18th February

This morning after a really nice breakfast I loaded the equipment back into the car and headed off up the A1 to Bigglewade.It took me a while to find the venue but when I did I thought this asda be it…!

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Today I ended up filming around the store first and then doing the interviews afterwards. Firstly I found this much easier because I had got into the swing of things by the time the filming of people came round and secondly, as it turned out, if I’d filmed the interviews first I’d have probably not felt like doing the other filming. The first person we filmed was the rep who knew exactly what she wanted to say when she was talking to the other members of staff but when it came to saying it to the camera she just couldn’t get the words to come out in the right order. We seemed to be at it for ages but it probably wasn’t as long as it seemed. When we finished I thought that was it but I’d forgotten about the Store Manager but thankfully we sailed through his bit only having to repeat the one question that is phone rang through!

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So afterwards I set off home and was back by about 2:30. Sarah was getting all the stuff ready for her trip up north tomorrow so I took my Mac into the shed and did the edit in there – finishing off at about 6pm! We’d hoped for an early night as we have to get up at 3:15 in the morning but sadly it wasn’t to be!

17th February

Off to Chalfont to do some shooting for Coca Cola – first day of a full week which will take me to Paris and Luxembourg later on! But first I’ve got to get to the first location and that involves the dreaded M25. The journey should only take an hour and a half but 30 minutes in and the sat nav is still telling me 2hrs 45 which means I’ll be late. Luckily as we grind to a halt it offers me an alternative route which takes me down the M11, round the North Circular and back onto the M25 by going up the A10. I don’t know if it was quicker than sitting in the traffic jam but at least I’m now going to get there on time. Well once I’ve found a way round this…..

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Another detour finally delivers me to the store, which I’m pleased to see has a car park, just in time. Even so I feel hassled as I’m setting up and make a few silly errors like at one point forgetting to put the camera into record. I have to say that the camera looked as though it had simply been left in the same state it had been used in last time it went out as I kept finding odd things askew. Also the batteries weren’t very charged and mid way through I had to change one thst should have lasted 6 hours!

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I was finished just before 12 so I had a mooch around the shops in both Chalfont St Peter and then in Gerrards Cross. I had a rummage in the charity shops which did seem to have a nicer selection of stuff but with prices to match! There were so many books – I’m guessing the switch to Kindle is well underway over this side of London, wonder if eventually they’ll regret ditching printed books in the same way people now regret getting rid of vinyl. Oh well their loss my gain. I found a book I’d been wanting for a while for 99p although I did tell the man he could keep the change!

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In order to save a 5 -6 hour round trip back home again I’m staying in a hotel near Stevenage tonight. It’s not bad – a Premier Inn with a pub next door. I spend the afternoon in my room editing the video I shot today into a first draft and then a second version after some changes from the client. In the evening I go over to the pub for something to eat – food is nice, service is good, staff are great (if slightly over attentive) but overall it just lacked atmosphere! Maybe I was feeling a bit over sensitive as I had had another go at waxing my moustache and had gone out with it waxed for the first time so probably felt as though everyone was looking at me!

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16th February

Had a long lie in today – think without realising it I’d been really tired yesterday which probably explained the grumpiness! When we did get up I wanted to do something so I decided to try and make a start on sorting out the shed (again! ). There were two old computers in there that had come out of the two girls rooms. One worked, one didn’t.  So once I had worked out which was which I set about sorting them.

I took the hard drive out of the broken one and popped it into my external drive enclosure and transferred the data onto the hard drive in the living room.  I took out the memory and put it into the other machine.  This machine I put into Lissi’s room. It took a while to get the wireless working but I got there eventually. However I’d forgotten what it was like for her to have a computer in her room! Firstly she’d rather it was tidy than working and secondly she will fiddle with it! It had only been in there a few minutes when she changed the user name and after that Google Chrome wouldn’t work anymore!

I did have an ulterior motive for sorting out the shed and that was I wanted to put my acoustic guitar back out there.  I’d loaned it to the (mad) lodger’s daughter and while she had it I’d got my electric one out of the garage and fixed it. Yesterday when we went to the garage I’d picked up my guitar stand and now there was a bit more space I put the acoustic in the guitar stand.

