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February 28, 2008
It’s taken way too long to get around to imparting this next portion of my life, the end of summer into the beginning of Postgrad study so I’m going to have to make it a quick run down even though it’s been way exciting and eventful, so imagine the events imparted multiplied by about 25 to cover all of the cool stuff I forget/don’t have the time to include. This will probs be my biggest post every so I don’t expect anyone but me to trawl through it but I’ll add as many pics as I can find to break it up. Also it only really reaches the start of uni in October:
So when I got back from France it was pretty swift before my cousin Tom, his friend Hugh and a French kid of about the same age were due to come over to stay. I went to pick up Billy from the Eurostar on the Friday afternoon, well 12ish; which is still morning to a lay-about like me. I took him home and initiated him into the hell that is the Oyster Card. Then I decided that the best thing to do for my cousin, his friend and this French fellow was to settle them down in front of a badass studio Ghibli movie: Castle in the Sky, which had the benefit of French subtitles. I was supposed to be educating this kid in English was I not? But it turned out that he wasn’t really interested and neither were Tom and Hugh. I also set out the Dreamcast in case that was more to their liking so Hugh and Tom played that into the night whereas I think Billy wanted to just go to bed and play on his phone and perhaps do a little reading (they all thought the film was too childish!! The fools!).
Planet Angel 10th August
That evening Becky and I went to Planet Angel which was as amazing as ever; we met some awesome new people and caught up with some of our Planet family. I left the Planet Angel website open so that Tom could check out the evening on the webcam but I doubt he saw us as we spent most of the mild evening in the garden, chilling massaging, drinking tea and watching poi. It was also cool to catch up with Will Mitchell and co. When we got home I said good morning to Gaia and laid out some breakfast for the kids.
We stocked up on food, and I took Billy to K-stores taking the time to explain to him the travel situation and pausing to check out the giant squash that was growing on our street. On the Saturday we chilled out and prepared stuff for the BBQ we planned to have, which was timed so that Billy and Tom etc could get a chance to hang out with various members of the London posse as they had been cruelly denied that chance on the Friday. We sadly missed a sunny hangout on the Thames beach which Foxy and the guys were at, but we were too whacked and we had to get coal in and prepare salads. Big style.
This was a frankly fantastic BBQ, I borrowed next doors flat BBQ and stoked up the chimenea. Loads of people came down for it, the Liverpool St & Ricky posse, the Film Folks, Nadders and his little bro Hamim, the delightful Gladers all made it along later in the evening (they’re evening people), Sylv (pictured) and a French friend of hers, Toby and a French mate of his who I’d met in Serville previously called Vianney. A couple of uni peeps made it over as well as Nathan and even Becky's sisters made it down and Maddy stayed for a few days after, and we hit the Tate en masse.
Everyone ate bountiful meats salads, played table tennis, imbibed, all to a relaxed playlist coming out of a speaker pointed out of the door. Rip-roaring good fun! There were lots of cool creative and simply lovely people. It didn’t cost a bomb and Becky put on the most amazing salad spread (my fave was tomato and buffalo tomato which we sneakily bought from fresh and wild).
9 black alps
One morning I was listening to XFM, they had a competition to see 9 Black Alps at La Scala, I entered, won, called James Howard, went along with him, it was quite fun, we left before it finished as the music was mediocre and had a nice beer and a catch up in the pub on platform 9 of kings cross station. Nice evening all in all and I was glad to get to check out La Scala as a venue.
Just before we went to Reading Becky was intent on dreading her hair so we sat down for a day at hers and I divided, backcombed, handrolled and waxed from around 12 noon until around 1 in the morning stopping only for 2 hours for a slap-up Daddy Allen lunch. I assume we visited the Inn too on another night. Billy headed home as we left for…
Reading 24th-27th Aug
This was another great festival to finish off a summer of great, mental festivals. We were working a beer tent with the workers beer company for Campaign Against the Arms Trade. We took our tent and a train, when we arrived at Reading station we asked directions to the festival and then proceeded to get lost, having been confused by the fact we weren’t going to the main entrance. We took a cab the last little bit of the walk as we were lost and carrying a lot of stuffs. We got in and had our photos taken for staff cards then we went off to meet the Harpenden crew in a nearby campsite (which was convenient when we had to go and meet our group, have a briefing or use the superb ruby-ground facilities).
