Just Nathan

A musical offering, in parts
September 30, 2002
Underneath the sheltering sky

Today was the most memorable birthday of my life. Alfred had organised a set-up whereby an evening meeting was cancelled and I was dragged away from my desk at 15:30. We drove to a golf club near Longstanton - even as we drove into the car park I had no idea. I assumed we were going for a golf lesson (oh the distantly remembered humiliation)! It was only when I saw all the people standing around the car park that I realised something else was up.


We all had to help offload the gondola, unfurl the huge balloon and inflate it.


Landscape in the haze

The gondola was far more capacious than I had imagined, there were sixteen passangers, plus the pilot. We drifted with the wind about a thousand feet above the flat Cambridgeshire landscape, with Ely cathedral in the hazy distance, fields, roads, villages and drainage canals below.

The overall sensation was dreamlike. It was as though we were floating in silence (except for the occasional burst of the gas burner). I was careless, ecstatic, eyes wide open and scared to blink in case I missed an iota of the experience. A rarity for me to live in the moment.

The sounds that carry into the air are odd. An ice cream van blared out its instrusive tune, dogs barked and children in a garden screamed their pleasure and waved at us as we floated by, underneath the sheltering sky.

The sun set, and it suddenly seemed chilly. We landed north of Chatteris and helped rolll up the balloon before a bumpy ride in a Jeep back to Longstanton.

The rest of the pictures are in the gallery.

We later went to Venue for supper and had a rather pleasant bottle of Gewürztraminer.

An extraordinary day. Thank you, Alfred.

Posted by nathan at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)


September 29, 2002
Tapas and friends

Several friends came round yesterday evening. Jonathan made some marvellous Carol Channings. I can't remember the proportions, but there was a magnum of Veuve Cliquot, raspberry Eau de Vie, Crème a la Fraise des Bois and gomme syrup in there.


Raspberries, darling!

Jonathan is such a super friend, not just for his habit of breezing in with a magnum of champagne, but for his ability to make me laugh - scratch beneath the surface and there's an intelligent, thinking person too.



The evening as a whole was pleasant - I felt lucky to have such good friends. Xavier gave me the new Woody Allen 'Complete Prose', which I'll look forward to reading when I've finished the current pile of books.

A good meal at the Bun Shop was rather soured by (a) their refusal to serve us more tapas after 22:00 and (b) after we gave them a very generous tip, they immediately chucked us out, saying they wanted to close. I called the manageress this morning and asked her to investigate.

At the other end of the scale were the two new friends ('T&C') who failed to turn up. I met them a few weeks ago - they seemed very pleasant and interesting, we've been to the cinema and had dinner with 'T' since, and I was looking forward to seeing them last evening. Of course Alfred and Jonathan can't believe how thin-skinned I am. It's been my aim to meet new people in Cambridge and London this year. I feel the rebuff more keenly when people decide that they have no interest in returning the friendship.

Anyway, all in all, a pleasant antidote to the sting of my impending birthday.

I see that John Major may find himself in court over the Scallywag affair.

Posted by nathan at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)


September 28, 2002
Curried eggs

Edwina Currie revealed her 1984-1988 affair with John Major in today's Times. See the BBC news article for more tittle-tattle. The 'fragrant' Mary Archer was interviewed about her husband's recent escapades and came out with the most marvellous line "I am a little surprised, not at Mrs Currie's indiscretion, but at John's temporary lapse of taste".

I never liked Major's menacing grin. Trust me.

Posted by nathan at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)


September 27, 2002
You're just building a wall...

I've waded through nearly fifty CV's now, telephone interviewed half a dozen and met as many again and I'm now down to four people. It all feels scary. To move this business to the next level, I need to hire at least two new people and move out of the flat into an office. but there is just about enough business for the four of us at present and, although there are quite a few prospects, I should really have more confidence before making the move. Oh well, this business is becoming an obsession - I'm far too proud to be content with it as a one-man affair, so I have to grow it - but it's been much more difficult than I imagined.

Posted by nathan at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)


September 26, 2002

I hope nobody's reading this.

If I scream in an empty but curved universe, I may hear my voice or an echo return, but I'd need to have lived a long time.

Posted by nathan at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)


September 25, 2002
271 or 2665?

I should know. I'm sure it's 271U, but it doesn't seem as I remember it.

Oh dear - work's on my mind again.

Last night I saw Woody Allen's Stardust Memories on DVD. It was a delight, especially to see Sharon Stone's debut. It reminds me of that feeling of sweet loss, a yearning for a past that never quite was. I have called that feeling Wehmütigkeit, but the word is itself lost.

Have you ever dreamed of your life as a movie. You sit as the director, in an empty cinema, viewing your life's film with horror?

Posted by nathan at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)


September 24, 2002
Swindon, Gateway to the West

I'm still puzzling about what I should write in this journal, so please excuse a few days of delicious mundanities.

I have listed some potentially shocking revelations as follows:

1 Facts that reveal my identity
2 Facts that connect me with my work
3 Contentious, elitist or subjective observations about the world around me
4 Discussion on political, philosophical or religious themes
5 Intimate revelations about myself, my family and friends (amusing or inoffensive, or at least I think so)
6 Intimate revelations about myself, my family and friends that may cause offence
7 Depravities of thought and deed that I have never admitted

And that's only a draft list.

For example, did you know....?

So, to quell my fears, I've decided to start with entries that merely observe the day, reflect my mood and calm my nerves. This will doubtless lull me into a false sense of security, after which I will publish something I'll regret.

My fear, of course, isn't that of discovery - a few people know me as a "whole person", but of public discovery. Through this very mechanism of the Internet and my decision to write in this medium, I give you, the unbidden voyeur, permission to lift the net curtain and peek through the dusty window into my sordid life.

By the way, in the spirit of observation and open revelation, I was in Swindon today.

Posted by nathan at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)


September 23, 2002
You know my name


Now see my face

Posted by nathan at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)


September 22, 2002
OK, so where do I begin?

So I've chosen a name for my diary / "blog". You don't really need a reference do you? We can have a discussion about multiculturalism on the Internet another time.

But what should I write here? How honest should I be? Do you need to know my identity? Do I?

I've spent some time reading other people's "blogs" (I still can't get used to the word, it sounds ugly and techy). Some dance around the issues beautifully. You can't tell the age, location, sex, sexuality, name or occupation of the author from their artfully crafted and articulated text. Others are bewildering excercises in honesty - the Internet as confessional. Of course, the outcome depends upon the attitude of the author and my interpretation as the anonymous reader. One writer is insouciant, faintly arrogant and boasting of his sexual prowess. Another pours out his dissatisfactions and worries, as though to a therapist. Yet another sees the blog as a record of mundanities and platitudes in a seemingly anodyne stream of observations and consciousness.

Some "blogs" are updated many times a day, as though the author is compelled to document his every thought, others go through cycles of intermittent storytelling.

Shall I construct a fable akin to "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter"? Or a stream of consciousness. Should you know all of me, or just the part I choose to show? Do you care?

Oscar Wilde wrote in "A woman of no importance"; "All thought is immoral. It's very essence is destruction. If you think of something you kill it. Nothing survives being thought of".

I think of this now - and you now know me. My urge is now not to think, to care for the consequences of my revelations, but merely to let this trickle develop into a stream, find its own path and flow to its outlet, whichever way it is pulled by the urgent and unreasoning force of gravity.

Posted by nathan at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)


Sunday, bloody Sunday

Why do I have to spend 5 hours on a Sunday morning sitting at my desk, reading through CVs, checking my car insurance and writing letters and emails?

Posted by nathan at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)