It being the New Year and all… I am trying to write a big underline under the project and start making sense of all this material. I did work over Christmas but somehow the imagined stretch of expansive time never quite turned out that way. Still I did get a bit of head space and am confirmed in the way forward, having got the narrative clear in my head.

Good news is my Marion doll has arrived at last, having been captured by the Post Office over Christmas and held to ransom to the tune of seventy one pounds and fifty seven pence. That apparently is VAT plus various additional ‘handling’ charges that mysteriously occur. I was under the impression that when you pay Parcel Force to deliver an item that it also includes handling, otherwise how does it work for heaven’s sake??? They already have 60 quid for delivering it… yes I was not happy… but such are the Chinese walls within the process that you give up the will to live if you attempt any futile questioning of how this came to be.

On the up side – she looks good! 1:12 scale which means tiny… and lovely detail. Now I need to make plans for her film career. There is a certain irony here as, despite an impressive concert and television career, the real Marion steadfastly refused to be made into a film star… and there were plenty of offers. She was more inclined to look after donkeys, and still would be if she were fit enough.

Gavin in Hartlepool reckons the arrangement for my song should be fine tuned by next week too which is exciting.

I’m giving a talk on my work at Cleveland College in a couple of weeks, where this project will be the main subject, so I look forward to combining that with a musical meet up. Next step is getting the band to play it; a task which I have every confidence I can manage, but I really don’t imagine it’s going to be straightforward. I have invented a character who is a composite of two people I knew in the past, and he will be the person I credit with writing the melody for this monster of a song. I am calling him Brunel (christian name yet to be decided) in reference to the bridge building required to bring this thing into being.

I have another clip put together – see please take a look… I am feeling my way forward with these ‘sketches’ (I take perverse pleasure in calling them that as my old art master used to say you should always say ‘drawings’ not ‘sketches’.. but in this context it is appropriate).

A Rainbow – whisper #2