Monday, 30 March 2009

A busy weekend...

Friday night, got drunk with Julie and a lot of odd but interesting people. Saturday morning, lay in bed feeling nauseous and dizzy. Why do I do these things? Because they are fun at the time. An evening at the Magpie and Crown in Brentford was certainly lively, intellectually stimulating and at times hysterically funny; and I think their cask-conditioned scrumpy is probably at least twice the advertised strength... Delighted to find a pub where I can leave my handbag on a bench (because I am an idiot) and no-one takes my wallet or indeed my make-up bag which in a previous incarnation was once stolen as it looked more like a wallet than my then wallet (long story behind that).

Saturday afternoon, got on with unpacking. Again. This is getting to be boring. Then went back to my old place to collect my coffee pot, a postcard of Venice (Thanks, Jasanander) and some dvds, most of which turned out not to be mine (in fact all of them bar "Time Bandits", which was mine, were the kind of Hollywood generic made-by-numbers tripe I wouldn't touch with the proverbial forty-foot bargepole. I'm talking about stuff like "My Super-ex girlfriend" and "Step up to the Streets 2"...). Refreshed myself after this by buying loads of packets of seeds for the new garden in Wilkinsons.

Sat on a number E3 bus for bl**dy ages in the traffic in the rain. Got home. Watched "Primaeval" for a laugh with my supper and enjoyed seeing the gorgeous Douglas Henshall (ooh that lovely accent!), ably assisted by his sidekicks and a splendid CGI'd giant eocene crocodile, apparently trashing the British Museum, the terrace café of Somerset House and the entire Festival Hall. Then put the clock forward and went to bed early.

Sunday, ran washing machine. Put washing out. Got on with unpacking yet again. Almost finished unpacking. Improvised a fantastic new bookcase out of two packing cases - I'm not entirely sure it's stable but so long as I don't hit it, sit on it or step on it that shouldn't be a problem. It looks a trifle Heath-Robinson and has an odd lurching-sideways structure, very war-time-make-do-and-mend. Grandpa and my Dad would be proud of me (when they'd finished laughing). Went to Sainsburys. Came home, unpacked the shopping, and then went on with the other unpacking. Went into the West End to go to a concert at the Festival Hall, wolfing my sandwiches on the Level 5 balcony where in the previous evening's tv the CGI crocodile had fallen with a crash to the riverside walk below. No crocodiles (or sweet-voiced Scots actors, sadly), but a fine sunset over Charing Cross Station. Heard the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra playing a rather cool and crisp Beethoven symphony (sorry; I like Beethoven treated as the first wild Romantic composer, not as the last calm heir of Hayden), a lovely "Vier Letzte Lieder" with the wonderful Anja Harteros looking stunning in a red draped grecian number and singing like an angel - "Im Abendrot" especially was haunting, hairs-on-the-back-of-my-neck-prickling-up stuff. That's Ms Harteros at the top, by the way, not me at the Magpie! The Festival Hall acoustics aren't always kind, even now with the amazing "wibbly roof" retrofitting, and the last time I heard the Four Last Songs there the soprano was drowned by the orchestra half the time. Ms Harteros rode over them without hesitation or flaw, displaying both the requisite glorious heft and scale, but also singing of incredibly controlled softness and delicacy... Lastly a really stupendous "Daphnis et Chloe" suite no. 2, fielding no less than 11 percussionists. Yum. Extra yum as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra have one of the best-looking timpanists I've ever seen. Imagine a skinny version of Johnny Wilkinson in full evening dress leaping about beating the living daylights out of four timps with an ecstatic grin on his face... nice picture, no? Sorry I can't find a picture of him... but you'll live, no doubt, without.

Tonight I think, I really think, I might get the unpacking finished.

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