Well, well, well.
Well, well, well, well, well.
As it were.
Worst Christmas ever.
We were so enthralled, that, even if we wanted to, we couldn't sleep. We stayed up all night waiting for Santa to come and put a little gift-wrapped box of hope under our second-hand tree.
Turns out we didn't even get a lump of coal. They didn't want to bring that old chestnut up again.
So yesterday we had our final practice before a trip to Belgium tomorrow. Tired and out at the studio 'til midnight. That saw us well. Dough-eyed, as usual, and with tails as low as the Lib Dem vote. New material? Che e eck. Playing the songs? Ch e e ck. Everything working? Ch e e e ee cck.
Enthusiasm trickling. Put it all back together like we haven't in a surprising while. We've all been holed up in our respective caverns, working on music and movies. Trying to balance the creation of the new with the return to the standard is a funny old see-saw of satisfaction. Tweak this and tweak that. More coffee. Keep it up. We descended a few times into lazy jams. The songs stumbled a little under our collective psyche.
BUT don't let that worry you. We're still attempting to keep our pride intact, and we don't take this stuff lightly, and we always look forward to it and try and do everything the best we can.
It's like when you've bought that new loaf of super-seeded incredi-bread, but you've got to use up the loaf you bought the other day. So long as the jam (hey!) is right, you're still having breakfast, but you kind of can't wait to open that other loaf. You fall asleep dreaming of unwrapping it, of reaching in past the end piece and running your finger along the strongly seeded top. Mmm. And a whiff of fresh. And you take the slices out, only two, and squeeze the little plump sponge canvasses and see the air pockets bulge and give way, gleefully.
Oh, bready bready bootsy.
And while it slowly cooks in a little box, and the room takes on the scent of history - of a million little repertoires performed throughout the ages and still, to this day, in most households with a heart and a Hovis - you pick up the bag and spin it, and it twists in the air like a ballerina, and you swing it around and it hovers delicately until you stop it with a thud, and this delicate and beautiful parcel gives you a noetic sensation of power and authority – the very thing that makes that well-baked coquette so restlessly enchanting – and to save the thing and keep its definition you tack the little label on the neck that runs to the bunched up bag like the stem of a rose, and you seal it. A little yellow leaf. And the sell-by-date is still days from now. There will be mornings more than this sweet sunrise. So you smile, and as you do two warm, golden brown hands pop up and wave hello, and they fall onto a plate and say how happy they are to see you.
And then you take the butter from the fridge. Butter so soft. Ripples so enveloping, she could churn heads (...). And then you take your knife from the drawer that rings like a treasure chest of an Emperor's silver, and you...
...spread about and messy and...and...
And then you wake up. It was a dream. And your real life kicks in. And the loaf is sat on top of the microwave, bulging at you. Plump, like a cat.
But you know you have to use up what you already had open; the loaf you bought on your way home the other day and you only had 50p in your pocket and didn't need enough stuff to spend on your card.
And the butter's all hard and unworkable and there are no clean knives, so you just find one sticking out the side of a pizza box and you wipe it on your pants and figure you're going to die one day, anyway.
And then you eat this weird biscuit that smells like pants and stare into the middle distance, thinking about the emptiness of the pain of thinking about nothing.
That's what it's like.
That's what it is.
That's where we are.
See you in Belgium.
I swear it's going to be fine.