16 February 2006

It’s an old old idea but one which has amazed me with its power recently: at the start of each working day writing down up to three aims for the day. Since I started doing it last week, I’ve found my work enjoyable and productive, and always got more done than I’d planned to.

An interruption yesterday from a colleague who’d come out of a teleconference the day before with a need; could I do it technically? Okay, I said, and spent an hour or two trying things till it worked. He was pleased. Then it occured to me: why do that at all, when you could do this? But they must have thought of that during their telecon. Sent out a couple of emails and got ‘No, we never thought of that – can you do it?’ Sure enough I could and it was easier for everyone, especially for users of The System That Dribbles Blood. Next time, think before being helpful.

The 200th night of Out of the Bedroom at the Waverly. Very enjoyable, renewing old acquaintances like David of Cloudland Blue Quartet and Karen of the Decibelles, and OOTB patriarchs Jim and Nelson. John and Ali baked a birthday cake. Tommy Mackay threw into his song a tribute to Dave O’Hara, OOTB sound man: ‘sound man at the Waverlee; he has to listen to so much shite, he should get a medal for braveree’.  It was a ‘covers and collaboration’ night and I was chuffed that two of my songs were used: a forceful version of ‘Call Back’ by Impossible Songs and a gossamer version of ‘Only The Sea’ by Karen and Lindsay Sugden. I did my best with a version of Jill Hepburn’s lovely ‘Moon On My Mind’ after falling at the first hurdle: remembering the opening lines. I re-started and managed, I think, to establish the mood of the song by playing and singing very slowly and gently, the New Standard Tuning providing an unchanging arpeggio while the chords moved underneath on the lower strings. I say ‘I think’ because, contrary to normal practice, I found myself singing the entire song with eyes closed for concentration. The ‘covers’ idea was good as it made you listen to songs differently, hearing them more as songs than as the personal expression of the songwriter. A good night and a good celebration.

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