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It's been a week since I arrived in London.  I've used these past days to say goodbye to this city and friends that I love so much. I fly back to Brasil on Friday... I have no clue when I'll be back in the UK.

My good friend [livejournal.com profile] live_life_like  started this journal in Brasil in May 2001 as a way of keeping in touch with myself and another friend we had in common. Thus the name. In September that year, a week after 9/11, I left Brasil and moved to London with my boyfriend to start a new life.

This journal has been a great place to inhabit during my 12 years in London.  I survived many dull temp jobs thanks to it, and met tons of people who went on to become close friends. I'd like to one day sit down and read through it - there have been some dramatic posts and some epic flamewars!

This journal will come to an end when I fly to Brasil on Friday. It brings to an end my 12 years in London.

Here's to whatever comes next!
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One Direction by hmv_getcloser
One Direction, a photo by hmv_getcloser on Flickr.
In honour of the approaching NaNoWriMo, I'm going to start writing one hour a day. I don't mean necessarily write for one hour, but have that time and space dedicated to it. I may just stare at a screen or a paper journal for 60mins.

What I want is routine. I already have one with exercise, and even with my little cafe excursions on Monday mornings before work, so why can't I have an hour a day for writing? And for days when I absolutely can't get an hour to myself, I could add it to the weekend so - say - on a Sunday when I'm at home, I can write for three hours and catch up on the hours I owe (though that sounds like a cop out already, doesn't it?)

So I'm here, sitting in the living room listening to Jarvis Cocker's show on BBC Radio 6 (<3), the wind rattling the windows (bring it on Super Storm of the Decade About to Hit Britain), only a few minutes gone by in my allocated hour.

Can I write on LJ during my allocated hour? Yes I can. Can I write on Twitter or Facebook? No, I can't - those networks don't count.

I wish we had a cat. It would nestle against me when I was focused, then sprint away when I tried to pet it.

My mouth tastes faintly of chai tea. And a little bit of the cheese and onion Ruffle crisps I had for lunch with a salmon and cream cheese bagel, on a bench in Victoria Park.

I went to the gym first thing this morning - it's always empty on Sundays, which I love. I took a bath in the afternoon, with a candle for company (a scented one that one of the Sissies gave me for my birthday.) I listened to songs from my iPhone while I soaked - 100 randomly selected songs from my iTunes.

I have a brasilian friend in town who I met for drinks and a play at Soho Theatre last night. (A very good feminist play that was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe - highly recommend you see it you have a chance: Bryony Kimmings: Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model.) We were meant to go to Columbia Road's flower market today... I'm still waiting for their phone call.

Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I marked 15 years together. Fifteen years ago we went on a date in Montreal, to see Bride of Chucky. I gave him David Sedaris' latest book, which I bought at Gay's the Word (one of London's best bookshops). He gave me a collection of short stories written by bloggers, edited by Dennis Cooper.

He's now in his cupboard office, going through his bills. We just watched the final episode of The Killing III. I'd been under the impression that it was the last series ever, but the ending has left a door open and a return more than likely. This makes me happy even though the Scandinavia portrayed in the series is as bleak as fuck.

A few weeks ago I toyed with the idea of doing a fanfiction NaNoWriMo - a thriller based on One Direction. Here's my pitch: girls from all over the world adore the boys and want to meet them at all costs. But little do they know that... One Direction have a bloodlust for their fans! They enjoy hunting and killing them for sport. (There's some subplot about One Directioners disappearing and a cop who wears ugly knitted sweaters investigating these cases.) The opening scene is a One Direction bus pulling out of the stadium, with blacked windows - girls screaming their heads off around it and begging the boys to come out. Little do they know that inside its soundproof walls, Harry Styles is wielding a chainsaw and advancing on a terrified Directioner... and so on. My heroine in this fanfiction comes from Nottingham and survives a night in One Direction's hotel after her friend is killed. She turns into prey as the band hunt for her, even going so far to track down her family's home (they announce to the world that they are bringing their arena tour to - surprise surprise - Nottingham!)

