Saturday, July 24, 2004

"Whatever happened to the teenage dreeeeam?"
I'm currently idling away a sunny Saturday afternoon by sitting in my dark basement bedroom, mucking about online and listening to the best of Marc Bolan and T-Rex. What a top album, though I can't listen to it that often because it always makes me feel like I've not taken enough drugs in my youth. The Secret History by Donna Tartt has a similar effect and always makes me feel like I wasn't drug-addled, eccentric or snobby enough at university (though considering where I got my degree, I'm sure I did quite well just by being there) and reading too much Neil Gaiman (which I do more often than is good for me) makes me long for the days when I was a borderline Goth and I get all broody thinking of just how far I could have gone down that path of black lipstick and vampire conventions. *sigh*

Other things that have had a major influence on my lifestyle (sometimes embarrassingly):
Brideshead Revisited (book and TV adaptation)
Any Merchant Ivory film adaptation of E M Forster novels (the books less so)
the soundrack to the film Bend It Like Beckham (but not the film, I hastent o add)
Dorothy Parker - poems and short stories
the seemingly infinite store of slash fanfiction available online
blogs and bloggers
the Anne of Green Gables nine-book series (especially influential - disastrously - on ideas of dress-making and housekeeping)
Royal Court Theatre
physical theatre company Frantic Assembly
Nick Marber - the Food Doctor

Hmmm. And you?

Edited to add: one of the greatest influences on my lifestyle so far has got to be Taxloss who introduced me to the joys of loafing about and doing as little as possible and enjoying it. I've said it before about my luxurious loafing about: I learned from the best!

Now - who's turn is it to take out the rubbish?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

"I was here four nights a week, I'd come straight down for drinks, or my writing workshop and then drinks after, and stay here until they kicked me out. I moved from my parents' place to my flatshare halfway through that time and once forgot where I lived when I got on the Tube..."
Ah. The memories. I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I visit the Royal Court theatre, usually because I bump into handfuls of people I've worked with before and it's always good to see them... and they remember me which makes the whole experience nicer than I expect... I'm in desperate need of friends and memories and experiences of my recent past, to see me through a really awful time at work at the moment and cripes, was it a good choice to get out and about this particular week.

I went to see the latest play, Shining City by Conor McPherson - he wrote The Weir and on the strength of that play, I had no hesitation booking tickets and my visit turned out to be extremely well-timed. The Box Office staff recognised me and were incredibly nice in our brief chat; there was a Donors and Benefactors evening which meant the Development Team were hanging around to greet and meet and I said hello and was extremely pleased when they remembered me and the time I spent with them on work placement; a friend from my post-grad course was there with his fiancee and we compared engagement rings... then today, I got a heads-up on some vacancies going at the theatre and will, once I've read more carefully what it's going to involve, get cracking on an application.
And on top of all that, it was an excellent play. It has an ending that electrified me in the final five seconds more than all that I've seen in the last three months put together.
I also ran an event at the Lyric, Hammersmith earlier this week and had a very welcome flashback to the times I spent there on summerschool-type schemes, giving the cafe staff a really tough time and conning the bar staff into letting me get drunk while seriously underage, all the time nursing injuries from falling on the dance floor the wrong way, yet again.
It's been a curious time of renewing friendships, some intentionally and some completely unexpectedly  - the Refugee Arts Initiative will be launched next week and I'm gagging to go to the big bash, to catch up with my colleague of the Office of Doom who has been key to pulling together the organisation, and then out of nowhere, a friend from years and years and years ago stopped me while I was slobbing around the local supermarket and we caught up while going around the aisles, gossiping and talking ferociously like a pair of old biddies.
I've got the taste for it now: everyone passing by this site, do drop a line in the comments section below and add yourself to the list of folks getting in touch, in this week when I need lots of folk getting in touch!
In other news, I've been waking up, without any discernible reason, at first light every fricking night for the last few weeks: even if I've struggled to fall asleep right up until the sky starts to lighten, I'm awake at four or five AM. If I've had good sleep up until then, I can generally resume the same quality of sleep quite easily and it makes no difference to me but if I've had a bad time getting sleep anyway, that first light thing kills dead any hope of sleep and rest, comletely.
Does this happen to anyone else? Or do I just seem to have more peasant genes than most people and am biologically programmed to be up at first light to dig up my day's ration of turnips?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"Silly Caucasian girl likes to play with Samurai swords."
According to this quiz, I am O-Ren Ishii.

