I'm at work; the traffic is whooshing past in the rain three floors down and the window is jammed open so the wind is interfering with the sick building aroma of the room. Grey carpets, grey desks, grey minds too this morning.
Even out of this grisly environment, flowers blossom, and none more so than Jamie McDermot.
In yesterday's newspaper, two pages were devoted to him and his band the Irrepressibles, an incarnation of whom I accompanied on an overnight trip to Liverpool to enter a song writing competition. In some ways I'm glad they didn't win (I thought they were too good) because Jamie's resolve strengthened and focused.
We first met when I interviewed him for a place at the University of the West, and when he came on to the course he instantly became a catalyst, organising gigs, buzzing, sharing... he was the person who made me get my guitar, covered in dust, out from under my bed and start playing it again!
He has got a beautiful singing voice, sometimes compared to Antony Hegarty's, but Antony's voice is frail and vulnerable, whereas Jamie's is strong and certain, even when he is singing about uncertain things. He thinks about politics and beauty, and sings about both with the most exquisite poetry.
He is going to be very successful, and I am absolutely delighted.