And All the More Things

I’m meant to be at the gym right now. But, lets face it, I always do my best blogging when I’m procrastinating over something else. So, here I am, in my sleeping T-shirt, curtains closed to the glorious sunshine that is outside because I don’t have any pants on and my neighbours windows are too close for comfort. Oh, the joys of city living.

I know I was going to report ‘properly’ on went down on Friday night, but it ended up being not that exciting. Well, that’s not fair. It was a nice night, it just wasn’t full-blog-post worthy. Not all things are, you know. Some things… some things, you have to just let them be. And don’t try to overcrowd the experience with meaning and significance and thousands and thousands of words committed to the internet.

So, without further ado, another half-arsed, 29 blog post.

FRIDAY

I went to the London Zoo for the first time. And not only did I go to London Zoo, I went to Zoo Lates, which is only for adults, and happens at nighttime, after the zoo would normally be closed. Hence the name. There is alcohol and a silent disco as well as other things that children normally get to do (face painting, wearing masks, going on a carousel) but that adults aren’t supposed to really do. So, they put it on at Zoo Lates when the children can’t see and get confused. I was kind of thinking that there would be exclusive zoo-type things that you would get to do at Zoo Lates (like, when you go to Roar and Snore at Taronga Zoo, you get special talks and you get to feed the animals and blah blah blah), but it wasn’t really like that. It was more just, you can drink at the zoo! Which is fine, but its not very different to any other London night, which is all about finding new and more exciting places to drink (you can drink on top of a car park! You can drink in a wigwam! You can drink in the 1920s!) Which is why I decided, in the end, not to devote a whole blog post to the event. I could probably have strung out a whole post about the conflicts I have going to zoos (human guilt over animals in cages in places they shouldn’t be vs. they’re so cute! I’m so lucky I can see them! I love seeing all the animals so much! Mixed in with a little ‘well, they have to be here for conservation reasons’ vs. ‘they wouldn’t have to be here for conservation reasons if we just looked after the world properly and besides, zoos didn’t start as places of conservation, they started as places of entertainment and diversion.’ See, its even exhausting going to the zoo with me!)

SATURDAY

I saw several Gamelan performances. What are Gamelan performances, I hear you say. Well, I’m glad you asked! Why don’t you look at this video:

One of the things I like about Facebook is being exposed to things I wouldn’t necessarily have found on my own. I mean, because I exist in a little bubble of left-wing, artistic friendships, those things are mainly things not too far out of my comfort zone, but, still. I appreciate the links and videos and things that friends post that I would not have found otherwise. Mostly, the links link me to things online. But, occasionally, someone will post something which leads me to seeing something in the real world. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the sun was shining and I had several hours before I had to go to work. It seemed ridiculous to waste the beautiful day, but what should I do? Whilst I was considering, I logged into Facebook. There, in my newsfeed one of my Irish friends had posted that London people should go to the Southbank Centre for the Gamelanathon. I thought, ‘I am a London person! The Southbank Centre is very near to me!’ So, I went. And it was great! There were performances outside. One group from Jakarta did what I can only describe as an extremely elaborate and elegant clapping game. It also involved what I decided to call the Indonesian ‘Waves of Bondi’, because it reminded me of that bush dance we were all forced to learn in primary school. Except their version was much more elegant and complicated. I’ve found a video of the clapping, I’m yet to see if it involves the Indonesian Waves of Bondi:

So amazing! So hypnotic! I have no idea what it all means, because they didn’t explain, but, hey. I enjoyed watching it.

I also wandered around the ‘Festival of Neighbourhood’, which was great fun. There was food and garden boxes, and fake grass. There was also a water fountain that was shooting out water in patterns that the kids were just going wild for. You could stand inside it and be surrounded by shooting water and not get wet yourself (as long as you knew where the water was coming from next). Yes, I went in it. What of it?

SUNDAY 

I spent a lot of time wandering around Finsbury Park yesterday. Which was a mistake, because I was actually meant to be in Clissold Park. The confusing thing was that there were signs for Clissold Park all over Finsbury Park, leading me in circles and up and down and around. I had a big bottle of Pimm’s and two large bottles of Lemonade, which seems like a very elegant drink, but after carting them around Finsbury Park in the sun for an hour, you realise that actually, it’s only an elegant drink if someone brings it to you on a tray, pre-mixed with mint and lemon in it. Otherwise, its a bloody annoying, heavy and sweaty drink that is probably not worth the effort. After I saw a sign for Clissold Park that was either pointing directly into the person’s house behind it, or into the sky (someone had twisted it around and it was no longer possible to tell from the sign where Clissold Park was supposedly located), I put my bags down and decided that I would have a picnic, on my own and I would be starting with the Pimm’s. Straight from the bottle, no lemonade. Thankfully, my friends rang me and we worked out where I had gone wrong. Its days like these that you think, “Maybe I should have a smartphone.”

The other thing I learnt from yesterday (I learnt many things yesterday) is that you really can only commit to one picnic/BBQ a day in London. But, of course, when the weather is good all your friends decide to hold competing BBQ’s and picnics and then you have to choose and then people might get upset. Which is why I tried to go to a farewell picnic in Stoke Newington yesterday, before a BBQ in Peckham, after having rehearsal in Angel as well. This is too much. Especially when I didn’t know the places I was going to in Stoke Newington and Peckham. Especially when I didn’t have a smartphone. Especially when I was carting around my laptop as well as the freaking Pimm’s.

I spent a lot of time getting onto buses and getting off buses in the wrong place and then getting on new buses and the getting off them in the wrong place and then getting on the exact same bus 10 minutes later and taking it further down the road. It was very frustrating. The only good thing was that because London buses run fairly frequently, even when I had gotten off in the wrong place, a new bus followed behind pretty quickly. That is, until the end of the night when I was trying to get home and my bus was, according to the sign, 27 minutes away. And then the sign changes and said it was 4 minutes away. It continued to tell me it was 4 minutes away for about 27 minutes. Which is when this happened.

But, all in all, an excellent weekend. Thank you London, for letting me wear some of my innumerable summer dresses.

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