smokingboot: (default)
Quite terrible ones - especially after such a good day: The Twelfth Night celebrations at Bankside were excellent and daft as ever. One poor little boy feared that the mummers would eat him...they did look somewhat insane, though if a child could be put in fear of this Obby Oss,
https://24.media.tumblr.com/30aa1e046f8dba07d2535b748d33fa02/tumblr_myz6z5q34v1sgbqjmo3_1280.jpg we can only be relieved that Mr Punch did not put in an appearance. There was also something rather splendid about the Green/Holly/Berry Man being rowed down the Thames yelling 'Wassail!' at the baffled crowds. I liked it, the moss covered roof of the Globe and the torches on the river. Next time I'll do it in proper fashion, with lunatic hat and frying pan.

The evening was warm and pleasant. But then I slept, and dreamed that I had accidentally killed a lady I used to know at the studio. She was very harmless indeed - made excellent cakes as I recall - but in my dream, I cut her throat by accident. [livejournal.com profile] larians and I hid her body...and we moved house. We moved three times, across a sort of US/UK land. Sometimes I had killed the lady, sometimes I had killed the man who attacked me, sometimes both. We had buried him/her in the garden. Just once, a policeman glanced towards where we had buried the victim, but we had dug up so much around the house, it looked very ordinary. We were asked questions but that was all.

But it doesn't matter. Tonight is twelfth night, the fool's season. And dreams or no dreams, this will be a better year.
smokingboot: (default)
Dear Boris

Thank you for your address to the crowds in Trafalgar Square at Sunday's Year of the Dragon celebration. Thank you for the wonderful way you followed on from the Chinese diplomat, who with gentle condescension informed us of how much we have to learn from China and that 'London would follow Beijing'.

I am not sure he really needed to know that Britain now exports tea from the London Borough of Sutton to China, but well done for spelling that out, holding up your finger and chanting 'Yes, Teee! Eeeeee! Ayyy!' at him in case he had any doubts. Full marks for swerving round potential references to the Opium wars, and best of all, tallyho for mentioning that the sport we all associate with the greatest Chinese athletes, pingpong, was in fact invented in London.

He doesn't know if you're a blundersome idiot or a genius of comic timing. And neither do we.

Dear She-Moses of Gerrard Street

I regret to inform you that the possession of two children does not automatically part a crowd for you; Your imperious cry of 'You there! All of you! Clear the way! There are young children getting crushed here!' could not have worked even if you held the rod of your namesake and the approval of mighty Yahweh, because short of throwing themselves through restaurant windows or impaling themselves on iron railings, people could not move at all, no, not one inch, I promise you, or they would have done just to get away from each other's armpits. Had the people around you tried to 'force their way back' as your partner suggested, other people (remember those?) including children could have been quite seriously trampled. There was a solution demonstrated by many in a most courteous and uncomplaining way; two of you, two children, four shoulders. Think about it. Every other parent in the crowd did.

Dear Market Porter

You really are an excellent pub. Cheers!
smokingboot: (svengali)
Boris Lermontov: "The Ballet of The Red Shoes" is from a fairy tale by Hans Andersen. It is the story of a young girl who is devoured with an ambition to attend a dance in a pair of Red Shoes. She gets the shoes and goes to the dance. For a time, all goes well and she is very happy. At the end of the evening she is tired and wants to go home, but the Red Shoes are not tired. In fact, the Red Shoes are never tired. They dance her out into the street, they dance her over the mountains and valleys, through fields and forests, through night and day. Time rushes by, love rushes by, life rushes by, but the Red Shoes go on.

Julian Craster:What happens in the end?

Boris Lermontov: Oh, in the end, she dies.

Of course she does. Cheers Boris.

I travelled in search of the Red Shoes last night, though it would be unsporting to talk too much of it except to say it is seriously worth one's attention (http://www.secretcinema.org/) But I can at least speak of the lands I wandered.

See, Whitechapel and the East End fluctuates between happening and hopeless. Around Jack the Ripper's old stomping ground there's redux, and only hints remain of how menacing it might have been. There are still ugly bits, boring bits and dangerous bits, but you're probably all right unless you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Admittedly, at the wrong time any place is wrong...

But there's no right time in Wapping.

I got there at 5.30. Dark, deserted. No high street I could find. Big council estates tower over victorian functionality, warren meets alleyway. There are lots of sneaky walkways right down to the riverside, so close but so strange...you can hear the water lapping once the traffic stops. I found an easy path to the edge, but it passed a nice big dark basement carpark , perfect for robbery. Do you think muggers pay architects to design these places? I crept alongside it anyway because I was curious. There were footprints on the sand, up from the river to the steps. All we needed was fog.

This is the creepiest part of London I have ever found. Evocative for sure, but you couldn't pay me to live here.
smokingboot: (responsibility)
After five days of trying not to talk, my throat has finally lost that barbed wire sensation and my voice, though husky, can probably survive my next two shifts. Tonight I travel down for two weeks; this looks as though it may become real, and with it comes that sense of consequences and what-ifs.
thinking about it )

New Job

Mar. 24th, 2006 08:47 am
smokingboot: (dreams)
So the daisy died, and my mother and I missed each other (she was convinced we were meeting at Oxford Circus, I was waiting at Piccadilly) and now I have a beautiful present for her that is too delicate to post.

But I got the job. Thanks to [profile] mamapusscat for great advice/hospitality/generally being wonderful! Things can still go wrong - it's in media, and has to do with studios and tech, so plenty of room for disaster there - and it means working in London, which is wonderful but has obvious difficulties as I currently live near Manchester - but I can work some days a week, and come home and write for the rest, cos the money, despite being very poor for tv, is much better than I am on now.

I ambled down down from Great Portland Street to Piccadilly. It felt really good to be back. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret me and [profile] larians buying our bears' den up here, with the bats and the frogs, and the park behind us; By the time I left London last time, impoverished and emotionally exhausted, I was ready for a change, and this place has healed my sore little heart. Maybe the Tao Te Ching is right when it says that when a time or situation fulfills itself, it then flows into its opposite, and the key is to understand that and move with the changes. We've been, or rather we have felt poor and ill and work-drained. Here smiles a change, seemingly laden with opportunity. Let's see what it becomes; bends in the road can lead to dead ends, but for now, we walk and enjoy.

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