I can't sleep, and I don't want to fight it, so a late-night blog it is.
Sleeplessness aside, I'm enjoying a stretch of time back in Cardiff, after a fair bit of back-and-forthing to London. The travel has all been for excellent purpose - I'm going to Poland in September for a film shoot, and there have been a number of workshops in preparation. It's only now that the workshops are done that it's properly sunk in that I'm going. I've never been to anywhere in eastern Europe before, and although I know it will be a busy ten days, I hope I'll have some time to look around. The project itself is exciting; more so now that I have more of a grasp on what we're doing. The loose narrative is based around a family of four; there are four actors going, but we will not be tied to one character - we will swap and change and take turns. Some continuity is provided by the costumes of the family, which include latex masks made by the talented director. It's been an intriguing process so far, and only promises to become more so.
(As research of sorts, I've just watched the film "I'm Not There", in which six different actors play aspects of the character of Bob Dylan. It's not as similar as I thought it might be, but the film's worth seeing for Cate Blanchett alone.)
It's good to be home. I get up the morning and usually have the house to myself. I walk barefoot in the garden with my morning coffee and check on the tomato plants. I take afternoon naps (necessary if you have trouble sleeping at night). I cook proper meals.
It's good to be in Cardiff too. Yesterday I worked all day pulling pints in the brewery run by my friend the Aussie. He's built it up himself, and holds monthly mini-festivals with music and his beer on tap. I like serving. I've always enjoyed service work, actually. I worked at Starbucks for years, in Canada and here in the U.K., and while I could have done without the corporate bullshit, I genuinely enjoyed connecting with people as I made their drinks. Of course it feels much better to be doing it for a friend's business, than some shareholder-beholden behemoth. Friendly faces always turn up at the bar, and the music's good. Yesterday a woman who'd been at the festival most of the day came up and thanked me for "still smiling" even though I'd been working all day. That truly makes it worth it. After we stopped serving, and all the punters had finally cleared out, we sat around and ate the remnants of the BBQ and had some quiet pints ourselves. Then as I was cycling home, I caught up with a couple who'd been at the beer festival; we recognised each other and ended up sharing a companionable ride through the quiet side streets of Splott. I had a real "I love Cardiff" moment, a sense of warm satisfaction.
And another such moment this morning. I'd somewhat creakily pulled myself out of bed and cycled to the market to stock up on cheap veggies. I hadn't been in a while - I've been away a few weekends now. At my usual veggie stall the lady tallying up my order commented that I was there alone this week. It was a lovely surprise, to think that she knows my face and has even noticed that generally the Clown and I shop together. I explained that he's away up in Scotland. She's Thai and her English isn't great, so I suspect she now thinks the Clown is Scottish. She then asked if I had to stay behind to take care of our baby. "No, no, no, there's no baby". I'm not sure she got that either. She knocked a quid off the order total. I imagine it was out of sympathy, either at the image of my lonely vigil at home with the baby, or at the thought of the Clown, away on work in a strange town, bereft of both partner and child. It was touching, and as soon as I was out of sight of the stall I had to call the Clown to let him know: Splott misses him too.