I met my original PHD supervisor, Dave Laing, today in a Mexican restaurant called Wahaca for lunch.
Dave is a genius, not just for writing one of the definitive books on British punk, but also because as a supervisor he was patient enough to sit still while I gabbled for hours and wrote pages of drivel until I settled down enough to be able to write and research properly.
He's probably the only person in the world able to make me throw away 20,000 words of writing and start again!
His book One Chord Wonders has been out of print for a while but it's being republished in 2012. I like it because he has such a good cultural overview of things. My favourite bit is his oblique comparison between Johnny Rotten and Harry Lauder, who share a singing affectation called 'tartanry', where the singer adds a sort of gasping 'ah' to the end of certain words: 'roaming-ah in the gloaming-ah' if you're Harry Lauder, or 'I am an anarchist-ah' if you're Johnny Rotten.
We talked about all sorts of things and I realised afterwards that the glass is half full and not half empty.
He is full of ideas about books that he is going to write, and as I chatted to him about the various half-finished projects I'm doing I realised that firstly, it's a blessing to have them in the pipeline, and secondly, I have to finish them.
So starting tomorrow morning, I'm going to do an hour's writing every day.
Meanwhile, I have been sending Chefs tracks by the bushel to Everett True in Australia. He has a very interesting music website called www.collapseboard.com which I delved into a bit. I have more to send him but have to process them first.
And Martin has put a shop on the www.helenmccookerybookart.com site, where it's cheaper to buy my CDs than here! If you visit please say hello in the message book, even if you don't buy a CD. I have put the rare Helen and the Horns one up there too. Thank you Martin!
Tomorrow, after a visit to Gina's to learn some of her songs for that magical gig on the 25th in Gateshead ( Viv Albertine, Gina Birch, yours truly and special guest Pauline Murray from Penetration playing solo for the first time ever) I will be heading down to Hither Green for a gig at The Station pub where I'm playing just after 10.
Sounds like a busy day....
When they brought the bill in Wahaca they gave us a little book of what looked like matches- but they were chilli seeds. First courtyard crop I will plant this year!