Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Dinner at Cutler's Hall - the annual gathering of recipients of educational support and scholarships from the Worshipful Company of Cutlers

Visiting the wine cellar - the best red wine I ever tasted (25 years ago) came from there

Meeting a young fencing champion at the dinner - hoping to compete at the 2012 Olympics for GB

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Rufus Wainright showboating at Hammersmith Odeon - a performance of great variety including a moving rendition of John McCormick's Macushla (apologies to any gaelic speakers for my spelling) [= heart-throb]

Visiting Emily Allchurch's exhibition with Malcolm Garrett, Buzzcocks designer

Walking across height-of-autumn St James's Park in the low afternoon light

Track of the Day

Machushla performed by Rufus Wainright in the style of John McCormick (without amplification) as gotten from Kate McGarrigle

Rufus = Jeff Buckley meets Tom Lehrer meets Neil Young (?) meets Broadway

Paris I - recent Happiness Experiment entries

Sat 27:

Les bouquinistes - buying D a little Eiffel Tower as we searched for a view of the real thing

Urban photography

Lunch en famille on the Ile Saint-Louis - at a cross-roads with two old mini Fiats parked

Sun 28:

Food market at Bastille - fresh salad leaves

Wander aroung the 16e including afternoon cocktail on 33rd floor of Palais de Congres

First official winter late afternoon in Le Marais - reading in the dark Place des Vosges

Mon 29:

Tommy returning home in the dark - under a low yellow moon

International train travel

Rainy interior chez Marco - cozy hanging out with the family

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We'll always have Paris - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Walking through the Place des Vosges and the Marais en famille - the enfants terribles' first visit to Paris

Dinner with Marco and Christian Preart at Marco's new pad in the Rue de la Roquette, 11e

Finding a Space Invader on arrival at Place Leon Blum

Quote of the day

"Mum, you're such a hobo!"
N as U went to steal a grape near the Rue des Rosiers

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happiness shared - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Hearing the story behind 'Into the Wild' from Sean Penn and his young lead Emile Hirsch at a viewing at the Vue, Leicester Square - plenty of food for thought in that one on the simple pleasures front

The prospect of a weekend en famille in Paris - swopping practical arrangement emails with Marco Truong

Walking through St James's Park after dark - the lit-up London Eye at the end of the lake

Into the Wild - thought for the day

"Happiness is real only when shared"

Written in the margin of a book which lay open by the body of Chris McCandliss in the Magic Bus, parked up in the wilds of Alaska

Whilst I broadly agree, I can think of moments which are exceptions - like swimming outdoors in the light rain overlooking the snow-capped Rockies in Banff this summer (shi-it, now I've shared it with you...)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Streets of London - today's Happiness Experiment entry


Poached eggs

Lunch outdoors in Charlotte Street with David Bausola, shooting the breeze

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Colours of late afternoon sun

Successful speaking gig at Screen West Midlands in the jewellery quarter in Brum

Plenty of innuendo laffs at kick-off meeting for Embarrassing Illnesses Online at Maverick in Birmingham - in you end oh? geddit?

Quotation of the day

This is a tough one but a good yardstick for those of us who have gone through the one most significant transformation in life: from being a Child to being a Parent...

"A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets
used up."
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We need to be careful not to exhaust ourselves or let ourselves be exhausted. We need to take care of ourselves, recharge our batteries, stay inspired...

Star spots #156

Sebastian Coe - The Atrium
Frank Skinner - Channel 4
Paul Morley - LSO St Lukes

Come together - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

When the crowd came together at the climax of Angie Stone's gig at the Jazz Caff

The look of rum bottles - rum cocktails

Walking home in autumn

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kicks - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

N starting to blossom in rugby

Building an Airfix Spitfire and Mescherschmitt outdoors with D

Pullling by Black Gull Books on thw walk home

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dappled shade - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Under the trees on Maria's allotment drinking her perfect Greek coffee with Katherine, visiting from Aspen

Watching the England-South Africa World Cup rugby final with Ja on the tv in Bar Italia in the room below where TV was first demonstrated by Logie Baird (my favourite blue plaque)

Carleen Anderson doing Night in Tunisia in Ronnie Scott's - family outting for Mo's birthday

Friday, October 19, 2007

Patti cake - today's Happiness Experiment entry

Having a conversation with Patti Smith about Rimbaud in London (whose birthday it is tommorow) - after her performance with Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye at St Lukes, Old Street in honour of Allen Ginsberg

Having a quick chat with Paul Morley about Joy Division and Control in said church

Lunch with Will Gompertz at the Tate Britain restaurant with a quick tour of the Millais exhibition for dessert

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Track of the Day

One by U2 - performed both by U2 and Johnny Cash

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head?

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Chatting about Public Art with Jo Darke of the Courtauld Institute and sculptor Nick Pearson at Somerset House

Walking to and from the Courtauld in strong autumn sunshine

Sorting out 360 degree images of the Big 4

Big Day - yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Unveiling of the Big 4 public artwork - decorated in the first instance by Nick Knight - created a real buzz of energy around Channel 4's HQ in Horseferry Road

Finding out by chance about a second BIMA nomination - Breaking the News for Education & Training category - forgot we'd even entered it

The corner of Soho around Marshall Street - former home of Solus Enterprises and Buzzy Films

Monday, October 15, 2007

This weekend's Happiness Experiment entries


The elation of the England rugby world cup victory over France - extraordinaire! Watched it downstairs at the Lord Palmerstone on Dartmouth Park Hill when I was supposed to be upstairs otherwise engaged - so naughty but nice factor too.