I may have Moussaka for dinner tonight. I bought some at M&S during the week and put it in the freezer. Oh, I forgot to mention: we didn't have Pancake Saturday yesterday! I don't know if the boyfriend has been reading my journal but it suddenly became French Toast Saturday and I was in charge. (I make some mean french toasts I'll have you know.) I'm determined to have Pancake Saturday return next weekend.
commonpeople1: (Avatar)
Hackney Downs by IanMH
Hackney Downs, a photo by IanMH on Flickr.
Saturdays in our flat have become "Pancake Saturday". My boyfriend has mixed feelings about this as he's the Pancake Master. I like to say on Friday night things like "I can't wait for Pancake Saturday tomorrow." Or, "I notice we have bananas and blueberries - Pancake Saturday is going to be extra special tomorrow."

In the morning, he'll try a "you do the coffee then." I'll smile, hit the coffee maker's button and go sit on the sofa. I prepare the coffee maker the night before, you see.

I love nothing more than BBC Radio 6 on a Saturday morning, a copy of the London Review of Books and the smell of pancakes frying in the kitchen. Yesterday, I read in the LRB a review of a Nijinsky biography. About his famed beauty, the choreographing of the Rite of Spring, the ensuing succès de scandale, his madness… before I knew it, I had disappeared into a search through YouTube footage and Tumblr photos.

In the evening, we met my friend Vini Bambimi in Stoke Newington for some drinks at the Three Crown and a spot of dancing downstairs, in The Waiting Room. It was a 90s night - a 90s I'd forgotten about. Utah Saints more exhilarating than Elastica; Hole instead of Nirvana (very popular with the attendees, I'll tell ya); the unfairly neglected Urban Cookie Collective.

It was a LGBT night too. The crowd was mostly young but one or two oldies were also on the dancefloor. It was a good mix.


The Waiting Room

Next Friday night is 80s night - I'm thinking of checking it out with [livejournal.com profile] millionreasons. (We are going to some birthday drinks in Bloomsbury beforehand and I'm planning on dragging her to the club afterwards.)

It's a very small space - the kind that would elicit many casualties if a stampede broke out. But it has that thing Electric Dreams doesn't have - a dance floor without bright lights straight in your face. Also doesn't take long to get a drink from the bar.

This morning, the boyfriend made an omelette and hashbrowns to go with the croissants we bought on the way home last night from the 24-hour bagel shop on Stoke Newington High Street. We then took the 425 bus to Clapton, where we met Vini Bambini again for a 5K run through Hackney Downs, London Fields, Broadway Market, Regent's Canal and Victoria Park.

I wish I had an Agatha Christie to watch tonight.
commonpeople1: (Avatar)
Sweet Dreams by Studio d'Xavier
Sweet Dreams, a photo by Studio d'Xavier on Flickr.
I went dancing last night at Electric Dreams, which happens once a month at the London Stone pub. 80s music with a dash of the 90s. Loads of alternative stuff and the occasional run of dancefloor populars. The Cure, Duran Duran, Japan, Depeche Mode, you name it.

Last time I went dancing was last summer, at the disastrous Old School Indie. And before that was The Cure night at Electric Dreams. My dancing days get shorter and rarer, which I find very sad. I'm not ready yet to give them up!

There were four of us and we ended up leaving early (some were tired, some had run out of money and some needed to work in the morning.) I got a good dose of the dancefloor; my leg muscles tingle today.

On our walk back to Liverpool Street Station I luxuriated on my comfort despite not having a scarf. My friend Bia pointed out how Electric Dreams is unusual for its lack of pretention and its variety of people: tall and short, large and thin, old and young, alternative or business-suited, men and women. Nicely split in half, all for the music.

We walked past a homogeneous group of bankers who'd left a posh bar and one of the women had just finished vomiting at their feet. They didn't have an ounce of the fun we had.

