Monday, 26 September 2016


It seemed to take forever to get back from Shropshire yesterday. We did that slightly silly thing of trying to travel into London early on a Sunday evening, when the world and his wife are also trying to get back into Town. There's something which happens to people on a Sunday night where they panic about getting home. I think everyone suddenly remembers the washing that needs doing, and the television they promised themselves they'd watch. It's a bit like the panic people get in to "have a drink before Christmas" like some sort of seismic shift is due on December 25th which some of us mightn't survive.

The roads were chockablock. The M1 is a joke at the best of times at the moment, but was utterly insane yesterday. I was slamming the breaks on left, right and centre to honour sudden speed limit changes. 70 became 60, then 50 then 40, then 50 again... seemingly for no reason. I like to drive with a good stopping distance in front of me, so was consistently driving thirty or so metres behind the car in ahead. I'm not quite sure why this became such a red rag to so many driver's bulls. One drove up close behind me, flashing his lights aggressively and waving his little fist like I was some sort of road hog. Everyone was driving at 50. Whether he was in front of me or behind me, he'd still be driving at that speed. I was thrilled when he tried to undertake me and got stuck at an even slower speed. For long periods we'd all crawl along at 5 miles per hour getting terrible doses of "clutch foot." I assume this is why Americans drive automatics.

I was in a rush to get back to London myself. Not to do the washing but to see young Josh's short being performed at the Arcola Theatre in an evening of writing by contemporary voices. I'm afraid I slightly struggled to see the point of some of the pieces. One seemed to be a re-telling of a biblical story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat-style without the all-important music elevating it from being inane and dull. I think we were learning what happened to the dark horse brother of Jospeh who sold Joseph as a slave. From what I could gather, he had sex with his daughter-in-law and narrowly avoided being stoned to death for fathering his own grand child, or at least providing his son with a father and grandfather in one fell swoop. I think. It was a little too confusing to fully invest in.

Act Two was a lot more fun with Josh's piece - a clever polemic based on 49, (the number of LGBT people killed in the Orlando massacre) and a monologue about a woman who had lost all sense of herself and started to think she'd become a fold-down chair. It was wittier than you might expect... I was very proud of Josh, but I did leave the theatre wondering why some people think certain ideas are theatrical viagra!

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