It’s only eight weeks back, but of course it now seems a lifetime ago that we wrapped up the latest VdGG tour. Alarums and excursions done, it fell to me to spend a fortnight or so sorting out the accounts and inevitable Outstanding Business. Once again, we came through OK on these fronts, which – considering the nature of our joint enterprise and the continuing leaps of faith across many platforms which underlie it – remains a source of mild surprise but also of great satisfaction. Do right and you’ll be done right by. Naturally, there’s an enormous amount of paddling under the water which goes on from everyone involved but, once again, we got there.
Various bits of paddling on my own behalf took up most of the remainder of July. The reality of being a working writer/musician has always been that Business has got to be taken care of and in my view that’s always been right and proper. “I’m only concerned with my art” would be a motto associated with the outlet for that art getting closed down sooner rather than later and/or with the Artist losing track of whatever passes for normality in whatever a normal life might be….
The trick – *if* it’s a trick – is to be absolutely clear about when one’s doing business and when one’s doing Art. If they’re kept apart from each other then both should be able to get along. I hope I’ve been pretty clear over the years that in order to keep going the eye’s got to be kept on the ball and that there’s no shame in that. In any event, I’ll leave the results of my July paddling for another day.
August arrived and – shock – I went on holiday. No, I mean, I really stopped for a couple of weeks. No internet, no mails, no work at all. And what better place for an old school retreat to simpler times than North Norfolk? A long way away from anywhere in time/travel terms and all the better for it. It’s not (surprise, surprise!) that easy for me to slow down, calm down, but this time I managed it. And the lack of internet, that constant need-to-update/be-updated was fantastic. Sometimes I think I should take at least a week-long retreat from the voracious onslaught of Online each month in any case. Oh, but the paddling might suffer? Well, when I finally logged on again it was illuminating to find that, actually, there was nothing of urgency at all awaiting me.
And so to County Durham for two days of the Ashes. (I make no apologies for, once again, bringing sport – and for the most of the planet particularly arcane sport – into things.) Hey, we’re spur of the moment chaps, so we’d only bought our tickets for this game two years ago, the moment they went on sale. Neither the cricket nor County Durham was a disappointment. As if. And cricket is just such a wonderful game. Well, it is now that, finally, we win some matches!
Finally, then, back home, the Ashes won (I’d watched every ball of coverage and also – thanks Adam – had a day out at Lord’s) I got back to That Solo Album.
This has been a long, long process and still has a few weeks at least to run. I’m still diving in and out, playing minute parts which may or may not survive and then switching to attempts to get the big picture. It’s flying solo and actually it’s by far the most complicated of the various things I continue to do.
For that I’m thankful. Stuff continues to be done, to be found, to be honed. I’m back in the Office.