Sunday, 8 September 2013

A Londres

I've been away for a few days. I stayed in Greenwich again. When I lived in London, Greenwich was a pain in the arse to get to - and not somewhere anyone in their right mind would ever live. Now it's 8 mins and £3 from London Bridge. I have to pay more than that to get to the bottom of my hill - and the bus takes twice as long. It's fantastic there - and I'd happily move to Greenwich - but sadly, I need about £400k for a small flat - so that's not going to happen.

I went to see Edward II at the National Theatre - it's one of my favourite plays, it was great - except bits of silly direction and a truly fucking terrible set. It was the first night ( the day after the press night ) and clearly needs about a month of rehearsals and some work on the presentation. Good cast, mostly - except for the guy playing Mortimer, who was just terrible - and badly miscast for such a pivotal role - they had tried to mix too much modern stuff in. I really wish I'd been able to see the production in Manchester last year that was set contemporary and in the context of the the Edward/Mrs Simpson scandal - would have made perfect sense.

I was also able to catch 'A Dolls House' at the Duke of York's theatre - I didn't enjoy it, neither did several people who left during the interval, it's a great piece of work but they cut and changed too much ( which REALLY annoyed several people ) and the characterisation was all wrong. Almost impossible to feel sympathy or compassion for a silly woman who seemed to be flouncing off in a huff, not a seminal work of social change. I actually felt sorry for the husband.

The middle night I managed to see 'The Tiger Lillies and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall - wonderful evening, brilliantly inventive use of multimedia and an audience so in love with the performance I'm surprised they let them leave the stage.

Highlight of the weekend was a trip over to the British Film Institute to see the fully restored print of 'Bonjour Tristess' - I've never seen film so clear and perfect - it was astonishing, quite overwhelming. I used to be a member of the BFI, something you lose when you leave London. I quite like the fact that an usher came out during the film and told off a woman who was rustling her boiled sweet bag. In the Duke of York's, an American woman was in a rage before the audience had sat down because it was 'too noisy' and made a formal complaint to staff.

On Saturday I went up the Shard, I've been to the top of the Telecom Tower so I know what London looks like from above, but this was pretty breathtaking. The view was wonderful, the Shard was not - cramped, ugly interior - already looking shabby, dark and very oppressive, in fact - it looked quite dated - it an achievement to be 70 floors above ground level and yet feel that you are in a basement.

On the downside, I decided to visit my old house, what was once the fringe of the city is now well inside it - my old house looks shabby and unloved, and I accidentally managed to get caught up in a march by the 'English Defence League' through east London and the city and narrowly avoided getting myself caught up in rioting and kettled by 3000 policemen who had the whole of the area on lock down.

When I arrived home the fridge seems to have gone mad and frozen everything solid and the house smelt musty. I went to buy some fresh milk and there was a large Christmas display in the COOP - lots of people already buying mince pies. A middle aged woman was trying to pull off an elaborate scam at the till involving getting money on various cards, including her electricity card, and pretending to forget what she was doing - the bloke on the till was being patient ( she was pretending to be a bit senile or something ) but clearly gritting his teeth. I've had the exact same scam played on me when I worked in a pub - he should have just told her to fuck off.

I have to pick the dogs up early tomorrow - feeling very deflated - not everything over the weekend went well and I'm a bit depressed about something - I have a shed load of work and money problems and I need to decide on a job offer that will either be the best or worst thing that's ever happened to me. I sat in the Coach and Horses in Soho last night - in the seat I always sit in, where I've been sitting off and on for about 25 years. It was partly nostalgic, and partly depressing - I really thought my life would have been better than it is by now. Of course - there are legion people who are much worse off than me - but that's not making me feel any better. To make it worse, I wore the wrong shoes and my feet look like bloody pulp, and I have very sore gums after drinking freshly pressed lemonade on Thursday - I might as well have drunk battery acid.

I think I'm going to start doing the lottery.

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