William's Study (Diary Of A Hyperdreamer)
Thursday 20th August 2009 -- 8:20 pm
Feeling tired, sad and somewhat less than chipper. Was up at 6 am this morning to take Emi to Leeds/Bradford airport. She is flying to Japan today (20th August), to visit her mother who is terminally ill.
The last few weeks have been very difficult for Emi due to her mother's deteriorating health, plus having to honour a freelance wedding flower commission which made it impossible for her to fly to Tokyo any earlier. But now she's finally on her way to be by her mother's side.
We waved a sad goodbye to each other at the airport this morning after a 45 minute drive through the pleasant Yorkshire countryside. Couldn't help thinking how different Tokyo will seem to Emi. She's become as fond of the beautiful North Yorkshire landscape as myself.
Leeds/Bradford Airport, which is actually situated near the village of Yeadon, is very convenient for us, far more so than Manchester, (which is where Emi flew from last year). Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to Japan from Leeds/Bradford Airport so Emi's journey is via Amsterdam where she will have a three hour wait for her connecting flight to Tokyo.
Her flight from Manchester Airport last year wasn't direct either so, really, there's no particular advantage in travelling all the way to the far side of Manchester when there's a much more convenient departure point just 45 minutes drive from our Yorkshire home. And, as I said, it's a pleasant, scenic drive free from motorway pressures.
The early morning sunshine warmed the hills and fields as we skirted the edge of the en-route Harewood House Estate, (where we'd been guests at the Eric Clapton concert last year), before turning off the main road onto the A659 winding its way through the village of Arthington, then on to Pool, then left, before Otley, and up the hills towards Yeadon and the airport itself.
As the journey progressed, the golden sunshine gradually gave way to grey clouds, suitably matching our increasingly sad mood.
We'd both been dreading the moment of parting, trying not to think about it...but when it came it was emotional and distressing, made even more so because of the reason for Emi's trip and the uncertainty about when she will be able to return to England. Although her return ticket is booked for the 4th of September, (in two weeks time), there's a very real and worrying possibility that she will need to stay in Japan for quite a while longer than that. It all depends on her mother's condition over the next two weeks.
It doesn't seem very long since Emi's previous trip to Japan, last year, when her mother was admitted to hospital for surgery related to intestinal cancer. At the time, the surgery was deemed to be successful and Emi's mum made what appeared to be a reasonably good recovery. Sadly, it was not to last and now we've now been told that nothing can be done to stop the progress of the disease.
Emi has regularly called the hospital in Tokyo to speak with her mother but each time, her mum seems to have become weaker. Such a vast distance between England and Japan...It's made the situation really hard for Emi to bear. My heart has gone out to her but I've felt helpless. All I can do is try to be supportive and understanding. But now Emi and I are to be separated by thousands of miles too and my help will be little more than words on a telephone line, stretched half-way around the world. We both need to be strong.
Emi's eldest brother has warned her that she will be shocked when she sees her mum's physical condition. Equally worrying is Emi's impression, from her calls to the Tokyo hospital, that her mother is becoming increasingly weak and depressed and has given up her struggle to fight the illness. We're praying that Emi's arrival in Tokyo will ignite some spark of energy and hope in her mother.
But, it's a time of suffering. It seems the last few years have been blighted with one mortal situation after another. We're at that time of life, I guess.
My lonely drive back home from the airport this morning was filled with dark thoughts and dark clouds, the mood lifted only for a couple of minutes when my mobile 'phone rang. It was Emi, calling on her mobile from the airport departure lounge to tell me that she was now waiting at the gate to board the 'plane to Amsterdam, which was on time, and that she wished I was by her side.
As I've attempted to explain before in this diary, we are a very close and fortunate couple in that we complete each other, live for each other and, even though we were born on opposite sides of the world with quite different social and cultural backgrounds, we have a quiet, gentle, almost telepathic relationship. Soul mates in so many ways. And, despite the fact that I'm not the easiest person to live with, (aren't most artists obsessive, driven characters with a stupidly stubborn streak and a desperate need for love?) Emi stoically accepts my negative attitudes and heroically nurtures whatever positive ones I can muster. I'm extremely lucky to have her to share my life with me.
But, right now, here I sit totally alone in the house, (except for two sleepy cats), contemplating what might turn out to be several weeks of solitary existence. No choice in the matter. I'll have to get used to it.
Of course, I have plenty of work to attend to. I always have, 'though today I'm not much in the mood for anything other than writing up my sorrows in this diary. But I must try to get on with my work as best I can...and soon too.
There's still tons of Nelsonica work for me to prepare. I've been so busy these last few weeks, creating new video and live performance pieces for the event. I've now completed several brand new backing tracks to improvise with. The problem is, only a scant few of these tracks appeal to me. Many of them are 'shunters,' (ie: they'll end up on next year's convention album). Nevertheless, I've probably got enough decent new pieces to add to the older pieces in my solo performance set. I THINK...