Getting D's compass fixed at the Italian clock-makers in Crouch End

Kicking the rugby ball with N and Gonzalo at Kenwood


Chatting with Alan Greenberg at the rugby field

Scraping light rods

Moroccan style soup in the autumn sun

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tower power

Top: Emily Allchurch after Bruegel - Tower of London (2005)

Bottom: Bruegel - Tower of Babel (1563)

Tower of London courtesy of Emily Allchurch

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Art of London - Today's Happiness Experiment entry

A talk by gifted and original photographer/artist Emily Allchurch at Channel4, followed by a lovely chance encounter with her later at Frost & Reed gallery in St James's where her current exhibition Urban Chiaroscuro is hanging. She's clearly a great lover of London.

An autumnal afternoon walk through St James's Park with artist Laura Williams, creator of Aluna, the lunar clock - a hugely ambitious public artwork destined to appear on the north bank of the Thames opposite the Millennium Dome at the site of the East India docks. Another lover of London.

Watching the Marx Bros in Duck Soup with the Enfants Terribles - D schticking himself - especially the mirror scene

Bonus pleasures:
Finding out, out of the blue, that Big Art Mob has been shortlisted for a BIMA Award in the Art & Culture category

A splurge at Hatchards bookshop in Piccadilly including Peter Ackroyd's new book about the Thames, Robert Harris' new thriller, the first Biggles book for N, Michael Ondaatje's new novel for U, and a John Updike for book group

Yesterday's Track of the Day

Dazed & Confused by Led Zeppelin as performed by Letz Zep - guitar solo by the one&only Chris Cawte

Been dazed and confused for so long it's not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Lots of people talk and few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below

yesterday's Happiness Experiment entry

Witnessing Chris Cawte (as Jimmy Page) play an amazing guitar solo, using a cello bow to create weird&wonderful sounds, in Led Zeppelin's Dazed & Confused. Letz Zep played the Underworld in Camden Town - the best Led Zep tribute band in the whole wide world.

Reading Revolutionary Road after resting it for four years

Being filmed by the BBC for a factual tv conference in New York - thank God for post-production, hopefully bits of it made some sense...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

The post-gym zing

Autumn light

N winning his karate competition (kata)

Bonus pleasure:

Healthy eyes

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Track of the Day

Dweller on the Threshold by Van Morrison (what a great title - it's got something to do with theosophy)

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

I have seen without perceiving
I have been another man
Let me pierce the realm of glamour
So I know just what I am

Was listening to this walking in the darkness on the rainy, tree shadowy street towards Church Vale

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Listening to Van all the way home

Going to visit a school with N (Compton) - musing about what a bad name Sunny Way, where we parked, is on a morning like this morning

Getting an intimate email from U

Two bonus Pleasures:

leaves on my car when i returned in darkness

opening a huge hamper with the Missus and Enfants Terribles - reward from Alchemy cross-platform lab

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

England getting their shit together in the rugby - a sweet victory

A late afternoon stroll on Bricket Wood Common in Herts.

Tea at the Rugoletta, our local Italian - and the quiet walk home at dusk

Thought for the Day

"books are doors"
Jeanette Winterson
on Radio 4 this morning

Friday, October 05, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Receiving two RTS Innovation Awards nominations for Big Art Mob and Empire's Children

Family rock-out on Friday evening

Route march to skool with the enfants terribles - beautiful, fresh autumnal morning

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

Walking round in a T-shirt at this time of the year - today's T: my Gil Scott-Heron one from that great Jazz Caff gig (Gil, hope you're peaceful wherever the fuck they've put you)

Watching the Big 4 start to come together under an autumn sun

Thinking about Steve

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Deep Joy - today's Happiness Experiment entry

Meeting Peter Hook of Joy Division - he signed my copy of Atmosphere. Atmosphere is used in Anton Corbijn's film Control to mark the discovery of Ian Curtis' death and his ascent into the atmosphere

Watching the offline of the first episode of Picture This featuring Martin Parr and my dealer Alex Proud - on the train to Aardman Animation in Bristol

Reading with D in the garden, in the fading light of an autumn evening

Known Pleasure - Track of the Day

Isolation by Joy Division as featured in the film Control - about two minutes ago I met Peter Hook at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley : the last time I saw him was nearly 30 years ago at the Lyceum in Lodon supporting the Buzzcocks - tonight I remember Ian Curtis and my friend Steve Simmons, may they rest in peace

But if you could just see the beauty
These things I could never describe
These pleasures a wayward distraction
This is my one lucky prize

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Today's Happiness Experiment entry

A train journey back from Crewe with fellow travelers Jaqueline Hurt of Olswang, Jon Kingsbury of BBC and Garret Keogh of RDF

Fresh air and sunshine

Coming home


"The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money."

John Henry Jowett