Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The other September triumphs

Home ed round up. This is how it is now. Wot I did wiv the kids this month. (Except Steampunk and Hilliard, which I see command separate entries.)

Otherwise: quick flyby to throw stuff from the land of parental responsibility before I go and boil a bird's wing.

I have a question for you skeleton botherers. Like, how do I actually strip back all the bones to leave them clean from all the yukky stuff without damaging the bone connecting bits?

Honestly, I bet learning anatomy by practical experience with a dead bird was once as common as fish gutting in a capable woman's know-how repertoire.

1. Medea at the National, except at the live Cineworld screening instead. Totally loved it. I really sympathise with those unhinged Greek heroines. They exist to demonstrate the depths and lows of a single-minded pursuit. Madness becomes normality. Oh yes, I can do that sort of manic chaos any day of the week. Superb performance from Helen McCrory. When the play ended, the bloke behind me breathed, as if for the first time in two hours, and murmured, That's what I call theatre.

2. Global Citizenship course. Kids are doing this with Dorothy. I love it. Someone teaching them how to write an argumentative essay (not me) and they're not smashing up the house or anything! They just do it! (Probably because it's not me trying to get them to do it.)

3. Latin. Hic, hac, hoc. We all get to chant it. I am the worst in the class, but the teacher is good to me. She never makes me stand in the corner facing the wall.

4. Grand Budapest Hotel. Film night. A lovely, lovely film. I thought it was delicate, tender, funny, and wise. Evocative, beguiling, beautiful, silly, whimsical and true. Everything. A treat.

5. A multi-storey car park in Peckham, for the Theory of Everything's version of Titus Andronicus. Billed as immersion theatre, but not really; a sort of ambulatory site specific theatre, with rival gangs locked in a turf war. I wondered, Am I going a bit far with this Shakespeare fetish? Had it been disappointing, I might have thought so, but the whole was done remarkably well, good pipe crawling and abandoned car jumping by the cast. Brave and energetic, I'd say. It may be rewarding to start exploring these theatrical avenues. So if there's a version set in Tesco delivery bay at midnight, I'll be there.

6. Under-17 car club. Putting the kids back behind the wheel after a summer break. The Fire Services Training College in the Cotswolds. I know it sounds unlikely, but in this rural idyll they keep a crashed plane, a collapsed building, and a train smash alongside various collisions, hazards and disaster sites. And the kids drive round it all, while we passengers count the body dummies. I am not on crack or anything. It's all true, and I'm not allowed to photograph it.

7. Night games. Stuff in woods and fields, creeping about with torches. (Cross reference August / Wide Games / Home Ed and it all should make sense.)

8. Climbing club. For Tiger. I am drawing the line at snowboarding. No way.

9. Launch party of photography by An-My Le at MK Gallery. Beautiful, rare photographs have me thinking and wondering for much, much longer than normal reportage photography. Because these aren't normal war reportages, of course. Part film set, part visual poetry, all thoughtful, beautiful pieces.

10. Comedy of Errors at the Globe. A great physical toot-de-toot is made of a very silly play. Enjoyable, and only a bit provocative for an old Grit, what with woman bemoaning the stupidity of man. Tell it like it is, girl.

11. Squirrel's Astronomy weekend. I have no idea. She got picked up, she got dropped back home. The most I've heard from her about this was that she and Monster got a group of elderly astronomers to join in with a game of Werewolves.

12. Dig is in Australia, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan. I thought I would just use the blog as a diary on that one so that when I'm sectioned and the children have to take themselves to a park bench, we can all point a finger of responsibility to someone.
An-My Lê
An-My Lêat MKG. The photography

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hilliard Ensemble perform Gesualdo, Tenebrae Responsories

Took Shark and Tiger to Highbury & Islington.

I've obviously got the wrong impression about that place. I thought it was a posh side of town! How wrong I was! We could barely weave a way through the police riot vans to reach the Union Chapel. Then the drunks, and the wildmen, lunging through the streets, unable to stand. I held Tiger's hand. Welcome to Highbury & Islington.

A shop keeper had covered all his booze with cardboard. On it was written, no alcohol sold one hour before kick off time, then one hour after match end. I asked, what match could prompt this? I wanted at least Satan vs Peter.

Don't ask me the answer he gave; I forget already. I went there for another place to be moved, and to hear out our battle of human impulses for hope, loss, pain, forgiveness.

The beautiful voices of the Hilliard Ensemble. Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Splendid Steampunk at Lincoln!

Fatigued by the world? Jaded and disillusioned with leisurewear and churlishness? Or simply tired of the mad, bad ways of too many people who take themselves far too seriously?

Then put it in your 2015 calender now. A note to spend just one day at Lincoln, with the Steampunk friends of the Asylum.

Here is a wonderful oasis. You will find not only of a delightful gentility, but a relaxation into a world of good manners and good natured decency. A warm welcome is extended to your whimsies and creativities; applause will be forthcoming for your unique and individual approaches to life, and you can always rest from the lashings of glowing good natures to imbibe tea, biscuits, and gin.

If this all is not quite enough, then a splendid couple you have only just met will happily loan you a pet dragon on a chain to stroke while you have your photograph taken.

To all the inhabitants of Lincoln, the Assembly Rooms, the splendid organisers, volunteers and helpers, the agreeable and convivial steampunkers, the very nice young man at Ti Amo, and the Old English Chippy on Burton Road, a heartfelt and happy thank you.