The group were all sitting in a circle knocking back tinnies when we arrived and they had saved us a primo location by the walkway. It was just perfect. I spent as much time as I could being FireMan! I love stoking a good fire and providing people with warmth and light and a fantastic central focal point over which to have banter. Everyone was on top form and it was great to meet another Harpo-Mentalist: Niel. The first night we went down to the action aid tent and had a pics taken with plates (good to get some politics in there from the off, serious faces:on) and we danced a little bit with the early birds. They even played the Doctor Who theme-tune Orbital mix! Every time I hear it I think it’s playing just for me (and everyone else in earshot).
Working the bars was great, the people we were working with were all great interesting people and the shifts were 3 manageable 6 hour blocks. The punters were all good and chatty and it never really got too busy. The supervisors were safe, allowing me to hang back when it got quiet to juggle lemons or what have you and mixing up a shitload of pure lemonade for us despite doing a 12 hour shift. I particularly enjoyed operating the pouring machine which filled 12 cups at a time with either Carling or Strongbow rather than having to deal with maths stuffs. There were some amazing people, just a feast for the eyes and we got chatting to a lovely Scottish guy who works in the indie music industry and was trying to get Becky to audition for a presenting job. We also got taken to one of the indoor bars for a bit after our tent closed and that was pretty fun too, a different slightly less shambolic clientele and a slightly larger range of bevies I think.
In contrast to Glade the second day of the festival was a really sunny affair. And hot to boot, somehow too hot. This day Becky grabbed a bag of smart clothes, tied her dreads back and went off to a Mormon Wedding in Reading!! I took the opportunity to go for a wander and happened upon Ed Byrne doing a really great comedy set and I wandered though the campsites observing all of the gathered characters and snatches of hilarious conversations. Becky came back reporting one of the weirdest experiences ever and we got right back on it!
Music wise it was rocking and we were really lucky to be in the tent that was right next to the tent that I wanted to see most stuff on: the Radio 1/NME stage, although the acoustics weren’t great from tent to tent. I’m sure it was a more of a chilled vibe than the one over by the main stage. Top music the first day/night was provided by Ash, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and the Kings of Leon. The second day/night The Eagles of Death Metal were cool on the mainstage during the day and we worked late so missed Red Hot Chilli Peppers which was lucky cos apparently they were crapish. The third day/night was a highlight. From our workstation we could hear The Cold War Kids followed by The Maccabees, followed by Jamie T followed by Devendre Banhart followed by LCD Sound System. We then got off work and got some snacks and when I say some snacks I mean SOME Snacks! We had amazing vegi pakoras and noodles and stuff for less than a fiver. It was so delicious but so portionous that when we finished we had enough to offer some hungry looking young boys sitting to one side who were wholly grateful for the nutrition. Then CSS were on, there right in front of us! I’d been waiting for this since seeing them in Serbia at EXIT. It rocked, so much fun, grooving down with Becky, it was just way sexy.
Then we headed over to the main stage, caught the end of NIN and regrouped for The Smashing Pumpkins which were more than smashing! They were truly touching and astounding at creating an intimate experience with a crowd of thousands. Also the lightshow was the best I’ve ever seen. It blew the one Muse had last year out of the water.
