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March 7th, 2017

slide out of your skin and let me in

I needed to get the sun on my face today. I walked three or four miles via the cuts, down to Aston Science Park and turning off towards Digbeth. Catkins out, red deadnettle and gorse in flower; a Paul Nash-ish daymoon in the sky. There's a certain music to bridges: the slop and lap of the canal after a boat has passed, water dripping from a brick arch, the throaty croons and flutter of pigeons in the girders of a railway bridge. Some of the factories and buildings I noted along the way last summer have been demolished (it seems there's a crane everywhere you look in town at the moment). I ended up in the pub opposite the old Curzon Street staion which has been boarded up for a while after being used temporarily as arts admin offices (a mummified cat was found by workmen there a few years ago). Drank a tangy golden beer called Time Machine.

Speaking of Wells, the new R4 version of War of the Worlds is something of a disappointment. It tries to carry a visual iconic story through pretty much dialogue alone, when imaginative sound design and some of the original narration would do it wonders. You're better off relistening to the Jeff Wayne album. The rest of 4's current Mars season has been pretty good though, looking at various utopias and paradigms of the Red Planet.

I bought a new olive-green military coat last week and have been pretty much living in it ever since. It has rounded lapels like a smoking jacket and deep pockets, perfect for books, gloves, tobacco, oddments picked up on walks and the seventies "pocket binoculars" I got at the same time. They fold down into something like a cigarette case; my dad had a pair donkeys' years back and I wanted them badly.