My boyfriend and I are now bundling up and stepping outdoors for a walk and some lunch. The sunshine promised during the week failed to materialise.
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Books by nnnnox
Books, a photo by nnnnox on Flickr.
We've started a Short Story Club with a couple of friends who live near us. They invited us over yesterday for an Easter roast, followed by some wine, coffee and stories by George Saunders read out loud. We also did a bit of creative writing inspired by Lynda Barry's exercises. (The one where you pick a random noun and have to explore a memory attached to it.)

These friends live in a beautiful loft in Hackney, north of Victoria Park. Wooden floors, books everywhere, vintage furniture, and now a piano in the living room. My boyfriend played with it for a bit before requesting we hum 80s synth pop melodies so he could try to pick them up on the piano. I hummed this one-hit-wonder.

Halfway through the afternoon, they asked me if I'd like a free one-year subscription to the London Review of Books. They had just renewed their own subscription and won the chance to nominate a friend for the prize. They also gave me a copy of Granta's The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists as they already had a copy. It was Christmas come early on Easter!

I've had a cold this whole Easter break (I only get sick on holidays and long weekend breaks) so it was nice to leave the flat and be a bit sociable. We had to read George Saunders' "Jon" before our meeting - a story about young people raised in a compound for the sole purpose of testing product advertising. When a couple in love decide to leave the compound, the outside world's reality peeks in.

I remember first encountering George Saunders years ago, at the Hay-on-Wye Festival with my boyfriend, [livejournal.com profile] naturalbornkaos and [livejournal.com profile] kixie. We'd bought tickets to see Zadie Smith interview him (drawn to her celebrity at the time) and we were all converted by his warmth, intelligence and humour. He mostly writes short stories which tend to be funny pokes at modern life. He's a sort of Kurt Vonnegut, actually.

In the evening, after our Easter roast, we walked up the road to the Hackney Picturehouse and watched Cloud Atlas, which I was surprised didn't suck. For the complexity of the novel it is based on, I think the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer did a good job. I was particularly impressed with Halle Berry, the best actor out of the whole lot. And, of course, my neighbour Ben Whishaw! I do wonder though how comprehensible the story was for anyone who'd not read the book. Did it do well in America? I'd be surprised!

Today, I'm having breakfast with a friend at the Pavillion then meeting Silky Bonadutchi this afternoon. Excessive lemsip has done its job and I don't feel so clogged up today. Sadly, this lovely long weekend has gone by too fast...
commonpeople1: (Avatar)
TWIN PEAKS by WMHART
TWIN PEAKS, a photo by WMHART on Flickr.
It's a Sunday for spending indoors, cooking lunch with friends (brasilian feijoada) and watching Twin Peaks. It's a Sunday where I've finished Madame Bovary for the 2nd time while getting through my 2nd cup of coffee and now have a skype date with my family in Brasil for 8pm tonight (but my mom says my nephew may not be there as he's afraid of computers.)

It's a Sunday of two fried eggs on top of toast for breakfast. It's a Sunday where my boyfriend and I had initially planned to go for a 5K run in Victoria Park but now we are aiming for an hour-long walk to our friends' apartment in Clapton (where said Twin Peaks marathon will take place.) It's a Sunday for further inroads into A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones #3).

Grey, uninspiring Sunday. Like the radioactive dust that falls on your hands and on your face... on your face... on your faaaaace.

Hungry Sunday.

Monday never comes too late. And for the 6th week running I'll find a coffee shop in the neighbourhood, around 8.30am, and do a bit of creative writing before heading into work.
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My boyfriend and I are looking to escape London. Sometime next week, hopefully off this island. We've looked at trains, buses and airplanes. We've looked at Last Minute deals, suggestions by friends on Trip Advisor and on Livejournal, work colleagues tips - anything... it's been hard!

