Mainly For Accounting Purposes

I want to make quick notes about these few days, if only for the fact that if I don’t, I’ll forget how I managed to spend so much money and pass out when I get my bank statement.

Friday was relatively restrained. Dinner at good ol’ Sweet And Spicy never costs much more than £10 for both of us to stuff our faces. We decided to have a walk down to Columbia Road rather than go to the Califone gig I’d been pondering originally. We were looking for a drink, and wavered outside a particular pub. Peering in revealed an almost totally male clientele, and the fat slob staking out the pool table didn’t look as if he’d relinquish it willingly. Alec thought the place looked a bit loutish. Having had an awful day, I was, however, in dire need of alcohol, so we went in. The first thing I noticed was that it was playing George Michael. The second was that the bartender was a little camp and looked at us funny when we ordered drinks. The third was that the one woman I’d seen when I peered in appeared on closer inspection to have rather rugged features and didn’t seem to be wearing her own hair. When we left, everyone was singing “Anything you can do I can do better” and the slob was dancing.

Saturday being the day hippies were staking out Stonehenge, we decided to go to Greenwich for the summer solstice. Or at least, we walked through Greenwich Park to Blackheath, and toasted the summer solstice from the artificially-lighted insides of a rather nice microbrewery.

On Sunday I managed to visit Spitalfields market and only spend £10 (a T-shirt). All was going well, but then that night’s attempts to see electronica maestros Four Tet and Prefuse 73 at Plastic People fell through when the gig got totally sold out in advance, so we went to The Elbow Room instead for two hours of pool and several rounds of drinks. Team composition shifted constantly, and despite playing 5 or 6 games, some partnering Nick, and others partnering Alec, I can’t remember if my team ever won.

Monday was the first Tony Hawks day, which wasn’t the best intellectual preparation for Brand that night. But I must confess my motivations for seeing the play weren’t entirely intellectual to begin with. The Independent review begins thus: “Casting an actor of such extreme gorgeousness as Ralph Fiennes in the title role of Brand somewhat undermines the plausibility and point of Ibsen’s tormented hero,” to which I say undermine away, Ralph baby, you were scorching, which is impressive for any performance in a Norwegian play. (I am actually capable of deep commentary on the play, but I’m saving my deep commentary skills today for deconstructing the respective Canadian, US and German approaches to content neutrality in free speech adjudication.)

Tuesday wasn’t meant to be stupidly indulgent at all, but then I went and read the second Tony Hawks book, and a dinner trek with Alec to the seedier bits of King’s Cross ended up decidedly non-seedily in The Perseverance with blackened cajun salmon on a bed of rocket and cherry tomatoes, eton mess with assorted berries for dessert, and a lovely Rioja.

Yesterday I met Jiawen and Gwen for dinner at Little Bay (lovely, I’ll definitely be back). Today I’m watching Henry V. On Friday Benny’s doing a birthday thing. On Saturday I’m going to the Bridget Riley exhibition at the Tate Britain with Russ. I am fervently hoping nothing comes up on Sunday or Monday. And on Tuesday the damn dissertation is due, whether or not I have finished writing it.