Last Christmas, I got an unexpected text message from leathellin: she was in London, did I want to meet up (I think we went and ate pizza, but that's not important right now).
She'd been in town the previous evening for some sort of Christmas extravaganza organised by Robin Ince and Brian Cox. It all sounded like fun. Should she get tickets for us when she bought next year's? Yes please, we said.( Brian and Robin's Christmas Compendium of Reason )
Ince and Cox announced that - apparently because they've burned through all their favours now - there wouldn't be a Christmas Compendium in 2016. On Saturday, ChrisC spotted that they'd lied. Tickets are on sale, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, despite feeling moderately ghastly, I headed off to a gig on Friday night.
( The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing @ The Garage )
On Saturday, I braved hell and (almost listerally) hight water to get over to bateleur's house for a spot of role-playing. (NB. If you're one of the people playing in subsequent versions of this, it's safe to read this as it contains no details of the game.)
( Call of Cthulu )
And, to tie the two nicely together, we have TMTTNBBFN performing Margate Fhtagn:
When I was little, there was always music on in our house. One corner of my parents' dining room was given over to the record cupboard (an MFI job when I was little, now a far superior dark wood cabinet) and it was full... classical concerti, and the occasional Buddy Holly disc, but mostly folk music. Lots of it was bought direct from the artist in folk clubs up and down the north-east - my Dad tells me that when I was little I thought that was the only way you could buy records. He may be winding me up. He does that.
One of the records that reminds me strongly of my childhood is an album called Ring of Iron, recorded by a local group called the Teesside Fettlers. They were one of those rolling concerns that kept going through multiple line-up changes (oh, and still are, apparently). One of the stalwart (and, I think, founder) members was a guy called Ron Angel. On lots of the tracks you can hear him playing the whistle or the fife, the counterpoint dancing happily over the melody.
( Ron Angel )
( Charlie's funeral )
This year it is also an unexpectedly big deal for Mabel Gubbins. Firstly, we're in Premier.
( Aaaargh! )
Secondly, as of this moment there are no takers to run DERT next year.
( Aaaargh! )
Anyway, if you're in or around the Leeds area, there will a range of opportunities for watching sword dancing in pubs a week on Saturday. You can watch the finest teams in the land, nay, the world! Or, of course, you could watch us (but only if you cheer violently and help increase our buzz score).
Which also brings me to my other question: I shall be free of swords and other such things by Sunday lunchtime, does anyone Leeds-based fancy meeting up for a pub lunch, beer, coffee, or other social engagement? strange_complex, maviscruet, nalsa, any others?
( Cakes )
( Games )
And then it was just waiting until all members of our travelling party were done with their games (and blimey, can Arkham take a long time when there are people trying not only to defeat the Great Old Ones but unravel and combine their conflicting sets of house rules).
And hurrah! What a jolly nice day out. I should spend a day eating cake, drinking tea and wine, and playing board games more often :-)
( So, to Whitby! )
In my usual capacity as a cultural vacuum, who only goes to the theatre when prodded, I was booked to go to The Globe with snow_leopard to see Blue Stockings. In the event, she couldn't make it, so I bravely went along anyway (realising that beyond the title, and beyond it being something Snow_Leopard recommended), I knew nothing about it.
Anyway, it turned out to be a very enjoyable play about the female students at Girton College, Cambridge at the end of the nineteenth century. They were battling to be admitted as full members of the university, and to be permitted to actually take degrees.
The Globe does odd things to people, I think. The standing-space of the yard where people mill around, eating hog roast and cracking nuts, lends itself well to the sort of raucous participation that we're all led to believe Shakespeare's audiences expected as a matter of course. So when the play opened with a speech explaining why women were completely unfit to be scholars, the speaker found himself boo'd and hiss'd like a pantomime villain. I like it. Theatre should be more raucous and participatory.
Last weekend was the annual weekend away with a bunch of university friends, where we rent a "cottage" big enough to sleep 20+ and eat too much. My weekend was slightly confused by my having to run away all day Saturday and inflict rapper dancing on the good people of Shrewsbury, but apart from that it was lovely to catch up with people and meet the new crop of offspring that's arrived since last year.
The logistics of trying to do a fry-up for nearly thirty people remain complex, but with long practice and two kitchens we've got it down. The pressing problem this year seemed to be how to arrange the toast... separating white and brown? That's toast apartheid, that is. Alternating slices? Well, that might look like integration but really it's just another form of racism. Arranging it in the order it came out of the toaster? Why do you think toast ageism is any better? The debate raged fiercely and was eventually won by a small (and hitherto unsuspected) cell of white toast supremacists...
( The London Motor Museum )
( Visiting friends and cooking disasters )
( The Levellers @ Cheltenham Town Hall )
Right, I think that's the mad catch-up done :)
( The Death of Orlav Black )