Our latest plan is to take a train to Portsmouth, a ferry across to France and spend a few days over there. But we can't find an available hotel room...

In the meantime, I've been blessed with sunshine in London during this first week off work. I've been to ice cream festivals (with [livejournal.com profile] fj), walks around Regent's Park followed by beers and burgers (with [livejournal.com profile] suzi, [livejournal.com profile] clay, [livejournal.com profile] sarah and [livejournal.com profile] rattler), sunbathing in Victoria Park with my boyfriend, gym sessions, yoga classes, pizza at the Lauriston, pints outside the BFI while watching the crowds go by, some fiction writing, some movie watching, some video game playing and a LOT of resting.

I'm hoping to go swimming in Hampstead Heath tomorrow - my first time there. It's part of my plan of using this time off to do fun things around London I've never done before, while taking advantage of the good weather.

An old friend from uni arrives tomorrow night and spends the weekend with us. I foresee walks down Regent's Canal to Broadway Market, lunch at London Fields, some dancing in the evening, breakfast at the Pavillion Cafe in Victoria Park... all the money I could have spent in some Greek restaurant I'm going to spend right here, in London's EastEnd.
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I think I'm gonna have to give up NaNoWriMo: the good ol' RSI in both hands has returned. I need them hands. I need them for applying to jobs and recruitment agencies.

A few months ago I bought a ticket to see Hurts at the Brixton Academy. I was really looking forward to this gig and even penciled the date into my iCalendar. Except that I put down yesterday instead of Friday, the correct date. I found out my mistake yesterday morning.

In the afternoon, I took the No.8 bus downtown to meet [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia for a coffee. The bus now detours around St Paul's Cathedral, giving you a privileged view of the Occupy London campsite. It looks realy well organised and put together, with information and university tents, posters with info on all pillars and small groups of people having conversations every few feet. It also has a lot of tourists snapping pictures and the feel of a prominent tourist attraction if it stays there longer than a year. I'm keen to drop by soon and visit.

This is the time of year when everyone in London starts looking pale and horrible, pulling their dark clothes out of the wardrobe. I'm still in denial that it's winter time: you can find me walking around London with my hands in my light summer jacket's pockets, shivering. During my wander with [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia, we came across the #OLSX crowd again, this time marching down Tottenham Court Road; one of them was my upstairs neighbour, the one who sometimes stands outside Mile End Station handing out socialist flyers. She gave me a searing look because we were walking in the opposite direction.

Came back home and watched the frankly dreadful X Factor then an episode of The Wire season 4. During the night, I dreamt that Anne Wintour walked down a hallway - probably the most bizarre and pointless dream of my life.

I need to find a job soon, before this boredom and lack of money consumes me.

Sampa

Oct. 14th, 2011 11:29 am
commonpeople1: (Default)
I'm off to São Paulo for a long weekend visit with my friends.  I'll probably be away from the net during that period so try not to update your journals too much: I don't want to come back to hundreds of entries to read!
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Feeling Gloomy
Feeling Gloomy's bar

When I first moved to London in 2001, we lived with three lesbians and Erika (the non-lesbian) in a Victorian house in Stoke Newington.  Some people called it Murder Mile, some people called it the lesbian neighbourhood.  You saw girls everywhere, on dates at the pizzaria on Church Street, at the girls-only karaoke just round the corner - even at the gay bar on Stoke Newington High Street owned by a pair of blokes.  It's all gone!  What happened?  Where have all the lesbians gone to?  On Friday night, my brasilian friends Vini Bambini and Bia invited me over for drinks and food before we hit Stoke Newington's streets for a bit of gay drinks (something I hadn't done in years.)  There's only one gay bar now in Stoke Newington, Oak Bar, which turned out to be depressingly empty and loud.  We had a pint, played some snooker and stumbled to Dalston thinking it would be a good idea to try the Superstore. Hunger got the better of us and we called it a night at 12.30am after a chicken burger meal with Coke and fries.