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Now I just need to find some space for the bass and the keyboards! Oh and the rest of the LPs!!!!!

15th February

Weather is weird today – one minute it’s blue skies and the next it’s as black as night and water is pouring from the sky!

First up is a trip down the high street to pick up a package for Sarah from the Post Office.  She bought this little speaker for her mp3 player for a tenner and to be honest for what it is it’s not half bad. While I’m out though I do my usual trawl of the charity shops.  I often wonder what I’m looking for and think to myself that I’ll know when I see it. Today I certainly do, I saw it from across the shop and knew instantly. I dashed over and to my surprise, given it was in probably the most expensive charity shop, it was only £1!!!!

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We had to pop out to get some pet food from Pets at home including the very expensive cat food for Jubbs. First though we had to pop to the vets to pick up a worming tablet. Just as we pulled up the rain started and as Sarah was making such a fuss about putting her coat on I volunteered to go and get it!

We then set off to pick up a cat lit tray we’d got off Freecycle but it was further away than we’d anticipated. Still it was a nice run out despite the detour caused by the road being closed. The weather continued to be awful and we went through 3 pseudo fords on the journey where the road was so flooded. At one point we were driving along and in front of us there just appear to be a translucent curtain but what it was was a hail storm that we were about to drive into!

14th February

Valentines day but we don’t really do it me and Sarah.  I’ve often said that if I tried to surprise her with a candlelit dinner for two she’d walk in and say something like “has they’re been a power cut? ”

It’s also her dad’s birthday and he’s……69! Cue awful innuendo all year long. Lissi has already warned her friends to ignore him at her party!

Weather conditions tonight are atrocious, strong winds and tipping it down with rain.  When I pull up outside the house I have to grab my bags and make a run for the door. It certainly doesn’t help that as I step out of the car I accidentally put my foot into the gutter which has so much water rushing down it it comes over the top of my boots! I get soaked between car and front door even though it’s only about 5 steps!

13th February

I had a client coming in today so I jad to get all dressed up and I finally plucked up the courage to wear my tweed jacket probably because as the meeting was in my office I could take it off if I bottled it. I didn’t though and it should be noted that people commented that I looked smart, too smart in fact.

I even turned down the offer of lunch partly because I didn’t fancy having to sit and talk to the client for another hour or so but mostly because it was one of my fasting days and I was being a good boy!

I started to transfer my recording from Saturday night onto the computer but managed to get my timing wrong and ended up staying about 20 minutes later than usual and found when I came out of the edit suite that all the lights were off. I also got round to opening my copy of I’m the last of all the field that fell tonight and played record one side one in the shed. I was disappointed to find that the sticker on the front was stuck on the wrapper rather than the sleeve which meant if I wanted to open the gatefold sleeve I’d have to lose it. I was impressed by the weight of the vinyl and it sounded fantastic.

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I also had a go at trying to play All the pretty little horses on the mandolin and trying to play the guitar along with the recording I made of the sky boat song. I also had a play with the Stylophone Sarah bought me for Christmas a few years ago. It was quite cold though so I ended up going back in.

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We had someone staying with us tonight. She had found us through Air B&B, the site we use when we book rooms like the one down near Brighton. Sarah told her she’d have to take us as she found us due to the short notice and the fact that it was the last day of term and she was knackered! She was a nice lady from Brighton who’d come to town for a nutrition course at the uni. Quite posh though!

12th February

Seriously struggling to think of something exciting to say about today! Spent the day at work editing the video I shot yesterday – got there eventually! I had a phone conversation with the Vice Chair of Governors about the meeting with the DfE in which it looks like were being forced to become an academy despite the guy from the DfE thinking it’s unfair! Tell me it’s not political again! I was going to go an play my mandolin but sat down to drink a cup of tea first then couldn’t be arsed to move as I’d got engrossed in Mrs Brown’s boys! Ended up falling asleep on the sofa.

Oh I seem to have found something after all!

