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spoons; skeletons

26 Feb

I think doing strange things reminds me I’m alive.

Strange things I have experienced in the last couple of weeks:

1) Going to see art painted by animals at the Museum of Zoology in London. In fact, it wasn’t the animal art that was the best part. It wasn’t even the fact that you could ‘adopt’ an exhibition, meaning that a jar of preseved pickled moles was proudly sponsored by someone with a sick sense of humour. Topping even that was the museum’s signage.

Who had the job of annotating the exhibitions in this museum? Whoever it was, they were some kind of sarcastic genius. A stuffed flying lemur was displayed with the caption:

“Flying lemur. It is not a lemur and it cannot fly.”

That was it. No further explanation. Just that. This was just about surpassed perhaps the best sign I have ever seen:

“Mole skeleton. It is extemely common for children to think that all skeletons are dinosaurs. This is not the case.”

2) Throwing lots of plastic spoons at a cinema screen. Simon persuded me to go to a screening of The Room – widely acclaimed as one of the worst films ever made by man. Of course it was an ironic screening full of people who love to hate the film. I’ve never before gone into a cinema to be told by the ushers:

“No booze, no american footballs and no metal spoons.”

Oh yes – every time an inexplicable photo of a spoon appears in The Room, that’s your cue to hurl plastic cutlery at the screen, with a cry of “SPOOOOOOOOONS!”. At one point I stood up to let someone out, just as a tidal wave of cutlery hit me in the face.

Amazing.

3) Taking a tourist trip to Slough. It only lasted five minutes, sadly, but by then I think we’d probably seen the highlights. (Roadworks; Tesco Express.)

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Hobbies?

24 Nov

I was thinking today that if anybody asked me what my current hobbies are, I think I’d have to say, ‘Watching David Attenborough in the bath.’

Not in that way.

I did once buy him a sandwich, but that’s another story.

But really, I think I might have hit on the most relaxing activity in the world. Laptop with a long battery life, wireless internet, BBC iplayer, conveniently-placed toilet, and you’re away. There’s something amazing about languishing in a hot bath, watching the sea turn to ice. Those poor emperor penguins huddle for months in the dark trying not to freeze to death, and you lie there relaxing, slightly too warm. Drinking a cup of tea, if you really want to rub it in. It’s beautiful; you’ll completely forget about your day.

At first people mocked; now they have tried it and been converted…

the Whale

29 Oct

After a LARGE panic about not actually receiving our tickets through the post, West, James and I were pretty pleased to get into the Guildhall in Southampton on Thursday to see the fantastic Noah and the Whale.

What pros those guys are. It was top notch. I was left with only a couple of questions:

1) Where did Charlie Fink learn to do that little boogie? I never imagined he was cool enough to dance on the stage.

2) Why did nobody on the balcony stand up at any point?! When you’ve got a seat at a gig, you can only really stand up by mass consensus (thanks Britain), so we had to content ourselves with chair dancing. At least we had a cracking view.

I wonder why Charlie isn’t in two different bands, you know. He is obviously a brilliant musician, and writes these incredible orchestral scores (see all of The First Days of Spring, a truly stunning album, and the saddest thing I’ve ever listened to) – and then also cracks out these simple, cheery little tunes. It’s a bit like two different bands. But that combination makes for a great concert.

They finished the encore with the title track from First Days of Spring… when they began, I was a bit surprised, as it’s downbeat and sad; but I’d forgotten that it ends in this amazing soaring bit of violin which is really moving, powerful and hopeful – an awesome note to end on.

And in the same show, they can play this. Enjoy: