Tuesday, 20 July 2010

These people, they drop from the sky

We had a visitor today. The best sort of visitor to have at The Pile. Big Kate. All the way from California, USA.

Here is Big Kate.

She has that name on account of weighing in about six stone.

Bronzed, athletic, lean, all sunny state, fresh breath air, white teeth, CA. Standing next to her, I look like repairs are needed on the Hoover Dam. Remember that ancient watery pit straddled somewhere between heavy cow state and miserable dry desert?

Big Kate is the perfect visitor. Mostly because she has that happy, laid-back, easy going, West Coast air. She's unfazed and cool, no matter what indignities are served up to her.

Like lunch. The only thing I muster looks suspiciously like breakfast was swept up from the floor and deposited on a plate. Shark saves me, by making three or four varieties of sweet biscuits, whereupon we hold a biscuit-eating competition and see who's first to get a sugar high. I bet you don't get sugary thighs like ours in LA, I tell Big Kate. I bet over in CA they see fatball beauties like these as moral turpitude. She's so good, she just smiles and nibbles away and declares those butter biscuits delicious.

After lunch I drive the amiable Big Kate to Milton Keynes, where there's an art festival. I'm proud of this. It doesn't involve wicker, dead cats, plates of bologna or anything like that. It is a fantastic festival of light, sound, movement and sensory experience. It is IF. You should all know about it. It's just another reason why thousands of people think Milton Keynes is a vibrant and innovative place to live.

Anyway, Big Kate doesn't complain once. Not once! Even though I bet she's tempted. And, let's face it, there's plenty to complain about. Like the six foot piles of trash inside the car; the ride with triplets lined up on the back seat like a deadly assault weapon; the chaotic way Grit drives over pavements.

But there's Big Kate, so good and cool a visitor, she never mentions it. Nor declares how Milton Keynes does not for one moment compare to places like Los Angeles.

If she did, I would say Milton Keynes is pretty hot competition to LA. We have crime, shopping, fake tans, prostitution, disease, wannabe starlets, and gutter dressers. You just go out on a Saturday night down the back of the Point! Big Kate takes it all in her stride, even though she's probably starting to miss the civilizing comforts of CA. She even says, she kindalikes MK.

And why not? MK has the marvellous Manège Carré Sénart. All ours, for two weeks! Yeah, beat that, LA. All the little grits go on that magic carousel, and one even cries, sniffing it was scary and they thought they were going to get stuck. Howabout that for life on the cutting edge in a shit-hot town somewhere in Bucks?

To bring us down to earth, I take Big Kate and the little grits to an abandoned Sainsbury's supermarket building.

Janek Schaefer, sound artist, has installed a load of cars here, and called it Asleep at the Wheel. To Grit, it's amazing, and she nearly resolves to clean out the car, remove the two-year old desiccated banana skins from the glove box, and sell it to Janek for art. It shows MK is a cultural hub, right?

Big Kate agrees. She says it's amazing too. And Milton Keynes is truly like California. She might be working hard to be nice there. I don't know.

But all too soon, it's time to drop Shark at the lake for her sailing club, while the remaining grits fall out in the playground. We have to say good bye to our lovely visitor. Big Kate has to climb on a train for London. Next week's stop is home and back to work in California.

Big Kate, we'll miss you once again. Bring your California glow and come to see us next year. I bet if you think about it, you'd agree, that life in CA is not a patch on life at The Pile and the empty Sainsbury's in downtown MK.


Nora said...

But who is Big Kate and how do you know her?

Rachel M. said...

Wow that's a really cool video link! I'd say you definitely have something over LA's amusement parks! Very classy!!!

sharon said...

Fun times for all then Grit. Here we use our old cars as roadside art, well more of a cautionary tale truth be told. Really smashed up wrecks are displayed with graphics such as 'Speed Kills' 'Don't Drink and Drive' and Don't Drive Tired'. When we first started to look for a place to live south of the city there was a spectacular wreck hung way up high in a rather large tree. Quite impressive.

How's the packing going?

Retiredandcrazy said...

Manège Carré Sénart is awsome. I'm surprised the elf & safety punkawallas allowed it.

Big mamma frog said...

ooh ooh ooh! I'm going to book tickets. Why does noone outside MK ever hear about these things? It's like MK is some teeny foreign country that keeps all its secrets behind tightly guarded borders. What else have I been missing?

Grit said...

hi nora, i once worked with Big Kate, a million years ago. she married a desperado and went off west.

milton keynes is in the top league, rachel! and i bet soon we will have a new supermarket.

i think we should do that sharon, on all hard bends and dangerous corners, leave a crumpled wreck hanging from an oak tree. do you think it would work in bucks?

too right, R&C; though we did have to have a safety talk, pointing out all the hazards that can be made by holding a lever.

yeah big mamma! it's an enclave! it's like this huge gated community of fantasticulousness. i only get in because i know a secret tunnel.

A Modern Mother said...

Milton Keynes is not like California! I'm laid back too ;-)