It was a great evening. We carried on partying all night, kept the fire going and went for a walk to observe the carnage which was significant. We met one girl by the toilets who had fallen over so I helped her up and proceeded to give her advice on how to make her dreads better (cos they were pretty shit and I’m now expert no.1). By another set of long drop toilets there was a huge mud pile with hormonal 14 year old boys jumping up and down on it screaming primally and fighting each other to be king of the castle, no one was going to take their mudpile away from them. The really weird thing wasn’t that these boys, who were obviously just desperate to get laid, were being so brutish and pointlessly competing to scale a pile of mud but that people would stand around and watch them! So when in the toilet I decided to compete with them in terms of noise. So I bashed out the beat of the doctor who theme tune on the metal side of the toilets: Dum du Dum Dum du Dum Diddly Dum and then hollered the Woooo Eee OOoo part, I also hoped it would confuse the little tykes and maybe wake them from their push and shove reverie.
At about 4 when the sun had begun to come around again Becky suggested that we just hold out and try and make it home without sleep before the tent carnage begun and everyone was on the move. This seemed wise, so we decamped, said our confused morning goodbyes and hopped on a train, which was a fun as it could be considering. We got home well before noon and hit the hay.
On the 28th I did a bit of work with my good mate Ben Mason shifting boxes and furniture and taking photos and doing an inventory of radiators that were for sale for a family friend Rebecca. It was a really nice house in the middle of Shoreditch. And a really nice day for it.
Lake district 31st August – 2nd September
This had been on the cards for a while so I was delighted to be able to fit this into this already really fit summer of antics. Nadders arrived at my door to pick me up. He had with him the James’ Ranger and MacKinnon. We went up to Brent cross and met Tom and the James Spillard who was driving a larger vehicle (a nice long volvo) we stocked up in the nearby Sainsburys, and Mackindo and I went into Toys R Us where I got a doc who action figure and a big box of bubble tubs, he bought a frisbee and then we headed up to the Lake District. It was a fun drive, good tunes, and nice chat, tho I did go a little anti social and did do a bit of reading. We arrived and went up a small walk up a hill, and along a really pretty path. We then found a place to camp for the night, we set up the huge tent that the boys had rented and we got on to cooking up some lovely sausages etc.
The next morning we decamped, left our stuff in the car and embarked on our trek. We went up a huge hill, and across a little connecty bit called the razors edge. It was well steep by easily scaleable. We got to the top and it was really cloudy so we couldn’t see too much. We had some army issue grub and followed the Sandhurst cadet Ranger down the hill the other side. Only when we were half way down did he say the immortal line “This compass is pointing in the wrong direction”. Classic! Tom and I had been arguing over the Iraq war all the way down and were beginning to reach some consensus so we knew we had a long way to walk back up. It was really tiring as we had done some hill running on the way down so it was a long way, but beautiful none the less. When we got back to the top it was a lot clearer so that was one advantage but it was way cold. Oh and I had a poo on the hill near a pile of stones that looked a little like a makeshift grave. Ranger kindly lent me a really nice warm jacket to put over my day wear. Oh and I think it was Nadders that dropped the map over the edge, they shimmied down to get it and then we headed back down the other side. We were totally knackered by this point but had a long way to go. MacKinnon was having some issues with his vertigo on the way down as this was a more perilous climb than the steps we had been running down the other side.
When we reached the campsite it was a frigging relief. We drove back to Mackinnon’s, dumped our stuff and went off to a pub run by mates of Mackinnon’s and we had delicious steak and ales to ease our weary limbs. Alesfor what ails you.
When we got back to Big Mack’s we watched a bit of James Bond, I cooked the popcorn I had brought along and then we sunk into bed. I got up early the next day so decided to whack on a doc who vid James had lying around; “Caves of Androzani”. I watched 3 episodes then everyone got up and we watched music videos while we packed up. We set off home and stopped in Morrisons to say our farewells and ate a cooked breakfast.
It was a great Old Boys get together with all the trimmings and gay banter.
On the 6th of September Joel came around to hang out which was lovely as did Jen Thomas and Emily Thompson. A nice wee gathering indeed
Acid Jam - Saturday the 8th of September
This was a really cool event, put on by a core of people that’s gathered around a lovely chap, Ed Saperia. I grabbed some newspaper and some empty jars to use for painting and headed off to the Synergy Centre near JW’s in Oval. It was a safe day, the was a wicked Jam throughout, juggling, diablo, glowstick sculpture, lovely hot veggie food, painting and drawing, a huge variety of people to get chatting to and to play with.
