Some people I sorta know in the US have formed a noise-pop band called Up Your Cherry. You should check out their song, “This One”, below, because (a) it’s bouncy and catchy (b) Mel and Matt are good folks (c) any song that mentions a Vorpal Sword has gone through nerdiness and back to cool again (d) they once took my request to play Motörhead on the mandolin.
My mate Mark has been a DJ, in one form or another, for a while. He used to do cool music podcast called mp3hursday. He’s also worked for BBC radio. He still blogs about music. And now he’s producing nice mixes of new tunes forLondon Fields Radio. You can listen to his first playlist right here, via Mixcloud.
In a few hours I’ll be on a plane to the Catskills in New York state: a friend’s getting married. It’ll be a short trip, and I’ll be back in the UK by Wednesday morning. But hopefully I’ll get my hike on whilst there (if it’s not too hot).
Image from A. Belani under Creative Commons license
It was a gorgeous, sunny Sunday on the weekend and we decided to hit some events on the South Bank.
At the Hayward Gallery we saw the well-reviewed Psycho Buildings exhibit, an exploration of buildings and spaces by artists. I liked it a lot: many of the works are very interactive spaces you walk inside or through. Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros Show Room is a 3D freeze-frame of an exploding room, Rachel Whiteread’s town of dollhouses Place was quite eerie in the darkness, and Mike Nelson’s To the Memory of HP Lovecraft is a set of unsettling rooms that make you feel as though something terrible had just happened there. Tomas Saraceno’s Air-Port-City outside bubble-dome was fun. I would have liked to try out Gelitin’s Normally, Proceeding And Unrestricted With Without Title. It’s getting the most media attention: it’s a 4-foot deep pond of water on one of the gallery’s outside balconies that you row a small boat around in. The queue was ‘way too long. Building Design has some good photos.
Then we walked along the South Bank towards Tower Bridge to find the Telectroscope. This installation, only on for a few weeks, is a large pipe with a “window” at the end showing live images from an identical installation in new York City. Done with a broadband internet feed, it’s letting Londoners and New Yorkers wave at each other in real time. While we got a good look at it, the queue was – once again – far too long to justify waiting to wave at a strange American.
Back home we made good use of the continued good weather and had some beers in the back yard and invited the Neighbours over for a roast chicken.
I baked yesterday. I don’t bake very often, but we had a dinner party at the Colombians’ and we were bringing dessert so I thought I’d give it a go. I cracked open one of the cookbooks we haven’t used yet (a Gordon Ramsay one), picked a recipe that was simple (ginger chocolate cheesecake), and got stuck in. I’m happy to say that it turned out pretty well. The Colombians made some Thai prawn curry that was also really, really good.
I definitely needed my run this morning.
We headed down to Shoreditch last night for a birthday celebration for the Colombian. We stopped to eat dinner along the way at Canteen in Spitalfields (which was great) but we were far too late getting to Favela Chic, the Brazilian bar/club where people were gathering. The queue was huge and we made little headway despite waiting over half an hour. Luckily, the Colombians came out to say hi to us. It turns out there were several others who’d arrived too late and, like us, had to give our birthday wishes standing outside the club.
Yesterday we drove to Dover (smart move, too, since it was sunny there but remained grey and r
ainy in London) to visit Dover Castle. It’s massive and full of history – there’s an old tower the
Romans used for a lighthouse, and it’s been used in some form or other ever since. It was especially interesting yesterday: as it was a long weekend, they had dozens of people doing historical recreations from all the ages that saw the castle in use. There were Romans and medieval workers and WWII soldiers and several others. And we saved a lot of money by using our English Heritage passes.
Afterwards we had a superb seafood lunch at the great seaside pub the Coastguard. Delicious fish and chips.
We drove back to London but barely had an hour before turning around to go to PC’s where the She-Aussie joined us for an amazing multi-course feast. PC really went all-out. We all wound up stuffed to capacity.
I’m going to have to run a lot this week.
I went for a run yesterday morning, then in the afternoon made my regular annual purchase of new running shoes. I’m trying Nike’s Air Structure Triaxthis year.
Yesterday evening we also got together with the Neighbours for some food and drink, which resulted in me consuming an immense amount of barbequed sea bass and potato salad.
It’s all about balance.
On the plus side, we’ve located a pretty good fishmonger quite close to us. You can chuck a whole sea bass on the barbeque and cook it as-is, which really couldn’t be easier.
It was sunny and 22°C here in London yesterday. We (and probably lots of people) took advantage of this and cleaned up the barbeque, got a new tank of propane, and roasted a whole bunch of meat and veg for some friends.
The Neighbours, Mrs. Colombian, and AK came over mid-afternoon and stayed most of the day. It was a lot of fun, a really pleasant day of sitting outside, grilling sausages and burgers, having a drink, listening to music, and laughing.
We’d done our shopping at the Saturday farmer’s market in West Ealing, and the food was all really good. I got four types of pork sausages: smoked, with Stilton (blue cheese), with Mediterranean tomatoes, and with ale. There were two types of burgers: venison, and lamb and mint. We grilled some fresh red and yellow peppers, red onions, and mushrooms in oil and salt. And we had three types of cheeses, including some buffalo cheese. Mmm mmm.
We met up with the Colombians today downtown. It was good to catch up, as Ms C has been off travelling the world a bit.
We met up at the Tate Modern. I was glad, because I’d been meaning to seeShibboleth, the current and nearly-finished turbine hall installation.
It’s quite neat: the first artwork to actually interfere with the room itself,Shibboleth is a…well, a crack in the floor that runs the entire length of the turbine hall. It’s different from place to place. I’m not sure what it means to me, but I like it. The artist, Doris Salcedo, is from Colombia too.
Afterwards we had a bite to eat and a good ol’ chinwag to catch up.