I can't believe we are just over a week into the new year now. On Tuesday I came back to Leeds. Karla came back to the flat on Wednesay and Malek arrived today after he and two other friends of ours returned from New York where they celebrated New Year and general toured around (he is currently still unpacking I am sure there shall be many more stories yet).
I had tried to bring too much home in the first place, and adding various Christmas bits to that when I came back meant that I had way too much to carry on the train and back to the flat. Even taking a taxi, something sharp in my bag had rubbed against my leg giving me a scratch up my leg which wasn't much fun. When I got back to the cold flat, I put the heating on, put my bags down and went to the shops before they shut to buy milk and something for dinner. Safeway inexplicably had sold out of milk so I bought a pizza and returned to the flat which...smelt of gas. Well, the area around our front door on the ground floor did, not our actual flat - that bit belongs to the hairdressers which we live above.
I ate a slice of pizza and went back down to double check. I had to call my parents to get the emergency Transco Gas phone number as we don't have a phone directory. Having called Transco I was able to finish the pizza before they actually arrived. There followed two or three hours of exploration around the flat, the basement and the area outside the front door to see where the gas could possibly be coming from. The device used to give an indication of gas in the air gave the impression that it was coming from the locked hairdressers. The police were called, 8 of them came with a van that would have enabled them to get into any conceivable room, no matter what it was locked with. They were ready to break a glass front door to get in, but the man from Transco and myself were feeling a little more cautious: a locksmith was called who opened the back door. Of course, as soon as the Transco bloke goes in with his detection equipment the burglar alarms in the hairdressers squeal into action. There was no gas in there (just as well the police didn't break in then...) and another bloke came from Transco to decide whether or not there was a gas problem. With all those people going in and out, and the door being open there wasn't actually much of a gas smell by the time the second Transco bloke arrived. But he did wander about more and declared the entranceway to the flat gas free. The smell and meter readings, it was reckoned, may have come from sewage work done as builders work on a new block of apartments nearby. But I should still call them if we smell gas again.
So it was around 10.30pm or so by the time I did normal things like unpacking and switching on radiators (or gas was turned off when we thought there might be a leak). Almost all fun and games. By the time Karla turned up on Tuesday I was quite happy to see another person, and we went to a large Morrisons to restock our cupboards and fridge.
I spent a bit of time whilst at home going through all the old cassettes I used to record music on to, to copy any good ideas I might have had on to computer for me to refer to back in Leeds. I now have a big list with keys and tempos and names for things on it and in my copious spare time I'm going through this list experimenting to see which bits might fit well with other bits to make songs. I want to finish all these ideas off because I'm pretty sure I could get an album of material out of it. I'm aided and abetted by Mark Fleming and Diana Cole from about 5 years ago (who helped write the initial stuff when we played in a band together, and I still have the pages of lyric ideas they wrote which I've referred to), Claire and Charlotte down near Bath who are also going to be messing with some of my more recent stuff (Charly is putting together a demo of material she has written and collaborated on which Claire is mostly recording), and Eleanor whom I had collaborated with for a while on material that was basically finished but might be jigged about with or even have more material added to it (I know she has been working on lyrics but I haven't seen them yet...). So it's all go there, and this is currently my biggest distraction from what I should be doing: university work.
And so it is reluctantly now, having done a belated blog entry, that I turn back to the university work. I'm going to write a basic music sequencer program this week. Hopefully it won't be too problematic because I have to hand it in on Friday. Still, Malek has to create a complete DVD before Thursday so at least I won't be alone in working all the time. And at least I'm not jet-lagged. I did talk to Malek and Karla about the idea of putting a photo of all of us on here somewhere, but they want to take one specially so until we get around to that, you'll just have to carry on picturing it (which will be easier to do if you know them I suppose...). Anyway, work is a-calling, more from me later.