June 1st, 2004

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Roll Call

Friday evening we were At Home to jiggery_pokery and his transatlantic consort dezzikitty, plus radinden (known to me prior to our meeting as 'Rob from Croydon who likes romcoms'), jvvw (whom I hadn't seen since the days when neither of us had a LiveJournal), bluedevi and verlaine, and mr_babbage (who is last only because it took me a while to find his username).

It was a nice party. We had pink Pringles. We did not play Scrabble. ericklendl was missed. dezzikitty and I discovered that we both liked cats and had studied Classics, but neither of these were the mystery Thing We Had In Common that Chris challenged us to discover, and we had to have lots of hints before working it out.

I must admit that before I actually met Meg, I took Chris's blissful burblings about True Pairings and True Lurve with a pinch of salt. This is because I am an horrible person who believes the natural state of humanity is abject misery. But having seen the two of them together, I'm totally convinced and can only marvel at how lucky they are to have found each other from so far apart.
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    impressed impressed
This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Yeah, I'm A Mod

I'd never heard of the New Untouchables, but it seems they have been quietly arranging Mod events for years and years. Bank Holiday weekend was 'Modstock 2004', of which the only item to interest me was Saturday's scooter rally.

I wore my parka (ex-Dutch Army; liberally covered with embroidered patches on aviation and canine themes and badges with slogans such as 'Parka Power', 'Go Vespa' and 'Proud to be a Furry'; smells pretty authentic too), my Union Jack Doc Marten's and my stick-on Dalmatian ears.

Trundling into the Inner Circle at 11:30 as per the schedule, I was greeted by the splendid sight of around fifty shiny shiny scooters and their riders. There were scooters covered in mirrors, scooters with Keith Moon's portrait airbrushed on the side, and one fabulous orange one with pink and green Dayglo psychedelic flowers.

The only other automatic there was a black ET4, ridden by a woman from Milton Keynes who had come down with her husband and his classic Vespa. We had a good chat about the finer points of our beasts before the off.

The last scooter rally I attended was a bit of a disaster, to be honest; we were stopped by the law twice, and we all got hopelessly separated. This one had marshals and police cooperation, and we stuck together all the way through Soho, past Oxford Circus, down Shaftesbury Avenue, round Trafalgar Square and up Holloway Road to the finishing point.

We tore around central London for an hour and a half, turning the air blue with exhaust smoke and peeping merrily to each other. Pedestrians stopped, pointed and whipped out their cameras. We were briefly one of the chief tourist attractions of Old London Town.

We were the Mods, and we rocked.
  • Current Mood
    nerdy retro
This IS me (by schwitters)Default

'If this is the seafront at Southend, there's something very strange about it'

The second Bank Holiday in May means, for me, that the summer air display season is kicking off with the free Southend-on-Sea show.

It was particularly enjoyable this year as I was in the company of the thunderbolt_b posse, unashamed propellorheads all. After Saturday's Moddery I travelled to Ilford, where Ultrafox was housesitting, for an evening of convivial company and a convenient train ride to Southend in the morning. Present were Ultra, ANTIcarrot, wardy, phoenicia and new recruit arakinuk.

We arrived just in time for the Sea Vixen (the very one in the pic), and learned that it's a plane of which Ultrafox is very fond - I wonder why? Flying hours were divided between moseying along the trade and military stalls in search of goodies and staring up at the sky from our base camp on the grass.

I got a custom dog tag made for swedish_lars, and the rest of the gang decided to have tags made for their characters too. We must have looked like members of some mysterious cult as we walked along together, gently jingling - which, of course, we are. For the record, Lars's tag reads:
which translates as 'Lars Flink, Swedish Air Force' (I hope).

As is traditional for Southend, the weather was changeable and it rained at least once. A great show, though, featuring perennial favourites the Hunter, the Nimrod and the Utterly Butterly wingwalkers, as well as my first Red Arrows display of the year - the first of many, I hope. (Their 2004 manouevres are now up for your perusal; Ultra might like #1, the 'Big Vixen Roll', while swedish_lars would be more into #4, the 'Gripen Bend'.)

All too soon the Harrier performed its trademark bow to the audience and it was time to get the train back to Ilford, thence to wend my way home via Stratford and Canary Wharf.

Same time next year, chaps?