Saturday, February 02, 2008

Arts and Craft

I just realised the last blog was written during London Fashion Week in September and today we are 2 weeks away from LFW A/W 08. I stopped writing here, as it had become impossible to be honest about my feelings about certain people and situations without there being some unpleasant repercussions. I suppose I should heed the advice of Josh and Josh and try to avoid using it as an online personal journal. That is a bit frustrating as that is exactly what I wanted this to be. Hmmm.

The other thing is pretty much everyone I know has deserted MySpace for the joys of Facebook. I am not a total convert. I don't like the way Facebook notifies everyone on your friends list of your every move, but because you can only access profiles of people who are actually your friends you can't do the snooping and eavesdropping that makes MySpace so much fun.

I finally brought a cd lazer cleaner which seems to have fixed the tempermental stereo system, and it is playing cds again first time. The cleaner cost 6 quid and so I think I have saved about £194 as it was getting to the stage where I was going to chuck it out and buy a new one. You may also be intersted to know that I broke the leg on the coffee table. I have ordered a new one, which will be sent to me in....May!! I tried using selotape to stick the old one on, but it hasn't worked, so 4 paper backs are standing in for the moment. Fortunately you can onky see them if you are on the balcony and I doubt anyone will be out there before May, so keep quiet! I also picked up a new ironing board cover, but the clip for the strings was missing so I have knotted them and hopefully it will stay in place.

Performance wise I have been a bit lazy. In January I was lucky enough to see The Feeling play through the new album in front of a live audience for the first time. It was at Porchester Hall and the accoustics are not brilliant but the guys put on a good show and I can't wait to get hold of the album this month. I also managed to catch the London run of Mary Poppins before it goes on tour. It is a fantastic show. A wonderful feel good musical, great performances, fun songs and spectacular sets and effects. I was only sad I hadn't seen it earlier in the run because I would have dragged everyone to see it. If you get the chance do try and catch the tour, although how they are going to achieve some of the effects in regional theatres is beyond me.

My friend Baylen took me to see a show that formed part of the London Mime Festival. A Korean company had reworked Woyzeck, the story of a German soldier, who becomes mentally disturbed as a result of his treatment in the army and kills his lover. Something nice and light for a Saturday afternoon! The company use only their own bodies and wooden chairs to create the scenery. They conjure up a graveyard, a medical torture chamber, a bustling market, a crowded and rowdy bar in the most surprising ways. The ability to tell such a complex and dark story without words astounded me. I loved it.

Last night I was at Sadlers Wells for La La La Human Steps performance of Amjad. The Quebec based company are renowned for their athleticism, and at times the performance was hair raising. The press release summarises the show thus: Amjad draws on the most famous of romantic ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. On stage a quartet of piano, cello and violins play a score by Gavin Bryars, who adapts and rearranges Tchaikovsky's original score with gorgeous results. Against a projected film montage of forests and pearls, nine dancers perform with impressive precision, demonstrating graceful, classical movement - but at twice the normal speed.

I think to really enjoy this piece it helps to be familiar with the classical versions of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty . The choreographer Lock plays with the traditional form and produces some devastating results. However at 1 hour 45 minutes wth no interval and no linear form to speak of I did think it was a little too long. The opening Pas De Deux was possibly my favourite and one of the most spectacular, you could sense the audience really sitting up and thinking, "what is this?" There is also a PDD with both the boy and girl en pointe. I was really struck by the effect pointe shoes have on a dancer's proportions. I am used to seeing ballerinas with long limbs, but to see a man in trousers with distended legs was a bit of a shock. The dancer was still very masculine, but his body seemed so much shorter in proportion to his legs. Interesting.

Earlier in the week I saw Tom Baxter play The Shepherd's Bush Empire. Tom is really hard to define. I suppose it's a sort of Folk/Rock. He reminds me of Jeff Buckley. His band consists of drums, keyboards, guitar, three violins, a cello and a double bass and the sound was brilliant. If you get the chance do go and see him, I think he is going to be huge.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Waiting for 7.15

I have a date. I saw him at Duckie on Saturday night. He waited to let me past at the toilet. We smiled at each other. I saw him a little later as I was being dragged off to Rebel Rebel. There was something about him so I wrote my number down and slipped it to him as I left. He texted me his number and we had a flurry of messages on Sunday. I spoke to him on Monday and we have arranged to go for a drink tonight. I do not have a good date outfit on. I was in a rush this morning and when I put on my planned shirt and jean combination it looked all wrong. I didn't have time to rethink and iron, so it's a sweater and jeans. Hmmm. He works till 7pm and so I have to wait behind at work and get to the bar for 7.30.

