Archive for March, 2007
Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 | spring | No Comments
Spring certainly sprung for me this morning as I walked home. Although there was that slight chill in the air, fresh and clear, there was a definite promise of warmth to come. I shut out the hum of traffic and just listened to the bird song gloriously rising from trees and gardens along the road. I can hear it now, above the tap of keys and ring of phones.
It is one of those quiet weeks in the office, where we stop to drink coffee and catch up every so often, gathering by the window to look out across the Downs. I keep hoping to see green on the trees, and look out daily for the first signs. The tree directly outside drops seeds over the course of one afternoon later in the year, which looks like snow falling. They stream through the open windows and cover the floor in a carpet of white fluff, but that isn’t until May.
Monday, March 26th, 2007 | weekend | No Comments
It was another productive weekend for me. I spent a lovely evening on Friday with Katharine & Lyndsey, drinking wine and chatting. Katharine told us of her new found fame, she may well be appearing with Sam (or perhaps just Sam with his dragon and no Katharine at all) on the television in May – something to look out for.
Despite the wine I managed to get up early on Saturday and head out onto the quieter streets with my bike. It started off wonderfully well, no traffic at all, but having navigated the terror of the Vogue Gyratory I then realised that the A27 is in fact a ghastly wind tunnel. I found out what all my gears do (not a lot in the face of so much head-on wind!), and peddled forth bravely until my legs could take no more. On the plus side, the cycle back was much easier and I felt gloriously angelic for the rest of the day.
I met up with my boy, and we headed into town for pizza at the Atlas Lounge, delicious and many cheesed. We braved the cold and stalked around the town, buying trainers and trousers before heading back home for a doze.
The evening was spent in the charming company of Dan, Lucy, Ken, Rach, and Paul, settled in at the front of the cinema for 300. Many fights, many battle cries “Spar-tans!” and many pairs of leather pants… oh, and a rhino and a strange goat (although I’ve been told it was Pan.. not sure about that one). I liked it, but I suspect some of the others were hoping for something a bit more “epic”. Sin City, I admit, was better.
Next it was on to Dangermouse Dave’s birthday party. We guzzled cider, caught up with more folks and thoroughly enjoyed a party at someone else’s house for a change. Then we realised that, due to the clocks changing, it was in fact far later than we’d thought, so we headed home, fell fast asleep and didn’t stir till Sunday lunchtime. Further naps followed and a remarkably quiet and restful Sunday was had. Glorious!
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007 | countryside, spring | No Comments
On Saturday, whilst the weather was still warm and the sun was shining brightly, I took a wander into town with my boy for a spot of breakfast. We sat down in one of the window seats in The Dorset and people watched whilst I munched on eggs benedict. We talked bikes. I had decided, a day or so before, that a new bike was the way forward. I used to cycle around the countryside as a kid, and teenager, but after I passed my driving test all thoughts of such exercise were banished – the car reigned free!
I still love my car, it’s beautiful and is especially so in the summer months when I take down the top and speed off along country lanes, dual carriageways and the like. But there is something rather lovely about cycling along on a spring afternoon. At least, there is in my head.
So after breakfast we took a short walk to Baker Street Bikes, where I was introduced to my new hybrid; open framed and a shiny dark red. It wasn’t love at first sight, but there was a definite appreciation there. I added mudguards and a helmet to the list, a bike chain and lights and left it there to be fitted up.
This left us with an afternoon of sunshine, and a short trip out to Streat. The sun was indeed shining but the weather was also still cold, and it was with quiet determination that I drove back along the A27, fingers frozen to the steering wheel, wind blowing through my hair, bullishly refusing to put the top back up. An afternoon of sunshine, and the English go ever so slightly mad.
We got off the tube at Wapping, finding Wapping Lane easily whilst I gulped down the last bit of my prawn and avocado sandwich. Finding number 21 was a little more difficult; we stopped along the road to consult a map that made no difference at all, and giggling we reassured ourselves that it was just a little further along. It was. There, on the right hand side of the road, opposite the Tobacco Dock Pirate Ship, stood 21 Wapping Lane; a sign on the side proclaiming “WARNING: dangerous structure keep out”. With fifteen minutes to go until Group 4 opened the gates and let us in, we wandered about a little, admired the pirate ship and remarked on how the evening and suddenly become somewhat more obscure than a usual trip to the theatre.
At seven they let us in, and we took the long walk around the warehouse to the entrance, clustered into the worn and dusty hallway area before being led down into the dark. Here we caught a brief glimpse of the bar before each being handed out a white mask that covered our faces entirely, then herded into a lift and whisked up to the third floor. At each floor a number of us were shoved out into the darkness and told to be brave before the lift gates slammed shut and the few of us remaining went down to the next. On the first floor we were all out, letting our eyes adjust to the darkness and beginning our adventure.
For three hours we wandered through the dark, over five floors in near silence. We met the old Faust, the young Faust, Mephistopheles, Gretchen, Angels and an Evangelist. We walked through 1950’s diners and bars, through rooms that smelt of musty old fabrics, rooms where white linen hung from the ceiling. There was a corridor of almost complete darkness, lined on each side by candles and statues of the Virgin Mary, black tassels of fabric hanging from the ceiling and noises coming from barely visible rooms on either side. A room entirely filled with racks and racks of what looked like old tape cassette holders led in to another room, pentacle painted on the floor. There were floors filled with pine trees, a fallen church spire on the floor. An attic room that was filled with the scent of lavender and a mannequin hidden in the corner that would make you jump out of your skin.
In between this wandering, we caught glimpses of the story. Followed characters for a short while on their journeys, or watched entire scenes play out. We were all present at the final scene, acted out in the basement and lit by a blue light. We watched as the characters danced, hanging by their arms from the ceiling, or leaping onto cage walls, and still that darkness and near silence.
It was the most exciting play I’ve ever seen, and certainly the most adventurous. Leaving the audience to wander around, finding their own play within the play, being able to follow whichever character they wanted and yet knowing that they would never be able to see the whole story, that other sections were happening elsewhere in the vast building. A truly fantastic night out.
Friday, March 2nd, 2007 | home | 2 Comments
With a couple of early nights under my belt and finally having the wallpaper up in the sitting room (thanks Mum!), I am finishing the week in a much better mood than I started. I find myself curled up on the sofa, yet again watching rain splash against the windows, but with the whole weekend ahead of me. The lovely Donovan & Sam, just back from Australia, will be visiting this evening along with upstairs neighbours Lyndsey & Owen. Then tomorrow is Ikea followed by Amy and Em’s party whilst Sunday I intend to spend nestled somewhere quiet with a book and my boy.
Top most on my mind this afternoon though, is the news that the entire back of the building needs to be re-rendered as the current rendering has blown. This is hardly surprising; the maintenance so far seems to have consisted only of patching up cracks rather than dealing with the problem properly. It’s not an entirely unexpected development, but one that leaves me clutching at my wallet and wondering just how much it will cost. Perhaps replacing the kitchen will need to be put on hold for a while. But this work does need to be done, if the builder who looked at the building today is anything to go by, it hasn’t been for the past forty years! It’ll save time and money in the long term, but means that I won’t be decorating the bedroom just yet. There is damp coming in through the wall and I want to wait until any work is done before I start on that room.
So as I look up at my new wallpaper, and marvel as its lovely iridescence, I’m fully aware of just how much I will appreciate having one room done. It may be a long while yet before I can do anymore.
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