Two musical challenges – one a literal challenge, on the Guitar Craft At a Distance course, to compose and record a solo piece in Guitar Craft tuning using a particular scale. I went through two days of ‘I don’t have the skill or the time to do this’, then sat down one night and picked up the guitar with the decision that whatever I came up with in the first ten minutes would be it. It presented itself immediately, and I’ve practised it over days to get somewhere near being able to play it. Recorded a rough but understandable version tonight. The other was almost like a dare, and arose at a Ferry Fringe committee meeting: suddenly I’d committed myself to performing as a unique ‘tribute band’ at the opening night – ‘tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be … Ivor Cutler!’. A fifteen-minute spot as Ivor Cutlery, with a wheezy Woolworths organ from the sixties as a substitute harmonium. Why do I let myself do these things?
Twenty one years ago today I held my newly-born son in one hand as I wiped away tears with the other; today I played a couple of games with him on a Nintendo Wii, waving the controllers about unselfconsciously, paid for a takeaway from his favourite Indian restaurant and drove him to the pub.