July 2006

Journal Entry, 3 Jul 2006: Well, England are out of this year’s World Cup after losing to Portugal on Saturday. Wayne Rooney (petulant teenage star player) had a red card for stamping on an opponent’s goolies. This should make an interesting chapter in his five-volume autobiography.

4 Jul: Yesterday Mike Allen gave me a sample of Chinese yellow 74 to test. The colour was miles out, so I showed him, and it turned out that we had got samples of both yellow 74 and yellow 83 which had been mislabelled. If only I had been told this originally…

Tonight on Radio Three they’re playing that Chopin Nocturne – the one I first heard back in 82, after reading a brief biography in a compendium.
At work, Ann was reading the ‘Sun’ newspaper website and found an item about some bloke who had sexually molested 17 rabbits and a guinea-pig. Naturally I waved in glee and cried ‘Bring me another one, this one’s split!’


It’s June; I wear my Polaroids to work
And as my visor falls the air grows rich
With oil-slick rainbows, dragon-wild
The cars and houses swarm with coloured
Electricity, dancing like a twisted hologram
That makes each journey seem a magic trip.

And then one day my Polaroids
Brought into focus – so it seemed –
A million ghosts, who sad not angry
Wanted only to be heard. ‘Be gentle
With our memories’, they said;
‘You are our sons and we your heritage.’

10 Jul: Well, we were asked to go to a buffet lunch with Steve S today – Tech Service and Sales.  I was expecting us to be given a brief talk about his impending purchase of all the company shares.
But no…we just ate the buffet, chatted about the footie and other TV shows, then SS made some remark about “Well, it’s important that I get together with you from time to time..” and that was it. We just went back to work.

11 Jul: Today at work we were discussing ladies’ underwear and I said ‘Have you ever heard ‘Arnold Layne’?’ & Adam said ‘No’.
Later on it was announced that Syd Barrett has died. How weird is that?

31 Oct: I’ve bought a couple of low-energy lightbulbs for the flat, so in the morning when I turn them on the lounge is filled with a feeble speckled grey light which steadily gains strength.
Sunday afternoon went to see ‘Departed’, an undercover cop thriller movie. Scorsese, di Caprio, Nicholson – it had everything except subtlety. Odd soundtrack, a bit intrusive.

15 Nov: Finished typing MAG minutes and sent off to Tony, Paul, Thomas & Bill for approval.
Today Adrian told us that  Steve Smith is to amalgamate the Magruder product range into EC.
Had my appraisal review document back: my job title is Senior Application Paint Lab Technician. Although the review includes a reference to my self-funded Management Course, neither Steve nor Alan has mentioned it.

16 Nov: Comment from Alan D, written in my appraisal review: “Tim’s experience with pigments will be valued elsewhere.”
(Note: when I examined my personnel file, it turned out that Alan had stuck a strip of paper over Adrian’s original comment in order to post this remark.)

17 Dec: Last night went with Brett and Helen (and the staff at the salon) to the Chinese Buffet restaurant.  We gorged on rich food and some SA red wine.
Then to Napoleon’s and had more red wine. Brett got a bit unsteady and we left, then headed to taxi office – B collapsed and we ended up being taken to the Infirmary. (Thanks to whoever in the queue had the sense to call 999)
Got back to Monton at 5 a.m.
(Note: a few days later, B- ran into one of the girls who had been with us in the restaurant, but not joined us later on. She asked if he had been okay on the night. ‘Why, how did you know about that?’ he asked. It turned out that the entire party had gone down with food poisoning after the meal)

01 Jan 2007: The fireworks at midnight went on for about 40 minutes. While I was looking out for them, I spotted two lads in black hoodies lurking around the motorbike in next-door’s laundry area. Put bedroom light on and yelled at them, and they disappeared.
Didn’t bother listening to Big Ben; instead I put on my CD of ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train.

Tears of Lucifer

And just like sixteen years ago
I find myself on platform three
At Truro station; it’s raining
Now as hard as it did then
And the sky is tessellated from
The same grey seagull-wings.

At a nearby table in the café
Another diner breaks with hungry force
A crab-claw; the sound
Reminds me that our friend Saddam
Was due to hang as punishment
For doing what we wanted him to do.

2 May 2006: Last week Dave Tench turned up at work to go over his new QC test method with me. Among his detailed instructions was a technical drawing of the round spice-rack to hold jars for dispersing pigment on the Red Devil shaker.
The measurements were mistakenly given in centimetres rather than millimetres (think ‘Spinal Tap’) so we would have had to buy a new Red Devil about four feet in diameter!



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