I read some poetry and got some cool feedback and did some improvised singing which was really fun. Foxy and Jordan were there from the Ricky Crew which was ace. A bunch of the lovely Glade peeps made it down later, and Karim, JW & Verity were all there with so many cool new people too. It was a really good thing, and banter to the max. A great reason to go to the Synergy centre for the first time. I was there from about midday until about 4 the next morning When Karim, JW and I retired to his to crash. There were great chats about life, politics, LARPing, social software and much more besides.
Becky had her teeth out in Golders Green on the 11th of September so I went along to hold her hand. And she had just finished up working at the theatrical agents; Jane Larah’s. It was great to have her over for the period she was working there, it was nice to have the run of the house and use it as a base of operations between festivals and socialising.
We went up to Coventry to meet Matt and Lucy and go house hunting in Coventry on the 13th of September. We had a list but ignored it really and just walked into Student Homes. They said they had a place that sounded ideal but the landlord hadn’t dropped round the key but we asked if they could give him a call and he just happened to be in. So we went to check it out and really liked it. We haggled him down on the price a bit and then signed on the dotted there and then. I was especially excited to be so close to Clive’s Comic book store, but sadly he closed down the shop just as we arrived, removing the highlight of Earlsdon colour/culture. But we do live right opposite this old school looking butchers!
I went to see Verity’s play Left Luggage at the Shunt Vaults it was brilliant promenade puppet theatre, really well done and nicely polished without losing any charm. It was in fact one of the most charming performances I’ve seen in ages.
On the 23rd of September I went with JW and his friend Marcus to see a comedy event called A Seriously Funny Attempt to get the Serious Fraud Office in the Dock. Which was an event raising money and awareness about the closure of the corruption inquiry into BAE’s dealings with the Saudi Royal Family. It was a brilliant event for a brilliant cause. The amazing line up was thus:
Jo Caulfield (MC)
Phil Nichol (MC.2)
And a surprise appearance by Bill Bailey!
It was the bomb, if you’ll excuse the weaponry reference. A great night, it was like a whole comedy festival crammed together into one night. There was also a great speech by a member of Corner House who are pursuing the action and when we left JW and I took posters down and knicked a running order. I decided that despite the light drizzle I’d try and get an autograph so I said to JW the first person who comes by then we’ll go. Simon Amstell went by too swiftly in a cab but Bill Bailey pulled up and started doing a few signings out of the window of his car so I got him to put himself onto the running order on which he was missing (as he was a surprise duh!). It was amazing, I garbled some fan love and he had a dog in the back of his car! And he drove off into the London night with his hair blowing behind him in the wind! His act got me so psyched as I had booked tickets to see his stadium show Tinsel Worm in Manchester.
Somewhere before heading back up to Uni I managed also to squeeze in a really fun game of poker at Fred’s in Harrow. It was great with Chinzano’s on ice, I only lost a tenner and it was a fun game that I would have got further in without making some really dumb mistakes. James was there, as was Rob (another of my hall mates from the first year of uni) as well as Ben and a clutch of Fred’s nearest and dearest. Lovely lovely lovely. On the way back I carried the hat stand that had been adorning Fred’s hallway since he came back from Leamington. It was unwieldy but not too difficult to commute with. I also managed to make it to Camden to see Toby, Jamie and Harv for a wee pub lunch. I had soup, it was still sunny, everyone was lovely.
