The drugstorecave has been buzzing with activity. Managed to finish a couple of demos and feel an unashamed sense of achievement, not only because it's always exciting to turn the abstract into something tangible, but I also feel pretty good about having overcome some of the ridiculous shortcomings of the ministudio set-up itself: dodgy stereo leads held together by old masking tape, noisy cables, missing bits of software and so forth. Have now resigned to the fact that sound quality will remain fairly poor, but taking comfort in the fact that, in this instance, core content hopefully more valuable than sound quality. I've been doing all my singing very quietly, as trying to keep a low-profile and not upset the neighbours. Although I'm happy to be 'the only smoker in the village', not terribly keen on being the 'noisiest'. But singing quietly really suits most of the stuff I write anyway, as it gives it the intimacy I'm after, that is often lost in the controlled environment of a professional recording studio. Had a call from a musician mate of mine, who for years has been trying to get his band off the ground. As usual, I dreaded asking what's been happening with his band, for inevitably it leads to the same old answer: "nothing much, really...". I often think about how our lives are shaped and how some people seem to move in the right direction, while others are left behind. Around the time we released our 2nd album, I was often asked if I believed in fate and whether some things were meant to be; I'm not surprised, given that the album was called 'White Magic for Lovers'; A good title, I think, but one that has led to a great deal of misunderstanding, that has for long troubled me. 'White Magic for Lovers', the song, was not advocating faith in the occult and obscure, but acknowledging our inability to overcome loss, and how we completely lose sight of reason when overwhelmed by emotion, that was all. There is indeed no masterplan, and our lives are just a result of our actions, what we actually do, and its interaction with everything else that happens around us. So we can and should take a good share of responsibility for what happens to us. We cannot, obviously, control what happens out there, but that is part of the excitement. So please, next time you see me, avoid giving me any 'lucky crystals', as they'll be mercilessly thrown away, alongside anything else that is remotely vague. As for my mate, who is still trying to get his band off-the ground, and hoping that 'something, someday, will turn-up', I hope he takes note: Dear Alex, if you really believe in your work, I think you ought to do something about it. Maybe start a website or a blog about your band, upload some of your demos, open the door, and then, who knows, maybe then something good might happen.