual.
The protagonist (occasionally me) is a professor in his early 50's. As the last of his students leaves his dark study, one young beautiful man, Dmitri, remains. The professor gazes at him and somehow they end up making love. This of course is totally illegal.
Outside in the snow, a massive bearded man with an impossibly wide back, his head tiny in proportion, returns to his apartment - for this study is his room. Strange, he thinks, he can hear no music from within: Dmitri must be sleeping. Quietly he unlocks the front door with its folding inner panel, and then enters his flat. We next hear such shouting and then cut to an interior view where Dmitri, an older and darker man, hurls the professor from the bedroom into the cold. The poor man stands in -20 degrees with no shoes and socks on. "How can I travel to my conference tomorrow?" he sobs.
There is some confusion in the narrative here because he is now standing on the booted feet of young Dmitri, his arms around him. "I love you, Dmitri. You can never love me, but I just want you to be my fancy man."
After the commotion the author, a sensitive woman, appears in a walk-on role as a waitress. She leaves a small bill in neat handwriting for the flan that was consumed, adding as an aside, "Here I used one of my favourite french flans."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Everyone else has left this modern low rise building but I remain. I look back at the death that I have caused but I am unable to really face it. This one man keeps on and on at me for help. I refuse - I don't know what I can do - he's beyond help. His twin screams at me and still I ignore him. Maybe I am even winding him up. Eventually he obviously dies and I wake up horrified, my heart pounding.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The family are in a French or Italian city. Mum has wandered off down a side street to a market and as the time passes and she still hasn't returned we begin to worry. I try texting her to tell her where we are but when I look around I realise we are inside a huge bank so there are no street signs anywhere. I run outside and find her just round the corner. Later we are in a big dining hall where the plates have run out. A friend gets us all to line up and spoonfeeds each of us a mouthful of blackberry crumble. "There must be a better way," I suggest, "find some saucers." But they are all covered in candle wax.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thora Hird is recounting all the episodes of her life for a video. She talks us through the loves and disappointments behind the plays she performed in . It is an Everyman story in a way. She relates it calmly, and occasionally the tears well up in her eyes. "I won't cry ," she says, "I just want to tell the story as it is." But a few tears escape as she narrates the last chapter.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Just by the Old Kent Road roundabout near Currys is a massive wood and glass structure, maybe 100 metres high. It is a gothic rocket embedded in the soil leaning at an uneasy angle, it makes me think of the Tower of Babel.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I am playing Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream. It is the final act of the dress run where I have just one line. I am hoping that the line will come to me at the right moment, but as it is I am not even able to get onstage. I try climbing through a tiny window but the drop below is too great. In the dressing room I fail to find my glittery leggings.
Friday, November 09, 2007
A Buddhist teacher monitors the contestants at the start of a new reality TV show. The first entrants are a mainly female pop band . I practise with them but am always behind with the dance moves. They are alarmed when they are told that they will be expected to sing live. Next on is a successful male singer, a political agitator, media savvy and far too sure of himself. Last on is an ordinary man , a non celebrity. He stands before the monk aware that he may speak only when asked. He is presented with a Buddhist HOAN written in large black ink. Keep reading he is instructed or you get hit.
(HOAN = something to do with hone, haiku and possibly inchoate- also found the Chinese word huan from the I-Ching which means dispersion)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
A hearse has just picked us up to take us to my primary school headmaster's funeral. Inside the car I observe him in his underwear and black socks climbing into his death bed. The hearse is wide with perhaps 5 beds across- it is like a padded coffin itself but it is on the move. I speak to my college tutor and an old family friend who is in the role of the headmaster's wife. Is she already dead? Are we all tucking ourselves up into our death beds?
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I am running an evening class. I have set a non figurative mark making exercise but the students have not understood my instructions. One young woman has brought some expensive paper and is unwilling to use it for what she regards as a scribbling exercise. She finds a small corner of her notepad to doodle on. I instruct her to use her good paper. She reluctantly does as she is bid but draws an immaculate but stilted image of a candle on a grand piano.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I have just joined an all male jazz band, playing the banjo. We rehearse a set. I am ok-ish although the others keep asking me to tune my instrument. I pretend to fiddle with the tuning pegs but don't have a clue what I am doing. After the session I confess that tuning the banjo will take me a long time and that I might need a little help to begin with from the others when we go live.
Monday, November 05, 2007
The Spice Girls are performing in the garden using an overhead projector. The image shows a view looking down on a wooden floor with a hole cut in the seat of a tatty chair revealing the floor of the room underneath. The focus is such that the two levels cleverly appear as one. It has been designed by some guy with dreads and a red nose-piercing. Posh Spice dominates the performance.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
It is a cold grey day in Scunthorpe and a friend and I have been dropped off from a bus at the top of a long slide that descends to the sea. It is too cold to swim so we wander around and end up having a blazing row. He tells me that all I do is witter on and on. I retort that perhaps it is about time we stopped our friendship. We pack our bags at the hotel in grim silence. We are told there is a room upstairs where we can wait for a cab back to the station. Can we drink tea there? I ask. No. Then I'm going to find a cafe in town. I go down the path and look back . My friend is laughing now - looks like we are going to make up.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Our book is almost finished. I cycle along the roads of a country like Switzerland pleased with the results. Every now and then I turn off into a side road leading to a little square. There are still a few sections that need to be edited here and there.