June 27, 2019

7.45 am: There are days when you wake to discover an unexploded bomb in the inbox. Today, there were two. Both were dispiriting and potentially dangerous, but not undefusable. They made me realise just how risky being a Higher Education employee has become these days. You daren’t put a foot wrong. Personal liability is a real threat in some circumstances. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. But … ‘hey ho!’

9.00 am: Having spent over an hour advising others whether the red or the black wires should be cut, I returned to the CD text in order to revise the second draft and compose the final paragraph. The opening paragraph needed more than a little attention too. The sentences were in the wrong order. The beginning and end of a piece of writing should always be finalised last, in my opinion.

12.00 pm: A pause for rehydration:

Endings in writing, as in life, must be handled with great care, and may not necessarily be permanent. Authors are not averse to concluding ideas in one work only to open them up again in another. We can rarely afford to be so cavalier in respect to life. When something comes to an end, it does so for a reason and, often, out of necessity. However, that reason may not have been valid or, if it was, may no longer be. Circumstances, understandings, and desires change over time. Even though I’m constitutionally loath to accept the finality of endings, I revisit them periodically in order to determine whether they should remain so. ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ is my default position. For it can be both foolish and hurtful to thaw-out that which should remain in cryogenic suspension permanently. Wisdom, foresight, and consultation, as well as an examination of one’s conscience, are required before making a decision. Err on the side of caution, always. What is begun again may not be so easily ended next time.

2.00 pm: While still tinkering with one of the time bombs in the background, I began assembling the remaining textual material for the CD. This was the easy bit. ‘Instrumentation and Production’, being an account of the kit that I used to create the sound works. When a teenager, I used to pour over the back cover and gate-fold of progressive rock albums, devouring the inventory of instrumentation:

But the lists were never sufficiently complete. I wanted to know about all the different guitar makes and models, pedals, amplifiers, cables, and plectra. Even today, if I’m at a concert, I (along with other middle-aged ‘saddies’) will muscle my way down to the front of the stage to ogle a guitarist’s pedalboard:

John McLaughlin’s pedalboard, Royal Festival Hall, London (2017)

So, I’ve put a great deal of effort into making my list of the instrumentation as comprehensive and explicit as possible. By the close of the afternoon, it was done.

7.30 pm: Plans needed to be drawn up for the trip to South Wales in a few weeks’ time. I’m, presently, too much in my own mind. Reading is the backdoor into someone else’s mind. I’ve too little time for it these days; which is an odd confession for an academic. But, I’m not alone in this.

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