11th February

Working up in London today filming for a conference in a few weeks time. So I’m off on the 9:54 train to Cannon Street and then a brief walk to the venue. When I get there no one knows anything about it but eventually somebody takes me round to the other side of the building and just as I get there the driver calls me to say he’s outside the main entrance. So I get him to drive round and have to stand out in the rain to wait for him. No sooner do we get all the kit inside than someone else appears and points out that we would have been better off coming in the other door!

Anyway we have to go up in the lift to the 6th floor and then push the equipment through the offices to another set of lifts which takes us up to a meeting room on floor 6.5!! The room is quite small and very hot so I decide that using lights probably isn’t going to be great so end up filming people while they stand under a skylight! Well this is ok for the lady I film first but I have to get the second guy to step back as the light is bouncing off his bald head!

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After a couple of hours I then have to move down to the basement to film the chef in the kitchen. He struggles to string sentences together and it takes him ages to get through his script! The only bit he’s any good at is when it comes to talking about his food! I then have to film him plating up but really struggle with getting the shot in focus in such a small space! It doesn’t help that he plates up the starter and then I realise I haven’t actually put the camera into record and he has to do it again!

I then have to film the man who has chosen the wines – by contrast we can’t shut him up and end up having to have the client standing behind me giving him time cues! I was hoping they’d be opening the wine for the tasting that was going on and we might get to try it but sadly it was not to be! Didn’t get to try the food either but that wasn’t the end of the world as I didn’t fancy the mackeral and the main course just looked like a glorified chicken nugget! The dessert looked nice though but it was just as well I didn’t get any as it was a “fasting” day afterall!

So I then packed everything up and went downstairs to meet the driver – typically enough he went to the door we’d gone in that morning but I was at the other door  so we played out this morning sketch in reverse. Luckily it was easier to get between the two doors this way round and the kit was soon in the van and I had about 15 minutes to get down to Cannon street to catch my train back!

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I felt totally out of place on the train on the way back as it was full of really boring suits from the city. As you probably know I’m not backward in coming forwards when it comes to dressing up so I felt like I was travelling  in colour while everyone else was commuting in monochrome!

In the evening I had to do the rubbish and recycling as it was Tuesday. I sorted out all of the bins and was just getting ready to put them out when I remembered that there was one outside. i went to get my trainers and started a chain of events that got me further and further away from what I was trying to do! As I picked up my trainers, which were stored on a shoe rack underneath where we keep the sawdust for the guinea pigs, I noticed a couple of flecks of sawdust on them. As I brushed it off I noticed some rubbish under the shoe rack so decided to pick it up. As I did I thought I should get the dustpan and brush and sweep up the smaller bit! I then went to the cupboard under the sink.

When I opened it I spotted the brush in a dish of horrid water that had leaked from the plumbing so I decided it was time to empty it but I couldn’t get it out from under the pipe as it was too full. So I had to get a jug and scoop some of the water out so I could empty it enough to lift up and out. When I freed it I took it to the toilet to flush it away unfortunately standing in some bleach on the floor that I’d sprayed on the floor where the cat had poo-ed! After flushing the loo I then put the brush in the bin and washed out the dish before putting it back. I then found the proper brush and cleaned up the mess under the shoe rack and put it back. I also wiped up the bleach and then finally PUT ON MY TRAINERS!!!

10th February

Spent most of today listening to “I am the last of all the field that fell” both the CD (still haven’t opened the LP!) and a live recording. It strikes me that the voice is so much louder on the CD than it was live which is a shame as the words are excellent. It just seems to be a thing at the moment to bury vocals along with the music rather than having them stand above it. The backing vocals from Comus’ Bobbie Watson suffered the same fate.

Tesco’s in the evening – joy!

9th February

Stayed at Sarah’s mum’s last night and this morning after breakfast we went off to visit her dad. Then we had to drop Bex at the station as she’d missed her train back last night and had to stay over. After that we headed off home where we had a quiet day.

I haven’t opened my new LP yet – I tried to remember when the last time I bought a brand new vinyl record was – the last one I can definitely say I got on vinyl was Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy and that was in 1989. I may have bought a new LP since but if I did I don’t remember what it was off the top of my head – so it could be almost 25 years since I put a brand new LP onto my record deck – wow!

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I found some great pictures from last night on Facebook – taken by Karolina Urbaniak – here’s one of MacGillvrey

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