22 November 2005

Most of the day was spent struggling with the code of an obscure software package called Docent Outliner to which my employers have manacled me for the next year or so. In career terms it is like driving forwards into a cul-de-sac and every hour spent learning it is bricking up the exit. But since when did I worry about my career?

A call from our house insurance company offering £150 to replace Madame’s engagement ring, which she lost recently. It seems a derisory amount; although it was cheap and bought in impoverished times inflation alone should have made it worth more. But then we were able to present no evidence of its ever having existed or being as we described it, so I can see their point of view too.

In the evening, went to Out of the Bedroom Presents … at the Caledonian Backpackers. The audience was sparse, the worst ever, but among them was Malcolm LeMaistre, formerly of the Incredible String Band, there to support a friend who was playing. He bemoaned the fact that the ISB never feature in media retrospectives despite their impact on the 60s music scene. To be fair to Malcolm, this wasn’t personal – he was talking about the period before he joined the band, which most people regard as their peak, the time of The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter.  Malcolm’s friend Emily Scott played an excellent set, very cool and restrained, with a unique guitar accomaniment for every song, not just the usual picking or strumming patterns. I also enjoyed Fru$hane, with the gutsy performance of Ross Galloway accompanied by blues harp from his friend Callum. During his set I felt the slightest twinge of ‘I want to be on stage doing songs again’ – but only the slightest.

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