I know, I know. I promised and I didn’t deliver. Honestly, writing this regularly, and keeping it vaguely up to date, is one of my new year vows.
Is anyone still interested in the last three months of 2007? I think I am; I did some lovely things. It was young Daniel’s birthday at the beginning of October, so we headed southwest to sample the various delights of Kew: first, michelin-starred French-style restaurant The Glasshouse (sister restaurant of Chez Bruce and La Trompette). I’d never been before, but it’s one of Daniel’s favourite places to eat in London, and it was pretty special. Sadly I can’t remember what I ate, although I do remember that Dan had one of their signature dishes, the truffled, deep-fried egg, as his starter. It was a real treat, and for food that good, very good value. Highly recommended. Maybe we’ll get a return visit for my birthday next month.
Then a quick trot over the road to the Royal Botanic Gardens, to see the wonderful exhibition of twenty-eight of Henry Moore‘s outdoor sculptures. It was beautiful to see so many large sculptures, all together, outside and in such beautiful surroundings. The exhibition’s on until the end of March, and I’m definitely planning to go again.
Rob Ryan is an artist who specialises in cutting paper, and I went to see an exhibition of the illustrations that make up his book, This is For You, at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery near Fitzroy Square. I’d never heard of him before, and I was utterly captivated by his work: it’s both exquisite and whimsical, and somehow reminds me of the books I used to read when I was little. The book is a love story, of sorts, and although the illustrations are reproduced beautifully, I think his work is much better viewed up close. If only I’d had a spare couple of grand to buy one of his beautiful pieces… maybe I’ll content myself with one of his tiles. Here‘s a lovely article about him and his work from the Telegraph.
October’s one real disappointment was Punchdrunk‘s production of The Masque of the Red Death. I first came across Punchdrunk at the Big Chill festival in 2004, where they put on a totally absorbing version of Woyzek. I’d heard that their 2006 production of Faust was excellent, so I was really looking forward to seeing The Masque, which was staged over the whole of the Battersea Arts Centre. But what started eerily atmospheric and menacing never really went anywhere. The idea is that you happen upon various different parts of the story as you wander round the set, and piece it together as it unfolds around you. In fact the production wasn’t just of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, but something like ten of his stories (something I only found out afterwards) and there was never a coherent sense of plot – or really anything much happening that you could make sense of at all. I suppose that was meant to be the point, and I know a lot of people loved it, but I found it increasingly frustrating – a bit of a triumph of style over substance, and too little story spread over too large a (mostly empty, even though beautifully realised) set.
Finally, my djing (well, putting one tune on after the other) debut at the Big Chill Bar, off Brick Lane. Definitely the best-paid two hours I’ve ever worked, and lots of fun, if extremely nervewracking. I suppose the best bit about it was the chance to hear my favourite tunes played out, loudly: I started with some Debussy and ended, of course, with the Wee Papa Girl Rappers. Thanks to Jane for helping me prepare and everyone who came along!