When I worked in a greetings card and picture framing shop in Brighton called Gallery 57 (see how they mixed Gallery 5 and Heinz 57!), I did a sort of 'audit' of how I spent my waking hours. I was horrified to find that I spent an hour more at work than I had to myself, and furious that they could buy my precious time so cheaply.
So every morning I started to rise an hour earlier, dawdling along the Brighton seafront at seven o'clock in the morning, looking at the sky, the pebbles and the passers-by just so i got more on my day to myself.
In the evenings I drew gigantic pictures, spreading the paper out flat on my floor and watching a little portable black and white TV with the sound turned down.
Or I scribbled songs into a battered lined red book with a blotchy biro.
I had no phone and ate half a loaf of MOther's Pride a day, brought to me early by Dave MacDonald who was working in a bed'n'breakfast down the road. He brought a hand full of teabags, sometimes some eggs and milk, and even once or twice some hot bacon wrapped in foil.
Dave was the lead singer and co-songwriter of Fan Club, a truly anarchic Brighton band who wrote the most magical songs. Dave used to snarl them in his Scottish accent while Pete dodged about the stage, tossing his long fringe from his eyes, wringing the neck of his Vox guitar to produce the most amazing and catchy guitar riffs and lines. He was a little ball of pent-up energy, mocking himself as he posed and strutted, and laughing silently at Dave's outrageous antics. Sticky buns would fly across the Alhambra, lodging in the barman's hair; Dave would slag off all the other Brighton bands with a massive pantomime wink. Of course, this would be reported back to the other bands, minus the wink, so lots of people hated them. But actually, they rivalled Smeggy and the Cheesey Bits (who they pre-dated) for the title of the Best Band in Brighton.