Stuart's Diary

“there is peace outside in the narrow light”  Final Day, Young Marble Giants

if only you could see it and hear it and taste it. something always gets in the way..  but keep looking. and if you can’t find it then at least try to adapt yourself to the situation. try and adapt to your ‘adverse circumstances’.

it’s all a test isn’t it? life. it’s a great big maths test. or a ‘krypton factor’ test. an assault course that works on all levels. testing your love, patience, courage, 24 hours a day.

i love the notion, a traditional Buddhist one i think, that we are only touching our suitcases down in the hall. that we came from somewhere, we are going somewhere, and that our life is only a chapter; like a wet weekend in Bexhill-On-Sea.

Somehow it takes the pressure off a little, to think about that suitcase.

“If i could only escape the sound of that scaffolding going up, i would be happy. If they would only shut up..”

“If she would only have an accident. Not a terrible one, but just bad enough so that she had to leave the department for a year. Then I would be happy.”

“If i only had enough in the budget to afford fresh squeezed orange juice. Well, my joy would be complete.”

Your happiness would only be fleeting i bet.

Nothing is guaranteed. The only thing guaranteed is that you have to be flexible enough to parry and dodge whatever shit life throws.

And when it gets too much, maybe there’s something in the suitcase that will help.


i met St Vincent a couple of times in the last year, Annie Clark. She seems like a really nice person. Kind of wished i hadn’t asked her to sing Lazy Line Painter Jane with us that one time. It’s like a nervous twitch i have, if ever there’s a strong female vocalist on the same bill as us, i end up asking them to sing LLPJ at some point. She made some excuse, which was probably wise.

Anyway, i listened to her radio show on 6 music at christmas, and enjoyed it, though i was thinking, wow where did you get the time to make that, i just played the same show as you a couple of days ago, and i’m in the bath at home, unable to move or breath with mental exhaustion, and there you are, moving gracefully through the festive period, hatching new plans and ideas.

But then i just read a piece where she described the last few years of touring as “slowly pushing the boulder up the mountain”. thing is, maybe that what you have to do to get to the heights she finds herself at now. it’s quite an old fashioned notion,and not a bad one at all; a musician’s work ethic to get to the top.

our band have never pushed any boulders. the most we did was scatter some marbles and then fall on our arses. but we had fun doing it. maybe if someone had shown us the boulder at some point and said ‘have a shove at that’, we might have had a go. but probably not.

i hope i’m not coming across as superior here, i’m certainly not trying to be. it’s just that it’s finally a beautiful still calm midsummer night in scotland. the window is open and i can just hear conversation and bird song in just the right balance. the kid has finally stopped pooping and is asleep star-shaped on top of the blanket. the missus is out absorbing a well deserved gin or three. and i’m getting that tickle, that nice nice feeling, like i’m at the tip of a wormhole, ready to get sucked in. and the wormhole might lead me to art, to music, to a better life.

i don’t want to push a boulder, i don’t have the strength, and i don’t have the time.  i’d far rather just come along and find that the boulder had already been rolled away.

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Nov 11th, 2016. Observations on a new birth.
Sleevenotes – Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
April 27th, 2016. “Sally and Sam”
Sleevenotes – The Boy With The Arab Strap
Sleevenotes – If You’re Feeling Sinister
Sleevenotes – Tigermilk
February 6th, 2016. Tense, nervous, can’t relax.
january 22nd, 2016
January 12th, 2016: “The Next Day”
September 25th, 2015. Tour report!
7 July 2015: Typical, lazy, mid-tour interview
June 29th, 2015. Let the music play on play on play on..
Friday, June 26th, 2015: A wet weekend in Bexhill-On-Sea
Porto, June 5th, 2015
Nov 8th, 2014. An interesting 36 hours or so in the life a soft rock singer.
God Help The Girl update
Oct 24, 2011
May 4th, 2011. “Irked, but only for a moment”
February 7th, 2011: Songs About Songs
Jan 19th, 2011
Jan 13th, 2011
Jan 5th, 2011
Excerpt from ‘The Celestial Cafe’
September 22, 2010
September 14, 2010. Lord Anthony
September 12, 2010