Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Saturday, 18 February 2012
And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find.
>> lyrics to the new Jason Mraz single “I Won’t Give Up” <<
Well, I definitely need my space to do some navigating. Headspace, mostly. Last weekend I went to navigate the Solent, with my yacht club buddies from college as usual. What I found was a little bit of calm and peace and friendship … and renewed strength to keep navigating the urban jungle.
Thursday, 16 February 2012
My friend S. and I have recently decided that 2012 should be all about New Experiences. Mainly because …
a) We only live once.
b) We’re not getting any younger. Let’s face it, there will come a time when I will no longer be able to use my favourite excuse in the world: “But I’m still young!”
c) Since we’re putting up with London’s workaholic culture and expensive rents, we should really take advantage of the good things the capital has to offer.
We’ve been wanting to see a musical, and we’ve been wanting to go to a male strip club. Then, yippeee, I found a theatre show that combines both: Naked Boys Singing at the Charing Cross Theatre. We bought cheap tickets for £12.50 on lastminute.com, so I wasn’t expecting much. Oh boy, did we get our money’s worth. It’s a small theatre and we sat in the fourth row! Let me summarize in two words: FULL. FRONTAL.
If that didn’t entice you to buy a ticket, here’s the official marketing blurb:
“Naked Boys Singing! is a musical comedy revue featuring an original score of 16 songs celebrating the splendours of male nudity. This perfectly proportioned 70-minute review features 7 good-looking and talented male actors celebrating the glories of the naked male body through a series of catchy, pithy cabaret numbers, both funny and poignant.”
Yawny, yawny … Did I just spot the word poignant? Is that the compulsory term which has to appear in every book / theatre / movie review these days? How is a bunch of naked guys performing tap routines poignant? It’s just plain hilarious.
For obvious reasons, they don’t let people in the audience take photos during the performance, but I found a clip on YouTube which gives you a snapshot of the show.
So, as you can see, the night started off well and it just kept getting better and better. The Charing Cross Theatre has an amazing little bar upstairs with live piano music. We sat down with a few glasses of white wine and started chatting up strangers. That’s how I met nerdy Mr. C. Just like me, Mr C. wore glasses, which was a good start. We wrote many silly requests for the piano man together. We exchanged music recommendations. And then we exchanged life philosophies. I gave him mine (“The beginner’s mind is a beautiful place to come from.” and “Happiness is a myth. It was invented to make us buy things.”) and he gave me his – here they are:
Isn’t that just super-sweet? Later on, Mr. C asked for my phone number. I wrote down: “999. I met a girl last night and I’m dying to see her.” You see, there were some irreconcilable differences between us. Mr. C and I swapped our glasses (in that boastful “my prescription is stronger than yours” way that only bespectacled people understand) and as soon as I tried his specs on, I yelled out: “OMG, you are long sighted!!!” Seriously, how can anyone under the age of 60 be long sighted? In my drunken state of mind, this signalled: NOT SOULMATE. And so I decided not to give him my phone number. I have principles. Besides, I had seen enough naked boys for one evening.
Meanwhile, my poor friend S. was stuck talking to Mr. C’s best friend who was apparently a bit boring. But, on the plus side, at least he was a smoker and he bought her drinks.
We went home late, verrrry late. I fell asleep on the night bus and woke up several stops after the bus had passed my house. Oooops. This hadn’t happened to me in years, I swear. I had just enough cash in my wallet to grab a taxi ride home … and all was good in my world, at 3.30am, with Mr. C’s philosophies safely folded away in my back pocket.
Monday, 6 February 2012
I put the heating on
For the first time this year
I guess that means winter is really near
And in this weather
I need you more than ever
To borrow your sweater
And be warm together
’Coz even though we said
That it would be good for us
To be alone
’Coz we’re too co-dependent
Let’s face it
Who wants to be free
When it’s freezing
>> Valentine’s Day is coming … the florists on Chiswick High Road always have awesome window displays; Mary Portas would be proud. <<
Sunday, 5 February 2012
I go to Chinese New Year every year. I was feeling pretty lazy last Sunday but I really wanted to continue the tradition. It’s always a great photo opportunity with the dancers and the costumes. It was pretty chilly, but nothing that a hot chocolate and some fried rice take-out couldn’t fix.
The singer in the photo above is Mary-Jess Leaverland, who was a winner on a Chinese version of X Factor. I really loved her story. Mary-Jess was studying music and Chinese and Sheffield University when she went to Nanjing for her year abroad. While there, she entered the TV singing competition and won. It’s not that common for English people to speak another language, so I’m always amazed when I see someone who has made a real effort to go out of their comfort zone like this. Her singing is quite an unusual mix of Chinese pop melodies with English and Chinese lyrics. Plus, she is this really sweet and humble kid who’s had her dream of becoming a recording artist come true and she speaks in this incredibly grateful way, like she can’t believe her luck. No arrogance, no celebrity. It’s really refreshing.