The New Rose

The New Rose

Yesterday, I went to the gym and cleaned some of the flat in preparation for [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale's return today.  In the evening, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia for a coffee before we walked together to the New Rose pub for [livejournal.com profile] zenithed's birthday drinks. Reserved tables, friends, new faces, people I hadn't seen in a long time, a few pizzas, some whisky, some beer, some Lady Gaga text messages, chats about everything ranging from Big Brother to the Holocaust, then a plan to walk up the road and do a bit of dancing at Feeling Gloomy. (Didn't I promise at the start of the year I'd never go back?)

Feeling Gloomy was ace!  Turned out to be its 6th anniversary, celebrated with the distribution of cake, The Smiths' "Unhappy Birthday" and a free beer token if you made a donation at the door to SANE.  It was still empty when we arrived so we took the seats closest to the dancefloor and hovered over it for the rest of the night.  Very soon it got crowded and animated to FG's classic playlist: The Cure, The Cult, New Order, motown classics, Blur, Pixies, The Breeders, and so on.  As [livejournal.com profile] zoo_music_girl correctly pointed out, it was Student Union Disco Night. 

We ended the night back at [livejournal.com profile] zenithed's, chatting in his living room and drinking tea until 4 in the morning.  [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia and I then had the grim and knackering task of catching a nightbus home without freezing to death or falling asleep and losing our stop.  We had three hours of sleep before mystery caller started ringing my landline non-stop.  I've been feeling sensitive and out-of-it ever since.
commonpeople1: (Default)
Lovebox 17/07/11 by antonyprice
Lovebox 17/07/11, a photo by antonyprice on Flickr.
This was the moment at Lovebox on Sunday when 2ManyDJs ended their set. We'd been on our feet for 8 hours by that stage - most of it spent dancing. We were also freezing cold even though most of our bodies were buzzing (and some didn't even stop when it all went quiet.) No applauses, no calls for 2ManyDJs to get back on the stage. Everyone was too knackered as they trudged through the mud out of Vicky Park (apart from the gay boys who found each others tongues pressed against the ferris wheel's grates.)

My memories in no particular order:
- [livejournal.com profile] kirsten 's mint spray and the delicious taste it left in my mouth. The taste of Kirsten's cigarette. Kirsten's coffee too.
- [livejournal.com profile] amy 's excitement when Blondie came on, and the crowd erupting when they sang "Heart of Glass"
- The discovery of the 80s tent, playing Communards, Journey and Flashdance to ecstatic jumps.
- Dancing R&B with [livejournal.com profile] kirsten and [livejournal.com profile] kevin because it was warm and cosy in that tent.
- Meeting brasilian girl M who knows my friend B in São Paulo and who was high on acid. Going on an amusement ride which flew us into the sky and from where we didn't want to come down.
- Beth Ditto nearly naked, blowing the top off Vicky Park, especially when she karaoked Vogue.
- Marc Almond's lacklustre performance. Very unfair to put him in the afternoon on such a big stage when he'd be perfect in a dark intimate venue.
- [livejournal.com profile] kirsten and [livejournal.com profile] amy 's smiles, which always lifted my mood.
- Coming home like the living dead and [livejournal.com profile] kirsten breaking the news that Rebekah Brooks had been arrested.

My favourite performance was probably Beth Ditto though I had fun dancing to 2ManyDJs. I just checked out her EP on Spotify and it's pretty good - very, very Hercules and Love Affair.

Promises have been made to repeat Lovebox next year. Join us, won't you?

Wordmonger

Jun. 18th, 2011 01:23 pm
commonpeople1: (Default)
If you are a writer or enjoy creative writing, and you are on Twitter, I've discovered a great little way of sparking things off through HerLindsayness's blog. She writes:

Created by Monica-Marie, the idea (behind #wordmongering) is that at the top of every hour, participants write as much as they can for thirty minutes. Then they take a 30-minute break to stretch, snack, and generally refresh for the next round. You can participate in as few or as many rounds per day as you have time and energy for, and the encouragement shared between writers is invigorating. There is no contest and every word count, no matter how small, is congratulated.

