Sunday, December 19, 2004

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." - Garrison Keillor
Since I last wrote here, I seem (to those who only know me through this blog and what appears on it) that I have since then crawled under a rock and stayed there. But - no! I have been out and about and actually been too busy to write up my thoughts here! Isn't that exciting readers? I've had a semblance of a social life! Full of dining out and plays and films and exhibitions! Huzzah!

Well, go here for the Taxloss/Londonist review of Tropicana which we saw with the folks from my office - I've always considered myself not afraid of the dark but had to think twice about that during the performance. It's very dark down there.

I've had dinner with dear Sir Humphrey again and managed to spray him with mouthfuls of wine as I shouted and ranted about "working on the frontline of the arts - I've worked on reception before, I've been in the face of it all, you can't tell me what it's like!" (Sorry. Just kick me next time I decide I'm a lone and noble crusader for the arts and everyone needs to know.)

Some fellow friends have followed the Beloved and I down the path to marital bliss and celebrated their engagement with us in the same week. We filled the kitchen (and the rest of the flat) with the smell of wonderful spices and burnt cinnamon - a very nice evening though we started late and ended even later. The race is on to see who gets to the chapel first...

I've had a good run of plundering my contacts in the arts lately and managed to invite myself to a private view one Saturday morning recently at The Serpentine. Interesting stuff and more than once did we (PostGrad N and I) have to be directed out of the twisty-turny exhibition. It was a top morning - walking through the park and being greeted in the marquee with hot mulled wine and breadsticks, then staying for the talk and being fed bowls of chicken stew and mashed potatoes, then actually seeing the exhibition and marvelling at the transformation of the gallery... very nice. Just to balance the early start in cultural enlightenment, we went shopping on King's Road afterwards and had coffee in the Royal Court, hoping to bump into another PostGrad friend who works there so that we could continue our series of getting things for free. Alas, he wasn't there. But I've figured out a way of getting hold of his rota... so who wants to come and see a play there?

What next? Well, another night out with PostGrad N, this time at the open studio event at Studio Voltaire - this was quite a revelation, as I've known about her renting a studio for her sculpture work for a while but could never really picture what it was like and what she did. Well, I've seen it now (and even had a go on the swings...) and glad I did too. Interesting stuff, and I'm still somewhat inspired to make a go of the stuff I do...

And the following weekend was spent in the company of my old university chums in north London, catching up on all our news and views of things before I went off to join Taxloss and other London Bloggers in another part of town. Photos that prove 1) we were there - in the background, backs turned to the camera - and 2) I do exist can be found here. I'm getting tired of convincing people I do really exist, so go and find these other bloggers who were at this party and confirm, once and for all, that yes, I really do exist. Bah.

Okay, so far I've boasted about private views, extraordinary events under London Bridge and dining out. Now I must confess one outing which is rather difficult to talk about in this god-I'm-so-cool stream of consciousness. I went to see The Phantom of the Opera - the Movie! with my mum. Bloody hell, that film is noisy with no let-up in the shrieking, colour or ridiculousness. It takes itself so very seriously, I was giggling into my sleeve throughout. There's fire, and dungeons, and fairground organ music when you least expect it. And it's so loud! I had a banging headache before we were halfway through and I'm sure the music is very important in a musical film but it's all so horrible and... well, it could have benefited from having less. I did like the bit with the falling chandelier - the highlight of the stage show which, yes, I have also seen with my mum, and really did jump in my seat when it came crashing down into the stalls. It had a far more exciting journey via CGI in the film and by then I was so overcome with all the noise and the colour, I cheered quietly to myself when I saw it take out quite a few people in the theatre. And then it sets fire to the place and it all goes up in flames! Yay! Anyway - in my defence, I was accompanying my mother to the cinema, watching a musical film adaptation of a musical stage show I had taken her to see the year before and therefore I was fulfilling my role as the camp gay son every mother secretly wishes she had. So there.

And then Christmas dinner with the Beloved and Boatie Flatmate at Inn the Park, where we ate oysters and black pudding and pheasant, roasted suckling pig, lamb shank and other delicious things. A very nice Christmas treat for the household, despite my second bout of shouting and ranting about "working on the frontline of the arts - I've worked on reception before, I've been in the face of it all, you can't tell me what it's like!" when we started talking about the recent freeze in arts funding. Sorry. It's the Shiraz. Never get into an argument when Taxloss, me or both of us have had a few glasses.

And then last night - a trip to the Bloomsbury Theatre to see Pam Ann and her gayer-than-the-gayest-thing dance troupe Pam's People, for free!(Via work) And we were invited to the aftershow party where I got horribly drunk on champagne and shrieked really loudly "Is she here? Is Pam here?" when I was standing right in front of her. A very nice evening, very funny, very camp and bitchy and gay. We felt conspicuously straight in the aftershow party whic only added to our enjoyment of it all.

And we're off tonight to see my folks for the annual early Christmas feast. It's all good. How are you?

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