April 20, 2021

For Django [Reinhardt], recording was like painting, the studio his atelier, and the wax discs canvases upon which to create (Michael Dregni, Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend).

Sunday, April 18. A walk in the forest at Allt y Crib, near Talybont, where the trees are allowed to lie as they fall:

Monday, April 19. 7.45 am: I’d missed my walks around the cemetery and down Plascrug Avenue. Parents and children were drawn from all points on the compass towards the primary school. It could’ve been a scene from the old normality. I wondered when the parents would have ‘that conversation’ with their offspring about the dreaded vaccine jab to come.

8.45 am: A review of the week ahead and of the admin that had accumulated in my inbox since 1.00 pm on Saturday. This week, (the penultimate, in terms of teaching) my mind will begin to orientate to setting-up examinations and — this year — closing down my undergraduate commitments, permanently. 9.15 am: The start of a morning of admin, reminders, reviews and comments upon PhD text submissions, and preparations for the next few days’ teaching commitments. (In the background: BBC Radio 3, live.) The review of submissions was maintained until mid afternoon — for far longer than I’d anticipated. 4.30 pm: I returned to the websites for remainder of the afternoon.

6.30 pm: Practise session. 7.30 pm: I reviewed the second-stage proofs of the Noisome Spirits booklet and CD cover design, which had arrived this morning. There were a few minor adjustments necessary. Then, it was back to the websites. I was on the last lap at last.

Reversion: In respect to my determination, I’d gone back to that place at that time on that day (Chichester, 8.48 am, November 10, 2018).

Tuesday, April 20. 7.45 am: A communion. 8.30 am: I integrated my daily walk with the climb up Penglais Hill to the university campus and P4, Penbryn, for a morning of MA fine art tutorials.

I’d not been in the building since before Christmas — which seemed to me like a lifetime away. The campus was quiet, as in those weeks before and after term. Some principles and observations derived from this morning’s engagements:

  • If we wish to change our circumstances for the better, then, we must continue to work hard and apply ourselves to change. This is both the least and the most that we can do.
  • It’s important to be thoroughly realistic about what we can reasonably achieve by a given deadline, without sacrificing quality and sanity.
  • T: ‘Alas, the public aren’t content for abstract art to simply be; they want it to represent something too — to provide an insight into the heart and soul of the artist, usually’.
  • T: ‘Above all, aim to honour the truth of your experience in relation to the subject. Art is not a site for an emotional discharge’.
  • T: ‘Abandon the notion of “landscape”, as such. Instead, consider the environment as the context of your lived experience’.

1.45 pm: After lunch, I caught up with my inbox, and its implications. I returned to my websites: fine-tuning colouration and optimising illustrations. I continued with the project — fielding email requests along the way — through to the evening session.

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