I'm going to do my first one in 45 minutes. See you there?

Meanwhile on LJ, [livejournal.com profile] millionreasons has started a random postcard project which I also find interesting. I'm following her example and thinking of using Igor for my postcards.

Yesterday, an idiot carrying a cappuccino machine into the train dropped part of it on my elbow.  It's hurtin'.  I then got soaked wandering around London dropping off brochures for my arts festival in July.  At midnight, a brasilian friend arrived from Germany to stay with us for the weekend and we spent a few hours talking while I heated for him chicken and mushroom soup. I'm fighting annoying manflu so I can be well enough for drinks with him and his friends tonight.

38 minutes until my first #wordmongering...
commonpeople1: (Default)
The past couple of days have been wonderfully long and enjoyable. It started on Friday with a talk on time travel at the British Museum as part of their current exhibition on Science Fiction, Out of this World. Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote The Time Traveller's Wife, was part of the panel as well as sci-fi novelist Stephen Baxter, some guy who writes for Dr Who, some other guy who writes on the science of time travel and a woman who works in publishing (and who chaired the talk.) Audrey was a cross between Margaret Atwood and Tori Amos, all deep husky voice and very funny down-to-earth comments. The audience had a few nutters who shot theirs arms straight up when it was question time. I spotted a few friends of [livejournal.com profile] hester 's in the audience but I couldn't remember their names or LJ handles.

Yesterday, I went to the garden's Summer Fair then met friends in the evening at Rich Mix for the documentary Senna. It's a wonderful film which is hard for me to be objective about. Because I'm brasilian, I grew up watching Senna race every Sunday, my family and friends filing my home with cheer for his victories or despair for his losses. Seeing his life played out on the big screen brought back nostalgic memories for me as well as some good laughs at how naff Brasil was in the 80s. Well, wasn't the whole planet?

Senna was to Brasil what Lady Diana was to Britain in their deaths: this outpouring of emotion that showed the true extent they had affected people's lives while alive. He was different from her though in how there was nothing contrived about him: he was pure talent, hard work and charisma. There was something about his eyes that was very beautiful, his smile too - that gave away how idealistic he was about Formula 1 and making a mark in the lives of the less fortunate in Brasil (I suppose similar in that sense to Diana).

Everyone in Brasil knows where they were when they heard he died (i.e. most were in front of the telly) just like everyone in Britain still remembers hearing of Di's accident in Paris.



Today, I woke up early to meet [livejournal.com profile] kirsten at Columbia Road market for breakfast. It was rainy, cold, grey and horrible. We had a look around the shops and found a table in Restaurant Espagnol, which has lovely coffee and breakfasts (chorizo on top of fried eggs and toast; why did I never think of this?!)

We then drove to Camden so she could get a piercing at Cold Steel. On the drive back home we blasted 2 Many DJs and talked about Salt-and-Peppa and what the hell happened to them. Weirdly enough, a few hours later I watched a documentary by Chris Rock called Good Hair, which featured interviews with them. It's a bit of a surreal documentary that falls under that subgenre "we all live on a crazy planet". It looks at the multi-billion dollar industry surrounding hair in America in the black community, and its consequences to themselves and other parts of the planet. Funny at parts, weird in others. Made me wonder what will happen to all those people who spend thousands of dollars on their hair if the American economy continues to slide into the hole. It's completely unsustainable, like a lot of other things in America...



Tonight, we are watching Soprano episodes while eating our dinner, reading old newspapers in bed and listening to classical music. Global warming feels like a dream when the typical grim British summer returns to chill our apartment and cover the city with rain.

