Gypsy Hill is very very steep, and I was dreading climbing it with the increasingly heavy Green Goddess on a day when global misogyny was dragging my spirits down. The combination of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan (what hopeless 'help' we Westerners were, if democracy was so fragile after all those years!), and the incel shooting in Plymouth that revealed a huge iceberg of hatred for women that feels completely undermining and destabilising, all the more so for the fact that it has always been there.
And the fact that maybe it always will.
Somehow, for my mood, the recording day was transformational. I'm not sure how and when it happened: big things like Jon putting bass on to the tracks, smaller things like Ian double tracking a harmony vocal, and that texture really adding to the track. Replacing some of my own tired-sounding vocals with stronger and clearer ones; Robert, who is left-handed, playing bass upside down on part of a track, and icing the cake beautifully. A tiny detail, two musical moments of a bell tree sparkling at the end of musical phrases. The songs stand proud, and call on our respective musical influences. Even the steep hill at Barnet station at the end of my journey felt scalable after such an energising day.