Having said that, I've yet to choose ANY pieces to perform, old OR new, let alone deciding upon their sequence before mastering the backing tracks at Fairview.
Actually, there's another new instrumental piece in progress at the moment...it might be completed by tomorrow evening. (Or it might not.) No fixed title for it as yet but it's definitely shaping up to be a contender for the Nelsonica set list.
Took a break after the above paragraph, during which I received two more 'phone calls from Emiko. She's arrived safely in Amsterdam. First call was to tell me of that...second call an hour later to tell me she's bored with waiting for her connecting flight, but that the airline is soon to begin the boarding proceedure. She'd found a noodle bar on the Amsterdam airport concourse and treated herself to a lunch of Japanese-style Ramen. Noodles are one of her favourite Japanese foods.
At this stage, the psychic umbilical cord that connects us doesn't feel too stretched. Hearing her voice from Amsterdam is like hearing her call from York to home to ask if there's anything I need from the supermarket. But soon, as her flight carries her further and further away, the sense of distance will become more and more acute.
It was only two days ago that I helped her deliver and set up the wedding flower arrangements that she'd created for a reception at the rather splendid Rudding Park Hotel on the edge of Harrogate. She'd worked very hard all last weekend, without any assistance, sculpting away at a huge array of flowers, including some stunning roses, to provide several table arrangements, a big mantlepiece arrangement, two large bouquets for the mothers of the bride and groom, plus the bride's own bouquet, etc, etc. When we delivered the arrangements to the venue, the wedding supervisor at Rudding Park praised Emi's work, saying that it was 'absolutely beautiful.' Everyone who sees her work says the same. Nice to have such a genuine response, I think, especially when Emi is so modest and unassuming about her talents. I'm very proud of her.
Another break since the above. It's now 6:32 pm. The clouds cleared briefly this afternoon but the sun shining through my studio window made it difficult to see my computer screen...so I decided to go into town for a while. Needed some treats for Django and Tink and something easy to cook for my dinner. There will be lots of microwave tv dinners over the next few weeks I suspect. I have no time or inclination to cook something decent for myself. I expect the village fish n' chip shop will see me more frequently than usual too.
Had to negotiate heavy traffic on the way home from York city centre. It's the races, 'The Ebor' I believe this particular one is called. Whilst horse racing brings business into the city during the season, they're a curse for
those of us who live nearby and get stuck in the constant tacky parades of stretch limos and excursion coaches.
Always amusing to see the drunken race-goers staggering along the pavements from the racecourse though...Men with hilarious footballer-style haircuts in bad suits accompanied by women with orange-coloured skin, dressed in bust-revealing frocks at least a size too small for them, wobbling about on heels unsuitable for anything other than bedroom entertainment, whilst clinging on to hats that might be better employed straining a salad. I overheard one worse-for-wear guy mumbling to someone on the other end of his mobile 'phone: "Well, I didn't actually WIN anything...but I only lost a few hundred quid."
Yes I know I shouldn't laugh, but I did.
Change of subject: Les Paul, a guitarist whose work, (both as a musician and inventor of studio technology), had inspired me since I was a young man, has sadly passed away. The news came as something of a shock, even though I knew he was 94 years old. Les always seemed invincible, having survived all kinds of physical set backs throughout his life. He was, to quote the old cliche, 'one of a kind.' A unique and brilliant artist to whom all modern day guitarists owe a debt. His albums grace my shelves and his fortitude and attitude continue to inspire. And, his little note to me is framed here on my studio wall, something I will always treasure.
And now a break for dinner. A Tesco microwave fantasia of salmon fillet in watercress sauce with two new potatoes with some peas and broccoli. Close the door and ZAP! Instant dinner. Emi isn't the only one suffering airline food.
It's now 8:28 pm.
I ate the microwave meal, (which actually wasn't bad), then spoke with my mother on the 'phone. We speak to each other two times per day, morning and evening. She's a compulsive worrier and needs regular reassurance. That's where I get my own weird nervousness from, I guess.
Anyway, I'm now back in my little studio, typing these words, a glass of Merlot by my side. Django and Tink are outside in the fields somewhere, terrorising the rodent population.
I'm wondering whether I should attempt to post this diary entry on my website now or have a shot at mixing the previously mentioned backing track first? I need to decide on some images to accompany the diary, which means a little computer re-sizing and tweaking work.
Or, maybe I'll finish this diary entry tomorrow and attempt the backing-track mix tonight, or at least get the first stage of it set up.
Hell no, it's now 9 pm and I'm far too tired to start a mix. I'll try to post this entry on the Dreamsville site instead...maybe add some photo's of Emi's flowers and a snap of my autographed Les Paul note. Then watch a movie on tv, or a DVD.
In any case, tiredness aside, I'm hoping to be awoken in the early hours by a 'phone call from Emi to tell me that she has arrived safely at Narita airport.
Another diary entry soon, I suspect. Need someone to talk to.
The photos accompanying this diary entry are of Emiko's recent wedding flowers, plus a pic of the framed Les Paul autograph that hangs on my studio wall.