o n t o u r / g r a n n y

[ 01:51 thursday 1 may – haggerston road, london ]

i washed up in london this morning after an eleven-day rampage across san francisco, silicon valley and new york. most days i worked fourteen to sixteen hours non-stop, not exactly my ideal pattern of activity. this stakhanovite fervour was required because i was interlacing several different sets of commitments. first, trampoline was one of twenty british technology start-ups picked for a programme of promotional events in california; second, we launched our new flagship technology in san francisco; third, the company had a stand at the web2.0 conference; fourth, i had a few seminars to deliver; fifth, i had a welter of meetings with customers and investors. everything worked out extremely well but i was comprehensively fried at the end of it.

mercifully it was possible to squeeze in a few extra-curricular activities. on friday i did a three-hour performance with shemoel, cyrus and others at the san francisco art institute; preceded by a tumultuous jam session on the wednesday. this was an utter joy. shemoel and i have decided to set up a small label as a platform for ourselves and others ploughing a similar musical furrow. the previous weekend daniel invited me to last ever san francisco performance by the beaux arts trio, which was exquisite. afterwards i spent several hours playing bach and schubert at the piano with his son nate. on saturday the weather was glorious so i rescheduled my new york flight and drove out to walk in the wilds of the marin headlands. nate came along and proved an effective hunter. without warning he would jab his hand into a bush and withdraw it clasping some writhing creature. during the afternoon he caught several species of lizard, a succession of plump newts and (the piece de resistance) an endangered san francisco garter snake with a half-eaten slug hanging out of its mouth. my thanks to simon and annie for sharing their homes in san francisco and new york respectively.

now my world turns darker. in the final days of the trip granny went into hospital with a thrombosis in her foot. surgery was not successful and the further recourse, amputation of the leg, was deemed impractical for a woman of ninety-two years. in the coming days or weeks she will develop gangrene and die. only when i finished my last meeting in new york and set off on the subway towards the airport did the emotional reality strike me. i had tears streaming down my face for much of the journey back to london. tomorrow i travel to ludlow to be with her.

: c :

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