Was there ever any doubt?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

"... cough ... cough ..."
First of all, thanks to all the ideas for my London citybreak: I shall come up with an itinerary soon and seek further approval and suggestions from you all. I've been lounging around the flat, coughing and blowing my nose in disgusting foghorn fashion, as I am concurrently getting over a cold and recovering from an excessive Friday and Saturday night.

Last night I revisited Hammersmith, location of the Office of Doomand had a cracking night out with university friends who came out in force to celebrate mine and Taxloss' engagement. Most of London seems to be refurbishing at the moment which is a little annoying but we still had a good time bar hopping and then having dinner at the heartily recommended Hammersmith cafe (greasy spoon diner by day, BYOB Thai restaurant by night - an amazing place, truly). I feel as though I have conveniently gotten this part of West London out of my system and can focus on other, less familiar parts of London for my holiday.

Is there any thing in Hackney worth seeing? Or should I really not bother with that borough at all? Brick Lane and Stepney Green for the Genesis cinema is on the list but that's all for the eastside unless anyone can convince me differently...

And hey! Look at me! I'm writing this blogpost via wireless broadband! And curiously, the signal strength, like my mobile phone, keeps changing whenever I lean even a fraction of an inch forward in my chair. I'm currently typing this with my arms stretched fully in front of me as I don't want to fuck up my connection. Despite the cramp settling into my shoulders, it's worth it: Boatie Flatmate is currently watching The World's Wildest Police Videos with Taxloss next door and simultaneously commenting on the previous post, Taxloss is downloading something right now... and all without a single wire to trip us up around the flat. Bliss.

By the way, is it ridiculous for a 24 year old avid anti-exercise, "all my previous experience is in beginners' contemporary dance and the slightly less pretentious end of physical theatre" full-time office worker to learn classical ballet? Am I just asking for endless mockery if I invest in a tutu and tights in the next few weeks? And is it okay to smoke at the barre?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

"A healthy body is the guest-chamber of the soul; a sick, its prison" -Francis Bacon
Soooo... after all the excitement of the Summer Event, things are seemingly back to normal. However, due to the excessive rain, wind and running around we all had to do on the day and in the weeks leading up to it, the office has become a doctor's waiting room, with all of us hacking, coughing and falling over. A lot. I held out against the Office Illness longer than most but it's nothing to be proud of as everyone who succumbed before me has taken time off and I am left to sit sniffling, guzzling paracetamol as The One Who Got Left To Man The Desks Because There Is No One Else To Do It, Despite Being Very Ill Myself. Grrr. I'd rant more about the injustices of the situation but I just don't have the energy. Tea and sympathy to the usual place please.

Still, it's good to be able to move on from the most ambitious and weather-beaten event the organisation has ever attempted and I am looking forward to some time off... I'm planning a week's city break, touring and hanging around and generally enjoying a place I have also wanted to go to for a holiday... London.


1) I need to go somewhere I don't have to pay for accommodation
2) I need to go somewhere that doesn't cost a great deal to get to or travel around
3) I want to go somewhere cosmopolitan, with nightlife and great places to eat out, hang around, markets and museums

If I choose London for my week's city break:

1) I've already paid up for accommodation and therefore am not actually paying extra for shelter for that week
2)I've got a travelcard already, so as above, I'm not actually paying surplus funds towards getting around the place
3) London is an amazing city and I want to see it as other wide-eyed, enthusiastic out-of-towners see it, rathe than through the jaded and cynical eyes of one who has grown-up, lived and worked here

I'm booking a week off this afternoon. Any recommendations for what to see and / or do (especially the more off-beat stuff), drop in the comments box below - I'm very grateful! Remember - I've already been on the London Eye...