Saturday, 9 October 2010


Well, here we are. In front of a door, waiting to go into the Seminar on Tragedy. I had texted my mum that I'd have this class and that first on the reading list was Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. She didn't text back. But I did think it was funny to tell my mum about that. My dad's probably gone into hiding now. As well he might (joke dependent on people understanding reference to 4th C BC play. If you don't get this, you are thick. Muha. ha. ha...).

I was quite early for my first class. Some people were also standing round. Looking vaguely interested at their phones, the walls, the floor, or, in my case, the ventilation system. This probably caused a process of association in the heads of the spectators from me, a tall, chubby Dutch man to the church of Scientology via the ventilation shafts, Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise and the metaphysical concept of innate scary-ness. This can't have done much good to my eventual social standing in any group from now.

The building did provide me a with a disturbing yet weirdly unsatisfying Proustian Mnemonic through the smell of the whole thing. I knew this smell from about 1996, but couldn't lay my hands on where it came from, nor did it kickstart a seven volume novel. We can therefore safely conclude that Proust was wrong (haha! Take that Proust!)

I stopped watching the Air Vents and turned my attention to my phone to write the first paragraph of this blog into. There were more people (pretending to?) text. I love mobile phones, for making it able to endure protracted silences longer than in, say, the nineties, where I eventually always walked up to the person to ask whether they too, considered Totodile to be their favorite Pokémon. Oh yeah, I am cool (by the way I still think Totodile is the awesomest Pokémon in the world and I will bite anyone who disagrees). In 2009, at the Edinburgh Fringe, I had just done a gig, and walked home while on the phone with someone, talking all the way home. The central conceit of this charade was that, uhm, no-one was actually on the phone with me at that particular point in time. I also did the -you hang up- -no you hang up-bit just before I entered the house, waiting outside to do (imaginary) kisses for a full 30 seconds. Pathetic, I know. But if that's the worst, it can only get better, can it? Please?

In the end I genuinely enjoyed the seminar. The students were all nice people, and the lecturer was very good. So all good, basically.

I tried to get to sleep that night, knowing I had an early start, but actually spent several hours scolding myself for not getting any gigs as yet (by the time of writing, I've succeeded in getting a couple of spots. When I find out how, I'll add a gig list, if you are interested). I wrote into my phone (also a great way of getting rid of some angry words that had been bothering your inner dialogue for several hours): Stupid, that the only night I've got to go to sleep on time, I spend being angry at myself for not having done any gigs yet (I've been here for ten days. … Yeah that is a bit long...). Ah well, at least that blog's writing itself (you think?).

Just one last thing: yesterday, I was looking for a bag to use as a replacement to my battered laptop-bag. I found it in a nice little second-hand shop in town. Very happy with it. As well as some weird books and smelly cd's, I found this LP, called: THE SOUND OF BREAD.
Brilliant. It was a band called Bread. Calling their Best Of (rather than The Best Of Bread, which admittedly sounds a tiny wee bit more ridiculous than the eventual title) THE SOUND OF BREAD. What IS the Sound of Bread? Can someone enlighten me? It just made me very happy, that's all.

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