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w/e 2023-12-18

Tapping this out on the iPad on the train trundling west through the dark Cotswolds after a nice long weekend in London.

The Spook School were doing two one-off (two-off?) gigs, having split up in 2019, and that was my excuse for a trip to the city. The gig was fine, and felt wonderfully like the beforetimes, but the weekend highlights were seeing friends: A for coffee and croissant; R and A for dinner and pub; and T, C and N for dim sum. I’m glad that past me had enough moments of feeling “up” and potentially-sociable enough to arrange things over recent weeks, which isn’t always a given.

(I’ve got so much more cautious over the decades, about mentioning people’s names, or sharing their photos publicly, online. Only sharing initials doesn’t make for great reading, sorry, but I start to feel uncomfortable otherwise. Although I don’t mind if we meet up and you blog about me by name, for the record.)

Unlike my last visit, when the rain had me leaving early, this weekend was dry and not too chilly, and I loved my flaneuring around Newington Green / Stoke Newington, Hackney, and, today, from Tate Britain, through and around the West End, and to Paddington. Always nice to see familiar old places and discover new ones.

While I’ve seen many sights, and endless Christmas decorations, the most memorable image was a family five – parents and three young kids – entirely clad in the luxury shades of off-white / cream / beige.

At Tate Britain I went to see Women In Revolt! which was pretty good, although I don’t know what you’d have to do for me to get nothing from an exhibition that includes 1970s/80s photocopied (or similarly reproduced) newsletters, magazines, fanzines, etc. They always feel exciting to me.

On Sunday I saw Past Lives (Celine Song, 2022) and it was wonderful, so good. I’m not sure why it needed the brief opening scene, which felt like it put the rest of the film at a slight distance, but that’s a quibble. Greta Lee was great. Recommended for any romantics who loved Before Sunset etc.

Even better, the four other people in the 59-seat cinema behaved well, some occasional rustling aside.

Probably no weeknotes next week, having a break for Christmas. Have a good, or at least tolerable, one.

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