Meeting in this way who could have known,
How our destinies and ways apart have grown …
Sharing thoughts and deeds simple harmony,
Plans and hopes erased in our maturity
(Gentle Giant, ‘A Reunion‘).
7.30 am: I awoke with ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ from Disney’s Mary Poppins ringing in my ears. ‘But why?’ 9.00 am: Following a porridge and fruit breakfast, I resumed marking. (In the background, Captain Beefheart’s Doc at the Radar Station played. It entirely expunged the fading voices of Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke.) Glorious day!:
10.00 am: Tea, more feedback forms, and Gentle Giant’s In a Glass House. I listened as much to the album’s mix as to the music. The tracks have a blend of melancholy, nostalgia, and stridency that chimes well with my own spirit. One of the great strengths of so-called Progressive Rock was its compositional acuity (which it’d absorbed this from classical music). This was not only the result of, but also have rise to, great musicianship.
12.00 pm: I was doing well, but longing to get out into the sunshine. 12.20 pm: Light-fall:
12.45 pm: Lunch. This is tasty, but not in the way you might imagine from the descriptor. I was expecting something like the Heinz variety, processed through a liquidiser. As many woman have told me in the past: ‘When it comes to food, John, you’ve absolutely no sophistication’:
1.00 pm: Down time; town time. The wind off the sea chilled the Bank-Holiday visitors, who were sat on the benches and under shelters eating ice cream and trying not to look frozen to the bone. A few children were reckless enough to brave the waves. One visitor remarked, dismissively: ‘Is this the sort of weather for chips in a bag?’ I bit my tongue.
2.00 pm: Back at my desk, I continued marking the Vocational Practice presentations from last week. Having made an in situ, in the moment, assessment of each group’s efforts, I was now standing further back from the event and making judgements regarding the individual performances relative to one another. (In the background, I played tracks from Robert Fripp’s solo album of 1979: Exposure.) The lyrics for ‘Water Music I‘, taken from a lecture by J. G. Bennett, are troublingly prescient, albeit anticipating a very different type of climatic catastrophe:
From the scientific point of view it is now very likely that there will be again another Ice Age, quite soon, in the world; that we shall have the north part of the world all frozen like it used to be, and we’re beginning to have natural disasters. From the scientists’ study it seems likely that we should soon begin to have this great change in the earth’s climate so people will not be able to live where they have, and the oceans will rise, and many cities will be flooded, like London, and Calcutta, and so on. These things, they say, will happen, according to scientific theory, in about forty years at the most, but maybe even quicker.
4.10 pm: Task completed. 4.20 pm: Into the studio to put away equipment and ponder my next move. The challenge of developing a sustainable, portable, and improvisatory mode of operating still challenges me. Presently, I’m at a loss regarding what’s possible and relevant. Either I’m not thinking about this in the right way or else something must happen first. Light-fall:
5.00 pm: At the same time in another place; (I recalled the Barbizon School):