We've never gone in for big Christmas festivities at work but on Friday we followed our staff meeting with some tree decorating and a few drinks int he pub, which I had to scooch off from early to have dinner up in Dalston with T&A, which was very nice although festive drink-mixing made me pretty sleepy. I stayed over at N's but he had to head off pretty early on Saturday and I went back to spend a lazy day at home. We met up again in Greenwich the next day to go round the Pepys exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, it didn't really draw all that much out of the diaries that was a surprise (Great Fire, Restoration Theatre etc.) but some of the context of his life (Royal Society, Tangier colony) was pretty interesting and a lot of the quotes did make him sound very much like an erstwhile Boris, bumbling around the great institutions of the land without much of an idea of what they were all about. I headed from there to Chelsea to do some bucket-shaking for work, while carols were sung at Christmas shoppers, then was back at home for the rest of the day.
Last week I went to catch Cracker on one of their rare visits to the UK, thanks as ever to Professor W. I've scraped the name of the execrable rawwwk support act from my mind but luckily Cracker were fantastic. I love going to see all my laddish indie with its thrashy guitars but it is nice to see instruments being played really well every once in a while. Alternative country rock is not something that I would ever seek out, but it does make me wonder if I am seriously missing out or if it is just because they are so strongly associated with my late teens that I loved it so much.
Whilst I tend to rotate the evening I work at the Shelters, so all the venues and volunteers get to see me, I went back for my second Tuesday in a row, not a terrible thing as they definitely put on the best spread that night, and I even made it to FNB for the first time in an age on Wednesday, which seems to be thriving with the new generation of volunteers. N came over on Friday, we watched the Nick Cave film from a couple of years ago, which was pretty good but had some moments of horrible irony in the light of subsequent events.
On Friday I ventured out to a club called Rumpus for the first time, in honour of cream_horn's birthday. It was billed as Santas v. Pandas and most people had made some kind of fancy dress effort and the night made good use of the labyrinthine Electrowerkz, with three rooms of bands and DJs, some stalls, a courtyard and various random entertainments. It was a fun night with enough distractions and friendly crowds, a bit Planet Angel-y albeit with more live music and a slightly younger crowd. Most of the music that we saw had a strong 'gypsy'/Balkan influence with energetic sets from Buffo's Wake, Shambolique and special gallic guests Jabul Gorba. It's an all-night affair but I flagged about 5am and headed home, not the worst thing in the world as I had agreed to be in Petersfield by midday to meet up with K and our usual crowd for a Christmas celebration: it was pretty restrained, mostly eating and containing three excitable small children, but lovely to get together.
I hung around until after lunch on Sunday then went home for a couple of hours before going back out to the Shelters in the evening. I's feeling okay yesterday but by the evening it had all caught up with me and I crashed out early: luckily I'm in tonight as well.