Monday, April 30, 2007

I Hate Banksy

I've blogged about Banksy and his book previously. Not everyone loves Banksy, however. I took this photograph on Brick Lane - awesome. In other Banksy news, one of his murals was recently painted over by Old Street tube station. The BBC reported that an "iconic Banksy" was covered up. Banksy iconic? Ummm. Caravaggio? Yes. Picasso? Yes. Banksy? Really pushing it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spa-aaahed in Montreux

What to write about a weekend at the spa in Switzerland? It kind of speaks for itself. But to describe it briefly - it was two days of going from sauna to massage to steam room to facial to swim to lying in the sun under the Alps.

And then wandering along the shore of Lake Geneva, stopping to smell the flowers and eat cheese and escargot and drink copious amounts of French wine. It was a weekend of convenience - meeting with good friends who happened to be in Geneva - that turned into a weekend of blissful convalescence. (I promised them that I would write that we were convalescing.) More self-explanatory evidence in these photographs. The lake, the mountains, the remanents of our breakfast in the midst that view. Life is too good sometimes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Week in Wonders

Wonderful: Equus by Peter Shaffer at the Gielgud Theatre. I expected the play to be good, but I didn't expect to be completely blown away by the production, which I was. That Harry Potter kid sure is good. Really, Daniel Radcliffe gave a virtuoso performance which is even more remarkable given that it's a rare feat to upstage Richard Griffiths on stage. The play was worth seeing just for the horses, which were performed by some wicked dancers. Gorgeous costumes and some pretty amazing fancy footwork - it made for a spellbinding couple of hours.

Not so wonderful: For the first time in seven years, as I walked down a busy London street, one of those bus tour operators tried to hand me a pamphlet. He thought I was a tourist. The horror.

Even more wonderful: Heading to Montreux, Switzerland tomorrow for a spa weekend with good friends. Wine, massage, good conversation, and the Alps. Not to mention Swiss efficiency, which I love.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Love Is In The Air

Do you ever have one of those days? One of those days where everything feels good? You wake up after a good sleep, the weather is to-die-for gorgeous, you burst into life with a delicious coffee and with the whole day ahead of you, think: What would be wonderful today?

So you head into East London and wander around Spitalfields Market and buy pretty jewellery and some brilliant art, sampling every olive and chocolate brownie on offer. Then you stop next to the sign that tells you Love Is In The Air and The Espresso Smells Fabulous for another coffee and watch the crazy world walk by. Heading over to Brick Lane you don't buy a peacock feather from the man with the wicked dreads, but you do stop to admire them, and then the smell of sizzling curry becomes too much and you gorge yourself on the best Bangladeshi cuisine in town. And now before your dinner plans with friends you sit in a sunbeam in your flat and have a cup of tea while the stack of Sunday papers sits at your feet, still waiting to be read. Do you ever have one of those days?

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Lady From Dubuque by Edward Albee

Tonight I saw Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque at the Haymarket Theatre. Reviews for the play were really mixed, so much so that had Maggie Smith not been starring in it, I probably would have given it a miss. Which would have been such a shame, as I thought that the production was excellent. (I wonder if the fact that the original run of The Lady From Dubuque on Broadway in 1980 only lasted twelve days still affects reviews of the play today.)

Michael Billington wrote that he was "simultaneously tantalised, intrigued, and entertained" by the play. I would agree and also add "irritated" but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean irritated in the way you sometimes wish George and Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? would just shut up and calm down and stop making their guests squirm, but really, you don't want the chaos to stop. I'll call it the "Albee Irritation" and will admit that I enjoy it. And Maggie Smith was brilliant...of course.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My So-Called Life v.3

A different city and a different desk, but the same old story. Still dependent upon the nalgene water bottle and the loosleaf pads. But I have a glorious window to work next to at the moment and I have the finish line in sight. Still a couple of months away, but I can now start letting my mind wander toward post-PhD themes. (And I can envision a time I will not be covered in papercuts from all of these articles and chapter drafts and file folders.)