What a lovely sunny day! I've already been out in the garden, picking up windfalls and sorting them into piles of edible and inedible fruit. I've met some miniscule slugs in the process, who've waved their horns at me quizzically and charmed me with their liquorice skin.
I had an odd day yesterday; soon I'll be moving house, massively downsizing, and I went to look at some tiny houses, one of which was a total slum and the seller should be ashamed to let people into it. It was uninhabited and the old furniture was slung about in it, it was dark and dirty, there were old freebie newspapers all over the floor and it had a horrible atmosphere. I've moved into a house that someone's just died in before and I guessed and I did not mind, but this house was completely ghoulish.
I spent four hours cleaning the old house last week and I reckon I'll be spending another four this week; but I'm definitely having my birthday party here before I go!
I've been putting old sound equipment on eBay and I'm debating whether to sell the Hofner guitar I bought after selling the Viz Comics. Selling guitars is hard- they are like friends, or witches' familiars; they sit there and look at you, and passively indicate 'play me' to you, and you know they are full of songs that they will reveal to you if you only would give them a chance! Dunno; it's a bit of a spoilt brat of a guitar, but one should love all one's family equally, regardless of temperament....
Today, I'm going out for lunch with McSis to celebrate her birthday. I have bought her some cushions and I'll bounce through the crowds to see her. Later, I'm going to Morvern Callar's House (she's called Jane really), and I'm looking forward to that too because I haven't seen her for ages.
I've sent off the Christmas songs to Sweden- I can't stop listening to the one with the choir on it- what a wheeze! Eight people who didn't know each other, had never sung together before, hadn't heard the song, some of them had never been in a recording studio, hadn't learned the lyrics (I was still making them up on the way there), the whole lot was rehearsed and recorded in about 40 minutes!; it's not perfect but it has a great feel to it and I'm using it as therapy to get me through a few difficult things. Stefan, the guy from Bendi Records, has been designing the cover, which is suitably cheesey. He sends versions from Sweden by email, and is obviously really enjoying it. The working title is 'Helen McCookerybook's Christmas Assortment' and it's a real dream come true to make a Christmas recording. I'm thinking of calling the choir the he-mails and the she-mails, 'cos that's how I recruited them; maybe that's a step too far!
I hope Richard and Judy have a Christmas song feature again this year! I desperately wanted to do one last year but it was too busy at work and all I managed was a few scribbled lyrics on a scrap of paper.
Now of course I want to do an EP every month of songs about that month....
In our village, a family used to organise Carol Singers who walked round from house to house; the dad, a massively eccentric man in a deerstalker hat and tweed knickerbockers, rang a handbell and bellowed encouraging instructions, and villagers were collected from each house they visited to swell the ranks. The whole thing ended at their house by the River Tyne, with mulled cider and nice food and good-humoured posh-people's gossip. They had stuffed deer on their walls with oranges pronged on the horns, and holly and ivy about the place.
On Wednesday, it's Songbird at the Cross Kings pub on York Way, in King's Cross. Martin Stephenson is coming down from Scotland and we are going to do some songs together. I've learned to play some of his and he has learned to play some of mine, we'll be doing the Airship Song from his Hi 7 Moon 5 CD and also a song we wrote together, by email.
Come to think of it, email's a bit of a silent friend and helper at the moment!