Also I got to see Debbie and baby Rosh a fair few times over the summer which was great, despite Roshi's huge lung capacity:
September 01, 2006
So been busy busy busy, and loving the crap out of it. Let’s start from where I left off. My first day at the NO2ID office was really good, the bulk of it was just envelope stuffing supporters packs, but I also learned how to send things by parcel force and fill in their forms. It was fun chatting about the scheme and other stuff with the guys there (obv Doc Who came up at least once). But just as with going to Planet I got paranoid about going past MI6. It’s an ugly oppressive building which I intend to photograph to show just how ugly it is, there is one corner that has what looks like a Bauhaus statue surrounded by a fence and a concrete wall with a camera over it. There’s always a security guard outside the gate (why they hire in security instead of using police etc I can’t quite fathom). I love the road name of the office; black prince st. jokes! When I walk there from Vauxhall station I love to play the game Spot the Spy. The object is to look at all the people coming out of the station and guess which are going to turn into the MI6 building, it’s perfect for me to play as they seem to keep pretty much normal office hours. So here’s a tip spy’s look boring, you wouldn’t invite them around for dinner, they usually wear short sleeve white or cream checked office shirts and carry rucksacks and mobile phones. But top of the range mobiles with stunguns I suppose we’re to presume. Anyway to lighten my paranoia there is the amusing sight of the London duck boat’s ramp from the Thames onto the road.
On Wednesday morning I went via Tottenham court road (a little out of my way) to try in at the camping shop that Alan recommended but when I got there (around 9:25) I discovered that they didn’t open until 10:30, lame. So I popped into borders (which I believe has replaced books etc on charring cross road, saddness) and flicked through the dr who comic books they had for sale. I returned after work and before I went to meet Becky from work. I got a sleeping mat and a gas stove. I was a little worried about taking a butane gas canister in my rucksack onto the tube but thought; och well.
I met Becky from work (though I stood in the rain for a while waiting for her) and then I rung the bell and went up to get her, the theatre agent’s office is quite nice (about 3 times the size of the NO2ID office, fair enough), pity about the view but it doesn’t look like the worst place to be of a day. We went to an amazing mule frites place across the road from her that does a cool pre theatre deal. We ate splendid food, a couple of delicious starters (churizos and summint else) and drank tasty beer (mine was a mango beer) and had a great main (I went for chicken wanting to have a hardy meal afore Reading’s makeshift cookery, and Bex had the famed mule frites woo!). After the meal we sauntered over to the Roundhouse theatre to see the AMAZING “Fuerzabruta”. It was an astonishing physical theatre piece from Argentina methinks. If you go to their website and click on the trailers page the lowermost trailer gives you a very accurate idea of what the show was: http://www.fuerzabrutalondon.co.uk/
It was the perfect preparation of a weekend of music dance and partying in every respect except that it meant we got back to do our packing at about 10ish. But pack we did considering every eventuality and then we hit the sack.
On Thursday morning Becky took a minicab to Paddington at 6:30am for her coach ride to Reading. I figured woo, we’ll get a good pitch (and boy was I right, which I discovered as a swanned in well after midday) and I got up around 9 to check the house was in a fit condition to leave (locked up, cat’s cared for etc). Then I went to Southgate tube station by bus and by tube. The journey was wicked as the guys I was driving with were totally jokes. The weather looked promising and I even took a photo just in case it didn’t hold up so I could look at it and remember the blue skys (and perhaps to punish myself for an unknown crime punished with water by god). We listened to some proper tunes on the way there with roots music and some morcheeba to bring out even more sunshine. The guy who was doing the lift part of the liftshare was called Stef and he pitched up right next to us which was wicked as we had a nice little party village going on with plenty of banter knocking about.
The first night was jokes, we wandered down to the action aid tent and had a boogie and signed their petition it was lots of fun and tons quieter than it was on the other nights after the main arena had closed. While hanging around the main drag towards the arena entrance we caught a pillow fight that took place on the bridge at 12 exactly, it looked like a lot of fun. When we got back to the tents we had a fire and it rained a bit I think, but it was light and didn’t last too long, it didn’t even put out the fire although for about 15 mins it did drive us under the cover of the more spacious tents. I’d brought along my wind up radio which gave a consistent background of music but which wasn’t needed when we got up around midday each day as we were near enough to the main stage to hear it perfectly.