P.S. More Gingerganza this way! (thank you [livejournal.com profile] kirsten for the link.)
commonpeople1: (B & W)

My six-day holiday has been perfect so far.  Yesterday morning I lounged around home then went to meet [livejournal.com profile] millionreasons for coffee. We have been LJ, Facebook, Twitter, God Knows What Else, friends for four years but only now did we meet in real life for the first time - and she lives just up the road! We had coffee in this nice little café North of Victoria Park and chatted away for two hours about books, the Royals, music and our families. She surprised me by bringing a copy of Atwood's Bluebeard's Egg, which she originally nicked from a B&B in Bath. I have to pass it on once I'm finished.

For lunch, I cooked myself a huge bacon and eggs fry up then got myself ready for the garden. On the bus ride there, I saw police running across Mile End Road, through screeching traffic like cops in a U.S. TV show, chasing five hooded boys. They pushed them all against a wall and started searching them. One of the boys reacted and a scuffle broke out. A few minutes later, I walked past police searching and interrogating more youths in a West Ham park. I wonder if it's related to those squat raids?

The garden was quiet, with just the garden leader, one of the regulars (George) and one of the people who live across the street. I planted five broccoli plants and weeded some of the pathways. At 6pm, I headed for the South Bank to see La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928). Just before the film, [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale and I bumped into [livejournal.com profile] denalyia . We had a glass of white wine on the Royal Festival Hall's balcony and chatted about the Expanding Mind podcast.

Jeanne d'Arc was accompanied by a live band and singers. Five guitars and basses, drums, harps, keyboards, and more. It was a mixture of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Barry Black, a dash of the Cocteau Twins and church coral songs. It was epic and marvelous. It made the film seem currant and brought out the intensity of Maria Falconetti's performance. I want to own that soundtrack.

Edit: Looking at info on yesterday's performance, I just realised that it was the guys from Portishead and Goldfrapp who created and led the score.  I should have known about this beforehand, shouldn't I?

Strung Out

Dec. 3rd, 2010 05:30 pm
commonpeople1: (Jehovah's Witness)

Cello. Times Two.
Originally uploaded by quite christine
An orchestra is the perfect setting for a murder mystery. All those egos. All those tensions. (Because we know that's what happens when you get a large group of people working towards a common goal.) All that intrigue. Plus, the posh setting: some earning a hell of a lot more than others (how much does the triangle player get?!) And the explosive sexual chemistry! All these thoughts ran through my head yesterday as I sat through a concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

I've mentioned before Ray, this octogenarian from Hackney who loves to buy large amounts of concert tickets and invite his friends to come along. He's a member of the Royal Opera House as well as the Festival Hall so he gets them for £4 a piece ("Oliver, it's cheaper than a glass of wine in this place!") Some time ago, everyone pitched in some money to get a seat named after him in the Festival Hall. The seat is there, with his name on a golden plaque. I got a call from him on Sunday to join him yesterday, with [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale, and it sounded like the perfect night out in these snow bound days.

There were twelve of us. Italians, Finns, Hackneysians, Brasilians, Canadians, Unknowns. The Philamornia Orchestra started with Maria von Weber's Overture, Der Freischütz, a ten-minute long piece that was quite lovely. This was followed by Schumann's Symphony No.1 in B flat (Spring), which was quite dull.

I noticed two cello players sitting side-by-side. She looked like a young, brunette Uma Thurman with serious eyes. He had light brown - and silky smooth - hair, stubble and cheek bones to kill for. They shared a partitura and glanced at each other when they thought the other wasn't looking. Her cello was darker than his. Near them were two women dressed in identical black outfits. I bet they wanted to kill each other. (See, it was from these observations that my murder mystery took shape.) Somebody else in the orchestra looked like a tall and intense Casey Affleck. Suspicions fell on him after the body was discovered.

The second half was Brahms' Violin Concerto in D. Violinist Arabella Steinbacher came on stage dressed in red and played alonside the orchestra for the whole half hour without looking at a partitura. Amazing.

