Friday, April 11, 2008

It's All Me, Me, Me

The Millennium Wheel Millinery Model
Londonist supplied the questions for the first round of the Museum of London pub quiz and a genuine pearly king was asking the fiendishly difficult questions we had put together. When the quiz progressed to the arts and craft round, Team Londonist excelled, producing a full working, turning model of the London Eye made out of drinking straws, pipe cleaners and masking tape. I modelled it later on, walking to the next pub, and I am delighted to confirm that
the wheel still turns even when balanced on a slightly tipsy short person. It is currently in our living room, being lovingly twirled in pride of place on the dining table or being kicked out of the way of the TV, depending on which one of us in the household has to deal with it.

The Pundit
I was called upon, as co-editor of Londonist, to comment on the websites of the London Mayoral candidates for BBC London.

It's not my first pundit job for the BBC as I have previously gone head to head with other major international cities in the run-up to a BBC World simulcast, saying my bit for London two days before the event. I've also been pundit for Sky News so I'm beginning to get the hang of it.

I particularly enjoyed this BBC London clip, especially the extensive amounts of blog-miming I had to do. You can see my enthusiasm for the interview in the many layers of lipstick I applied (with a trowel).

But it was quite strange to come into the office after a long morning setting off fire extinguishers as part of fire safety training, to find all my as-yet-uninformed-about-Londonist colleagues standing around the big screen TVs, watching me on the lunchtime broadcast. I was right to be nervous about the consequences of working in a multimedia newsroom with Sky News and BBC News 24 piped in continuously on extremely big screens. I have since had many, many conversations waiting for the lift with complete strangers who spotted me on Wednesday "all over the news like a rash." I feel like I've been outed. It's a jagged sort of pride.

The B&Q Burlesque Dancer From Barcelona

I love this picture, it captures the extremely high spirits and good time had by all at a 30th birthday party in a country house somewhere near Barcelona. It was about 2am in the stone floor lobby area - just out of shot is a Roman stone column and a huddle of party folks about to go to bed. I was perfecting the chair dancing technique that I had developed the night before in Barcelona city centre at about 3am when I had found a chair in a skip between the bar and the club. I decided to use it as a prop for some interpretative, free form, German expressionism inspired dance in the middle of the road. It was a very handy prop; when I got tired, I simply parked it on a traffic island and sat down until I got my breath back.

When I saw the pile of garden chairs in the country house and the expanse of floor space revealed by all the people retiring to the beds upstairs, I started up again, this time adding some Australian aboriginal touches and flamenco style flourishes to my contemporary dance improvisation. At least, that's what I imagined I was doing. I'm sure for the few people who were still up and about at that time, it looked more like I was attacking invisible assailants with a plastic garden chair while chucking glasses of cava over myself.

A brilliant weekend, then. What I can remember of it. Yes.