Me & Bex indulged in some awesome cooking, with bacon sandwiches on the first 2 days for breakfast and some other delicish stuff. Camping was fun as we weren’t far at all from the long drop toilets (which I like for their fresh air) and we also were pretty close to a river/stream which doubled as a communal urinal. Woop!
So we had plenty of banter in the campsite and it was close enough that when tired or hungry or just wanting to see if we could find people we knew we could easily meander over to it.
But hey the festival is all about the drug of drugs; sweet sweet music and there was plenty of it. Highlights were in no particular order; Muse, Flogging Molly, Pearl Jam, The Arctic Monkeys, Less than Jake, Bedouin Soundclash & the Eagles of Death Metal. These acts were really special and you could really tell (and sometimes they said) that the performers were having the times of their lives or they were really connecting with the audience on some profound levels. The best thing is that they really comprised a great variety of music styles and all have great songs, and man, did I dance it up to each and every one of them, plus all the misc, dancing as we wandered around or at the action aid dance tent etc.
The other great acts I caught (none were bummers) or one’s that I only caught a wee bit of were: Yeah yeah yeahs (totally good fun mixed with good songs), Belle and Sebastian (chilled for a sunny afternoon and one of my CD faves), Panic! at the Disco (lead singer got bottled, I reckon t’were faked), Dashboard Confessional (great songs which I laid back and listened to horizontally), The Streets (I just caught “dry your eyes mate” & “fit but you know it” both good), The Futureheads (good band), Slayer (“war” ace old school metal), Peaches (really fun and grimsy), Goldie Lookin’ Chain (“your mother’s got a penis” nuff said) & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (really happy shit).
I also got to catch some comedy with Bex and others, Stewart Lee was great doing some stuff I’d seen before (or heard on the radio recently) but still raised a good amount of laughs especially considering the fact he was competing with some very loud stages. I tried to catch him afterward to give him a NO2ID badge as he’s doing the fundraiser on the 1st of October at the Hackney Empire. I sent the badge back to him and handed out a bunch of flyers. Later I got help from some of the guys (Alex, Pat and Adam methinks) handing some flyers out and they discovered how easy and fun it was. EVeryone was really aproachable and it was nice to be able to talk to randoms a phenomenon I’ve enjoyed at other festivals and raves (and occasionally on public transport). I wish I took more flyers along with me, it’ll be a challenge for next year I guess, whatever happens festival wise. There was other good comedy from BBC3’s Ninia Benjamin and a cool Kiwi comic.
Toilets were annoying on beer bladders but the standard of toilet wasn’t what the stories had led me to believe. We often met each other by the red dragon Chinese noodle store, tho I never ate any, all I bought food wise was really some samosas and I think that’s more or less it, no dirty burgers for me.
It was great to hang out with and meet a few more of Bex’s friends; they’re a primo group with plenty of banter to be had all around. They really made the party atmos come alive. They especially helped this lame-o hippy get in the rock & roll mood (& encouraging a good amount of beer drinking to be sure). The time spent at the camp even when music was on was far from wasted (despite however wasted we might have been) and we all saw different stuff so vicarious enjoyment was the order of the weekend too, standard. I really enjoyed constructing our nightly fires, everyone pitched in to buy the wood which was sold at the entrance to the campsite and the fires were a lot of fun, except when stumbling people attempted to dive face first into them. On the last night it began to rain harder than it had before which I partly saw as a godsend as I had heard horror stories about the last night antics at Reading, where people would put gas canisters in fires etc and I assumed the rain was keeping those people away. But to keep the fire and the party going we went and borrowed the gazebo from the neighbouring camp whom all seemed asleep (they had been chanting CHUG, CHUNDER and Octo, Octo-bong at about 11am so burn out on the part of these gin swigging 15 year olds was hardly surprising). We then gathered a good number of people under the gazebo with everyone pretty knackered from the last night’s music and dance, it was a lovely lovely night, and we had the biggest fire to date (fire was selling cheap methinks).