London has so many classical concerts which are incredibly affordable. It's one of the best things this city has to offer. That and murder mysteries.
commonpeople1: (Morrissey)

narcissus 2
Originally uploaded by dicartwright2
[livejournal.com profile] verybadhorse and three other girls recently visited and did some work in the cafe. They always seemed to be laughing together and helping the hours of work go by easy. It was then with surprise that I saw a black & white photo of them on Pavement's new CD cover: their heads side by side, some smiling, some looking away, one of their cheekbones angular like a Cubist painting. I asked them about it and they had no idea the photo had been taken. Pavement had not asked their permission to use it.

Morrissey's most recent gig was at a small nearby venue. Hardly any lighting, hardly any punters. We stood at the back feeling sorry for him that nobody had shown up. Suddenly he disappeared from the stage and next thing I knew he was standing by my side, whispering a question: which song would I like him to sing next? He was so close I could smell his cologne.

I was lost for words. I needed to choose quick, the few people standing about were getting annoyed with his disappearance. Soon he'd have nobody to sing to. 'Choose the song that means the most to you,' I finally said.

Next day, all the newspapers carried on their front pages a photo of our kiss.
commonpeople1: (Bahia)
The Village of Bom Jesus

Lloyd E. Hill, The Village of Bom Jesus, 1993
[livejournal.com profile] beeorkendurkey sent me a copy of this book because my family live in a village in Brasil called Bom Jesus. The village in this novel is also in Brasil but it's called Guajára instead - Bom Jesus in this case is the name of a cat (the only one in the village) who links the three stories together in this tiny collection. The stories take place in an Amazonian village far from civilization and its amenities. Lloyd E. Hill, an American who lived in Brasil for five years as a farmer, paints a rustic picture which is clearly based on his experiences - a community of simple people, the dangers and beauty of the forest, the culture shock outsiders experience when first arriving there. Some of the stories have a hint of Bible School about them which is mostly overcome by the passages that explore the Amazonian landscape. A nice, harmless quick read.
commonpeople1: (Karaoke)
I held my first X Factor party yesterday. Friends met [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale and I at the Victoria pub in the afternoon, where we spent a good amount of hours chatting about vajazzles, people who sleep with corgis, trips to Berlin, upcoming karaoke and Nicola Roberts' pending solo career (which I think will be the best one out of all Girls Aloud). The great thing about the Victoria is that the music is never loud and you can hear all the conversations going on around you. It also helps that they continue to play stuff that I love like Siouxsie, 50s rockabilly and alternative gems from the 80s.

At 7.30pm, just as an indie band was getting ready to take to the stage, we hurried back to our flat - past a cornershop for more booze - and arrived with a few minutes to spare before the show started. I'd forgotten how the view of London from our balcony impresses people - I'm so used to it by now - and it made me realise how we should throw a party here one of these days. Everyone settled down, pizzas were ordered, and one hilarious comment after another came out on the performances on the telly[1]. This sort of weekend entertainment makes its most sense when shared with others.

Once everyone left, the alcohol seemed to suddenly take its effect and everything spun when I closed my eyes. Woke up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep so pottered round the flat until 8am then slept till nearly midday. Went for a coffee and lunch with my brasilian friend Vini Bambini, played a bit of Nintendo and I'm now killing time online until the X Factor's results come in. Then it's a movie before bedtime and the start of another work week.

Read more... )

You Belong

Oct. 15th, 2010 03:17 pm
commonpeople1: (Elvis)
I'm seeing Hercules and Love Affair tonight at a small venue, with some lovely friends.

I can't wait.

commonpeople1: (Mr Stamp)
Here's a video with one of our friends. He's from Finland and I was surprised to notice how much he looks like the guy from Machete in it:

Makia Clothing from Makia Clothing on Vimeo.



P.S. Someone found my journal by Googling "Save LJ Month". Lolz and well done Suzi! :-)

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