Saturday, 12 March 2016

Spring like

It's felt rather spring-like all day today. Everyone I've bumped into has commented on the weather. The woman in the shop, the man in the cafe (whom we discovered yesterday is called Ahmed...)

I spent the day doing admin and tidying the sitting room. I cleaned out the hearth. Imagine that! How's that for a bit of Edwardiana? I wanted to find an apron and a pot of blacking but had to make do with a can of Mr Sheen and an old sock.

Nathan has thrown away two bin bags of clothing and a carrier bag full of cables. Why the heck do we accrue so many cables? There was a pile of giant leads nestling under the chest of drawers which must have been designed for the most enormous mobile phones and lap top computers ever built. You could have towed a bus with some of them!

I've been rather frustratedly trying to get in touch with various people in Leeds Council to see if they can help me with a hugely exciting off-shoot-of-Brass project which is currently brewing at the back of my mind. Sadly, Leeds council feels a bit disorganised. They're going for the City of Culture status but their head of culture left before Christmas and has not been replaced.

My legs feel like stumps. I've been running today (around the edge of the woods) and walked for miles with Meriel and Nathan across Hampstead Heath. All part of my new fitness regime.

The days are certainly getting longer. We left Highgate to go for our walk on the Heath at 5pm and there was still light in the sky a few hours later. A beautiful crescent moon began to glow in the sky. The air felt fresh but not cold, and the parakeets were dancing and shrieking in the sky.

They're doing work on the ponds at the moment. I think they're creating a series of overspill meadows where water can drain into if there's a large amount of rain and the ponds burst, as they did in 1975 when the whole of Gospel Oak and the Vale of Health was inundated with water... So much water, in fact, that one poor fella drowned in a basement flat.

Meriel came back to ours this evening and we watched an ancient and charming curio called Les Bicyclettes de Belsize; a thirty-minute musical film shot in 1968 in Hampstead. It's almost impossible to quantify, but well worth a glance for the cinematography alone, which includes two three-minute single shots with the most intricate focus pulls. The music is patchy, but the end result feels like a glorious injection of urbane flower power!

We ate curry whilst watching Tori Amos videos. Another person who understands how cinematography enhances music. Her videos are often surreal, bordering on pretentious, but always stunningly shot.

Meriel's currently telling us that she got thrown out of piano, cello and ballet lessons as a child because her co-ordination was so bad. She was also thrown out of the school choir. How does anyone ever get over that level of rejection? I think I got chucked off the school chess team, but that's like really cool, isn't it?

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