We had drinks for Grumpy's birthday, but I was good and passed on the booze as I don't want to rock up 2 drinks ahead of him. The gang here have all gone to an opening of a new luxury pet store, with Stanley in tow. Yes, we will turn up to anything!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Busy week

This week has been London Fashion Week. There are only a handful of shows showing menswear, and so it's been a time for us to catch up on updating portfolios, cards and online material. I went along to 2 parties on Tuesday evening; the launch of Volt magazine which was in a shop off Carnaby Street. Volt magazine is a new large format tome, the launch was for Issue 2. It's beautifully printed and the menswear shoot by Dominic Cooper is fantastic. Of course, it's new so they don't pay anything. The party was pretty busy, I was with Greg and Soraya from the Women's desk, we only recognised a couple of people and the music was too loud to talk over so we left and headed over to the iD/Kickers party at Marylebone Library. Various designers had been asked to come up with their interpretation of the classic Kickers boot. Each design had been given it's own shelving area within the library. On the second floor there was a dance floor and a screening room, but as we were fairly early it was still quite empty. We grabbed a couple of Mojito's and had a look at the shoes:

Wednesday evening was the opening night of the new Christopher Wheeldon Company, Morphoses. There has been much buzz about this project. Chris has gathered the cream of the crop of classical dancers from London and New York and the programme sounded exciting, with both new works and old favourites. The first piece from which the company draws it's name, Morphoses is set to a string quartet by Gyorgy Ligeti. It's one of those modern pieces that you either love or hate and I would not have listened to before I moved in with Flattie. Two pairs of dancers weave complex patterns and unusual lifts, sometimes as a four sometimes as duos. The dancers were incredible and I loved it. However the next section was very disappointing. Vicissitude by Edwaard Liang, just showed what an inventive choreographer Wheeldon is. It seemed incomplete and uninspired. Next up was Slingerland pas de deux an old William Forsythe ballet. It served to demonstrate the source of some of Wheeldon's inspiration but the costumes are a real distraction. The boy looks like an oven chip and the girl is wearing a Pringle as a tutu. Finally the Prokofiev pas de deux, again choreography by Wheeldon, danced by superstars Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg. This combination, composer, choreography and dancers should have been breathtaking, but it just failed to ignite and seemed rather pedestrian. I was really disappointed. The third section proved a redemption, After The Rain was a return to choreographic form by Wheeldon and beautifully danced by the six men and women. I had expected to leave feeling elated, but honestly was a little disappointed.

Friday was due to see Fiona and Bex, but Fiona had to cry off so we ended up in Strada with the Johns and Iain Mac. Bex was on top form and we had a great evening. I taught her how to wear her McQueen scarf properly. Some of us ended up in The Sewers. Messy.

Saturday I slept in late and then rushed into town to pick up Paul White's birthday present. (The new novel by Julian Clary and the new Hed Kandi Summer Compilation CD) Town was horribly busy, so kept it to a minimum although did treat myself to a couple of CD bargains. A Kruder and Dorfmeister, An Ibiza Compilation and a Master Cuts bar compilation. All would be brilliant to play in the office but of course I broke the CD player and so we are stuck with the radio. In the evening the Johns had the unveiling of the work they had done on their house. It's taken about 4 months but the result is amazing ! the entire downstairs has been reworked and it looks incredible. A huge living space, internal courtyard and new kitchen dining area. Paul White, Amir, Flattie Iain Mac and I are all totally jealous. We had a brilliant evening and didn't leave until the early hours.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


As you can see below I haven't quite experimented enough with inserting pictures and writing text, but it gives you an idea of some of the things we did/saw last weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the rest of the weekend

On Saturday evening Flattie and I went to Barcode to meet Rob, Tan, Carlo and the GB. There were another couple of Rob's friends there who I didn't recognise but Flattie later revealed that one of them had declared love for him at a BBQ earlier in the Summer. We had a couple of drinks and then headed over to Duckie. We were treated to 3 performances, a terrible punk pop duo. A boy and girl in pants and duct-taped nipples shouting terrible lyrics. Then a trio of burlesque girls and finally a brilliant singer-songwriter from New York. Flattie was still singing her, "Don't rape me! Don't rape me!" refrain on Sunday morning. We danced the rest of the night away and at 2am I returned home and the boys went onto Crash for Queer Nation.

On Sunday we had thought about maybe doing Gay Zoo, I was having one of those mornings in bed with a book and nice coffee from the new machine and so when Flattie texted me from his room next door (How lazy?) we decided to give it a miss but maybe head down to the Thames Festival in the afternoon. By now we had dragged ourselves from our respective beds. Flattie was hobbling around. He had been doing a spectacular version of the opening dance sequence from West Side Story and misjudged a jump. He landed badly and now had two very swollen and purple toes. FYI: Flattie has no formal dance training and the music at Queer Nation does not include movie soundtracks.

