3 February 2006

The Survey of No Return finished its week-long residency on The System That Dares Not Speak Its Consultancy Fee. And there are problems. Worse, we don’t know whether these are caused by the underlying database or by user error prompted by poor judgements in the design (by me). Ulp, as they say.

Lunchtime, walked to the Post Office to the accompaniment of The Foul.  I’ve never been able to approach The Fall, but this was a treat. Cracked along a completely different faultline. People wondered why I was walking along with such a smile.

Tommy MacKay (for it is he, The Foul) had given me the CD as we reached the end of a 45-minute ride on the 43 bus from Edinburgh to Queensferry, unaware of each other’s presence. That’s nothing. Some years ago I sat next to my mother on the selfsame journey, neither of us aware of it until she rose to get off.

In the evening a last visit to Gil in Dunfermline. The house is sold and Gil and Barbara are moving to Ayrshire after the worst possible 2005: drastic and prolonged treatment for serious illness, neighbourly disputes, an assault on the house by a disturbed woman, a death in the immediate family, and house vendors reneging on a deal. They’ve turned a corner now and Gil is cheerful and optimistic. That house saw the birth of some of my favourite songs, as well as some glorious unrecorded music, and I’ll miss it, and Gil, loads.

On the way home, turned on the radio to catch a song that had everything. I looked up the playlist when I got home and it was Little Sparrow by one Bettye Lavette, a soul singer. I must hear it again.