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w/e 2019-10-06


This week I’ve been listening most to f(I)ght by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, an album I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. When the clouds of inadequacy descended during the week I wanted something calming and the sound of her poems over that music was just right.

(I’m fine. It’s not so much a Black Dog, more of a… Grey… Cat? That sounds quite nice.)

§   It’s the London Film Festival and so I’m going to a bunch of films that, since I booked the tickets, I’ve forgotten everything about. Having next-to-no experience of film festivals I wondered if the screenings would feel special or, instead, like a standard, if sold-out, event. But, so far, two films in, they’ve been more fun, more excitingly industry-y, with cast members in the audience, and Q&As afterwards with directors, producers and actors. Plus, there are no adverts to sit through! At one screening I was sat behind a woman who seemed to know everyone, who was chatting to the guy in the next seat (who, it turns out, she knew) who told her that his movie was “in the can” and had “just wrapped” a couple of weeks earlier. So showbiz!

On Friday evening I saw the world premiere (ooooh!) of Make Up, the first feature by Clare Oakley and it was really good. An 18-year-old goes to stay and work with her boyfriend in a Cornish caravan park out of season. I’ve often thought a caravan park would be a great film location, and it was, full of creepy sounds and marooned characters.

There were a couple of shots quite like this photo I took in Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, only bleaker

And on Saturday I saw the UK premiere (ooh!) of Days of the Bagnold Summer, Simon Bird’s feature directorial debut, an adaptation of a comic book about a sullen teenage metal fan living with his mum in suburban England, with a soundtrack by Belle & Sebastian (probably why I booked a ticket). That was also good, sweet and funny.

§   Last night I came across a Lime e-bike, dead on its side in a disabled car-parking space. I set about rescuing it, thinking that its conventional home, annoyingly littering the pavement, would be less bad.

As soon as I picked it up it started beeping, loudly. Then a computery woman’s voice began saying, “Please unlock me to ride me or I’ll call the police!”

I set the bike upright on its stand but the beeping and the verbal warning repeatedly alternated. I continued walking home, quickly, while the once quiet street was filled with the alarming noise, which slowly faded as I turned a corner. Maybe it’s still going.

Horrible. One good deed rewarded with a scary blend of the so-called sharing economy, the commercialisation of communal spaces, and authoritarian surveillance capitalism, all sugared with the unbearable style of wackaging. May every dockless bike and scooter scheme go bust as soon as possible.

§   I’ve been enjoying playing Mario Kart Tour on the iPad this week. Lots of fun, and it plays smoothly on my few-years-old iPad Air 2. Well, the races are lots of fun; I can’t pretend to understand any of the stuff going on around them. Experience points, coins, rubies, gems, beenz, lingots, I don’t even know. It’s entirely baffling. All I know is that I haven’t felt any need to pay any real money so far, so whatever.

§   That’s all. If the Grey Cat comes to call, go for a walk and get some fresh air.

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