Tuesday, 27 August 2013

August Bank Holiday roundup

Well, it's been and gone.  The last Bank Holiday of the year, that is. Very nice it was too.

Well, I could have done with a little less rain & a little more sun but you can't have everything.  Oh, who am I kidding?  All that rain on Saturday enabled me to sit indoors, all snug & warm & dry, looking at pictures of the mudfest that was Leeds Festival and feel very smug that I wasn't working there.  I've worked on muddy festivals for years so I feel I've earned the right to be feel pleased with myself.  The stories from friends who were working on it sounded horrific.

Anyway I'm rambling...

Friday was lovely.  We went to the BFI to see this film.  It was an odd film - a compilation of training videos from West Germany covering every aspect of life from birth to crossing the road to stripping - but there was something compelling about it.  It was a really thought provoking insight into life back then.  Was everything so controlled or does it just seem like it with hindsight?  Is that where health and safety started?  Who knows.

Afterwards we went onto Le Pain Quotidien and ate & drank far too much.  It was great.

Saturday was devoted to taking it easy & the aforementioned smugness.

On Sunday, we met up with friends in Shoreditch.  We went to a Vietnamese place on Kingsland Road (very nice) then on to an 'Alternative Burlesque Evening'.  This was probably the most disappointing part of the weekend.  It was Sunday evening, remember. Even though it was a Bank Holiday, the public transport was still Sunday service.  This means transport finishing early, so the promoters, in their wisdom decided to start the show at 10 o'clock and then of course, they were running late!  In the end, we saw one act before we had to leg it to get our trains.  Luckily the tickets were free otherwise I'd have been asking for my money back.  I know it's all 'decadent' and 'cool' to have these things late but surely the worst thing is to have your audience walking out half way through the show.  It's extremely dispiriting for the performers and frankly a waste of time even putting it on.

Shoreditch is a funny place.  I love it and hate it in equal measure. There are some fascinating, quirky bars & restaurants there but the incredibly self aware nature of the place does start to grate after a while.  The funniest person on Twitter, Mangal 2 (a kebab restaurant in Dalston incidentally!) put it very well.




I can't help feeling that the Shoreditch 'scene' is starting to eat itself. About ten years ago, a friend of mine worked for an artist's studio around there.  The reasons they rented space there, as did many other artists, were cheap rents and the area's proximity to central London. The hipsters got wind of the art scene and started moving in in their droves.  Of course, the inevitable happened, rents started going up and the artists, the creators of the scene, couldn't afford it anymore & started moving out, leaving just the hipsters.

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to go out to the country to do some star gazing.  Yes, we're both nerds.  I have the Night Sky app which enables you to identify stars and other objects like satellites in the night sky (Lyra!  Arcturus!)  It was great fun and quite romantic sitting in the dark with a blanket wrapped around us looking at the stars.

And now it's Tuesday.  And I'm trying to drum up some more work. Joy.

9 comments:

Style At Every Age said...

I hate that feeling that the last Bank Holiday of the year is over! I spent mine doing a bootfair yesterday - boring but required after clearing the garage out last week! One of my daughters was at SW4 festival on Saturday and I still can't summon the courage to clean her Doc Martens! x

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Ah yes the victim of its own success and hype syndrome. I can't ever believe that Soho in New York was ever the place of artists...I think that is why Berlin is so popular as it is one of the few places in Europe where you can still afford a studio and a shopfront without selling your soul or family silver. PS I never got the whole mud thing but then again I am so not cool...

Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles said...

My bestfriend would love to go star gazing. I think it's cool :D You just inspired me to visit a planetarium. Haven't been to one, believe it or not. I'm not a big fan of Shoreditch because of the reason you gave. In fact, not a fan of anything that has become a victim of its own success and fame.
Lovely interesting bank holiday gimmicks :D x

Lily said...

I get so frustrated as its almost always like, and I really want see more burlesque, but it puts me off, and reflects badly on the whole scene.I know people who need to earn a living from this and if people stop going to shows it makes so much harder for them. Also not all performers live in London,what are they supposed to do?

Beautiful Things said...

Style at Every Age - yes, there is definitely something depressing about the last Bank Holiday. x

Beautiful Things said...

Coulda Woulda Shoulda - Yes, I really love Berlin.

Believe me, there's nothing cool about muddy festivals! Many is the time I've stood on stage looking out over grim, fields thinking why?? In WW1 conditions like that sent people mad and yet nowadays people are paying to go and live like that. It beggars belief.

Beautiful Things said...

Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles - you should go star gazing, it's amazing!! There's an observatory in Hampstead which I'm very keen to visit. Will let you know when I do. x

Beautiful Things said...

Lily - yes, it's a big problem. Burlesque promoters need to wise up - they'd probably make a lot more money too, if they did. x

Lily said...

Sadly it's been like this since at least 2007 if not before. Not much hope for things changing. X

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