Accordionist Ian called from the Festival and told us to avoid it at all costs. Apparently it was really overcrowded and there were just a few stalls selling tie dye hammocks and incense. It was so busy people were using prams and wheelchairs as battering rams. Urgh! We stayed on the sofa's and found ourselves sucked into a TV show called "Come Dine With Me". We loved the dipso business woman who found love on the last dinner date. We headed off to Gay Bingo at around 6.30pm and negotiated our way through the crowds of skinny jeaned East End trendies. They were filming for Eurotrash and we spotted Antoine de Caunes, who still looks totally hot. As a warm up for the first game Johnny Woo came out in a fat suit and red lycra bikini and lip-synched to a Euro disco hit. It was about the same level as Britney's VMA appearance last week. He gave up half way through. The cutest boy in the room won the first game. The couple on our table fell out over who was marking the card.
"You do it"
"No, you do it"
"I can't do it, it's too fucking fast."
"Come on, you can do it"
"I can't fucking do it, and you're not even trying. You haven't even crossed anything off."

They left after the first game.

Rob and GB arrived, Johnny Woo did a number from Les Mis (he knew all the words!) and we played another round. Ma Butcher and Jon Sizzle had a new look for each game too. The cutest boy in the room was having felt tip pen tattoos drawn on his bum by the rest of his table. The GB spotted his latest crush, who he had just discovered was a sex addict hooker. Nice. Accordionist Ian arrived. Johnny Woo came out with a gorilla's head on and a huge strap on dildo and did a number from Cabaret. we played another game and I was one number away from a full house. Grrr. Another performance another game and then we were in a taxi down to Horsemeat Disco. Quite a few of the people at Bingo had done the same thing, sadly not the cutest guy in the room.

Flattie was putting in ground work with a guy on holiday from Amsterdam. Tony Fletcher was DJ-ing. Then Luke Howard came on and I was throwing shapes on the dance floor to Diana Ross, "No One Gets The Prize/The Boss". We departed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

and then...

I had just finished typing the last entry and my flatmate comes home and tells me that he has some bad news about my lovely ex Rob. He's been having some problems with his stomach for a while, we thought it was possibly an ulcer. However it is considerably worse, he has been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and oesophagus. He starts chemo next week. He's having a final blowout tonight. Shit.

Much of Friday was spent oohing and ahhing over two new things in the office. Hannah brought in her puppy Stanley and Julien showed off his new iPod Nano that Pablo had brought him from NY. I want them both!

Last night I went to The Box Bar straight after work. We (Johns, Flattie, DC and me) were there to surprise Leicester Lee. His BF James had brought him to London for the weekend for his birthday. John explained to me that the idea was a surprise and so we would have to be there before Lee and James arrived, and not pitch up an hour later, as is my usual trick. Drinking from 6.30 on an empty stomach is not to be recommended, but hey, it was a special occasion. Lee was really surprised and pleased to see us. I was delighted to have a fresh audience for my "Dinner with Joan Rivers" story. We had a couple at The Box, went over to The Green Carnation and staggered into Profile for "just one more." I left James, Lee and Black John there and went in search of chips. V.bad.

This week should be a busy one. There are always lots of things going on during fashion week. It's Gay London Zoo day tomorrow and then Gay Bingo in the evening, althought there is an event at Holland Park at 8pm which sounded really interesting. On Monday I am going to see Bobby's band, then on Tuesday there are a couple of Fashion Week launches, A Kickers/Id party and a magine launch. Wednesday it's Wheeldon at Sadlers Wells and Friday is Emanuelle's Club Sandwich. Pass me the Berocca!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Back again

Hannah brought Stan into the office for the first time today. He is her Welsh terrier puppy and has behaved beautifully all day. He is so cute, he is going to be our office dog.

Last weekend was much fun. I cycled into the office on Saturday to nip into the gym and pick up some bits and pieces. On the way home I stopped off on the South Bank to watch some of the boats racing along the Thames. They had a huge sound system set up just in front of the Festival Hall and were pumping out tunes to help the rowers on their way. I had to scoot on home as Flattie had fufilled a lifetime ambition of mine and secured me a ticket to The Last Night of the Proms. It was an incredible evening, I had a great view of all the barmey Promers and the whole orchestra. One of the guest artists was the Russian soprano Anna Nebtrenko. She has the most beautiful voice and you could tell she really loved the whole prom set up. In the second half she started cantering around the stage and draped herself all over Flattie and started playing his cello in a most provocative manner! I don't think I've ever seen him look so mortified, but secretly chuffed!

This week we've been to a couple of parties. Jack Wills had drinks to celebrate the opening of their new store on Floral Street. We've had quite a few guys do their advertising and so went along. They've tried to be a bit of a British Abercrombie/Ralph Lauren. the booze was free flowing and Flo who used to work with us turned up so we went onto Profile Bar and had a good old catch up. The next evening it was Fire Trap. Their store is next door to Jack Wills on Floral Street. We had all the guys in their campaign this season and most of the look book. The invite promised a 20% discount goody bag, and you know what a bunch of cheap-skates we are here, so there was a full turnout. Several glasses of champagne later, Sandi and Ryan were waiting at the checkout with new shirts. Katy, Alice and I were more restrained. Katy and I had a quick one in the Green Carnation (Our new favourite bar) and then home to bed.

Sunday is back to Gay Bingo. Should be a train wreck.