August 16th, 2010

Ace

Weekend Part I

On Friday night, thanks to some eagle-eyed spotting and ticket-snagging by a party who was, alas, unable to make it to the performance, I saw The History of Who? with klepsydra and bhata.

Part of the Camden Fringe, a festival I had no idea existed, this was very much by the fans for the fans, and a lot of fun.

The lecture was presented by a flamboyant character known only as the Professor, helped by his bumbling assistant, Jonathan. The highlight was a rare missing early adventure, Doctor Who and the Terrorful Voice of Terror, which we were able to witness by means of some futuristic technology that beamed it DIRECTLY INTO OUR MINDS.

Everything was carefully kept on the lawful side of copyright - this very legality forming a running gag - which was just as well, given there was a bloke sitting in front of me with a BBC lanyard on.
Orange Vespa Huskyteer

Weekend Part II

At the end of my first meeting with loganberrybunny, I joked 'Same time next year?' As it turned out, it was a whole year before we got together again, but we made up for lost time in Cheltenham on Saturday.

Spookily enough, Zoë Ball played 'Bright Eyes' on the radio as I was eating breakfast - a dedication to a listener's rabbit, no less.

I got rained on for most of the journey westwards, and ducking into shops to avoid showers became a recurring theme for the day.

Luckily there were some excellent shops to duck into: the Regent Arcade with its amazing singing ringing wishing fishing clock, plenty of charity shops and a Wilkinsons, which don't exist down my way.

A remaindered bookshop was selling sub-Disney DVDs at £2 for two. Logan and I clubbed together to purchase a timeless classic each: The Call of the Wild/White Fang for the husky and, for the rabbit, Happy, The Littlest Bunny. (I watched The Call of the Wild when I got in and it was pretty terrible, but I still think I may have got the best part of the bargain.)

Shop of the Day, however, and would that we had discovered it sooner, was a secondhand bookshop tucked away down a side street. It was one of those magical yet frustrating places with books double-stacked on every shelf and piled on the floor, challenging you to inspect every book in the place in search of that one perfect purchase.

Happily, loganberrybunny and I each found a book we had been seeking for absolutely ages; mine was Jupiter's Travels.

I do hope it will be less than a year until our next meeting. Maybe if we start planning it now...
This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Weekend Part III

Sunday was the ride to Hastings for which I prepared on Thursday evening. An early start from Maidstone services to miss the traffic was the plan, but first we were held up by a classic car rally heading for Leeds Castle, then one of us broke down, so the roads were relatively busy after all.

This allowed for some good overtakes, however, especially on the military road with its see-throughable S-bends and lengthy straight bits.

We had coffee and chat at Hastings, then returned on a delightful road I have bookmarked for later consideration (the B2244) for lunch at the Chequers Inn, where the food was friendly and the staff ample (or possibly the other way round). loganberrybunny, they had gammon steak for £12.95, an entire tenner more than we paid the previous day. I had curry.

At lunch we were joined by Fay Presto, the Vespa forum's very own celebrity (she rides a rhinestone-encrusted MP3), who set fire to a napkin and then magicked it whole again.

From Maidstone I headed straight into central London for a Russian Prom. On my way down Piccadilly I overtook some little girls in a pink stretch limo and gave them a big wave, which seemed to make their evening.

I know very little about classical music and next to nothing about different orchestras, but I do love Night on the Bare Mountain, so I jumped on tkb's coattails with alacrity for this one.

I should confess that I actually thought the interval was the end, because I had been counting rounds of applause and got up to four. Apparently one of the pieces had something called 'movements'. The second half was OK, though - I'm glad I stayed.

After the concert I chatted to the other biking prom-goers in the motorcycle bay as we put all our kit back on for the journey home. "As far as I'm concerned, Julia Fischer can do no wrong," said the chap next to me of the solo violinist. I had to confess that I hadn't heard of her until that evening.

Who says bikers are uncultured?