Me and Becky did a good little trip to Waitrose to top up our supplies on the first day, it was fun, hard on the arms by the end but we’re fricking troopers. We got a couple of boxes of wine which was such a good idea, on the last day we snuck in a couple of water bottles of wine (because there was a ban on taking alcohol into the main arena) which was perfect for chilling to good music in the sun, cheap sophistication. We also topped up our food and got some soya milk for teas. I insisted we go into the Help the Aged charity shop. I hadn’t brought a waterproof and I found an excellent one in there for £6 and it was Pierre Cardin, I think I had a suit jacket of the same make which was pretty hardy. I also got my self a pretty Perrón, which features extensively in the Catalan film The Tit and the Moon which we studied last year. On top of those I bought a citronella candle in a can which was great for keeping bugs away (remember the toilet river I mentioned) and for a bit of light and fire lighting, a proper practical bargain for a pound.
On, I believe it was, the second night we bumped into a couple of Warwick people in the action aid tent. We saw a thesp, Cag’s boy Craig and my ex-housemate Katy. It was great, later I caught up with fellow film studier and all round ledge Andrew Shaw, he told me he was having a pretty crap time but we failed to hang out properly, partly because my phone was dead, same happened with Katy but at least we got to hang out for a bit of dancing.
So it was a great weekend, we got so lucky, with weather, beautiful sunny days, good temperatures etc. t’were all good. We also got lucky in other ways, bumping into all these cool people, the fact that I got a liftshare and it was off a totally cool dude, the fact that the other guy we came with dropped out so Bex could come home with me rather than go by coach and have to get to mine from Paddington, and the fact that the music was scheduled really well to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of music tastes. Anyway, I hope that begins to give an impression of how good that weekend was. Nuff said.
When we got back we crashed for bank holiday Monday and then on Tuesday Bex went to work. On Wednesday I went into Vauxhall and did some volunteering at NO2ID. It was mostly filing this time, alphabetising our general correspondence, creating a new file for correspondences with no affiliated organisations and the press. It was a quiet day with not too much to do and I left early to wait for Bex in central London and do some window shopping. I then caught up with Bex and her housemates Cags and Jen and her boyfriend/my ex director on Rebel Jamie Hewitt and we went for what was to be for them pre show drinks (they were going to see our mate Ben Fowler’s play that me and Bex had already seen) but they hadn’t booked so by the time they arrived there it was sold out. I was mad hungry by this point so we wandered down to the Pizza Express café and had some munch. It was lovely, then we went to one of the gay bars there and had another beer, woot!
Yesterday I had my last driving lesson before my test on Monday (wish me luck, not that I need it ;-p) which went pretty well and I’m quite confident. During the day I did some general admin stuff, cooked, had a bath etc and I left out to the mass lone protest in the no protest zone around parliament sq. Big thanks to Karim for sorting me out a licence to protest, he and his mate Sylvia had some cool signs and I was rocking out the NO2ID mask and flyers (which stupidly I printed instead of thinking ahead and getting a bunch from the office). I got a text from a mate of mine Richard who had seen me on BBC London News check it out:
here’s the video, I’m the masked one behind Mark Thomas I appear briefly about a minute in. http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/avdb/news_web/video/9012da680050218/bb/09012da680050270_16×9_bb.asx
After that finished we went straight over to Angel to see A Scanner Darkly which was a pretty good movie, but which didn’t dwell long enough on it’s really good paranoid noir or sci-fi elements, but which had some great performances shine through the rotoscoped animation which gave the film it’s beautiful style but with much less substance than Linklater’s previously rotoscoped film Waking Life. Unfortunately a lot of the enjoyment comes from intertextual references in the castings (such as the fuck up in the opening scene who is the extrapolation of a character from Linklater’s Waking Life) to conspiracy theories (the camouflaged lizard men) and to actor’s personal lives which all might add up to alienate the casual view (like my driving instructor who saw it and didn’t get into it). Keanu Reeves is as wooden as ever but his part as the lead is in many ways the least demanding role. We hit the pub once more and I got the first chance of the summer to catch up with the delightful Albert and meet his firlgriend. All in all good stuff.
Strange thing’s been happening, I’ve been getting a lot of anonymous calls on all lines, home and mobile, I wonder if it’s a network thing or what? I got one just after I invited a bunch of people on facebook to the middle east peace march, and it was number withheld and at 2 o’clock in the morning and was just a bunch of guys chanting “Israel” for about 2 minutes. Bizzare and childish a classic combination, luckily I left my phone downstairs that night do I didn’t hear it ring, but if this is the same person they are obviously chicken-shit scared or they wouldn’t wait to get answer phone or withhold their number. It reminds me of the disgusting tactic used by Israel military to intimidate people out of their homes in Lebanon (obviously on a much smaller & more trivial scale) whereby they sent a blanket of text messages to a vast area of Lebanon basically saying leave your homes or else, pretty stupid as often in these large families the cost of getting all of your children etc away from the bombing area. I do hope these calls aren’t related and I’m simply being paranoid in a very Phillip K. Dickian way. I’d also like to share my anger about the news from the UN that Israel dropped 90% of its cluster bombs in war’s final hours. When ceasefire was in sight they used these inhumane weapons, spitting in the wounds of many innocent Lebanese who will doubtless be killed by unexploded bombs. It makes me feel physically sick and hateful, mostly towards the American government who supply these weapons, and our government who won’t use it’s perceived position as the rational arm of the US’s brand of Western Imperialism to condemn what has happened as a war crime. But how can we expect more from a government that passes off murder as a health and safety issue?!? Apparently there wasn’t enough evidence for a prosecution. What?! HOW MANY BULLETS IN THE HEAD TO COUNT AS EVIDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many witnesses were there!?! How come I’ve not seen a single piece of cctv footage of DeMenzes running or not running. How come I heard yesterday that one of THOSE firearms officers is now training the new British air marshals!!!!!!! Seriously!
Yesterday I sent my CV to one of the people I saw at the careers in television seminar at the roundhouse and she’s offered me some researching work experience on a show she’s developing for the discovery channel, I’m a little trepidatious about doing researching for TV again but this seems much more interesting and much less tabloid than 100 greatest sexy moments or Mike Tyson Laid Bare, so I might do some of that for a laugh and a reason to get out of bed (yes I can hear you all now, a bit late in the day to start thinking about that, wooo! you just punned yourself out of a point!)
So now to brunch (well after I’ve posted this and inserted a ton of photos etc) and then it’s Renoir time.
Ooh plans for the weekend, I was going to lose Becky to Harpenden as she was going up tonight for a mate’s party who I didn’t know and then hang there only coming back for Monday’s work and for a play (which I was going to tag along to and probably still will) tomorrow. I’ve gotta be back here tomorrow evening you see for my neighbours leaving do, I’m representing the house, I guess now along with Marina so I won’t be such a lemon. But Bex’s party seems off so I’m going to go up for the night. It’s my gran’s b-day tomorrow too but she says she hasn’t any plans but I’ll ring her tonight to check and I’ll make a card whilst watching Renoir, woop! Tomorrow there was also potential for some NO2ID flyering in highbury and Islington, but I reckon I’ll do that another week when we can also advertise their October first comedy fundraiser at the Hackney Empire. There is also a No Trident Replacement conference all day but I’ma have to skip that. To make up for it I’m going to donate a tenner to a big advert to coincide with the Labour party conference (ooh I’ll have my name in the paper) and you should all do the same:
For a minimum donation of £10, your name will be listed on the advert together with eminent individuals from all walks of life. To support this appeal and have your name listed on the advert, please ring Katy on 0207 700 2393 or support the ad campaign via our online shop. You may need to click through to the ‘Donate’ page or scroll down to find the statement donation, depending on your browser.
The deadline for signing on to this statement is Monday 4th September at 5 pm.
SAY NO TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS
TELL THE GOVERNMENT: NO TRIDENT REPLACEMENT